Home > The Allure of Julian Lefray (The Allure #1)(5)

The Allure of Julian Lefray (The Allure #1)(5)
Author: R.S. Grey

His eyes shifted to me and he nodded, the tip of his mouth lifting in a silent acknowledgment that he recognized me as well.

“Julian! I wasn’t sure if you’d make it. I’d assumed things were too hectic with your family right now.”

“It was a last minute decision. You know how I like to fly by the seat of my pants.”

If I was a provocative temptress from a James Bond movie, I’d have picked up my champagne, held his eye as I took a sip, and then seductively whispered, “Is there room for two on that flight in your pants?” or y’know, something equally as seductive. But since I am Josephine, weird-girl-from-the-country, I stayed silent and took another sip of champagne.

Maxine cleared her throat and then held her hand out in introduction.

“Josephine, this is Julian Lefray.”

My eyes widened in shock as I fought to keep from choking on my champagne.

Julian Lefray. Julian Lefray, as in the brother to Lorena Lefray, the designer I’d submitted a resume to just that afternoon. He was the silent partner of her brand, heir to his family’s old-money fortune, and apparently keeper of all my hopes and dreams.

I pulled it together and held out my hand.

“You look nothing like your sister,” I noted, trying to reconcile the fact that they were related. Lorena was a lithe, pale woman, all skin and bones. Julian was…the polar opposite: tall and tan, with a captivating smile and those bright, hazel eyes.

“I got more of the Spanish blood,” he said as he took my hand. “She took after our mother.”

I nodded as I let his strong grip encase my hand. His touch was hard to reconcile, and for a moment, I glanced down at where our hands met, surprised by the connection.

“Do you have a last name Josephine?” he asked as he dropped my hand. I gripped my fist after losing contact with him, trying to maintain the fading warmth in my palm for as long as possible.

“Keller.”

“Josephine Keller,” he repeated, testing it out on his tongue. “Well, it has been a pleasure.” He motioned around the room. “Unfortunately, I have to keep making the rounds.”

To his credit, he didn’t look too pleased about it, but before I could come up with a reply, he excused himself to greet other party guests. I was left staring out after him, trying to understand how someone could possibly be that gorgeous.

“He’s quite a lot to take in, no?” Maxine asked once we were alone again.

I laughed and brushed off her question, careful to keep my silly feelings under wraps.

“So anyway, I believe you were saying something about how awesome my blog is…” I joked, letting the laughter rescue me from the ether of Julian’s presence.

It wasn’t until I was in the bathroom later, fixing my red lipstick, that I realized my mistake. I’d had Julian Lefray right in front of me and I hadn’t even mentioned my desire to work for his sister. He probably didn’t have much say in the hiring process, but I’d been a fool not to mention it. Wasn’t this how it worked? Insider jobs were given to people willing to go the extra mile, to put themselves out there.

I clasped my clutch and evaluated my look. The rented gown had only been available in a size smaller than I normally wore, which meant my chest was a bit more on display than I would have preferred. Thanks a lot for the boobs, Mom. I pulled up the strapless bodice and tried in vain to hide a bit of my cleavage. Yeah. Nope. Not happening. They had minds of their own.

I blew out a puff of air, checked that I didn’t have any red lipstick staining my teeth, and then finally exited the restroom.

After a few minutes of searching, I finally spotted Julian in the middle of a discussion with a group of men near the bar. They were older, with thick beards and hard lines across their foreheads. They looked like a stock photo of investment firm big wigs, but I couldn’t let that stop me. I just needed a moment to speak with Julian.

I subdued my nerves and waltzed up to the group. I inhaled his cologne as I stepped close; it was just as captivating as the first time. He was in the middle of a conversation, but I didn’t want to take the chance that I’d lose him again. I ignored the curious stares from the other men in his group and cleared my throat.

“Mr. Lefray, do you have a moment to speak with me?” I asked, reaching up to tap his shoulder.

One of the men stepped forward, sloshing his drink over the brim of his glass.

“I’m available to speak sweetheart, if Julian here is too busy,” he said with a leering smile and a roaming gaze that never quite met my eyes.

Chapter Three

Julian

My eyes flicked from Patrick to the younger woman I’d met earlier in the night. She looked stunning in her red gown—a fact I knew the men nearby were all too quick to pick up on as well.

“That won’t be necessary, Patrick,” I replied.

She shot me a thankful smile.

I nodded and stepped away from the group, gripping her arm just above her elbow. Her arm was slim and toned, and I found it far too easy to lead her away from the group of investors. A moment alone with her would far outweigh another five minutes of suffering the company of old men with older money. I led Josephine toward a private corner of the ballroom, consumed by the subtle scent of gardenia that followed in her wake.

“This won’t take long,” she promised, her bright green stare meeting mine. A blind man wouldn’t have missed the hope poorly hidden behind her faltering smile. My alarm bells rang loud and clear, but I tried to quell them. Not every girl wants to fuck you, asshole.

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