“I don’t know. I think he said he works at a Starbucks.”
I raise an eyebrow. “Not that I’m judging, but you think?”
“Honey, once he took his shirt off, and I got a look at his chest and abs, he could have told me he hunts whales for a living, and I still would have gotten naked for him.”
I smirk, but I know exactly what she means. I wonder what Eli looks like under all of his perfectly tailored suits, worn blue jeans and hot T-shirts. He’s muscular, I know that much just based on the little I’ve touched him. I wonder if he has tattoos?
“Also, Louis has these tattoos,” she continues, as though she can read my mind, “all down his left arm. I spent a good few hours tracing them with my tongue.”
“Hours?” I ask with a snort.
“Trust me; it was totally worth it,” she replies with a wink. “He used his tongue in other ways that made me a very happy woman.”
“Oh, my gosh, stop it with the tongue talk!” I cover my ears with my hands and shake my head. “I beg you!”
“He was begging all right.”
I dissolve in a fit of giggles. “I like you.”
“I like you too.” She sighs and sips half my Coke. “So, who put that look I saw on your face when I walked in here?”
I shake my head adamantly. “No one.”
“Seriously. I’m not currently having sex.”
“No, you’re currently having lunch with me. But you were thinking about having sex. I know that look.” Hilary narrows her eyes. “Spill it.”
“Honestly, I’m not seeing anyone, naked or clothed. I am, however, going to go buy some new shoes after work.”
“New shoes are almost as good as really good sex,” she concedes, and I silently blow out a long breath. “Not quite, but almost.”
“New shoes are great, but I’m even more addicted to handbags.”
“Me too!” she exclaims and shimmies in her seat. “Have you seen what’s coming this fall from MK?”
“No, is it delicious?” I ask, and suck Coke through my straw.
“To die for,” she confirms with a nod. “And I just picked up a cute little number at the Coach outlet last week.”
“The outlets are my weakness.” I grin at Hilary. I really do like her. She’s someone I could be friends with. I’m glad she’s decided to befriend me here at work.
“Now, tell me you like to read, and we’ll be soulmates.”
“My iPad is full of trashy romance novels.”
A slow smile spreads across her pretty face. “I’m keeping you.”
“You keep feeding me,” I say to Eli as he escorts me, hand in hand, down Royal Street to the pretty little restaurant that he’s taking me to for dinner.
“You like to eat. I like that in a woman.” I laugh up at him, and then sigh as he leads me across the street, protectively laying his hand on the small of my back.
“How was your day?” He links his fingers with mine again as we stroll down the street.
“Long. I found out that I have to leave tomorrow morning for a business trip to New York. I also kept thinking about getting you alone. Do you know what a pain in the ass it is having you in the same building as me all day long and not being able to walk into your office and kiss you whenever I want to?”
“No, why don’t you tell me.”
His lips quirk as he glances down at me. “You’re sassy. One of these days I’ll just have my assistant send down for you and you can come to my office.”
“Just so you can kiss me?”
“We can start with that, yes.” His voice is suddenly rough, and my knees turn to jelly at the thought of being in Eli’s office with him, and all the things we could do in that office.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea. People will talk, and we can’t have that.”
“So professional,” he murmurs, then stops us on the sidewalk and leans in to whisper in my ear. “I can’t wait to see you all flummoxed and writhing and unprofessional beneath me, cher. Trust me, we’re about to get as unprofessional as possible.”
My breath catches in my throat as he leans back and pins me in his hot stare. He drags his fingertip over the pulse in my throat. “I see that thought turns you on.”
Heck yes that turns me on! I can only swallow hard and watch as he pulls away and leads me to the restaurant.
“Café Amelie,” I read aloud. “That’s a pretty name.”
“And good food.” He turns to the hostess. “Reservation for Boudreaux.”
“Of course.” She grins and grabs two menus. “Would you prefer courtyard seating?”
Eli raises an eyebrow at me. It’s cooler this evening, and the courtyard is pretty with lights in the trees above. “The courtyard is beautiful.”
“The lady wishes to sit in the courtyard,” Eli replies with a soft smile, his eyes never leaving mine.
This man is potent.
We’re seated in the corner of the courtyard, giving the table an intimate atmosphere. Soon, a very tall, handsome waiter arrives to take our drink order and to tell us about the specials.
“I’d enjoy a lemon drop martini, please.” I smile at Eli as he orders his own drink and tells Joe the waiter that we need a few minutes with the menu.
“You’re not ordering for me?” I ask when Joe leaves.
“Do you want me to?” Eli asks. “I certainly can.”
I shrug a shoulder. “It’s not necessary. You just usually enjoy ordering for me.”
Joe delivers our drinks and takes our order. Eli orders an appetizer of Brussels sprouts sautéed in butter and bacon with dates, and assures me they are to die for.
“They’re Brussels sprouts.”
“You’ll like them,” he insists, and takes my hand in his as I drink my lemon drop.
“This is delicious.” I take another sip. “So, you’re leaving tomorrow?” I try to keep my voice nonchalant, but my stomach is suddenly tight. I don’t want him to leave.
“Just until Friday afternoon.” He kisses my palm. “I’ll miss you.”
“You’ll be too busy to miss me.”
“I’ll miss you,” he insists. “How was your day?” he asks and leans in, giving me all of his attention.
“It was good, despite not getting a lot of sleep last night. A handsome man sent me lunch.”