When Ben Carson is fired from his job for a crime he did not commit he decides to go straight to the man at the top to get it back. But that man, billionaire tycoon Reyes Matthews, is not quite what Ben expected. Steely-eyed and with a personality to match, Ben quickly realizes that he may have bitten off slightly more than he can chew...
When Ben bursts into his office—uninvited—Reyes is very, very angry. He has a business empire to run and no time for one man’s problems. Until he gets a good look at Ben that is, and that anger quickly transforms into something else entirely. Lust. Pure and unadulterated.
Reyes wants Ben in his bed and he won’t take no for an answer. But for Ben—who has never wanted another man—Reyes’ intensity is almost more than he can handle. Will he be able to accept Reyes’ demands or will he find that he is unable to bend for the billionaire?
Reyes crossed his arms. For some reason it made him seem even more intimidating. Ben tried hard not to let it show.
“If I offer you another job it means that I have to trust what you’re saying is true.”
If Ben didn’t have his backpack and coats in one hand he’d probably have crossed his arms too. Reyes’ words made him feel both defensive and flustered. He was almost sure his face was red. “I’m not a thief, and I’m not a liar,” he said.
Reyes arched a brow. “That’s exactly what a liar would say.”
They looked at each other then—Ben racking his mind for some way to convince Reyes that he was being truthful. It was important to him that Reyes believed what he was saying and it wasn’t just about ensuring that he was offered another job. Ben didn’t want Reyes—a man that he had admired from the very first—thinking that he was a liar and a thief.
“If I had done it,” he said after a moment. “Why would I come here to ask you to look into it? Surely, I’d just be incriminating myself?”
“Or you could simply be very audacious,” Reyes said.
He tilted his head again—as if considering—and then, abruptly, he turned on his heel and walked back over to his desk. Once there he picked up his cell phone, ran his thumb over the screen, and held it to his ear. Whoever was on the other end of the line answered it almost immediately.
“Bring my driver around,” he said before finishing the call.
Ben’s nerves ramped up another notch. “You’re going somewhere?” he asked.
“No,” Reyes said. “You are.”
As the meaning of those words hit, Ben felt his stomach drop. For a moment there he’d really started to think that he might convince Reyes of not only his innocence but his good character. And to have come all this way only to be made to leave...
“I had to try,” he said softly. “Surely you can’t blame me for that?”
“I don’t blame you.”
“But you’re still making me leave?”
Reyes dropped his cell phone on the desk and crossed the space between them again. Just like the first time, Ben could not decipher the look on his face. He didn’t even know where to begin to try.
“Audacious,” Reyes said after a moment. “You’re definitely that. To confront me directly? To lay out your case?” He gave a sharp nod. “I admire that, and my admiration is never given easily.”
To say Ben was confused was an understatement. He gestured to the cell phone. “I don’t understand...”
“I’m trying to work out how honest I should be with you,” Reyes said.
His words did not help the confusion. “I’ve been completely honest with you,” Ben said.
“So you have.” Reyes gave another sharp nod. “My personal driver is pulling up in the underground parking lot as we speak. You’ll go down to him. Once there he will take you to my town house. You can stay there until this evening when I pick you up.”
Ben tried to work through those words, to understand what Reyes was saying. “You’re coming back to the plant with me?” he asked.
Reyes sighed. “Benjamin,” he said and Ben realized that it was the first time the other man had used his name. “If I went to every one of my operations every time there was the slightest problem I wouldn’t do anything else.”
He waved the word away. “I have people I pay to deal with these issues. I’ll dispatch a team this afternoon. They’ll get to the bottom of whatever is going on there and find the actual culprit.”
“Then...” Ben shook his head. “I don’t understand. Why am I going to your house? Why are you picking me up? My bus leaves in two hours, and I still have to get back to the station.”
“You won’t be on that bus tonight,” Reyes said. “You’ll be staying here. You and I are going to have dinner.”
“Yes, dinner,” he said. “This is your first time in the city?”
Ben nodded slowly. “Yes...”
“Good. I’m going to take you out. To show you a little of it.”
“But why?” Ben asked because he honestly couldn’t see any reason why Reyes would want to do that. Hell, he couldn’t envisage any situation in which he and his billionaire boss would go out and have dinner together.
“How honest do you want me to be?” Reyes asked.
“Completely,” Ben said because that was the way he had always lived his life. It was the way he always would. But then, maybe he wouldn’t have encouraged such honesty if he’d known in advance the words that were going to come next.
“It’s my intention to wine and dine you, Benjamin,” Reyes said and his voice was soft now, different to how it had been before, curious notes threading all the way through it. “And then after that,” he added. “I am going to fuck you.”