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by Trista Ann Michaels
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: Marcus has been playing someone else for years. When he meets the woman of his dreams, he has no choice but to lie to her as well; even when the seduction begins. He has a weekend to make her fall in love with him. Hopefully, fall in love with him enough that when he finally comes clean, she won't hate him. That may prove to be a little tougher than he initially thought, especially when the truth comes out at the most inopportune time.
eBook Publisher: Atlantic Bridge/Liquid Silver Books, 2012
eBookwise Release Date: February 2012
1 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [133 KB]
Reading time: 86-121 min.
"Who in their right mind works two years for a man they've never even seen?" Karen tossed another shirt into Sinclair's suitcase. Karen always felt she knew best when packing for her friend.
"Or talked to on the phone," Sinclair replied in a sing-songy voice as she neatly folded the outfits Karen threw her way. Sinclair had heard this speech a thousand times already. She knew her friend worried, but truthfully, she wished she wouldn't. If nothing bad or questionable had happened in two years, nothing would.
Karen's deep brown eyes narrowed in annoyance. "You're not taking this the least bit seriously."
Sinclair Sheridan relented and gave her friend an apologetic nod. "You're right. I'm not. But, Karen, come on. I've been working for the guy for two years. He pays well, rewards for a job well done even better. I don't work nine to five--"
"No, you're on call twenty-four seven, three sixty-five. Now you're flying off to some remote location in the Caribbean just because he sent you a text. We had plans."
"I know we had plans and I'm sorry. I need to check out some new property he's bought, see how the employees do, how the food is. You know, the usual. I'll be back in a few days."
Her friend snorted. "If you were smart, you'd stick around a while with that gorgeous pilot ... what's his name again?"
Sinclair grinned. "Marcus."
"Yeah, Marcus. Maybe he'll whisk you away. I must admit, I'm a little jealous of the idea."
Sinclair giggled. She wouldn't be opposed to his whisking her away. Not at all. Marcus Rogers was definitely all alpha male, a cocky pilot with the most gorgeous blue eyes she'd ever seen on a man. His dark brown hair was longer than she usually liked, but she had to admit she admired the way it curled around his shoulders. His wide, muscular, tan shoulders. She drew in a long, deep sigh.
Karen had been hinting Sinclair should seduce him ever since she'd first met him a year ago when she'd picked Sinclair up at the airport. From that day on, Karen had become her taxi and always joked about stealing him away from her every time he would smile that smile of his at her friend.
Shaking her head, Sinclair returned her thoughts back to Karen and the open suitcase lying on her bed. "Marcus is just my transportation."
Karen snickered. "Yeah, okay." She tossed a pair of short shorts and a red bikini top into the suitcase. "Since you're ditching me and flying off to a warmer climate ... you should at least have a little fun."
Sinclair glanced up and wondered at the concerned look in Karen's eyes. "What's got you so worried about my job all of a sudden anyway?"
Karen shrugged and brushed her dirty blond hair over her shoulder as she began to rummage through Sinclair's make-up bag. Karen was her self-appointed travel manager. She made sure Sinclair had whatever she needed to attract a man, despite the fact Sinclair didn't really want one at the moment.
"I think I've just been watching too many thriller movies."
"Ya think?" Sinclair asked with a grin.
"I just think it's awfully strange that in two years you've never met him in person. I saw something on CNN the other day--"
"And there it is."
Her friend harrumphed in annoyance. "There what is?"
"Karen, you're seeing problems were there are none, I promise."
"You're probably right, but... The whole thing just seems so off the wall to me. It always has."
"I know," Sinclair admitted.
Karen had tried her best to talk her out of taking this job and even though she'd finally relented and agreed to support Sinclair, Karen still reverted to her initial unease. Today was one of those days.
Sinclair couldn't blame her. Even she could admit to a little curiosity and unease. She'd even tried Googling him a few times. Unfortunately, she'd found nothing. Despite a few news articles, multi-millionaire business tycoon Alexander Deveraux was a mystery. There were no pictures, no history other than speculation.
Her offer of a job had come from his main assistant, Jim. Apparently the man usually had two. His workload was so heavy there was too much for just one assistant. His previous second assistant had died in a car accident and Alexander was in need of another. He'd come across her resume when she'd actually applied for a different position within the same company.
Despite the weird set-up, she couldn't ask for a better job. The pay was incredible. She had free reign to handle things as she saw fit, unless he gave her strict instructions otherwise, which was rare. Most of her duties came through email, text, or sometimes through Jim.
According to him, Alexander was a recluse who hated the public and therefore kept to himself, doing ninety-eight percent of his business through the internet. He had plenty of money, so Sinclair believed he could live as he saw fit. He had that right. And she had the right to work whatever job she wanted.
She stood straight and dropped one final top into the suitcase. "Karen. I'll be fine. I've gone off on several of these trips and I've always come back in one piece, right? This one won't be any different. And besides, I'll have Marcus with me for protection."
"Lucky you," Karen replied with a smile. "I know you will. I'm just being difficult. I'm going to miss you while you're gone."
"I'll miss you, too."
Sinclair embraced her friend in a reassuring hug. Karen had been her best friend for years. They were like sisters and they hated being apart.
"Enjoy your trip," Karen said with a sigh. "And bring me back something nice."
Sinclair laughed. "Don't I always?"
Sinclair climbed from the limo and adjusted the sunglasses on her face. Marcus stood by the Gulf Stream IV, a small sexy jet that could fly to Europe without having to stop for fuel, doing what he called his pre-flight walk around and tire check.
Dressed in his usual uniform of black slacks, white shirt and black tie. With the gold striped epaulets across his shoulders, he appeared very professional and his upper body very wide. The uniform suited him and accentuated a narrow waist and hips. His wavy dark brown hair was pulled back at the nape, giving his face a more serious appearance.
