Read Perfect Harmony Online

Authors: Sarah P. Lodge

Tags: #Romance, #love triange, #secret babies, #Contemporary, #billionaire love story, #coming of age, #workplace, #wealthy, #International, #billionaire romance, #new adult, #Genre Fiction, #Literature & Fiction

Perfect Harmony (6 page)

She feels the comfort of my embrace.  It is so painfully
obvious to read in her look, as is everything else.

But my idea of comfort is far more than a simple hug.  I’m a
grown man, with desire and wanting and need.

People talk and chatter and nod, but I find myself
completely distracted by the feel of Melody’s ample breasts pressed against my
arms.  How her neckline is so low that her breasts swell almost to the point
where they spill out.  And the faint pebbling of her nipples thrusting into the
red fabric of her dress.

She doesn’t have a bra on.

I feel myself grow hard, stiffening more with every passing
second as I gaze at those beautiful perked nipples.

I look up and see the other men are staring at her
cleavage.  They must also realise she’s wearing no bra, some lingering for
longer and longer just to get a peek.

The bastards.  Can’t they see she’s mine?  I want to scream
at them to leave, to tell them to fuck off and leave my woman alone.

My woman.

The mere thought of protecting her and having her makes me
hard beyond belief.  Surely she must feel me prodding her in the back?

Good.  Maybe then I can take her and we can flee from here
and straight to my penthouse and into my bed.

No.  I can’t do that.  I must fight this urge to fuck
Melody, no matter how strongly I desire it.  Sex with her is wrong on every
level.  She loves someone else, and she’s an employee and we’re using each
other for a game of revenge.  I told her tonight was it - things would end
after the stroke of midnight and we would never set eyes on each other again. 
To take her back with me now would only open me up to tears and an obsessed
employee and maybe even a claim for sexual harassment.

I must fight this urge.

But with every second that passes, I find it harder and
harder.  My self restraint is ebbing away with her clutched in my arms, the
feel of her body against mine driving me into a sex craving monster.

I’m haven’t felt this way about a woman in so long.  The
desire and tension she builds in me is something I’ve forgotten I was even able
to experience.

She makes me feel alive and young and capable of anything.

No.  I have to send her away.  If I don’t...

Melody glances up at me and bites her lower lip.  Her tongue
darts out, so pink and wet, and licks over the surface.

God, I want to taste those lips.  I need to taste them and
bite them and rip her clothes off and throw her on to my bed and push myself
deep inside her and fill her hard and deep and full.

I dry swallow.

Thank God Melody is standing in front of me.

She scans the crowd and suddenly freezes.

Does she feel me?  How can she not? My desire is so blinding
that I can’t think of anything else.

“Richard,” she says.

“You’re boyfriend?” I ask, anger and jealousy suddenly
burning me up inside.  This man once had Melody.  And I cannot.  That bastard -
how he can have someone like this under his command and have her want him and
then just let her go.  The fool.

“Ex-boyfriend,” she says.

“Where?”

She eyes towards the bar and I follow her gaze, but I see no
one stood out.

I must see this man with my own eyes.  He must be tall and
dashing and able to charm the pants off of any women he meets.

God, why am I so jealous?  No, not jealous.  Jealously is a
weak emotion, something that shudders through beta males as they spend nights
sad and vulnerable and alone.  The sort of men begging to be used and devoured
by the strong.

It’s not jealousy.  It’s anger.  And resentment.  And sheer
annoyance.

I am a real man, so why the fuck should I help some fool get
back the prize he was too blind and stupid to appreciate in the first place? 
He doesn’t deserve her in his bed.

I do.

But if she loves him, then things are much more
complicated.  It would be dishonourable to take a woman from the man she loves,
even if he is disloyal scum.

Melody removes my arm and starts to walk towards the bar.

I grab hold of her arm and stop her.

“Wait.”

“Chase, what is it?  Isn’t this why we’re here?”

“Why do you want to go back to this man after everything
he’s done?”

“I have my reasons.”  Her smile fades.

“But he hurt you and cheated on you.  He lied to you,
Melody.  He made you sob in pain.  How can you return to that?”

