For a Good Time Call

For a Good Time Call
Trish Jensen

October 2012 $10.95
ISBN: 978-1-61194-210-1

A mysterious prank brought them together for sizzling-hot romance...

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"I’m just a nosy little ad exec who’s dying to see who invited me to meet you.”

"Listen, Sherry Whoever-You-Are, I’m very, very busy,” Kit Fleming answered. "If you could just speed this up, I’d be wildly grateful.”

Sherry became uncomfortably aware that he had a very sexy phone voice. "Well, you see, I got a delivery tonight, and I didn’t have anything smaller than a fifty, so the kid had to give me change.”

"Uh-huh,” he said, the grunt tinged with annoyance. "Fascinating.”

"The twenty he gave me had some writing on it.”


"‘For a good time, call Kit.’ And of course, your phone number.”

Trish Jensen is the bestselling author of romantic comedies including Against His Will, Stuck With You, and Phi Beta Bimbo. Visit her at


"…very funny… The writing was flawless!" -- Aleksandar Petkovski, Goodreads

"Simple yet dramatic especially at the end of the story… I couldn’t help but shed a few tears in the end!" -- Hsiau Wei Chen, Jo’s Sanctuary

"Funny, witty, charming and heart-warming… a fabulous quick read… was an absolute blast… amusing and engaging!" -- Lily Blain, Goodreads

"It had everything a good romance should: a yummy hero, a spitfire heroine, and a love story with a satisfactory ending. At times light-hearted and comical, at times serious and emotional." -- Margay Roberge, NetGalley

"I loved this, thought it was witty and reminded me of an old Hepburn and Tracey film!" -- Emily Heisler, Single Titles


"…the humour imbedded in this novel had me laughing out loud… an amazing novel that I would recommend to everyday women who love romance, a little humour, and a HEA." -- Ashley Martiniello, GoodReads

"A story that blends liberal doses of laughter with a few smiling tears. I highly recommend it.” -- Bookbug on the Web



"And I-I-I-I-I will always love you-u-u—”

Sherry Spencer’s mouth snapped shut when her doorbell rang, startling her into silence. She turned down her radio, then quickly waved a hand over the nail polish drying on bare toes, before hobbling to the door and opening it. She sure hoped she hadn’t been singing so loudly that... By the horrified expression on Timmy Walton’s face, she had her answer. He’d heard her.

Life wasn’t fair. God had bestowed upon her a love of music, a gift for writing catchy jingles, and a set of vocal cords that could warp sheetrock. With a sigh, Sherry managed a rueful smile. "Hey, Timmy.”

"More candy for you,” the young delivery boy from Stella’s Sweets said. "Didja land another big account, Ms. Spencer?”

"You can call me Sherry, Timmy,” she said, taking the box from him. "And yep, the Dippity Diaper account is officially mine.” Her mouth watered at the heavenly scent of the rich, dark confections. Gosh, she adored her boss, who knew too well her... healthy respect for chocolate. Who needed a personal life when there was chocolate in the world?

Timmy grinned. "Stella says you don’t look old enough to be in high school, much less be an advertising bigwig.”

Not unused to such observations—in fact, sick to death of such observations—Sherry swallowed a retort. After all, Stella and her shop were a godsend. Resisting the urge to rip open the box and gobble one or two sweets right there, she said, "Hold on,” then hip-hopped to her coffee table and purse.

"Dang, all I have is a fifty, Timmy.”

Timmy rolled his eyes, and pulled out a small wad of bills. "Stella always makes me carry extra change on deliveries to you.”

It was endearing having a local candy shop owner who took such good care of her regulars, Sherry decided. Then again, Sherry was probably Stella’s most regular regular. "Keep five,” she said, then accepted the change.

She waved and shut the door, then wobbled back to the couch, trying to walk on her heels to save her pedicure.

Tossing the bills on the coffee table, Sherry reached for the box of chocolates, blessing her sainted boss. But scribbled words on the top bill—a twenty—caught her eye, and she picked it up instead. "‘For a good time, call Kit,’” she read aloud, then took in the phone number, noticing that it had her own area code. "Now there’s an advertising gimmick.”

The handwriting was flowery. Was it Kit’s handwriting? Or was it someone’s idea of revenge on Kit? Should she call Kit and let her know someone was circulating her phone number on currency?

