We were just a few feet from my
bedroom…I would just have to drag him in there, and throw him
down on my bed, running my hands under his shirt and across that
broad chest, letting his elegant fingers unbutton my skirt, our
passion letting me forget his girlfriends and how terrible I felt
about Stevie and the job and my whole life…
No. I was not going to be just another
one of his conquests. Not even the sole redhead.
“Not a chance,” I told him.
He shrugged, nonchalant. “If you
don’t, I might just assume you’re blonde after all.”
A wicked grin split his face. “After all, how do I know that
the carpet matches the drapes?”
“Dude, if your lady’s
ladyhairs look like a carpet, then I think you have bigger concerns.
Like, maybe a shampoo.”
“Why are you so obsessed with my
girlfriends?” he said, lounging against the wall in a way that
would have incited riots if he’d been in public.
“I’m not obsessed! You just
keep bringing them around here and throwing them in my face!”
“You should be happy,” he
said. “I just recommended you to another girl last night! Your
designs are the best I’ve ever seen—and I’ve seen a
lot of lingerie.” He winked. The nerve.
“I’m surprised you have
time before they kick you out the door,” I shot back.
“Are you in stores?” he
asked, suddenly serious. “I know a hundred more women who’d
love to wear them.”
“Gee, only a hundred?” I
rolled my eyes, ignoring the compliment. “Dude, if you haven’t
already, maybe think about getting an STD check.”
Asher looked nonplussed for a second,
as though he’d been startled out of a pose. “You never do
let up, do you?”
“It’s one of my most
sterling qualities,” I snarked.
“It is,” he said. He caught
my gaze and held it, and for a moment—
And then he pulled out his card and
pressed it into my hand along with the money, and took the
opportunity to slide close enough to me that we were breathing the
same air, and I realized it was just another move in his playbook.
“If you ever want any…business
advice…” he murmured, maintaining eye contact.
“Business advice?” I
chirped. “Wow, thanks. You sure are sweet to offer that to
little old me—”
He leaned even closer, encouraged. “We
could meet up sometime and…talk. I know a nice little Italian
“—who definitely didn’t
found this whole business herself without no help from anyone or
anything,” I finished. “What an altruist!”
And smiling as sweetly as apple pie,
still keeping eye contact, I tossed his business card right out the
You could have framed the look on his
face and sold it for a million dollars.
“Goodbye, Mr. Young.”
As he slunk away, I went back to my
designs with a vengeance. So he liked them? Well, that meant they
needed to be even better.
Ha, ‘business advice!’ Not
if he were the last man on earth.
“No freaking way!”
Lacey slammed her appletini on the
table in disgust, and then shot the waiter an apologetic look as he
rushed to mop up the results of her indignation. Then she got right
back to being indignant.
“That’s just completely
unnecessary!” Lacey said. “It’s a complete
overreaction! I can’t believe they fired you, I’m calling
HR right now—”
She actually managed to get her cell
phone out of her purse and the number halfway dialed before I could
grab her wrist. That girl is a like a do-gooder ninja.
“Whoa whoa whoa! I mean, I was
looking at lingerie,” I said soothingly. Lacey’s
intensity was starting to unnerve me a little bit. I love that girl,
but sometimes she gets this noble crusader look in her eye and there
are not enough chill pills in the entire universe to get her down off
her high horse and back into the real world. I didn’t need a
knight in shining armor; I could take care of myself.
But Lacey with a cause is like a dog
with a bone—specifically a
David Niall Wilson, Steven & Wilson Savile