My hands drummed on my lap, slapping against my bare knees. Heath stopped me once by placing his large hand across mine but I only resumed the minute he removed it.
“You’re driving me up a tree with that.”
I shot him a look. He’d just have to deal with my nerves. “Are we really that early?”
“No, he’s late.”
“If he was that anxious to meet me today, shouldn’t he be here on time?”
“He’s coming up the 405. After three, it’s an instant parking lot. He’s probably stuck in traffic.”
I huffed. “Can’t he take the filthy rich limo lane or something?”
Before I could even finish my sentence, two men approached the frosted glass door into the conference room. One of them leaned forward to snap open the door. He was the taller of the two and wore his dark hair in a close-cropped style. The other man—well, I hardly noticed him when I locked eyes with the first man’s obsidian stare.
Heath and I jerked to our feet. My pulse ratcheted up to a near-fatal rate, threatening acute hypertension. The first guy with the dark eyes was the software mogul—I would have bet my every measly belonging on it. He hesitated at the doorway once he’d caught a full glimpse of me and my breath caught when I looked into his stunningly handsome face.
He was about six feet tall and wearing an expensive suit—the kind with a vest under the jacket that looked like it had been tailored for him, hugging his tapered waist and slim hips. The suit looked so good on him that I knew it had to be designer, even though I was the first one to confess that I knew nothing about designer anything.
He was finely built but not imposing. His slacks clung to muscular thighs, his jacket stretched across solid but not broad shoulders. His suit was a crisp, steel gray with a slightly darker shirt and tie. The silver tie clip caught the light and my eyes flicked to it and then back to his face. He had the chiseled masculinity of a marble god. All angles and strong, clean lines.
My heart felt like it might fibrillate or—as a nonmedical student would say—flutter. I’d never been so strongly affected by a man. Especially one I’d only just laid eyes on. His dark eyes met mine and my chest felt like it was about to explode. He stopped, his eyes narrowing. While he gave me the once-over, I sucked in a lungful of air because I’d almost forgotten to breathe during this initial lightning strike.
Shit. It was at that precise moment that I realized I was in trouble.
Drake never took his eyes off of mine, not until he came to a stop just opposite the conference table. He moved like a cat—a sleek predator.
Heath leaned forward, offering his hand and Drake finally looked away to shake hands with him, an arrogant smile on his lips. “Good to see you again, Bowman,” he said with a clear, deep voice that only made my heart race faster.
His voice was a caress—a gentle but firm hand that skimmed down my bared spine to settle in a tight fist just at the base. Every sense came alive and my awareness of everything around me heightened. Elevated respiration. Increased perceived body heat. Speedy pulse. Classic signs of sexual arousal.
I almost fell off my heels in shock over the strength of it. Was this me? Me? Who’d wondered for at least a year if I might be a lesbian because I didn’t find any men I met attractive?
His gaze flicked back to me as Heath laid a hand on my shoulder. “This is our semi-famous blogger, Girl Geek.“
Drake’s chin tilted in a fetching way as he seemed to be studying me. I bit my lip, every nerve pulling taut. It was amazing how the body’s response to arousal and fear were so very similar. And at that point, I’d have been hard put to discern the difference.
Drake waved a hand to my seat while he took his. I sank slowly into mine, the leather sticking to the backs of my sweaty knees. I looked at the man flanking him for the very first time, suddenly realizing I hadn’t even spared a thought or a glance for him before this. He was older, balding, with a middle paunch and appeared in his midfifties. He carried a briefcase and appeared to be a lawyer. When I looked back at Drake, I almost jumped at the intensity of his gaze. His eyes shot points right through me, like icy darts. My eyes held his but I swallowed what felt like a watermelon in my throat and tried to ignore the pulse bumping at my temple.
Heath began riffling through a stack of papers on the table before him and Drake looked away from me to follow what Heath was doing. By coincidence, I’m sure, I finally remembered to breathe at that exact same moment.
Heath pulled out the paper he was looking for and Drake turned back to me. “So do I call you Girl Geek or do I get to know your name?”
I cleared my throat and refolded my hands in my lap. “My name is Mia.”
His eyebrows rose. “Mia?”
I fought the urge to fidget, tightening my hands on top of my bare knees. He looked down, as if watching my hands through the glass table. “Emilia. But everyone calls me Mia.”
A small smile danced on his lips when he looked up again and met my gaze. “I’m not everyone.” His eyes traveled down to my conservative neckline—but no lower, to his credit—and back. “Emilia.”