“I speak English,” he replied after a moment in an intriguing accent, his cool eyes alight with interest.
“Oh, God, not again,” she muttered beneath her breath. She took another breath to compose herself, smiled her most professional smile, and asked if someone was available to escort her clients into the hotel so they could return to their conference.
“You don’t know what happened, do you?” he inquired with a faint grin that concealed the sudden surge of rage wanting to be unleashed at whoever had been foolish enough to insult this woman. His woman.
“No, I’m sorry, I don’t. My clients were touring the city. We’ve not heard the news.”
“Someone attempted to assassinate a visiting government official in the hotel lobby,” he explained. “We’re not supposed to let anyone in or out the building.”
Cassia extracted her hotel room card from her pocket and held it up. “I am a hotel guest, as is each of my group. We have no interest in interfering with the investigation. We just want to return to our meeting.”
“It will cost you,” he said with a grin that no woman could misunderstand.
Cassia’s face went white with rage. “I will not whore myself. We’ll go elsewhere.”
She turned on her heel, but the man’s hand shot out and grasped her arm and swung her back around. His grip was gentle, but unbreakable. Cassia recognized the enormous strength that he could wield and wisely quelled the urge to struggle. Besides being undignified, it would do no good and only amuse the boor. She brought flashing eyes to his glittering ones and could not have answered as to whether the emotion in his sky blue eyes was amusement or offense.
“Those two will go blind for cash bribes,” he explained with a subtle nod of his head to the two armed men standing at the door. “I’ll settle for dinner with you.”
Her wary glance held him at a small distance. She paused, then simply asked, “How much is the bribe?”
He named a figure that would have had her laughing if she were watching the situation on television. Surely, she thought, the execs carried sufficient cash to cover the bribes. Or maybe not; they seemed to believe in the ultimate efficacy of credit cards. Even prostitutes accepted credit cards. In any case, she didn’t have the money.
“Dinner? You’ll require nothing more?”
“I demand nothing more.”
“But you’ll ask,” she shot back with disgust.
He grinned at her and said, “A man cannot help himself. I give you my word that I shall do nothing you do not want.”
She harrumphed and thought it over, then asked, “When?”
Join Holly Bargo at the Imadjinn Book Fair & Expo
October 11 - 13 | 2:00 PM Fri - 5:00 PM Sun
Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Louisville, KY