“May I get you something to drink while you wait for the rest of your party?” the waiter asked. I would normally wait to see what the client did and follow his lead on alcohol. But tonight was not the norm. I rubbed at my stiff neck. “I’ll take a vodka cranberry, please.” I hoped it would help calm my nerves and release some of the tension in my jaw before I gave myself a full-blown headache. Taking out my phone, I started to scroll through emails to distract myself while waiting for my drink and dinner companion. My head whipped up at the sound of Gray’s voice behind me. “Sorry I’m late.” My heart unexpectedly fluttered, and I fought against the feeling of excitement. “Are you really? Because I get the sense you don’t have any manners after the way you interrupted me a million times today.” He completely ignored my attitude as he took the seat across from me. “Traffic is a bitch getting downtown at this time. Next time we’ll have dinner at my place.” “There won’t be a next time.” Gray’s mouth curved into a smug smile as he snagged my gaze. “Sure there will. There’ll be plenty of next times. And eventually you’ll stop pretending you don’t enjoy my company.” I hated that my body reacted to him. Right from the very start, we’d had a crazy chemistry between us that was difficult to dull. I sighed. “What are you doing, Gray? Why did you come to my firm?” He lifted the cloth napkin in front of him and laid it across his lap. “Isn’t that obvious? I need new legal representation.” “At my firm? And you’d prefer that representation come from an associate instead of my boss’s boss—the head of our securities division? Or even from Pittman, who would gladly hold your hand and provide you whatever legal advice you need from his fifty-plus years of experience?” “Loyalty is important to me. I want someone I can trust with my business.” “And you’ve decided that’s me? An associate with five years experience who just got off probation with the Bar Association for violating attorney-client privilege?” The waiter arrived with my drink. “Here you go, ma’am.” He turned to Gray. “May I get you something to drink? Or would you like to wait until the last of your party joins you this evening?” “It’s just the two of us. I’ll have a Macallan, neat, please.” “Coming right up.” The waiter walked around to the other side of the table and started to remove the third place setting. I put my hand out, stopping him. “We actually do have another party coming, so you can leave that.” “Very well.” He nodded. Gray waited until the waiter was out of earshot. “I didn’t invite anyone else to dinner.” I sipped my drink and offered a saccharine-sweet fake smile. “I did. Figured an important client like you should have more than one attorney to answer his questions.” Just as I set down my glass, I saw the other man I was waiting for enter the restaurant. He scanned the room, looking for me, so I held up my hand and waved. “Perfect timing. There’s Oliver now.” Gray glanced at the man heading toward us and back to me. Instead of being pissed off, the jerk was amused. “That’s cute. You invited a chaperone because you don’t trust yourself with me.”
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