Louisa Neil

Louisa Neil by Bete Noire

Book: Louisa Neil by Bete Noire Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bete Noire
investment for them, one they could oversee but not have to work every day. Sloan already had a manager in mind for the daily routine. Walter had been more than willing to walk away for the right amount of money. Not that it had been a hostile takeover, more like being in the right place at the right time. Beyond Diana, this was a sound investment for the men. That it would put them in Diana’s realm was a bonus.
    Sloan had warned Dane about showing his feelings for Diana and the need not to alienate her. They had spent a long time trying to find their woman. Now that they had, Sloan wanted to be cautious until she came to trust them. Revealing their secret to her had to be done carefully, or she’d think they were crazy and bolt. Neither man wanted to have to chase her if their secret unnerved her. Both men had uses for her in the near future, and Sloan didn’t want Dane to screw that up. Dane knew when the time was right, Sloan would make his appearance and his ploy for Diana.
    In the meantime, she was fair game for Dane as long as he didn’t reveal their long-term plan or the reason for it. Dane rationalized that if she was already intimate with him, already enamored, or possibly in love, their transition to a threesome would be easier. Sloan could talk any woman into anything he needed or wanted from them. Usually, his looks won women over. Sometimes he had to put a bit of effort into it, but he always got what he wanted, for as long as he wanted. It didn’t bother Dane that he’d eventually share Diana with Sloan as long as he had her to himself for a while first. He and Sloan had known since they’d met years earlier that their paths were joined in an incomprehensible way. Sloan had carried the burden longer than he, but once he’d understood how they were connected, Dane couldn’t walk away. So now here he was, standing outside Diana’s front door, poised to knock and insinuate himself into her life.
    He switched hands, holding the bag of fresh beignets, and knocked on her door. He wanted fresh coffee to go with them and found his stomach rumbling. He really should remember to eat more regularly. For him, meals were a passing phase to be enjoyed when he had the time, shoveled down when he was busy. Sometimes he craved certain foods, but other times he couldn’t stand the sight or smell of a particular item. It all evened out for him because he was healthy, so he didn’t worry about it. He knocked a second time and heard her footsteps coming toward him. As she pulled open the door, he fixed his best smile on his lips and hoped she’d invite him in of her own accord. It would be better for all of them if she came to her own conclusion that she wanted to spend time with him.
    “What are you doing here?” she asked as soon as she pulled the heavy wooden door inward. She was staring at him through narrowed eyes, obviously annoyed.
    Dane held up the bag of fresh pastries and hoped she’d soften. He wasn’t in the mood to have to maneuver her mind to his purposes. “I was hoping you’d offer fresh coffee to go with these.”
    There was no need to read her mind. She was annoyed, and from the flush on her cheeks, a bit excited. It didn’t help him that she was wearing cotton pants with a drawstring waist in a soft-pink plaid with a solid-pink T-shirt that showed her flat belly. She was braless, and he had to take a deep breath to control his erection.
    “What part of ‘I don’t want to date my boss’ don’t you get?” She didn’t open the door wide. Instead, she held it as she leaned against the doorframe.
    “Don’t think of this as a date—just two single people who don’t want to be alone.”
    “That’s where you’re wrong. I don’t mind being alone. In fact, I’d prefer it.”
    He held the bag a bit higher. “These are getting cold.”
    “What if I told you I didn’t care?”
    “I’d say you’re a woman with much too much good taste to let these go to waste.”
    “What if I told you

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