Dirty Billionaire (Page 40)

“Let’s do this.” I jerk my head toward the mechanical bull.

A girl is riding it, her fancy black pencil skirt riding up and her suit jacket tossed to the side. Her boobs bounce against her tailored white dress shirt with each swivel and buck of the bull. She only makes it a few seconds before sliding off onto the mats. Apparently someone was ready for the workday to be over.

Now I’m gonna show them how a real country girl does it.

“We taking bets?” I ask Creighton.

“About how long you stay on, or how hard my cock is going to get watching you ride?”

My giggle breaks loose. “I don’t need to take bets on your cock. We’re getting pretty well acquainted, and I have a good feeling that he’s going to like this a whole lot.” I slide off the stool and slip my coat off my shoulders and toss it at him. “Let me show you how a country girl does it.”

Creighton leans down, my coat in one hand, and whispers in my ear, “I know how this country girl does it, and she’s got me hooked.”

His words stun me into silence. It’s the first indication he’s given that he feels something for me beyond the need to possess me like his newest toy. I can’t process this right now, in the middle of a bar, not with Montgomery Gentry and “Hillbilly Shoes” just starting to crank on the speakers. It’s altogether too apt.

Creighton doesn’t really know me. Not all of me. Not the heart and soul of me that I pour into my songs. Not the indescribable high I get when I’m standing onstage. Not the tiny town where I’m the girl who made good, and yet I haven’t been back. Not the important parts of me.

Will he still be hooked then?

I plaster a smile on my face to cover my racing thoughts. “I’ll see you after I’ve made the eight,” I say, and spin on my bootheel to walk toward the man at the edge of the bull pen.

Holly makes the eight, and she looks like a goddess doing it.

I want to tear every man’s eyes away from her, but even I’m too riveted by her smooth, graceful movements to do a damn thing but stare. It’s not lurid like some of the other women who rode the bull before her—chest heaving and making a spectacle. Holly manages to look beautiful and sweet even in this.

When she climbs off and walks over, I’m waiting at the gate. My hand is out, and something surges inside me when she doesn’t hesitate to close her fingers around it. She’s learning to trust me, and that’s not something even I can command. It’s something that has to be offered freely, and she’s starting to.

I’ll take it. All of it.

I lean down and press a kiss to her forehead. Not only because it’s my instinctual reaction, but because I want every man in this bar to be well aware that she’s not available and never will be. Holly’s mine.

I see. I want. I conquer. I keep.

“Your skills are outstanding,” I say, slipping her coat back around her shoulders.

Her smile is triumphant. “At least there’s one thing in this city I’m sure I can handle.”

Keeping my head low, I reply, “I think there’s more than one thing you’ve proven very competent at handling in this city.” Her blush is already rising when I add, “Let’s find our table.”

Her eyes widen. “You want to eat here? Really?”

“Come on.”

I lead her to the hostess stand and we’re seated immediately, although I don’t see any recognition on the hostess’s face when she looks at me or Holly. As soon as we’ve put in an order for another round of drinks, Holly is staring down at her menu, lips pursed. She glances up at me, her eyes sparkling with humor.

“Do you ever roll up your sleeves a little, fancy man?”

“I’ve been known to.”

“Good, because I’m ordering ribs, and there’s no way I’ll be able to eat them all, so you’re gonna have to get your hands a little messy and help me out.”

I reach out and unbutton one cuff and begin to roll it up before doing the same to the other. “You’re not afraid of me, and probably one of the very few people who also isn’t afraid to give me hell.”

“How many people are on that list?” she asks, laughing as she reaches for the beer the waitress places in front of her.

I’ve told Holly next to nothing about my personal life, and considering what I pushed her to share last night, I decide it’s my turn.

“It’s a short list, that’s for sure. My sister would be at the top.”

Holly chokes on her beer before setting it down and reaching for her napkin. “You have a sister?”

Her shock doesn’t surprise me. “She’s never in the papers, and I’ve made it clear that my personal life is as off-limits as I can make it. The only reason that works is because I own one of the three largest media companies on the planet.”

Holly’s confusion is evident. “So you control the flow of information about yourself? That seems like a dangerous power to have.”

I shrug off her comment. “As much as I can, but there are plenty of others out there who won’t bow to my dictates. You saw the headlines we made. That proves I don’t have ultimate power.”

“So back to your sister, what’s her name, and is she older or younger?”

“Greer. She’s younger by nine years. She’s a first-year associate at a big law firm here in town. She’s currently working her ass off while she could have a cushy job with me. But she’s stubborn as hell, and won’t come over to the dark side, as she calls it.”