She pauses for a moment then looks up at me.  “You really
think I have a beautiful voice?”

Was she changing the subject?

“Of course.  I said you did, and I mean it.”

She swallowed.  “When I moved here three months ago, I met
Richard when I was delivering some papers to him at the Manhattan studio.  He
was with the band and discussing album cover designs or something, anyway, I
was waiting inside for a while and I started singing to myself.  I was trying
to be real quiet, but the band’s producer overheard me and wanted me to come
into the booth and sing backup vocals because the woman he’d got contracted to
do it backed out at the last moment.  I said yes and I was ready to do it, but
then the woman came back and was ready so the producer dropped me.  Richard
overheard the whole thing and he told me how he was planning on becoming an
agent on the side and he didn’t have any clients yet, but he wanted to
represent me while he built up his business.  He promised me the world.  It was
like a dream.”

Melody blinks a tear from her eye.  “But, when I caught him
with Liz, then the whole thing came crashing down around me.”

Seeing her hurt so much makes my gut twist.

“Forget him.  He’s a fool.  You are worth more than he could
ever give you.”  I try to think of how to comfort her.  “It’s hard being on a
record label.  You have to project this whole outgoing don’t-take-shit highly
sexualised persona.  I’ve seen it destroy so many lives, girls who were too
young and innocent to know any better.  This business can chew you up and spit
you out if you’re not the perfect fit.”

Her lips tremble and she looks up at me.  “You’re probably
right.”

Damn it.  I failed to comfort her.  I am an idiot for
trying.

The girl lost her dream, for god’s sake.  It takes more than
mere words to come back from that.  The whole world becomes such a desolate and
nebulous place, and every day the numbness consumes you bit by bit until
there’s nothing left but an empty vessel.

There is only one way I know of to deaden that pain, to
forget the loss and move on.  I know, because it worked for me.

But I can’t allow myself to have sex with her.  It would
cure her heart ache, but what more problems would it create?

If I was the man I used to be, I would sing to her; a sweet
song of seduction and sensuality that would make her realise her gift of
singing is worth more than the life it could offer her.

But I can’t.  The mere thought of singing again makes me
want to wretch.

I am powerless to help her.  There is nothing I can do.

Except...

Except make love to her.

Would it be so wrong?  I’ve spent the evening with my desire
and lust arguing with my brain, but maybe they can work together.  I long to
have her in my bed for myself, but one night of pure pleasure would provide her
the comfort and solace she needs.

Maybe I’m rationalising.  But maybe I’m not.

Maybe only one night could cure us both without risking her
falling in love with me.

She may be young, but Melody is still a woman.  At nineteen,
she’s already had a couple of boyfriends, so she’s not a virgin.  She’s at
least aware of who she is sexually, and knows that one night no strings
attached is exactly that.

Thank god, she’s not a virgin.

It may only be two men she’s slept with, but it was
something.  And she seemed so embarrassed to admit her number, as if something
so low was something to be ashamed about.  She would wince if she knew how many
women I’ve been with.

But then, even I couldn’t give her a precise number.

Her cheeks blush a soft red, emphasised against the white
porcelain of her skin.  She flutters her long dark eyelashes at me.

“Chase?”

“Yes?”

She shifts on her feet.  “How old are you?”

“Why do you ask?”

“You seem so old, like an old soul.  But you look so young,
like we could be the same age, except I know you can’t be because of everything
you’ve accomplished.  I’ve been wondering it all evening and I wanted to ask
you but it didn’t seem right and I worried you’d be offended and-.”

“And why are you asking me now?”

“I don’t know.  I guess I’m feeling better than I did
earlier.  More comfortable.  With you.”  She furrows her brow.  “So, what’s
your number?”

“Twenty nine.”

“Really?  That’s...wow.  You look good for your age.”  She’s
silent for a moment, then suddenly perks up again.  “How come you’re not
married?  Where I’m from, my family, everyone is married off by the time
they’re thirty.”

“Firstly, I’m not thirty.  Secondly, when you have all I
have, marriage is something that holds more gravitas than for most.  Someone
like me must have a wife who it makes practical sense to marry.  Someone from
the same stock and heiress to another’s empire.  And she must bear a son for me
to pass my empire on to.”

