He’s dressed all in black—black suit, black shirt, black tie, black shoes, and there’s something sinister and sexy about it.

He pauses in front of Eddie, still on the floor, probably afraid to get up. A small smile tugs at the corner of his lips, but he continues to Adrian. Since I’m the only woman in the room, Mateo’s brown eyes snap to me while Adrian leans in to speak in his ear.

I feel a little like I can’t breathe, but I hold his gaze. This is a lot fucking scarier than I imagined it would be.

When Adrian pulls back, Mateo approaches my desk.

“Hi,” I say, watching his gaze drop to my legs and make another slow, appraising journey up and down my body.

“Hi,” he replies simply.

“I’m Meg,” I add.

“I heard. And you’re my surprise?” he asks, a touch mockingly.

A chill moves over me, unsure whether he’s teasing flirtatiously or making fun of me. Maybe Antonio got it all wrong and I’m not his type.

Without time to rethink my strategy, I make a little show of checking him out right back and offer a teasing smile of my own. “And here I thought you were mine.”

A slow smile from him sends relief moving through me. Nodding his head toward the door, he says, “Go out to the car. We’ll get a drink.”

I’m hesitant to stand, since he’s still so close to my chair, but I guess brushing up against him isn’t the worst thing I’ll do tonight. Slowly gathering my items and shoving them into my purse, I look back to him, waiting for him to move, but he doesn’t. So I stand, my body coming up so close to his that I can feel his heat.

He’s not unaffected. His right hand comes around to the small of my back, pulling me against him, his beautiful brown eyes alight with interest. A little gasp escapes me, super uncool of me, but… wow. I feel a little drunk already, and I haven’t had more than ginger ale to soothe my stomach all day.

Suddenly releasing me, he takes a step back. I feel unsteady, but I manage to put one foot in front of the other and walk past the assembled men and through the doors.

Damn, I had accepted the possibility of having sex with him as an unsavory side job, but I didn’t count on being so attracted to him. Maybe it won’t be such a sacrifice, after all.

I don’t expect Adrian to follow me to the car, but he does. At first I think just to be weirdly chivalrous and open the door, but he lingers once I’m inside.

“You armed?” he asks.

My eyes widen. “No.”

Holding out his hand, he says, “Give me your purse.”

Terror steals the breath from my body. I clutch my purse, heart sinking, but if I say no he’ll take it anyway, and won’t that be suspicious?

“My purse?” I ask, going for clueless.

“Gotta check it,” he tells me.

I manage to look a little insulted, forcing out an uncomfortable laugh as I hand over my purse, feeling less and less like I’m going to survive this night by the second.

“Phone?” he asks.

“In the purse,” I say, still confused.

He takes that out first. Pulling something from his pocket, he inserts it into the side and pops out a tiny plastic card, then he takes my phone apart in a matter of seconds. I gape, confused, as he dumps the pieces back into my purse.

Glancing up at my confused horror, he says, “I’ll put it back together before you leave. Can’t have it while you’re with Mateo.”

“I can’t have a phone? This seems a little… much, don’t you think?” I ask, frowning. “We’re gonna grab a drink, not run off to Vegas.”

Flicking me a glance as he searches my bag, he says, “Mateo’s very careful.”

“I see that,” I murmur, stomach twisting in knots as he draws out the lipstick Antonio gave me. I expect him to drop it back in the bag, since it’s obviously a harmless cosmetic, but instead he takes the cap off, checking that there’s real lipstick inside.

“Have you ever seen Despicable Me?” I suddenly ask.

He looks at me like I’ve just grown another head. “No?”

“It’s a kid’s movie. Not the first one, but the second one. There’s a girl spy and she has a… lipstick taser. I was going to make a joke, but you wouldn’t have understood, so… this was a pointless interaction.”

Raising his eyebrows, Adrian shakes his head, but then he pops the cap back on my lipstick, replacing it in my bag, and searches for another minute before handing it back to me.

“She’s good,” he says, taking a step back.

Mateo climbs in and suddenly the backseat feels much smaller—which surprises me, because this is a really spacious car. Far above the class of car I could ever afford, but I can see why someone with enough money would buy one.

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