The Billionaire's Unexpected BabyBy: Kira Archer
Leah laughed, a throaty, rippling sound that was both infectious and sexy. “No, she didn’t. But even if she had, I can make my own decisions.”
He leaned in a little closer. “Then I guess I should be thankful both for your impeccable decision-making capabilities and for Kiersten not throwing me under the bus.”
Leah shrugged. “Maybe she thought we should get to know each other since I’m Piper’s godmother. The godparents should know each other, I suppose.”
“Or, maybe she thought I was a big girl and could handle you,” Leah said. At his raised brow, she grinned. “Or at least handle myself.”
“Is that right?”
Leah stopped and leaned an elbow against the railing. He followed suit, standing much closer than necessary. She didn’t move away.
“I get it. I know what I look like. Sweet little inexperienced Catholic girl. Naive, innocent.” His gaze raked over her and she shrugged. “See, men assume because I’m quiet, dress a little conservatively, and go to church most Sundays that I’m an innocent child who needs to be guided and protected. It’s infuriating, and a little creepy.”
“For the record, the thought never crossed my mind that you were a child.”
She gave him an eye-rolling grin.
“So, what are you then, assuming most men’s assumptions are wrong?”
Her expression was a curious mixture of shy confidence. “A full-grown woman who can take care of herself.”
Brooks grinned. “Point taken. So, oh experienced woman of the world, what do you do for a living? Cole mentioned something about becoming a nun?”
Leah opened her mouth, then grinned, a slight blush staining her cheeks. “No, I am not becoming a nun. I’m a teacher at a private girls’ school run by nuns.”
Brooks burst out laughing. “You’re not even making that up, are you?”
Leah laughed. “Okay, fine. I guess I fit the stereotype a little. Hush.”
“What’s a nice girl like you doing hanging out with a boatful of heathens like us?” he asked, nodding at the people milling about on the boat.
“The ‘heathens’ you’re referring to aren’t exactly the scum of the earth,” she said with a laugh. “Aside from their obscene bank accounts, they all seem pretty nice. Most of them, anyway,” she said, looking him up and down.
He gave her a slow smile with as much smolder as he could lay on and returned her roving gaze. Instead of blushing and backing off, she moved a little closer.
“Besides,” she said, “even nice girls like to have some fun. I’m on a yacht in the middle of the Mediterranean with good friends, celebrating the birth of my goddaughter. Can’t think of any place I’d rather be. It was good of you to host this getaway for them.”
A rush of pride flooded through him, something he didn’t feel very often. He liked that she approved of him. It had been a long time since he’d cared about what anyone thought. He didn’t know what it was about her, but she intrigued him, which scared the hell out of him, truthfully. But that paled in comparison to his desire to get to know her better. Much better.
“She’s my goddaughter and they’re my best friends. It was the least I could do. Besides, I’m always up for a party.”
She smiled at that, though the expression didn’t quite reach her eyes, and then looked out at the view spread before them. They weren’t far from land, so the whitewashed walls and blue roofs of the Greek village they were passing twinkled at them from the shores of the bay. The crystal-clear turquoise waters beneath them beckoned invitingly though a sudden cool breeze blew through, sending a fine shiver through Leah.
Brooks moved behind her, sheltering her with his body, his hands resting beside hers on the railing. “What are you thinking about so hard?” he asked, bending down so he could talk quietly. The scent of her hair washed over him. Honeysuckle and jasmine. He inhaled deeply, imprinting the scent in his mind.
“The future,” she said. Instead of moving away as he’d feared, she leaned back into him. A slight movement, but encouraging, though the future was a subject he tended to avoid as much as possible.