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Signed, Sealed, Delivered (SYTYCW winner)

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CHAPTER THREE

"Lane?"

Lane's knuckles turned white on her phone. "I can't talk right now," she said carefully. "Can I call you back?"

"No. Now."

Deep, slow, silent breath. Lane muted the phone and managed an apologetic smile for the analyst with whom she'd been discussing the consumer price index. "I have to take this - just a minute, okay?"

She hurried away from the table to the most private spot she could find - not easy in an open plan office. "Adam, I'd prefer it if you didn't call when I'm at work."

A low laugh met her words. "First lesson, Lane. Anywhere, any time."

Another breath. Calm, calm, calm. "Well, this week, I'm free Wednesday or Thursday evenings, or any time Sunday."

"Thursday's fine with me. I'll come to your office."

"No. Not here."

"Why not? It's business, isn't it?"

Lane couldn't think of an appropriate answer - not that Adam gave her a chance to respond.

"Ah, I see," he said. "You're going to hide me away and only roll me out when you're ready for a quick f-"

"No!" Lane interjected, and then hurried on. "I just feel a little ... I don't like the people here to know ... I mean ... " Lane squeezed her eyes closed in an agony of embarrassment.

"Sorry but you're going to have to deal with it," Adam said, before she could address her own incoherence. "Because I'm coming to your office at six o'clock on Thursday. And if you're not ready to leave, I have no qualms about using your desk as a bed. Anywhere, any time, remember?"

Without waiting for Lane's response, Adam rang off.

Lane was left holding the phone, stunned into silence.

*****

Adam smiled. Lane Davis wasn't sounding as utterly controlled as she had last night.

Ha!

He figured a methodical, control-freak economist would hate not knowing what was going to happen next. So if she were always wondering when or where he was going to pop up and what he was going to do with her when he did, she'd never be totally confident.

Maybe she'd end up calling the whole thing off after all. But Adam, perversely, hoped she wouldn't. Not yet, anyway. Not until he'd managed to get her hot and bothered. Making her lose her cool was the least he could do after she'd rocked his equilibrium so badly.

Never in his life had he been a mirror-gazer. Until last night.

Women loved him. Women wanted him. So what did Lane see that was so different?

You look like you'd be good at it. That's what she'd said. But he hadn't seen any evidence that she might enjoy what he was about to teach her. She'd managed to sit across from him and talk about sex in the most businesslike fashion, without giving him even one seductive look. Not one!

Oh, she'd been a little frazzled at the end, but not enough, dammit.

Adam pulled himself up. Did it really matter? A contract, that's what the two of them had. She didn't even know him. She was right to be leery of parading him around her office.

Still, he wasn't a trained seal, he told himself, rallying. She couldn't expect him to perform when and where she wanted, begging for a treat when he came up to scratch.

No way. Lane would be the one begging. And until she was begging, he'd be damned if the contract was going to be consummated.

One precious little detail she'd left out of that particular document was what they'd actually spend their two to four nights per week doing.

Adam smiled. An amazing oversight, but a fortuitous one.There was a lot he could teach her without actually consummating their relationship.

An awful lot.

*****

On Thursday, Lane dressed and undressed three times before deciding on the same square cut navy suit she'd worn the night they'd met, on the basis that Adam hadn't run screaming in the opposite direction at the sight of it that night. Then she applied a full face of make-up, only to feel like a painted doll and scrub it all off. She'd hate for him to think she'd taken any special care for their first ... time.

Phew. First time. Funny what that thought did to her insides.

Pull yourself together Lane. She looked in the mirror - her new favourite pastime - and nodded, satisfied. No way would Adam guess she'd spent ages thinking about what to wear.

And then her shoulders drooped. "And that's a good thing, is it?" she asked her reflection.

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