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"Watch the birdie!"
Caught in the act of reaching over to retrieve her e-reader, Vicki jumped, her heart thudding hard as half the blood in her body seemed to flow into her face and turn it bright blushing pink.
Why, oh why did F. W. Shanley's tame paparazzoand her own personal devilchoose this very moment to play his candid camera games? She'd been to a meeting first thing and was rushing through the main office, laden with shoulder bag, briefcase and newspaper, and her nemesis had happened upon her at the exact instant her beloved e-reader had fallen out of the outer pocket of her bag on to the carpet. He seemed to have appeared from nowhere and popped up right behind her as she'd swooped down for the e-reader, presenting her bottom, in her slim gray skirt, as a prime target.
Might as well have pasted a Check Me Out sign on my arse.
Snatching up her prize, Vicki straightened up, squared her shoulders and spun around as gracefully as she could, blending the look of unruffled calm on her face with just a smidge of cool disdain. Pretty effectively, to her mind, apart from the still-raging blush.
"Would you be kind enough to delete that one, Mr. Webster. I'm sure it won't be any good at all for your brochure. I can't imagine your exalted master and his board of directors will be in the least bit interested in my my rear end."
Oh, that wicked, arrogant, mocking face. Oh, that grin, that devilish knowing grin. And oh hell, those eyes, those strange piercing eyes. Their color was like fire seen through brandy and they noticed everything. Not just her arse, but the object in her hand. The amused glitter behind the lenses of his elegant metal-framed glasses told her he obviously knew what an e-reader was, and what it was for.
"Oh, I don't know. They might love it. I do. And I bet F. W. would toomight be just his thing." Red Webster's voice was deep and husky, and it always sounded as if he was just about to laugh. Well, it did whenever he spoke to her, anyway. Letting his large and elaborate camera drop on its retaining strap, he reached like a flash to whisk the e-reader out of her hand. Hampered by her other belongings, she was powerless to stop him. "I've got one of these. Great, aren't they? What are you reading?"
But before she could stop him, he'd flicked the power slider, and the secret of her current reading choice was revealed.
Red Webster's dark eyebrows shot up, and his weird eyes glittered. He whistled.
"Outstanding. One of my favorites." He paused, clicking onto the next page, his tongue sweeping his lower lip as if savoring the taste of her embarrassment. "I might have known you were a Story of O girl."
"Give me that!" she snapped, losing her cool despite all her best intentions not to. Others in the open-plan office were now watching their little drama, always happy to be diverted from minutiae of insurance policies and clauses. Lunging forward, shoulder bag swinging dangerously, Vicki grabbed for the readerbut got empty air while the infuriating Red Webster swerved gracefully to one side like a tango king and swept it from her grasp.
"You've got to ask nicely," he replied, a smirk of pure mirth on his bearded face as he clicked through the pages as if speed-reading. His curious eyes gleamed. "Or perhaps you could get down on your knees and beg me for it? Judging by your choice of downloads, it looks like you might actually enjoy a bit of groveling."