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Billionaire's Contract Engagement

By:Maya Banks

Billionaire's Contract Engagement & Money Man's Fiancee Negotiation


Dear Reader,

Temptation is hard to overcome, as Celia Taylor is about to find out.  Even the best of intentions can't hold up against the persuasive powers  of tall, wealthy, gorgeous Evan Reese. But really, what's a girl to do  when it's clear the man is very hungry and she's on the menu?

Celia has some very important lessons to learn - about just who's  important in the scheme of things and what she isn't willing to give up  …   for anyone. Evan? He knows what he wants. He just has to persuade a  certain someone of that.

Evan and Celia have a fun but very passionate flirtation. They dance  around each other - not so delicately - but that's what made this book  so fun to write. It is my hope that they charm you as much as they did  me and that you enjoy their journey to happily ever after.

Enjoy Evan and Celia's story!

Until next time,

Maya Banks





One


The vultures were circling.

Celia Taylor stood back, wineglass in hand, and surveyed the crowded  ballroom. The fund-raiser was supposed to be more pleasure than  business, but business was uppermost on the minds of her competition.

Across the room, Evan Reese stood in a large group of people. He looked  relaxed, seemingly in his element, an easy smile making his  extraordinarily handsome face even more gorgeous.

It should be a crime for a man to be that good-looking. Tall, rugged, he  looked every inch the kind of man who'd be at home in the athletic wear  his company designed and sold. There was an aura of confidence and  power around him, and above all, Celia loved a man who was sure of  himself.

Given the long, searching glances they'd exchanged over the last few  weeks, she'd be a fool not to entertain the idea of seeing where things  could lead.

If he wasn't a prospective client.

A client she wanted to land very much.

She wanted the account-her boss and the agency was counting on her-but  she drew the line at sleeping with a man to get what she wanted.

Celia turned away from the sight of Evan Reese before she became too  enthralled in just watching him. They'd performed a delicate dance  around each other ever since he'd fired his last advertising agency. He  knew she wanted him-in the professional sense of course. Hell, he  probably knew she wanted him naked and in bed too, but she wasn't going  to dwell on that. Maybe later tonight when she could afford to indulge  in a little fantasy.

The problem was, anytime a big company like Reese Enterprises fired an  agency, it became open season. The other agencies circled like sharks.  It was a dog-eat-dog world, and in reality, she should be over there,  shoving herself down his throat like the rest of her competition, but  she couldn't help but believe Evan Reese was secretly amused by the  attention. He took a different hand. She was sure of it.

"Celia, glad you made it. Have you spoken to Reese yet?"

Celia turned to see her boss, Brock Maddox, standing a foot away. He  wasn't drinking. He didn't even look particularly thrilled to be here.

Her eyebrow rose. "A tux. Why, Brock, you look positively decadent. However are you keeping the ladies at bay?"

He grunted in response, his lips curling in distaste. "Cut it out, Celia. I brought Elle along."

Celia looked beyond his shoulder to see his pretty assistant standing a  few feet away. When Elle looked her way, Celia smiled and waved.

"You look beautiful," Celia mouthed.

Elle smiled and ducked her head self-consciously but not before Celia saw the faint blush that colored her cheeks.

Brock gestured impatiently toward Evan. "Why are you standing over here  while Evan Reese is over there?" Brock scanned the room and his  expression hardened. "I should have known the old bastard would be  here."

Celia followed his gaze to see Athos Koteas holding court within hearing  distance of Evan. Though she wouldn't admit it to Brock, it made her  extremely nervous to see their business rival hammering so relentlessly  on Evan Reese. Koteas owned Golden Gate Promotions, and not only had  Koteas lured away a few of Maddox's top clients in recent months, he'd  also launched a PR campaign against Maddox. It was dirty pool, but it in  no way surprised Celia. Koteas was ruthless, and he'd do anything to  win.

"Well, yes," Celia murmured. "His ad execs are busy working Evan over."

"Any reason you aren't?"

