The Pretend Fiancé - Page 30

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“No, I’m sorry.”

“It’s not right for me to get involved with a valuable employee. You could be running one of my companies one day.”

She grinned. “You can count on it.” He had so much confidence in her. “But that’s the future. For now, let’s talk about the present when this job is over?” she asked. “Will I still be working for you? And what will we tell the others?”

“You want to go back to housekeeping?”

“I know you’re giving me money for this job, but I’ll be using it for college, to pay off debt, to help with my sister’s tuition. I’ll need to make a living until I graduate from school.”

“If you want to stay, I can give you a job at the office. I can start teaching you stuff, and once you get your degree, I can get you a better position at the company.”

“So I guess my cleaning days are over. No more working for somebody to make their counters shine.”

“That job was a stepping stool and nothing more. There’s no reason ever to be ashamed of it. You’re smart, intelligent, and driven. You’re going to go far in life. You’re a strong, confident woman, and I know nothing is going to stop you.”

He touched her hand, and she felt a shiver shoot up her spine.

“But I can’t live in your house as an employee. Especially after the fake break up. I’ll have to go back to the guesthouse. And then I have to pretend we dated and broke up. And I don’t want to have to lie. Maybe I’ll just get my own apartment. They don’t work at your office. So I wouldn’t have to lie.”

“That sounds like a great plan.”

Chapter 16

One night, Bella gave up on sleep entirely, wriggled into her bathing suit and went for a midnight swim in the pool. Her arms sliced through the lit up water, the rhythmic kick of her legs soothing as the soft splashing that lulled into the silence of the empty night all around.

She didn’t see him get in so much as she felt a disturbance in the water, a ripple of waves she hadn’t set into motion. Surfacing, she looked Harvey right in the face, his blond hair dripping wet, his clothes in a heap beside the pool. Shirtless and muscular and way too close for comfort, he swam up beside her. The moonlight shone down on him. Droplets of water ran down his beautiful face, and his hair was all slicked back.

He was so sexy, so alluring. All kinds of fantasies swirled in her mind, but she tried to play it cool.

“Long day?” she remarked.

His piercing gaze never left hers. “I couldn’t stop thinking about you. And I had to come and see you, because seeing you is the best part of my day.”

She touched his muscular chest. “You’re not supposed to think about me in a fake relationship.”

“That’s the thing, Bella. I don’t want this to be a fake relationship. It’s not fair that I only get to kiss you when the cameras are rolling. There aren’t any cameras here. So I know I’m not supposed to be here trying to sneak a kiss. But screw the rules. It’s just us. That’s all I want, Bella. Just us. No cameras. These feelings I’m having for you. They’re real. So damn real. And I’m not sure what to do with them.”

“I know we’re both attracted to one another, that much is clear.”

“It’s more than a

ttraction. You’ve stolen my heart. All I can think about is kissing you.”

She shot him a seductive look. “I want this too, but we have to keep it professional. And you said you were a man of your word. A kiss could be a deal breaker. And we wouldn’t to break our verbal contract.”

His arms wrapped around her. “I say we renegotiate the contract.”

Her eyes sparkled mischievously. “Or just add in a clause.”

“Kissing without media attention would be okay.”

“Hmm,” she said. “That’s very interesting. So that would mean we could kiss anytime we wanted?”

“I’m thinking open-mouthed, tongue-included, wet kissing at any time, at any day. Can you handle such a clause?”

“I think we need bulletproof terms,” she said. “What if kissing leads to more?”

“Kissing can lead to great sex.”

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