The Seduction Game

By: Emma Shortt

In the game of love, the rules are meant to be broken.

When millionaire bad boy, Will Thornton, tries to buy computer-geek Kate Kelly’s building out from under her, she refuses to sell. Will might be uber rich, and super successful but she won’t be bullied. Trouble is, she didn’t expect Will to look like one of her fantasy heroes, or to make her heart beat a little too fast. She’s prepared to wait him out, but it’ll take every ounce of her self-control to win this game.

With millions of dollars on the line, Will is positive he can make Kate sell. He’s played the game better than anybody and charming is his middle name. Problem is, the snarky, geeky, computer-wiz is nothing like he imagined—impossibly cute and a match for him in every way.

The game is on but can two such radically different people come out winners in the game of seduction?

This goes out to anyone who has ever donned a pair of tights and packed into an overheated convention room. To those who wore glasses before they were cool. And to all the fab people who stood next to me in the Enterprise transport room all those eons ago and were “beamed” up.


Chapter One

“There’s a car pulling up outside Mr. Kawoski’s.”

The voice of her assistant, Meg, or as she liked to be known, “Number One,” was audible even over the heavy beat pounding in Kate Kelly’s ears. She narrowed her eyes, tugged her trailing earbuds from where she’d hooked them over the arms of her glasses, and peeked around her largest monitor, fondly referred to as Captain Carter. “There’s no one at Mr. Kawoski’s. It’s not even Mr. Kawoski’s anymore. It belongs to the devil now.”

Something that sounded suspiciously like a snort left Meg’s lips as she moved from her spot behind the serving counter to the window that covered the entire storefront of K.I.T. Her ginger braids bounced as she twitched the blinds, and her miniskirt, as always, threatened to expose her panties. “Not true, Katie,” she said. “There’s always construction workers hovering around these days, and, might I add, they’re not even attractive ones. What are the odds of that? Flocks of them and not one I’d shake my panties at.”

Kate scowled. Something she did an awful lot these days. The scowl was not for Meg’s panty-shaking though—she was used to that. It was for the situation, the construction workers, and most of all for him. “I meant no one, as in Mr. Kawoski, or what used to be his customers.”

“Yeah, well, blame Will Thornton for that,” Meg said, twitching the blinds again as she invoked the name of their nemesis. “Though I don’t know why you keep calling him the devil. It’s not even creative. We should go with Borg king.”

“Meggie, the Borg have a queen, not a king. You know that as well as I do,” Kate said, standing up and dropping her electric blue iPod and earbuds on her desk with a thud. Just thinking of Will Thornton made her angry—though really, there was no need to take it out on the iPod.

Meg flipped her a backhanded bird, clearly not convinced by Kate’s logic. “Apart from it sucking on the creativity front,” she muttered, “it’s not even fair. We’ve never even met Thornton. Only his slimy assistant Chris whatever-his-name was. Thornton himself might be awesome.”

Kate’s scowl deepened and she was tempted to throw her ever-growing rubber band ball at her best friend. “He is not awesome. Awesome men do not buy all the buildings around you. They do not then deluge you with letters and telephone calls and visits from their skeevy assistant because you won’t sell yours. And they definitely do not try and evict you.”

“He offered you a very good price, and buying the building is not the same as evicting.”

“It so is.”

“It’s so not.” Meg twitched the blind a little more, leaning forward and giving Kate a clear view of her Wonder Woman panties. Charming. “Ohhh look, it’s a red car, one of those low-slung ones like something out of Fast and Furious. What did you say it was again, a Porch, a Merc?”

“It’s a Porsche? You, throw in the ‘e’, and I said they were symbols of crumbling manhood. A clear expression of everything that is wrong with the male of our species.”

“Symbols of…oh my gosh…it’s a man and he’s getting out of the car and good lordie…Katie, get your ass over here.”

“I’m busy.”

“It’ll keep. Come here. Quickly.”

Kate sighed, not wanting to move but getting up anyway. Excitement had been rare round their parts even before all the other property owners had fallen for Will Thornton’s wallet. Nowadays, what with them being the only business left and all, it was pretty much absent.

“Who is it? Another lawyer or surveyor, I bet,” Kate said as she stalked across the store. It wasn’t a long stalk. The main room of K.I.T. was not exactly big. It boasted a display window, a counter, wall shelving, and her den—all crammed into a space that was smaller than Kate’s childhood bedroom. “It better not be Chris what’s-his-name again.”

Meg shook her head and pointed in the direction of the visitor before letting out an exaggerated sigh. “It’s not Chris. He’s dumpy and sweaty. But this guy? Well, no one would say he has any kind of crumbling anything. Certainly not his manhood.”

“Why is he wearing a suit?” Kate asked, more because she couldn’t think of anything else to say. Meg had a point. More than a point, actually. The man, whoever he was, bore a striking resemblance to her numero-uno heartthrob, Firefly god Malcolm Reynolds. Good lordie, indeed. “Who the hell wears a full suit to a building site?” she asked, even as her heart began to pound a little faster and a moshpit of butterflies took up residence in her stomach. “Lawyers is who. And stop twitching the blind. He’s going to see that we’re staring.”

Giving no indication that he had noticed the blind twitching across the street, the man opened the passenger side door of his fancy car and pulled out a hard hat and high-visibility vest. He removed his suit jacket, exposing a crisp white shirt and despairingly muscular bod, shrugged the high-vis vest on, pushed his fair hair back, and placed the hat on his head.

“Lawyers don’t wear hard hats,” Meg insisted, sighing. “He must be one of the project managers or something. I call dibs. You know I call dibs, right?”

Of course she did. Meg always called dibs and usually that was fine with Kate. Meg was the flirty, fun, outrageous one. She got the numbers and the dates and came in the next morning all disheveled and full of lusty stories. Kate got work and a Firefly marathon, if there was time. So yeah, usually…

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