His Secretary Mistress(10)

By: Chantelle Shaw

She wasn’t lunching on jam sandwiches out of choice either, Jenna thought, irritated by his amusement. What had he expected? Smoked salmon? Although in fairness that was probably the sort of lunch he was used to, and she certainly couldn’t reveal that she had saved the last slices of cheese for Maisie’s lunch.

‘I need to go shopping,’ she admitted as she picked up a sandwich, but her appetite seemed to have vanished along with her peace of mind.

‘There’s a little bistro at the edge of the park that serves lovely food and the best lemon meringue pie,’ Alex added, with another glance at her pathetic lunch. ‘Shall we start afresh over something to eat? I watched you working like a demon this morning; you must be hungry.’

‘You watched me?’ For a second Jenna envisaged him snooping on her through some sort of spyhole, her dismay written all over her face, and he could not prevent his smile.

‘The glass walls between our offices are tinted, but I can see out quite well. I hope you don’t find that unsettling?’

She did, hugely, but could hardly admit it. Thank God she hadn’t drifted off into one of her daydreams, where she lost all concept of time and filled several sheets of paper with sketches. She didn’t think he would be quite so friendly if he deemed her a time waster, and once again she realised that the job at Morrell and Partners was light years away from her comfortable existence at Philips and Co.

‘Do you know those little gold freckles across your nose are really beautiful?’

Alex Morrell had little in common with the fatherly Mr Philips either, Jenna acknowledged, sheer panic sending her jumping to her feet. Faced with the full force of his charm she quailed.

‘You must be a mind reader. I love lemon meringue pie. And I hate my freckles,’ she added on an afterthought. ‘I’ve got them everywhere.’

‘Really?’ She steadfastly ignored the wicked glint in his eyes, and to her relief he said no more on the subject of freckles or their whereabouts and led the way across the park to the bistro.

Alex Morrell was something else, Jenna mused as she stirred her coffee and contemplated the best lunch she had eaten in months. As if stunning good looks were not enough, he was witty, charming and fiercely intelligent, and he had entertained her with tales of past court cases and amusing incidents from his life as a barrister. All through lunch she had listened and laughed, utterly captivated, so that she’d relaxed and unknowingly lowered the barriers she had erected against him.

He had been too hard on her this morning, Alex chided himself as he watched the way she licked the last morsel of meringue from her spoon, the tip of her pink tongue a tantalising distraction from which he had difficulty dragging his gaze. She was unknowingly sexy—or perhaps knowingly, he thought with a frown. The sexuality she exuded was not lost on him, as the ache in his loins could verify, but there was an air of innocence about her that tugged at his protective streak even as he derided himself for his gullibility.

In his opinion women were by far the stronger sex, and in court they had never ceased to amaze him with their ability to lie in order to save their own skins. The jury was still out on Jenna Deane, and he could not pigeonhole her yet, but getting to know her was proving to be an interesting experience.

The autumn sunshine had disappeared when they walked back across the park, and the sudden downpour was as violent as it was unexpected.

‘Tomorrow I’m going to bring an umbrella,’ Jenna vowed as raindrops the size of pennies spattered her skirt for the second time that day.

‘Over here—come on!’ With the shower showing no sign of abating Alex caught hold of her arm, and together they scrambled for the protection of one of the few trees that still retained its leaves.

As they ran, Jenna skidded on the wet leaves underfoot and fell bodily against Alex, who braced himself against the tree trunk, taking her weight on his chest.

‘I’m sorry.’ Her hair had come loose again, and she stared up at him through a tangle of amber silk, the laughter dying in her throat as she caught the unguarded look in his eyes.

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