Blackmailed Into Bed [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Heidi Betts
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Businessman Chase Ramsey's audacious terms should have offended her, but Elena Sanchez had no choice. To save her family's business, she'd have to become Chase's mistress. Chase had waited years to avenge what Elena had done to him. Now she'd have to play by his rules. But the ebony-haired beauty soon had him craving her like a starving man. Had his indecent proposal backfired?
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Silhouette Desire
Fictionwise Release Date: February 2007
16 Reader Ratings:
Elena Sanchez looked up and down the long hallway, her heels clicking on the expensively tiled floor as she moved. There was no one behind the desk where she assumed a receptionist would normally sit, but then, it was lunch time. Even she had sneaked away from the office to come over here.
She glanced at the doors as she passed, searching for the one she needed, for the name of the man she had to see, whether she wanted to or not. And she really didn't want to. If her father wasn't desperate—if she wasn't desperate on her father's behalf—she probably would have gone the rest of her life without bumping into Chase Ramsey.
She certainly wouldn't have made a point of tracking him down.
When she saw his name printed in black block letters on the gold door plate at the end of the hall, her stomach jumped and she had the sudden urge to turn and run. But she'd made up her mind to do this, so she would.
Raising a hand, she knocked, and then wiped her damp palms on the sides of her red linen, knee-length skirt so he wouldn't realize how nervous she was if he shook her hand.
She heard mumbling from the other side, perhaps even a curse, followed by a grumbled, "Come in."
Twisting the knob, she pushed the dark wooden door open and stepped inside.
His office was huge, encompassing three large plate glass windows that overlooked downtown Austin. An oriental rug and two dark green overstuffed leather armchairs filled the space in front of his wide cherrywood desk.
Behind that desk, Chase Ramsey sat scribbling notes while he held the phone to his ear and carried on a somewhat heated conversation with whoever was on the other end of the line. He didn't bother looking up, even though she knew he must have heard her enter.
Not presumptuous enough to take a seat until invited, Elena stayed where she was, standing just inside the office door, clenching and unclenching her fingers around the strap of her purse that hung at her side.
He was as handsome as she remembered. Darn it. But in a darker, much more mature way—she hadn't seen him since they were teenagers.
His hair was as black as midnight, cut short, with just a hint of curl that fell over his forehead. And from what she could see above the desk, he filled his dark gray, expensive, tailored suit to perfection. Broad shoulders, expansive chest, tanned hands that looked strong enough to lift a small building.
Or stroke across a woman's thigh.
Oh, Lord. Where had that come from? She clutched the strap of her handbag more tightly and fought the urge to fan her face. Butterflies were flying in rapid formation through her stomach, making her weak in the knees.
So he had big hands. Big, dark, impressive hands. The fact that she'd noticed—and was apparently quite distracted by them—meant nothing. Except perhaps that it had been awhile since she'd had any decent, attractive male company. Even longer since a man had been near her thighs—with his hands or anything else.
She heard a click and blinked, raising her gaze back to the man behind the desk. While she'd been fantasizing about long, masculine fingers sliding beneath the hem of her skirt, Chase Ramsey had apparently finished his conversation and was now staring at her with an impatient, annoyed glint in his sharp blue eyes.
"Can I help you with something?" he asked.
Taking a deep breath and steeling her nerves, she stepped forward to stand between the two guest chairs angled in front of his desk.
"Yes, actually," she said, brushing a lock of hair behind her ear before resting her palm on the high back of one of the chairs. "My name is Elena Sanchez, and I'd like to talk to you about your interest in Sanchez Restaurant Supply Company."
She knew the exact moment he recognized her. Not just the name of her father's company as one he was in the process of taking over, but recognized her. Her name and possibly her features, if he remembered anything about her from all those years ago.
His eyes turned hard and dark, his mouth tightening to a thin, flat line. He dropped the pen in his right hand on top of the papers he'd been working on and leaned back in his chair, resting his elbows on the padded arms and steepling his fingers in front of him as he rocked back and forth, back and forth.
Inwardly, she cringed. Judging by his reaction to her presence, his memory was as impressive as his physical attributes.
And his disdain was justified, she knew. Two decades ago, she'd been a spoiled, high-strung teenager, and had treated a lot of people badly, Chase included.
Not that her youth could be used as an excuse. Everyone makes mistakes when they're kids, and sometimes those mistakes have to be paid for or made right.
This, Elena decided, was her punishment for having had a lousy attitude as an adolescent—coming face-to-face with Chase Ramsey again, and essentially having to grovel in an attempt to help her father save the family business.
It might not be easy, but she would step up and take her lumps like the mature adult she'd grown into.
A phone rang out in the hallway, but Chase ignored it. He just kept rocking in his high-priced leather desk chair, staring at her as though he could see straight through to her soul.
And maybe he could. She felt exposed down to the bone. She might as well have been standing in the middle of his office stark naked, instead of in one of her most professional dress suits.
Copyright © 2007 by Heidi Betts.