Chapter 13 : Amends

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"What the hell was that?" Asher demanded, his voice muffled by his hand covering his nose.

He knew, of course. Just by the look in Danielle's eyes, it wasn't hard to figure out exactly what the punch was for. Damn it, she wasn't supposed to find out. But somehow she did.

"What do you think?" she said. She had her hands on her hips, her angry stance matching the flashing of her eyes.

With a sigh, he nodded. He lowered his hand to check for blood. Yes, there it was. He swiped a tissue from the box on his desk to clean up the mess. Gingerly, he felt the bone of his nose. "You could have broken my nose, Danielle."

"If I wanted to, yes. You're welcome, by the way." She crossed her arms over her chest. Despite the throbbing pain in his face, he couldn't help admiring the way her arms lifted her breasts under her dress with the movement. "Did you really think I wouldn't find out?"

He waved a hand. "Er, no. Well, I was hoping you wouldn't. I definitely think you'd walk in here and slug me." He took another tissue to press to his nose. One glance at it confirmed he'd mopped off the last of the blood. "I really should call security, you know."

She shrugged.

"Have a seat," he said, tossing the tissue into the trash bin behind his desk.

"Why? So you can explain how you didn't really do anything wrong? That it was my fault I lost my job?"

"Schuller fired you."

"What do you think?"

He slid into his chair and rested his elbows on his desk. "How did he find out?"

"That you learned about the meeting with Linklater from me?" She finally took a chair across the desk from him. "I told him."

"Why?" He frowned. "And how did you know?"

"He was angry. Yelling at Bussard in his office about Linklater. I heard them when I came inside to bring a contract for him to sign. Your name was mentioned." She let out an angry breath. "I put two and two together."

"So you figured out I must have found out about the meeting from you." He shook his head. "You didn't have to tell him. There was no way he would have found out."

She raised an eyebrow. "Really? You wouldn't have mentioned it to him just to gloat?"

"Why would I reveal my underhanded tactics?" He spread his hands in the air. "That would guarantee I can't ever get to use them again."

"Is that why you had sex with me? Because I was Schuller's secretary?"

Cocking his head, he regarded her with a grin. "Is that why you clocked me just now? Your pride was hurt?"

"I hit you because you made me betray my boss." She was still fuming. "Mr. Schuller was nice to me."

"That's why you told him. You felt guilty." That was interesting. In his line of work, Asher didn't know many people who would let themselves on the hook for something if they didn't have to. Whether or not they were to blame.

"Of course I felt guilty." Her hands gripping the ends of the armrests, and she crossed her legs. "Not only did he fire me, but I'm never working in finance again."

He let his gaze dip. Crossing her legs forced the hem of her dress to hike up her thighs exposing more of lovely legs to him. She wasn't doing it on purpose, certainly. Nevertheless, Asher felt it would be a crime to not appreciate the view. Especially since what he was about to propose to her practically guaranteed he'd never be able to take her to bed again. "Oh, I don't know about that." He reached over and hit the intercom button. "Wil, could you come in please?"

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