I was no match for him, though he went easy on me to begin with. My giggles finally lost the battle for me, and when I finally came up for air he was there, playful and sexy, pushing me back on the bed and smothering my body with his hard bare chest. I kicked and screamed, pushing against his hard chest, and he leaned down, silencing me with his mouth and tongue, till my muffled screams subsided and I wrapped my arms around his neck and my legs around his waist, losing myself in the kiss.

Then, in the soft sheets and morning light, I had my seventh, eighth and ninth orgasm in twelve hours.

* * *

“I DON’T UNDERSTAND the problem,” Brad said.

I sipped my lemonade and looked at Brad over the rim of the glass. We had driven three ridiculously short blocks from Brad’s home, and now sat beneath teal umbrellas at a restaurant on the edge of a large park. “There isn’t really a problem, per se. Not now, at least. But it’s only a matter of time before someone finds out about us. I am one week from that no longer hanging over my head. If I stay on, and Broward finds out...” I couldn’t finish the sentence, the idea too bleak to even consider. Brad’s snort brought me out of my pity party and I looked up at him, frowning. His bemused expression only increased my exasperation. “Don’t give me that look—you have no consequences if they find out about us. He already hates you.”

“He won’t find out. How long is this...extension he offered you?”

“I don’t know. This next semester, I think.”

“He’ll still get a new intern. We all do. So, if he’s keeping you on, it probably means that he’ll expand your duties.”

I nodded enthusiastically. “Yes, he mentioned expanding my duties, and even bringing me to court.” I couldn’t help it; reverence entered my voice at that word, despite my best efforts to contain myself.

He smiled at me. “You know I take Todd to court with me at least once a week. It’s not that big a deal.”

I slapped my hands over my ears. “Don’t tell me that! I barely got over that fact the first time he rubbed it in my face!” I glared at him, his damn mouth twitching in response.

He leaned forward, tugging my hands away from my ears, holding them in between his. “What do you want to do?”

I leaned back, snatching my hands away from him before his damn sexuality hijacked my common sense. “I don’t know. I want the additional experience and money without worrying about death by a Broward staff firing squad.”

“So work for me instead.” His impossible-to-read eyes stared at me, a relaxed expression on his face as he signaled for the waiter.

“Like that would work. We both know you wouldn’t be able to keep focused on clients when my delicious self was in the same wing.” I grinned at him confidently.

He laughed. “Right. That’s me. Easily distracted by beautiful women.”

I twisted my mouth at him. “No. One beautiful woman. Remember? You’re committed now.”

“Oh, that’s right. How could I ever forget?” he asked, snaring my hand and bringing it to his mouth for a quick kiss. “So. What’s your decision?”

I sighed, trying to decide whether the risk was worth the reward. The issue was, I was dealing with multiple risks and multiple rewards. Broward’s wrath, a law school recommendation and my professional reputation all hovered menacingly above me. But those threats paled against the danger that had been worrying me the most lately. My heart, and the danger those inexplicable dark eyes brought to it.

* * *

MONDAY MORNING, I waited in Broward’s office, watching the top of his head as he scribbled on a notepad. He paused, processing my sentence, before responding. “That’s great, Julia. Good to hear.” His voice did project an air of enthusiasm, an emotion I was grateful for, though my mind was still filled with trepidation about my decision to accept the job. “Human Resources will send you the paperwork, and you may have to take another drug test, but we’ll get you in the system by next Monday. How many hours a week can you give me?” A loaded question, since I had no doubt he would push the limits of whatever answer I gave him.

“Twenty hours, sir. I have classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so I can work on Tuesdays and Thursdays.” It wasn’t my fault that those were the days he frequented the courtroom. Okay, so maybe I had shifted my classes around a bit.

“Great. You’ll work out the rest of this week?” He looked over his calendar, making a notation.

“Yes, sir. And in a few weeks I’ll have a form from my professor that I will need you to complete.” I shifted in front of his desk, the new heels I wore rubbing a blister on the back of my ankles.

“Great. Just print it out for me when you get it.” He nodded at me, a quick smile crossing his features. Then his cell rang. He looked at it, the now familiar stressed look returning to his face. I gave him a quick wave and backed away from his desk, turning and stepping into the hall.

“Julia, please shut the door,” he called out. I obliged, grabbing the knob and pulling it tightly closed. The instant the door clicked, I leaned down, loosening the strap of my shoes and unbuckling them, anxious to get the damn things as far away from my ankles as humanly possible. I was working on my second stiletto when I heard Broward’s voice, cold and irritable, a hateful tone that I had never heard from him, seep out from underneath his set of double doors.

Sixteen

Brad had dialed the number unsure if Kent Broward would answer. It had been years since they had had a civil conversation.

“My wife’s not here, if that’s who you are looking for,” Kent answered.

Talk about holding a grudge. Brad sighed heavily. “Cut the shit. We need to talk about your work.”

“Unlike you, I’m in the middle of it. Bring up any complaints you have at next quarter’s meeting.”

Brad spun in his chair, looking out on the city view. “Not CDB work, Kent. Your extracurricular clients.”

Kent’s voice tightened. “What about them?”

“I came to you three years ago, when I first found out what you were dealing in. You told me then, in simple enough terms, to stay the f**k out of your business.”

“I remember it, quite clearly. What’s your point?” Kent’s voice was hard, a tone that didn’t match the spineless intellectual that was on the other end of the line. A man who was playing tough with the wrong person.

“This is the Magiano family you’re dealing with now. And I’m telling you to stay out of their business. You were being stupid then, but you’re being suicidal now. You will never be good enough for them, and you are just one mistake away from them no longer needing your services.”

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