The Tycoon's Unexpected Baby by Elizabeth Lennox

He looked more closely, even bending down to pick up one of the old, torn up pairs of jeans. “You’re going to transform this,” he said, lifting the pair of jeans that had no discernable hem on either leg, “into this?” he asked, lifting the picture of a cute skirt with stripes and a ruffle along the bottom.

Pepper smiled proudly. “Yep. That’s what I do.” A moment later, her smile faded, concern lacing her gaze as she tilted her head. “I thought you had a business proposal for me. How could you have a suggestion if you don’t know what I do?”

The man dropped the picture onto her table, then looked around a bit more. There were piles of clothes and, now that she’d explained things to him, Dimitri recognized that the piles were sorted into clothing types. There was a pile of jeans in one corner of her loft, another pile of men’s dress shirts, colorful print shirts, and another pile that seemed to just be a mishmash of everything. Perhaps that was the pile she hadn’t sorted yet?

Dimitri realized that she was waiting for an answer about his presence. No way was he going to admit he just wanted to meet her so that he could get her out of his head. Kolasi, this woman had broken into his concentration too many times over the past few days and had even invaded his dreams! That had only increased his ire.

“I assumed you were a normal type of designer.” With his hands on his hips, he continued to look around. “How long have you been doing this?”

She shrugged and he watched her eyes shutter, closing off from answering his question. There was a story there, he thought. A dark secret to her past. Something she didn’t want him to know, which only made him more curious. No, he wasn’t intrigued, he was merely…curious. Curious and eager to get back to his life, a life without distractions, gamoto!

“I started when I was fourteen.”

His eyes narrowed. Fourteen seemed a bit young to have started working on her life’s vocation. “And now you’re …?”

“I’m twenty-seven,” she told him. “And how old are you?”

Startled for some odd reason, Dimitri laughed. “Older than you.”

She crossed her arms under her breasts again, glaring up at him. He wanted to chuckle at those pretty, blue eyes trying to appear angry. Her lashes were too long and those eyes too blue for her to pull it off, but he respected the effort.

“If you’re going to be vague, then I will reply in the same way.”

Damn, he liked a saucy woman! Which was ridiculous. He’d never allowed anyone, not even his mistresses, to tease him. It just didn’t happen!

He moved closer. “Are you daring to be impertinent with me, little one?” he growled, although his tone was closer to playful than annoyed. He liked her, he thought. Dimitri actually…liked and…respected this tiny slip of a woman with crazy-long lashes and lush, gorgeous hair.

Pepper’s breath caught in her throat. “Um…yes. I think that I am.” She swallowed, painfully aware of the heat emanating from this man’s huge body, warming her up. Pepper hadn’t thought of herself as cold before. But she knew with absolute certainty that she didn’t want him to move away from her, afraid that she’d feel the chill from the world if he did.

He moved closer and Pepper wondered if she was playing with fire. Still, she stood her ground.

“I think I might like that,” he said, but his voice was rough and husky. “Have dinner with me,” he ordered.

Pepper was charmed despite herself. “Ask me nicely,” she murmured, watching his dark eyes flare with…not anger…something else. Something that caused heat to lick at her spine, warming her up.

He moved closer and this was no longer warmth. This was heat. Hot, powerful, and tangy, with a bit of citrus mixed in. “Will you please have dinner with me?” he asked politely, but with that rough edge to his voice that sent a wild shiver racing through her.

Pepper wanted to smile. She wanted to ease the tension that had been building up from the moment he’d stepped into her loft. But she couldn’t smile. She could barely breathe!

“Yes,” she whispered in response.

“Good.” With that, he took her hand, leading her out of her loft.

Well, that was abrupt! Pepper gasped as he led her hurriedly towards the door, surprised by his speed. “My purse!” she gasped when they’d reached the doorway.

“Leave it. You won’t need it.”