Unbuttoned By Her Maverick Boss(3)

By: Natalie Anderson

She found she was mirroring his slight breathlessness. His chest was rising and falling that bit quickly, that bit jerkily, and her own felt tight as she studied him. He had an amazing torso—the strength, the undeniable masculinity had her spellbound. Her gaze coasted downwards again.

He took two more steps—bringing him too close. Startled, she looked up as he loomed over her. Realised that with a narrowed, keen gaze he was watching the way she was looking him up and down.

She met his stare, matched it, refusing to let her embarrassment at being caught ogling burn her skin red. But then, when he knew he had her attention, he let his gaze strip down every inch of her body. She actually felt the way his attention lit on her neck, on the small V of exposed skin on her chest, on the curve of her breasts…

She fought harder to stop the blush and felt her anger resurge. But she probably deserved it. Hadn’t she just done this to him? But not intentionally—not provocatively. She just hadn’t realised quite how obvious she’d been or how long she’d been staring—her brain had gone AWOL while her eyes feasted.

But his was a deliberate, blatantly sexual action.

Her toes curled in the tips of her heeled pumps. The rest of her wanted to shrivel too—so she could disappear. And she used the anger to block that other message striving to move from brain to body—the desire that wanted to unfurl and scurry through her veins.

‘You must be Sophy.’ He gestured back to his mini basketball court. ‘I was thinking. Lost track of time.’

Well, that fell way too short for an apology.

‘My time is valuable to me,’ she asserted vocally for the first time in her life. ‘I don’t like it being wasted.’

Certainly not by a half naked man. Not like this anyway.

Those black, bottomless eyes met hers. The colour rose a little higher on his cheekbones. She wasn’t sure if it was from exertion, embarrassment or anger. She suspected the latter.

‘Of course,’ he said smoothly—too quietly. ‘I won’t do it again.’

Something had kindled in his eyes as he’d added that. Something she didn’t care to define. As it was she felt herself flushing—unable to stop it now—as if she were the one in the wrong. She shifted her weight from one foot to the other. Stole another quick glance at his torso and then aimed to concentrate on the concrete.

‘You never seen a man sweat before, Sophy?’ His soft question hit her in the gut.

The crisp spring morning suddenly got a whole lot hotter. She tried to say something. Couldn’t. The dry irony in his voice just devastated her.

He turned away from her. ‘Want to play a little one on one?’ he asked. ‘I find it helps me focus. You might find it helps you too.’

Oh, so she needed help with focus? Heaven help her she did.

‘It’s also good for burning excess energy.’

Now that was said with deliberate innuendo. He was trying to tip her balance—as if he weren’t doing it already with his sheer physicality which was on display. With considerable effort she pulled herself together. Well, she could do a little innuendo too. His few words could flame, but her cool delivery would crush. ‘I’m obviously overdressed.’

His eyes widened fractionally, before he replied calmly, ‘Easily fixed.’

She lifted her brows very slowly, determined to stay cool. ‘You want me to strip?’

He laughed then, his whole face breaking into an absolute charmer of a smile. Sophy lifted her fingers to her mouth to stop her jaw from gaping in surprise. His whole demeanour changed—like quicksilver—from seriously brooding to sparkling good humour. The flash was utterly intriguing and devastatingly attractive.

‘It would be fair, don’t you think?’ he said. ‘I mean, you have me at a disadvantage.’

‘You put yourself at a disadvantage.’ She was even more breathless now. And privately she thought his semi-nudity a huge benefit to him—how to fuzzle the minds of your business opponents in one easy step. She angled away from him—trying to recover her equilibrium. She got a clear view of the fence and saw one section was covered with a huge bit of graffiti. The colours leapt out, almost 3D, in bold blocks. An image of a man—like an ancient statue—with vibrant shades of blue leaping out from behind and an indecipherable word shooting up from one side. She’d never have expected it; the reception area she’d walked through had been incredibly slick—it was only the office upstairs that had been a total mess. Now there was this—what many people would consider an eyesore.

He walked in front of her line of vision and picked up the ball again, spinning it in his hands. ‘We can talk through the details at the same time.’

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