The Billionaire's Kiss

By: Olivia Thorne


Okay, first thing you’ve got to know about me is I’m a regular chick. Or as regular a chick as an internet security expert can be.

Sure, I can beef up your company’s computer network to protect it against DDoS’s (Distributed Denial of Service attacks, for you non-geeks out there). Yeah, I can write a mean packet sniffer to capture whatever data you want. Yes, I can do a thousand other things that will bore the hell out of you unless you have a computer science degree.

But I like binge-watching Netflix and HBO Go. (Game of Thrones – Team Khaleesi, woot woot!)

I like bingeing on cupcakes, too.

I’m a rocker chick, sort of. When I’m not being all introverted and homebodyish, I’ll pour myself into a pair of skin-tight leather pants and go see Steel Panther in Hollywood. They’re the coolest, funniest parody metal hair band you’ve ever seen, by the way. It’s like Mötley Crüe and Weird Al Yankovic had a love child.

I’m also… well, I’m pretty.

Don’t be all like, What a bitch, she’s so stuck on herself! It’s not my doing. It was a weird genetic quirk, and it generally makes my life hell.

I’ll bet you occasionally get leered at by guys, right? At the supermarket, workplace, whatever. Little surreptitious side-glances at your breasts? Inappropriate sexual jokes by male co-workers?

Now imagine this: you work in an industry filled with guys with thick glasses who are still virgins at 27. They learned their social skills by playing Xbox with little headsets on. The only boobs they’ve seen outside of internet porn are… okay, they haven’t seen any boobs outside of internet porn.

I’m being grossly unfair, I know. I do have some really great co-workers who have cool girlfriends, who are considerate, who are awesome human beings.

And I shouldn’t bag on guys in Tech. I didn’t lose my v-card until I was a junior in college, and I haven’t had a date in the last six months.

But, seriously… there’s an awful lot of nerds who spend departmental meetings just staring at my chest.

What really pisses me off is they don’t take me seriously. That is, until I school their ass by rewriting their crappy code in under five minutes. Then they usually mutter something rude under their breath and walk away.

So. Pretty computer chick. Introverted. Works for a big online security firm as a forensic data analyst. Game of Thrones. Cupcakes. Occasionally goes to see hair metal parody bands.

My life is pretty boring most of the time.

Or it was, until the night of the Hollywood Charity Gala.

That’s when things got a little… weird.

And hot.

Reaaaaal hot.


The company I work for, Obsidian Internet Security, gets invited to these movie industry charity things all the time because some of our biggest clients are movie studios. Remember when the North Koreans hacked Sony Pictures because they were putting out that movie where Seth Rogen and James Franco were going to go assassinate Kim Jong Un? Yeah. You probably don’t, or only vaguely. But the movie studios basically crapped their pants after that and ponied up a lot of cash to make sure their private emails didn’t get spread all over the evening news.

Since my company gets invited to a lot of these things, I get invited a lot. Or rather, ordered to go a lot. I’m a good ambassador. I’m the only woman in my department. I have the best social skills of my co-workers (which is a low bar, believe me). And, honestly, I look pretty damn good in a black slinky dress. So my boss makes me go to these hoity-toity shindigs.

The silver lining is there’s tons of actresses and models at these things, so I don’t stand out. In fact, I’m kind of on the curvy side. (I told you I like cupcakes.) So, although I occasionally get slobbered on some by bald studio executives, they usually run after the stick figures with implants.

Plus there’s free champagne.

Anyway, I’m at the Hollywood Charity Gala, which is being held on the third floor of the Dubai Hotel on the Sunset Strip. It’s pretty badass – and probably the most opulent place I’ve ever seen. Plush carpet. Twenty-foot-long, ceiling-high mirrors everywhere. Beautiful scrollwork in the dark oak walls. Like somebody took the cool parts of Versailles and plunked them down in a 21st century hotel.

I’m mingling but trying not to make eye contact, avoiding the old horny studio executives, drinking my free champagne, holding my little black clutch, when he walks up.

He’s tall. Six foot three. Late 20’s, maybe 30 at most. Short dark hair. Looks like a young Hugh Jackman. Super-expensive tux with an immaculate bow-tie. Broad shoulders. Powerful build. Mischievous eyes. Slight smile to his very kissable lips.

