Dom’s office door is shut and his secretary is nowhere to be seen. I tentatively knock. My heart is racing and the knock goes over too lightly. I can barely hear it.
I knock again. Harder. And think about all the natural disasters that could conveniently occur right now. Earthquake. Tornado. Zombie apocalypse.
I turn the handle and step into the room.
Dom is at his desk with a ton of paperwork in front of him. When he sees me, his expression goes hard. It’s like an invisible door closing between us, and I know I can’t get through it.
I find my voice. “I need to show you something.”
“Then send someone else.”
Don’t let him crush you.
I force myself not to wilt under his angry glare. Instead, I pull myself up to my full height and stare straight back. “I’m doing my job here. You may not agree, but at least you can be professional.”
Dom blinks, almost like he’s surprised. Then he gives me a curt nod. “Very well.”
I walk over to his desk and lay out the new plans. His cologne hits me, familiar and sexy as hell, but I fight to keep my head. This is no time for hormones to get the better of me.
I lay out the new plans. “There,” I tell him. “I know you didn’t want a redesign, so I’ve done my best to keep a sense of the Rexford’s original look.”
When I look up, he’s studying me with an unreadable look. “Was this your plan all along?”
“This?” I motion to the drawing. “It’s close to what I had in—”
“No.” Dom interrupts, taking a step closer to me. “Conspiring with Lillian to steal hotel away from me. That first night, you dug your claws into me and I fell for it.”
I tense. “You keep acting like this was a big conspiracy, but I’m telling you, I didn’t know who you were that night. You didn’t say your real name.”
I snap. I’m sick of him treating me like I’m the enemy. I never meant for any of this to happen, and no matter how angry and betrayed he’s feeling, he doesn’t get to push me around. “You want to know the real story?” I demand. “Or would you prefer to just keep hating me? You haven’t given me a chance to explain. You just jumped to conclusions and never backed down.”
“I saw the explanation. Those photos were clear enough.”
“For God’s sake, Dom, listen to me! My friend is a decoy for a private investigator. I was a stand-in for her that night, that’s all. I had no idea who you were, or why someone wanted pictures of us together. I was just supposed to flirt, maybe kiss you a little. That’s it!”
Dom hesitates, just for a moment. “I don’t believe you.”
“I left, remember?” I exclaim angrily. “You came after me. You were the one who wanted to go upstairs. You wouldn’t let me go.”
Dominic takes another step closer, and my skin lights up with awareness. I should step away, but I’m not going to back down.
“Why did you go upstairs with me?” Dom demands, just inches away. I can feel the heat from his body, that overwhelming physicality taking hold of me like a drug. “If fucking me wasn’t the job, then why didn’t you get in the cab and leave?”
“Because that part wasn’t on the books.” I tell him. “I wanted you.”
“Me or my money?”
“Fuck you, Dominic.” I start to turn away. “Not every girl you meet is a gold-digger. Some of us don’t need six figures to screw you.”