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Authors: Kristen Ashley

Penmort Castle

BOOK: Penmort Castle
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Penmort Castle

Kristen Ashley

Published by Kristen Ashley at
Smashwords

 

Copyright 2011 Kristen Ashley

 

Discover other titles by Kristen Ashley:

 

Rock Chick Series:

Rock Chick

Rock Chick Rescue

Rock Chick Redemption

Rock Chick Renegade

 

The ‘Burg Series:

For You

At Peace

 

www.kristenashley.net

 

Smashwords
Edition, License Notes

This ebook is
licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be
re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share
this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy
for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase
it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return
to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for
respecting the hard work of this author.

 

* * * * *

This book is dedicated Mike and Gwyneth
Ashley

Knowing both is like being handed
one of life’s surprising
gifts,

The kind of gifts you know you will always
cherish.

* * * * *

 

 

Chapter
One

Negotiation

 

Cash Fraser sat
in the back corner of the pub. A small cranberry red bottle of
sparkling water was on the table in front of him, a glass of ice
beside it.

He hadn’t yet
bothered to pour.

He was
considering leaving.

His being there
he knew was a ridiculous idea. How he’d let James talk him into it,
he couldn’t fathom.

But he had.

And now he was
there.

And she was
late.

Cash didn’t
have a great deal of patience for anything including, and perhaps
especially, waiting.

He’d made the
decision to leave when the door opened but he hesitated at what he
saw. He knew it was her the minute his eyes hit her. He knew this
because James had exquisite taste.

And she was
definitely exquisite.

She was wearing
winter white. A loosely-knitted, woollen, white beret was pulled
down low over her head covering her ears. She was wrapped in a
white, well-tailored, wool overcoat that was nipped in at the
waist. You could see the winter white turtleneck hugging her throat
through the soft, white pashmina tucked stylishly in the lapel of
her coat. She was wearing a chic pair of very high, dangerously
thin spike-heeled, snakeskin boots and on her hands were grey
leather gloves. The strap of a slim, sleek, expensive bag in
matching snakeskin was on her shoulder, the bag tucked under her
arm.

From his
distance Cash could see that even without the heels she was quite
tall. She had thick, long, blonde hair bursting out from under the
beret, flawless skin and her rounded cheekbones had been made rosy
from the bitter cold outside.

Cash took in
her elegant clothing and good looks distractedly.

It was her
presence that captured his attention.

She was not the
kind of woman you looked at twice.

No, she was the
kind of woman who, when she caught your attention, it didn’t move
away.

And she was
also the kind of woman who knew this as fact.

She tugged off
her gloves as her eyes scanned the patrons. They stopped when they
found him.

He watched her
body go still and even though her face remained bland he thought
for a moment she was going to turn around and leave.

Instead, she
moved both gloves to one hand and pulled the beret off her head,
her long, shining hair exposed dramatically with the movement. She
walked toward him, her fingers plunging into her hair at her
forehead and pulling it back. She lifted it at the back of her
head, grasping it in a fist, flicking it out and dropping her hand,
her hair settling to frame her face magnificently.

It was an
effective show, drawing your attention to her extraordinary face,
her glorious hair as well as the long length of her body.

And she had
Cash’s attention as well as every man’s in the room.

She walked with
a natural grace even in those absurdly high heels and he stood as
any gentleman would when she made her final approach.

She stopped a
foot away and tilted her head back to look at him.

Her eyes, Cash
noted, were a warm hazel.

He found this
warmth surprised him. She was the physical definition of cool.

“Cash,” she
said softly, warmth also in her voice.

“Abigail,” he
returned.

Her full,
glossed lips tipped up slightly at the ends, not a smile, not even
a grin, just a nonverbal affirmation.

That’s when she
leaned into him. Her fingers curled around his upper arm and he
felt one of her breasts press lightly against his chest as she
tilted her head back further to touch her cheek against his.

Her perfume, he
noted, was complicated and sophisticated, musky, yet vaguely
floral.

The scent
suited her.

When she moved
away she murmured, “Abby.”

“I’m sorry?” he
queried.

Her eyes met
his. “Call me Abby.”

He didn’t
respond verbally but lifted his chin.

She didn’t look
like a woman who had an uncomplicated name such as “Abby”.
“Abigail” also didn’t fit her and he wondered if this was her real
name.

“Drink?” he
asked.

“Red wine. A
glass of pinot noir if they have it,” she replied and Cash realised
she was an American.

James hadn’t
told him that.

He also noted
she was an alto, her accented voice pitched low and soft.

“Certainly,” he
replied to her request and stepped away to go to the bar.

He watched her
as he ordered the wine. She took off her coat and scarf and he saw
that she wore a snug-fitting, thin, winter white turtleneck and a
matching body-hugging skirt that ended just above her knees and
clung to her thighs, hips and bottom. She had a pair of pearl studs
in her ears and a gold watch at her wrist, no other jewellery.

Again, he noted
her attire absent-mindedly.

What held
Cash’s attention were her curves. She had full breasts, a tiny
waist, rounded hips and a rather generous backside, all of this
with those long legs and, he observed, superb posture.

