Chris held on to the window ledge and lifted one foot into the darkened room. She heaved her body over, landing on her ass in the process. A groan slipped from her lips, and she slapped a hand on her face. Crap. The last thing she needed was to call attention to her presence in Drex’s office.
Careful not to disturb anything, she walked over to his desk and started rummaging through drawers. Why the hell did she decide to become a reporter in the first place? Oh yeah, because she liked to be in people’s business was Drex’s usual snide response.
Something on the Seduction Party had to be in there somewhere. Wild drums beat in her chest. She tried to focus. She had to remain alone inside the room. She glanced quickly over her shoulder at the door. She was pissed to have to go to these lengths. Drex was a tight-lipped bastard, and she was reduced to snooping because he refused to invite her.
He knew she had been trying to write a story on the super private bash that took place once a year. Invitees were under strict restrictions and had to sign confidentiality waivers. Luckily, she’d overheard her brother, Cole, on the phone with Drex. The rat mentioned he’d gotten his invite and thanked Drex for sending it over. Her blood simmered with anger.
For months, she’d mentioned to both men how badly she’d been trying to get more info on the secretive party, but they’d done nothing to help. All she wanted was to get her hands on an invite, finally figure out what the heck the stupid Seduction Party was all about, and write her damn story.
It was no secret she and Drex didn’t see eye to eye, but he didn’t have to be so rude to her in his attempts to ward her off. When she’d asked, point blank, if he’d let her into the party, the jerk had shaken his head and said, quite empathically, no. Bastard. No matter—she’d get her own invite.
She went through every drawer until she hit a locked one. She smiled in wicked delight. Ha, as if that flimsy lock was going to deter her. In seconds the lock clicked open. Cautiously, she pulled the drawer by the handle and grinned. Jackpot.
A noise broke through her joy. Someone was outside the office. She curled her hand around the coveted black envelope and shoved it to the bottom of her crossbody bag. She threw the bag out the same window she’d crawled in and was about to jump when the door opened.
Oh, hell. Frozen in place, she gripped the window ledge and looked longingly at the bag in the shrubs. Of all the people that might have walked in, why did it have to be Drex? Goose bumps broke across her skin and her frustration soared. She hated the effect his voice had on her body.
“Christine, I can see you quite clearly.”
She narrowed her eyes at the laughter in his voice. Taking a deep breath, she turned to look at him and almost fainted.
When the hell had he gotten that body? He was wet and in a towel. A tiny thing wrapped low around his hips. In stupefied shock, she watched his bronzed muscles flex as he took a step toward her. She widened her eyes and almost fell out the window trying to move away. She’d known him all her life, and there wasn’t one time she’d seen him look like…like that.
Stunned, dry mouthed, and getting hornier by the minute, she let her gaze roam over him. From the wet short spikes of his dark hair, to his wide hairless chest, down the eight-pack abs, and lower to the precarious towel that showed a hint of pubic hair, she visually devoured him. She gulped.
“Christine? Chris?” Worry was in his voice.
“You OK? You look kind of flushed.” He took another step toward her.
She tried her best to melt into the wall, but her body had other ideas. Under her tank top, her nipples pebbled to hard points. Her gaze darted up to his, and she saw something she’d never seen there before—lust. Panic swarmed her.
“I’m fine.” She took a step away from the window and him at the same time.
“What are you doing here? No one mentioned you were waiting to see me.” He lifted his brow.
It was hard to concentrate on what he was saying when so much of him was still on display. “I just…I just came by to see—” She swallowed and tried to remember what the hell she was supposed to say if she got caught.
“To see?” He prompted her with a smile. She figured he knew she was having a hard time but was thoroughly enjoying her discomfort.
Disgusted with her feminine parts, she sent all sexual thoughts to the deepest, darkest part of her brain. Her old crush on him had died a quick and silent death back in her teenage years.
“I came to ask if you’d decided to help me get my story.” Her voice sounded firm, and she squashed any notion of seeing what lay under the tiny towel.
He took a step closer and she one back. The back of her knees hit a sofa, and she fell back into the cushioned seat. His face was tense.
Her pulse jumped into a crazy gallop. Never had she seen him look so severe and, damn it, it turned her on.
“Why would I do that?” His voice deepened to a low rumble.
Something, very much like panic, pushed her to get away from him. Never one to fear, she got angry instead. “Look, I came to give you a second chance at helping me. You know I will get into that party, and when I do, I’m writing about every single thing I see there. This is your one chance to have some say on what I put down on paper.” She stood and walked toward the door of the office and then turned to face him. “So, what will it be?”
“I said no, and I meant no. That party is not the kind of thing you should be going to.”
“You hypocrite! You sent Cole an invite, and yet I can’t get one?”
He clenched his jaw. “Your brother is a grown man.”
“And what the hell am I? I’m not a little girl anymore. I know what I’m doing.” She grabbed the door handle and glared at him. “I’m going, whether you like it or not.”
He gripped her arm. Her eyes met his in an angry battle of wills.
“Don’t do anything you’ll regret, Chris.”
Unsettled by his touch, she shook her arm out of his hold. “Life’s too short for regrets.” She walked out and toward her car without a single look back.
Down the street, she waited until the lights to his office turned off and then quietly went back to retrieve her bag.