Seduce (Beautiful Rose 0.5)


by Missy Johnson

Chapter One

“Sure, uh, Catherine. Help yourself,” I said, buckling up my pants. Judging from the expression on her pretty little face, I’d gotten her name wrong. Shit. It was all coming back to me. Catherine was last night. This was Mandy, or Mindy. I reached for her hand, trying to pretend I actually gave a shit.

“Sorry baby, I’m not good with names,” I murmured as I moved closer to her. With my hand gripping her jaw, I tilted her head just enough so that I could run my tongue along her neck. I could feel her annoyance melt away at my touch. “Help yourself to room service, anything you want. I’ll call you when my meeting is finished.”

She rolled over onto her back, stretching out her long, lean body as she smiled at me. I wouldn’t be calling her, and I’m sure on some level she knew that. That makes me sound like a dick, but truthfully, she had gotten just as much out of the night as I had. I’d made her feel like she was the only girl in the world for me, when really there were dozens just like her who were ready to jump in my bed. I made no secret about who I was or what I wanted, and honestly, any woman willing to go home with me knew what to expect.

I was Britain’s most eligible bachelor, the oldest son of property magnate Eric Falcon. My reputation with women was well documented in all the gossip pages in every magazine, one of which only last week stated I gave more respect to my pet cat than I did to the many women I dated.

What can I say? I love my cat.

Really, I’m not as bad as my reputation makes me out to be. In fact, I’d go so far as to describe myself as a decent guy. I just have no interest in a relationship that extends beyond a quick f**k when it suits me. I really don’t see how it’s my fault or problem if a chick falls for my boyish charms. Every woman seems to think she can change me, that she has something all the other notches on my belt didn’t have. They’re usually the ones that hang around too long, fall in love with me, end up stalking me (I’ve only once had to employ a restraining order).

The thing is, I’m happy being me and I sure as f**k won’t change for anyone. I don’t need fixing because I'm not broken. I simply work hard and play harder. Things are great. I’m exactly where I want to be at twenty-five years old.

***

I exited the lift on the ground floor of The Briston, home to one of the many flats I owned around London. This particular residence was one I specifically used for entertaining. I avoided taking women home whenever possible, mainly because I wanted to keep things as impersonal as possible. And secondly, because excessive female company upset Mr. Jefferies.

I wasn’t kidding about the cat.

You’d be forgiven for not picking me as the cat type. Mr. Jefferies had been part of my life for two years, after I found him in a drainpipe behind my building as a wet, shivering kitten. Initially I had just planned to drop him off at the shelter, but after three days living it up with Jack Falcon, it was clear he wasn’t going anywhere. The newspaper probably wasn’t far off—I do treat Mr. Jefferies with more respect than some of the women I date—but in his defense, he’s worked for it, whereas they haven’t.

Dropping to your knees before you’ve even told me your name doesn’t gain you my respect. All that does is make me want to treat you like the slut you obviously consider yourself to be. If you’ve got no respect for yourself, then why should you expect it from me? It sounds harsh, but sometimes the truth hurts.

Three blocks down from this flat was my work building. As in literally my work building. I’d shown enough interest in my father’s business that when I turned twenty-one he had no hesitation in making me the CEO of the London office. That was largely helped by my brother’s decision to follow his girlfriend to the U.S. to study psychology. My father considered Alex’s move a betrayal. Many fathers would be proud of a son who studied psychology, but not ours. He hasn’t spoken to my brother since he left the country. I spoke to Alex regularly because what goes on between him and our father has nothing to do with me, and because he is the only family member I have that I really give a damn about.

“Hi, Jack.” Carly, my personal assistant, smiled at me. I winked back at her. In case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve f**ked her. Several times actually. On my desk, on the photocopier, the lunchroom table…

“Morning, Carly. Can you bring me in a coffee please?” I walked into my office without waiting for an answer, knowing she would already be scurrying to her feet to please me. Every woman liked to please Jack Falcon, and Carly knew by now that a happy Jack meant a big Christmas bonus.

Regardless of who my father was and how I came to get my position, I took my job very seriously. And what’s more, I was damn good at it. We brought property at a fraction of the cost it was worth and sold it for a profit. Since my takeover, our quarterly was up more than forty percent and I’d closed several huge deals that had been worth millions for my father’s company. Today was a good example of what I do best. I had a meeting with the liquidator of a bankrupt luxury hotel to try and secure the property which would then be resold by us at a huge profit. Liquidators were fantastic to deal with because they had no emotional tie to the property. It was the small businesses that had been in the family for generations that were the hardest to close. Nobody wants to see their family business bulldozed to make way for a parking lot.

