A meeting of business minds
under the mistletoe?
All marketing executive Giana Lockett wants for Christmas is to land an endorsement deal with Wynn Starks’s sports drink company. It’s tough being the baby girl in a family of alpha men, and this will finally prove her worth to the Locketts’ football dynasty. Also tough? Securing a meeting with Atlanta’s most elusive billionaire. Giana’s not giving up, and once she makes contact, the prize gets closer…and so does Wynn’s bed. The chemistry between her and Wynn is hot. But business is business, until pleasure changes all the rules…
Wynn couldn’t believe Giana Lockett had shown up to his charity event. Although he couldn’t say it was his, entirely; it was open to all the elite movers and shakers in town. He shouldn’t be surprised to see her, because her family was well-known in Atlanta for their charitable efforts, but he still was.
He’d noticed her almost immediately when she’d sashayed that cute little bottom of hers into the room. How could he not? Her metallic dress shined like a diamond.
He wasn’t supposed to be having feelings like this. He’d already had a go-round with a rich prima donna. He refused to do it again, but his libido had other ideas. He wanted to confront Giana, but as MC for the evening, his services were required.
Wynn went onstage and performed his duties to the best of his ability. He spotlighted the great work the Boys & Girls Clubs had done and encouraged the guests to donate to the worthy cause. He expressed how much the organization had helped him during his youth. Because of the club, Wynn had a big brother to turn to who had helped him out during a difficult time. Unfortunately, Les Moore had died from prostate cancer a few years ago, but he’d had a profound impact on Wynn’s life.
After his speech, Wynn settled in at his table, but he could feel Giana’s eyes boring a hole in the back of his head from where she was seated, directly behind him. Soon he would have to squash any hopes she had once and for all.
Giana was having a lovely conversation with Mavis Bradley, an elderly widow who’d inherited the lion’s share of her husband’s estate after he passed. Mavis was a wealthy benefactor of several charities, and Giana was telling her about the Lockett Foundation’s next event when she felt an ominous presence behind her.
She turned and found Wynn glaring at her.
She swallowed and forced herself to breathe. Remembering her manners, she turned to Mavis. “Mavis, I’d like you to meet Wynn Starks. He runs Starks Inc., a health and sports drink company.”
“Mr. Starks, you gave a great speech earlier,” Mrs. Bradley said. “I was moved.”
“Thank you, ma’am.” He inclined his head. “Would you mind terribly if I stole Giana away? I’ve been waiting all night for a chance to dance with her.”
“Oh, of course not. You young folks go right ahead.” She waved them off.
Giana did the best she could to maintain her composure as he guided her toward the dance floor. She could feel his hot palm on her bare back as if he were branding her. Once there, he pulled her toward him, taking her hand in his and sliding his arm around her waist. Then she made the mistake of glancing up at Wynn.
Everything about him was strong. The determined set of his clean-shaven jaw—though she’d preferred the five o’clock shadow from yesterday. The eyes as dark as midnight fringed by thick, ink-black lashes. The muscular, fit body, which showed he wasn’t afraid of a little sweat. She’d read his bio and knew once he set a goal, he did everything in his power to achieve it. To be a self-made billionaire at thirty was quite impressive.
She hazarded him another glance, but shouldn’t have, because once she did, she was tethered to his gaze. She couldn’t look away even if she tried. He was mesmerizing. Enthralling. Magnetic. She dragged her eyes downward and instead found herself staring at his incredible sumptuous mouth and wondering what it would be like to have that mouth on hers.
Oh God, she was in trouble.
“What’s wrong, Giana?” Wynn asked, peering down at her. “Get more than you bargained for?”
She didn’t cower easily; instead, she smiled sweetly up at him. “Of course not. I know exactly what I’m doing—trying to get an audience with an elusive billionaire who’s playing hard to get.”
“Is that right?” he whispered so only she could hear him. His lips were centimeters from her ear. “I wonder if we should test that theory, hmm…?”
“Test away.” The moment she uttered the taunt, Giana wished she could take it back, because Wynn pulled her even closer. And when his hips brushed hers, Giana felt the unmistakable imprint of his arousal. The room disappeared, and it felt as if they were the only two people in the whole world. She followed his lead and smiled wide as Wynn easily spun her around the dance floor.
When the familiar song ended, Giana looked up and met Wynn’s gaze. Their eyes locked on each other, and Wynn thrust his fingers into her hair. Giana knew if he kissed her, he would possess her tonight. And so, with as much dignity as she could mutter, she spun out of his grasp and rushed out of the room.
Wynn watched Giana flee like her dress was on fire. He understood, because he hadn’t expected to want to kiss her after that incendiary dance. However, once he’d seen her from across the room looking divine in a dress that had been made for her body, he’d been entranced, even if he didn’t want to admit it to himself. She’d given true meaning to the word radiant.
Despite the fact that he’d shunned her on multiple occasions, he liked that Giana held her head high and shoulders straight and showed grit and determination. She was a force to be reckoned with. And as far as the gown and tantalizing heels, all he could think about was taking it all off her.
When they danced, he’d been unable to hide how aware of her he was. When he’d finally touched her, the buttery-soft smoothness of her milk chocolate skin had blood and heat rushing through his body. If she hadn’t run away, he most certainly would have kissed her. As a matter of fact, he still wanted to.
And why should he deny himself?
It was time to end his self-imposed celibacy and get back to the land of the living—and there was a chocolate siren calling to him. Rich and spoiled, she was exactly the kind of woman he steered clear of, but she revved him up like no other woman ever had. He liked her fire and her fighting spirit.
Before he knew it, Wynn was chasing after Giana. He caught sight of her at the end of the hall as she waited for the elevator. With long strides he nearly caught up. He saw her deer-in-the-headlights reaction when she realized she’d poked the tiger. Then she was stepping into the elevator. He had seconds to catch her or the spell would be broken.
Wynn reached out and blocked the elevator doors from closing. It beeped loudly as he stood in the entrance regarding her. She recoiled back against the wall, because she knew she’d been caught and there was nowhere to hide.
He stepped inside and the elevator doors closed, sealing them inside.