Dirty Headlines(4)

“You’re getting on my nerves, Mr. Timberlake. And I thought it was ‘Will Power’?”

“Cry me a river, baby. I’m Célian.” He offered me his hand.

His poise unnerved and fascinated me at the same time. He was carved like a god but looked vital and warm to the touch like a mortal. It clouded my judgment, messed with my senses, and made my stomach feel like hot tongues of lust licked it from within.

“Judith, but everyone calls me Jude.”

“I take it you’re a Beatles fan.”

“Presumptuous. Your list of negative traits is never-ending.”

“Not the only long thing about me. Eat, Judith.”


“I’m not everyone.” He threw an impatient smile my way, looking like he was over our conversation.

Bossy bastard. I took another bite. “This doesn’t mean anything.”

I was pretty sure I was lying, but I was too emotionally exhausted to deny myself things tonight.

He leaned toward me, entering my personal space the way Napoleon blazed into Moscow, with the pride and discretion of a pagan warrior. He brushed his thumb along the column of my throat. A simple touch, and my entire body broke out in violent goosebumps. It was the combination of his feral, male ruggedness, his accent, and his sharp everything else—suit, scent, and features.

I was helpless.

I wanted to be helpless.

“The heart is a lonely hunter.” But my body needed company tonight.

He leaned forward, his lips close to my ear, and whispered, “Oh, but this does.”

“You’re not my type.” I grinned into the rest of the whiskey I downed.

“I’m everyone’s type,” he said matter-of-factly. “And I’ll make it good for you.”

“You don’t know what I like,” I shot back. Ping-ponging with him was fun. He was curt, sharp, and unaffected, but oddly, I didn’t find him rude.

“Bet you all the cash I have on me that I do.”

This is interesting.

“What if I fake it every time I have an orgasm and act like I don’t?” I tucked my iPod and earbuds into my bag. This conversation couldn’t possibly be weirder. He smiled a smile I’d never seen on a human face before—so predatory my insides clenched on nothing, my panties dampening between my thighs.

“Clearly you’ve never had a real orgasm. When I make you come, you’ll be lucky to keep your fucking kneecaps from snapping.”


“Save me the sass, Spears.”

Ten minutes later, we were crossing the street on the way to his hotel. I tried hard not to lose my cool when we entered the glitzy lobby. The Laurent Towers Hotel stood across from the LBC skyscraper, home to one of the largest news channels in the world. The place was buzzing with people, but we were the only ones waiting for the elevator. We both stared at it silently while my heart screamed, nearly bursting from my chest. My knees shook under my cheap black dress. I was doing this. I was really having a one-night stand. Granted, I was twenty-three, newly single, and freshly vindictive. I knew there was nothing immoral about sleeping with him. But I also knew this was a one-off I would likely laugh about years from now.

“I don’t normally do this,” I said when the doors to the elevator slid open and we stepped inside.

Célian didn’t answer. When the doors glided shut, he stalked toward me, his eyes cool and detached, his mouth pursed. He cornered me against the wall, every step more voracious than the last. My pulse wrestled inside my throat. He considered me with those cocksure eyes, and I lifted my chin, feeling my nostrils flaring.

Célian cupped me through my skirt, and I whimpered, my body arching against the wall behind me. His thumb found my clit and dug its way through the fabric, pressing hard and massaging it in lazy circles.

“Don’t try to convince me you’re a good girl,” he hissed, his breath—mint and fresh coffee beans—skating along my throat. “I don’t give a fuck.”

“Your English is very good for a tourist,” I noted. His accent was thick, but he used words like a weapon. Strategic, sparse. Each syllable a vicious strike.

He took a step back, watching me through a curtain of indifference. “I’m quite good at a lot of things, as you’re about to find out.”

The elevator dinged, and he disconnected from me.

The doors opened and an elderly couple smiled at us, waiting for us to leave the elevator. Célian looped his arm in mine like we were a couple, and dropped it casually the minute they were out of sight.

The walk to his suite was silent, but I nearly drowned from the noise inside my head. I convinced myself this was the right thing. A nostrings-attached night of pleasure with an inhumanly beautiful tourist would take the pain away. I trailed behind him, watching his broad back and lean figure. He looked like he worked out for a living, but dressed like he had no time to hit the gym. His profession, however, would remain an unsolved mystery. He was flying back to France tomorrow, and whether he was a hot-shot lawyer or an assassin made no difference to me.

Once we were in his suite, he handed me a bottle of water.


“Stop ordering me around.”

“Then stop staring at me, doe-eyed, waiting for instructions.”

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