Authors: Amelia James
Tags: #sexual situations, #amelia james, #adult literature, #evolved publishing, #Fiction, #Romance, #erotic, #erotic romance, #sex, #home is where the heat is, #Contemporary Romance
HOME IS WHERE THE HEAT IS
HOME IS WHERE THE HEAT IS
Copyright © 2014 Amelia James
Cover Art Copyright © 2014 Mallory Rock
ISBN (EPUB Version): 1622537963
ISBN-13 (EPUB Version): 978-1-62253-796-9
Edited by Stevie Mikayne
eBook License Notes:
You may not use, reproduce or transmit in any manner, any part of this book without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations used in critical articles and reviews, or in accordance with federal Fair Use laws. All rights are reserved.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author's imagination, or the author has used them fictitiously.
Explicit language. I write fiction, and give my readers the benefit of the doubt, assuming they know romance fiction sex is fantasy sex, and in fantasies, we’re allowed to break the rules. I believe in practicing safe sex, but my characters do not use condoms because this is a fantasy, an escape from the harsh realities of everyday life. My readers are smart enough to know the difference. ~ Amelia James
To my husband,
for teaching me that geeks are sexy.
“Mornin’, Claire. I didn’t expect to see you here so early.” Alex Sheridan, lead prosecutor for the Denver County District Attorney’s office, checked his watch and dropped a file on Claire’s desk.
Claire, Alex’s paralegal, plopped into her chair and switched her computer on. The clock on her screen read 7:36 a.m.
Wow. Way too early for work.
But she’d gotten up before sunrise without complaining because Alex had asked for her assistance in court. First time ever. The case had already made headlines across the country: an elementary school girl had vanished on her way home from school, and her kidnapper had participated in the search in which her body was found.
Claire had cataloged evidence, studied police reports, and helped Alex prepare witness testimonies. They’d convict the monster with little effort.
Jury selection began today, but motions needed to be prepared and documents filed before the trial started. A mental To Do list had kept Claire awake half the night, and eventually she’d given up on sleep and driven to the office. She loved her job, but if she kept this up, she’d turn into a working zombie like her boss.
“Do you ever go home?” she asked him.
Alex buttoned his collar. His crisp, white shirt hadn’t yet gathered its customary wrinkles, and the pleats in his pants still looked sharp. “I used to pull all-nighters, but since Talia moved in with me I have a reason to go home.” He straightened his tie and grinned, his blue eyes dancing with unrepentant mischief. “And now that Will lives with us—”
“Stop right there.” Claire held up her hand. “I know too much already.”
She should’ve slept with him when she had the chance—but he’d never truly been hers to begin with. Still, how had Talia managed to land two guys when Claire hadn’t caught the attention of one since she’d dumped Michael last spring?
Oh lord, has it been that long?
Alex laughed as he searched his pocket for his ringing cell phone. “Hey Will. I made a reservation at the MGM Grand for the three of us. The DA’s office always books rooms at Caesar’s for conventions and stuff, but MGM is at the south end of the strip, so we shouldn’t run into anyone. We’re sharing a suite with one king-sized bed. None of this ‘sneaking into each other’s rooms’ bullshit.” He clutched his phone to his ear and glanced at his assistant. “Yeah, I know she thinks it’s hot, but I want easy access all weekend so we can fuck that little—”
Claire coughed and clacked her fingernails on the keyboard. Her boss winked and flashed the infamous evil grin that melted the panties of women all over Denver—not to mention Charleston, Chicago, and dozens in Texas. She squirmed in her seat, pressing her thighs together as she opened another email.
Alex’s laugh floated across the room. “We’ll spoil Talia rotten. She’ll love it.”
Claire rolled her eyes. A weekend of debauchery in Vegas with two of the hottest guys on the planet.
Her abs fluttered as a mental picture of Alex and Will naked and eager to please her formed in her randy brain.
Wow, really? I know I need to get some when I’m lusting after my boss and my ex.
But she needed more than a sweaty, short-lived romp, no matter how many guys were doing the romping. She’d dumped her last boyfriend when she realized her craving for attention would never be satisfied by a man too wrapped up in his own needs to understand hers.
