The man’s gaze fell to her legs still carelessly strewn across her desk. Her heart thundered in her ears. Warmth from his sharp exhale caressed the skin at her ankles.
She bit her lip and decided—no regrets for trying “And?” She returned his mocking raised-brow expression in an eye-for-an-eye stare down.
“I’m Thornton Maxwell…your attorney.” He turned away, but not before she caught his look of displeasure. “God. Woman, do you even know what a mess you’ve got on your hands? We need to talk. A real pressure cooker is about blow.”
Cynthia froze. This wasn’t part of her erotic fantasy. What was he talking about? Should she just come out and admit she had no idea of what was going on or get him to divulge what demanded damage control?
She pretended unconcerned boredom in an attempt to buy some time to think. “Someone’s got his panties in a real twist.”
This wasn’t the first time she’d needed legal. But if he was her new go-to man, she was tempted to screw more things up.
This was a conundrum. He was too damn good-looking. This type of man didn’t appreciate a dumbbell. Did he know how hard she worked or that sometimes contracts needed to be bent? “Explored” is what she liked to call it. Wasn’t that why McGavock Publishing hired a boatload of first-year attorneys anyway? Shoot, he was probably upset because his weekend golf game was about to be rained out.
He paced in front of her desk while raking fingers through his thick, dark hair. Cynthia noticed the way he flexed and moved his arms, his muscles pumping and expanding. He stopped, spun around, and marched back to her desk.
“Lewis, when you cross out clauses and write your own notes into a publishing contract, we don’t have a legal leg to stand on in court when an issue is disputed. The things you’ve included to get an author to sign without consulting legal is tying us in knots. The next time you promise a writer the moon, you better consult me first and NASA second. Not whatever pops into that pretty little head of yours. You need my help with this lawsuit, and I expect your cooperation. You might as well know now that’s going to mean during office hours as well as evenings and weekends.”
His finger was pointed directly in front of her face. She imagined sucking the tip until her sex-crazed brain finally grasped his message.
What? She was floored. Her stomach felt punched, the fist of surprise still lodged in her ribcage. Her mind reeled. It wasn’t possible. She was being threatened with a lawsuit for a couple of silly additions to a contract, and now this man expected her to drop everything. Was he joking? Slowly she inhaled.
“I’m innocent.” She stared back at him. “Sure, I’m not beyond bending the rules, but a lawsuit? No, that’s not possible; it’s impossible. You’ve got to help me.”
“We definitely need a sit-down. Not your usual brush-off and expectation for legal to jump through a hoop. This one is serious.” His gaze swept over her face and downward. The space between them crackled with static energy. He was more than steamed. But he was ready to step in and help her. A spasm of pleasure trilled in her veins. He was her knight in shining armor. She wasn’t the enemy. Not his at least. With all that pent-up fury of his, it was a shame to let it go to waste. He was handsome beyond belief…another time, over cocktails or at a party, she’d not think twice about what her body wanted. His dark eyes weren’t all anger…passion brewed there, pulling the cords to her attraction, making her skin tingle. Oh, my. He wanted to school her good. But maybe she could teach him a thing.
“Thor…Thornton, sit down.” She recouped her confidence. He was in her dominion. The door was closed. Her assistant always knocked before entering. The glass panels were mirrored. He was so near…all she had to do was reach out to him.
She met his bad-boy stare with excitement screaming in her ears.
“Please.” She was almost purring, beseeching him over the rim of her eyeglasses.
“Fine, I’m all ears.” He pulled up a chair closer to her desk. “Well?”
She studied him. If the man ever smiled, he’d be drop-dead gorgeous. She let the papers slip out of her fingers, and she pushed her glasses up on top of her head. Cynthia rubbed her ankles together, and his eyes fixed onto legs.
Ding, ding. Johnny, she had a winner.
She lifted her legs and stood, acting as if arranging her papers was vital. She felt, rather than saw, that his gaze was upon her.
“Client-attorney privilege?” She rounded the desk, trailing her fingers along the surface.
“Yes, whatever you share. Go on.”
“Where shall I begin?” She stopped and leaned back on her desk, directly in front of him. Eighteen inches of space separated them.
“Haven’t you ever longed for something to the point of breaking a few rules? Just once?”
He held his spine erect. He gripped the armrests. She noticed the fine hairs on his fingers, but no ring. She placed the toe of her shoe on the corner of his chair, her ankle only an inch away from his grasp. Her silk skirt lifted, sliding up her thighs, and his gaze shot to the revealed set of black lace Agent Provocateur garters.
She licked her lips and unbuttoned a pearl button. He flared his nostrils ever so slightly. He stared at her fingers. She undid another button. He became a statue. A rather alluring, attentive one. She continued unbuttoning the rest of buttons. She didn’t open her shirt, hoping he’d notice her breasts were unhampered by a bra. The only sound in the room was their breathing.
“Don’t stop now.”
She opened her shirt, revealing ample cleavage. Her nipples hardened at the thought of his mouth teasing her skin.
She rubbed her leg against his thumb. He touched her ankle, lightly at first, before running his fingers up the back of her calf. She pushed her hips forward, her skirt lifted further up and over her thighs.
He made a low, primal sound, melting a reserve within her.
“Do you like what you see?”
Their eyes locked and she smiled. She traced a finger along the bottom of her lip. She stuck just the tip into her mouth and sucked, playfully removing any doubt of where this was going.
“Hmm,” she whispered. “What do you want?”
He closed his eyes and moved his hand over her knee. She went beyond merely teasing him to wanting to feel him deep inside her body.