Years ago, in a desperate move, a suddenly destitute Bella McNamara had agreed to become millionaire Jeremy Harper's mistress for six months. Now the time had finally come for Jeremy to claim her. But he didn't know he already owned every inch of Bella, including her heart. She'd fallen madly in love with the powerful man even before she'd signed herself away. And now she had six very intimate months to put her own plan into action: becoming Jeremy's beloved wife.
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June 11, 2007
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Excerpt from Six-Month Mistress by Katherine Garbera
"Jeremy Harper is here to see you."
"Send him in," Isabella McNamara said, even though he wasn't on her calendar. She hung up the phone and settled back in her leather executive chair, blowing out a long breath. This was just another meeting. She faced heads of Fortune 500 companies all the time--facing Jeremy would be no different.
She wiped her sweaty palms on the fabric of her silk skirt and immediately regretted it. She wanted to look her best, to pull off some of Angelina Jolie's charm and confidence. Taking a deep breath, she repeated a few words in her head--calm, cool, clever.
Everything was always different with Jeremy. She'd seen him exactly twelve times in the last three years. And each of those meetings had left her shaken, hungry and wanting more of the man. Of course, since she'd pretty much signed away her body to him, every time they'd met all she could think about was what it would be like to feel his naked skin rubbing against hers.
Oh, God, he'd turned her into a sex fiend. She knew that being a man's mistress wasn't about sex; it was about money. But Bella had never been able to think of anything to do with Jeremy as only business.
She didn't have to guess why he was here. Three short years ago, she'd made a deal with Jeremy and now it was time to pay up. She didn't kid herself that he was here for any reason other than to collect on that debt.
The door to her office opened and she stood to greet him. He wore a Dolce & Gabbana suit with the same ease that teenagers wore jeans and T-shirts. He sauntered into the room as if he owned it.
She caught her breath, wishing for a minute she didn't find him so attractive. But she always had. And that was probably why she was in the position she was: Owing this man a debt she had no idea if she would survive paying.
The door closed firmly behind him, but she barely noticed. Instead she tried to ignore the spicy scent of his aftershave and the way his bluer-thanblue eyes watched her.
He was her devil. The man she'd sold her soul to-and he was here to collect. She twisted her fingers together, trying desperately to believe that she wasn't scared of a six-foot-two man. But she was.
His voice was deep and low-pitched. She'd spoken to him on the phone countless times, yet his voice always sent little shivers of awareness pulsing through her veins.
"Jeremy," she said, then remembered a very important lesson that her mother had taught her. Never let them see you sweat. Of course, her mom had been referring to the Palm Beach jet set they'd once been a part of, but Bella figured the same rule applied to sexy billionaires. "Please have a seat."
He moved farther into the room, seating himself in one of her guest chairs. She sank down into her leather chair, opening her center desk drawer and touching the jewel-encrusted Montblanc fountain pen that had once been her mother's and was now Bella's lucky charm. She rubbed her fingers over it before taking it out of the drawer and placing it on the desk.
"What can I do for you?" she asked carefully. He might be here for another reason. Maybe he wanted her to cater an event for his company or his family's annual Fourth of July bash. "I think you know."
She sighed. Not an event after all. "Time's up." He laughed, a rich sound that filled the room, and for a moment she forgot to be afraid. Forgot that he held all the cards in this situation by her own design.
"I was hoping time would have helped alleviate your fears."
"I'm not afraid of you," she said, very aware that her words were a lie.
She didn't care if Jeremy knew it, either. She'd spent most of her life dealing with people she was afraid of, ever since her father had died when she was fourteen and they'd gotten the news that his entire fortune was gone. She'd learned to deal with the fear of being mocked by the same people she'd once called friends.