Heat rose to his face and he didn’t bother hiding his scowl.
“This is from Thomas Bilton,” he said accusingly to the brunette in front of him.
“Yes,” Jade said with a hint of apprehension. “I’m his new PA.”
“I don’t appreciate being conned like this,” he rasped, slitting his eyes.
“Conned? I don’t understand,” she said, her eyes rounding.
He crumpled the sheet and put it in his pocket. “Did you type the letter?” he grunted as he took a couple of bills from his wallet and dropped them on the table.
“No. Mr. Bilton must have typed it himself,” Jade answered, sounding nervous. “I don’t know anything about it. He just told me to come here and hand it to you.”
He inhaled deeply, scrutinising Jade. She held his gaze, looking bewildered… and damned attractive. It was a pity she worked for Thomas Bilton.
“I wouldn’t have turned up if I knew this was Bilton’s doing,” he said, standing up. “I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m leaving now.”
“Wait, Lucas, please,” Jade said, rising to her feet. “Could you please just read it? I’m supposed to relay your answer back to Mr. Bilton.”
“Please, Lucas,” she said quietly. “He told me it’s imperative that you read it.”
Something in Jade’s tone made Lucas pause, and he found himself pulling the letter out and smoothing it. Admittedly, this whole business of a beautiful woman hand-delivering him a letter made him curious as to its contents.
He read it and his lips twisted. The old man was good. He penned quite a moving piece—if Lucas didn’t know any better. But he did. Thomas Bilton was simply trying to manipulate him to protect his reputation.
He shoved the paper back in his pocket. “You said you don’t know what this is all about?”
Jade shook her head.
“So if your boss tells you to jump off a cliff, you’d do it without any question?”
Jade’s face reddened. “Of course not. I didn’t ask questions because he said it was a private matter.”
“So you’re the kind of person who doesn’t care if your job requires you to lie, as long as you get paid good money for it.” Why he felt the need to goad the truth out of her, he didn’t know.
Jade lifted her chin up in defiance. “I’m sorry, but I never lied to you. I was simply following instructions to meet you.”
They glared at each other, and Lucas felt his anger start to evaporate. Jade’s expression seemed honest enough. And hell, her captivating face was distracting him. Those long lashes that framed her beautiful hazel eyes didn’t seem embellished by mascara. And her lips—full and sexy, and--
“I need your answer, Lucas,” Jade said.
The bitter taste came rushing back in his mouth. “My answer is no. And if the circumstances were different, I would have said it was a pleasure meeting you, Jade Tully.”
Then he walked off.