She could hardly blame him. After all, she’d been the one who’d attempted the whole near-miss-kiss thing.
But she couldn’t wholly regret that either. Winning that momentary burn in his eyes had been one hell of a thrill. It was nice to pretend that for just one little itty-bitty second she’d had the power over him and he was the one dancing to her tune—well, almost. He’d wanted it.
So now, having scored that point, she could let the matter go— entirely.
She turned, aimed for professional. ‘See you tomorrow.’
He called after her with a triumphant drawl. ‘You’ll be on your own, princess. Tomorrow’s Saturday.’
LISS would have slept in if it weren’t for the fact that she couldn’t stop thinking about James. One moment he was hot—looking at her as if he wanted her—the next coolly sarcastic and disapproving. The zing was undeniable but the circumstances were all wrong and she got the vibe he thought she was all wrong. Her only logical course of action was to retreat. Be cool and professional during the day and keep her distance should their social schedules intersect.
But, oh, my, he looked so good in a tux—and in a business suit. Thank heavens she didn’t have to see him doing casual; she had the feeling he’d fill a pair of jeans jaw-droppingly well.
She spent a long time in the shower, the noise of the streaming water blocking the oppressive silence within the apartment. She slipped on skinny jeans and a casual tee shirt. Not bothering with much in the way of make-up. After a scrappy lunch she decided to leave for her appointment early—especially as she was determined to master the public transport system this week and not have it beat her. The numerous taxis home at night were beginning to add up and she couldn’t afford to take them during the day as well. And after last week’s nightmare of getting it all wrong, at least now she knew exactly which train and which bus were the ones to get. All she had to do was make it to the station on time.
She picked up her crate of goodies and headed out the door. By the time she was out of the lift and crossing the lobby she was ruefully thinking the crate was bulky and surprisingly heavy. She should have put it all in her wheelie case. Just then one of her slip-on shoes decided to slip off and skitter halfway across the floor.
‘Damn,’ she muttered.
‘Where are you going?’
She jerked her head around. James was walking across the floor— James?
‘To the station,’ she blurted, totally nonplussed.
She ignored the question, too busy picking up her jaw. She’d been right about the jeans—fit and firm and with that not-too-tight-not-too-loose tee shirt he was stealing all her breath. ‘What are you doing here?’ she half whispered, half hysterical.
‘I live in the penthouse.’
‘Oh.’ She tried to process that while juggling the crate and attempting to slip her foot back into the misbehaving shoe. She failed at all three.
‘Can I help you?’
‘No, thanks.’ Cool and professional. That was the way. Not ogling. Not imagining what his apartment must be like. Not feeling completely thrown.
But he’d already taken the crate from her and was frowning. ‘Which part of town are you headed to?’
‘Oh. Um. Just the other side of Chatswood.’
‘Why are you going there?’
She shrugged, getting her grip back. ‘I have some things to do there.’
His frown deepened. ‘I’ll give you a lift. I’m going out anyway.’
‘Oh, no, thanks, James…’ She broke off, finding herself talking to empty air. He was already at the lift. She righted her shoe and fell into line, going with him to the car park in the basement and to the sleek two-seater convertible he’d just unlocked.
To her relief, he didn’t speak as they drove. She gave him the address and that was it—giving her time to recover, and to surreptitiously check him out some more. After five minutes she knew she was best off staring out the window. Her heart rate would never get back to normal otherwise. When they pulled up at the house, she saw him looking it over—critical all the way.
‘Are you going to be long?’
Liss nearly giggled. He was acting like some control-freak bodyguard.
‘A couple of hours, I think.’ She’d just sit and hang with the girls, talk a little, more importantly listen.
‘I’ll be done about then too so I’ll come back and pick you up.’
It wasn’t an offer, it was a statement of intent and she already knew there was no point arguing. Might as well just enjoy the ride. ‘Thanks. That would be great.’