Casual Affair

By: Melanie Munton

For my husband, who has never stopped believing in me.

Chapter One

Just outside Washington, DC

Get over here so I can shove your pants down around your ankles and bury my face between your legs.

Beatrice Paxton stared dumbfounded at the sexy man mouthing those words to her. He did not just say that. No way.

But if he did…

Well. It was a good thing her pants had a lot of spandex in them.

She shook her head, dragging herself out of the unfortunate sexual tailspin just as the man in question stood up from his crouch and lunged in her direction. Instantly, paint pellets came flying from all directions, all bright neon yellow and all aimed right at him. Bea watched as he returned fire, dodging and ducking with impressive agility.

He was like the paintball version of Braveheart.

She wouldn’t lie. It was pretty hot.

Keep it professional, girl, she warned herself.

But she couldn’t take her eyes off him. After all, she was only human. And as a female human, she couldn’t help but wonder what kind of beast he might be—probably was—in the bedroom. If he could move that well with all those clothes on, then surely—

Pop, pop, pop.

She heard the guns of the other team firing like crazy and realized she needed to pull her head out of her ass and give the poor man some cover. But the second she eased around the wooden structure, something whooshed past her face—had to have been only a few inches from smacking her right in the eye—and she immediately scrambled back behind the wall.

“I was telling you to cover me while I circled around to that tree over there,” he said with a grunt as he fell down next to her.

After mentally dousing her scorched panties with cold water, she was able to find her voice. “Sorry. Reading lips is harder than it looks.” Understatement.

The man unknowingly rubbing his rock-hard thigh against her hip was Zane Price, COO of Envision Tech Industries. Wealthy bachelor. Badass businessman. Chris Hemsworth look-alike—no joke. But most important? Her potential new client, and a big one at that. Like, early retirement big.

“Bloody hell, I was pointing right at the tree.”

And he was British.

Sexy posh accent and all.

Why she was being punished with so much hotness staring her in the face, yet had to abide by the “look but don’t touch” rule, she couldn’t begin to understand. Life could be so unfair.

“Okay, but that looked like some sort of military code, and I wasn’t in the Marines,” she told him. As he squatted beside her, she took advantage of his turned back and stifled a dreamy sigh. Those broad shoulders…

He turned and looked at her with a knowing smirk. “Neither was I. But I’ve played many a video game in my time.”

She quirked an eyebrow, unable to keep the grin off her face. “And video games translate to paintball…how, exactly?”

He shrugged and winked. “Call of Duty. Champion back in my university days, luv.”

Luv. Oh, the way that sounded rolling off his tongue.

She was almost positive she heard a tiger growling somewhere in her subconscious…or was that her libido? Down, kitty.

Business meeting, she reminded herself.

“Well, my gaming sophistication may never have gone past Donkey Kong and Mario Kart, but I have played a lot of sports,” she said, tossing a few glances around their makeshift structure to assess the rest of the battlefield. “And we need a game plan.”

Part of her wanted to feel ridiculous being decked out in the bulky, protective paintball gear. This was supposed to be a job interview. Envision Tech needed to hire an interior designer for the redesign of their new home store, which was supposed to open in a few months. Bea and her sister, Felicity—co-owner of Paxton Designs—had both been surprised and flattered when they received a call from Zane Price’s secretary requesting a meeting, and Bea had immediately jumped on board.

The next thing she knew, she was running around a field, shooting people.

Coolest. Business meeting. Ever.

Zane Price was clearly not your standard, conventional boss. That was just fine with her. She wasn’t a standard, conventional kind of girl.

He shifted all the way around to face her, his blue eyes sparkling in the sunlight. “And what do you propose, Ms. Paxton?”

That deep voice of his made her insides feel like they were melting into her toes.

“See that ditch to the left of the building?” she asked around her suddenly dry mouth, forcing herself to focus.


“I say everyone takes up positions there and starts shooting, which will draw their team to take cover behind that hill.” She pointed. “Then you and I will circle around through those trees over there,” she said, moving her finger to indicate. “There’s an opening about a hundred feet directly behind the hill that will give us a clear shot at their backs while they’re distracted by the fire coming from the ditch.”