Off Limits(5)

By: Lola Darling


This should be an interesting one.

“The client is Suzie Steel.”

Chloe’s eyes go wide. “The Suzie Steel? From the exercise videos.”

“That’s her.” Paul nods. “The one with all the catch phrases. You know, shake it out and—”

“Rub it in,” Chloe supplies with a sarcastic smirk.

I can’t help it. I bark out a low laugh at that one. It only earns me an even narrower glare from Chloe this time.

“Actually, that’s what the lawsuit is about,” Paul says, interrupting what was shaping up to be a pretty interesting staring contest. I think it’s the glasses. Even when she’s scowling Chloe looks hotter than anyone I’ve ever laid eyes on.

Or maybe I just think of hot librarians when she scowls at me. Please, Chloe, tell me what you want me to do to you.

“Suzie trademarked that saying when she first launched her videos back in ’95. But now there’s a new company that’s just started up, selling, ah, what’s it

called . . .” Paul rifles through his copy of the case document.

“The Rotator,” I supply without a glance at my own files. After all, I spent the last hour researching it. “Not the most creative name ever. It’s basically just a chair with a weight system attached. It’s supposed to work out your hip flexors and your obliques when you, well . . .” I cast a sideways glance at Chloe before I rock my hips around the office chair to demonstrate. “Rub it in.”

Her eye-roll is so strong it practically registers on the Richter scale. “Figures you’d be familiar with that.”

“Hey, these washboard abs won’t maintain themselves.” I pat my stomach.

Even Paul laughs at that, though I notice he quickly tries to hide it by taking another gulp from his coffee cup.

“Calm down, Gym Tan Laundry,” Chloe mutters. “Okay, so they’re using a saying that’s too similar to hers, is that the problem?” Her eyes flash back to Paul, to the case at hand.

She’s no fun.

“Part of the problem, yes. They released a commercial with a voiceover using that line, read by an older woman, smoky voice—she sounds an awful lot like Suzie, to be honest. But Suzie insists it’s not her. She never gave the company permission to use her tagline, either.”

Chloe purses her lips thoughtfully. “So this new company is trying to play off of her brand. Make it look like she endorsed them.”

“Precisely.”

“It doesn’t help that the machine doesn’t look all that safe, either,” I add. “I watched a couple videos of it this morning. I can see what Ms. Steel means, when she said she wouldn’t suggest her followers use something like that. Just a little too much weight, and you could really strain your lower back muscles if you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Chloe’s eyes flash at me again, like she’s annoyed. I can’t imagine about what this time. She pushes the glasses farther up her nose, and I fight sudden urges to tear them off her face.

No. Actually. Leave the glasses on. Just tear everything else off of her . . .

“So, what do you think, Chloe?” Paul asks, and she snaps to attention.

I raise an eyebrow. Anthony doesn’t talk to me like that. Of course, Anthony has a very different management . . . ah, style, shall we say, than Paul does. He’s more of the Here’s what you’re doing, if you don’t like it, get the hell out of my firm type of boss.

Chloe scans the case file in front of her. A single lock of her long, curly hair falls over her shoulder as she does, brushing across the page. I have to fight a sudden, inexplicable urge to brush it out of her way. Actually, more than that, I want to catch all her long hair in my fist, turn her toward me again, see that glare on her perfectly sculpted face as I lean over her and . . .

Shit. What the hell, Davis? You don’t have time for this right now.

Almost like she heard that thought, Chloe steals a peek in my direction. “It’s interesting, that’s for sure. And I can see why you want us to keep a close eye on it,” she says. “Suzie’s still a pretty big public figure. She’s been on a couple of talk shows lately, and there’s some buzz about her releasing a new training regimen for older women this year, too. This case could attract a lot of media coverage.”

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