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Hands On

Written by Clare Connelly

Chapter Twelve

I CAN’T CONTAIN THE burning sensations moving through my body. Starting with my lungs, which are full of hot, angry air.

“I’m so sorry.” I can’t meet his eyes.

But that’s even worse, because I’m looking at his chest, and I see her fingernail marks buried in the beautiful pectoral muscles and a fierce lash of possession whips the base of my spine.

It spurs me to action. I step back.

His frown grows.

“Did you need something?” It’s a question that is asked in the gentlest of tones and I swear, it almost kills me. Because if he’s being gentle with me, it means that he knows.

He knows that I’m not just embarrassed at walking in on my boss somewhere in the act of fucking a supermodel, but that I’m…hurt.

The word lands in my mind like a slash of betrayal.

Hurt?

Hurt?

How the hell have I let this happen?

Jack is my boss.

My boss who lost his wife almost a year ago.

My boss who is apparently in a relationship…or whatever…with this woman. I bet her name’s Ariella or Jacinta or something equally beautiful and glamorous.

I have no right feeling hurt because I have no right even thinking about him as anything other than someone I work with. This is all my fault. I’ve let the fantasies get out of hand.

My God, I thought he felt it too! I thought he was burning up with the pull of electricity that—in my head, at least—arcs between us constantly.

Apparently not.

Apparently Jack Grant is happily getting his rocks off, while I’m wearing out the lifetime warranty on my vibrator.

“Gemma?” Is that a groan?

Shit.

I need to…what?

What do I do?

My fingers curl defensively around the papers at my side. They are my lifeline; they are my salvation. “I wanted you to sign these,” I mumble, wincing at the fact I must seem like a mildly constipated adolescent.

Pull yourself together. NOW! My brain, thank God, is ready to chastise me into behaving.

“The Australian team are waiting. If we can get a lawyer to look over them today…”

“Of course.” He tosses a look over his shoulder.

“It will wait,” I murmur, taking a step backwards, trying not to act like a frightened school child. “I can just leave them on my desk. You can sign them later. After.” My blush spreads; I feel heat all over my body. And cold too. Like ice in my veins.

“I won’t be long,” he says darkly, then steps back into the room, and pushes the door shut in my face.

I stare at it for a moment.

Then another.

I stare at it as though I can undo what just happened. But of course I can’t.

Nor can I undo what’s happening right now.

Jealousy, unmistakable, burns through the soles of my feet and consumes me whole.

The problem is that I had started to think of him as mine.

My Jack.

And he is no such thing—nor will he ever be.

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Clare Connelly

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