A WITCH’S PROTOCOL – Chapter Six

Half an hour later, he shoved the door open to her office. She stepped out into the reception area and motioned him to one of the maroon chairs in front of her desk. She pushed a set of papers across the desk to him.

As he perused the documents, her gaze wandered over the man sitting in front of her. Braiden was fun, intelligent, unconventional and had a great sense of humor. She watched his wide muscular chest rise and fall, the deep dimples in both cheeks seemed at odds with his chiseled facial features. His blonde hair seemed always tousled as if he made a habit of running his fingers through his hair. She liked the look. But when he turned those deep blue-green eyes on her…

“Earth calling Megan, come in Megan… are you there?” Braiden stood in front of the desk leaning towards her, his lean body close, his face only a few inches from hers.

She blinked and shook herself. “Of course. When you are through with those, I’ll get…”

He handed her the completed background check form, W-9, his driver’s license and social security card.

“Ok.” She marked ‘rush’ on the papers and scanned them into the computer, then emailed the documents to the contractor over her secure network. “While we wait, I’d like to discuss your experience then get you logged into the system.”

With a mischievous glint in his eye, he opened his mouth– she interrupted him.

“And I don’t want to hear, you can’t tell because you’d have to kill me,” she said.

He shrugged. “It’s true. But I’ll be glad to share what I can, as long as you promise to have dinner with me tonight.”

She had no doubt he’d clear the background check. If he worked outside the lines of legal, the information would never see the light of day. Her intuition assured her, he was one of the good guys.

“You realize that’s extortion,” she said with a laugh. “But, I’ll be happy to join you tonight, provided we make progress on the job at hand.”
As she glanced at her email, warm hands touched her shoulders and minty breath tickled the side of her neck. He’d stepped around the desk. She inhaled his fresh, clean scent with just a hint of spice and refrained from looking into his mesmerizing eyes. Her pulse quickened and desire shot through her belly and lower. If she turned her head with his face so close, their lips would meet and…

Oh, goddess I want him. She jumped as the chime of her email alert. Saved by technology, she clicked on the email icon.

“Approval from the contractor just came through, quick for even a rush request.” She frowned.

“That’s good,” Braiden whispered, sliding his hands down her arms and back up. “I’ve worked on several secure projects, both military and recently civilian, so it’s really no surprise. Let’s get to work.”

“If we’re going to work together, you need to stop the romantic overtures.”

Braiden tilted his head. “Romantic. Hmm, I must be doing better than I thought,” he mused and shrugged his shoulders. “Then I guess we can’t work together… because…I find you physically attractive and mentally stimulating. Which translates to, I can’t keep my hands off you, even if I wanted to…and I don’t.”

Wide-eyed, she opened and shut her mouth a couple times without saying a word but finally her lips set in a thin line.

He laughed then held up his hands, palms up in surrender. “Okay, okay, no messing around in the office.” He grinned and lowered his arms behind his back, fingers crossed. “I just wanted all my cards on the table, most of them anyway. Life’s too unpredictable for wait and sees.”

She tugged at the bottom of her blouse. “And, after this short time, you’ve made up your mind?”

“Oh, I made my mind up the first night we met for dinner.” A cocky smile spread across his lips and lit up his eyes. “I wanted to be sure about us, before throwing in a work relationship.”
Drawing in a slow, steady breath, she stepped away from him. “So you let me work myself to the bone before you volunteered to help?”

“I explained why. Besides, I had business contracts of my own to complete along the same lines. Didn’t want any conflict of interest issues popping up. You understand.”

“Not really. What I understand is that you stood by and watched me stress and… oh, never mind.” The vein in her temple pulsed, she blinked and turned her attention to the screens and pointed out where she thought the problem occurred and attempted to tamp down her temper.

He leaned against her to get a better look and she jerked away. He felt a tingle where their bodies met. Braiden straightened, clenched his jaw and the muscles in his neck twitched. She walked around the desk, leaned over and started to move the desk monitor toward her, suddenly a crackle and a small streak of electrical current shot from her index finger and all the screens in the room went blank.

Braiden yelped and stumbled backward. “What happened? Your system is on a surge protector.”

“Of course. Must be a breaker.”

“Okay, where’s your breaker box?” he asked turning toward the door.

“I’ll take care of it,” she said firmly. Megan rushed out of the office door and found the whole building dark.”Shit.”

Several people stood outside their office doors looking up and down the hallway. In a blink of an eye, Megan ducked into an alcove a few feet from her door. Rooted in place, she closed her eyes, swung her arms above her head then dropped them to her sides as she murmured. Opening only one eye, Megan glanced around as the lights came on, so she opened the other. Shoulders relaxed, she blew out a breath then stepped into the hallway and scurried to her office.


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