The Millionaire Affair

By: Jessica Lemmon



“Do you eat organic?” he continued. “Require a certain brand of creamer for your coffee? I want to make sure you have what you need.”

Aw. That was kind of nice. And detailed. Kimber tried to think if she was brand loyal about anything she ate. Her cabinets were full of uninspiring foodstuffs like Hamburger Helper, macaroni and cheese, and cans of tuna. She couldn’t request that. Feeling like she should say something, she finally blurted, “I like potato chips.”

And I’m a moron.

He did chuckle this time, and she may have emulsified into a puddle of humiliation if it hadn’t been for how sexy he’d sounded. It was the way he laughed, deep in his throat, the sound short but powerful. Like a punch to the gut. How, again, was she supposed to live with this man for an entire week?

“Potato chips,” Landon repeated. “Perfect.” She had no idea what he meant by that, and he didn’t offer an explanation. She heard a scratching sound like he’d put pen to paper to write it down. He went through a list of questions, reiterating how he would provide all her expenses for the week she stayed with Lyon, and ignoring her when she insisted that wasn’t necessary. “There’s additional garage parking for your car, if you have one.”

She did. But she wouldn’t be taking her rust-filled rattletrap to his six-million-dollar penthouse on Lake Shore Drive. No, thank you very much. “I’ll take a cab if we need to go anywhere.”

“On me,” he said, writing again.

“No, that’s not—”

“Kimber.” His soft annunciation of her name mingled with his commanding tone stalled her brain cells like her head had flooded. “Thank you again for doing this. I believe that’s all I have from my end.”

She heard the shuffling of papers, the collapse of a stapler. The man was organized. She frowned at the random cardboard boxes filled with clothing in her storeroom. One had the word Mend written on it, another read Sell, and the other wasn’t marked at all, overflowing with sleeves and pant legs and belts. No way was she qualified to live in Landon Downey’s white-glove-tested, immaculate home.

“Do you have any questions for me?” he asked, wrapping up the call.

Just one. Where was her bedroom in relation to his? Because if they were side by side, she didn’t think she’d survive the week listening to his shower turn on without dissolving into a lust-puddle.

“None,” she said solidly. Then, to her horror, she blurted, “I’m sorry to hear about you and Lissa.”

Silence.

Why had she said that? Not only was it inappropriate, it was a lie. She wasn’t the least bit sorry Lissa and Landon were split.

Mick picked that moment to poke his nose through the curtain. “Who are you talking to?”

She peeked her head around the clothing rack she was half-hiding behind and waved him away frantically. “Thanks, Landon. I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye.” Only it had come out more like: ThanksLandonIllseeyoutomorrowBye because she’d said it in one hurried exhalation. She gaped at the phone in her hand, at her thumb covering the Talk button. She didn’t recall him saying good-bye. She’d hung up on him?

You hung up on a millionaire. Extra idiot points for you.

She stepped out from behind the rack, still staring down at the phone in her hand. “I… need to go over the schedule with you for this week,” she told Mick.

“Who was that?” He gestured to the phone with the arm covered in tattoos. She’d found them sexy when she’d first met him. God only knew why. Or maybe she was just being petty. She’d been petty about a lot of things lately where he was concerned.

She weaved her way around the racks and boxes in the storeroom. “Neil is working my shifts in addition to his own, so he’ll be pulling some overtime this week. But Ginny’s coming in for extra hours to help him,” she said, ignoring his question.

Mick took the store phone from her hand and pressed a button. “Who’s Landon Downey?”

“A friend.” Sort of.

“A boyfriend?” His lips curved up in one corner, making his dark eyes sparkle. From his full mouth to mile-long eyelashes and thick, overgrown curls, it wasn’t any wonder she’d picked him up in that nightclub two years ago. The mistake she’d made was not recognizing a fling when she saw one. Mick wasn’t exactly permanent material. Definitely not the right person to own a business with, she thought, regret poking her.

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