My eyes wandered over Carly as she walked over to me. She wore a sheer white shirt, and her dark blue skirt was so short if she bent over I’d feel obliged to pay her for the show. This year to date, the company had already settled three sexual harassment cases against me. What can I say? Finding a competent assistant was hard in this day and age. So many young women just don’t want to get their hands dirty.

“Thanks, Carls,” I drawled, letting a lopsided grin spread across my mouth. Carly smiled, her eyes dropping at my attention. She was like a puppy waiting to be praised. I was half expecting her to roll onto her back for a tickle, or sit in exchange for a treat. I winked at her. She smiled again, her blood-red lips making me hard.

The coffee was hot and felt like liquid energy as it slid down my throat. My phone vibrated. I reached into my pocket and clicked on the message. It was from Catherine or Carmen or whatever the hell her name was.

I had a great time the other night, I can’t wait to see you again xx

Sighing, I tossed my phone on the mountain of papers on my desk. I knew it had been a mistake to give her my number. I made no secret of my lack of interest in continuing a relationship with these women, so I really didn’t get the continuous messages after a hook-up. It was always the same, the stench of desperation filtering through the air as they tried to cling onto the hope of seeing me again. My phone went again, but this time it was a call. I picked it up, ready to hang up on her, when I saw it was Luke, my best mate.

“Hey man,” I sighed, kicking off my shoes. I lay back in my chair, rubbing my head. No matter how much alcohol I consumed, it seemed even I wasn’t immune to post shit-faced hangovers. “What’s up?” I yawned, stretching my arms behind my head.

“Not much, you keen tonight? Sally is away with her mother for the week. Gotta break loose while I can, you know?” he laughed. Anyone else would have accepted his comment as a joke, but I knew there was some seriousness to it. How Sally managed to tame my buddy Luke, who had been my right-hand man since high school, into marriage and now children, I’ll never know. Alas, she made him happy, so who was I to mess with that?

“Sure, sounds great,” I replied. “Meet me at The Shamrock at eight, okay? Call Grant and Dillan too, see if they’re up for it.” I ended the call feeling satisfied. The Shamrock was home to many of our after work hangouts. The bar had once been a dive that attracted us as college students, and as our tastes and expectations developed, so did the Shamrock. It had recently undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation, turning it into one of the hottest nightspots in London. No doubt tonight would be another late night, which meant another morning of feeling like shit tomorrow for me. I pressed the intercom.

“Carly, do me a favor and push all my appointments for tomorrow morning back an hour? I won’t be in before eleven.” Ah, the beauty of being the boss. And so long as I was increasing the profits, I knew my dad wouldn’t give a shit.

***

I sat at The Shamrock at my usual table right at the back in the corner. You know you frequent a place too often when the bar staff know you by name. I ran my finger around the rim of my glass, staring into nothing. Girls were checking me out like they always did. At least I didn’t have to go through the hassle of wooing one of them, pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I already knew I was taking one home with me, I just wasn’t sure which one it would be. That was the beauty of being an attractive, rich bachelor who was regularly in the news: all I had to do was smile and the panties started dropping.

The kind of girls I’m talking about hang around trendy bars such as this in their tight dresses, wearing too much makeup and knocking back odd-sounding cocktails, ready to open their legs for any man who is rich, attractive, well-travelled, or confident.

Fortunately for me, I ticked all four boxes.

Right now, the blonde sitting at the bar in the short blue dress and the brunette who kept eyeing me over the shoulder of her male companion were the front-runners in the ‘going home with Jack’ stakes.

“Jackie boy!”

I looked up to see Luke heading toward me, a huge smile on his face. Like me, Luke was rich and attractive, but unlike me, he was down to earth and modest. He made heads turn wherever he went, and why he’d give all that up for one chick was beyond me. She must absolutely rock at giving head. He ran his hand through his short blonde hair.

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t imagined Sally once or twice while blowing my load. She was a beauty, with her long blonde hair and green eyes. That and her stunning figure made her the perfect mind-slut to star in any guy’s sexual fantasies.

“Hey man, how’s things?” I stood up, slapping him on the back as he sunk into the seat next to me. He slammed his keys and his phone on the table and stretched his arms out behind his head, yawning loudly.