Home > Reflected in You (Crossfire #2)(7)

Reflected in You (Crossfire #2)(7)
Author: Sylvia Day

It made me twitchy.

Still, I waved and said hello, because I wasn't a catty bitch - unless I was given good reason to be.

I took the long hallway that led to Gideon, stopping at a large secondary reception area where his secretary, Scott, manned the desk.

Scott stood as I approached.

"Hello, Eva," he greeted me, reaching for his phone.

"I'll let him know you're here."

The glass wall that separated Gideon's office from the rest of the floor was usually crystal clear but could be made opaque with the push of a button.

It was frosted now, which increased my uneasiness.

"Is he alone?" "Yes, but - " Whatever else he said was lost as I pushed through the glass door and into Gideon's domain.

It was a massive space, with three distinct seating areas, each larger than my boss Mark's entire office.

In contrast to the elegant warmth of Gideon's apartment, his office was decorated in a cool palette of black, gray, and white broken only by the jewel-toned crystal decanters that decorated the wall behind a bar.

Floor-to-ceiling windows overlooked the city on two sides.

The one solid wall opposite the immense desk was covered in flat screens streaming news channels from around the world.

My gaze swept the room and caught on the throw pillow that had been carelessly knocked to the floor.

Beside it were indents in the area rug that betrayed where the couch feet were usually planted.

The piece of furniture had, apparently, been bumped askew by a few inches.

My heart rate sped up and my palms grew damp.

That awful anxiety I'd felt earlier intensified.

I had just noticed the open door to the washroom when Gideon stepped into view, stealing my breath with the beauty of his exposed torso.

His hair was damp, as if from a recent shower, and his neck and upper chest were still flushed, as it became when he exerted himself physically.

He froze when he saw me, his gaze darkening for an instant before his perfect, implacable mask slid effortlessly into place.

"It's not a good time, Eva," he said, shrugging into a dress shirt he'd had draped over the back of a bar stool .

a different shirt from the one he'd been wearing earlier that morning.

"I'm running late to an appointment."

I gripped my purse tightly.

Seeing him so intimately brought home how badly I wanted him.

I loved him insanely, needed him like I needed to breathe .

which only made it easier for me to understand how Magdalene and Corinne felt, and to relate to any lengths they might go to in trying to lure him away from me.

"Why are you half dressed?" There was no help for it.

My body responded instinctively to the sight of his, which made it even harder for me to rein in my rioting emotions.

His open, neatly pressed dress shirt revealed golden skin stretched tightly over washboard abs and perfectly defined pectorals.

A dusting of dark hair over his chest arrowed down and darkened into a thin line, leading to a c*ck presently encased in boxer briefs and slacks.

Just thinking about how he felt inside me made me ache with longing.

"I got something on my shirt."

He began buttoning up, his abs flexing with his movements as he crossed over to the bar, where I saw his cuff links waiting.

"I have to run.

If you need something, let Scott know and he'll see to it.

Or I'll take care of it when I get back.

I shouldn't be more than two hours."

"Why are you running late?" He didn't look at me when he answered, "I had to squeeze in a last- minute meeting."

Did you now? "You showered this morning."

After making love to me for an hour.

"Why did you have to shower again?" "Why the inquisition?" he snapped.

Needing answers, I went to the washroom.

The lingering humidity was oppressive.

Ignoring the voice in my head telling me not to look for trouble I couldn't bear to find, I dug his shirt out of the laundry basket .

and saw red lipstick smeared like a bloodstain on one of the cuffs.

Pain twisted through my chest.

Dropping the garment on the floor, I pivoted and left, needing to get as far away from Gideon as possible.

Before I threw up or started sobbing.

"Eva!" he snapped as I hurried past him.

"What the hell is the matter with you?" "Fuck you, asswipe."

"Excuse me?" My hand was on the door handle when he caught me, yanking me back by the elbow.

Spinning, I slapped him with enough force to turn his head and set my palm on fire.

"Goddamn it," he growled, grabbing me by the arms and shaking me.

"Don't f**king hit me!" "Don't touch me!" The feel of his bare hands on the bare skin of my arms was too much.

