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normal crowd.
That must be what put her so on edge. Everything about him somehow made her feel so
inadequate. The people she d spent years with, slowly gaining their trust and respect, fawned over the
business prodigy as if he were the second coming of Christ. She rested her head in her hands.
Jealousy! It made so much sense, though! Except for their first meeting, and the clothing incident in the
car on the way to their dinner, he d been nothing but a respectful gentleman, and he d saved her
company and reputation in a matter of days. She owed him more than petty emotions.
She stood, determined to start over. They were colleagues and roommates for the next few days.
There was no reason they shouldn t be friends.
Energized with her newfound realization, she swung the door open and ran straight into Simon s
hard, warm chest.  Shit, she whispered. Her newfound confidence plummeted right to the floor.
Simon laughed; his warm breath caressed her neck and sent a shiver down her spine.  It s okay,
he said.  Are you ready to go?
She pulled herself from his grasp, suddenly cold without his touch.  I m ready. Let s get out of
here.
~~~~~
Andre definitely needed a raise, thought Grace as she took another sip of her& something. The
waitress had said what the fruity concoction was, but for some reason drinks that didn t have dirty
names never stuck with her.
And her memory probably would ve been better if she wasn t three drinks in already. She
bobbed her head to the pop music that played from the other room and debated heading out to the
dance floor.
 Are you okay? shouted a voice from behind her.
Grace twisted around and saw Simon behind her, a fresh drink of his own in hand. Some sort of
brown liquid and ice. She narrowed her eyes as she tried to guess what it was. He was rich enough to
be an aged Scotch or brandy man, but her gut said whiskey.
His warm hand landed on her arm.  Grace? What s up?
She tilted her head back and stared up at his eyes.  I was guessing your drink! she yelled over
the music.
His eyes narrowed.  You re drunk.
 I m not drunk! she protested, but even as the words came out, he pulled on her arm to lead
her& somewhere.  Where are we going? she yelled.
He didn t answer, but she supposed she wouldn t have been able to hear him over the pounding
pop music anyway. She bobbed her head, but she apparently couldn t do that and walk at the same
time, and tripped over her own feet. She stumbled a few steps but was able to steady herself while
only spilling a few drops of her drink.
Simon whipped around to stare at her, and she held her glass up in victory.  Did you see that?
she asked with a big grin.
He shook his head and once again led her across the dance floor and through a set of double
doors.
The cool night breeze brushed through her hair, and Grace took a deep breath of the salt tinted
air.  What are we doing out here? She took one of the empty seats on the balcony and took in the
beautiful nighttime ocean view.
 I figured you could use some air. He took the seat next to her.
She laughed.  I kind of thought you wanted people to think we were sneaking out to do things.
He raised a brow.  Flings run off to do things. Couples go to where it s quiet to talk.
Grace slouched down in the chair and laid her head back to stare up at the stars.  Hmm, she
muttered.  I guess I forgot that. It s been awhile since I had one of those talks.
Simon leaned back a bit, too, and took a sip of his drink.  Between DuFord and Bar, I thought
you d be a relationship expert.
She snorted.  Please. Bar never happened and Mark was& I don t know what the hell Mark was.
He was great, you know? Handsome. Charming. Sweet. Good for business, she added, pointing her
glass toward Simon; she knew he d understand. He gave her a slight nod of acknowledgement as he
took another sip.  But it wasn t right. I don t think either of us was really feeling it. I was working all
the time and he wanted to go on all these trips. I think we were on two different paths. She let out a
sigh, and for a few moments, the only sound was the waves as they crashed on the soft, sandy beach.
 What about you? Do you leave a long trail of broken hearts everywhere you go? She looked to him.
The moonlight made his pale skin seem to glow and his eyes seem even darker.
He shrugged.  Women and me have never been on the same page. I was too geeky in school, and
by the time I grew out of it, I was too busy.
She smirked.  Are you a forty-year-old virgin then?
He gave her chair a playful kick.  I never said that. I ve just never been in anything that I d call
serious.
 I knew it, she muttered.  A trail of broken hearts. He opened his mouth to protest, but she
stopped him.  The true heartbreakers are the ones who don t even know they re doing it.
 Is that right?
She nodded.  Those poor women, she whispered. As she gazed out over the ocean, she
mustered up the courage to ask the one question she d been avoiding.  What s the deal with you and
Mark?
The silence stretched between them, and she glanced back to him. But he didn t look angry at the
question. More pensive than anything else.
 If I tell you, this has to be between us. No one else can know.
She sat up a bit straighter. Somehow she d expected something like Mark had stolen his
girlfriend or something.  Our secret. I promise.
 DuFord is a really smart guy. He can sniff out money like a bloodhound and knows exactly what
to say and when.
Grace thought back to the parties she d gone to with Mark, and she couldn t disagree. She d seen
him talk business with complete strangers numerous times, and on each occasion, he was smooth,
calm, and collected. She d always admired that about him.
 But if you want the truth, he s not the best investor.
She frowned.  What are you talking about? Everyone I ve talked to who s worked with him
raves about his instinct.
Simon nodded.  Oh, he s good at making money. He takes on high-risk projects that have a hard
to impossible time getting funding from the normal channels.
Grace leaned forward.  You re saying he invests illegally? That s impossible.
 He invests offshore and makes twenty percent on every dollar. He gives the client ten and keeps
the rest as his fee, which he tells his clients is about one percent. 
 But he d get caught eventually. He couldn t have been doing that all these years without the
government noticing.
 As far as I know, he s only gotten caught once.
Grace raised her brows.  And& 
 And he erased any hint that he had anything to do with it. His signature wasn t on any of the
documents and the funds never touched an account that he handled. It was his client s word against
his.
 So what happened to the client?
Simon looked away from her and to the ocean.  He was facing years of jail time and lost all his
money. The guy killed himself.
She covered her mouth with her palm.  You re serious?
His lips tightened and he nodded.  Dead serious, Grace. The guy s dirty and he needs to be
stopped. He s been playing the same game for years now, and no matter how often I ve tried to tip off [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]