While she debated, Sherry opened the box of chocolates and popped one into her mouth, moaning as the delicious explosion of flavor invaded her senses.

At the very least she owed it to her fellow woman to inform her that someone was bandying her name about. Right? It wasn’t just curiosity. She might be doing someone a favor. A big one.

Having done a darn fine job of justifying her action, Sherry picked up the phone and punched in the number. By the first ring she was having second thoughts. Maybe she should just—

"Yes?” a male voice barked gruffly.

Gulping, she said, "Um, yes, by any chance is Kit there?”

"Who’s this?” he asked.

Now how should she answer that? Oh, I’m just a nosy little ad exec who’s dying to see who came up with Kit’s advertising campaign. "My name’s Sherry,” she said, deciding not to give him her last name. "I just have a couple of questions for her, and I’d appreciate—”

"For her? Is this some kind of joke?”

The incredulity in his voice made her sit up straighter. For the first time she considered the idea that Kit might not be a woman. Of course. Kit could also be the nickname of a man. She looked down at the bill... and started laughing. And once she started, she couldn’t stop.

"What’s so funny?” the man asked, sounding exasperated.

Sherry rubbed the back of her hand over her mouth, stifling her mirth. "Let me guess. You’re Kit.”

"This phone call is over.”

"Don’t hang up!” she said quickly. "You’re really going to want to hear this.”

The silence hummed across the phone line, but at least he didn’t slam down the receiver. "You are Kit, aren’t you? Because I’m only telling this to Kit.”

There was another pause, and then he blew an exasperated breath. "Yes, I’m Kit. Did Rachel give you this number?”

"Who’s Rachel?”

"My sister.”

"Well now, I’m not so sure. Is Rachel in the habit of trying to fix you up?”

"Unfortunately,” he said, but his voice softened perceptibly, and held a hint of a smile. "Listen, Ms.—”

"Sherry. Just Sherry.”

"Listen, Sherry, I’m very, very busy. I have meetings all day tomorrow, and I need to be prepared. If you could just speed this up, I’d be wildly grateful.”

Those were the most words he’d said to her yet, and Sherry became uncomfortably aware that he had a very sexy voice. She ran a finger under her collar and cleared her throat. "This will be short,” she said.


"Uh... before I tell you this, just remember not to shoot the messenger.”

"Oh, boy,” he muttered. "I take it I’m not going to like this.”

"I sincerely doubt it.”

He took a bracing breath, loud enough for her to hear. "Let’s hear it.”

Sherry quickly took the plunge. "Well, you see, I got a delivery tonight, and I didn’t have anything smaller than a fifty, so the kid had to give me change.”

"Uh-huh,” he said, the grunt tinged with annoyance. "Fascinating.”

"The twenty he gave me had some writing on it.”


"Yes, umm-hmm,” she said, biting her cheek to keep from laughing. As she saw it, the situation was rather humorous. She just knew he wouldn’t view it the same way.

"Well? What was on the bill? And if you answer, ‘In God We Trust,’ this conversation’s over.”

"‘For a good time, call Kit.’ And of course, your phone number.”


"‘For a good time, call Kit,’” Sherry repeated. "And your phone number.”

He swore. Explosively. Loudly. Repeatedly. She even had to hold the receiver away from her head a little, just to keep her eardrum from throbbing.

Once he’d sputtered to a halt, she said, "So, do you think it was Rachel?”

"No. But I have a good idea who it was.” He cursed again. "Tear it up.”

"Excuse me?”

"I said, tear the damn thing up.”

"It’s a twenty dollar bill!”

"That’s got my name and number on it! Tear it up.”

"Now look, Kit, twenty dollars may not be much to you, but I can eat for a week on that kind of money.”

He swore again. At least, she thought it was a swear word. She’d never heard it before. "Give me your address. I’ll send you a replacement.”

"No offense, Kit old boy, but I don’t know you from Adam. I’m not real certain I want you in possession of my address. Who knows what kind of nutcase you might be, considering some of your acquaintances?”

As she reached for another chocolate, Sherry was treated to a fresh round of swearing. She tsked. "Anyone ever tell you you have a real potty mouth?”

