Sway With Me (Inspiring the Greek Billionaire)

BOOK: Sway With Me (Inspiring the Greek Billionaire)
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Table of Contents

SWAY WITH ME

SHELLY BELL

SOUL MATE PUBLISHING

New York

SWAY WITH ME

Copyright©2014

SHELLY BELL

Cover Design by Leah Kaye Suttle

This book is a work of fiction.  The names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual events, business establishments, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher.  The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law.  Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials.

Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

Published in the United States of America by

Soul Mate Publishing

P.O. Box 24

Macedon, New York, 14502

ISBN-13: 978-1-61935-
369-5

www.SoulMatePublishing.com

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

To my tiny dancer who inspires me every day.

Acknowledgements

Thank you to my family for your love and support. I couldn’t do it without you.

Chapter 1

Tell me where is fancy bred,

Or in the heart, or in the head?

How begot, how nourished?

William Shakespeare,
Merchant of Venice,
act 3, scene 2

With anticipation surging through his veins, Ryan Sullivan strolled into the decadent marbled lobby of the most desirable office building in downtown Detroit. He didn’t believe in luck, but if Uncle Alexander came through for him, he’d believe in luck, fate, karma, and Santa Claus. Images of gold mines, Standardbred racehorses, and Greek islands danced in his head. What had his uncle bequeathed him? One of the recycling companies? The entire conglomerate? Or even better, plain cold cash?

When he’d gotten the phone call yesterday from a man claiming to be his uncle’s attorney, he’d almost hung up thinking his friend Braden was pranking him. Once he’d realized the lawyer meant business, Ryan had nearly fallen out of his chair. He didn’t know what he’d done to deserve an inheritance, but he wouldn’t argue. Out of everyone in his family, he needed it most. Maybe now he could finally afford to move out of Braden’s house.

After a sleepless night spent envisioning the myriad of possibilities, he’d hopped out of bed before his alarm blared and left a half-hour earlier than necessary to get downtown. Of course, he hadn’t foreseen an accident closing the exit to the attorney’s office, or the construction which reduced the traffic to one lane, or missing the turn to get back on the highway. Luckily, his GPS gave him a shortcut through the neighborhoods.

Although he’d worked in the city before he was laid-off, that part-time legal aid job had rarely called for home visits. Only this morning, he drove down Detroit’s narrow, torn-up streets and observed firsthand the poor condition of the homes. With their broken windows, missing shingles, crumbling brick, and stripped aluminum siding, the houses appeared unfit for inhabitation, but the presence of dented cars in the driveways confirmed people actually lived there. The yards inundated by weeds and tall grass provided the perfect habitat for rats, which according to local news reports, grew to the size of a typical house cat. Didn’t the owners have any pride in their homes and neighborhoods?

Now, glancing around at the gleaming marble and Pewabic tile, the dichotomy between this ostentatious lobby and the houses located only a mile away wasn’t lost on him, but he didn’t have the time to wallow in the injustices of the world. In a few short minutes, he’d hopefully go from living on the bottom floor to luxuriating in the penthouse.  

His adrenaline pumping, Ryan glanced at his Movado watch and stepped into the empty elevator. Only five minutes late. He blew out a breath and pressed the button for the fifth floor. With a
ding
, the doors began to slide shut.  

“Hold the elevator,” a husky female voice requested. A petite foot, encased in a black high heel shoe, wedged itself between the doors.

And what a foot.

The elevator doors bounced open, slowly revealing the foot’s owner. He dragged his gaze from the foot up the shapely calf, momentarily lingering, then continued up a deliciously toned, milky white thigh . . . Swallowing hard, he slid his focus to the black fabric which hid what he was already dying to see. His intense perusal skipped over slim hips, to rest on a conservative, yet tight-fitted, black suit jacket, which accentuated a tiny waist, but sadly, concealed the size of her breasts. Ryan almost didn’t want to continue his examination, fearing her face would ruin the perfect fantasy.

Oh, what the hell. He’d only live once.

He slowly lifted his gaze. Right then and there, he realized that someone up there must love him and have decided to reward him today.

He’d never seen a more beautiful woman.

This was a woman musicians sang about, artists immortalized in paintings, poets wrote sonnets for. He’d never grow tired of looking at her—her creamy white skin, her round brown eyes, framed by thick lashes, her hair as dark as coal pulled in a messy bun on top of her head with a couple loose pieces falling to the middle of her back. And her lips . . . those plump pink lips begged for a kiss.

