I’m late posting this, so it’s really more of a weekend snippet…but you get the idea.
This week’s topic is hound dog – ie, hero in the dog house. I thought this worked well for EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW, my upcoming release from the new Cosmo Red-Hot Reads by Harlequin imprint. Jordan and Forest met while she was working undercover as a temp in another businessman’s office and collecting info for her anonymous website. Forest arranges for her to be a temp in his office even though she told him not to. She is not impressed with his heavy-handed behavior…
She could feel Forest’s presence behind her as she opened the door, not touching, but just inside her comfort zone. His scent wrapped around her and his reflection cut through the Georgetown skyline mirrored on the wall of windows behind Wen’s desk.
She took in the plush leather chair and thick carpet. The space was done in blue, as if to match the painting to her left and its splashes of color. It looked like a mishmash of streaks to her, but she guessed it cost more than all the furniture in her condo combined.
Rather than spend more time admiring the décor, she launched into her verbal attack the second she heard the door click shut behind them. She spun around and her balance faltered when she saw a short three feet spanning the distance between them. Man, the guy snuck up without making a noise.
But she needed to focus. Smelling him was not going to make that happen. “What is this about?”
His face tightened in a frown. “Excuse me?”
“Tell me why I’m here.”
Forest folded his arms across his chest. “You wanted to talk with me.”
He just never stopped testing. “You know what I mean. In your building. Working for you.”
“You don’t technically work for me.”
The man could make a nun reach for the nearest weapon. “You’re parsing that line pretty thin, aren’t you?”
Forest exhaled then, in the way men did when they found women tiresome. “Wen needed a temp and you appeared to be out of work, so I thought the fit made sense.”
Forest even gave her eye contact as he lied his impressive butt off. Nice try. “Even after our conversation at the wedding and my comments about not wanting the job, you talked to someone at my company and demanded I be the one to take this position.”
“I asked for you.”
She wondered if he knew they were saying the same thing. Seemed his asking sounded a lot like ordering and she’d bet he was well aware how people jumped at his serious tone. “My temp coordinator threatened to fire me because of your call.”
His arms dropped to his sides as a bit of his stern control slipped. “What?”
Huh, that almost looked real. “Fired.”
She shifted until a few more inches separated them. Not that it helped. She needed an entire football field of distance to keep her wits around this man. “What’s the end game here, Forest? Or am I required to call you Mr. Redder, since you’re the Big Boss?”
“Oh, I definitely want to hear you say Forest when we’re alone.” His voice changed. Actually dropped and roughened as it licked at her senses.
“Let’s go back to the part where—”
“Yes.” Pivoting away from the sound of his voice and the way it made her stomach do a strange little dance was a good idea. She needed focus and to tap into that deep well of anger inside her. She shifted until she stood at the side of Wen’s desk with Forest in front of it. “Fired, Forest. I had to obey your command or risk losing my job.”
He held up his hand in what looked like a pledge. “Okay, wait a second. The firing part was not on the table.”
“Sure sounded like it to me. Probably because the coordinator actually used the word fired.”
The skin pulled taut over Forest’s cheeks and stress showed in every line of his face. “I never threatened that and would never threaten that. You were supposed to be offered a bonus for taking this assignment.”
As soon as the flicker of positive feeling ignited in her consciousness, it vanished again. With this guy’s help, she could easily turn into her mother. A bonus here, a television there. Find a guy, grab the heirloom diamond and head for a quickie wedding in Vegas before the fighting started. Jordan had lived through that cycle too many times to get sucked into it now.
Forest did this and the temptation to kick him in the shins hit her hard enough to knock her breathless. “So, you’re paying for extra services now, like I’m some sort of special on the menu?”
“No way am I saying yes to that.”
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Copyright 2013, HelenKay Dimon
All Rights Reserved, Harlequin Books
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