Betrayed:Forbidden Series

By: Melody Anne

“You’re an arrogant bastard, aren’t you?” she asked sweetly, her lips turning up in a mocking smile.

His eyes widened just the slightest at her remark, and then a true smile flitted to his glorious lips, shocking her more than anything else he’d done. “That I am, Ms. Beaumont; that I am,” he said.

He released her at last, and she fled the restaurant before he could say or do anything else. When she felt she was far enough away to breathe, she stopped and leaned against a wall.

What in the world had she just gotten herself into?

Chapter Four

Had she ruined the tile in her accounting firm’s foyer? McKenzie had definitely given it a beating when she walked inside. She blew past her secretary and was thinking about slamming her door shut. It took all her legendary self-control to keep from doing so. Still, she got a measure of satisfaction as she took out her foul mood on her purse by tossing it into one of the empty chairs with a little extra vigor.

She stormed around her desk and sank into her seat. She leaned forward and closed her eyes, resting her forehead on her hands and taking a deep breath. She was out of sorts, to put it mildly, and more than a little frustrated. She knew she should have turned down the job, but it was too good to be true.

Which meant that it probably was going to come back and bite her in the ass — hard!

“Meeting went well, I see.”

McKenzie growled before she looked up and tried to give a semblance of a smile to Zach as he perched on her desk. The guy had never even heard of knocking.

“I do have chairs, you know,” she told him, but it was something she had said many times before. He didn’t seem to like chairs, and that was just one of his many endearing quirks. “And how’s this for another hint, Zach? I don’t want to talk about the meeting.”

“You know, darling, that we’re going to banter back and forth for several minutes while you pretend you don’t need anyone, including me, and then you’ll finally cave in and tell me all about it. So why don’t we just skip the routine? It won’t kill you to come right to the point. Inquiring minds want to know.”

She growled again. She knew he was right, but knowing he was right didn’t make her want to share anything with him. But if she didn’t get this off her chest, she might just go out of her mind.

She reasoned with herself that he was her business partner and therefore had a right to the information. It wasn’t as if she were acting weak by telling him what was happening. Plus, she didn’t have to fill him in on the sexual-tension part of the story. Everyone in the business world knew that the Knight brothers had a reputation for being a pain in the ass to work with. Those men thought they were gods.

“Come on, McKenzie, how did the meeting go? Who was it? Please tell me that we are going to bring in more riches than we could ever possibly spend in our lifetime.”

“It was a horrible meeting,” she grumbled.

“Well, we’ve had failed meetings before. Just because we didn’t get this one client doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. My meeting went well, even though it was just a mom-and-pop place. We will make this work.”

Zach was ever the optimist.

“We did get the job.” Why she was fighting a panic attack she didn’t know. Byron was a dirtbag — a true kick-you-when-you-are-down sort of man — but he wasn’t going to force her into doing anything she didn’t want to do. Maybe that was the problem. She was worried that she would want to do lots of things with him. Things she most certainly would regret.

“All right, sugar britches. I’d never even try to decipher the female mind, but I have to ask you this: Why aren’t you a lot happier about obtaining another client? Until now, I thought it was just small-potatoes stuff that you considered a waste of our time.”

“He has demanded that I work there personally,” she groused, finally making eye contact with Zach.

His jaw dropped and he was for once silent, if only for a moment. “How in the world will this place run if you’re working at a job site?” he asked her. A bit of worry had crept into his usually bright eyes.

“I don’t know. That’s why I’m frustrated,” she said, her voice rising and her hands lifting into the air. She’d barely fought back the urge to yell.

“Um…do we need this client that badly? Who in the heck is it?” Zach asked, rapidly regaining his composure.

Good for him.

“Knight Construction.” She didn’t need to add more. The name was powerful in itself.

Her partner was quiet as he thought over the different options. She could practically see the wheels turning. If one of the Knight brothers wanted McKenzie to work there in person, that’s exactly what would happen. You just didn’t turn down clients like them.

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