What the heck was wrong with him? With him gawking at her like a letch and moronically ranting poetic musings about her beauty to himself, it was no wonder she hadn’t entered the elevator.  

One dainty foot remained between the doors while the rest of her stayed firmly outside. Her mouth pursed into a perfect little O and those eyes widened as she ogled him. The door started to close and still neither of them moved a muscle.

Shaking off his temporary insanity, he regained control of his limbs and pressed the elevator’s ‘open’ button. He coughed, clearing the cobwebs from his throat. “I’ve got it,” he said, his voice sounding raspier than normal.  

A small smile tugged up the corners of her perfect mouth as she also seemed to come out of some kind of fog. The entire elevator filled with the scent of vanilla as she hesitantly stepped inside and stood next to him, so close their shoulders almost touched.

He’d always preferred the smell and taste of chocolate, but without a word, she’d converted him to a vanilla man.

“Floor?” he asked, his body pivoting toward hers. The energy crackled between them. Well, at least on his end.

“Um . . .” Her face scrunched up as though she’d forgotten. She rubbed her hand across her cheekbone then motioned to the lit button on the elevator panel. “I’m going to the fifth floor, too.”

Trying to stare straight ahead, he couldn’t keep from peeking at her from the corner of his eye. She reached up to her head and removed a rubber band and a few pins, sending her thick, straight hair tumbling down her back. For a moment, Ryan lost all sense of reality, fantasizing about winding it around his wrist as he lowered his mouth to suck on the sensitive spot between her neck and shoulder. He instinctively knew her hair would feel like warm silk. 

She tipped forward and tossed her hair over her face, twisted it into a rope, then proceeded to do something girly. When she raised her head, he was amused to see she now wore a neat bun pulled so tight that her eyebrows arched. He preferred that messed up, wild look she had going on to this overstarched formal one. If she was his, he’d—

The elevator door slid open, interrupting his fantasy. “After you.” He waved his hand, insisting she disembark first.

She smiled shyly. “Thanks.”

Okay, so he wasn’t a perfect gentleman. He couldn’t avoid checking out her ass as she sashayed off the elevator, her heels clicking on the tile of the hallway. He followed behind, only tearing his gaze from her body because he had to read the sign to figure out which way to go for the attorney’s office.  

After this moment, they’d part ways. The notion to ask for her phone number flitted through his mind, but with everything going on right now, he didn’t have the energy to properly devote to a relationship . . . And this woman didn’t look like one-night-stand material. If he had to take a wager, he’d bet she was a flowers and chocolates and late nights in front of the fireplace kind-of-girl. The exact kind he didn’t have time for these days.

But, if all went well, the news he’d hear today from his uncle’s estate attorney would change his life. Once he paid off his law school debt and restored his bank account to its former glory, he’d have all the time in the world for dating. Too bad he hadn’t met her some other time, some other place. But, as he’d learned two years ago, fate was a fickle bitch.

Their gazes locked and they each awkwardly pointed out the direction of their destination. Realizing they were both headed to the left, he smiled and enjoyed the extra seconds with her strolling side by side down the hallway. He kept expecting her stop, but she continued walking with him to the end of the hallway, all the way to the attorney’s office suite.

The shiny metallic sign showed George Pappas, Esq. shared space with four other attorneys. Obviously, she was here for one of them. At least it gave him a couple more minutes to spend with her. Maybe fate had decided to throw him a bone. What kind of idiot would turn it down?

He pulled open the glass door, allowed her to pass, and followed her into the lobby. There were a few brown leather chairs around a small glass coffee table and a horizontal walnut bookcase with pamphlets on divorce and estate planning. A receptionist’s desk cluttered with files, pens, and loose papers, but currently sans receptionist, sat at the back of the lobby directly across from the chairs. In lieu of a person, they’d provided a bell with a sign written in purple marker stating: “ring my bell.” Classy.

While he rang it, the beauty collapsed onto one of the chairs as though she’d walked a thousand miles. She demurely crossed her legs at the ankles and dropped her huge purse on the floor with a loud
thunk
.

He crossed the room and sat next to her, pleased to reacquaint his senses with her vanilla scent. “I’m Ryan Sullivan.” He held out a hand and when she accepted it, he noticed her long, ringless fingers. Unable to resist, he swiped his thumb across her skin to see if she was as soft as she appeared. She was.

“Portia Dubrovsky.”

