Billionaire Bad BoyBy: C.J.Archer
"You're dangerous when you're annoyed," he said.
"Let go of me."
He did, holding up his hands in surrender. "Fine. Off you go. I'm sorry I offended you."
She sniffed and stormed out of the café. Let him pay the bill—he could afford a few beers.
She walked briskly along the sidewalk, regretting parking her car two blocks away. It wasn't easy to make a point of storming off when your toes were squeezed into a pair of ridiculous shoes. But her toes were the least of her problems when the damned heel broke on her left shoe. She teetered and landed on her ass, her skirt hiked up around her hips.
"Stupid shoes." She cursed. No wonder they'd been on sale. They were death traps.
She stood and kicked them off. Determined not to look around to see if Zack had noticed, she continued on, shoes dangling from her fingers and head held as high as possible considering she'd just made a fool of herself.
But walking barefoot on a hot day in LA wasn't the smartest move. She might not break her neck but she was in danger of burning holes in her feet. The sidewalk was scorching and she was sure she could hear sizzling. She hopped from one foot to the other, glancing around for the nearest stretch of grass as the soles of her feet sizzled.
Her heart sank at the sound of a roaring engine alongside her. There goes that last thread of dignity. She tried to look as cool as possible, walking as if her feet weren't about to spontaneously combust.
"Get in," Zack said through the open window of his black Ferrari. "You'll get blisters."
She didn't turn around. "I'm fine."
"You're not. Your feet hurt."
"Leave me alone. I'm telling Bob the deal's off."
She heard a frustrated sigh coming from the humming car keeping pace beside her.
"Look, Annie, I didn't mean to offend you. I'm just trying to do what Bob asked. I'm sorry if you took it the wrong way."
"The wrong way? You just told me to have sex with you! Tell me the right way to take that sort of comment."
Her temper increased to the same temperature as her feet when she heard his soft laugh. The man was infuriating—he'd just propositioned her and now he was trying to laugh it off! Definitely a jerk.
"I wasn't offering to have sex with you, I was suggesting you make it appear as if you have a lot of sex. And like it. You know, talk it up a bit at parties, around Doggie-Whatshisname."
She bit her lip. "Oh."
"Look, I'm sorry you misunderstood me. I won't bring up sex again. Promise."
"And I always keep my promises."
"Now get in. I don't want to follow you all the way home."
She almost cried with relief when she slid into the leather seat of the Ferrari. She dared not check her feet—she didn't want Zack finding out how much pain she was in.
"My car's just around the corner."
"We'll pick it up later." He put the Ferrari into gear.
"Because you can't drive with blistered feet."
"How did you know?" she asked weakly.
"The limping gave you away."
She glanced at him but his expression was unreadable. So maybe he wasn't the jerk she'd originally thought him to be. Not only was he gorgeous but he was considerate and observant too. She could almost forgive his arrogance and forget that he was out of her league.
She directed him to her Santa Monica apartment and opened the car door when he pulled up to the curb.
"Wait there," he said, leaping out.
He jogged around the hood to her door. Uh-oh. What's he doing? The answer came when he leaned in, scooped her into his arms and drew her to his chest.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"Carrying you to your door. Then you're going to open it, I'm going to take you inside, sit you down and put something on those feet."
She didn't know what to say. In fact, she couldn't say a thing or she might cry. No one had ever done anything like this for her before. Although technically he did owe her—it was because of him that she'd worn the stupid shoes in the first place.
Okay, so he wasn't being gallant, just making up for his earlier comments. Fair enough. That she could handle. No point getting all mushy over every man who carried her over her threshold.
She bit her lip. She was definitely not going to cry in front of Zack. He was a charmer. He knew the right moves, the right words, and she needed to remember that or she was in danger of losing her head, her heart, and a few other body pieces that tingled and liquefied as she felt the hard muscles in his arms clench around her. She knew his type—the smooth talker, the sort of guy who liked to keep score. She needed to be on her guard around him.
Inside, Snoopy, her black and white terrier, greeted them at the door.