He shoved back and away from me.

"What the f**k's gotten into you?" "I saw her, Gideon."

"Saw who?" "Corinne!" He scowled.

"What are you talking about?" Pulling my smartphone out, I thrust the photo in his face.

"Busted."

Gideon's gaze narrowed on the screen, and then his scowl cleared.

"Busted doing what, exactly?" he asked, too softly.

"Oh, screw you."

I turned toward the door, shoving my phone in my purse.

"I'm not spelling it out for you."

His palm slapped against the glass, holding the door closed.

Caging me with his body, he leaned down and hissed in my ear, "Yes.

Yes, you goddamn will spell it out."

I squeezed my eyes shut as our position at the door brought back a flood of heated memories from the first time I'd been in Gideon's office.

He'd stopped me just like this, seducing me deftly, drawing us into a passionate embrace on the very couch that had recently seen some kind of action forceful enough to shove it out of position.

"Doesn't a picture say a thousand words?" I bit out through clenched teeth.

"So Corinne was manhandled.

What does that have to do with me?" "Are you kidding me? Let me out."

"I don't find anything even remotely funny about this.

In fact, I don't think I've ever been this pissed off at a woman.

You come in here with your half-assed accusations and self- righteous bullshit - " "I am righteous!" I twisted around and ducked beneath his arm, putting some much-needed distance between us.

Being close to him hurt too much.

"I would never cheat on you! If I wanted to f**k around, I'd break it off with you first."

Leaning into the door, Gideon crossed his arms.

His shirt remained untucked and open at the collar, a look I found hot and tempting, which only made me angrier.

"You think I cheated on you?" His tone was clipped and icy.

I sucked in a deep breath to get through the pain of imagining him with Corinne on the sofa behind me.

"Explain to me why she was here at the Crossfire, looking like she did.

Why your office looks like this.

Why you look like that."

His gaze went to the couch, then to the cushion on the floor, then back to me.

"I don't know why Corinne was here or why she looked like that.

I haven't seen her since last night, when you were with me."

Last night seemed like it'd happened forever ago.

I wished that it had never happened at all.

"But I wasn't with you," I pointed out.

"She batted her eyelashes and said she wanted to introduce you to someone, and you left me standing there."

"Christ."

His eyes blazed.

"Not this again."

I swiped angrily at a tear that slid down my cheek.

He growled.

"You think I went with her because I was overcome with the need to be with her and get away from you?" "I don't know, Gideon.

You ditched me.

You're the one with the answers."

"You ditched me first."

My mouth fell open.

"I did not!" "The hell you didn't.

Almost the second we arrived, you took off.

I had to hunt you down and when I did, you were dancing with that prick."

"Martin is Stanton's nephew!" And since Richard Stanton was my stepdad, I thought of Martin as family.

"I don't care if he's a damned priest.

He wants to nail you."

"Oh my God.

That's absurd! Stop deflecting.

You were talking business with your associates.

It was awkward standing there.

For them as well as me."

"That's your place, awkward or not!"My head jerked back as if he'd slapped me.

"Come again?" "How would you feel if I walked away from you at a Waters Field and Leaman party because you started talking about a campaign? Then, when you found me, I was slow dancing with Magdalene?" "I - " God.

I hadn't thought of it like that.

Gideon appeared smooth and unruffled with his powerful frame lounging against the door, but I could sense the anger vibrating beneath that calm surface.

He was riveting always, but most especially when he was seething with passion.

"It's my place to stand beside you, and support you, and yes, just f**king look pretty on your arm sometimes.

It's my right, my duty, and my privilege, Eva, just as it's yours in reverse."

"I thought I was doing you a favor by getting out of the way."

His arched brow was a silent, sarcastic comeback.

My arms crossed in front of me.

"Is that why you walked off with Corinne? Were you punishing me?" "If I wanted to punish you, Eva, I'd take you over my knee."

My gaze narrowed.

That was never going to happen.

"I know how you get," he said curtly.

"I didn't want you jealous over Corinne before I had a chance to explain.

I needed a few minutes to make sure she understood how serious you and I are, and how important it was to me that you enjoy the evening.

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