"I was surprised to see your name
on my schedule this morning." Justin Scott eased into his oversized
desk chair, careful not to tip over backwards. Having his ass hit
the floor in front of Lauren MacDonald...well, that was just not
going to happen.
"Surprised good or surprised bad?" She shut his office
door with a click and walked across the carpet to stand in front
of his desk. Each step pushed her pencil-thin skirt higher above
her knees, flashing inches of toned leg.
He fought the urge to loosen his tie and his belt. "Let's
Now there was an understatement. Between the swish of her hips
and the way her snug sweater hugged her high breasts, his lower
half started twitching. Some things never changed. One year later
her light floral scent and the way she tucked her hair behind her
ear still made him smile. The way her dark blue eyes could look
so sexy and sad at the same time fascinated him. And his determination
to get her back between the sheets, this time without her idiot
of a husband hovering on the mattress nearby, still thumped as hard
Lauren dragged her index finger across the edge of the desk. "I
need to talk with you."
She swallowed hard enough for him to see her throat move. The
discomfort struck Justin as odd. Hell, he'd seen her naked, trailed
his tongue over her, pushed into her long and hard and...
Yeah, five more seconds of the x-rated movie playing in his head
and they'd never make it through this conversation without getting
horizontal. He had a lunch meeting in an hour and a stack of government
contracts to review. He needed his mind in the game, his zipper
up and Lauren out of his office. Only one way to do that.
"Just tell me why you're here." He fought hard to keep
the edge of frustration out of his voice. Two minutes ago he was
thinking about work. Now every thought in his brain revolved around
the color of her panties. He guessed they were some shade of blue.
She folded her hands in front of her and glanced up, her gaze
bouncing around the office before settling back on him. "I
have a proposition for you."
A job. She needed a damn job. It was no secret Gavin
had made the end of their marriage as nasty as its duration. Justin
had watched it all play out in the news headlines from the safety
of his corner office. She asked for money to start over and Gavin
responded by producing a draconian pre-nup that reeked of lawyer
misconduct. She filed for divorce based on adultery and Gavin turned
around and accused her of sleeping with half of his business associates.
He played the wounded victim and cast Lauren in the role of whore.
The very public pounding on her integrity only stopped when Justin
stepped in and threatened behind-the-scenes to testify on her behalf.
Lauren didn't know the details. Didn't need to, but Justin made
sure his former friend backed off and walked away after writing
Lauren a check.
But protecting her didn’t mean Justin could stand the thought
of seeing her around his office every day. He'd have to keep his
dick on ice to survive that. He'd tried to save her twice. He was
done. This time he'd preserve his sanity and leave her alone.
"Look, Lauren, I'm not hiring. It wouldn't work out anyway,
but I can give you a few dollars to get you through."
Her hand shot up and waved him off. "This isn’t about
In Justin's experience, almost everything was about money. Sex,
marriage, work - it all boiled down to cash, knowing when to spend
it and how much to put on the table. He had taken a fledgling company
and turned it into a thriving multi-million dollar business by manufacturing
the desalination plant used on aircraft carriers. He found the military's
need and filled it by turning saltwater into drinking water. And
now he was pushing to take that product into the domestic market,
a plan the put him at odds with Gavin, his former corporate attorney.
Different business interests and different views on Lauren ended
the men's friendship, and Justin didn't grieve for the loss at all.
"Tell me what you want," Justin said.
She stopped drawing doodles with her finger and stared him down.
Did she... "Excuse me?"