Ash's urge to fist pump the air in victory when Kiara agreed to a nightcap at his place faded when he opened the door to find his boss on the other side.
"Elliott, what are you doing here?"
His boss's curious gaze swung between Kiara and him, as he belatedly realised he had his arm around her waist.
"I'm here to see your father on business, but this is a pleasant surprise." Elliott's florid face creased into a web of wrinkles as he grinned. "If I'd known you had such a lovely girlfriend tucked away, maybe you would've gotten that promotion to partner after all."
Elliott held out his hand. "Nice to see you, Kiara."
"Likewise, Elliott." Kiara shook his hand but released it quickly, flicking him an uncomfortable glance. "We're on our way out, so have a good evening."
Elliott's grin faded but he covered his surprise at being given the brush-off. "Sure. You two kids have fun."
"We will," Ash said, maintaining a hold on Kiara and clamping down on his curiosity until they rounded the corner of the mansion and reached his car. "How do you know Elliott?"
"I handled his son's divorce." She grimaced, the cute freckles on her nose shimmering together like a connect-the-dots puzzle. "I hate seeing ex-clients away from the workplace."
She eyed him with curiosity. "From his comment about that promotion, I'm assuming he's your boss and that you’re not a gardener tending rich people’s estates?"
Flashing a sheepish grin, Ash nodded, still thrown by Elliott's comment about Kiara being his girlfriend and gaining a promotion because of it. "You made an assumption. I didn’t correct you. Gardening has always relaxed me.” He winked. “As do other pursuits.”
She rolled her eyes and he continued, “As for Elliott, yeah, he’s my boss. He's not so bad."
"He was a jerk during the divorce."
He laughed, loving her forthrightness. "I might’ve had a similar thought earlier today when I got overlooked for a promotion, but let's forget about him."
Eager to get her alone at his place, he framed her face in his hands. "You're following me home, right?"
She pretended to think but the cheeky sparkle in her eyes couldn't be diminished. "Yeah, rose petals are so yesterday."
He laughed and swooped in for a kiss that quickly turned steamy as she plastered her body against his, matching him in every way. Hands everywhere. Frantic kisses. Tongues entwining, challenging and exploring. Beyond hot.
When the garden lights flickered on, they tore apart, chests heaving, breathing ragged in the still evening air.
"Let's hurry up," he said, unlocking his car with a stab of the remote.
"What if I get a speeding ticket?"
Just like he'd be paying metaphorically for sleeping with the maid of honour. No good could come of this. They'd be seeing each other outside of the bedroom for the next two weeks in the lead-up to the schmaltzy wedding on Valentine's Day.
This could get messy.
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