A steaming mug of tea waited for him on his desk as he let the leather of his chair embrace his body. His kingdom. William had learned the hard way just how closed off you had to be, just how distrustful, to hold onto what was important.
A knock on his door sounded and he didn’t bother to look up from his computer screen, instead, just waving whoever it was into the room.
And when he looked up, everything stopped for long moments.
She was long and lean. The short cap of pale blonde curls should have made her girlish but William wagered there wasn’t much girlish about the woman standing in his doorway.
Stylistically, she wasn’t a woman he’d normally have looked at twice. Faded jeans and a button down short sleeved shirt, cowboy boots. In Las Vegas. In August? Not much makeup and her nails were bare, no polish. And yet, whatever it was she exuded was pure sex.
“Can I help you?” He hoped she was there to apply to be a dancer. She had that certain something he knew would amplify up on stage.
Her voice was whisky rough, smoky. Christ.
“Yes. You know, we don’t have any positions open right now but I’d love to see you audition. Did you bring your clothes with you or is that your costume?”
Blinking slowly, she stilled a moment before she laughed. Deep and velvet, seduction. Her laugh brought his already interested cock to full attention.
With a sigh, she dropped gracefully into the chair across from his desk without invitation and pulled a notepad from her bag. When she looked back up at him again he caught bright green eyes and cinnamon lashes.
“Such a kidder. I’m Nell Hunter. I work for Owen Group International and I’m looking for this woman.” She slid a photograph across his desk and his enchantment with her ended when he saw who it was.
Well, that was unexpected. At the sight of Leah’s face, his cock lost all interest. “What do you want her for? Why are you here? I haven’t seen Leah in three years.”
“She’s here in Las Vegas. You haven’t heard from her?” One of her eyebrows rose slowly, as if taunting him.
“I just said that, didn’t I?” Why the hell did this woman have to be so tantalizing?
“You did. Can you tell me about the last time you saw her?”
“No. I think you’re going to do some telling just now. Why the hell are you in my office, in my club asking me about a woman I broke up with three years ago? What did she do?” he asked, suspicious.
“Why do you care? Are you protecting her?” Her lazy manner only barely hid the sharp attentiveness just beneath the surface.
He leaned back once he knew she was as much a shark as he was. William knew how to play this game. This Nell Hunter amused him, fascinated him even. Why not fence a bit with her?
“You know, pretty won’t get you everything, Ms. Hunter. You’re going to have to work for it. Now, I believe I asked who you were and why you were here.”
He didn’t mistake the glimmer of a smile at the edge of her mouth. Her mouth, God. What would she taste like?
“I’m chief of security for my employer. Your fiancÃ©e worked for a company we’ve done business with for eight years. Through this company and her position in it, Leah Mathers is believed to have embezzled one hundred thousand dollars from The Owen Corporation. Naturally we want our property back. You were engaged to marry the woman. She’s suddenly in the same city you are when we’re very close to finding her. You can see how this might be just a few too many coincidences for us to let pass without some questions.”
She sat back in her chair and he caught the smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose.
“How do you know she’s here?”
“Mr. Emery, I’d like to repeat to you, your wise words of just moments ago. Pretty won’t get you everything. I gave you some, now it’s your turn. Or, don’t you believe in equal gratification?”
Was the lovely Ms. Hunter flirting with him? Even Leah’s apparent continuation of her life of graft couldn’t sour his enjoyment of Nell Hunter.
“As I said, I haven’t seen Leah in three years. I kicked her out of my house. The last time I saw her was at a court hearing when she attempted to wring money from me for breaking off our engagement. After that, I had my attorneys file for a restraining order. I received it and I never laid eyes on the traitorous bitch again.” The humiliation at least had been burned out by his rage at her gall.
“Did she steal from you?”
He clenched his jaw. Time had healed the romantic hurts but it hadn’t fully assuaged the humiliation Leah had brought into his life. “No. But I have no problem believing she’d steal a hundred grand from your boss either.” He hesitated a moment and then shrugged. “She attempted to extort money from my mother.”
Both of her brows rose this time as she shook her head and clucked her tongue. “My goodness. Well then, she’s an idiot. Do you have any idea where she could be here in Las Vegas? Any family or friends?”
“Did you just compliment me, Ms. Hunter?” He smiled at her, feeling like the cat that ate the canary. She may have been long and lean but her tits were gorgeously lush. A brief mental picture of her long, pale legs wrapped around his waist slid through his head.
“You’re very sure of yourself, aren’t you?” She stood and he did as well. A business card landed on his desk. “If you can think of anyone or any other details, please let me know. I’ll let you get back to,” she looked at the large framed photographs of his dancers on his wall, “work.”
He watched her walk from his door and listened to the click of her heels as she headed out to the front doors.
“Oh yes. I am sure.” Smiling, he sat back in his chair and turned her card over between his fingers.