Now I know what my co-workers feel like when they look at me.

(That’s not building me up. If anything, it’s taking me down a peg. Analogy time: super-hot guy is to Eve what Eve is to 27-year-old virgin computer programmers. See? Not exactly tooting my own horn here.)

My lady parts are immediately like, Zing! He’s so, soooo hot. But I figure he’s looking past me to somebody else.

And then he walks over and stands slightly at an angle to me. Kind of looks at me, but glances around intermittently, like we’re having a sort of secret conversation he doesn’t want anybody else to hear.

He smells great. Some mix of sandalwood and musk – exotic and impossible to identify.

“You look out of place,” he says. His tone of voice is very flirtatious.

“Why’s that?” I ask, immediately figuring he’s going to bust on me for not being a skinny model.

“You don’t look like you’re trying to fuck anybody over.”

I laugh. “Well, the night is young.”

He grins. “You realize I said, ‘You don’t look like you’re trying to fuck anybody over,’ right? ‘Over’ being the key word there.”

I immediately blush. I’m not the kind of chick who tosses off the f-bomb in a casual conversation. Especially in a casual conversation with a crazy-hot guy.

Especially when the f-bomb in question is about actual sexual intercourse, and not just emphatic grammatical filler.

(‘Actual sexual intercourse.’ ‘Emphatic grammatical filler.’ I am such a nerd.)

He grins when he sees my reaction. “Little too far?”

“Little too far,” I agree. I try to walk that thin line of letting him know I’m not that kind of girl… but not exactly wanting him to stop, either.

“What’s your name?” he asks.

“Eve Saunders,” I say. I specifically don’t ask for his name because I don’t want to seem too eager.

“You ever have to give presentations for your job, Eve?” he asks out of nowhere.

I’m a little surprised he didn’t lead with, Are you an actress? But points for not assuming I am. I hate that every guy I meet in LA thinks I’m an actress and not, say, a doctor or a lawyer. Or something where your IQ is more important than your bra size.

“Uh… yeah… sometimes. Why?”

“You get nervous beforehand?”


“But then you get into it, and all the nervousness disappears, and you just go with it, and then everything’s incredible and feels great.”

I frown at him. “…yeah?”

“There’s a lot of situations like that in life,” he says with one uplifted eyebrow and a smile.

Immediately I’m blushing even hotter than before.

He’s talking about sexual tension.

And… sex.

I think.

I am sooo not ready to acknowledge the sexual tension between us right now. Or even acknowledge that I know he’s talking about sex. (Although I guess my blushing did that for me, dammit.)

But I AM wondering what it would be like to kiss him.

One thing that impresses the hell out of me?

I’m wearing a pretty low-cut dress, but his eyes never stray to my cleavage. Not once. He either looks me in the eyes, or he looks around the room. Nothing in between.

“No response?” he asks.

“I – I’ll have to take your word for it,” I stutter, not sure what the hell I should say.

“I want to show you something,” he says, and takes my wrist in his hand. His very large, very powerful hand.

He tugs me along behind him as he sets off across the hotel ballroom. I just follow, trailing along behind him, with my clutch under my arm. No protest from me at all – more out of surprise than anything. I don’t exactly get led around by men like this. Especially hot, powerful men. I wouldn’t admit it out loud, but I like the feeling of him gripping my arm and leading me. In fact, as turned on as I am at this moment – and as much champagne as I’ve already had, combined with how hot he is – he could probably take me just about anywhere.

But he doesn’t take me to the elevators, or a hotel room, or anything like that. He takes me up a stairwell to the mezzanine above.

Then he leads me into a little alcove that seems to not go anywhere, a dead end…

…but he pushes three distinct places on the wall, and suddenly a door opens up out of nowhere. No handles, no visible lines in the wall at all.

It’s a full-on secret passageway.

We walk out onto a little colonnade, a ten-foot-long balcony with a lot of pillars that shield us from prying eyes. We’re four stories above street level, so there’s not a lot of prying eyes anyway, but it’s pretty badass.

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