The driver grabbed her bags from the back of the car and carried them to the jet. Sunlight reflected off the black paint job of the plane and she squinted, despite the sunglasses. There were about four planes in the whole feet. They had no markings, no designs, just black. The color gave it a mysterious and dangerous appearance. If a plane could be sexy, then this one with its sleek design was definitely that.
Cold wind blew against her legs and she shivered, pulling her coat a little tighter around her. She hated winter. In some ways she was looking forward to this trip if for no other reason than to get out of the cold for a few days.
Marcus turned and his eyes met hers. He smiled and her legs, that normally held firm, now shook with butterflies. He was so handsome he often took her breath away. More than once he'd spoken to her and she'd stared at him speechless like an utter idiot. Marcus would just grin knowingly and return to whatever it was he'd been doing. At least he hadn't teased her about it.
"Afternoon, beautiful," he called over the wind.
Sinclair warmed slightly at his usual greeting. He was such a damn flirt. Not just with her but with every woman out there. Marcus didn't discriminate. Tall, short, overweight, skinny, beautiful, not so beautiful, Marcus made a point to say something nice or sexy to all of them. It was one of the many things she admired about him. He didn't just talk to the pretty ones, he talked to all of them, and when he did, he made her feel as though she were the only one in the room.
"Afternoon. Are we ready to head out?" she asked.
"Anxious to get out of the cold, huh?" he teased.
She stepped closer. "You could say that."
He nodded toward the plane. "You can go on up if you want. It's warm inside. I also made a pot of coffee."
"Oh, God love ya," she said with a happy sigh. "Coffee sounds wonderful right now."
"Just save me a cup," he called as she jogged up the steps.
Stepping inside the warm cabin, Sinclair didn't pay too much attention to the beige leather interior. She'd seen it so many times now it failed to impress. As she stepped into the small galley, she let her fingers trail along the shiny wood trim of the cabinets. She enjoyed the feel of this wood. It was so dark, so soft. She would love to have a house full of furniture made from the same wood.
She heard Marcus behind her as he made his way up the stairs and into the cabin. Her heart did a little flip of excitement as she reached to open the upper cabinet and pull down two ceramic mugs with lids.
"Still take it black?" she asked over her shoulder as he passed behind her and into the cockpit.
"Of course," he said with a grin that made her stomach flutter.
God, he made her crazy with just a simple look. If she ever got drunk around him, she'd embarrass the hell out of herself by making a pass at him. Or worse, seducing him. She had no business doing that, although she could definitely admit, at least to herself, she fantasized about it.
His wide, thick shoulders dwarfed her, but she never felt intimidated. She felt safe when he was close. More than once his "don't mess with me or mine" stance and hard-as-stone stare had scared off more than one guy who had gotten too aggressive. He'd turned out to be quite handy to have around on occasion.
He'd never made a pass, though. He'd flirted, teased, even lightly touched a time or two, but not once had he tried to kiss her. She pursed her lips in deep thought as she poured their coffee. Did he not find her attractive? Sometimes she caught him watching her, but if he wanted her he never let it show. Maybe it was because they both worked for the same man ... maybe. Or maybe he just didn't see her that way.
She had to admit sometimes she wished he did. Sometimes, she wished he would just grab her and kiss her senseless. It had been so long since she'd had sex. Toys were great, but after a while, even that didn't do it.
The whine of the jet engines let her know they would be taking off soon, so she pushed her naughty thoughts of Marcus aside and tightened the lids on their cups.
Grabbing both of them, she stepped into the cockpit and handed him one over his shoulder.
"Thank you, baby," he murmured as he took it from her, but kept his eyes on the instruments in front of him.
He often used endearments when he talked to her, but it still never failed to make her spine tingle.
"You're welcome, darlin'", she replied before turning and stepping back into the cabin.
She didn't miss his chuckle and smiled to herself as she settled into one of the six leather seats and made herself comfortable for the flight. The small phone next to her beeped and she quickly picked it up, knowing it would be Marcus on the other end.
"It'll take us about five hours, give or take, to get there. We've got a strong tail wind that will help push, so I'm hoping we can shave a little off that time."
"Sounds good. I've got plenty to keep me busy," she replied, enjoying the sound of his deep baritone voice through the phone line.
"Have you ever been to this place?" he asked.
She grinned slightly. "Never even heard of it, much less been to it. You?"
"I've heard of it."
"Really?" she asked, intrigued. "Then you know more than I do. He didn't send me much information. I'm assuming it's a pretty large piece of property."
"It's not property, baby. It's a resort."
She remained silent for a few seconds. "A what? Never mind. I'm coming up front."
She hung up the phone and headed to the cockpit. Marcus settled his headset and adjusted the mic so it rested in front of his lips as he continued to fly through the preflight checklist with the speed of someone who'd done this a million times or more.
She leaned against the doorjamb and placed her palm against the other side as she frowned down at a grinning Marcus.
"Okay, spill it. What do you know that I don't?"
"I don't know a thing," he said, grinning.
"You said it was a resort."
"What kind of resort?"
His lips twitched and he had a twinkle in his eye that made her think he knew more than he was letting on. "Let's just say you're in for a surprise. It's not your average Caribbean resort."
He held up a finger and she could hear the voice coming through his headset loud and clear, giving him clearance to proceed to the runway. This conversation would have to wait. The tower always came first, which was as it should be. Detroit airport was crowded and Marcus needed to have one hundred percent of his attention on flying and the circling traffic.
He put his fist over the mic and winked. "Relax. You'll love it."
There was something about the deep, sexy tone to his voice that made Sinclair question just how much she might love it. If there was one thing Sinclair hated most, it was surprises.