To Tame Her Tycoon Lover

By: Ann Major

With an effort she reminded herself that Logan Claiborne was utterly self-serving and ruthless, and a smart woman would avoid him.

Still, he looked good. Too good. And not just because she hadn’t dated anybody for a while.

Uncle Bos had been right about a few things. He’d said rich people could be crueler and colder than anybody, that she’d best stay away from the Claibornes and their like. “You’re swamp trash to them. You’re nothing more than a toy to play with. They throw girls like you to the sharks when they’re through.”

“Get out,” she said quietly and yet forcefully.

He crossed his arms across his broad chest and spread his legs in a masculine, stubborn stance.

“Not till we talk,” he said.

“If you think I’m going to stand here wearing only a towel and converse with you like nothing happened…after…after the way you barged in here, after the way you looked at me and accused me, you’re crazy.”

“Get dressed, then.” He turned his broad shoulders to her. When she didn’t move, he said calmly, “I won’t watch. I promise.”

“As if! As if I’d ever trust the likes of you again!”

He whirled, his blue eyes stormy when he faced her again. “Trust doesn’t even enter into it. You’re not staying at Belle Rose. Not one more night. You’re going to leave my grandfather alone. He’s vulnerable and old, easy prey…”

“Stop right there! For your information, I have a three-month lease and a publishing deadline to meet. And your grandfather, whom you claim to care so much about, was starving for affection. Starving. And I think I know something about how that condition feels—especially where you’re concerned.” She paused. “So, his needing me and befriending me when I came home feeling lonely and vulnerable and a bit alienated from my roots is a big part of why I have no intention of moving.”

“You’re just using him.”

“And you know that, how, you who could write a book on that subject?” She took a deep breath. “Get out of my apartment, or I’m calling the law.”

“This is Louisiana. I own the law. And since I didn’t sign your lease, it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Now get dressed, so we can settle this once and for all. I’ll wait downstairs.”

“I’m not the same foolish girl I was nine years ago. You can’t stomp in here and intimidate me.”

“I will reimburse you every penny you’ve paid my grandfather and then some.”

“Money. You think you can buy your way out of any problem.”

“That’s unfair, and you know it.”

“Who just said, ‘This is Louisiana. I own the law?’”

His dark face turned a mottled shade of purple that wasn’t nearly so lovely on him as it was on the purple water hyacinths that choked the bayou at the edge of the lush grass behind Belle Rose.

“I’ll wait for you on the gallery of Belle Rose,” he managed, his posture stiff, his deep tone icy.

“I won’t be allowed inside the house then?”

“You’re the one putting yourself down,” he said. “Not me.”

“I own the law,” she mocked.

When he stalked out without bothering to reply, she resisted the very strong impulse to slam the door. After letting it shut softly, she leaned against it for a long moment and tried to catch her breath.

She couldn’t believe she’d been so rude. Even to him.

Did he ask for it, or what? Why did women with a drop of Southern blood always think they were supposed to be nice? Even to total jerks, which he was, even if he was rich and handsome and had a home like Belle Rose that was architectural poetry?

She moved away from the door toward her desk. Slowly she lifted the photograph of him where he looked so lost and sad. She’d taken so many pictures of people in pain, she recognized real suffering when she saw it.

Not wanting to think about that or to feel sorry for him, she slipped his picture inside a drawer.

Suddenly it dawned on her that she hadn’t heard him stomp down the stairs. Was he standing on the other side of the door?

Or was he as upset and confused as she was after seeing her again?

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