Excerpt from Courting Danger
by Kimberly Dean
“Hello? Is anyone here?”
A low voice rumbled down the hallway, and her chest tightened. It was a man, but she didn’t recognize the voice. For a moment, she considered remaining quiet, but she licked her lips and made herself step forward. She was overreacting. If she wasn’t, there was an emergency call button hidden under the lip of her desktop. Security could be here in less than a minute if she needed them.
She returned to the lobby and scanned the area. Her gaze came to a screeching halt when it landed on the man who was already looking in her direction.
Her wariness didn’t decrease, but a different kind of awareness flooded her. “Hello?” she said huskily.
Somehow, he’d known she was there, yet he seemed taken aback. His weight slowly rocked back from the balls of his feet, and his eyes narrowed. They were blue eyes. Startling blue. “Good evening.”
She wasn’t overreacting. The guy had danger written all over him, in that good-girls-beware sort of way. Tall and strapping, he had closely cropped dark hair and a rough-and-tumble aura that didn’t go with the tuxedo he was wearing. That wasn’t to say he didn’t look good. He looked damn good. The combination was powerful, and it hit her first in her belly and next in her knees.
Sex appeal oozed from him.
Which, of course, meant he was here for an escort.
His gaze was running over her just as alertly as she’d evaluated him, so Rielle quickly put herself behind her desk. She tucked her barrette behind her phone and fought the urge to run her fingers through her hair. “I’m sorry, but we’re closed.”
He cocked his head. “The door was open.”
And that had been a mistake.
“Did you have an appointment?” She knew very well he didn’t.
“No.” Her question had been sharp, but his blue gaze didn’t flinch. Instead, the lines of his face softened, and she had to lock her knees to keep them from melting. “But I’m in a bind. I was hoping you could help me out.”
She lifted an eyebrow. The man might be putting out pheromones by the bucketful, but her brain was still functioning—admittedly better on some levels than others—and she’d begun to sense danger of another sort. The entrapment sort. Luxxor was not a company that took walk-ins. “For whom are you looking?”
He walked closer to the desk, and she instinctively gripped its edge. The way he moved, all silent and stealthy. The expensive carpeting absorbed the noise most people made, but the air didn’t even stir at his approach. Her fingers edged closer to the silent alarm, but she didn’t push it.
“I’m looking for Luxxor Limited. I know I’m late, but I need an escort for the evening.”
Her guard stayed up. She knew they were alone in the office—she was acutely aware of the fact—but her company’s clients knew better than to go spouting off so casually about Luxxor’s line of work. They signed nondisclosure agreements to ensure it. If he was wearing a wire, she wanted to make everything perfectly clear. “You need someone to attend an event with you tonight?”
“Actually, I need someone right now.”
She shook her head. Luxxor went to extremes to satisfy its clients. She’d blush if she thought about how far some escorts went, but there was no way she could accommodate his request. The employees they had working tonight already had their assignments. Even if she did contact someone, the timing was impossible.
For some reason, that relieved her. “I’m sorry, but we don’t have anyone available on such short notice, Mr…. I don’t believe I caught your name.”
“Because I didn’t give it.” He slid his hands into his pockets. The tuxedo looked good on him, but it was failing badly at taming him. Especially when he winked. “Tell me yours, and I’ll tell you mine.”
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