The Billionaire's Fantasy

By: Kate Hewitt

Chapter One

SHE WAS THE embodiment of every naughty nun and sexy schoolteacher fantasy he’d ever had. Which, Jaiven acknowledged, had to be stretching it since Louise Jensen didn’t look like either, dressed as she was in a perfectly normal wrap dress in some semiclingy material and a pair of low heels.

It was the glasses, he decided. Chunky, square black frames that somehow highlighted rather than hid her vivid hazel eyes. And her laugh. She had a tense way of holding herself; she held a glass of wine in one hand and cradled her elbow with the other, as if she were only just keeping herself together. But she had a surprising, sexy, dirty laugh.

The whole package—the glasses, the laugh, the ruler-straight posture and the fact that he knew she was a professor at Columbia—made him decide to take her to bed.

Judging by the covert glances she’d been shooting his way, he was pretty sure she wanted to go there.

Admittedly she wasn’t his usual type; Jaiven preferred his bed partners to be vacuous, shallow and well-endowed. Those qualities, he found, made sex the simple and pleasurable transaction he wanted and needed it to be.

Louise Jensen was neither shallow nor vacuous, although she definitely fulfilled his well-endowed requirements. Different though she might be, Jaiven still wanted her. Still intended to have her.

He drained the rest of his beer and glanced around the private ballroom, guests milling around all that gilt and marble, chatting softly. Even their laughter sounded entitled, like the tinkling of expensive crystal.

Except for Louise. Her laugh was louder than everyone else’s, and every time he heard it, which admittedly hadn’t been that often, he experienced a jolt of lust.

He normally avoided parties like this. He hated all the snobbery and schmoozing; everyone was trying to prove themselves in some way and he wouldn’t do that. Couldn’t even if he wanted to.

He also stood out amidst all these preening peacocks. He could feel their curious, sideways glances taking in the tattoo visible on the side of his neck, the once-broken nose, the fact that even though his tuxedo was top-of-the-line it still felt like a monkey suit.

He rolled his shoulders in an attempt to loosen the tension that knotted there, and then decided to hell with it. Sex was the easy and simplest solution. Best way to relax, hands down.

And he knew just whom he intended to relax with.

He glanced at Louise again, openly, not hiding his interest as she so obviously was. Even though her back was to him he knew she could feel his stare, saw it in the way she shifted slightly, clutched her elbow more tightly and took another hasty sip of wine.

Did she have a thing for bad boys? Tattoos? Jaiven had certainly come across that little fetish before. Whatever it was, she was clearly interested in him, even if she wanted to act as if she wasn’t.

She’d been sliding him glances while she was sipping her drink and then hurriedly looking away, quickly saying something or laughing too loudly.

Jaiven smiled, the tension inside him already starting to loosen. This would be both interesting and easy, a particularly enjoyable combination, and the perfect way to end his evening.

“Jaiven.” His friend and host of the party, Alex Diaz, clapped him on the shoulder. “Enjoying yourself?” he asked with a knowing smile, and Jaiven rolled his eyes. “I know this is your personal hell. Not just a party, but one celebrating an engagement.”

“Two strikes,” Jaiven agreed equably. He wouldn’t begrudge the happiness of one of his oldest friends; it was just bizarre that Alex had found it with a woman, in a relationship. A permanent relationship, something they’d both vowed to avoid.

People changed, Jaiven supposed, even if he didn’t think he ever had or could. Yet Alex seemed happy with Chelsea Maxwell, the once-celebrated talk show host and now head of some high-profile charity. He didn’t get it, but then Chelsea, with her glossy television looks and frosty attitude, was so not his type.

But her sister Louise was. She would be. For a night, at least.

Alex moved off to greet another guest and Jaiven turned to Louise. She was by herself now, heading toward the bar for another drink, and if the slightly unsteady walk was anything to go by, she’d already had a few. Not too drunk, though. Jaiven didn’t do drunken sex. Too much messy emotion, too many regrets—and he had enough of his own already.

Smiling in anticipation, he headed toward her.


Louise reached the bar and set her empty wineglass down on the polished mahogany surface just a little too hard. She winced at the thunking sound, and the bartender whisked it away with a bland face. Classy joint, this.

