The ultimate royal bad boy is about to meet his match…
‘Your bad boy image isn’t something the press has over-exaggerated, is it?’ Mackenzie accused.
Prince Devereaux crossed his arms over his broad chest and an unrepentant smile spread across his mouth. ‘No.’
She hesitated. ‘It’s going to be very difficult to change public perspective.’
‘So, you’ll be tearing up the contract, refunding the huge deposit my brother has already paid you and flying back to England?’
Although the words were drawled lazily, she detected an energetic undertow designed to pull her in the direction he suggested. His words were a temptation, but he was in for a hell of a shock.
Mac was no quitter.
Despite every shred of sense that warned her that ripping up the contract was the safest course to follow, a stubborn streak bubbled to the surface.
‘I said it would be difficult to change public perspective. I didn’t say it would be impossible.’
He uncrossed his arms and his smile thinned. ‘But, be honest, that’s what you’re thinking.’
‘You’re going to resist any change I suggest, aren’t you?’
‘Absolutely.’ His tone was resolute, his expression unapologetic.
‘So, I may as well quit now?’
He smiled. ‘You’ve got the picture.’
She stared him down. ‘I intend to fulfil this contract and there are a few things we need to get straight from the outset. You’re my client, but make no mistake about who’s in charge. From now on you’re going to do what I tell you, when I tell you, and exactly how I tell you to do it.’
He held her regard for the longest ten seconds of her life, his expression one of idle amusement. ‘I like a woman who wants to be on top of the situation.’ There was no missing the double entendre. ‘In fact, I can picture you there.’
Mac tried to ignore the prickling heat which spread across her chest like a blazing bushfire. ‘Really? I can picture you with a tomahawk through your skull.’ He burst out laughing, but she ignored him. ‘I’m sure I’m not the only one to have visualised the image. It’s probably only been the presence of your royal bodyguards to have saved you from such a fate.’
‘Oh, Mackenzie. So much unhealthy aggression coiled up inside you, and I know the perfect way to release it.’
‘Stop it, or the only thing I’ll need to be released from is a prison.’ She glared at him.
He reached out and ran the tip of his index finger right down along the delicate slope of her nose. ‘You need to relax, sweetheart. In my experience, it’ll work better if you follow my lead.’ How was it possible that his deep voice lowered another octave? ‘I promise you it’ll be very, very good between us.’
Common sense warned her to place as much distance as possible between them. But, oh … the heady sensual promise in his bedroom blue eyes …
She held out a hand to his chest to push him away.
Big mistake! For a crazy half-second, she wanted to pull him towards her instead of thrusting him away. Thrusting … Oh Lord. She shook her head to dispel the X-rated mental images the word conjured.
‘I generally succeed with my clients because I find something good about them. You’ll be much more of a challenge.’
‘No. I’ve never failed an assignment and I’m not going to fail with you either.’
For a few moments his expression was shuttered. Finally, he said, ‘Like hell!’