"Well, what the hell do you expect?” he practically shouted. "I want that bill destroyed.”

"Where do you live?” she asked.

"Great Falls, why?”

Well, la-dee-da, she thought. She had her doubts about just how good a time Kit what’s-his-name would be, but she didn’t doubt he could afford to spend that time in style. "I’ll tell you what,” she said. "I was hungry for Chinese anyway. Why don’t you meet me at the Peking Delight in McLean in, say, twenty minutes? We can have a swap meet, so to speak.”

"I don’t have time for this,” he complained. "I’m a very busy man, Ms. Whatever Your Name Is.”

Sherry’s curiosity died a quick death. She’d learned all she needed to know. Kit was a first-class jerk. "Fine. Personally, I don’t give a hoot whether this bill makes it back into circulation or not. And let’s not forget that I would actually be doing you a favor, Mr. Very Busy Man. So long—”

"Wait, wait, wait!”

Sherry felt tremendous satisfaction at the panic in his voice. "Yes?” she said, studying her nails to emphasize her nonchalance.

"I’m sorry. Really. You just caught me at a bad time. Listen, I’d like to meet you. I’ll even give you a reward.”

Her hand dropped, as did her jaw. It took her a full ten seconds to get her vocal cords up and running. "A reward? Thanks, but no. I don’t expect to get paid for doing a simple human kindness.”

The silence from his end sounded thunderstruck to Sherry. Apparently the thought of doing something for nothing was foreign to him. And she wasn’t exactly doing it for nothing, anyway. After all, the Peking Delight had the best Hunan chicken in the greater DC area.

"Twenty minutes?” he said after awhile.

"Twenty minutes.”

"How will I know who you are?”

Sherry blew out her lower lip. "I’ll be the thirty-year-old masquerading as a teenager.”


"I’ll be wearing a Penn State sweatshirt.”

Kit pulled his Mercedesinto the parking lot of the strip mall where the Peking Delight was located, and yanked up the parking brake. He was still fuming. He had no doubt about who’d pulled this stunt on him, and if he hadn’t wanted to avoid the woman so badly, he’d pay her a visit and ring her vindictive little neck.

How many of those bills had she put into circulation? How many more phone calls would he get like this last one?

He supposed he should be grateful to this Shelley, or Shirley, or whatever the hell her name was, but he couldn’t quite manage it. She’d sounded too amused on the phone.

He climbed out of his car and looked around. No thirty-year-olds-masquerading-as-teenagers-wearing Penn-State-sweatshirts presented themselves. He checked his watch, then strode toward the door of the restaurant.

"Yoo-hoo, Kit!” a woman called to his left.

He jerked around, just as a young girl popped out of a burgundy Mazda. At first glance, he understood her strange description of herself. She did look to be in her late teens. She had dark, shoulder-length hair she’d pulled back in a ponytail, delicate, unlined features, and the bouncing gait of a high school senior.

She was indeed wearing a Penn State sweatshirt, atop a pair of holey jeans, and blue, high-top sneakers. She raised her arm and let a bill flap in the breeze. Her grin looked far too smug.

As she approached she checked out every inch of him, and Kit felt suddenly stuffy and uncomfortable in his suit. He hadn’t even bothered to change after work, heading directly to his den to prepare for the following day’s meetings.

She stopped in front of him, still smirking. "Let the good times roll,” she said, her eyes flashing humor.

"How’d you know who I was?” he asked suspiciously, staring at those eyes. They were the deepest blue he’d ever seen, flecked with black the color of her hair and lashes.

Beautiful eyes. Bedroom eyes. They were the only clue that would place her age at closer to thirty than twenty. There was a wealth of intelligence in those eyes. They’d lived and learned. They’d also stolen his breath.

"You were the only angry creature stalking toward the restaurant at the moment,” she said. "Call it an educated guess.”

"You wouldn’t be laughing if it were yourname and number on that bill.”

"Now, Kit, lighten up. You should feel flattered.”

"Flattered! Like hell. That’s a private number you’ve got there, known to approximately ten people at most.”

"Eleven, now.”

"And who knows how many more?”

Her eyes went round. "You think there are more of these floating around?”

"Who knows? You called first.”

She grinned again, which irritated the hell out of Kit. "I’m glad you’re finding this so amusing.”