She laid her hand on his forearm. She knew how important this account  was to Brock-to everyone at Maddox Communications. "I need you to trust  me, Brock. I've studied Evan Reese extensively. He knows I'm interested.  He'll come to me eventually. I'm sure of it."         

     



 

"Are you fifty million dollars sure, Celia? Maddox is small, and this  kind of deal means our employees keep their jobs whereas if we continue  to lose clients and accounts, I can't make any guarantees."

"I know I'm asking a lot," she said in a low voice. "But I can't walk  over there and pull out the seductive wiles." She gestured toward the  women standing around Evan. They weren't making any bones as to how far  they'd go to sign him. "It's what he expects, and you of all people know  I can't do it. I can land this account on the ideas, Brock. I've spent  every waking minute putting this pitch together. There's no way he won't  go for it."

Brock studied her for a long moment, his eyes gleaming with what looked  like respect. She loved working for him. He was hard. He was demanding.  And he was the only person she'd presented her side of what had happened  in New York in her last advertising job.

"I never expected you to land the account on anything less than your  brilliance, Celia," Brock said softly. "I hope I never gave you any  other impression."

"I know. I appreciate your confidence more than you know. I won't let you down. I won't let Maddox Communications down."

Brock ran a hand through his hair and glanced once more across the room.  He looked tired. It was true he worked hard. The agency was everything  to him. But in the last few months new lines had appeared around his  eyes. More than anything Celia wanted to be able to hand this account to  him. He had believed in her when everyone else was willing to think the  worst.

She glanced up to see Evan threading his way through the throng of  people. "Don't look now, but he's headed our way. Maybe you should take  Elle and go dance or something."

As quickly as he'd approached, Brock turned and melted back into the crowd.

Celia sipped at her wine and practiced nonchalance as she literally felt  Evan close in. It was impossible to miss him. Her body always seemed to  heat up about five degrees whenever he was anywhere near.

And his smell. Even amid the hustle and bustle of the crowded room, the  mix of so many feminine perfumes, she could pick out his unique scent.  Rough. Masculine and mouthwateringly sexy. It made no sense to her, but  she was attuned to his every nuance, and that had nothing to do with all  the studying up she'd done on him and his company.

"Celia," he murmured.

She turned with a welcoming smile. "Hello, Evan. Enjoying the evening?"

"I think you know I'm not."

She raised one eyebrow and stared at him over the rim of her glass. "Do I?"

Evan snagged a flute from a passing waiter and turned his attention  fully on her. It was all she could do not to gasp under his heated  scrutiny. It was as if he undressed her right then and there in front of  a roomful of people. Her blood simmered and pooled low in her belly. He  had beautiful eyes, and they were currently devouring her, delving  beneath the modest evening gown she'd chosen. He made it seem like she  wore the most scanty, revealing dress imaginable. She felt nude and  vulnerable under his searing gaze.

"Tell me something, Celia. Why aren't you over with the rest of the  piranhas convincing me that your ad agency will take Reese Enterprises  straight to the top?"

Her lips curved upward into a smile. "Because you already are at the top?"

"You're such a tease."

At that her smile faded. He was right. She was flirting, and it was the last thing she wanted to do.

She glanced across the room to where the other ad execs stood staring holes through her and Evan.

"I'm not desperate, Evan. I know I'm good. I know my ideas for your ad  campaign are spectacular. Does that make me arrogant? Maybe. But I don't  need to sell you on a load of malarkey. All I need is the time to show  you what Maddox Communications can do for you."

"What you can do for me, Celia."

Her eyes widened in surprise at the blatant innuendo. And then he went on to correct the errant assumption she'd just made.

"If the ideas are yours and are as brilliant as you say, I'd hardly be  taking on Maddox and what the agency could do for me. I'd be hiring  you."

She frowned and hated that she suddenly felt at a disadvantage. Her  fingers curled a little tighter around the glass, and she prayed they  wouldn't shake and betray her unease.

He studied her curiously, having obviously picked up on her discomfort.

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