Husband Rollover (Husband Series Book 4)(9)

By: Louise Cusack

Fucking hell.

He smelt like wood-fire and hot skin and…brandy? Something alcoholic and expensive.

Sweet baby Jesus, I’m thinking about sex. Shut it down! Stop looking at his lips…

But they were pursed, and sexy as sin.

“Mr. Banks,” the blond said in her husky voice, and he turned to her.

Just like that, the spell was broken and I sucked in a slow, shuddering breath as I watched them interact. She was pointing at something on her phone and their two heads—dark and light—were close together as they whispered.

No one was looking at me so I took the opportunity to check him out, starting at his glossy black hair that had been cropped in a classic manly style that I wanted to think of as ‘old school’ but which actually suited him perfectly.

He’d begun to frown, drawing together those dark eyebrows over eyes that suddenly didn’t look like black pebbles. They were softer, more…soulful. And sexy. Definitely sexy eyes. I’d woken up this morning wanting to hate the hell out of him, and I was suddenly realizing why women swooned.

Watching him on TV, I’d only thought he was a pretentious braggart and an arrogant know-it-all. But now I was thinking I wonder what those broad shoulders and slim hips look like out of a suit? I wonder if that hair is as silky and soft as it looks. Even worse, I wonder what you taste like.

“I’m not doing it,” he snapped, breaking me out of my sensual daze to notice he was pointing at her phone. “Tell them to go fuck themselves.”

I switched my attention to the assistant whose non-expression hadn’t altered, but it suddenly occurred to me, that could be the look of someone hiding their emotions.

“Certainly,” she said, as if he’d asked her to get him a coffee. Then she excused herself and strode off.

All I could think was, Bastard. He’d better not talk to me like that, conveniently forgetting that I swore like a trooper. It was reverse sexism, but I didn’t like it when men used bad language.

So I was feeling quite self-righteous when I said, “Actually…” and pushed my shoulders back, determined not to be cowed by a bully. “…I’m busy. So there’s the booth.” I pointed. “Make yourself comfortable and I’ll send over a waitress to take your order.”

I turned on my heel and was about to storm off when he said, “Join me.”

In hell.

I kept my back to him, breathing through my nose again, acutely aware of all my staff watching me.

“Please,” he said softly, so softly they wouldn’t have heard him.

Surprise sent a shiver across my shoulders and I turned to see the soft look in his eyes again, along with an equally soft grumbling tone that added, “I’d like to discuss the suitability of your teahouse.”

All of a sudden he sounded like a different man. Like someone rational. Normal.

I couldn’t stop myself raising my chin. “Don’t fuck with me,” I said equally softly, “or things won’t end well.”

I have no idea where I dredged up the courage to say that, but if I’d expected a dramatic response, I was going to be surprised.

Those amazing lips quirked into an almost-smile that lit up his eyes, and then all I could think over the sudden throbbing inside my chest was Holy hell. No wonder he doesn’t smile on television. Women would be fainting in their thousands.

“I like you.” He glanced at my dress with its tight bodice and what the sales lady had called a ‘flirt skirt’, down past my exposed knees to my strappy teal sandals. “Even if your dress sense is eccentric,” he added, ramping up the smile so I saw a flash of white teeth as his attention returned to my eyes.

Then I wasn’t breathing—through my nose or otherwise. I was just standing stiff and breathless in front of him, thinking, panties. My panties are melting.

“Fritha?” he said in that crisp British accent, the smile now deflated to a half-smirk. “Lunch?”

Was he playing me? Did he have any idea that my heart was thudding and my face was hot?

“Max,” I immediately countered. Then I thought Shit, should I have said Mr. Banks?

But then, why? He wasn’t my boss, and looked to be mid-thirties like me. So he didn’t get any respect points for age.