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Hands On

Written by Clare Connelly

Chapter Five

FOUR DAYS INTO WORKING for Jack Grant and I think I should sue him for misrepresentation. Describing this job as ‘not nine to five’ is sort of like saying there’s a tiny bit of metal in the Eiffel Tower.

Then again, he told me it would be hard. He told me he needed someone who could basically be him. I just had no idea I’d be virtually running the place in my first week on the job.

It is eleven o’clock, late at night, and my body is tired but my mind is buzzing. I skim the email again, check the figures against the spreadsheet I’d seen earlier that day and nod. It’s the last thing on my radar for the day, but I know he’s got another huge schedule tomorrow and that I need to be prepared for it.

My smile is mocking.

Prepared for what? Anything.

That’s going to be my motto, I think. All week, I’ve been ‘prepared’ and had the carpet ripped out from under me more times than I can count. Jack Grant moves at a pace that would outstrip lightning and I have to move with him.

It is definitely challenging.

“Still here?”

My heart slams against my rib cage and I startle visibly. “Jesus, Jack. You scared me half to death. I thought you were out.”

He is leaning against the door frame, wearing a suit that has been loosened at some point during the evening. His shirt is half-untucked at the waist, his tie is loose, and the top two buttons have been undone.

Jack Grant is sexy as hell, but like this? He has an air of debauched rough-and-tumble that makes my mind go in directions it definitely, definitely shouldn’t.

I think of Lucy.

I think of the fact he’s been widowed only a few months earlier.

I think of the fact I’m pretty much the worst kind of human that I keep fantasizing about how he’d probably be amazing in bed. Or out of bed. Jack Grant could take me anywhere and I think I’d reach whole new heights…

My eyes meet his and I flush guiltily. The poor man deserves better than having me drooling over him whenever his back is turned.

“I live here,” he reminds me. There’s something about the words that spark curiosity inside of me. Is he drunk? Or has he been drinking? He seems fine and yet, there’s something different about him. Something I haven’t appreciated before.

“Did you need something?” I prompt.

His eyes spark as they connect with mine. The silence in the room is no longer passive; it takes on its own personality, throbbing with things unsaid.

For a moment, I imagine that he’s feeling as I am. That he’s thinking about me in a way that’s definitely not professional. That the desk between us offers more than a place for papers and my MacBook Pro.

“Not anymore,” he says with a smile that is more like a grimace. “I’m under control.”

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Clare Connelly

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