He shakes my hand. He has long, firm fingers, but I feel a callous or two, which completely contradicts his suit. One screams wealth and power, but the slide of his roughed palm says otherwise.
“And you are?” I ask, remembering a flirty smile.
His eyes narrow and he pauses, almost as if he’s waiting for me to say something… acknowledge him maybe. I realize that he looks a little familiar, but I can’t place him. The amount of well-dressed, sexy and powerful men I run into on a daily basis amounts to zero, so I’m sure I’d recall if we’d met before.
“Andrew.” He cocks an eyebrow and his hand is slow to fall away. Mine too, and when I do let go, my fingers feel cool and empty. He doesn’t look like an Andrew, and I’m sure he’s fudging his name the same as me.
Keeping my smile friendly, I ponder just how to go about this flirting thing. Clearly, Andrew doesn’t share my problem. He fixes me with a smile.
“Meeting someone tonight?”
I give him the cover story Callie coached me with. Men don’t want an easy target, so it’s best to seem like meeting is an accident.
“Actually, my friend and I were going to meet for drinks, but she can’t make it now.” I try to look disappointed.
“I like that you came anyway.” He tilts his head and I have the impression he’s sizing me up. “I think people forget how to do things alone.”
“Me too,” I agree, leaning toward him despite my still-very-present nerves. “My friends would never go to a movie or dinner alone, but I like it. It gives me a chance to relax on my own, let my thoughts wander. Stop worrying about my game face.” He smiles and I feel my nerves start to calm a little. Maybe I’ll be able to pull this off after all.
“You mean you don’t just want to be glued to your cell phone all the time?” Andrew nods over to the corner, where a man and woman are sharing a table – both of them ignoring each other to stare at their cell phone screens.
Andrew and I share an amused look. “Not me,” I laugh. “I’m so behind with technology, I was still using one of those old-fashioned flip-phones, right up until I accidentally dropped it in the tub!”
He smiles again. “So you like to think, and aren’t obsessed with taking selfies all day. Who are you, and what planet are you from?” he teases, leaning closer.
His fingers brush against mine on the bar. I feel a rush of heat, unsettling me.
“What about you?” I ask, changing the subject. “Is that why you’re here tonight: you need some time to think?”
Andrew pauses, before meeting my eyes. “Actually, I’m more a man of action.”
I lower my eyes, feeling my cheeks burn, catching a glimpse of his bulging thigh and the length of his leg before sliding my gaze back to his. My pulse ticks up hard enough to make me nearly forget what I was about to say.
“Well.” I try and pull it together. Focus on the assignment. “I’m glad we stumbled onto each other. I was hoping to celebrate a bit tonight, and that’s not much fun… alone.” As recoveries go, that was pretty good. Considering the innuendo, that, once out of my mouth, didn’t feel scandalous. It was… honest. Given the chance to drink alone or have Andrew’s hands down my pants, the salacious part of me would choose hands.
“And what is the occasion for celebration?” He leans towards me, leaving mere inches between us. If either of us leans anymore, we’ll fall off our stools.
Without thinking, I answer honestly. “I start an internship tomorrow. At the…” I gulp down the word ‘Rexford’ before I can give myself away. I’m playing a part tonight, remember? And Callie already told me, getting personal with the target is the number one no-no.