Will had called her an exhibitionist, someone who lived for recognition and praise. She’d denied it at the time, but she couldn’t ignore his spot-on assessment when Michael repeatedly neglected her. Now she owned it, wearing bold colors and eye-catching jewelry to the office, pushing the firm’s dress code. She even slept naked—every night—whether she had a companion or not.
Fire-engine red fingernails tapped the mouse button, and a sparkling bracelet clunked on her desk as she scrolled across the screen. But the pointer didn’t follow. She shook the mouse. Nothing. Tapped the spacebar. No response. Smashed the enter key. The screen went blank.
“Uh-oh.” Claire recoiled.
Her boss stuck his phone in his pocket. “What?”
“My computer.” She gingerly tapped random keys. “I think it died.”
He leaned down on the desk and slapped the dark monitor. “Did you print all the documents we need for trial?”
“Everything except the motion.”
“Shit! I need that.”
“I know. It was right there on my screen when an email came in. I opened that first and saved the attached file.”
Alex groaned and slapped his forehead. “What have I told you about opening attachments from people you don’t know?”
“It was from accounting! I emailed them your expense report yesterday. I thought they sent it back.”
“Damn it! Call the helpdesk. I need that motion printed
. We’re due in court at nine.” He stomped into his office and slammed the door.
Claire snatched her phone so fast it slipped from her hand and hit the floor. She grabbed the cord and yanked the receiver to her ear, dialing the helpdesk extension with trembling fingers. “This is Claire O’Connor in Alex Sheridan’s office. I need someone up here now.” She chewed her lip and rattled the helpless mouse. “Thank you.”
Coffee. Must have coffee.
The pot Alex had made was still warm on the burner. She poured a cup and took it back to her desk, debating whether or not she should attempt to resurrect her computer.
A timid knock barely penetrated her thoughts. Claire opened the door and let in the hottie from IT. “So glad you’re here, Kurt. I need you.”
His bright green eyes grew wide behind his glasses, and his jaw fell slack. “You need…?” His gaze drifted down her body and a red blush swept across his face.
In her four-inch heels, Claire could look him right in the eye, so she stepped close and commanded his full attention with a sharp ‘ahem.’ Her bracelet jingled as she jammed her hand on her hip. “My computer?”
“Oh, right.” His gaze dropped to her feet, and he scurried to her desk. “What happened?”
Yummy IT guy: owned.
She followed him. “The screen froze, and then it did this.” She stared at the black monitor and bit her lip.
He bent over and pressed the power button, holding it until the lights went off. “What were you doing at the time?”
“Reading my email.” She took a step back and admired his firm butt. Her employer had strict rules against socializing with clients, but the policy got a little foggier with regard to co-workers.
Checking out Kurt now? You need to get it bad.
The little tingle between her thighs agreed.
He straightened up and turned to look at her. “Just reading it?” Those penetrating eyes twinkled a knowing smile.
She hid behind her coffee cup. “Uh-huh.”
Kurt settled into her chair and grabbed the mouse. “The IT department’s been chasing this virus since it showed up in the law library yesterday. Didn’t you see our warning not to open attachments from unknown senders?”
“But it came from accounting!” She groaned and dug the heels of her palms into her eyes.
Warmth radiated from his eyes as an understanding smile touched his lips. “Okay. Calm down. It’s not your fault.”
“Just find that motion. Alex needs to give it to the judge this morning.”
His glasses slipped down his nose, and he peered over the wire rims. “Did you back it up?”
“Umm….” Her bracelet jingled as she wrung her hands.
“Always back up your files, Claire.”
She bit back a smartass retort. “I know! I’ll do it every day from now on, I promise, just find it and print it. Please?”
He nodded and turned toward the computer as the screen came back to life.
“Com’ere you little fucker. You can’t hide from me.” Kurt gritted his teeth. He probably shouldn’t have used the F-word in front of Claire, but girls liked it when he showed the computer who was boss. He’d never heard her swear, not even when he’d accidentally slammed her delicate fingers in the copy machine. She’d just blinked shiny eyes and smiled as he fumbled an apology. He couldn’t imagine dirty words coming from her sweet lips. But he could—and had—imagined doing dirty things with her—just once or twice. A day.