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

Her Secret Valentine

Written by Nicola Marsh

Some people might say getting married on Valentine’s Day is the height of romance, but for divorce lawyer and romance cynic Kiara Hastings it’s the height of cliché. But as her sister’s maid of honour she must suffer through the cake tastings and tulle. Until an encounter with a sexy gardener leads to a red-hot fling that promises to make the wedding preparations more pleasurable. Kiara is stunned when the man who made her scream with pleasure is introduced to her later as Ashton Cromwell, the groom’s brother and the best man!

Ashton agrees to keep their sexy secret and wants to continue enjoying their mind-blowing chemistry behind closed bedroom doors. Since his divorce, Ashton has earned himself a playboy reputation, and when it seems like having Kiara on his arm could be good for business, he proposes a fake relationship until the wedding is over.

But as Valentine’s Day approaches, these two romance cynics find they’re not immune to all the love in the air, and that their pretence is starting to feel all too real…

Santa's Plus-One Surprise

Written by Melissa Senate

When her cousin falls in love at first sight with Felicity Walsh’s boyfriend, she can hardly believe it. And when a wedding invite arrives six weeks later, she knows she can’t show up without a plus-one. Lucky for her, Drake Russo needs a stand-in girlfriend—to convince his ex’s parents that he’ll be a good father to his newly discovered baby son. But when their arrangement goes from a few hours to a few days, will Felicity be left out in the cold this Christmas?

aaaaa
statushh