"Sorry,” she said, smile unrepentantly in place.

"Yeah, well...” He fished his wallet from his breast pocket and pulled out a twenty. "Are you sure I can’t offer a reward?”

That lowered the voltage on her smile. "No, thanks.”

Kit held out the money. "Give.”

He could tell by the wicked light in her eyes that she wasn’t quite ready to let this sick joke come to its natural conclusion. But then with a reluctant little sigh, she handed over the offensive bill.

Kit looked down at it and breathed out a short, succinct expletive. He’d know that handwriting anywhere. He contemplated focusing his energies on planning the perfect revenge, but then decided Samantha wasn’t worth the effort.

"Recognize the handwriting?” the girl asked him, leaning over his hands to look at the bill.

He stared down at the top of her head. Her hair gleamed and the scent of her shampoo wafted up to him. An unmistakable scent.

"‘Irresistible,’” he murmured.

Her head came up. Fast. "Excuse me?”

"Your shampoo. ‘Irresistible.’”

"Hey, that’s right! That’s the name of this stuff. How’d you know that?”

She sure was a pretty little thing. Too bad she was perkier than a cheerleader. Kit hated perky. Perky gave him a headache.

Not only that, but he wasn’t about to tell this woman how he recognized her shampoo. She now knew his private number. "I once knew a woman who used that brand,” he said vaguely.

"Really? Did she like it?” she asked, cocking her head a little.

"She used it. I suppose she must have liked it.”

"What did she like about it?”

Kit thought that was a really odd question, but the girl seemed genuinely interested. "I have no idea. Why do you ask?”

She shrugged. "I’m in advertising. I’ve got a pitch meeting with the big shots of the company that makes the product tomorrow morning.”

That news jolted through him, and he looked closely at the imp in front of him. Oh, no. This had to be Sherry Spencer. The young advertising whiz who had an appointment with him the next day.

He would have laughed at the irony, if he had a sense of humor left. Luckily, he’d lost his many years ago. "What do youlike about it?”

Her hand came up to sweep back a few stray strands. She winked and nudged him with her elbow. "Between you and me, I don’t care much for it. With my regular shampoo I only have to wash my hair every other day. With this stuff it’s a daily chore. And whoever was dumb enough to name an egg-based shampoo ‘Irresistible’ must have been having a bad brain day.” She finally paused long enough to take a breath. "But I always make it a point to try the products before I start to pitch an ad campaign.”

Tomorrow morning’s meeting was going to prove very interesting. He almost looked forward to it. Except for the fact that he’d have to put up with this woman-child bouncing her way through a presentation.

Well, with any luck a little of the bounce might bounce right on out of her as soon as she saw him again. "It must be difficult to come up with ads when you don’t like the products.”

She laughed, which did beautiful things to her features he’d rather not notice. "I’m in advertising, Kit. I can prevaricate with the best of them.”

Kit could practically hear the trap slapping shut around her pretty little neck. "I see.”

She peered up at him. "You don’t smile much, do you, Kit?”

"I avoid it as much as possible.”

"Yes, I see that.” She glanced down at the bill in his hand, then back up at him. "I’m still wondering what that woman’s idea of a good time was.”

"Oh, that’s an easy one,” Kit answered, as he slowly started shredding the twenty. "Tormenting me.”

"Christian Fleming is a hands-on sort, Sherry.”

"So you’ve told me once or twenty times,” Sherry answered her boss, Fred Simpson, as she packed up her briefcase.

Fred dropped into one of three matching green guest chairs in Sherry’s office. "He likes to be involved in all aspects of the business. So if he has his own ideas about which direction he wants to take his ad blitz, you just smile and come up with it.”

Sherry straightened and propped a fist on her hip. "Why are you sending me? From what I’ve seen, Bella Luna ads are the exact opposite of the kind I normally pitch. They’re sexist, artsy and boring.”

"You might do well not to mention that. He’s the one who came up with the concept for this last campaign.”

"Oh, I can see right off I’m going to love the guy.”

"Be your usual charming self.”

Sherry patted Fred’s shoulder. "Leave everything to me.”

