Page 29 of The Crown Affair

About what? Oh, yes. Now that he’d fixed the Laura problem he snapped his attention back to the discussion with thankfully familiar ease. ‘How much is missing?’

‘Approximately fifty million,’ said one of the finance advisors.

Pushing his chair back, he stood, planted his hands on the table and said, ‘Trace the money. I suggest you start with Switzerland. When you find out who’s responsible, arrest them.’


finished off the last of her cheese sandwich and brushed the crumbs off her skirt. Breathing in the heady scent of roses, she sighed with pleasure. She’d stumbled on this little slice of heaven the day she’d arrived back with all her things, and, absolutely certain that it was one place Matt, or anyone else for that matter, would never visit, she’d made a habit of having lunch here, followed by half an hour of sunbathing before getting back to work.

The weather was gorgeous, the work was absorbing, and Matt and his disturbing effect on her composure were nowhere to be seen. What could be better?

Laura stood up, unzipped her overalls and pushed them down to her waist. Then she lay down on the grass, closed her eyes as the sun hit her bare skin and basked in the warmth.

This was so the life…

She was in the middle of a particularly lovely daydream in which she was picking up a RIBA European award for her work on the palace when she heard the squeaking of the gate.

Her heart jumped. Her ears pricked. And caught another squeak. Swiftly followed by a sharp intake of breath and a muttered curse.

Her pulse racing, Laura jackknifed up. Grabbed the sides of her overalls and clutched them to her chest. She twisted round. And nearly passed out.

Matt was standing just inside the gate, frozen to the spot, staring down at her, his face set, but his eyes blazing.

Laura swallowed and felt a raging blush hit her cheeks. Too late to hope that he hadn’t seen her semi-naked. OK, so she was at least wearing her bra, which was something to be thankful for, but the muscle hammering in his jaw and the tension in his body told her that he’d seen more than enough.

‘You scared the life out of me,’ she snapped, aiming for control by channelling her mortification into accusation.

‘Next time I’ll knock,’ he said hoarsely, turning away so she could get her clothes in order.

‘At least this time I’m not in danger of banging my head,’ she muttered as she thrust her arms into the sleeves and whipped up the zip. Just passing out with overheating. Matt creeping up on her had better not become a habit.

Springing to her feet, Laura gave herself a quick shake and forced herself to calm down. ‘You can turn round now,’ she said lightly. ‘I’m decent.’

More than decent, actually. Her nipples might be annoyingly as hard as pebbles, but the shapelessness of her overalls revealed nothing of the way her body responded to him, thank goodness.

Now all she had to do was sidle off, bury herself in work and find somewhere else to have lunch because, judging by the hamper hanging from his hand and banging against his knees, Matt had decided to appropriate this spot and frankly, with thousands of other heavenly spots in the grounds of the palace it wasn’t really worth arguing over.

‘Right. Well. I’ll—er—leave you to it.’

‘Don’t go.’ Matt flashed her a smile and her stomach flipped. Awareness whizzed through the entire length of her as, unable to help herself, she ran her gaze over every gorgeous inch of him, from the top of his thick dark hair right the way down, past the T-shirt and jeans down to the flip-flops.

She paused and blinked, not sure she’d heard him correctly. ‘What?’

‘My being here isn’t exactly a coincidence.’

Laura frowned. ‘Did you want something?’

‘I came to see if you’d like some lunch.’ He strode towards her and set the hamper beside the table.

‘I’ve already had it.’

‘Have some more.’

‘I’m not hungry.’

‘Fine, you can keep me company while I have lunch,’ he said, folding himself into the chair on the other side of the table and waving that she do the same.

Hmm. ‘I need to get back to work.’

Tags: Lucy King Billionaire Romance
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