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Written by Caitlin Crews

Chapter Eight

Zain studied me for a long moment, and I was surprised to find my heart punching at me as if it was trying to break through my ribs. “There's been a reshuffling at the hotel in the wake of your father's passing. It’s created an opening.”

“I know.” I scowled at him, which wasn’t wise. But wise wasn’t exactly my strong suit. “That’s why I need you.”

Again, something moved across his face that I couldn’t quite read. It made me feel things I wasn’t sure I wanted to admit were there. Like the urge to pay him back in the most basic way possible, right here in this office. I could sink to my knees. I could brace my hands on his powerful thighs. I could—

“We will get to that,” he assured me, his voice gruff, and a gleam in his gaze that made it clear that he, at least, could read me like a children’s book.

“Now?” I made my voice sound almost aggressive. A dare, not a request. And certainly nothing needy.

Even if needy was how I felt.

“Not now.” His gaze was bright and hard, then, and the strangest sense of foreboding swept over me. “You have six months. I’ll send you to the hotel with my highest recommendation, which they’ll interpret as a command. Then it’s up to you to see if you can rise to your rightful place. But either way, when it’s done—when you’ve become the manager of the Desert Oasis or half a year has passed, I’m going to come collect.”

My lips were dry. My throat was tight.

And everywhere else, I melted.

“You have yet to tell me the price,” I managed to say.

This time, his smile reminded me of some kind of wolf.

“One night, Angelique,” he said, while heat and foreboding and that terrible thirst danced in me. “One long night in my bed. I will tell you what I want then, in detail. All you have to say, then and now, is yes.”

He waited.

“Yes,” I heard myself say, from a great distance, past all that noise in my head. And then I made it worse, the way I always did. “Yes, sir.”

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About the author

I discovered my first romance novel at the age of twelve. It involved...

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Caitlin Crews

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