Million-Dollar Love-Child [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Sarah Morgan
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Kimberley Townsend's little boy is in danger, and the only person who can help is his father, Brazilian billionaire Luc Santoro. Luc doesn't know his son even exists, and believes Kimberley to be a lying gold digger. However, he's prepared to give her the money---provided she sleeps with him. Only Kimberley's no longer the naive virgin he bedded years ago--and she's about to make him lose control in ways he never imagined....
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Presents
Fictionwise Release Date: November 2006
43 Reader Ratings:
SHE'D never known fear like it.
Breathing so rapidly that she felt light-headed, Kimberley stood in the imposing glass-walled boardroom on the executive floor of Santoro Investments, staring down at the throbbing, vibrant streets of Rio de Janeiro.
The waiting was torture.
Everything rested on the outcome of this visit—everything—and the knowledge made her legs weaken and her insides knot with vicious tension.
It was ironic, she thought helplessly, that the only person who could help her now was the one man she'd sworn never to see again.
Forcing herself to breathe steadily, she closed her eyes for a moment and tried to modify her expectations. He'd probably refuse to see her.
People didn't just arrive unannounced and gain access to a man like Luc Santoro.
She was only sitting here now because his personal assistant had taken pity on her. Stammering out her request to see him, Kimberley had been so pale and anxious that the older woman had become quite concerned and had insisted that she should sit and wait in the privacy of the air-conditioned boardroom. Having brought her a large glass of water, the assistant had given her a smile and assured her that Mr Santoro really wasn't as dangerous as his reputation suggested.
But Kimberley knew differently. Luc Santoro wasn't just dangerous, he was lethal and she knew that it was going to take more than water to make her face the man on the other side of that door.
What was she going to say?
How was she going to tell him?
Where was she going to start?
She couldn't appeal to his sense of decency or his conscience because he possessed neither. Helping others wasn't high on his agenda. He used people and, more especially, he used women. She knew that better than anyone. Pain ripped through her as she remembered just how badly he'd treated her. He was a ruthless, self-seeking billionaire with only one focus in his life. The pursuit of pleasure.
And for a short, blissful time, she'd been his pleasure.
Her heart felt like a heavy weight in her chest. Looking back on it now, she couldn't believe how naïve she'd been. How trusting. As an idealistic, romantic eighteen-year-old, she'd been willing and eager to share every single part of herself with him. She'd held nothing back because she'd seen no reason to hold anything back. He'd been the one. Her everything. And she'd been his nothing.
She curled her fingers into her palms and reminded herself that the objective of today was not to rehash the past. She was going to have to put aside the memory of the pain, the panic and the bone-deep humiliation she'd suffered as a result of his cruel and careless rejection.
None of that mattered now.
There was only one thing that mattered to her, only one person, and for the sake of that person she was going to bite her tongue, smile, beg or do whatever it took to ingratiate herself with Luc Santoro—because there was no way she was leaving Brazil without the money she needed.
It was a matter of life and death.
She paced the length of the room, trying to formulate some sort of plan in her mind, trying to work out a reasonable way to ask for five million dollars from a man who had absolutely no feelings for her.
How was she going to tackle the subject?
How was she going to tell him that she was in serious trouble?
And how could she make him care?
She felt a shaft of pure panic and then the door opened and he strolled into the room unannounced, the sun glinting on his glossy black hair, his face hard, handsome and unsmiling.
And Kimberley realised that she was in even more trouble than she'd previously thought.
* * *
She looked like a baby deer caught in an ambush.
Without revealing any of his thoughts, Luc surveyed the slender, impossibly beautiful redhead who stood shivering and pale on the far side of his boardroom.
She looked so frightened that he almost found it possible to feel sorry for her. Except that he knew too much about her.
And if he were in her position, he'd be shaking, too.
She had one hell of a nerve, coming here!
He hadn't seen Kimberley Townsend for seven years and still she had the ability to seriously disturb his day.
Endless legs, silken hair, soft mouth and a wide, trusting smile—
For a time she'd truly had him fooled with that loving, giving, generous act that she'd perfected. Accustomed to being with women who were as sophisticated and calculating as himself, he'd been charmed and captivated by Kimberley's innocence, openness and her almost childlike honesty.
It was the first and only occasion in his adult life when he'd made a serious error of judgement.
She was a greedy little gold-digger.
He knew that now. And she knew that he knew.
So what could possibly have possessed her to throw herself in his path again?
She was either very brave or very, very stupid. He strolled towards her, watching her flinch and tremble and decided that she didn't look particularly brave.
Which just left stupid.
* * *
Kimberley stood with her back to the wall and wondered how she could have forgotten the impact that Luciano Santoro had on women. How could she ever have thought she could hold a man like him?
Copyright © 2006 by Sarah Morgan.