Beauty and the Billionaire (Page 25)
Beauty and the Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club #2)(25)
Author: Jessica Clare
“She has two sisters,” Cade added. “Daphne lives out in LA.”
Hunter glanced at Cade. “You know them?”
Cade downed his drink, then shrugged. “Old family friends. We go back to childhood. You in on this hand?”
Hunter barely glanced at his cards, then tossed a few chips on the pile, feeling reckless. “Gretchen wants me to invite a few friends over,” he admitted in a gruff voice. “A party of some kind.”
“Does this mean we’re all invited?” Reese asked with a cocky grin.
“No,” Hunter said with a scowl.
Jonathan glanced at his cards, then folded. “I admit I’m curious to see this sister of Audrey’s.”
“You’ve seen one of them before,” Cade replied easily. “Daphne Petty.”
Hunter had no idea who that was, but Reese seemed impressed. “No way. Daphne Petty? The Daphne Petty? The one in the tabloids constantly?”
“Who’s Daphne Petty?” Logan frowned, then looked over at Hunter as if he’d have the answers. Hunter shrugged.
“An old childhood friend of mine,” Cade said. “And Audrey’s twin. She’s also—if rumor has it—heavily into drugs and alcohol, thanks to her career.”
“Her career,” Logan said blankly. “What career is this?”
“Singer. Pick up any magazine and you’ll probably see her sloppy drunk on the cover,” Reese said. “Holy crap. I never knew. Audrey looks nothing like her.”
Cade grimaced in agreement. “I know. Daphne’s not . . . well. Audrey’s much healthier.”
Hunter thought of Logan’s extremely curvy assistant and drew a blank at her face. All he knew was that she wore her hair in a bun and she was brisk and efficient and didn’t ask many questions.
She was nothing like Gretchen in that aspect, he thought with a hint of a smile touching his mouth again. Nosy, too inquisitive Gretchen who didn’t know the meaning “mind your own business” if it bit her on the chin. But he kind of loved that about her.
“Ah, hell,” Jonathan said in disgust. “He’s grinning again. Whatever it is, he’s got it bad.”
“Now I’m definitely coming to this party,” Reese said.
“You weren’t invited,” Hunter pointed out, glaring. The last person he wanted around Gretchen was Reese, the epitome of a ladies’ man.
“You’re in the Brotherhood, Hunter,” Cade said with a slap on the back. “You know our rules. We’re all invited. Even the obnoxious ones like Reese.”
Hunter grunted in resignation. The teasing died back down again and they continued on for hours.
When they were ready to leave, Hunter pulled Logan aside. “I need your advice.”
“Oh? On what?”
“On Gretchen. I want to do something for her. Something that shows her how much I appreciate her.”
Logan gave him a wry smile. “Don’t buy her a diner.”
“Nothing. Just something I did for Brontë that backfired in my face. What did you have in mind?”
“Something . . . thoughtful. Not jewelry. She’s not a jewelry type.”
“Well, you dodged a bullet there,” Logan said. “Then again, jewelry makes it easy. Brontë’s not much of a jewelry type, either. Gets mad every time I try to buy her a necklace. The trick is you have to find something that you can do for her that no one else can.”
Hunter shook his head. “I don’t know what that would be. Property? It’s too much. Cars? Anyone can give her a car.” He didn’t share that he didn’t want to give her a car because he was afraid she’d spend her days driving away from the house. He liked that she was stuck there with him.
“You said she likes books, right?”
“She’s a ghostwriter.”
Logan shrugged. “There’s your answer. Something with books. Is she successful?”
Hunter considered this. “I don’t know. She writes astronaut books or some such.” It had seemed like an odd match to him—his silly, outspoken Gretchen writing overly masculine space pulp, but he didn’t question it.
“So buy them. Buy all of them.” Logan considered a new cigar, then put it down with a grimace. “I shouldn’t smoke this. Brontë doesn’t like the smell.”
“Buy all of them?” Hunter asked.
“All the books. Get her on the bestseller list or something. That would probably make her happy.”
The more Hunter thought about it, the more he liked the idea. “I’ll get Eldon on it right away.”
Hunter arrived home late that evening, his head slightly muzzy from cigar smoke and alcohol. He’d lost a fortune tonight at the table, but he couldn’t stop grinning. For the first time, he was able to smile when Reese told one of his ridiculous stories about women. He’d simply ignored comments about his own relationship without feeling excluded by the group.
For the first time, he didn’t feel like a freak amongst his friends—the scarred, lonely virgin.
Scarred, yes, but lonely and virgin? No longer.
He took off his tie and tossed it to the ground, then shrugged off his jacket even as he headed down the hall to his bedroom. His c*ck grew hard at the thought of Gretchen waiting for him in his bed. Gretchen, soft with sleep, her bright red hair spilling across his pillow. Would she be nak*d, waiting for him? Her legs slightly open? He imagined dipping his fingers between them and stroking her awake, thinking of the soft, aching cries she’d make when he touched her there.
