Home > Tycoon(10)

Author: Katy Evans

“You’re not selfish.” His stare is direct, eyes a deep green-gold staring into me. He moves his arm, closing the folder.

“But I’m not sure it’s got enough, bit.” He shakes his head, and his low words take a moment to register, because his gaze drifts to my mouth and I can’t think straight.

My eyes drop to his mouth too—his unsmiling, sexy mouth. His clothes are of high quality, but there’s a rawness to him that the elegant clothes cannot conceal.

It’s not just his imposing frame behind his imposing desk, but also his unreadable expression that makes me want to penetrate the deliberate blankness on his face.

I swallow. I force my eyes up and say, “It’s more. It would have my designs.”

He leans back, smiling. “I’m listening.”

Does his every move have to remind me of his sexual attractiveness?

“I’m self-taught,” I explain, pulling out a few of my drawings. My favorites. Long dresses, mini-skirts, silky blouses. “I was always into clothing at Kelly’s, but after my parents died and I had to make do, I started making my own clothes from what I had—people like them. People really like them.”

“Hmm.” He scrapes his jaw, staring at the designs then at me.

“Department stores aren’t as strong as they used to be,” he says.

“We can have a website. Make it cool like Shopbop and Revolve.”

“What will distinguish you from them?”


He eases out of his chair. “See, you have to know these things.”

“I’m the creative mind; you’re the business mind.”

He stands upright in one fluid motion. He’s tall, at least a head taller than me, and well built. Athletic and defined as he stands before me. His hair is combed stylishly backward atop a nose that is elegant, a face that is beautiful and masculine.

“Time’s up.”

“I’m not done yet.”

“I didn’t say we were done, I said time’s up.”

He heads to the end of his office and pulls out a duffel bag.

“Christos, you know you want to help me. There’s potential here. It’s not my startup’s fault I fucked up my pitch a bit. I was flustered.”

“Flustered,” he repeats.

“By you and by the sex I had to endure before coming up here.” I glance at his shoes, then at him, as he stares at me with quiet speculation.

“Someone was having sex in the bathroom.”


“I thought it was you.”

“Someone was having sex in my corporate bathroom?”

“Yes.” I glance at his shoes, grateful they’re black and big. Not the ones I saw earlier.

“It sure as fuck wasn’t me.”

“I know. I saw his shoes, and they’re not your shoes.”

He watches me as if I’m a little dumb. “We had an appointment at six, I was ready at six.”


He picks up the phone on his desk and punches a number. “Get the car ready for me.”

“Thank you for your time,” I say, but I can’t leave like this. How can I persuade him to do more for me?

He stops me at the door—as if he senses my disappointment. “I want to help you, but this is business. It’s not personal, Bryn.”

I swallow. “I know.”

Fuck. He hated it.

I’m happy for him, he’s on top of the world. Nobody deserves it more. I’m happy for him, but there’s this restless feeling inside me, one that appeared when she called him darling, one that won’t go away. You had your chance, you lost it, I tell myself. Never mind I was young and stupid, and very scared. We weren’t meant to be, maybe casual acquaintances…not more.

“I’ve busted my ass too hard to risk my neck for a vaguely conceived startup.”

“It’s not vaguely conceived.”

“You need more here.”

“I’ll have more!”

“You need to bring it.”

He motions for me to follow him, and I do. He leads us to a private elevator and punches the down arrow, and when we step inside, we face off for a moment.

The space is confined—and his scent is everywhere. It reminds me of my childhood, of the younger version of me. Having him standing so near in such a closed space makes him impossible to ignore. He’s in front of me, behind me, above me, and below me, all at once.

There’s an odd little tug from his body to mine, as if there’s a force trying to lure me closer to him, a magnetism in him that’s primal and animalistic. He’s standing close and yet instead of feeling invaded, like I should, I am achingly aware of how many inches still separate us. How many inches still stand between me and his large, hard, warm body, a wall of muscle and elegance before me.

I try to ignore it. I’m not after him to get laid. I had my chance—I said no.

I ball up the yearning and try to pretend he’s not as magnetic as he is. Try to pretend he’s just a wall. Or basically an ATM. The only ATM that can finance my baby.

But no.

He’s more than that.

Among the most memorable—he was the guy who gave me his jacket one awful, awful day when I got my period early and stained my stupid shorts. People were snickering. I didn’t know why. One of my friends told me. I wanted to cry. Christos took off his jacket and handed it to me silently. He didn’t snicker like everyone else. I tied it around my waist, hurried to my car, and drove home in tears.

I could never give him his jacket back. It would have been too embarrassing for him to think it had gotten stained with my period blood. Guys are funny about those things.

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