Are you still hating me for the cliffhanger? LOL I can't help it. I'm not bad, I just write that way. *VBG*
Anyway, are you ready to see just how Chantal handles Mace's misinformation? Will she tell him the truth or let him stew in his very jealous--yet sexy--juices? Let's find out!
And don't forget to comment!
Hustle Into Love
Chantal went completely still. She was so surprised over Mace’s words, she barely noticed him shaking her like a rag doll. What had he said about Lì? She blinked as she replayed his last statement in her mind. Did he really think she and Lì were a couple?
Amusement warred with anger. How the hell had Mace come up with that bit of wisdom? Yeah, there had been some speculation in the press in the early days of her career, but that had passed pretty quickly. Most of the time, they both led separate lives, so neither she or Lì had bothered to dignify the rumors with an answer. They knew what they were to each other, and it was something private and special. The details weren’t anyone’s business but their own.
But both Mace’s parents knew the truth, so why didn’t Mace? Chantal swallowed back a giggle as she stared up into his handsome, irritated face. Baby brother had sure gotten his wires crossed somewhere.
An evil thought danced in her mind and her eyes narrowed. This would be a perfect time to get back some of her own for how Mace had treated her when she first arrived. He’d pretended to be her assistant and embarrassed her to no end. Well, she could pretend to be Lì’s lover. And since it seemed to bother Mace so much, she could work that until she had him squirming under her very sharp thumbnail. Then she’d drop the truth on him like an over-weighted scenery truss on opening night.
Her mouth had actually opened to start the teasing, when suddenly her conscience poked her hard in the shoulder. She let out a silent groan as her inner dancer tut-tutted, shook her head and tapped her foot impatiently. Chantal realized a heartbeat later Lì was too important to both Mace and her to use in such a manner. Even if it would have been so perfect.
“Oh, for God’s sake,” she muttered aloud, struggling one last time against her sense of right and wrong. “Can’t I have any fun?”
“Fun?” Mace growled, giving her another shake. “Is that all it is to you? You’ve used my brother for over a decade as your meal ticket, and all you can come up with is that it’s fun?”
“Excuse me?” All amusement fled at his snarling words. The rest of his angry tirade suddenly came to her and any thought of laughing disappeared completely. Did Mace really believe the only way she’d made her career was on her back? By having sex with Lì?
Pain shot through her as she studied him. He did. It was written in those gorgeous eyes. Forget her talent and hard work. Forget the time, sweat and tears she’d put into it. He thought she’d gotten to where she was by sleeping with his brother. And he was royally pissed at the idea.
“Why the hell are you looking at me like that?” Mace snapped, finally letting her go and pushing away. “Everyone knows what you’ve done. Hell, I can’t even say I blame you. You saw the gold ring and reached for it. And Lì took care of you. It won’t be the first time a woman used her…charms to get where she wanted.”
The pain was still there, but now Chantal’s famous temper made an appearance, and she welcomed it. Better angry than hurt. Mace would find out no one accused Chantal Montgomery of sleeping her way to the top. Not and have any teeth left afterwards.
“You think,” she said very quietly, “that Lì and I are lovers.”
Mace tossed a disgusted look at her. “Christ, Chantal. It’s not a secret.”
She nodded and tamped down the bubbling brew of fury that threatened to explode. “And you think the only way I’ve gotten to where I am, is because I fuck—” she used the crudity purposely, “—your big brother on a regular basis.”
He flinched, just as she’d known he would. “Damn it. I know you probably…care about him.”
“Well, how kind of you to say so,” she murmured, her tone overly sweet. “I can’t tell you how much that little caveat means to me.”
Pushing his hand through his hair, Mace glared at her. “Don’t get all self-righteous on me. I’m not the one who “danced” her way to stardom. You’ve got some nerve calling Chóngdé less than virtuous when you did the same thing.”
Dimly, Chantal saw the red thread holding her temper snap. She was around the desk and standing in front of him without even being aware she’d moved. Of its own violation, her fist shot out and connected with Mace’s hard jaw. It snapped his head back and sent him stumbling back against the wall.
The pain was awesome but so was the satisfaction. “You son of a bitch. Kai dei. Trou du cul.” Chantal went from English to Cantonese to French to vent her spleen properly. Chinese curses tended to center on the cursee’s family and no way was she going to do that to Lì or his mom. “How dare you? You think I’m going to let you stand there and call me a whore?”
Mace’s eyes burned with dark fire as he wiped blood from his mouth. “I didn’t call you a whore, damn it. All I said was that you’re a hypocrite for telling me not to sleep with someone I work with when you’ve been doing it for the last ten fucking years.” He stepped closer. “And I don’t care what you get away with when you’re with Lì. Don’t you ever hit me again.”
She just sneered at him. “Do you think you scare me? Go to hell. There’s nothing you can do to me that’s worse than what you just did.”
That stopped him in his tracks. “What I just did? All I did was tell the truth…and point out that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t toss stones. And honey, your house is pretty damn fragile.”
Chantal shook, she was so angry. Part of her fury was knowing that Mace’s poor opinion of her was more painful than anything she’d dealt with before. She’d actually begun to care about him, and that’s what hurt so bad. Obviously she’d been mistaken about the attraction she’d felt between them. But it didn’t matter, there was no way he or anyone else was going to smear Lì—let alone herself—and get away with it. She put her hands on her hips and glared at him.
“Baby brother, I’m going to say this just once. And then you can get your high and mighty self out of my office and stay the hell out of my way. I don’t want to see you, talk to you or even smell your aftershave. You stay up in your lofty towers and don’t come near my stage.”
Mace lifted a perfect eyebrow. It was such a dismissive look, she felt her hands curling into fists again. “I’m listening,” he drawled, “but I’m not your fucking baby brother.”
She ignored the warning in his voice and tried to calm her escalating temper. She’d rather kick him in the balls for what he’d said, but she had to do this right…for Lì’s sake. “It’s true. I do care about Lì. In fact, I love him. He’s the most important person in my world. I’d do anything for him. Learn this crazy language, become his spokesperson for Forever Young, dance until my feet bled, or even give up my life in France to come and fix up this mess he calls an entertainment division.”
“Oh,” Mace growled, “I’m sure you’re getting compensated just fine.”
“Shut up, you son of a bitch” she snapped, struggling again for control. “I’ll have you know I’m not taking any salary for doing this. I’m doing it for one reason and one reason only. Because I love your brother.”
“No salary?” he scoffed, shaking his head. “Sorry, honey, I’m not buying that. A woman like you wouldn’t give it away for free. Period.”
A red mist came over her eyes as more hurt pushed past the anger. “How dare you? You don’t know anything about me…about us!”
Mace gave a laughing snort. “I know all I need to know. What makes you think I’ve got it wrong?”
“Because,” she screamed, finally losing control. “Lì is not my lover. I’m not sleeping with him and I never have.”
There you have it. Just what you've been waiting for. The big reveal. So how do you think Mace will respond? Will he believe her? Will he scoff and walk away? Or something else?
I'm loving this story and I think it's on it's way to heating up very shortly! LOL
Hugs and see you on Thursday,
Follow Your Dreams