“How romantic.”

“Romance is irrelevant,” I say.  “Marriage is a matter of
business and pragmatism.  For me, at least.”

Her face drops and her gaze returns to the floor.  “So
that’s why you’re going to marry Mercedes Bell.”

To hear Melody mention that bitches’s name... a feeling of
deep anger and irritation rushes through me.

“No.  That’s why I
was
going to, or at least was
planning on it.”

Melody looks up at me and her eyes are huge under the
blinding white light of the overhead chandelier.

“What happened?”

“She gave me an ultimatum.  If I didn’t propose then she was
going to leave me and shack up with some other poor bastard.  I don’t take
kindly to being threatened.”

“But I thought our whole revenge scenario, it was for your
benefit too - to make her jealous.”

“It was, at first.  Now I never want to see her again.”

Melody’s lips tremble.  “What changed?”

I cup her cheek with my hand and raise her head toward me. 
Our eyes meet and the rest of the world fades to black.

“I met you.”  I scan the length of her body, taking in her
shoes and her dress and her hair and her makeup.  “The real you.”

Her lips part and she stands speechless in front of me.  She
is trying to find her voice, but I can see every effort is failing her.

“I haven’t eaten,” she says suddenly.

“I’m sorry?”

“Food.  I haven’t had any all day.  Or drunk anything, now I
think about.”

“How about a glass of champagne?”

“Oh no no.  On an empty stomach?  It would go straight to my
head.  I’m a terrible light weight - one drink and I’d say yes to anything.”

I brush my palm down the back of her neck and feel her
tremble beneath my touch.  “How very interesting.”

She licks her lips and I stroll towards the bar.

On the way, I find it impossible to not turn and look back
at her.  She’s paralysed on the dance floor, so stunningly beautiful in her
dress, watching me with wide eyed wonder.

Other men lurk by her side and ogle her as they have all
evening.  But she has no idea - I’m the only thing she sees.

I’ve never felt like this about a woman before.  I thought I
had, but this is different - the need to possess one specific woman has never
consumed me so much.  It’s new and exciting and real.

And I can have this one.  She is innocent and naive and my
employee, but none of that matters any more.

I’m her boss so I can do what I like.  It’s my business and
I’m the one who says who can fuck who.

And right now, I’m saying I can fuck her.  And I’m going to.

My mind’s eye is filled with images of Melody on the
luxurious four-poster bed in my penthouse, or one of the twelve bedrooms in my
Tuscan villa.  She’s naked, her legs spread, one finger pointing towards me and
then curling towards her, beckoning me with her deep blue eyes to enter her, a
haze full of longing and need and desire to touch every inch of her soft skin
as she takes all of me deep inside.

A jolt of exhilaration and adrenaline courses through my
body.

And I know what I must do.

Tonight, Melody will be mine.

CHAPTER THREE

––––––––

Melody

––––––––

T
he gawking eyes of tuxedo clad gentlemen burns into my
skin.  I can feel them all over my body as the men shuffle around the dance
floor and make small talk with their annoyed women, their designer dresses
hanging off their perfect stick thin bodies like a model in a catalogue.

The women hate me.  I know they do - they see their men
eyeing me up and jealously flares across their faces.

But I don’t care about them.

I take a deep breath to try and calm my shaking hands.

Chase is the only thing I can think about.

I watch his tall dark figure tower above the crowd as he
cruises to the bar, the throng of people parting in his way as they stare at
him, wide eyed and full of wonder and wanting.

I can’t blame them.  As much as I want to deny it, I’m
feeling a hunger for him, myself.

No.  This is stupid.  I can’t think of him in such a way. 
Even forgetting who he is, we’d made a deal: our date is a fabrication.  He’d
been so damn adamant of that fact.  He feels nothing for me, so I must feel
nothing for him.

But then, why has his behaviour all night betrayed that
deal?  The way he looks at me and the way he touches me, cupping my cheek and
whispering such beautiful things...

My skin burns, flushing at the thought of his fingers
stroking the back of my neck, and running under my jaw and across my shoulders,
and down my back.

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