"That woman!" I growl under my breath, briskly walking to the elevators as wine slowly bleeds through my crisp white shirt; like blood from an injury obtained from a gruesome battle just fought.
My opponent was underestimated.
A challenger I never saw coming.
I'm used to uncivilized business transactions; especially those that require stealing someone's life's work right out from under them. An unfortunate aspect of my job, but a necessary one.
But what I wasn't prepared for, was the affect Samantha Huntley already has on me. I met the woman briefly this morning but the hurt, torment and anger in her eyes when I told her that this hotel is now mine, got to me.
Sympathy is unusual for me. After my heart was broken many years ago by a woman only interested in me because of my name and power, I vowed never to open my heart again. I became the merciless Johnathan House everyone has grown to love. The money maker; the business fear monger; and the man my father grew to be proud of.
But tonight, My heart woke up from hibernation with a big roar, deciding that sympathy was the food choice of the hour. A trait that angers my father; and one that he never tolerates or expels. If he found out what I just did, he would definitely second guess choosing me as his successor.
But I couldn't help myself. My heart made the decision for me. I wanted to give her a way out of this mess her father created for her with the expectation that she would help me out of mine...Quid pro quo. I do something for her and She does something for me
However, now that I've had the privileged of meeting Samantha Huntley, I know it will take a fucking miracle before she accepts my help. Even before I knew that she was the "Sam Huntley", Eric's description of Huntley's reputation and business acumen had me so intrigued, I had to get into that meeting tomorrow with Samantha and her attorney. And it's why I wanted papers drawn up making me legal owner of the hotel instead of my father.
I'm no mother Theresa or anything. My first motivation was gaining leverage against my father, I won't deny that. But I also wanted Huntley under my thumb to quite possibly do business with the person who single handedly kept this hotel afloat with poker winnings and a hell of a lot of tenacity. I sought the man behind the legend because those skills might be useful to me when I acquire my father's company.
I've already been on the prowl for someone resilient, a risk taker and someone as unscrupulous as me to help me run it.
My chauvinistic assumption that Sam Huntley was a man, was immediately thwarted when I met this free spirited, innovative, smart as fuck, ball buster in person. In hindsight, I wish I would have taken the reasonable steps to look into Sam Huntley's background; because the woman I just dueled with was totally unexpected.
Her personality suggests that she will never agree to the arrangement I presented to her without a few aggressive conditions of her own. Her conditions might end up being the death of me.
I shake my head in regret, remembering my final stipulation when I left the bar. A precondition that was a self inflicted assassination. I told her that fucking wasn't part of the arrangement. I only said this because the waterfall of wine falling on top of my head, washed away all my remaining brain cells. It was an impulse decision ...one I wouldn't have dared suggested if I was in my right mind.
However, Considering the early teachings of my father, It was a smart thing to do. Getting emotionally involved with this woman would only complicate things. It would be a colossal mistake." I repeat subconsciously; trying desperately to rationalize my stupidity.
Traditionally, negating intimacy would never be an issue for me because I'm the king of compartmentalizing; it's what I do best. Mixing business with pleasure is an easy road to failure; One of the first things my father taught me about business, and something my first broken heart corroborated vehemently.
But what my father and Jillian, my first love, never accounted for, was the way Samantha Huntley looked tonight in that goddamn dress. All my father's warnings, and Jillian's lessons, went right out the window. Samantha's long legs, perky breasts and full hips nullified every single thing my father ever taught me. Those business tenants went flailing through the air; carried off by the winds of desire and lust like leaves on a brisk autumn day. The very thought of those legs wrapped securely around my waist has my erection almost bursting through my black Armani tuxedo pants.
The way that expensive garment dipped in the back and lingered at the curve of her ass, had me fantasizing about how good my cock would feel sinking deep inside her, gaining dominance over a woman, whom I suspect, will never be tamed.
My whispered frustrations swaddle me like a straight jacket tightening its grip. Because despite everything my father taught me, and my fierce desire to protect my heart, my grandmother is no fool. No matter how much I might want to keep this a business transaction and platonic, we will eventually have to consummate our marriage; or at the very least, make our relationship as believable as possible.
My grandmother is eerily clairvoyant. She will be able to see through a sham wedding a mile away. She will know if we are really in love or just faking it. And if that happens, my brother will gain control of the company.
So this week is crucial. We have to get to know each other, both mentally and sexually. I just hope Samantha is up to the challenge.
When I get to the elevator, I press my thumb against the button like my damn life depends on it. I need to hurry up and get to the penthouse before I do something I'll regret. Something like marching back into the bar and kissing the shit out of her like I've wanted to do since I first saw her behind the front desk.