She sat with
her side toward him and crossed her legs, her head bent to her bag
which was in her lap. She pulled out her mobile and he saw in
profile her expression change when she slid it open, hit a button
and looked at the display. At first he thought she was annoyed.
Then a line of white teeth were exposed when she bit the side of
her lower lip as if she was undecided about something.

Cash felt
another small hint of surprise mainly because the minute her teeth
caught her lip he thought she looked rather adorable.

He watched her
make her decision, she released her lip, the tip of her tongue slid
out to wet the upper one as she pressed and held a button on her
phone. Once it was turned off, she thrust the mobile back in her
bag, tossing it on the chair with her coat.

At that instant
the bartender gave him her wine, Cash paid for it and walked back
to the table.

When he came
close, she looked up at him over her shoulder, her shining hair
gliding along her back, her graceful jaw jutting out, her full lips
slightly parted, her warm, hazel eyes locked on his.

She’ll
do,
he thought as he set the wine in front of her.

“Thank you,”
she muttered politely.

He sat opposite
her and as she looked at him he noticed there was something in her
eyes, something he couldn’t exactly read. It was something deep and
intriguing, something she meant to hide but was not quite
successful in doing it. Something that, Cash thought as he kept his
eyes on her, looked an awful lot like pain.

Nevertheless,
his decision was made and as usual he didn’t waste any time.

She was taking
a sip of her wine when he asked, “How much?”

His bluntness
startled her and it looked like she had difficulty swallowing as
she blinked at him.

“I beg your
pardon?” she enquired.

“James
explained things to you?”

Her gaze held
his and she replied, “Yes.”

“How much?”
Cash repeated.

Her eyes slid
to the side and Cash didn’t know what to make of this. It would
disappoint him if she tried to be coy. It would irritate him if she
tried to fleece him.

Her eyes came
back to his. “You want what James explained?”

He wanted more
than what he knew James explained but he’d get to that in a
moment.

“Yes,” he
answered.

Without
hesitation she said, “Ten thousand pounds.”

Again she’d
surprised him. He’d expected her to ask for more, indeed he knew
without question she was worth more. He’d definitely pay double
that. He’d even consider paying triple.

Not one to let
a good deal slide by, he nodded immediately, “Agreed.”

He watched with
no small fascination as her composure slipped and several emotions
one after the other chased across her face.

They went by so
fast he couldn’t read them all but he could have sworn he caught
disappointment and even alarm before she gained control so swiftly
it was as if it never happened at all.

“Done,” she
held up her wine glass, “shall we toast on it?”

“I’m not
finished,” he replied.

She regarded
him a moment, her eyes shuttered. Then she took a sip of her wine,
set it on the table, sat back in her chair, her gaze returning to
him and she waited.

He didn’t make
her wait long and he didn’t sugar-coat his question.

“I’d like to
know how much more to fuck you.”

The minute he’d
finished his query, with interest he watched her jaw get tight as
did her entire body and her obvious negative reaction surprised him
yet again.

He continued
calmly with the raise of an eyebrow, “Is that not part of the
service you provide?”

“I’m not a
prostitute.” Her low, soft voice now held a hint of
displeasure.

“I’m sure James
explained to you that this deal includes you sleeping in the same
bed with me,” Cash reminded her.

“Sleeping,” was
her quick retort.

Cash thought
about her hesitation at the door, remembered her teeth catching her
lip in indecision, the fleeting loss of poise when they started
talking money and he had an uncomfortable suspicion.

“Do you have
other clients?” he asked.

“Yes,” she
answered promptly.

“In the U.K.?”
he pressed.

Her eyes locked
on his “No.”

“The States,”
Cash pushed.

“Are you
needing references?” she returned, her tone slightly sharp and he
nearly laughed.

Abruptly he
leaned toward her and repeated, “How much to fuck you?”

He watched as
her stare turned into a glare and realised immediately there was
fire behind that ice.

Cash found this
very interesting.

“How much?” he
asked again.

She frowned and
her eyes started to narrow.

“I’ll double
your fee,” he told her.

“I don’t think
so,” she replied with disgust.

“Triple,” Cash
returned.

“Absolutely
not,” she snapped, her eyes fully narrowed.

She was, it
appeared, getting angry.

And he knew
immediately he liked it.

She was also
not making a single move to leave.

“I’ll give you
fifty thousand pounds,” Cash said.

He didn’t have
to wait for her response to his generous offer.

She leaned
toward him and he knew she’d lost her temper even before she
hissed, “You couldn’t afford me.”

“Then James
didn’t explain who I am,” Cash retorted.

“I know who you
are,” she bit out. “Everyone knows who you are.”

“Then you know
I can afford you.”

She didn’t
reply.

He got closer
and she held her ground, something which said a lot about her. He
was close enough to smell her perfume again and close enough to see
there was a slight peach sheen to the gloss on her lips.

He wanted
her.

Simple as
that.

And he was
going to have her.

He decided to
finish the negotiation. “One hundred thousand pounds and that buys
me unlimited access to you throughout our arrangement.”

She made an
indistinct angry noise in the back of her throat before suggesting,
“Perhaps this isn’t a good idea.”

He pulled in
breath through his nostrils then sat back.

He kept his
eyes on her for a second that led to two then slid into three
before he said, “Perhaps not.”

He thought he’d
called her bluff.

Instead she
turned, grabbed her things and stood.

BOOK: Penmort Castle
11.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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