Pregnant On The Upper East Side?(6)By: Emilie Rose
Her case sounded typical of many others he’d handled. The embezzler started with small amounts to test the waters and then grew bolder and took more. “There are legal avenues for handling this situation.”
“I know. But there are three reasons I’ve chosen not to go that route. Curtis knows them. One, I don’t have the money to pay lawyer fees right now, and two, as Curtis said, I’d rather my parents not hear about this. Three, I may be convinced Curtis is responsible for the missing money, but proving it is another story. The questionable invoices mysteriously vanished when he did. And I had given him access to my accounts, so that makes me at least partially responsible.”
His first instinct was to take her case pro bono. But he also intended to sleep with Amanda, and that was a conflict of interest he’d learned the hard way not to repeat. So as much as he’d personally love to nail the Wilks weasel, he had to hand this off.
He extracted his checkbook, a business card and a pen from his inside coat pocket. “I’m writing the name of one of the associates from my firm on the back of my card. Call him.”
“Alex, I can’t afford—”
“He’ll defer payment until settlement.” Alex would make sure of it—even if he had to guarantee the fees himself. “And I’ll loan you the money to make your payment.”
“I don’t think—”
“You don’t want to damage your credit by asking for an extension.”
“Do you want to let Wilks get away with this?”
“Of course not. But, Alex, you don’t have to do this.”
“What are your other options?”
She grimaced. “I could ask my father for a loan.”
“You said you didn’t want your parents to find out. Will your father hand over a chunk of cash without asking why you need it?” He barely waited for her to shake her head before going for the closer. “I want you handling my party, Amanda. If you’re worrying about your finances, you’ll be distracted and you’ll give me less than one hundred percent.”
And she’d be less likely to fall in with his plans.
He wanted Amanda Crawford for more than just sex, although that played a large part. Her networking expertise was unparalleled. The woman knew how to work a room better than anyone he’d ever met. She was exactly who he needed by his side to build the powerful connections that brought in clients and put money in the bank. She’d be an asset to his career for as long as their affair lasted, and it wasn’t an ego trip to know he would be equally beneficial to hers. The fact that she wasn’t interested in a permanent relationship only enhanced the attraction.
He opened his checkbook. “How much do you need?”
She hesitated. “Are there strings attached to the loan? I mean, do you expect me to sleep with you?”
Full disclosure wouldn’t be in his best interest at this point. “When we share a bed it will be because you’re tired of fighting the chemistry between us, not because of misplaced gratitude.”
Her pupils expanded and her lips parted. “You sound convinced that will happen.”
“But you want something from me.”
Smart lady. “I could use your connections. You introduce me to potential clients and I’ll do the same for you.”
She inhaled deeply as if preparing to argue, but then shook her head and blew out a long, slow breath. “I can do that. But, Alex, I never took you for the knight-in-shining-armor type.”
Taken aback, he straightened. “I’m not.”
Her lips twitched into a small smile and her eyes sparkled as if she had a secret. “I don’t believe you.”
A corner of his brain urged him to accept her change in attitude and use it to get ahead in the game. “Believe whatever you want. Give me an amount.”
After a moment she did. He wrote the check and tore it out of the book. It was his job to get everything in writing, but discussing a repayment schedule would kill the deal faster than bleach killed germs. From everything he’d learned about her she would reimburse him. But if she didn’t, he wouldn’t miss a few thousand. And it wouldn’t be the first time a woman cost him.
“Pay me back when you can.”
Looking a little suspicious and a lot stunned, she took the check and business card. “That’s it? You’re just handing me money?”
And then she surprised him by throwing her arms around his neck. Her body bumped his. He hugged her back, learning the feel of her lean length pressed against him, her breasts on his chest, her warm, smooth cheek against his and her soft hair tickling his ear. His libido howled like a wolf, but there would be time for that later. He released her the moment she eased back on her heels.