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Chapter 3 Can He Help Her Find the Pearl?

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B.J. McNamara poured his first cup of morning coffee and stared through the big picture window in his office at the Gulf of Mexico. The view had been a major factor in deciding to purchase the small barnwood building five years ago. No matter how stressful his cases, or difficult his clients, looking out at the jet skis and sailboats riding the whitecaps always managed to soothe him and give him perspective.

He wished the view would help him now as he waited for his ten o'clock appointment. Miranda Fox stirred feelings in him that he battled constantly. When Drake Collins, attorney and long time friend, told him he was sending B.J. a client last year and to take good care of her, the last thing he'd expected to see walking into his office was a lush Venus with a rich fall of thick brown hair glinting with gold highlights, a rounded figure that he wanted to bury himself in and a mouth that he wanted to ravage and plunder at length.

He'd had to work hard to keep his cock at least at half mast and not embarrass himself as he did the preliminary client interview. Because in addition to his firm "no client involvement" rule, Miranda had too much baggage—too much money, too much time on her hands, lousy taste in men and very poor judgment. He constantly had the feeling she was playing at life and he knew if he ever fucked Miranda Fox it wouldn't be once and done. No, the lady was just too superficial for him to put himself at risk.

Not that his love life would make the Sunday School report. B.J. was a lusty man with a healthy sexual appetite. He wrote the book on no strings relationships. But something about Miranda told him if he ever opened the door to his heart and let her in, she'd be the one to hogtie him. And he had no desire to go there. From what he'd learned of her, since coming into all that money she'd embarked on a journey of sexual pleasure that had no place for anything permanent. She was looking for the perfect lover, not the ideal mate.

Well, wasn't he? And yet...

Given half a chance he'd show her what good sex—no, outstanding sex—was all about. He'd dreamed about the firm breasts beneath the soft blouses she wore, taking her taut nipples into his mouth. Under her skirts he imagined the pinkest, wettest pussy he'd ever seen, one he could devour with his tongue, plunder with his fingers and finally bury his cock in while her cunt muscles squeezed him.

Better cut that out, or you'll have a boner that'll poke her the minute she walks in the door.

Meanwhile her search had led her down a very bumpy road. He hoped the sex she was getting was worth it because the losers she kept picking were robbing her with impunity. And that was where he came in, chasing down the things they stole from her. Miranda was either very careless or very stupid and at the moment he still wasn't sure which.

The intercom on his desk buzzed, interrupting his thoughts.

"Miss Fox is here." There was hidden laughter in his secretary's voice. She looked at Miranda as their weekly entertainment.

"Send her in."

"I'm already in," the musical voice said and in a moment he was surrounded by the scent of jasmine and oranges as she threw her arms around him. "Hi, B.J."

"Morning, Miranda." He politely disengaged himself from her hug. "Can I offer you some coffee?"

"I think a mimosa would help a lot more." She dropped into one of the big leather client chairs and crossed her legs. "I've come to confess my stupidity again."

B.J. chuckled. "No mimosas but Annie has some great hazelnut coffee. Let me have her get some for you."

When she was settled with her cup and saucer, Miranda let out a long sigh, gave B.J. her usual half-embarrassed, half-irritated look. "Well, I guess I've done it again."

B.J. bit his lip, hard, to keep from chuckling. In a minute he'd have to sit on his hands to keep from sweeping her forlorn self into his arms and telling her everything would be all right. Because it wouldn't. Not until she got some common sense in her head.

"Okay." He pulled a yellow pad of paper over in front of him and clicked open the point of a pen. "Let's have the gory details."

"Okay." She stared into her coffee cup. "His name is Raoul Walsh..."

"Raoul?" B.J. couldn't help interrupting. "Miranda, do you think you could manage to at least find someone with a name like Joe or Frank?"

She frowned at him. "But Joe and Frank are so...so...ordinary."

Now B.J. did laugh. He couldn't help himself. "Honey, if they give you great orgasms, what the hell difference does their name make? You know your problem?"

"Yes," she snapped. "I have too much money and too much time on my hands."

B.J. held up his hands, palms outward. "Oops. I take it Leslie's already said her piece."

"Yes, so I don't need yours. My problem is almost every man on the planet is a dork. Just because they dress nicely and have good manners and know how to read a wine list doesn't mean they have what I want." She put her cup and saucer down on the little table next to her and sighed. "And I hate to admit it but the sex hasn't even been all that great."

B.J. did his best to keep a straight face. "Too much information, kiddo. But I will say if you'd try a different type of man you might have better luck."

"Yes, well, first I have to find this one and get my pearl back."

"Your pearl? This one stole your jewelry?"

"Yes. Damn it." She pounded her small fists on her thighs. "It was a gift to me from him. Which I ended up paying for." She glared at B.J. "And don't you dare laugh."

He ducked his head. "I wouldn't dream of it."

"You know, B.J., I'm still not getting it." She fished in her pocket and pulled out the slip of paper with her Chinese fortune printed on it.

He stared at it. "Jesus, Miranda. Don't tell me you're chasing after some dream based on a fortune cookie."

"Okay, I won't tell you. But I do want you to either find Raoul or find what he did with the pearl so I can get it back."

B.J. leaned back in his chair. "Wouldn't it be a lot easier just to file an insurance claim?"

It's the principal of the thing," she protested. "I won't let him get away with it."

"All right, then." He sighed. "Let's get the details down, you can give me the usual retainer and I'll get right on it."

Half an hour later, her check in his hand, he watched her walk out the door, her body still rigid with anger. He was beginning to feel like the kid robbing the candy store. Not that she couldn't afford it but he could only take her money for so long without being disgusted with himself.

The worst part of it was, he wanted to be the perfect lover she sought.

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