1

Sasha


It’s hard to concentrate when you’re in the presence of overwhelming pheromones. I know this as fact—I’m a scientist. Okay, maybe not a pheromone scientist but I know enough to know that when Hunter Davis is around, I can’t focus on spreadsheets and statistical data without shooting him a sidelong look which inevitably strains my eyes, taking me away from my work until I catch Queenie’s deadpan stare from across the room.

His mere presence affected me on a primal level, sending waves of headiness through my slender frame and raising the temperature of the lab at Mirror, Mirror to an unsterile level.

Of course, that was all in my head and my workspace was functional and efficient, as documented by the government, no matter what my body was saying.

Our research was state-of-the-art and evolving, even if my heart was caught in my throat every time I caught a whiff of Hunter’s subtle Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue Eau. He wasn’t supposed to be wearing cologne inside the lab but no one ever called him on it and I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to rat him out.

That day, however, I didn’t much care that I’d been covertly staring at my workspace companion. There was a charged excitement as we tied up loose ends in preparation for our upcoming trip to Hof, Iceland. Even Queenie seemed to be in a better mood than usual as we scurried around, collecting our research and closing down the shop for the month of December.

This trip was going to be groundbreaking for so many reasons. Our work on eco-friendly fuel was finally paying off and if all went well, we would come back with the necessary research and hopefully craft a prototype to present to the powers-that-be. We’d been working tirelessly, no one more than me.

I was the one who had come up with the concept of converting Icelandic moss into energy, if only in theory. Naturally, it took a team of us to put that concept and after two years, we’d been granted the funding to go to Iceland and collect the samples we’d need to make it a reality.

In my secret heart, I hoped that Queenie’s bosses would notice my hard work and promote me so I wouldn’t be working under that miserable bitch anymore.

Maybe I’ll take Hunter with me when I go, I thought wryly and while it was an idle thought, my ears turned bright red at the thought.

Cursed fair skin. Every emotion was as plain as day on my face, regardless of how I tried to hide it.

Carefully putting a cache of slides into a case, I was vaguely aware of someone standing behind me.

Casually, I glanced over my shoulder and my pulse quickened instantly as I peered at Hunter, a strand of ebony hair slipping from my chignon to fall into the thick black lashes over one blue eye. Hastily, I brushed it away and beamed up at him.

“Hey,” I said. “What’s up?”

I hoped my voice didn’t depict the nervousness his nearness invoked but it was hard to say. I always felt a little tongue-tied and school girlish around him.

“Just stopping by to see how you’re coming along,” he replied lightly. “About ready to get going?”

I glanced up at the clock and realized with amazement that the day was almost over. We’d been so busy with the last-minute prep, the day had flown by, it seemed.

“I guess I have to be,” I replied, chuckling. “Wow, I can’t believe we’re doing this.”

Hunter gave me a patient smile and I found myself gazing into his green eyes helplessly. It defied logic that a woman like me, a chemical biologist no less, would be reduced to feelings of puppy love when confronted with a handsome man.

But he’s not just any man. He’s Hunter Davis and you’ve been hoping he’ll give you more than a charming grin one day. A whole lot more.

Again, I blushed at the illicit thought and lowered my crystalline eyes back toward the countertop.

“Are you being paid to stand around?” Queenie barked unexpectedly. Her voice jarred me, even though I was used to her grating tones.

“No, ma’am, Mrs. Boss,” Hunter replied, saluting her jokingly but Queenie’s eyes were fixed hatefully on me.

Amanda Queenie had been my superior for two years and in that time, she’d gone out of her way to make my life as difficult as possible.

It made no sense since we were all working toward the same goals, on the same team but Queenie saw me as the enemy somehow. It was silly when she was the one who accepted all the glory for our findings.

Basically, she got the credit for all my hard work. Some of my team members found that knowledge insufferable but I liked to look at the big picture—we were working toward a brighter future, weren’t we? Who cares who got the credit?

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