The Affair: One Night...Nine-Month ScandalMaya Banks
It was only supposed to be a vacation romance…
Passionate, exciting—and short-lived. But when Jewel Henley arrived for her first day of work at a new job, she realized her exotic lover was in fact Piers Anetakis, her boss. A boss who had a strict rule about not getting involved with his employees. And so, just like that, Jewel was fired.
With no money and no job, Jewel doubted it could get any worse. Then she discovered she was pregnant, and that she’d have to confront Piers. Piers stormed back into her life with the same passion and intensity that had swept her off her feet five months before. But as loving as he was with her, she knew he still didn’t trust her. And until he did, all they had…was an affair.
BONUS BOOK INCLUDED IN THIS VOLUME!
One Night…Nine-Month Scandal by USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan
For English schoolteacher Kelly Jenkins, a Ferrari in her sleepy village can only mean one thing—her ex Alekos Zagorakis has come back to claim what’s his…including Kelly.
Praise for #1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks
“More stories like this will make me a very happy reader indeed.”
—SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com on The Tycoon’s Rebel Bride
“[Maya] Banks’s story has it all: wit, charm, mystery and sparkling chemistry between the characters.”
—RT Book Reviews on Billionaire’s Contract Engagement
“Banks does a great job of keeping to the core of the characters.”
—TheRomanceReader.com on The Affair
“A top-of-the-line story.”
—RT Book Reviews on Tempted by Her Innocent Kiss
Praise for USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan
“This story has all the…elements: exotic locales, steamy sex scenes and a billionaire hero to die for. However, Morgan’s tale has an extra dimension that very few of the others possess—humor.”
—RT Book Reviews on One Night…Nine-Month Scandal
“Morgan’s brilliant talent never ceases to amaze.”
—RT Book Reviews
has loved romance novels from a very (very) early age, and almost from the start, she dreamed of writing them, as well. In her teens she filled countless notebooks with overdramatic stories of love and passion. Today her stories are only slightly less dramatic, but no less romantic.
She lives in Texas with her husband and three children and wouldn’t contemplate living anywhere other than the South. When she’s not writing, she’s usually hunting, fishing or playing poker. She loves to hear from her readers, and she can be found on Facebook, or you can follow her on Twitter (@maya_banks). Her website, www.mayabanks.com, is where you can find up-to-date information on all of Maya’s current and upcoming releases.
USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy contemporary romance and her trademark humor and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. Described as “a magician with words” by RT Book Reviews, she has been nominated three years in succession for the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award twice: in 2012 for her book Doukakis’s Apprentice and in 2013 for A Night of No Return. She also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their “Top Pick” slot.
Sarah lives near London with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying. You can visit Sarah online at www.sarahmorgan.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/AuthorSarahMorgan and on Twitter @SarahMorgan_.
#1 New York Times Bestselling Author
Table of Contents
The Affair by Maya Banks
One Night…Nine-Month Scandal by Sarah Morgan
The Anetakis Tycoons trilogy comes to a close with The Affair, Piers Anetakis’s story.
Of the three Anetakis brothers, Piers is the most closed off and the most troubled. But he’s also the most passionate and emotional.
He’s been hurt by past betrayals, but then so has Jewel Henley, the woman Piers meets one night in an intimate, tropical setting. These two are kindred spirits, and they have a lot to offer one another—if they can ever get around their issues of trust.
I’m inviting you along for the exciting conclusion of the Anetakis family’s story. Rich, powerful and ruthless, these three men learn that no amount of wealth or privilege can ever fill the places in their hearts only love can reach. Piers and Jewel must navigate many obstacles in their search for happiness. Their love will be tested, and they’ll have to offer the one thing not easily given by either: their trust.
To Dee, who loved Piers from the start.
Jewel Henley shifted on the hospital bed, one hand curled around her cell phone, the other hand pushing aside hot tears. She had to call him. She had no choice.
Having to depend on the man who couldn’t get her out of his life fast enough after their one-night stand wasn’t a prospect she relished, but for her baby, she’d do anything. Swallow her pride and try to let go of the burning anger.
Her free hand dropped to rest on the burgeoning swell of her belly, and she felt the sturdy reassurance of her daughter’s kick.
How would Piers react when she told him he was going to be a father? Would he even care? She shook her head in mute denial. Surely, no matter his feelings for her, he wouldn’t turn his back on his child.
