One Night With the Billionaire (Men of the Zodiac)

One Night With the Billionaire (Men of the Zodiac) by Sarah Ballance Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: One Night With the Billionaire (Men of the Zodiac) by Sarah Ballance Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sarah Ballance
Tags: Romance, Literature & Fiction, Contemporary, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Women, Women's Fiction
    “It’s an old picture. I just haven’t thrown it out yet.” Truth was, he kept the yearbook to stay in touch with his past, just so he wouldn’t forget from where he came. The man who had judged Ryder unworthy and thrown money at him so he’d go away had earned Ryder’s appreciation, but not his respect. Ryder never wanted to become that kind of judgmental asshole.
    Aggie parked her hands on her hips and stared him down. “Yeah, and you just put it on an airplane and moved it here rather than leave it with the overwhelming majority of the stuff at your residence on the mainland. I’m not buying there’s not something there.”
    Convenient, because he wasn’t trying to sell it. He couldn’t deny how much he wanted Zoe, and the isolation of the island and the anonymity under which she’d traveled made that desire dangerous. It made that desire something on which he could act. He just wasn’t convinced he could have her and get over her. Scratching an inch seldom made the itch go away, and sinking into that incredible body of hers wasn’t something he was likely to do once and forget. But it was more than that. Zoe wanted to escape her privileged life, and he didn’t want to be part of her rebellion. Ten years had passed, yet despite his money, he felt like they were in the same place. He would be a distraction from her real life. A fling. A means to an end that didn’t include him.
    Aggie would see right through any denial he made, which told him a whole lot more about his feelings toward Zoe than he wanted to admit. But the truth didn’t change the reality. He could take her for a night, but she’d never be his for keeps.
    He’d worked too hard for what he had to throw it all away.
    And that would just have to be that.
    He straightened his back and leveled a glare on her that wouldn’t faze her one bit. “There’s nothing more to tell, Aggie, so make damn sure you don’t go around telling it.”
    She huffed and turned her back on him to polish an already invisible pane of glass. He’d known her for years. She’d cleaned his office building when he first started in personal security, and she’d taken an immediate liking—or dislike, perhaps—to him, verbally poking him between the eyes every chance she got. She was relentless, and damned if it didn’t grow on him. When he bought the company, he gave her a raise. When he sold it, he took Aggie with him to look after his main residence, and when he talked to her about opening the resort, she was the first one to tell him to go for it…as long as he planned on taking her with him. And just like that, she’d been giving him hell for years—no less so now than back when he had nothing to his name but the second-hand suit on his back.
    A half smile tilted his lips. He shook his head, then turned and headed out into the sun. He welcomed the blast of heat and the mottled shade from the palms. No trace of the dead grass he’d endured during his childhood, and none of the green grass he’d coveted next door. He’d made his own way. Found his own place.
    And of all the people in the world, damned if Zoe hadn’t found it, too.
    The glint of sunlight on water reminded him he’d left his sunglasses somewhere. Probably at the cabana, where his mind had been on the woman his dream girl had become. The thought of her in that dress had him hard. Way too hard to be walking up on Hector, who would nail his shit to the wall for kicks.
    “Get to work!” Ryder called when he neared the dock where Hector was offloading a supply of alcohol into the back of a pickup truck.
    Hector glanced up, then gave a pointed look toward the sizable pile of cases he’d already moved. “Nice of you to show, boss-man.”
    “Hey, your paycheck clears. I’m just here to take pictures for the brochure.”
    Hector snatched a water bottle from the cooler at his feet and hurled it toward Ryder, who managed to simultaneously duck and snag it from mid-air. He cracked it

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