Excerpt: The Playboy and The Nanny
Book 2: Beware of Greeks Series
Nikos Costanides needed a woman.
Not just any woman, either. He needed a babe. Luxuriously blonde. Definitely sultry. Naturally brash. And the blowsier the better.
It wouldn’t hurt if she wore a skin tight leopard-spotted dress, either, he thought with a ghost of a smile. But he wasn’t going to hold out for that, he decided as he tucked the telephone under his chin and punched in the number. A close approximation would do just fine.
“Debbie’s Dollies Escort Service,” a voice purred moments later on the other end of the line.
Nikos grinned. If the woman who came was as promising as the voice on the phone, he’d be out of here by sundown. “I’d like the services of one of your escorts this afternoon.”
“Certainly, sir,” the voice purred. “Whatever your heart desires.”
What his heart desired was to be five thousand miles away from his father’s Long Island mansion, but he knew that wasn’t what the woman on the phone had in mind. Still, she would be helping him get there, so he gave the receptionist an idea of the sort of escort he wanted.
“A flagrant sort of woman?” she said doubtfully when he’d finished.
“In your face,” Nikos agreed cheerfully. “Over the top. Definitely not subtle. You know what I mean?”
“Er, well,” the receptionist said, though she still sounded a little doubtful. Then her business sense won out. “I’m sure we have just the woman. I’ll send her right out.”
Nikos gave the receptionist the address. “I’m in the caretaker’s cottage behind the main house. There’s a party going on by the pool, but it’s perfectly all right if she comes straight up the main drive and walks right past them.”
Nikos looked out at the group of party-goers on the patio behind the main house — particularly at his stubborn, straight-laced father who was carrying a footstool for Julietta, his very pregnant young wife — and flexed his shoulders in anticipation. The weight of his confinement eased slightly. It wouldn’t be long now and the shackles would be completely gone.
“Yes, sir. I’ll tell her. And I’m sure she’ll do just what you want her to, Mr. Costanides,” the receptionist assured him.
“Yes,” Nikos agreed with a purr of satisfaction in his own voice. “I’m sure she will.”
It was actually closer to forty-five minutes before he heard the knock on the cottage door. It was a short rap. Brisk and no-nonsense. Not especially sultry. But then it was probably hard to sound sultry in a knock.
No matter. Maybe the gardener had stopped her when she came up the drive, suspecting she was lost. She would hardly look like one of the guests coming to his step-mother’s baby shower! Nikos grinned again and finished stuffing the last of his gear into a duffel bag, the better to be ready when his father threw him out.
If he’d been able to drive, he’d have been gone long before this. But a car accident following a shouting match with his father a month ago had left him with a cast on his leg that limited his mobility. It had given his father the chance he wanted &emdash; to nail Nikos down until he could badger him into working for Costanides International.
Not on your life, Nikos thought now as he thought every time the subject came up. There would be six feet of snow in hell first.
He hauled himself out of his chair to go answer the door, thinking that if, in fact, old Thomas the gardener had stopped the floozie, it would be that much better. He would be one more person shocked by Nikos’s disrespectful behavior, one more voice telling Stavros that his elder son was irredeemable, one more reason to throw the blackguard out.
To be honest, though, Nikos doubted if. After thirty years in the employment of the Costanides family, Thomas was unlikely to be shocked by anything any of them did.
It didn’t matter in any case. It was his father he wanted to shock, his father he wanted to anger, not the long-suffering Thomas. It was even too bad he would horrify all those women fawning and fluttering around his gorgeous young stepmother, but that was just too bad. And anyway, they’d probably love tittering and gossiping about it.
Nikos was used to being the subject of titters and gossip. He’d cultivated it once he found out how it infuriated his old man. And if people didn’t have anything better to do than fret about other’s supposed peccadilloes, it wasn’t his problem.
Still occasional glances out the window while he’d waited for his buxom lady had proved that his audience was going to be considerably larger than he’d expected when he made the call. At least fifty of the Hamptons’ best-dressed, wealthiest women were laughing and chattering on the deck around the pool as Julietta opened a pile of gaily wrapped baby gifts. Julietta’s friend, Deanne, who was giving his stepmother the baby shower, must have invited the whole damn county!
Pink and blue balloons, tethered to the light poles for the occasion, bobbed in the soft summer breeze. Streamers of pink and blue ribbon fluttered from the roof of the new gazebo. He’d seen them preparing for it all morning. He’d gritted his teeth then.
Now he gritted them again as he crutched his way slowly to the door. But this time it wasn’t precisely a grimace, but more like a feral grin. Then, dressed only in a towel and the cast on his leg, Nikos opened the door.
She wasn’t a babe.
She wasn’t even blonde &emdash; or not very. Her hair was brown, but not dark, a sort of deep honey color, long and pulled back into a plait at the nape of her neck, not blowsy at all. She didn’t look very sultry, either, though she had the biggest blue-green eyes he’d ever seen. Even with her big wide eyes, though, she looked prim, proper and barely more than a school girl in her plain navy blue skirt and a scoop-necked shirt. It wasn’t a very deeply scooped neck either, he noted with considerable irritation.
She had a good bosom on her, though, he’d give her that.
Still, if this was what Debbie’s Dollies thought qualified as “in your face,” he didn’t think they’d be in business very long. His audience was going to have to use a lot of imagination.
Nikos glanced toward the group on the deck to see if they’d even noticed her arrival, since it hadn’t been nearly as spectacular as he’d hoped. Almost none of the women was paying attention.
But &emdash; Nikos smiled to himself &emdash; his father was.
The old man looked definitely curious. He stood just a little apart from the women, his body turned toward the group sitting around the table where his wife was still opening gifts. But his gaze &emdash; and his attention &emdash; were focused toward the cottage.
It would have been better, of course, if she’d been blowsy and brash, but at least she was a woman &emdash; and as such she would suffice.
Maybe her schtick was the prim schoolmarm facade that became all the more sexy by contrast once she let her hair down. Looking her over, Nikos could see where that act might have possibilities.
Too bad he wasn’t going to get to test it out.
He pasted his best macho shark grin on his face. “It’s about time,” he reproved her, though his face spoke only eager anticipation. “But at least you got here.”
She opened her mouth, but he didn’t give her a chance to speak. “Come and show me what’s under that prissy look, sweetheart.” And, so saying, he reached out, hauled her into his arms and kissed her.
Past her ear he saw his father’s jaw drop. The old man’s eyes bugged. If he’d been closer, Nikos would have bet he could’ve seen his father’s mustache quiver.
He wanted to cheer. Instead he pressed his advantage, wrapping his arms around the woman and, because upon touch, she turned out to be far more tempting than he’d expected, he thrust his tongue past her parted lips as he molded her body to his.
For just a moment it was a stiff, resisting body. A body that exactly mirrored the starchy persona she was playing.
And then, almost imperceptibly, she changed. The starch went out of her. The ice melted. She drew a sweet, astonished breath &emdash; as astonished as the one Nikos himself was drawing because, by God, yes, there was fire here!
And then she bit him!