Home > Bared to You (Crossfire #1)(4)

Bared to You (Crossfire #1)(4)
Sylvia Day

Twenty floors later, I was exiting into the vestibule of Waters Field & Leaman. Before me was a wall of bulletproof glass that framed the double-door entrance to the reception area. The receptionist at the crescent-shaped desk saw the badge I held up to the glass. She hit the button that unlocked the doors as I put my ID away.

"Hi, Megumi," I greeted her when I stepped inside, admiring her cranberry-colored blouse. She was mixed race, a little bit Asian for sure, and very pretty. Her hair was dark and thick, and cut into a sleek bob that was shorter in the back and razor sharp in the front. Her sloe eyes were brown and warm, and her lips were full and naturally pink.

"Eva, hi. Mark's not in yet, but you know where you're going, right?"

"Absolutely." With a wave, I took the hallway to the left of the reception desk all the way to the end, where I made another left turn and ended up in a formerly open space now partitioned into cubicles. One was mine and I went straight to it.

I dropped my purse and the bag holding my walking flats into the bottom drawer of my utilitarian metal desk; then booted up my computer. I'd brought a couple of things to personalize my space and I pulled them out. One was a framed collage of three photos - me and Cary on Coronado beach, my mom and Stanton on his yacht in the French Riviera, and my dad on duty in his City of Oceanside, California, police cruiser. The other item was a colorful arrangement of glass flowers that Cary had given me just that morning as a "first day" gift. I tucked it beside the small grouping of photos, and sat back to take in the effect.


"Good morning, Eva."

I pushed to my feet to face my boss. "Good morning, Mr. Garrity."

"Call me Mark, please. Come on over to my office."

I followed him across the strip of hallway, once again thinking that my new boss was very easy to look at with his gleaming dark skin, trim goatee, and laughing brown eyes. Mark had a square jaw and a charmingly crooked smile. He was trim and fit, and he carried himself with a confident poise that inspired trust and respect.

He gestured at one of the two seats in front of his glass and chrome desk, and waited until I sat to settle into his Aeron chair. Against the backdrop of sky and skyscrapers, Mark looked accomplished and powerful. He was, in fact, just a junior account manager and his office was a closet compared to the ones occupied by the directors and executives, but no one could fault the view.

He leaned back and smiled. "Did you get settled into your new apartment?"

I was surprised he remembered, but I appreciated it, too. I'd met him during my second interview and liked him right away.

"For the most part," I answered. "Still a few stray boxes here and there."

"You moved from San Diego, right? Nice city, but very different from New York. Do you miss the palm trees?"

"I miss the dry air. The humidity here is taking some getting used to."

"Wait 'til summer hits." He smiled. "So...it's your first day and you're my first assistant, so we'll have to figure this out as we go. I'm not used to delegating, but I'm sure I'll pick it up quick."

I was instantly at ease. "I'm eager to be delegated to."

"Having you around is a big step up for me, Eva. I'd like you to be happy working here. Do you drink coffee?"

"Coffee is one of my major food groups."

"Ah, an assistant after my own heart." His smile widened. "I'm not going to ask you to fetch coffee for me, but I wouldn't mind if you helped me figure out how to use the new one-cup coffee brewers they just put in the break rooms."

I grinned. "No problem."

"How sad is it that I don't have anything else for you?" He rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. "Why don't I show you the accounts I'm working on and we'll go from there?"

The rest of the day passed in a blur. Mark touched bases with two clients and had a long meeting with the creative team working on concept ideas for a trade school. It was a fascinating process seeing firsthand how the various departments picked up the baton from each other to carry a campaign from proposition to fruition. I might've stayed late just to get a better feel of the layout of the offices, but my phone rang at ten minutes to five.

"Mark Garrity's office. Eva Tramell speaking."

"Get your ass home so we can go out for the drink you rain-checked on yesterday."

Cary's mock sternness made me smile. "All right, all right. I'm coming."

Shutting down my computer, I cleared out. When I reached the bank of elevators, I pulled out my cell to text a quick "on my way" note to Cary. A ding alerted me to which car was stopping on my floor and I moved over to stand in front of it, briefly returning my attention to hitting the send button. When the doors opened, I took a step forward. I glanced up to watch where I was going and blue eyes met mine. My breath caught.

The sex god was the lone occupant.


Chapter 2


His tie was silver and his shirt brilliantly white, the stark absence of color emphasizing those amazing blue irises. Standing there with his jacket open and his hands shoved casually into his pants' pockets, the sight of him was like running smack into a wall I hadn't known was there.

I jerked to a halt, my gaze riveted to the man who was even more striking than I'd remembered. I had never seen hair that purely black. It was glossy and slightly long, the ends drifting over his collar. That sexy length was the crowning touch of bad boy hotness over the successful businessman, like whipped cream topping on a hot fudge brownie sundae. As my mother would say, only rogues and raiders had hair like that.

My hands clenched against the urge to touch it, to see if it felt like the rich silk it resembled.

The doors began to close. He took an easy step forward and pressed a button on the panel to hold them open. "There's plenty of room for both of us, Eva."

The sound of that smoky, implacable voice broke me out of my momentary daze. How did he know my name?

Then I remembered that he'd picked up my ID card when I'd dropped it in the lobby. For a second, I debated telling him I was waiting for someone so I could take another car down, but my brain lurched back into action.

What the hell was wrong with me? Clearly he worked in the Crossfire. I couldn't avoid him every time I saw him and why should I? If I wanted to get to the point where I could look at him and take his hotness for granted, I needed to see him often enough that he became like furniture.

Ha! If only.

I stepped into the car. "Thank you."

He released the button and stepped back again. The doors closed and the elevator began its descent.

I immediately regretted my decision to share the car with him.

Awareness of him prickled across my skin. He was a potent force in such a small enclosure, radiating a palpable energy and sexual magnetism that had me shifting restlessly on my feet. My breathing became as ragged as my heartbeat. I felt that inexplicable pull to him again, as if he exuded a silent demand that I was instinctively attuned to answering.

"Enjoy your first day?" he asked, startling me.

His voice resonated, flowing over me in a seductive rhythm. How the hell did he know it was my first day?

"Yes, actually," I answered evenly. "How was yours?"

I felt his gaze slide over my profile, but I kept my attention trained on the brushed aluminum elevator doors. My heart was racing in my chest, my stomach quivering madly. I felt jumbled and off my game.

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