Ride Me Dirty(5)

By: Vanessa Vale

“Drowning my problems in alcohol is the only thing I can do at this point. Since I've been on this plane I've had a phone call from my ex, an IM from a coworker and a text from my boss. On top of that, I won't make my appointment in Montana on time.” I waved my hand toward the plane's window and the water streaking down it. “I can't go back to New York and, after months of hard work, they’re giving my case to an ass—” I bit my lip. “An associate because I'm stuck here.”

Mr. Hottie's dark gaze was focused on me. Like a laser. It was as if he couldn't hear the storm brewing outside or the screaming baby two rows back or the conversation of the couple in front of us. He was listening solely to me, and the attention made me hot all over. I had to fist my hand at my side to keep myself from finding out just how soft his hair would feel sliding through my fingers.

“Being stuck isn't so bad,” he told me.

I arched a brow, my gaze flying to his lips as he spoke. Lingering because I couldn’t seem to remember that it was impolite to stare. “Oh?”

“Mmm,” he murmured. “Being stuck with a beautiful woman? Every man's dream. Aren't I lucky?”

I licked my lips and forced myself to face forward, like a reasonable, logical woman. How many times was this man going to make me blush?

“I'm Jack, by the way.”

I licked my lips again, the slight dampness left by my tongue teasing me with possibilities as I answered. Maybe this was how it worked, picking up a man. Maybe Elaine was right. Maybe I could do this. “Catherine.”

Jack shifted his legs so they stretched out into the aisle a bit. “What is it you do that has you so stressed?”

I considered lying for a split second, but my instincts rebelled at the thought. If he couldn’t handle a woman with a brain, I wasn’t interested anyway. “I'm an attorney.”

“My cousin's a lawyer, too. I usually crack jokes about lawyers, but I don't think they pertain to you.”

I laughed and nodded my head. “Yeah, I've pretty much heard them all.” I tugged at one of my wayward curls. “And I'm blond, too, so I'm pretty much doomed in the bad joke department.”

“So what's the big issue that has you so wound up?”

He placed his hands on top of the book in his lap, interlaced his fingers, clearly settling in to the wait. I just looked at him for a minute, trying to figure out why he cared.

Perhaps he sensed my thoughts, because he said, “Look, talking to you is much more enjoyable than my book. Besides, we've got nothing else to do. You might as well tell me.” When I still paused, he said, “What happens on the plane, stays on the plane.”

“I thought that was only for Vegas,” I countered, then grinned. “Fine.” I turned so my back was against the bulkhead of the plane and I faced him.

“My biggest issue is that I'm up for partner and an ambitious co-worker took over my biggest case. I've been gone—” I glanced at my watch and did the math on the time change. “—six hours and he’s poaching my clients.”

“Partner. That's impressive, especially for someone so young.”

I frowned and looked at him carefully. “Thanks. I’m not that young and I don’t think you’re old enough to claim old age just yet.”

“I don't dare guess a woman's age. My mother taught me better manners than that, but I'm thirty-two.”

“Then I'll just say you've got a few years on me.” Five to be exact, but he didn't need to know that.

“Like I said, impressive.”

I looked down at my short nails. “Making partner has been a goal for ten years. I’ve worked my tail off and the thought of the jerk in my office stealing the partnership out from under my nose makes me want to strangle things.”

“You always wanted to be a lawyer?”


“Why’s that? Someone in your family put away for a crime they didn't commit?” The corner of his mouth tipped up and his dimple appeared. I stared. I couldn’t help it. I wanted to kiss him there, find out what his skin tasted like.

Holy shit. Elaine was right. I needed to have sex. The long dry spell since my divorce was making me lose my mind. “Um… no. My father's a lawyer. My mother's a lawyer.”

“Following in their footsteps then.”

I thought of my parents. Not warm and fuzzy, not loving in general. But, they'd put me through college and law school so I shouldn't complain. “I guess. I never really thought about it. It was always just what I was going to do.” I'd said enough about me. Time to turn the tables. “What about you? What do you do?”

“I'm a rancher.”