The setting sun cast its golden hue across the Santa Monica Mountains and showered the city in a honeyed haze. Luckily, the cab she’d gotten in to had tinted windows, and shielded her from the glare ricocheting off the Pacific Ocean.
Camille looked at her face in the lighted compact mirror. She painted red lipstick on with practiced precision, for all the good it would do. No amount of makeup would make her as appealing as her friend Tasha claimed she needed to be.
“If you want to get the dirt on what he’s doing here, you need to entice it out of him,” Tasha had insisted when Camille objected to the slinky black dress.
In case Tasha hadn’t noticed, Camille wasn’t the enticing sort. Her breasts were too small. Her butt was too big. And her legs were too thin.
She tugged at the dress self-consciously as the car rolled to a stop in front of the Montage. Even though Tasha had told her not to, she pulled the sheer wrap up over her shoulders, clutching it tight against her chest in hopes of hiding at least one of her flaws.
She paid the driver, and before she could step out, a doorman appeared instantly and helped her out of the taxi. She thanked him and moved indoors.
Soren was at Camille’s side within a few steps. Damn. This guy was efficient —and not too bad on the eyes, in a clean cut sort of way.
“Ms. Chandler, it’s a pleasure to see you again.” He walked beside her, his hands clamped loosely behind his back. “Mr. de Laurent is waiting with a car at the back entrance.”
Nothing about Soren raised red flags; still she couldn’t shake the uncomfortable feeling suffocating her. But that probably had more to do with her reticence than Soren or Julian’s potential to be a threat.
She followed Soren through the lavish lobby and into a back corridor that, although toned down, still reeked of extravagance. The pair walked in silence. Approaching the exit, Soren stepped a few paces in front of her and held the door open.
Julian was waiting outside, leaning against the white limousine. Camille’s heartbeat pounded in overtime, pushing those pheromones through her system. This guy was serious eye candy, with jet-black ringlets hanging nearly to his shoulders. His hair was a little long for her tastes, but it suited him well, complementing his broad shoulders and masculine frame as if it, along with each portion of his body, had been handpicked by the gods. And those aqua eyes, they stood out against his bronze skin like Mediterranean jewels.
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