Chapter One

Zoe licked her lips nervously as she stood up. Her hands moved down her dress as if to smooth it against her body, but that really wasn’t necessary. The dress was a form-fitting, elasticized sweater dress. It was perfectly acceptable as a business dress, with a turtleneck top, and a hem down past her knees. But it was red and fit across her lithe young body like a second skin.

She wore high black boots with three inch heels beneath it, and her dark hair hung well past her shoulders in a gleaming silken wave of raven black. Her makeup was restrained, for she didn’t need any, but her lips were full and soft and red, and her long lashes emphasized her soft green eyes. She needed this job, needed it very badly. She had a husband who had recently become unemployed, and a two year old with health issues.

She was shown into the office, and felt her belly clench at the sudden predatory look man gave her. Yet she had to play up to that instinct he was clearly showing, rather than make it clear that she would not accept it.

He was a tall man, in his forties, with broad shoulders, a craggy face with square cut jaw, and loose brown hair. He was quite handsome, in a way, though old enough to be her father. But the look in his eyes was far too appreciative, and she felt as though he were mentally undressing her.

“Good morning, Miss Jenson,” he said. “I’m Brad Stevens.”

“Good morning, Mr. Stevens,” she said diffidently, taking his hand as he offered it.

“That’s a lovely dress,” he said.

“Thank you,” she said, very much aware he was still holding her hand, and had now let his thumb stroke the back of it.

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