The Millionaire Affair

By: Jessica Lemmon



Eleven months ago she and Mick caught the entrepreneur bug and went into business, opening Hobo Chic together. She hadn’t stopped to think what would happen if they split—which they had, three months later—or what a colossally bad idea it was to tie her professional life to a guy she was sleeping with who refused to call himself her “boyfriend.”

Now here they were, stuck together like The Odd Couple except neither of them was particularly neat. Mick had been haranguing her to sell Hobo Chic for a few months now. He wanted to split the profit from the sale and go his separate way. She agreed with the separate-way part, but not the selling part. She’d put him off each time he asked.

Hobo Chic was her dream, her baby. She wasn’t willing to let it go. Not yet, anyway. She had a plan to buy Mick’s half of the store as soon as she saved enough. Landon’s money—and a gig she was woefully underqualified for—would be a good start to doing just that. In the meantime, she and Mick would just have to endure one another.

She fed a hanger through the shirt she’d ironed and shook her head. She’d thought prematurely partnering with Mick—both in her personal life and her professional one—had marked the end of her lapse in sanity. Clearly not, considering she’d agreed to become a live-in nanny for a man on whom she’d once harbored a knee-weakening crush.

Bats, meet belfry.

The cordless phone rang on the counter next to her, and she nearly jumped out of her lightly freckled skin. As she’d expected, the caller ID read: Downey Landon. She stared at the ten digits on the display, her only disjointed thought being, Ohmygawd, I have his phone number.

At the third ring, Mick turned and raised his eyebrows at her, paintbrush elevated in one hand. “You gonna get that?”

“Cover the floor for me?” She snatched up the phone without waiting for his answer. By the fourth ring, she’d shuffled her ballet flats along the battered wooden floor to the curtain-covered stock room. Once the curtain swished shut, she answered with a breathy, “Hello?”

“Kimber Reynolds, please.”

Oh, his voice. She had been too young to know what the sound of Landon’s deep, hypnotic voice had been doing to her. The nights she’d lain awake in Angel’s top bunk and listened to the melody of his words float up from the porch. She remembered how goose bumps lit her skin whenever he’d spoken. Now a woman, she knew exactly what that sensually deep voice had been doing. Making sweet love to her ear canal.

“Hello?” he asked when she’d gone silent.

“Speaking,” she said on a near moan.

“Landon Downey, Angel’s brother.”

Like he needed any introduction.

“Thank you for agreeing to stay with Lyon this week. I appreciate your willingness to step in at the last minute.”

Wow. Official. His tone made her stand straighter. “Oh, um. Sure.” She stepped behind a clothing rack and skirted another, distancing herself from the doorway. She didn’t need Mick overhearing her side of the conversation.

“I wanted to go over a few items with you if you don’t mind.”

“Oh. Sure.” Could she sound like more of an idiot? Say something besides “oh” and “sure.” And probably stop thinking of his voice and your pending orgasm.

If her stern self-talking-to wouldn’t jolt her out of her thoughts, Landon’s next question did.

“Do you have any food allergies or special requests for meals while you’re here?”

Last thing on the planet she’d expected him to ask. She’d been pretty sure he’d ask for her credentials; qualifications for being entrusted with Lyon. She’d spent the last few hours trying to decide if she should make up a story or be as vague as possible. She’d opted to wing it, though now it appeared she had nothing to worry about. Angel must have convinced him if his first question revolved around provisions.

“Whatever you have is fine,” she answered.

“What I have is Kona coffee and PowerBars,” he said in the same official tone. “I’m sure you’d prefer something else.”

Kimber tittered out a ridiculous little laugh and slapped a hand over her mouth. She did not just do that. She hadn’t nervous-laughed since she was a simpering teen. She cleared her throat.

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