Billionaire Bad BoyBy: C.J.Archer
"I want you to show her a good time, Zack," Bob said. "Take her to parties, teach her about motorbikes, sex her up a bit."
"Turn her into the party animal her father was."
"Exactly. And I need it done in the next week."
The ranch could wait. This might be interesting. Zack needed a new challenge. Life was so same-old lately. "No sweat. I'll turn her into a woman everyone wants to know. Dug-E will think she's the coolest person on the West Coast by the time I've finished with her."
That afternoon, Annie sat at an outdoor table at La Merlina café, sipping iced tea and picking at a plate of fruit shaped into flowers. She'd been amazed that Bob had set the meeting up with Zack DiMarco so quickly. They must be very good friends if the wealthy playboy could drop everything on such short notice.
La Merlina was the flavor of the month in LA. The décor was so minimalist it was barren. The only decoration was on the walls, signed by the celebrity diners. It was so chic, the staff kept Annie waiting fifteen minutes before she was shown to her table. It was the sort of place she should take clients and be seen. She'd never been there before.
Anyone who was anyone sat inside where the air conditioning kept temperatures and tempers down. Only Annie and a few wannabe starlets sat outside under the umbrellas, trying to appear cool despite the trickle of sweat down their backs.
She regretted not getting Zack to make the reservation. He was one of the hottest properties in town. He may not be an actor or agent or connected to the movie business in any way, but he was known around town. For all the wrong reasons as far as Annie was concerned. The self-made billionaire with a penchant for fast cars and fast women had a reputation most men envied.
It was almost impossible for him to evade the limelight, even if he'd wanted to. Which he didn't seem to. Not if the gossip columns were anything to go by. Of course, Annie only read the gossips to keep her up-to-date on who was 'in' and who wasn't. It was necessary in her line of work.
She'd seen Zack's type before. She'd grown up around people like him. Her father had attracted the womanizers and she'd spend most of her childhood avoiding them. It seemed she wouldn't be able to avoid Zack DiMarco, not for a few days at least.
She drummed her fingers on the table. He was late. Typical.
She uncrossed her legs, hot from the stockings. She wished she hadn't worn them. She had on a short cream skirt, a matching short-sleeved jacket and black accessories. On her feet she wore a pair of three inch heels she'd bought two years ago in an attempt to make her appear taller around the supermodel turned pop princess McCallum and Horton were courting. The supermodel signed with Jamieson and Jamieson before Annie got to wear them and they'd been relegated to the back of her closet ever since.
She hoped they might make her more conspicuous in a restaurant full of pretty young things. But no one took much notice of a five-foot two woman with caramel colored hair and breasts that didn't defy the laws of gravity. This was LA after all.
She checked her watch again. She'd give Zack another fifteen minutes. Usually she wouldn't wait that long but she owed Bob. He was more than her boss, he'd been her father's friend. If meeting Zack improved their chances of getting Dug-E, then she'd do it. Seeing Zack in the flesh had nothing to do with it. Honest.
Ten minutes later, the roar of an engine drew everyone's attention. She knew without even turning that Zack had arrived. Who else would be so arrogant as to be nearly an hour late for an appointment then offend all the diners with the noise of a fancy car?
She turned casually so as not to appear too eager, and watched as two long, jeans-clad legs stepped from a black Ferrari.
Wow. He was the total package. Her gaze traveled from his legs, past the intriguing bulge in his jeans, up to his narrow hips and broad chest, straight into the darkest eyes she'd ever seen. She nearly choked on her iced tea when those eyes gazed directly at her, then looked past her as if she wasn't there.
Not a good start.
Annie had never met Zack DiMarco but she knew who he was. Every woman in the country knew him. His face was in the business and society pages every week, usually next to a buxom blonde's, and his reputation was a talking point at parties he attended, and many he didn't.
Not that Annie had ever attended the same parties, but she'd heard about him on the grapevine.
Zack nodded nonchalantly at the waiter who nearly fell over himself in his eagerness to lead him to Annie's table. She quickly turned away and studied the wall of the café with what she hoped was ennui. No need to give him an even bigger ego boost by allowing him to see her interest.
Wow, even his voice was sexy. Thick and syrupy. Imagine that low hum whispering sweet nothings into her ear...