You are viewing this site in an old browser or Internet Explorer compatiblity mode.
You can continue to use our site but it may not work properly or display correctly.
add to basket
Successfully added to your bag
SUBMIT

Hands On

Written by Clare Connelly

Chapter Thirteen

I DON’T EVEN KNOW why this is bad. I know only that it is.

Disastrous.

I reach for the decanter of scotch and pour it halfway up the tumbler, then throw it back, wincing as my throat burns with the now familiar sting of strong, top-quality alcohol.

I close my eyes and see only Gemma’s face.

And the accusation in her eyes.

The…what? What was it that ghosted across her features before she pulled that infuriating mask of cold unconcern back into place?

I look around my room—it is a mess. A sign of the way I’ve spent the night.

I’d been drunk earlier, when Gemma had come; I have no idea what I am now.

My eyes are bleary as they search out the clock. It’s almost midnight.

Surely she’ll be gone by now. My cold-as-ice Gemma.

Jesus.

Fucking.

Christ.

I throw back the rest of the scotch and drop the glass carelessly onto the carpeted floor at my feet, then move through the house. Halfway to her office, I press my palm to the wall for balance.

I expect to see the papers on her desk. I tell myself that I hope she will be gone. Yet when I see her staring at her computer screen, it is only gladness I feel inside of my chest.

“Oh, Jack,” she murmurs, all professionalism. Her smile is tight. It is only that her eyes shy away from my gaze that gives her away. “The papers are over there.” She waves to the corner of her desk and returns her attention to her screen.

“What are you still doing here?” The words are a little slurred, but I don’t apologise. I cross my arms defensively over my chest, confused by the burst of anger that’s spreading through me.

“Working,” she says with a shrug.

“It’s almost midnight.”

“I’m often here this late.”

Silence falls.

It is heavy with accusation.

“Look,” I say, trying to focus my brain, to steady my thoughts. “About before…”

“It’s fine,” she cuts me off. And that angers me more.

“I know it’s fine,” I say, forgetting that I’d been about to apologise. “You just seemed kind of weird about it.”

She’s very still. Her eyes blink, but otherwise, she doesn’t move.

“I wasn’t weird.”

“Yeah, you were.”

Then she turns slowly. “I just didn’t expect to find you in bed with someone, that’s all.”

“We weren’t in bed,” I point out. Unhelpfully. I’m pretty sure she remembers all the details of that little scene.

“It doesn’t matter.” Her smile now is careless. Dismissive. Impatient.

I’m too drunk to be decoding her. I’m too drunk to be having this conversation.

“Sign the papers,” she says efficiently. “So I can send them off.”

I nod, but don’t move.

“It wasn’t… She didn’t… It’s not what you think.”

“I don’t think anything.” She shrugs. “Except that it’s late and I want to go home. Sign the papers, Jack.”

Like this? Why not share it

About the author

Clare Connelly writes romance that will set your soul on fire. She is ...

Read more
Clare Connelly

Discover more free stories

View all

Reunited on Wedding Island

Written by Sophie Pembroke

While working at a high society wedding on beautiful La Isla Marina, Haven Hapsgood is shocked to encounter A-list actor Miles Jackson. After their one disastrous blind date, she’d hoped never to lay eyes on him again. Haven’s learned the hard way that fame is fickle and the celebrity lifestyle is one she wants no part of…until it becomes clear that there’s more to gorgeous, charming Miles than meets the eye… Dare Haven give the striking connection between them another chance?

Masked Seduction

Written by Stefanie London

When Jason Allbrook gets an email from a “secret admirer,” he laughs it off. Then he receives a package containing a masquerade mask and a request to meet at the Carmina Ball. Dedicated to the family business, Jason has been working twelve-hour days without any thought to his own wants…or needs. Maybe he should meet this masked seductress. After all, how could anyone dare resist such an enticing offer?

Ready for another rendezvous? Look for more books in the Melbourne After Dark miniseries: Unmasked by Stefanie London, available now from Mills & Boon Dare, and Hard Deal, available in September 2018.

aaaaa
statushh