On the drive to the Bella Luna offices in Reston, Sherry mentally went over her opening remarks, but her mind kept straying back to last night. That Kit was a real prize. A booby prize. Good time, my fanny. God, she’d never met anyone so full of no life. If he wasn’t angry, he wasn’t anything.

Not once had he cracked even the hint of a smile. The man obviously possessed all the personality of a rock.

Which was really too bad, considering he was a handsome hunk. He was six-two if he was an inch, broad in the shoulders and lean in the hips. He’d looked to be in his mid-thirties, but a very well-preserved mid-thirties, seeing as his expression never changed enough to give him character lines.

With his teak brown hair and hazel eyes, his square chin and superb cheekbones, he could easily model in some of her ads. As long as the ad didn’t require the model to look like he was enjoying himself.

Sherry pulled a Mars bar out of her glove compartment and tore the wrapping with her teeth.

Why he’d taken up so much of her thoughts since she’d left him at the restaurant, Sherry couldn’t figure. Maybe because she had a real weakness for wounded animals, and she didn’t believe it was possible for a man to be that emotionless without having been wounded enough to erect such a thick wall.

Two minutes later she arrived at the Bella Luna offices. Impressed, she looked up at the brand-new, five-story facility. "Nice place. I think you can afford us.”

She parked and entered the lobby. A security guard checked her name on a list, then gave her directions and buzzed her through locked doors that led to the elevators. Sherry shook her head. Was Christian Fleming worried someone would steal his bubble bath recipe?

She had to be checked through at two more locations on the way up to the fifth-floor suite of offices, so by the time Christian Fleming’s secretary led her toward the meeting room, Sherry was just a tad annoyed by the man’s overinflated sense of importance.

So she paused a moment at the outer doors to smooth her jacket and hair, and plaster a friendly smile into place. Finally she took a breath and nodded at the secretary, who opened the door with a decorum that made Sherry wonder if she were being ushered in for an audience with the Pope.

She stepped into the room, and noticed two things right away. First, the decor was extremely tasteful, in rose and varying shades of gray. Second, she was in trouble of Grand Canyon proportions.

Kit Fleming was seated on his throne at the far, far end of the conference table.

And he was smiling.




Sherry kept her serene smile determinedly in place as Jim Forbes, V.P. of advertising for Bella Luna, stepped forward and shook her hand. What she wanted to do was throw her briefcase at the smirking man at the head of the conference table and run from the room. But she was a professional, and she wouldn’t let a little thing like seeing her career flash before her eyes get her down.

The woman who wrote the note on that twenty dollar bill should be sued for false advertising. Kit Fleming was proving to be a very bad time.

How dare he not mention what he did for a living? How dare he bait her into talking about his stupid shampoo? How dare he look good enough to eat with a smirk on his face?

Sherry allowed herself to be introduced to the ten or so people attending the meeting. She didn’t remember a single name, even though she always prided herself on remembering names. So why hadn’t she put Kit and Fleming together last night to arrive at Christian Fleming, CEO of Bella Luna Industries, Inc.? Because he’d never told her his last name.

Finally Jim Forbes brought her to the man himself, who paused just long enough before standing and offering his hand to make Sherry want to kick him. His grin had faded to a half-smile, but it was still dazzling enough to make her heart pound. He had brilliant, even white teeth, and his eyes, looking more green than brown today, glowed with promises of... retribution.

"Ms. Spencer,” he said, squeezing her hand. "It’s a pleasure.”

I’ll just bet, Sherry thought. Suddenly she wished she hadn’t blithely handed over that twenty to him last night. She’d love to whip it out right about now and start waving it under his nose.

"Mr. Fleming,” she responded, squeezing right back. "Thank you for giving Simpson & Bailey a chance to help with your advertising needs.”

He squeezed harder. "This is merely a brainstorming session, Ms. Spencer. No decision about ad agencies has been made yet.”

Sherry met him knuckle-cruncher for knuckle-cruncher. "Well, I’m sure I’m going to have a real good time convincing you that Simpson & Bailey will be the best agency for you.”

His eyes narrowed and whatever smirk had been playing around his mouth up and vanished. "Yes, well, let’s get to it,” he said, dropping her hand.