There was only one way to find out and that was to push the send button. His private phone number was already punched in. She may have been fired from her job, but for some reason, she’d held on to the phone numbers she’d been provided upon her hiring.
And still she couldn’t bring herself to complete the call. She let the phone drop to her chest and closed her eyes. If only there weren’t complications with her pregnancy. Why couldn’t she be one of these beautiful, glowing women who were pictures of health?
Her thoughts were interrupted when her door swung open and a nurse bustled in pushing a cart with the computer she used to log her charts.
“How are you feeling today, Miss Henley?”
Jewel nodded and whispered a faint, “Fine.”
“Have you made arrangements for your care after your release?”
Jewel swallowed but didn’t say anything. The nurse gave her a reproving look.
“You know the doctor won’t release you until he’s satisfied that you’ll have someone to look after you while you’re on bed rest.”
A sigh escaped Jewel’s lips and she held up the phone. “I was just about to make
The nurse nodded approvingly. “Good. As soon as I’m done I’ll leave you alone to finish.”
A few minutes later the nurse left, and once again Jewel lifted the phone and stared at the LCD screen. Maybe he wouldn’t even answer.
Taking a deep, fortifying breath, she punched her thumb over the send button then closed her eyes and put the phone to her ear. There was a brief silence as the call connected, and then it began to ring.
Once. Twice. Then a third time. She was preparing to chicken out and cut the connection when his brusque voice filled her ear.
It came out more of a growl than anything else, and she quickly lost courage. Her breath came stuttering out as more tears welled in her eyes.
“Who is this?” he demanded.
She yanked the phone away and clumsily jabbed at the buttons until the call ended. She couldn’t do this. Issuing a silent apology to her unborn baby, she decided that she’d find another way. There had to be something she could do that didn’t involve Piers Anetakis.
Before she could dwell too long on such possibilities, the phone pulsed in her hand. She opened it automatically, a second before she realized that he was calling her back.
Only her soft breathing spilled into the receiver.
“I know you’re there,” Piers barked. “Now who the hell is this and how did you get my number?”
“I’m sorry,” she said in a low voice. “I shouldn’t have bothered you.”
“Wait,” he commanded. Then there was a long pause. “Jewel, is that you?”
Oh God. She hadn’t counted on him recognizing her voice. How could he? They hadn’t spoken in five months. Five months, one week and three days to be exact.
“Y-yes,” she finally said.
“Thank God,” he muttered. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you. Just like a damn female to disappear off the face of the earth.”
“Where are you?”
The questions came simultaneously.
“Me first,” he said imperiously. “Where are you? Are you all right?”
She laid there in stunned silence before she gathered her scattered wits. “I’m in the hospital.”
“Theos.” There was another rapid smattering of Greek that she couldn’t have followed even if she understood the language.
“Where?” he bit out. “What hospital? Tell me.”
Completely baffled at the turn the conversation had taken, she told him the name of the hospital. Before she could say anything else, he cut in with, “I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
And then the line went dead.
With shaking hands, she folded the phone shut and set it aside. Then she curled her fingers around the bulge of her abdomen. He was coming? Just like that? He’d been looking for her? None of it made sense.
Then she realized that she’d never told him the most important piece of information. The entire reason she’d called him to begin with. She hadn’t told him she was pregnant.
Five months earlier...
Jewel paused just outside the perimeter of the outdoor bar and stared over the sand-covered floor to the blazing torches lining the walkway down to the beach.
Music played softly, a perfect accompaniment to the clear, star-strung night. In the distance, the waves rolled in harmony with the sultry melody. Soft jazz. Her favorite.
It was pure chance that had directed her to this tiny island paradise. A vacated seat on a plane, a bargain ticket price and only five minutes to decide. And here she was. A new place, a vow to take a few days for herself.
Not being completely impulsive, the first thing she’d done when she’d arrived was to find a new temporary job, and as luck would have it, had learned that the owner of the opulent Anetakis Hotel was going to be in temporary residence here and needed an assistant. Four weeks. A perfect amount of time to spend in paradise before she moved on.
The opportunity had almost been too good to be true. Along with a generous salary, she’d also been given a room at the hotel. It had the makings of a marvelous vacation.
“Are you going out or are you going to spend such a lovely night indoors?”
The vaguely accented male voice brushed across her ears, eliciting a trail of chill bumps down her spine. She turned and was forced to look up for the source of the huskily spoken words.
