“Why do you have so many lights on?”
Clearly startled by his voice, Terri met his gaze.
She was wearing reading glasses. Every fantasy about every teacher he’d ever had surfaced in his mind and between his legs. Blood pooled heavy in his groin, and he was in danger of losing brain cells, judging by the savage intensity of his hardening member. He wanted to kiss her with her glasses on, watching her eyes go myopic as he drew closer.
Turning his body so he was in profile to her, he crossed one leg over the other, masking the distortion of his trousers.
Her hair was down. His fantasies had nothing on the reality of the thick, wavy mass. The curls fell into place in long, sweeping layers along the side of her head and a quarter of the way down her back.
He didn’t move. He didn’t dare. As he watched, she snatched off the glasses and tossed them to the desk. In a continuation of the same movement, she reached for the clip, which was lying on its side on a stack of magazines similar to the ones she’d given him earlier.
“No.” He swallowed, trying to get some moisture into his mouth. “Please don’t. Your hair…it’s gorgeous.”
She said nothing but let her hand drop, leaving the barrette on the desk. Marking a spot on a giant handwritten sheet she had been inputting into Excel, Terri turned her attention to Clarke.
“I’m interrupting.” He should turn around and leave and let her work. “What are you doing?”
He watched as her attention went from him to the spreadsheet and then back again. “Comparisons between the adds our artists are getting and those of the major labels. We’re peanuts compared to them, but some of our guys are holding their own. Mostly the ones who are good at promoting the hell out of themselves online, like Jungle Ready. My guess is most of those bands will drop us and go out on their own soon.” She reached for the hair clip again but stopped. Instead she clasped her arms over one another and leaned back in her chair. He remembered the look of a few moments ago and marveled that she’d been able to put herself back together so quickly. Or perhaps he’d been imagining the hurt that momentarily dashed across her face.
Her thumbs were moving across each other in a nervous gesture partially hidden by her desk. She must think he couldn’t see them. That gave him the courage to go on.
“Did you need something? I gave you all the magazines. If there’s something you’re missing, tell me. Or you can go online…”
With a growl, he moved from his spot against the door. “I can get my own stuff,” he said in a sharp, staccato tone. “From now on why don’t you let me get the magazines? Save you a trip. If you don’t need copies, I’ll just get them for myself.”
Her gaze darted from the door and back to him. Her irises widened as if she were frightened. He wanted to crowd her and forced himself to stop at the back of her desk. Her gaze slid past him, avoiding his eyes.
“That’s not part of your job description,” she said, a quaver in her tone. Her smooth, pink tongue darted out and played over the middle of her lips before retreating back inside that luscious mouth.