Home > The MacGregor Brides (The MacGregors #6)(9)

The MacGregor Brides (The MacGregors #6)(9)
Author: Nora Roberts

"Try to make it look less like a grimace."

"Can't. Wear the red," she ordered, then headed down to do her duty.

She wore the red. Laura told herself the outfit was simply more suited to an evening at a club. She hadn't worn it because it was sexy, or because the blend of Lycra turned the silk into a curve-clinging statement of female confidence. And she only wore the high, thin heels because the dress demanded them.

This third-date business was nonsense, she told herself as she hooked on thick gold hoops. Who was counting, after all? They were just seeing each other because they enjoyed each other's company, because they found a lot to talk about and they made each other laugh.

And when he kissed her, her brain exploded.

She pressed a hand to her jittery stomach. Okay, she admitted, yes, there was a strong physical attraction. But he hadn't pressured her to take it any farther than those brain-draining kisses.

Why the hell wasn't he pressuring her? It was driving her crazy the way he left her shuddering, all but gulping for air, and never attempted to lure her into bed. Not since that first time.

She was crazy, Laura admitted. Hadn't she told him she needed to get to know him? Wasn't he giving her the time and space to do just that? And she was sulking because he wasn't grabbing her by the hair and dragging her off to his cave. Pitiful.

When the buzzer sounded, she shook her cloud of hair back. Just seeing each other, she repeated as she started downstairs. Just getting to know each other. Just two people enjoying each other's company for the evening. Steady now, she opened the door, smiled. He looked good in black. The black jeans, jacket and shirt suited his dark-angel looks. "You're right on time," she told him. "I'll just get my—"

"Hold it." He'd grabbed her hands, his own sliding up to her wrists like cuffs. He indulged himself with a long look. The stoplight red fit like skin, riding high on smooth thighs, dipping low and straight over firm br**sts. His lips curved slowly. "Excuse me a minute." With one hard tug, he had her in his arms, and his mouth was branding her, devouring hers. She made a little sound of shock as the heat punched into her. Then she was free, breathless and teetering.

"What was that for?"

"To thank you for the dress you're almost wearing." His smile was quicker this time. It was impossible for him not to be pleased by that dazed look in her eyes. "You'll need a coat, Slim. It's cold outside."

The club was hot, and so was the music. Laura had regained her balance over a glass of white wine at the tiny corner table, with its single flickering candle. She hadn't thought him the type to sit and listen to blues.

But he was constantly surprising her.

"Why did you leave the force?" She hadn't realized the question was there until she asked it. "Is that too personal?"

"No. I figured out I wasn't a team player, that I was lousy at politics, and that I'd lost the passion you need to keep going out on the streets to do the job."

"What made you lose it?"

Light eyes under dark brows flicked over to hers, held. "Lawyers."

In automatic defensiveness, her chin angled. "Everyone's entitled to representation under the law."

"Yeah, that's the law." He picked up his club soda, rattled the ice in the glass. "But that's not justice. You've got a client right now who'd agree with me."

"Really? And who is that?"

"Amanda Holloway."

"I thought you didn't approve of what she'd done."

"It's not up to me to approve or disapprove. I wasn't inside her head that night. But to me, she's just one more example of a system that's defective."

"Her trial begins in ten days. You might be able to help."

"There's nothing I can tell you."

"It's obvious you didn't like him."

"I don't like the guy in the apartment across the hall from me. There's not a lot I can tell you about him, either. Your mother knows her job, Laura, or she wouldn't be where she is."

"I don't see how you can back away from everything you must believe in. You wouldn't have joined the force if you hadn't wanted to help."

"And a few years on it showed me I wasn't making much of a difference."

She heard something in his voice, just a hint of disappointment, of disillusionment. "But you wanted to."

"Yeah, I did. Now I'm making it my own way.

Without the politics and restrictions. And I'm better at electronics than I was at toeing the line."

"You just like being your own boss."

"Damn right I do."

"I can't blame you," she said with a sigh. "Working for my parents, well, it's a dream. They're wonderful. I don't think I'd have done well in a big firm, with all the agendas and carved-in-stone policies. In so many, it's all about billable hours and corporate or high-profile clients. MacGregor and MacGregor is about making a difference."

"I'm surprised they haven't been disbarred for a surplus of ethics."

Her eyes narrowed. "It's so easy—and so trite—to bash lawyers."

"Yeah." He grinned. "Why resist? I should tell you something else."

"What?"

"You're incredibly beautiful."

She eased back, angled her head. "You're trying to change the subject"

"And smart, too. If we sit here and talk about law, we're going to argue, because it's something we come to from different angles. Why waste the time?"

"I like to argue. That's why I'm a lawyer."

"I like to dance." He took her hand and stood up. "That's why we're here." She stared at him. "You dance?"

"Well, I never achieved my lifelong dream of joining the Bolshoi," he said dryly as he led her toward the dance floor. "But I manage."

"You just look more like the type to go five rounds with the champ than to—" The words slid down her throat as he spun her out, then whirled her back until her body meshed intimately with his. "Oh, God."

"We'll box later."

The heels brought her face-level with him so that eyes and mouths lined up. He guided her over the floor with smooth, intricate steps. She didn't have to think to follow. Couldn't have thought, with the way her heart thudded, the way the sax wailed, the way his eyes stayed focused on hers.

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