Ian removed his black frames and casually glanced out the window. It was a beautiful and warm, sunny day in Los Angeles. He felt ridiculous being stuck inside a restaurant when he should’ve been outside working on a tan. “Let’s move this meeting to the patio,” he suggested.
“Patio?” Sydney looked around.
Ian snapped his fingers and two servers immediately arrived at their table and removed everything. After Ian carefully watched them, he turned to his muse. He stepped closer to her and Sydney immediately smelled his musky cologne. She really hate how wonderful he smelled. He smelled like the woods. He smelled like earth.
Ian smelled like pure, unbridled sex.
She felt her adrenaline shot up and took small, deep breaths to calm it. Ian was perfect in every way and Sydney felt guilty for entertaining a small schoolgirl crush on him. As long as she looked but not touched, it was fine.
It was going to be fine. It was going to be fine. It was going to be fine.
“After you, milady.” He instructed. Ian and Sydney followed the servers where they quickly set up a table outside. “Perfect. Thank you.” Ian nodded to them.
“First-class service,” Sydney commented. “They know you personally.”
“They should,” Ian lifted his ice water glass and took a sip, “I own this restaurant.” He set the glass down and turned serious. “I’m going to put a lot of effort into your art, Sydney. That means I need your full attention and cooperation. I need your best focus because a lot is riding on this.”
“Good. After lunch, we’re going to get you all of the art supplies you need and maybe a few that you want. Money’s no limit. You’ll use my Silk card.” Ian casually mentioned the exclusive Coutts Silk card that only boasted of 100 members and reserved for the ultra-rich. “I also need you to clear out your calendar for the next several months in preparation for your debut at the Ferguson.”
“Next several months?” Sydney repeated. The only major plan she had was the biggest day of her life. Her stomach knotted and she suddenly found it hard to breathe. “I’m getting married in six months.”
“Congratulations,” Ian smiled, “I hope I can attend.”
Sydney was confused. The man just told her to cancel all plans before he invited himself to her wedding. “You don’t want me to cancel the wedding?”
“Why would I suggest you do that? You only get married once or if you’re like my father, and I certainly hope you’re not, you get married a few times.” Ian bit his lips as he emphatically shook his head. “I meant canceling all other art-related gigs until you make your debut. I’m sure your fiancée will understand.”
Sydney wanted to say yes. The epic fight they had the other day gave her pause. It was one thing if Dean was jealous of Roman but it was another ball game to be jealous of Ian. It was a side of Dean Sydney didn’t like. “Yeah, he will.”
Ian noticed her hesitation. “Does your fiancée challenge you?”
Sydney’s brows furrowed as she contemplated the question. “I don’t understand.”
“It’s one thing if he supports you, and I think every person should support their partner. But does he challenge you?” Ian’s eyes focused squarely on Sydney. “Does he make you hungrier for more ideas? Does he inspire you? Does he make you want to get up and draw?”
Ian stared at Sydney with such intensity, she felt her breathing become shallow and a small tingle pierced in her spine. A slight clench in her stomach traveled down to the vee of her sex while her thighs quivered with anticipation. “Well, of course,” she defended, “Dean’s been very instrumental and inspirational to my career and goals.”
“Good. I hope it stays that way.” He nodded. “I’ve seen too many artists who become complacent in their relationships and as a result, complacent in their art.”
Sydney slightly swung her head, causing her brown locks to flow with the breeze. “You sound like Dean’s going to be a problem?”
Ian noticed how sweet and innocent Sydney looked when the sun hit her face at the right angle. She truly looked angelic and her light brown eyes narrowed in on his, giving him her complete attention. Her lips were painted with a soft nude color and looked delectable. He’d already imagined sucking on them, and in turn, watching them suck on him.
He couldn’t tell if Sydney was naturally sexy or if she was subtly trying to seduce him. What he could tell was the immediate reaction he had in his slacks. “I don’t care if he supports you. I don’t care if he doesn’t. I do care, however, that he won’t get in the way of your art. If he gets in the way, then yes, Sydney,” Ian’s eyes became serious, “he’s going to be a problem I will quickly solve.”
Power Play will be out next month.