Mr. Irresistible(6)By: Karina Bliss
“What a honey that one is,” said the sales manager’s wife, sending a come-talk-to-us invitation.
Kate gave up. “Excuse me.” Bolting for the powder room, she reflected that if she wanted to remain undetected she’d have to stay away from Peter, plus stick to the company of men, who’d be unaffected by Jordan’s sex appeal.
JORDAN WATCHED HER GO.
Run, Kate Brogan! But I have you in my sights.
It had been so easy picking her out of the crowd. Peter Walker had betrayed her location with one glance. The guy was as good as a heat-seeking missile.
“How the hell did you persuade Jordan to escort you to such a civilized gathering, Monique? I didn’t know a sister carried that sort of clout.”
Jordan turned back to his partner. They’d been friends too long for Christian to really be startled by anything he did.
“Believe it or not, he asked me to come.” She turned to Peter, holding out her hand. “We haven’t met. I’m Monique King, and it appears we’re gate-crashers.”
Though obviously dismayed, Peter managed to say all the right things, Jordan noted with wry amusement.
Until Triton’s software developer had tapped on Jordan’s door that afternoon, their previous acquaintance had been limited to quarterly updates. Christian, who handled the company’s acquisitions, and Luke, before he’d spearheaded their new charitable trust, worked more closely with their contractor. Jordan’s restless vitality better suited him to operational concerns.
Fuming because Kate Brogan wasn’t returning his calls, Jordan hadn’t been in the mood for a quiet word with the project manager, but by the end of the man’s speech he’d been riveted.
Peter would “hate it if Jordan discovered his relationship with Kate from someone else.” He wanted to “reassure” Jordan that none of Kate’s information for her column had come from him. Peter would never be that “disloyal.”
Jordan had assured him that he was now fully aware of Peter’s capacity for loyalty.
“Champagne?” Accepting the glass Peter offered, Jordan returned the man’s toast, and wondered what the hell Kate saw in him. Not that he could criticize, given his own recent poor judgment.
Though he was as angry with Penny as her cuckolded husband, Jordan saw no honor in petty revenge. So when the scandal broke, he’d kept his mouth shut and hunkered down to weather it.
That’s why he’d declined Kate’s request for a profile. Plus, he’d promised his partners to stop talking to the press altogether.
They still remembered the time a sense of mischief had prompted him to tell one pompous business reporter that Triton was thinking about diversifying its portfolio into raising grasshoppers for the pet market.
The scoop had gone to print, and the temporary drop in Triton’s share price had convinced Luke and Christian that their partner’s black humor was best shared only with those who knew him well.
The same sense of mischief had made Jordan ask Kate out after refusing her interview. He knew he’d pricked her professional ego by his refusal, knew she hated finding out she had one.
Her response had intrigued him enough to start reading her column.
Jordan lifted his glass. “To an interesting evening.” He laughed when Christian narrowed his eyes.
BY KEEPING A CAREFUL distance, Kate found the evening passed quite pleasantly. After dinner, she even discovered a quiet corner to sit alone with a coffee and jot down a few ideas, grateful for the respite from networking.
A shadow fell over the table and, intent on her work, she put a hand over her cup. “No more coffee, thanks.”
“Actually, I wanted to ask you to dance.” The voice was deep, powerful, definitely not that of her waitress. Kate looked up to see Jordan King regarding her with such a charming smile, she immediately felt like Little Red Riding Hood.
“At least,” he said approvingly, “you’re not going to feign surprise at seeing me.”
She looked pointedly at his long hair, lying loose around his shoulders, and the gold hoop in his left ear. Tonight, the shirt was ironed, but the fineness of the cream silk gave it a transparency that was almost indecent. He wore camel-colored pants and well-worn boots in a room where every other man wore a suit. “I think everyone’s seen you.”