Lone Star Seduction

By: Day Leclaire

But just that morning she’d had a run-in with him. He’d blocked her exit as she’d been leaving her father’s house for the club, standing too close and refusing to move back. In fact, now that she thought about it, it was identical to what had happened between her and Alex. How interesting that with one man she could have melted into his embrace, but with the other, every ounce of intuition had urged her to put as much distance as possible between them.

And he’d sensed how she’d felt. She’d seen it in the narrowing of his hard, brown eyes and the tightening of the fleshy mouth he’d twisted into a grimacing smile. “Miz Becca,” he’d greeted her. His gaze had swept over her and his smile had pulled wider. “Don’t you look the picture.”

“Thanks, Cornelius.” She lifted an eyebrow. “If you’ll excuse me?”

He’d kept standing there, a knowing look in his eyes, before he’d fallen back a scant step. “Of course, your ladyship. Didn’t mean for the hired help to get in your way. Don’t want to lose my job the way the Montoyas did. Though it would be a sweet way to go.”

Her uncontrollable outrage had only deepened his amusement. “I’m sure my father will be interested in your opinion,” she shot back. “I’ll be certain to share it with him.”

“Feel free. Won’t make a lick of difference.” He bent toward her and she couldn’t help herself. She turned her head to the side, revealing a vulnerability she’d have preferred to keep hidden. “I’m here to stay, missy. Your father won’t dare let me go.”

“And then, of course, there’s the discrepancy with the club accounts. That’s caused an absolute furor among the boys,” Kate was saying.

Rebecca came to with a start. “What was that? What discrepancy are you talking about?”

“You haven’t listened to a word I’ve said, have you?” Kate asked in exasperation.

“Most of them.” She offered an apologetic smile. “Some of them.”

Kate sighed. “Darius noticed discrepancies in the TCC accounts when he did the billing for the Helping Hands women’s shelter. Mitch agreed to do a fact-finding audit with Darius, Justin and Alex. Apparently, something’s up. At least that’s what Lance told me.”

“But surely Dad—” She broke off, her nervousness increasing. She cleared her throat. “I wonder why Dad didn’t catch the problem? He’s been the club treasurer for years.”

Kate shrugged. “Maybe it’s a recent problem that your father hasn’t noticed. It’s probably some sort of glitch with funds going into the wrong accounts. I’m sure Mitch will get it straightened out.”

Rebecca spared another glance over her shoulder. The six men had disappeared into one of the meeting rooms with the door firmly shut. More than anything she wished she could be a fly on the wall and find out just what the devil was going on. In the meantime, she could only pray her father wasn’t unwittingly involved.

It didn’t make sense that her father would have anything to do with the fires, but the irregularities of TCC accounts… That might be a different story. Hopefully, it really was a glitch and nothing that would pit her father against her friends. And then there was Alex. He despised her father. If a mistake had been made with the financial records, Alex wouldn’t spare him. He’d do anything and everything to ruin her father’s reputation.

Alex fixed his gaze on the five men, several of whom had, during his formative years, done their best to make his life a living hell. They stood together in a united front on one side of the room while he planted himself opposite them. Despite the animosity between them, he planned on enjoying the sweetness of his vindication today. Not only would he have the means to bring down an old enemy, but he’d be able to figuratively plant his fist in the face of the worst of the “frat brats” and his key nemesis, Lance Brody.

“Are we going to stand around and stare at each other?” he asked. “Or are we going to start offering apologies?”

“Sure, feel free to apologize, Montoya,” Lance said with a grin that didn’t come close to reaching his dark eyes. “I’ve been waiting a lifetime for you to apologize for your existence.”

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