Why couldnt she just take the money like most people? But Jacinta wasnt most people. She was independent and fiercely loyal, and maybe he even respected her for that. He forced his shoulders to relax in an effort to appear less combative.

Lets not argue. Isnt there something else I can do for you? God, he was almost pleading with her. Did she realize how difficult this was for him? To ask her for help while his pride battled her attraction?

Jacinta? His voice lowered of its own accord, and he glimpsed a flash of something in her wide eyessomething soft and yearningbefore she pressed her lips together.

Oh, youll have to come up with more than just Ja-cin-ta. She mimicked his husky voice.

They were both breathing hard, he realized, but he wasnt about to admit how much he really wanted her. He scratched his chin. We-ell…Im thinking about it.

Jacinta huffed in exasperation. Okay, then. Looks like its been a waste of time. Ill be on my way. She spun on her heel and marched off.

He gazed after her, at her slim shoulders and straight back, at her smooth hair bouncing against her shirt, at the narrow skirt compressing around her ass as she walked away as quickly as possible. God, she had a great ass…

Wait. He didnt know where that came from, but suddenly he found himself hurrying after her. Wait a minute.

As she paused, she made a show of checking the time on her phone. His stomach clenched. Yeah, she was enjoying having him on a string.

He wasnt going to concede everything to Jacinta at once. Make her work for it, if she wanted a job for her brother that badly. Only if you find this security leak within the next three weeks.

Three weeks was all he had before his meeting with the bank. Too difficult for you? he drawled, folding his arms.

I didnt say that. She raised her chin, proud, watchful. But I cant guarantee Ill deliver.

No, she replied without hesitation. Damn, this woman was single-minded. If I agree to help you, then in the meantime you have to at least give Kevin a job interview.

Do you know how depressing it is to apply for hundreds of jobs and only get one or two nibbles? An interview will at least give him some hope, especially if its not too harsh.

And youd better have a genuine job lined up because Im going to try my damndest to find this leak of yours.

He cocked a wry smile at her. Now isnt it nice when were working together instead of fighting?

He hadnt realized what a tough negotiator she could be, but hed got her agreement, and that was all that mattered. She would be his fake girlfriend.

But there was nothing fake about the thrill of excitement than ran down his spine at the thought of having her back.

Before we go any further, we need to take care of a few formalities, Lex said to Jacinta as they sat in a caf near the museum. I just need you to sign this. He pulled out a folded piece of paper from his jacket and laid it on the table between them.

Its not that. Its just that Im about to discuss some really personal details with you, and I would hate for any of it to get into the wrong hands.

He sighed, and she sensed his impatience building. Why is everything such a struggle with you?