Stick to the timeline. You're still the nanny. I'm still the boss. Or at least that had been the plan. But then he saw the way his male executives were staring at Tilly like she was the pièce de résistance of a ten-course meal, and Logan thought, Fuck the timeline.
Since the billionaire had made no efforts to silence Tilly's cries of pleasure earlier, and Tilly herself hadn't been the type of lover to just lie back and think of England, Logan had no doubt that every employee working on his floor knew what took place the moment the door to his office closed behind Tilly.
That such a thing happened in the first place had probably come as a shock, considering Logan's rather notorious rule about not letting any of his former mistresses step a foot inside any of his company offices. It was fairly easy to see that his employees were itching to find out what made Tilly different, and it was just as obvious that they were wondering if the very nature of her employment had anything to do with Tilly being the exception to the rule.
Was she the nanny before she became the boss' lover, or was it the other way around?
What did the billionaire see in her that they didn't - or was she simply that good in bed?
How long was the billionaire likely to keep her - and might they have a shot once she was single again?
Logan's entire vision was fast turning a murderous shade of red. Over my fucking dead body, assholes.
Tilly almost lost her footing when the billionaire suddenly slipped a possessive arm around her waist as they headed down the elevator at the end of the hallway.
Logan saw Tilly's startled look and tried not to look defensive as he shrugged in response, saying offhandedly, "I didn't want anyone to notice."
Tilly blinked. "Notice what?"
"That you don't have---"
Realizing what he was about to say, Tilly simply acted without thinking, nearly stumbling in her haste to tiptoe and cup her hand over his mouth. Oh my God, what was he thinking, saying something like that out loud?
Her horrified gaze flew up to his, and that was when she saw the sexy, little smirk playing on the blatantly sensual lines of his lips.
Tilly choked back a laugh, realizing he had . "You jer---" And then she remembered where they were, and she hastily backtracked. "You just say, um, the most embarrassingly sweet words, Mr. Hardwall."
Amused approval gleamed in the his eyes even as he reached to gently pull her hand down. "Interestingly enough," the billionaire drawled, "an embarrassment is also what you might be suffering from if this isn't remedied." His other hand lazily drifted over her back as he spoke, settling down a moment later just a few inches over the hem of her dress. The hem, which had sneakily crept up when she tiptoed and was now dangerously close to flashing her butt in front of the dozens of executives making up Hardwall Industries' highest management tier.
OH MY GOD!
The billionaire chuckled softly at the flare of panic in her eyes. "Relax, babe. I've got you." His hand subtly smoothed the dress down at the same time Tilly slowly and carefully rocked back to her heels, and she nearly slumped in relief when the moment of danger finally passed without her butt suffering any visual casualties.
"Thank God that's over," she told him feelingly as they resumed walking,
"I'm still waiting," she heard the billionaire murmur languidly, and Tilly shot him a bewildered glance. Waiting for what?
A saintly smile unfolded over his lips, making him appear boyishly good-looking for an instance.
But then he said---
"For you to grovel in gratitude, of course."
A choked laugh escaped Tilly even as she came to appreciate the undeniable truth behind the most common of proverbs. Leopards could never change their spots, devils could never hide their horns, and such was the case with Logan Hardwall, who, despite what his utterly urbane appearance implied, could never be trusted to play the gentleman.
"Just to be clear---" Tilly waited until they were inside the elevator before turning to the billionaire with lips prudishly pursed in feigned censure. "I'm holding you completely accountable over what happened. If you hadn't threatened to speak about certain unmentionables---"
Logan smirked. Unmentionables? Hadn't that term been retired a couple centuries ago already?
"There wouldn't have been any risk of exposure in the first place, and so to answer your question---"
"I didn't actually ask anything," the billionaire pointed out.
She ignored that, saying, "No, Mr. Hardwall. I am not going to thank you."
"Because of what I did earlier?"
"Which you considered something only a jerk would do."
"Your words," she said primly, "not mine."
"But it's essentially what you're saying."
Her shoulders moved in a delicate shrug.
"Since you already think I'm a jerk," the billionaire drawled, "then I might as well act like it, don't you think?"
Tilly was bewildered at first, unsure of his meaning, but when the billionaire actually bent down to reach for the hem of her dress, and she realized he was threatening to flip it up --- she let out an incoherent sound, something between gasping, laughing, and squeaking.
Logan Hardwall really was a jerk, but God, he could be so cute about it!
Anyway, I'm hoping that by writing these books, I'll eventually find my way back to my other series, maybe regain my old writing speed even.
For now, though, I'm hoping you enjoyed this little sneak peek of Rancher 4 and that you'll look forward to reading Tilly and Logan's story, which is likely to be out sometime this month.
Thank you again everyone! :)