OFF LIMITS LOVER
Published by E-Scape Press
Taking a risk on love can be the hardest challenge of all ...
Anya nibbled at the garlic dough balls and forked her mixed green salad. Then looked up – and straight into the oncoming, traffic-stopping gaze of the man they’d been talking about. Max ‘off duty senior partner’ Calder.
In casuals. Sexy. Alluring. Staring at her too. With the kind of gaze that severed underwear elastic of its own accord. Yep, very George Clooney.
Anya gulped and sipped her wine for Dutch courage. Then she ventured a smile. Max stood by the take-away counter in a dark leather jacket (so bad boy it hurt). And jeans (so well fitting they were a sin.) He threw her a brief nod.
She stuffed the pasta, olives, cheese and capers mixture she’d been twirling on her fork into her mouth, chewed, then swallowed before she could gasp aloud.
Help, had they been talking loud? Had he heard?
‘Don’t look,’ Anya said through a fixed grimace. ‘It’s Max and he’s looking.’ Suddenly she wished she could hide behind a super-slim menu and a tall pepper grinder.
Like the exhibitionist non-carer that she was, Katie swivelled fully in her seat and munched on her rocket and chicken pizza. She spotted him, extended a hand to wave in an obvious fashion and called over, ‘Yoo-hoo! Max! Join us, won’t you?’
‘Katie! Do you really have to?’ Anya hissed.
But the comment came too late, as Katie had already found him a chair to draw to their table. And with a smile Max was approaching.
‘Caught out ordering take-aways?’ Katie probed.
‘I’m on call. Late dinner. Couldn’t face cooking. Lame excuse but true. In the face of a San Remo pizza takeaway menu I submit every time. That’s what I get for pinning it to the fridge. Serves me right – no restraint whatsoever.’
He and Anya shared a simmering glance.
Was it meaningfully dealt? She barely knew her own name under that stare, let alone what red-hot looks meant.
Under his gaze and his steady smile, Anya felt obliged to smile again too.
His lip curled slightly in a look she’d observed on film stars. Successful, sexy ones that were known woman-magnets. And from the way nearby female diners were waving and greeting him, Max lived up to the analogy.