The One Nighter(8)

By: Shauna Hart

She shook her head. “That’s not true.”

He leaned back in his seat. “Alright then, convince me. Tell me what Turner has been doing to bring in new clients.”

She wanted to.

She wanted to throw his words right back in his smug, arrogant face.

But she couldn’t.

As much as she hated to admit it, Mr. Turner had put the business on the back burner. At her silence, he continued.

“You can’t, Mel.” Placing his forearms on the table, he leaned in. “Look, it’s not your fault. You’ve done an admirable job keeping the clients happy. Between the two of us, I think we could make a pretty good team.” He paused for a moment before adding, “If that’s what you want.”

She couldn’t help but wonder if he was just talking about work.

Did his words have a double entendre?

Biting the inside of her lip, she answered him. “I take my job very seriously. All I want is what’s best for the company.”

Her noncommittal answer made his eyes glitter with amusement. “That makes two of us,” he agreed. “So, since we’re going to be working together so closely, maybe we can clear the air a little bit.”

Lifting her fork, she opened her mouth to take a bite.

“Why did you lie to me?”

She nearly choked. “What?”

“A year ago, when we met, why didn’t you tell me who you were? I mean, I don’t see a wedding ring.”

Dabbing at her mouth with the napkin, she tried to still her racing pulse. “Maybe we should just forget that night ever happened,” she suggested, knowing that they couldn’t, knowing that the time had come for answers.

“Was it really that bad?” he prodded.

Her gaze met his. “No…I mean…”

He tilted his head to the side as he waited for her to answer.

She took a deep breath.

She had known that this day would come.

She just hadn’t been prepared for it to happen so soon.

“The truth is I don’t know. I mean, I’ve never done anything like that before. I guess I just kind of got…” She trailed off, unable to describe the torrent of passion that swept over her that night.

“Caught up in it?” he provided.

She nodded.

“I know,” he replied. “So Jill is?”

She licked her lips, noticing how his gaze followed the movement. “Jill is a friend of mine. She works in the office,” she answered.

One eyebrow arched. “So, there’s no boyfriend?” he asked.

She shook her head. “No,” she replied softly.

He nodded. “That’s good to know.”

Her eyebrows drew together. “Why?” she inquired.

He shrugged his shoulders. “I just always wondered,” he confessed.

Her surprise was evident. “You wondered about me?”

His eyes met hers, and she felt her nipples tighten embarrassingly.

“More than once,” he admitted.

Drawing in a deep breath, she tried to steady herself. The thought that Connor Mason thought about her made her weak in the knees.

Which was dangerous.

The last thing she wanted to do was start an affair.

Especially with the boss.

Even if she had known him before, it wouldn’t matter.

Everyone else in the office would see it as her sleeping her way to the top. She had worked too hard to get to where she was for rumors like that to start up now. All of her life, she had watched other women take shortcuts. She prided herself on being a woman of integrity, one who got by on skill rather than sexual persuasion.

“No matter what happened between us a year ago, I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about us right now,” she explained.

He took a drink of his wine. “And what would that be?” he asked.

She shifted uneasily in her seat. “That something is going on,” she elaborated.

“Going on?” he repeated, his eyebrows arching.

She let out a heavy sigh. “You know what I mean,” she answered.

He sighed heavily. “I guess I do. So, we should probably get to business. Why don’t you fill me in on the McCready account? I want to be prepared for the dinner meeting tomorrow.”

Melanie tried to keep her mind on business as she began to tell him the history of the account, but she couldn’t help but wonder.