Chapter 1

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The high-rise office building of Wilde Industries was a holding company for the twelfth richest man in the world...Carson Wilde.

The elevator dinged open, and Ivy Tremaine exited. She smoothed a hand down the front of her trendy skirt suit. She appeared on the upside of sexy down to her flamboyant hot pink stilettos. She knew she looked good with her black hair drawn up, oozing just the right amount of sex appeal from her elegant face to her bare legs. Heads turned as she worked her way down the corporate hallway.

Nerves knotted her stomach. She hadn't seen her estranged husband since the morning after their mistaken nuptials. They had married after too many drinks in Vegas; a sensual coming together that was full of regret. And with Carson, everything came down to possession and control. When he saw something he wanted-he took it. Hence their marriage. From the moment they saw each other, a magnetic pull drowned them in a powerful, erotic heat.

He frightened her.

Plus, he had more money than sense, she thought, owning thousands of high-end businesses, product lines, and priceless artifacts. He was a man begging for every criminal in the world to steal from him. Again, she would know. She had lifted a Renoir painting off his hands a year ago. A simple plan to irritate him and give herself a monetary boost, which raised her nest egg to up over fifty million. She knew she was taking a chance by entering her husband's lair, but his official representative assured her countless times...Mr. Wilde wasn't looking for retribution, but rather...a job.

Seriously? The man could loan God a few billion and have more to spare.

He was up to something, and she was too intrigued to let it go. In some mind-altering way, she had missed him. She missed his dark and dangerous presence that included his haunting blue eyes and hard body. The ghosting way he had moved over her or how he'd shattered her inside one night. He was the only man in the universe who made himself unforgettable to her.

For two months, Ivy listened to the same droll invitation via email, unsure how legit the offer was. What could a man of Carson's means and worth possibly want stolen? Finally, she called and here she stood...a quivering mass of nerves. She couldn't conceive what Carson wanted, yet excitement brewed within her veins. No matter how much they weren't right for each other-they'd both incinerated with only a look.

Ivy bypassed all questioning looks and raised eyebrows as she made her way down the hallway to the reception desk.

She swallowed back her nervous feeling. This meeting could range from retribution whining to caveman-type revenge tactics. She had no way of knowing. This encounter went against her better judgment. She shouldn't be here! However, here she stood, fixing a tight smile on her softly painted lips as the sexy brunette looked up.

"Ivy Tremaine to see Mr. Wilde, please."

The receptionist smiled. "Go right in, Ms. Tremaine. He is expecting you."

She made her way to Carson's door, tapping once before entering. His office blazed ultra-modern with black and chrome accents and full floor to ceiling windows overlooking San Diego. Ivy smiled thoughtfully; this was the office of a billionaire tycoon married to an art thief! Modern art of geometric designs stood sentinel over various points in red, chrome, and black. There was nothing extraordinary in their placement or lines. The only color out of balance was the chartreuse green statue of a semi naked woman dead center of the room. She would be almost an eyesore if not for the graceful lines of her body, as if begging for her lover's next touch within the fluid traces of her arched form.

It was stunning and breathtaking.

Ivy stepped further into the room, and the door automatically shut behind her. The sound of a lock bolted her inside. Her stomach clenched at the metallic slide. She knew she was trapped.

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