I’m elbows-deep in invoices when a shadow falls across my desk.
“Just a minute, Dad,” I say without looking up. My pen scratches across the paper, slashing through the numbers I spent all morning typing up. “Leda Collins called and changed high above our heads.yher head count again. Now she needs twelve round tables and ten extra chairs. I told her there’d be a rush charge on the additional linens, but she said she was fine with that.”
I push a loose strand of hair behind my ear. I’ve been staring at this latest batch of invoices for so long that my eyes are starting to cross.
“Have you heard from the Robinsons?” I continue, turning to my computer. “They were supposed to call and confirm for the twenty-eighth. And we should probably figure out when we’re doing the summer gallery show next year. I already have a bride who wants to use us for her reception in—”
A hand grasps me firmly by the chin and tilts my face up. Suddenly I’m staring into a pair of dark, intoxicating eyes, and my breath hitches in my throat.
“What’s this?” says a deep, familiar voice. “Have you forgotten about something?”
Even now, weeks after I broke onto his family’s estate, the sight of Calder Cunningham still makes my stomach flip-flop. He’s looking extra sexy right now, the broad line of his shoulders accentuated by his navy suit, his hair curling deliciously around his ears, the corner of his perfect lips curled up in amusement. But if he’s here, that can only mean one thing.
“Shit!” I say, pulling out of his grip. I scrabble around on the desk, looking for my cell, but I already know what the time will say. When I do find the phone, buried beneath a file of class registration forms, the screen reads 6:53PM.
Shit. Shit shit shit.
“I swear, the last time I glanced at the time it was three o’clock.” I dart around the desk, looking frantically for my bag. If I hurry, if I leave my hair up and go light on the makeup—
Calder catches me as I try to sweep past him and draws me toward him. The motion pulls me off balance, and I fall against his chest, my hands clutching at the smooth lapels of his jacket and my nose brushing the crook of his neck. I freeze, and he loops his arms around my waist and holds me there. He smells faintly of soap and, beneath that, his own intoxicating scent. I take a deep breath, breathing him in. It’s been too long since I’ve seen him, too long since he’s held me like this in his arms.
Okay, it’s only been three weeks. Three weeks since Calder chased me through the hedge maze on his former estate. Three weeks since I’ve had him in front of me, close enough to touch. Three weeks since his fingers skimmed across my bare skin, as they’re dancing over my neck right now. Those three weeks might as well have been a ">I roll my eyes. But of course, screw-up that I am, I lose track of time on the day of our first real date.
“I’m so sorry,” I say. “I swear, I—”
He silences me with his lips. His mouth is gentle at first, hesitant, like he’s uncertain how I’ll respond after our time apart. Like he’s forgotten how natural, how right our bodies feel against each other. But the minute his lips touch mine, my entire body comes alive. Goose bumps ripple across my flesh, chasing the waves of heat that rush just beneath the surface of my skin. I let out a small moan, and whatever doubts Calder had seem to disappear.
He yanks me against his body, crushing me to his hard chest. His mouth moves hungrily, desperately, against my own, and mine meets his with equal passion. I revel in the taste of him, eager to drink it all in.
Damn, I missed this.
He’s backing me up against my desk now, and I don’t protest when he pushes me down on top of it. Something falls to the floor beside us. My files? The invoices? Honestly, I don’t care. One of Calder’s hands moves around the small of my back while the other winds in my hair, his fingers twisting and pulling at the strands. He leans over me, nudging my thighs apart so he can press nearer. There’s a clatter as something else tumbles off the desk. Something big this time—probably that dinosaur of a three-hole punch we’ve had since this place opened.
There’s no way Dad didn’t hear that.
I push Calder off of me and sit up, grabbing him by the tie even as my dad’s voice floats in from the next room. “Lily? Are you all right?”
“I’m fine! It’s nothing!” I tug Calder around the desk and shove him down onto the floor. He’s too surprised to resist or argue, and I pray that he catches the warning in my glare. I’m just bending to pick up the three-hole punch when Dad appears in the doorway.
“Is everything okay, honey?”
“Yeah,” I say, waving the beast of a gadget at him. “Just knocked a couple of things off my desk.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I see Calder raise his eyebrows in surprise. I give him a small kick, hoping he gets the hint.
Dad is looking curiously at me, and I realize suddenly how disheveled I must appear. My hands skim over my shirt, my skirt. And—oh, God—my hair…
“It’s been a rough day,” I say, trying to brush it off, hoping against hope that my face isn’t as red as it feels. Crap, are my lips swollen?
But my dad either doesn’t notice or chooses not to see.
“That Collins woman again?” he says. “She’s been a real trip.”
I nod. “Called and changed her numbers again. I—”
Calder is touching me. His fingers are sliding up my leg—softly, slowly, sending shivers all the way up my thigh. I clear my throat and try to shift away from him, but his hand follows.
“I—I redid the invoices,” I manage, indicating the papers that are still on the floor. Calder’s hand has slipped beneath the hem of my skirt now, and it’s slowly inching its way upward. His breath is warm against my ankle. When I try to gently nudge his face away, he nips at my skin and flicks his tongue sensually along the back of my leg. I try not to squirm.
“How many do they have coming?” Dad asks.
It’s hard to remember the number with Calder’s mouth teasing my ankle and his fingers caressing my thigh. “Two hundred and twelve, I think?”
Dad whistles. “A big one.”
“We need it.” I lean forward and grip the desk, trying to keep my face blank. Calder’s ever-climbing hand is now tickling my strategically-closed thighs, trying to force me to part them. In spite of the situation, my body reacts instinctively to the touch. Heat pools in my lower belly, a contrast to the panicked lump in my throat. I’m having trouble breathing normally, and my face and neck feel warmer with every passing second. I swear, if my dad finds out about us like this, Calder’s going to get it. And by “it” I don’t mean the prize he’s currently seeking between my legs.