Home > Romancing the Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club #5)(9)

Romancing the Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club #5)(9)
Author: Jessica Clare

Sally looked at it, then at him, and beamed with pleasure. “Thank you, Mr. Lyons.” She took the money from him and grabbed her clothing from the neat stack on a nearby chair.

“Enjoy,” he told her as she hauled her clothing on and left a moment later.

Then, he was alone. Thank God.

Shrugging his jacket off, he tossed it on the foot of the bed and sat down. He rubbed his jaw, thinking. Then, he pulled out his iPad and brought up a PDF of Violet’s letter from her father. He did a reverse search for the image on the Internet, but it brought up nothing recognizable. Huh. Frustrated, he tossed the tablet aside and lay back, thinking of Violet.

The pillows on his bed smelled like Sally’s perfume. It was a thick, musky fragrance, very different from Violet’s own scent. She smelled like coffee and, well, paper. Funny how he’d found that arousing. He thought of Violet again, but this time, instead of her cold response to him yesterday, she was raging with anger, anger that melted into raging hunger when he touched her.

With Violet on his mind, he undid his trousers and began to jerk off.

The next morning, Violet looked out the window of her condominium to see a limo waiting outside. She rolled her eyes at the sight, but hefted her carry-on and her purse. Here goes nothing.

She’d festered with resentment all night at Jonathan’s high-handedness, but today she was full of acceptance. She could fight this, or she could accept that he’d outmaneuvered her and was just being a jerk. She could go along with things, get it over with, and then go back to her life. So she would, and she’d smile through gritted teeth the entire time.

She locked her apartment and headed down the elevator and then out to the street. As she emerged from the building, a man got out of the driver’s side of the limo and approached her. “Miss DeWitt?”

She sighed and handed him her bag. “Thank you.”

He nodded and opened the back door of the limo for her, and she got in.

It wasn’t surprising to her that Jonathan was in the back seat of the limo, waiting. Somehow she’d guessed that he’d be there to pester her every second of this trip. “Hello, Mr. Lyons,” she said in a coolly polite voice. She noticed he was dressed rather casually this morning, a blue Superman T-shirt under his blazer, and jeans. His dark hair was slightly messy, as if he didn’t care how he looked that day.

She didn’t know what to make of that. Part of her was glad that she didn’t have the super-expensive-suit-wearing Jonathan with his impeccable grooming and pricey wristwatch and even more expensive shoes. But to just not give a shit about what he looked like when he was with her? Not even brushing his hair? Really? Didn’t she warrant a little self-grooming?

“Morning, Violet,” he said, and held out a lidded cup to her. “Three sugars, extra cream, right?”

Her eyes narrowed. He even remembered how she liked her coffee? Was this all so he could charm her back into his bed? Not a f**king chance. “Thanks.” She took the cup from him but didn’t drink.

He noticed that. “I didn’t poison it, you know.”

“Of course not. I imagine it’s hard for even a billionaire to hide a body.”

“That, and you’re far more useful to me alive.” He lifted his own cup to his lips. “We’re heading straight for the airport, if you’re ready.”

“Ready?” She snorted. “You’re the one kidnapping me.”

“It’s not a kidnapping, Violet. Your father stole a one-of-a-kind stele from one of my digs—”

“A stele?”

“Yes. You know, one of those stone tablets with a ceremonial inscription on it—”

“I know what a stele is, Jonathan!” Like she was uneducated. The nerve.

“Yes, well, then you know it’s very important from me. You’re the only person who might have known how to get it back.”

“You keep saying he stole from you.” Phineas DeWitt was a heartless prick, but he was a devotee of archaeology and a huge supporter of museums. Violet wasn’t sure that she bought the whole “thievery” angle. “Why?”

“That’s the question, isn’t it? It’s important mostly because of where it’s from—Cadiz. Here.” He pulled out a laptop and began to type. A moment later, he flicked the camera on and dialed a call. “Are you there, Sergio?”

A rattle of Spanish came through the speakers of the laptop, mixed with feedback. The picture on the screen swung back and forth. Violet winced and rubbed her ear as Jonathan adjusted the volume.

“Sergio, I have Ms. DeWitt in the car with me,” Jonathan yelled at the camera. “Can you show her where the missing stele came from?”

“In the hole?” Sergio yelled, accent thick. The camera bounced around dizzily, as if someone was walking.

“Yes, in the hole!”

“In the hole?” Sergio repeated, clearly missing Jonathan’s commands.

“In the damn hole!”

Violet’s lips twitched with amusement. “So much yelling about holes. Should I leave you two alone for a private moment?”

Jonathan shot her a quelling look.

“Okay, in the hole,” Sergio said, and he barked something in Spanish to someone, then changed to English again to address Jonathan. “I’ll put on the headgear.”

“Thank you,” Jonathan said tersely.

The camera shifted again, and Violet caught a glimpse of a golden-skinned man with amber eyes and a curly mop of black hair before it swiveled around. “Camera is on. Can you hear me?”

Jonathan looked over at Violet and then nodded. “We can hear you.”

Curious, Violet leaned forward to watch the picture on the laptop as it bounced with every step. Even though it was morning where she was at, the sun was late afternoon bright in the picture. Pixels bounced around as Sergio maneuvered through a busy encampment.

“Where is he?” Violet asked, her voice pitched low so the computer’s microphone wouldn’t pick it up. She found herself interested in spite of her irritation at Jonathan.

“A dig I’m jointly sponsoring with a friend of mine. We’re looking for what might be the ruins of Atlantis.”

“In Spain?”

“Yes. Recent data has shown that there was a very large civilization on a coastal plain that was wiped out due to a tsunami at the right time. We’re looking for anything that would link it to Atlantis instead of, say, Tarshish, which is the current theory. Your father was supervising the dig last year, until he got too sick to continue.”

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