She steadied herself with one hand, wished she hadn’t worn these stupid heels. They were all of three inches high but they felt like stilettos in comparison to the sensible shoes she usually wore.

Her dress felt uncomfortable too, too tight and revealing. She wore pantsuits to work and the occasional knee-length skirt, sensible blouses, a nicely tailored blazer. The stereotypically boring wardrobe for a single, female academic.

But she’d wanted to dress up for her little sister’s engagement party, wanted to celebrate in style. Aurora, or Chelsea as she now was known, had escaped the misery of their childhood. She’d found a man who made her happy, a man who would cherish her and keep her safe. That was certainly worth celebrating.

It was just too bad Louise hadn’t found the same.

“Another one?” The bartender asked, pointing to her wineglass, and Louise nodded.

Two glasses of wine and she was feeling a little tipsy. A little weepy too, because Chelsea’s happiness was casting her own life into rather bleak shadow. Which was selfish, she told herself as she accepted the glass of wine from the bartender. She shouldn’t be thinking about herself at her sister’s engagement party; she should be thinking of Chelsea.

But thinking of Chelsea was hard, because even though they were becoming closer now, they had so much sad and sordid history behind them, as well as fifteen years of estrangement. You didn’t get over that in a night, or even a year.

Maybe ever.

Sighing, Louise took a rather large sip of wine.

“I was going to buy you a drink, but I see you’ve beaten me to it.”

Everything in her jolted at the sound of the male voice—a sexy, accented rumble—because she knew without turning who was talking to her.

That man, the one she’d been stupidly sneaking looks at all evening. Had he noticed? Just the possibility made her insides curl with both a mix of humiliation and anticipation. He was talking to her.

She took a deep breath, turned to him with what she hoped was the kind of airy insouciance so many other women seemed to manage with effortless ease. “Thanks for the offer, anyway, but…” Whatever she’d been going to say evaporated in the emptiness of her brain because all she could do was look.

Did he know how sexy he was?

Clearly he did, judging from that quirky little half smile. But even the man’s arrogance couldn’t detract from the whole, mouthwatering package.

Wicked amber eyes. Dark hair, cut short enough to show off the sculpted perfection of his skull, his jaw, his cheek—all hard, unforgiving lines.

His nose wasn’t perfect. It had clearly been broken at least once sometime in the past, but that just added to his dangerous appeal. This was a man who had lived and lived hard.

And as for his body… Louise willed herself not to drop her gaze, but clearly her brain wasn’t accepting such signals because it dropped of its own accord. He had to be at least six foot three, maybe taller, something she appreciated since she was just a few inches under six feet herself.

And whether he was six foot three or four, he was all rangy, powerful muscle, taut and lean, perfectly proportioned.

And then there was the tattoo. Her gaze moved up again, to the swirls of blue-black ink peeking out from under the starched collar of his shirt. She should definitely not find that sexy. At all.

Jack had had a tattoo. Admittedly his had been on his forearm, a naked woman sprawled provocatively on a motorbike. If she’d had any sense at eighteen, she’d have taken that as a clue.

Not a good bet.

Clearly Jack’s tattoo hadn’t put her off them altogether, because there was something undeniably sexy about this guy’s ink. Something unbelievably sexy about the whole of him: the dark hair and light eyes, the broad shoulders and trim hips, everything about him signifying a restless power, barely leashed.

He reminded her of a tiger, with those amber eyes, that stealthy grace. And tigers, she told herself, could kill you.

“Finished?” he asked softly, a hint of a Spanish accent in his voice, as well as more than a hint of laughter. Louise jerked her gaze up to his knowing one and realized she’d been checking him out with obvious thoroughness for at least a minute.

Good grief. Get out much?

Get laid much?

Not for five years, actually. But she wasn’t going to pick this tiger of a man to break her dry spell. No, definitely not. He was too big, too male, too like Jack. And the last thing she needed was to get it on with a man who reminded her of her ex-husband.

Except this man made Jack seem like a pussycat. He was taller, bigger, stronger, more everything.

Which just made him more dangerous. Lethal.

Definitely someone to stay away from, even if she couldn’t help but be a little fascinated by his raw sex appeal.

“Yep, finished,” she informed him with what was meant to be airiness but sounded more like apology. Yes, I am clearly desperate. Moving on.

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