How To Pleasure A Playboy

By: Talia Hunter



She glanced sideways at Ellie and Tina. “I’m not here to join your harem.” Her tone was sweet. “I want to talk to you about something serious.”

“Drink?” He raised his hand and the waitress almost tripped over her feet in her rush to get to their table. She was one of his brand new hires, and understandably nervous.

“No, thanks.” Red dress said. But the waitress put a glass in front of her anyway and filled it from the bottle of Champagne already on their table.

Red dress waited until the waitress had gone, then picked up the glass and took a sip. “Do you give expensive French Champagne to everyone who comes by?” She had lovely light brown eyes and full lips, and her hair hung in a glossy curtain he wouldn’t mind running his fingers through. But there was a hint of scorn in her expression, as though she didn’t like him and was trying not to show it. Interesting. Men usually came over to tell him how great a night they were having. Women usually hit on him. So far, she’d done neither.

“I only offer it to my most beautiful guests,” he said to test her reaction.

She gave him a narrow-eyed look. “What about the women you’re already with?”

Tina and Ellie had gone back to their conversation about the movie they were planning to audition for. They were happy enough to be sitting with him, the publicity being as good for their careers as it was for his business.

“Why don’t we start with your name?” he asked.

“I’m Lacey Gibson. And I’m here to ask for a favor.” She gave him a forced smile. “If I ask nicely, will you listen to what I have to say?”

“I can hardly wait.”

“It’s about the Baxter. I’m one of your tenants.”

Now her dislike of him made sense. Some of the building’s tenants had accepted his generous offer right away. Some were still thinking about it. A few were insisting that Bronson repair the old ruin. He didn’t need a crystal ball to tell which side red dress was on. Pity. He’d been hoping she’d be more interesting than that.

“Mr Reyne, please don’t pull down the Baxter. Repair it instead.”

“I can’t help you.”

“Have you even been inside to take a look? It’s a beautiful building.”

Another song started and it was even faster than the last one. Time to do something about it and change the conversation at the same time.

He got to his feet and held out one hand. “Dance with me.”

“What?”

“I want to dance. So either we talk on the dance floor, or not at all. Your choice.” He waited, watching her make up her mind before she rose to her feet.

“I can’t dance in these.” She kicked her shoes off. Without them, she came up to his shoulder. Her gaze was full of defiance, daring him to object. Maybe thinking because this was a swanky club with a dress code, the owner wouldn’t want to dance with a barefoot woman. If so, she couldn’t be more wrong. Anything that gave the gossip columnists more to talk about was fine by him.

“Come on.” He put his hand to the small of her back to lead her onto the dance floor, heading toward the DJ. After a discreet word with the man, he turned to see Lacey was already dancing to the frenetic song without a trace of self-consciousness. Watching her red dress cling to her curves as she moved made Bronson regret being so quick to request a slower beat.

Then the record changed. He recognized the song. ‘The Lady In Red’, by Chris De Burgh.

Bronson chuckled, giving the grinning DJ an appreciative wave. And although he didn’t want to talk about the Baxter, he pulled Lacey against him, slipping his arms around her waist and inhaling the sweet, floral scent of her hair. Beneath the silky dress, her body was lean and efficient in places, and nicely rounded in others. She felt every bit as good as she looked.

But instead of dancing with him, she pushed against his chest and angled her head back. “You think it’s okay to throw people out of their homes?”

“The Baxter’s falling down. It needs too much work to repair.”

“Better to fix a beautiful building than replace it with an ugly modern eyesore.”

Bronson let her go. “Eyesore? My brother put a lot of time and effort into designing the new building.”

“Build it somewhere else.”

“He designed it for that site, and it’ll be perfect there. You’ll see.”

“I have a legal tenancy agreement, and I won’t let you push me out.”

Colored lights played over Lacey’s face. Both her hair and eyes were the exact shade of the whisky he’d been drinking, and her lipstick was dark red to match her dress. It accentuated the determined set of her lips. He had to admit, even arguing about the Baxter wasn’t so bad when his adversary looked like her.

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