His eyes were a normal dark brown color, not anything special, but they blazed with a powerful intensity. He smelled of…something. I don't know how to describe the smell but it was intoxicating and animal. The man reeked of masculinity and sex. He seemed to be a big tight ball of controlled energy and I could just as easily imagine him ripping someone's head off as dipping me backwards into a kiss. As I stood there frozen, his sexy features curled into a smile and he looked like he wanted to eat me. I backed up and bumped into the kitchenette counter. I was acutely aware of the butter all over my fingers and, now dripping, on the edge of my mouth. I licked my lips and said the first thing that popped into my mind.
"I'm not Tiffany."
His smile faltered slightly and he shook his head and chuckled.
"I'm Julia. Julia Campbell. Broward's intern."
"Yes. I just asked Sheila where to find you. She said you were in here."
"Oh." A pause. His eyes never leaving mine. "Why were you looking for me?"
"Would you like to go to lunch?" He turned some powerful, magical force on full blast and it was like he radiated with intense sexual heat. I almost swooned, but caught myself. Keep it together you damn woman!
"No?" His grin increased and he looked almost incredulous. He glanced around as if wanting someone around to witness this.
"No." My voice grew in strength and confidence. Cocky prick.
"Why?" He moved closer and I lost all sense of reality. The man was like no one I'd ever met. I could see why divorcing wives would throw apart their legs and beg him for more than lawyerly duties. The man was walking breathing sex. I had never found body builders or large men attractive. I had pined and worshipped the rail-thin pretty look of male models. This man was built like a God - with the deposition of Satan. I couldn't imagine being an intern to this man and NOT doing more than filing his briefs.
I would have moved back farther but the kitchen counter rail was already digging into my ass and no doubt now leaving a bruise. I met his amused gaze and tried to portray nonchalance.
"For one thing, you're a little old."
His eyes flickered a bit at that, but he kept his thoughts to himself.
"Annnddd, I'm not supposed to talk to you." Even to my ears, that sounded juvenile.
His egotistic smirk was back.
"Ahhh… yes. Broward wants to keep you all to himself."
I didn't like that response, but kept my mouth shut and let me eyes communicate my silent retort.
"Come on. Let's go to Centaur."
"No. I have work to do."
"Come on - I'll have you back in a flash. No one will even know you are gone."
"Julia!" Sheila stood in the doorway and glared at De Luca. He had the good grace to look sheepish, which also looked ridiculously sexy. Good lord. Someone needs to take this man out back and shoot him.
I fled to the safety of her side, taking my buttery fingers with me and leaving my plate and knife behind.
"I need Julia," Sheila said. "Are you all through with whatever it was you were needing her for?" Her expression painted her opinion clearer than any billboard sign could.
De Luca nodded a goodbye to me and strode out of the kitchen, winking at me, and patting Sheila on the shoulder as he passed. I could suddenly breathe a lot easier. Sheila turned and affixed me with a steely stare, all evidence of grandmotherly goodness gone. "Is this going to be a problem?" she demanded.
"I don't know what you're talking about."
I didn't know what I had been doing the last two and a half hours, but it hadn't been anything productive. I twirled a pencil around my hand and debating asking someone for an Advil. My phone rang, a shrill sound that poked at my headache with a sharp stick.
"It's Beverly." Beverly was Broward's #2 Secretary - a redheaded, plump woman who thought that stripes and polka dots matched and had an extreme habit of over-sharing everything. I mean everything. The second day I met her she "confided" in me that she caught genital herpes from a gas station restroom toilet. Need I say anything more? She would.
"We need you to run over to Office Max. Rick in IT just called, and apparently they are having some kind of technical crisis that can only be solved by a…. TI44 Firewire Cable Port. Whatever that is. We would go, but De Luca's office is having us run a gabillion copies for some last minute filing and the-"
"No problem Beverly. I'll do it now." And stop by CVS and grab every hangover remedy they got.
"Are you sure? I hate to ask you but if we don't get-"
"Yes. I am sure. I'll do it now."
"Great! Thanks Julia. Just run it to IT when you get back. It's on the second floor, next to the-"
"I know where it is."
"O-KAY! Thanks Julia."
I hung up the phone and rose, glad for a chance to get out of the office. I slid my heels on, grabbed my purse, and practically skipped to the elevator, purposely avoiding even looking in the direction of the East Wing doors. Take that Brad De Luca!
I took the elevator directly to the parking garage floor and exited, looking to the right for my car. One of the firm’s black town cars was idling near my Camry, and the driver's tinted window rolled down as I approached. A 20s-something white kid in a chauffeur's uniform was seated in the driver’s seat, and spoke to me as I passed.
"Yes?" I stopped in surprise, staring at him.
"I've been instructed to drive you to the store."
"I'll drive you to the store."
"No, I'm fine. Thank you."
He ignored me and got out, walked around to the back seat door, and opened it. I glared at him.
"I can drive myself. I'm a big girl."
"Get in the car." The order came, not from the pimple-faced driver, but from inside the car. It only took a second for me to figure out that voice, and I shoved aside Pushy Driver and leaned over, looking into the car.
"You listen to me, " I hissed, pulling out my finger and pointing it in De Luca's face. "I am not one of your strippers you can order around! I am BUSY at work and-" My tirade and conviction was interrupted by De Luca's burst into laughter, him grabbing his side, his entire torso shaking. My finger sagged a bit but remained pointed at him, and I fought the ridiculous urge to laugh myself.