“Portia? Like Ellen’s wife?”

She smiled, showing off her perfectly straight white teeth. “Portia like the heroine of
Merchant of Venice
, but yes, also Ellen’s wife.” She laughed, deep and rich like a full-bodied merlot running thick down his throat.

“Portia dressed up as a clerk to defend Antonio against the loan shark, right?”

“You’ve read it?” The muscles around her brows twitched as though they would arch if they hadn’t already been yanked up by the tight bun in her hair.

“I took a class in college. My girlfriend convinced . . .”

She leaned in as if eager to hear. He wouldn’t ruin this moment by drudging up
her
or the past. Portia didn’t need to know that idealistic, naïve boy. That was the old Ryan, the one buried long ago. The one who didn’t know the true value of money.

He gripped the leather arm of his chair and slapped it lightly with his fingers. “I won’t bore you with tales of my college days. I take it your parents are fans of Shakespeare?” he asked, wanting to know more about her.

She uncrossed her legs and began pointing and flexing her feet. “My mother. She went through a phase where she was obsessed with everything Shakespeare. Unfortunately, my sister and I were born during those years.”

The stretching and coiling muscles of her feet had him riveted. He watched, mesmerized by the precision of her movements. A slight shiver of arousal passed through him as in his mind, he saw her naked beneath him, her other muscles tightening and straining for release. He’d never had any sort of predilection for feet, but he had a strong feeling that with her, he’d develop a foot fetish. Tearing his gaze from her erotic foot exercise, he focused on her face. “What’s your sister’s name?”

“Viola. She hates it and goes by Lola instead.” She grimaced. “I guess it could have been worse. We could have been born during my mother’s ‘Save the Whales’ years and been named Shamu and Willy.”

He laughed. A sense of humor, too? Screw the fates. He couldn’t let such a perfect woman slip through his fingers. “Listen, I know we just met, but can I get your phone number? I’d love to take you out to dinner.”

Shifting in her chair, she paled and her neck stiffened as if he’d offended her with his request.

And just like that, reality smacked him in the face, giving him a grim reminder. He’d obviously misread their connection. He should have known someone like her wouldn’t be single. Just because she didn’t wear a ring didn’t mean she didn’t have a boyfriend—or girlfriend come to think of it.

He gave her an extra wide smile showing her there were no hard feelings. After all, it was for the best. A woman would complicate his life, and the last thing he needed was another complication. He and Braden had agreed women were good for two things—serving as eye candy on their arm at fundraisers and scratching the occasional horny itch.

As a member of the notorious Stavros family, he didn’t have to work too hard at finding a date. On the contrary, he’d grown tired of women throwing themselves at him. Of course, once they discovered he wasn’t worth anything near his two younger brothers, they ran away faster than a starving greyhound chasing a mechanical rabbit. By that time, he’d have gotten everything he wanted from them anyway. And if by chance they stuck around, Braden would casually slip Ryan’s lack of funds into the conversation. Not once had a woman stayed with him after learning he was broke. No, he’d learned over and over that he could never trust a woman.

Why, then, did Portia’s rebuff feel like she’d kicked him in the gut with her sexy shoes then twisted his insides into a pretzel for good measure? He never should have broken one of his cardinal rules.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have asked.” He swept his fingers up and down the smooth leather arm of his chair.

She seemed mesmerized by his hands, staring at them before she gently shook her head and regarded him in the eye. “No. It’s not that. I’m just—”

The front door to the suite swung open and a short man with wispy black hair sticking out in all directions breezed through carrying a briefcase. “Sorry, sorry. I’m George Pappas, your uncle’s attorney.” He stuck out his sweaty palm for Ryan to shake before moving on to shake Portia’s hand. “I would have been here earlier except I was in a car accident. Darn teenager barely tall enough to see over the steering wheel rear-ended me as we were getting on the exit ramp. Why they give licenses to those cretins I’ll never understand.”

Ryan could barely suppress his laughter. This guy stood no taller than five-foot two by his estimate. Measuring a couple inches over six feet himself, and Portia about a half-foot shorter, they’d tower over the attorney who looked like a mad scientist who’d just come out of his lab for fresh air.

“If you’ll both follow me, we can discuss this in my office,” said the attorney, ambling to open the door that led to the offices.

Both Ryan and Portia stood. She appeared as confused as he felt.

BOOK: Sway With Me (Inspiring the Greek Billionaire)
4.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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