Suddenly his pants were too constricting. He stripped off his clothes while moving steadily across his room to his bed.
The room was dark, but he knew—he just knew—that Gretchen would be there waiting for him. A faint light shone through the open window, and in the moonlight he could see a rumpled mess of covers in his normally immaculate bed. On one side of the bed, a small figure was curled up in sleep.
He moved toward the bed, heart aching at the sight. Such a wonderful, exquisite sight—he’d never thought to have so much. He thought he would always be alone, reviled. Now, he had a woman—such a perfect woman—waiting for him to come home so he could make love to her. Was life ever so sweet?
He noticed something shiny on the nightstand and moved to touch it. It was a crinkle of packets, and Hunter laughed. An entire strip of condoms had been left at the bedside. Wishful thinking indeed.
She sighed and he noticed she was wearing one of his shirts. Ah. His c*ck ached even harder at the sight. Hunter ripped one of the condoms out of the package and rolled it onto his cock, then moved to the edge of the bed.
Gretchen’s legs were bare and smooth, gleaming pale in the moonlight. They were slightly parted as she slept, revealing the cleft of her ass. No panties. Was she wearing anything other than his shirt? He groaned at the thought.
She rolled over and faced him, rubbing her eyes. “Hunter? Is that you?”
“Gretchen.” His voice was hoarse with need, even as he moved over her and began to kiss her jaw and throat. “I need you so badly.”
She moaned lightly, her legs spreading underneath him. “I was having dirty dreams about you,” she said. “Am I wet?”
He reached between her legs and groaned at the feeling of her. “Very wet.”
“Then come inside me,” she said in a soft, delicious voice.
Hunter didn’t need further encouraging. His fingers searched for the slick, warm opening and dipped a finger in as if to reassure himself that she was ready for him. He positioned his c*ck there and sank deep, freezing at her sharp intake of breath.
“Ah, that’s so good,” she breathed. Her legs wrapped around his h*ps and locked behind him. “Fuck me hard, Hunter.”
He groaned, her words making him frantic with need. He wouldn’t be able to go slow. Not this time, not with her so sweetly willing. He thrust, rough and hard, and then couldn’t stop himself. Over and over, he thrust into her, every rocking push forward shoving them across the bed. Her soft whimpers of pleasure became deep, wild cries, and her nails dug into his back.
“Hunter, oh, God, Hunter. Take me deep.” She raised her h*ps and lifted her legs a little, pushing them higher up his sides. “Keep pushing forward.”
He did, the force of his next thrust pushing her knees to her br**sts.
She cried out in pleasure. “More!”
He did, giving her more. Every ounce of his being was determined to pound deep into her, to make it as good for her as it was for him—tight, hot, and oh so wet.
Her p**sy seemed to shiver all around him, and then she cried out in surprise. “Oh! I’m coming!”
He exploded then, as if her orgasm had given him permission to release. With a sharp cry, Hunter came into her, clenching deep inside her p**sy.
After a long moment of recovery, he rolled off her and stripped off the condom, tossing it into a nearby wastebasket. Then, he returned to the bed and pulled her close, unable to stop kissing her soft, perfect skin everywhere—the curve of her exposed shoulder, her neck, her hand, her dainty fingers.
“Mmm, did you miss me?” Gretchen asked sleepily, her backside snuggling up against his front. “It was a long evening without you.”
“I hope you got a lot of work done,” Hunter told her.
“Eh.” She didn’t sound enthusiastic.
“That’s too bad,” he told her, and bit lightly at her earlobe, a small move that he was starting to figure out that she enjoyed very much. Her sucked-in breath confirmed it. “I don’t plan on letting you get much sleep tonight.”
“Don’t you?” she asked, her voice a mixture of playfulness and sleepiness. “Aren’t you tired?”
“Not when I’m around you.” His fingers slid to her nipple and he caressed it, eliciting a moan from her. “You bring me back to life.”
It was true. He felt alive when he was with her. Nothing else mattered anymore—his face, his loneliness—nothing. All that mattered was what Gretchen thought of him.
For the first time in his life, Hunter Buchanan was in love.
Gretchen paced in the library, her hand pressed to her forehead. “No. I promise. I need my apartment. I really do. I’m just doing a project on location at the moment.”
“Your rent is one week overdue, Ms. Petty,” her landlord said into the phone. “And we haven’t seen your check.”
“What if I give you a check today?” Gretchen kept her voice bright and cheerful. “I’ll call a taxi and head into the city. I’ll give you a check and I can date it for next week. I should have my contract payment by then.”
“Next week? Your rent was due last week.”
“I know! But I have the payment. I can pay the rest of the entire year with my next check, which should be in any day now. I promise. I can get my agent on the line if you don’t believe me, and she can confirm the dollar amount.”
“Your contract with us states that rent is due on the first. Not when you get paid.”