When she met his eyes, she felt the impact clear to her toes. Her belly clenched, and for a moment it was hard to breathe.
The man wasn’t just gorgeous. There were plenty of gorgeous men in the world, and she’d met her share. This one was...powerful. A predator in a sea of sheep. His eyes bore into hers with an intensity that almost frightened her.
There was interest. Clear interest. She wasn’t a fool, nor did she indulge in silly games of false modesty.
She stared back, unable to wrest herself from the force of his gaze. Black. His eyes were as black as night. His hair was as dark, and his skin gleamed golden brown in the soft light of the torches. Firelight cast a sheen to his eyes, shiny onyx, glittering and proud.
His jawline was firm, set, a strong tilt that denoted his arrogance, a quality she was attracted to in men. For a long moment he returned her frank appraisal, and then his lips curved upward into a slight smile.
“A woman of few words I see.”
She shook herself and mentally scolded her tongue for knotting up so badly.
“I was deciding on whether to go out or not.”
He lifted one imperious brow, a gesture that seemed more challenging than questioning.
“But I can’t buy you a drink if you remain inside.”
She cocked her head to the side, allowing a tiny smile to relax the tension bubbling inside her. She wasn’t a stranger to sexual attraction, but she couldn’t remember the last time a man had affected her so strongly right off the bat.
Awareness sizzled between them, almost as if a fuse had been lit the moment he’d spoken. Would she accept the unspoken invitation in his eyes? Oh, she knew he’d asked to buy her a drink, but that wasn’t all he wanted. The question was whether she was bold enough to reach out and take the offer.
What could a single night hurt? She was extremely choosy in her partners. She hadn’t taken a lover in two years. She just hadn’t been interested until this dark-eyed stranger with his sensual smile and mocking arrogance came along. Oh yes, she wanted him. So much so that she vibrated with it.
“Are you here on holiday?” she asked as she peered up at him from underneath her lashes.
Again his lips quirked into a half smile. “In a manner of speaking.”
Relief scurried through her belly. No, one night wouldn’t hurt. He’d leave and go back to his world. Eventually she’d move on, and their paths would never cross again.
Tonight...tonight she was lonely, a feeling she didn’t often indulge in, even if she spent the majority of her time in isolation.
“I’d like a drink,” she said by way of agreement.
Something predatory sparked in his eyes. A glow that was gone almost as soon as it burst to life. His hand came up and cupped her elbow, his fingers splaying possessively over her skin.
She closed her eyes for a brief moment, enjoying the electric sensation that sizzled through her body the moment he touched her.
He led her from the protective awning of the hotel into the night air. Around them the warm glow of torches danced in time with the sweet sounds of jazz. The breeze coming off the water blew through her hair, and she inhaled deeply, enjoying the salt tang.
“Dance with me before we have that drink,” he murmured close to her ear.
Without waiting for her consent, he pulled her into his arms, his hips meeting hers as he cupped
her body close.
They fit seamlessly, her flush against him, melting and flowing until she wasn’t sure where she ended and he began.
His cheek rested against the side of her head as his arms encircled her. Protective. Strong. She reached up, sliding her arms over his shoulders until they wrapped around his neck.
His words flowed like warm honey over jaded ears. It wasn’t the most original line, but that was just it. Coming from him, it didn’t sound like a line, but rather an honest assessment, a sincere compliment, one that maybe he’d ordinarily be unwilling to give.
“So are you,” she whispered.
He chuckled, and his laughter vibrated over her sensitive skin. “Me beautiful? I’m unsure of whether to be flattered or offended.”
She snorted. “I know for a fact I’m not the only woman to have ever called you beautiful.”
“Do you now?”
His hands skimmed over her back, finding the flesh bared by the backless scoop of her dress. She sucked in her breath as his fingers burned her flesh.
“You feel it too,” he murmured.
She didn’t pretend not to know what he meant. The chemistry between them was combustible. Never before had she experienced anything like this, not that she’d tell him that.
Instead she nodded her agreement.
“Are we going to do anything about it?”
She leaned back and tilted her head to meet his eyes. “I’d like to think we are.”
“Direct. I like that in a woman.”
“I like that in a man.”
Amusement softened the intensity of his gaze, but she saw something else in his expression. Desire. He wanted her as badly as she wanted him.
“We could have that drink in my room.”
She sucked in her breath. Even though she knew what he wanted, the invitation still hit her squarely in the stomach. Her breasts tightened against his chest, and arousal bloomed deep.