Hot, Sexy & Bad(7)

By: Judy Angelo

Her lips curled in a smile and she gave a slight nod. “You could say that.”

“I won’t waste your time or mine. Let me get straight to the point.” He sat forward in his chair and rested his folded arms on top of the desk. “How much money do you make per hour?”

Arie’s eyebrows shot up then her brows knotted in a frown. “Excuse me?”

“I asked you how much money you make. What? Five bucks an hour? Six?”

Her smile long gone she stared back at him in confusion. “Um…why? What does that have to do with our meeting?”

Rome gave her a confident smile. “It’s got everything to do with our meeting. I’ve got a proposal for you.” He sat back in his chair again, his eyes never leaving her face. “As a server you probably make five or six dollars an hour plus tips, with little chance of moving up the ladder. How would you like to work for me instead?”

“Excuse me?” she asked again, looking even more confused.

He laughed. “What? Too good to be true? I thought you’d jump at the chance to make some real money.” When she didn’t answer right away he continued. “I know you’re wondering what I’ve got in mind. Don’t worry. This position is perfect for you. My company needs an event planner and I have no doubt that you have all the skills necessary.”

That seemed to draw a reaction but instead of the smile of joy he was expecting, her lips tightened and her brows fell. Instead of effusive expressions of gratitude, Arie Angelis fixed him with a glare so cold he knew he’d pissed her off. “Is that what you called me here for? To offer me a job?”

That made him pause. What did she think he’d called her in for? A tête-à-tête? “Look, Miss Angelis, this is strictly business. I’m making you a very attractive job offer. You would make several times the pay you’re getting now.” As he stared back at her Rome could not stop himself from frowning. Miss Angelis had accepted his meeting invitation right away and he knew part of that quick response was because of that fleeting but real connection they’d shared the first time they met. In offering her a job he was not only creating an opportunity for them to actually get to know each other, he was opening up a wide world of opportunity for her. She would actually be able to make a good living. Didn’t she see that?

“And what makes you think I’m a server?” She lifted an eyebrow but there was no mirth in her eyes.

“You were serving, weren’t you?” His frown deteriorated into a scowl. What was her problem? He’d been so confident she would jump at his offer he hadn’t even contemplated the possibility of her refusal. But now, with her display of attitude, she was really pissing him off.

“Miss Angelis,” he said, his voice cool and the look he gave her even cooler, “I’ll only say this one more time. I’m offering you a full-time position here at Belitalia. The salary and benefits far exceed the market average. Take it or leave it.”

Rome watched the emotions flit across Arie’s face and for the life of him he could not figure out what she was thinking. At first he saw what looked like a flash of anger and then he saw doubt but then her brows smoothed and a hint of a smile touched her lips.

He almost smiled back. The girl was finally coming around, and it made sense. She would be a fool if she didn’t.

“Mr. Milano, thank you so much for your job offer,” she said, her face suddenly soft and even pleasant, “but I’ll leave it.”

“Smart move,” he said as his face broke into a smile. And then he stopped. “You’ll what?”

“I’ll leave it,” she said, her face still pleasant, her smile growing wider. “Thank you.”

And with that she got up, turned around and walked right out of his office.

“What the…” For several seconds Rome just sat there, staring at the closed door. “Well, I’ll be damned.” As the words left his lips he got up and shoved his chair back then stalked across the room. He was about to throw the door open when he checked himself. Just in time. How the hell would it look if he went after her? No. Wasn’t going to happen. It would be a frigid day in hell before he went running after a woman.

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