Light reflected off the glass of her office window as I approached the end of the hall. It was late and I was tired, but if she was going to leave lights on all over the goddamn place, some compulsive part of me wouldn’t let me leave without turning them off.
Taking leisurely strides, I pulled out my master key from my pocket and rounded the corner, only to pull up short when the interior of her office became visible through the slats in her blinds.
Long, tan legs crossed at the ankles and up on the edge of her desk, Winnie Winslow sat staring at the file in her lap, a pen twisting and turning between the plush pads of her pink lips. Her normally perfectly placed blond hair was a wreck, as though she’d been running her hands through it, and the crisp edges of her white blouse lay untucked at the top of her skirt.
It was a natural progression for me, following the line of her temptingly exposed skin in an explorational effort to find more, but as a line formed between her dark eyebrows, my gaze shot to her face.
She was concentrating on something, but I couldn’t decipher the nuances of it enough to know if she was confused or frustrated or both. It was startlingly clear to me, however, that I wanted to be able to tell the difference.
The thought made me scowl.
Goddammit. The last thing I needed was some unavoidable siren’s call at work—from some woman who drove me absolutely insane by just sitting there doing her job.
The longer I stood, scanning the muscles of her legs as they rubbed together restlessly and watching her breath puff through her lips in little pants, the angrier I got.
Watching her as she studied something else felt too good, like I could get my fill without her judging eyes and harsh looks urging me to hurry it along and get down to business—on her terms.
It was a compulsion, and every time I thought I’d gotten enough to satisfy the craving, she’d shift or twist and a new inch of skin would expose itself at the top of her thighs or on the inside swells of her fucking incredible breasts. Five minutes of unabashed attention later, with steam making a bid to shoot right out of my nose, realization dawned.
Fucking hell. This was, by far and large, the creepiest thing I’d ever done. I couldn’t find it in me to proclaim Winnie Winslow innocent in many ways, but she was right now. Harmlessly staying late at a job where she didn’t get paid overtime, staring into the files of players and cases and timelines and God knew what else for the greater good of my team, and I was out here watching her like a fucking psychopath.
Resolute in my newfound self-loathing, I quietly turned back from her office toward the direction I’d come. But I only made it two steps before karma saw fit to torture me for my behavior with the bleating, annoying ring of my cell phone.
“Shit! Fuck!” I cursed as I juggled the folders in my hands and shoved a hand into my pocket to retrieve the offending electronic device. It was a test of willpower so mighty I thought I might bust out of my suit, shredding it to pieces, and turn right into the Hulk. But I must have had some latent superpowers because I didn’t turn around to look into the window of her office again.
When the name of my ill-timed caller flashed across the screen, it took all I had to answer normally—without f-bombing all over the goddamn place about how inconvenient it was to be friends with him.
“What?” I asked as I put the phone to my ear, tucking the nearly scattered papers under my arm for safekeeping.
“You talk about the way I answer the phone, but you answer it like a fucking prick. Every time,” Thatch said.
“Yeah, well, I’m busy. And last time you called it was because you were trying to con me into doing one of Cassie’s late-night craving runs for you.”
He laughed, the fucking bastard.
“I only do the work for pregnancies I create, and I had not one moment of fun or involvement in the creation of that little hellion.”
Though, truthfully, I had heard the sound of their fun plenty of times. The horny little exhibitionists couldn’t seem to keep their clothes on, no matter where they were or how many people were listening.
“Wes?” I heard from behind me, Winnie’s sweet, self-assured voice making me squeeze my eyes together. Of course, she couldn’t just let the fact that she’d seen me out here go.
“Oh, hey, Winnie,” I greeted. “I didn’t realize you were still here.”
“Look out, Winnie,” I heard my most annoying friend say directly in my ear. “Pinocchio’s nose is only seconds away from poking you right in the pussy.”
I fought the urge to curse Thatch out, laugh, and, hell, maybe even cry. I was normally stoic, so much so that I’d earned a public reputation for it, but it seemed like I couldn’t control my reactions anymore. So breaking down in tears might not have been that far off.
“You need me to look at something?” I asked Winnie.
Thatch pretended to cough in my ear before murmuring, “Her pussy.”
She shook her head and then nodded, seemingly undecided, and the glimpse of uncertainty had my eyebrows pulling together of their own accord. In my relatively short time around Winnie Winslow, she didn’t do uncertainty. She was one hundred percent confident in all of her decisions and remarks, and I’d come to expect that from her.
I opened my mouth to speak again, when she straightened, her long legs getting longer, and any curve befalling her spine disappeared.
“Only if you want to. I was just looking over the MRI results from Mitchell’s hamstring injury.”
It’d been a couple of weeks since Mitchell’s initial reinjury, and we were expecting him to play this weekend. I couldn’t really afford to not have him play. She didn’t say anything had changed, but maybe looking at the MRI myself wasn’t a bad idea.
“Okay. I’d love to see the MRI. Just give me a second to finish up this phone call, and I’ll be in.”
She nodded and swung her body back into her office with the help of her hand clenched around the doorjamb. My gaze followed her as she strutted to her desk and rifled through the papers, pulling something out from the bottom of the stack. She started to tuck her shirt back into her skirt, and I jerked my eyes away when she looked up self-consciously in my direction.
“Well, well, well. Late nights with Ms. Winslow. Someone’s a naughty boy.”
Something didn’t add up with Winnie—the whole interaction reeked of not-quite-right—but thanks to Thatch in my ear, I couldn’t seem to figure out what.