Hot, Sexy & Bad(8)

By: Judy Angelo



Particularly a dimwitted one who didn’t know a good thing when it was handed to her on a silver platter.

Shoving his hands in his pockets, Rome gave a grunt of annoyance and walked back to his desk. He wasn’t used to rejection, not from anyone, and definitely not from a woman.

He shook his head, for once in his life utterly confused. He was used to members of the opposite sex falling all over themselves to get to him. So what was it with this one?

Rome drew in his breath then let it out slowly, and as his surprise and anger subsided he laughed and shook his head. He’d probably just met one of the few women in the world who could tell him no.

And that made him all the more intrigued.

Some way, somehow, he would have to get to the bottom of this one. Whether she liked it or not, he would have to see her again.





CHAPTER THREE





Talk about arrogance. That was Rome Milano’s middle name.

The nerve of the man, to think that all he had to do was drop a job offer in her lap and she would fall, swooning at his feet in gratitude. What did he take her for?

It was an infuriated Arie who marched into the office next day. She was taking Rome’s behavior as an insult and it had already colored her day. And the color was the fiery-red of rage.

“Hey, what’s up with you?” Lena swiveled around from the reception counter and stared at her as she walked in, slamming the door behind her. “Got up on the wrong side of the bed?”

“I hate men.” Arie shrugged out of her sweater and, instead of hanging it on the rack at the entrance, she threw it onto the coffee table in the reception area. Today she was in no mood to be neat. “That’s what I get for liking a man who’s too pretty.”

That made Lena cock a curious eyebrow. “With that speech it’s a good thing the receptionist isn’t in yet. I could just see her gobbling up this juicy bit of gossip.” She jerked her head toward her office. “Come on in and let’s talk.”

Inside, Lena poured Arie a cup of tea then sat down to hear the full story. “So tell me what’s pissed you off this time. I’m guessing your meeting with Rome Milano didn’t go too well.”

Arie gave a snort. “You got that right. It didn’t go well at all. I thought the man was calling me to a meeting to discuss business. You know, one business leader to another.” Too annoyed to want to sit there sipping tea, she deposited the cup and saucer on Lena’s desk. “I’m a leader in my field, just like he is. Why couldn’t he take me seriously?”

Lena frowned. “So what did he do? Make a pass at you?” Lena’s face darkened. “Just say the word and I’ll have my lawyer on him so fast he won’t know what hit him. Big shot or no, he can’t do that and get away with it.”

“No, he didn’t make a pass at me.” Arie grimaced. “I almost wish that was it.”

“Then what?” Lena’s dark eyes were filled with confusion. “What did he do that made you so upset?”

Arie grimaced again then she gave a grunt of disgust. “He offered me a job.”

For several seconds Lena stared at her, the confusion never leaving her face, then she shook her head. “Okay, so let me understand this. Rome Milano pissed the hell out of you because…he offered you a job?”

“It’s not just that, Lena. The man offered me a job as an event planner with his firm. And do you know why? He thought it would be a huge step up for me. A step up from my current job as a server.”

Lena stared at her some more then she smiled. “So you’re pissed that he thought you were a server. He didn’t acknowledge you as one of the owners of Talk of the Town.”

“Now do you understand why I’m so upset?” Arie shook her head. “I know exactly why he made that assumption. It’s because I’m blonde.”

“Oh, come on, Arie. Give the man the benefit of the doubt.”

“No, I won’t. I’m sick and tired of people…especially men…making assumptions about me, simply because of the way I look.” The more Arie thought about it the more she bristled. “And that’s exactly what he did. I couldn’t be anything but a server. Too blonde, he probably said, or too pretty.”

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