Read an Excerpt
It was like a mating dance, Alex thought as she sat in the hotel lounge, observing the people around her interacting with one another. Some of them were awkward and unsure, some were confident and cocky. Truth be told, she didn’t know which she preferred. Confident was sexy, but arrogant was not, and in her experience, one usually came with the other.
She glanced at her watch, noting that it was 15 minutes past the time the interview was supposed to start. Though she sort of expected Gavin Williams to be late. After his team won the Eastern Conference semi-finals, she knew she wasn’t the only reporter who wanted face time with him. Especially after he managed to score a goal in the last 10 seconds of the game. No doubt he’d been mauled upon leaving the locker room.
After answering a few emails on her phone, she turned her attention back to the entrance of the hotel lounge, noticing Gavin coming in through the door. Having never met him in person, she didn’t realise how commanding his presence was. But oh, it was. He was massive; had to be close to six and a half feet tall, his broad shoulders blocking most of the doorway. His dark blond hair was on the wrong side of his next haircut, curling slightly around his ears and at the nape of his neck.
Though she couldn’t tell in the dim lighting of the hotel lounge, she knew from pictures that his eyes were a deep, soulful brown, and that his almost straight nose was marred with a bump from several breaks. Even though she’d seen dozens of press pictures of him, she was finding that looking at them and staring at the face of the flesh-and-blood man were two altogether different things.
She’d interviewed her fair share of athletes in the years she’d been a sports reporter, and she could honestly say that while many of them were highly attractive, she’d never been attracted to any of them. She’d made a concerted effort to keep Reporter Alex and Alex the Woman from intersecting.
She didn’t know if it was that particular man, or that particular night, or if it was just the fact it had been an embarrassing amount of time since she’d last gotten laid that had her all aflutter over him, but she was. Her cheeks were flushed, straight down her neck and to the swells of her breasts. She knew without looking that her nipples were poking against the woven cotton of her button-down shirt.
Standing, she smoothed her pencil skirt and attempted to replace her ready-to-be-fucked face with her business armour. She was a professional, and would remain one while she conducted her interview, but that didn’t mean that she couldn’t appreciate a man as fine as he was.
And possibly entertain fantasies of said man while he was sitting across from her.
She headed his way and watched as he scanned the crowded lounge, his eyes passing over her without a second glance. She knew that it wasn’t a slight at her attractiveness as a woman; merely that she was a woman. Most athletes were expecting someone else entirely when their agents told them they were meeting Alex Hayes. Having been in this field for almost a decade, she was used to that.
Once she reached him, she extended her hand. ‘Gavin Williams?’
He glanced down at her, dropping his gaze to her four-inch heels, then making a leisurely path over her curves before catching her eye, one of his eyebrows raised.
‘I’m Alex Hayes.’
Gavin’s surprise showed plainly across his face. Though he tried to be discreet about it, there was no hiding the fact that his gaze dropped once more, quickly taking in her quite obvious feminine attributes. A small smile lifted the corner of his mouth. ‘Sorry, of course.’ He extended his hand, gently squeezing hers inside his much larger one. ‘You, ah, weren’t what I was expecting.’
She smiled. ‘Yeah, I get that a lot.’ With a tilt of her head, she gestured to where she’d been seated. ‘I have a table already.’
‘Sure, after you.’
He followed her toward the back corner, and though it could have been wishful thinking on her part, she swore she felt his gaze burning into her back. She didn’t intend to – and mentally kicked herself after doing so – but she still put a little extra sway in her hips as she led him to the secluded corner booth.
Once they made it to the table, she slid in to her side easily, watching in amusement as he folded his too-large frame into the booth made for someone much smaller.
‘Have you been waiting long, Alex?’ His voice was quiet, low, and seeped into her bones like honey.
She cleared her throat, trying to table the undeniable attraction she felt for him. ‘Just a few minutes.’
‘Sorry I’m late. It’s always a bitch getting out after a game, let alone after the semi-finals.’
‘It’s no problem. I figured as much.’ She leant forward, and grinned. ‘Reporters can be such vultures.’
He laughed, full and rich, as the hint of a dimple peeked out from his left cheek. That was something she’d never seen in any photo shoot he’d done. Though she couldn’t remember him offering anything other than an icy stare in the pictures she’d seen. In every single article she’d read about him, he came off as tough as nails, not personable, and strictly about the game. Because of that, she’d been dreading the interview.
And while she could admit he was intimidating, she also knew that smile spoke of mischief and fun. With Gavin’s easy, relaxed nature, his genuine laugh, and the playful glint in his eyes – not to mention the fact that she wanted to climb over the table and mount him like a race horse – she knew she was going to enjoy the next 30 minutes with him.
‘Can I get you a drink?’ she asked, pulling her notes from her bag.
‘Isn’t that my line?’
A slow smile spread across her lips. If he wanted to flirt, she could give it back to him. Leaning forward, she rested her forearms on the table. ‘Normally, I’d say yes, but this is business not pleasure.’
He shook his head and leant toward her, mimicking her position. ‘That’s a shame, Alex.’
The way her name rolled off his lips was a seduction all in itself.
‘That it is.’