Billionaire Bad Boy

By: C.J.Archer

Whoa, slow down, girl or you'll make a fool of yourself.

They shook hands and introduced themselves.

"Sit down, Mr. DiMarco," Annie ordered, then added "please" when she heard how sharp she sounded.

He raised an eyebrow but said nothing as he sat opposite her. The waiter returned with a menu. Zack waved it away.

"Beer," he said.

"Beer?" Annie thought he'd at least order something a little more sophisticated. Something to go with the Ferrari parked arrogantly close to the front door.

"It's hot. I like to drink beer on a hot day. That alright with you, Miss McCallum?"

"It's Ms. McCallum."

Zack's mouth twitched. Was he laughing at her? "And you can call me Zack."

"Right." Wow, he had amazing eyes. They were the color of dark chocolate surrounded by a fringe of thick lashes. His skin was naturally dark and he had slightly wavy, short black hair. His face was more honed than any Italian masterpiece, with hard lines and soft lips. Kissable lips. Just her luck. Why did Bob have to set her up with a man who was way out of her league?

She wondered if he was dating anyone. She bit her lip to stop herself from asking. Just keep your mouth shut as much as possible, Annie McCallum, and you might not end up looking like a nerd. Maybe.

"A little strange this, isn't it?" Zack said, taking the beer from the waiter.

"You mean you don't teach people how to be rebels every day of the week?"

His half grin was lopsided, and oh-so sexy. "Not lately."

She nodded and smiled politely, sipping her iced tea. The liquid trembled in the glass. She hated admitting it, but she was nervous around so much sex appeal. He oozed it. But her reaction only made her more annoyed. To stop herself from knocking the glass over with her shaking hands, she placed them under her thighs and crossed her legs. She concentrated on being very still and not letting him see the effect he had on her.

An uncomfortable silence stretched between them. Zack studied her but his face gave none of his thoughts away. Annie couldn't tell if he was sizing her up or just didn't give a damn.

He wasn't playing fair, but then again that sort of man didn't play by the rules. Usually she had no trouble separating the men who thought she was cute from the ones who thought she was, well, nobody important. With Zack she didn't have a clue. But she automatically put him in the latter category. Cute wasn't his style, not from what she'd seen in the papers.

He must have been incredibly thirsty because he drained his glass of beer. He waved over the waiter. "Two beers please."

"Two?" Annie asked. "You know, you shouldn't drink and drive."

He raised an eyebrow and leaned forward, crossing his arms on the table. "The second one's for you, Ms. McCallum."

She winced. "Maybe you should call me Annie. And I don't like beer." Or a man who presumes to know what I want to drink.

"You don't have to like it, you just have to drink it. Lesson number one."

"You don't waste time."

"Time is valuable." He leaned back in his chair and stretched his long legs out in front of him. The movement was lazy, sexy. Contrary to his words, he looked like he had all the time in the world. "There never seems to be enough of it."

"Maybe you should slow down."

"What makes you think I go too fast?"

She glanced at the Ferrari.

"Ah. I see." His face hardened and his lips tightened. "Don't presume to judge me by what I drive, Annie."

"Don't presume to judge me by what I drink, Zack."

What the hell was she doing? Giving Zack DiMarco a piece of her mind was not exactly a good idea. But he was so arrogant, and arrogant men just had to be brought down a peg in her book.

Bringing Zack down a peg or two could be a lot of fun. Maybe she should lighten up and go with the flow, enjoy the verbal play.

A soft, low rumble emanated from the depths of that amazingly broad chest. He might be laughing at her, but he was so damn sexy when he did it, Annie could almost put up with it.

Almost. "Something funny?" she asked.

"You. Bob said you were a little spitfire when you got wound up. I just didn't think it would be this easy to get you going."

"Do you mean to say you're riling me on purpose?"

He held up his hands in defense. "Now hold on, before you tell me I'm an arrogant pig, you should know that I'm just trying to get your measure. If I'm going to teach you to be more like me, then I need to know what raw material I've got to work with. Like your attitude."

So much for go with the flow. She didn't like the direction the conversation was heading in. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. Where did she start? With the "more like me" comment or the fact that he thought she was a slab of wood to be carved into whatever took his fancy?

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