Undeniable Demands(7)

By: Andrea Laurence

 Tori straightened and shot him as lethal a gaze as she could  manage. “You mean, mine. I signed those papers at  the lawyer’s office two months ago. I didn’t hold a gun to their heads and make  them sell me this land.”

 “Wouldn’t have surprised me if you did,” he said bitterly,  glancing over at the shotgun sitting on the counter.

 “They sold it all on their own. I paid them full asking price  and covered all my own closing expenses, so it’s not like I cheated them,  either. I don’t know whether you’re their son or not, Mr. Mitchell, but let me just tell you that if you are their son, you’re a crappy one. They told me about Ken’s heart  attack and all their medical expenses. Where have you been? In Manhattan?  Worrying about making money?”

 “You think I don’t know that?” he challenged. Wade’s eyes  flashed with a touch of a temper she’d seen years before. “I’m not proud of it,  but I can fix it.”

 Tori stood up from her seat. “You’re just going to have to find  another way to soothe your conscience. Send them on a cruise or something,  because you aren’t going to browbeat me into selling this land. And that’s  final. Please leave.”

 Wade stood, bringing his head a hairbreadth away from scraping  the top of her camper. He took a step toward her, and his body loomed large and  intimidating in such close proximity.

 Tori couldn’t help the surge of awareness that ran through her  body as he came near. Apparently it was far easier to despise him from a  distance. It had been a long time since she’d been in the same room as Wade, and  she’d certainly never been this close to him, but her body remembered him. With  him inches away, looking down at her with a focused, penetrating intensity, her  spine wanted to turn to jelly. His warm scent, a familiar mix of spicy cologne  and salty skin, swirled around her with every breath she drew into her  lungs.

 She finally took a step back, pressing herself against the  kitchen counter. She didn’t like being this close to Wade. It messed with her  focus, and that just made her even more irritated. Tori couldn’t let him use his  size or sexuality to intimidate her.

 “This isn’t over,” he said, pinning her with his dark green  eyes before grabbing his coat and walking out into the cold.


 Wade remembered Victoria Sullivan as being  smart and beautiful. Apparently she was also the most infuriating and stubborn  woman he’d ever encountered.

 Wade stomped back to his four-wheeler and stood there a moment,  letting the cold sink in and douse the aggravating mix of anger and attraction  surging through his veins. When he was back in control, he shrugged into his  coat, jumped on the ATV and peeled out of her yard in a doughnut as he used to  do as a teenager. The back tires sent a sheet of snow flying against the side of  her trailer. It was juvenile, but she seemed to bring out the worst in him.

 He was fuming as he plowed through the snow. It should be  illegal for a woman that gorgeous to have a mouth that irritating. Honestly,  once she’d peeled out of her jacket and revealed a snug pair of jeans and a  fitted, long-sleeved T-shirt, he’d almost forgotten why he was there. It wasn’t  until she picked up her shotgun again that he realized he’d followed her inside  without her permission.

 Victoria had been one of his best and brightest architects.  He’d hired her straight out of college when the company he and Alex had started  was still small and spending more than it earned. She’d contributed quite a bit  to making their first few big projects a success. He’d even considered asking  her out to dinner. But then his assistant had come to him with concerns about  seeing Victoria at a restaurant looking a little too cozy with one of their  potential suppliers. She had been quite vocal about giving the man an upcoming  contract, and the implication was clear. He fired her on the spot. Part of him  regretted that. And not just because she had knockout curves, flawless skin and  long, fiery red hair that made him warm under the collar.

 He had wanted to believe her when she said she didn’t do it.  The thought of her with another man nearly made him crazy. But the logical part  of his brain was infuriated by her audacious attempt to influence corporate  contracts like that. Sleeping with a potential contractor was just as bad as  taking bribes from one. Both compromised a person’s objectivity and put the  ethics of his company in question.

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