"Sounds terrific,” she replied, resisting the urge to rub her aching knuckles. She moved around to the seat Jim Forbes pointed to, and sat down, dropping her briefcase to the floor beside her chair. Folding her hands like a good little girl, she raised her eyebrows at Kit Fleming and waited for him to make his opening move.

God, the man was gorgeous. Today he wore a charcoal gray suit, with a maroon and gray tie. A power tie. How appropriate. The man exuded power, even as he sat silently at the head of the table. And it wasn’t just his seating position, either. There was a radiance about him, and an ease with which he sat, waiting for his subjects to get comfortable, that was rather sinfully sexy.

If he had even an ounce of personality, Sherry would immediately pitch the idea of him acting as spokesman in the ads. He had animal magnetism to spare.

"Well, Ms. Spencer?” the sexy oaf said.

Sherry jumped a little, realizing she’d been staring at him. "Oh, yes, of course.” She laid her briefcase on the table and snapped it open while she began her spiel. Tossing aside her chocolate stash, she pulled out the stack of handouts she’d brought with her. She gave background information on her company, on herself; and name-dropped some of their more prestigious clients.

She walked around the table, passing out her résumé, pointing out some of the highlights—a few of her most successful campaigns. Then she returned to her chair and kept silent while she gave them a chance to leaf through the handouts.

She kept her gaze on Jim Forbes, but her peripheral vision took in Kit Fleming’s face as well. His dispassionate face. If her credentials impressed him, he was doing an award-winning performance of camouflaging it. He tossed aside the sheaf of papers and glanced up blandly. The toad.

She watched in fascination as Kit nodded to one of his underlings, who immediately poured him a glass of ice water. A raised eyebrow directed at another won him a danish from the platter of pastries sitting on the sideboard. A word growled into the phone had his secretary scrambling into the room within seconds to hand him a file folder. He was, if nothing else, a highly effective dictator.

Sherry swallowed her irritation and continued. "I’ve done some extensive research on your products”—that earned her what sounded like a barely concealed snort from the head of the table—”and your last ad campaign. And while I applaud the... aesthetic quality of your old ads, I think a fresh approach can gain us some market share.”

Sherry started pacing back and forth behind her chair as she spoke, forgetting for the moment that she’d questioned the value of one of this company’s shampoos a little over twelve hours ago. "It’s been proven again and again that humor sells product. I think if we push Bella Luna cosmetics as sassy and sexy, we’ll appeal to a broader range of today’s females.”

"Let me stop you right there,” Kit interjected.

Sherry turned to him, her brows raised in question. "By all means.”

"It’s also been proven that sex sells.”

"Yes, but—”

"That’s what I want the Christmas push to be about. Sex. Good sex. Raw sex. Wild sex.”

Sherry was getting a little warm around the collar. Just hearing the word sex pass from that man’s hard lips was enough to raise the room temperature several degrees. "Well, of course we’d want to promote the sexy quality of your products, but—”

"Therefore,” he continued as if she were nothing more than a seat cushion, "we’re leaning toward hiring a big name to be our spokesperson.”

"A big name,” Sherry repeated stupidly. "Like whom?”

"Like Tiffany,” Kit informed her.

"Tiffany,” Sherry said faintly. She was only the highest paid model on five continents. "Excuse me, but are you speaking of print ads?”

"Print, television, the works.”

"I see.” She gripped the back of her chair. "Mr. Fleming, may I have a private word with you?”

He raised one brow elegantly, which thoroughly irritated her. "Whatever you have to say can be said right here, Ms. Spencer.”

"All right.” She took a breath. "Are you out of your mind?”

A collective gasp bounced around the room. Apparently questioning the CEO’s sanity wasn’t a very bright idea. The only person not staring at her as if he next expected to see her lying in a coffin was the big kahuna himself. His expression hadn’t changed an iota.

"Not that I’ve noticed,” he answered her. "What do you have against Tiffany?”

"I haven’t got a thing against Tiffany,” she retorted, "other than the fact that I’m not certain she has a full grasp of the English language.” She tapped her index finger on the table. "The point here is to get Ms. Everyday America to want to use your health and beauty aids. You’re not going to get them buying Bella face cream by smearing it over a cover model’s perfect cheekbones. How many women are going to rush right out for your cosmetics when you’ve held up perfection as a woman’s goal?”

"Isn’t it?”

"Personal perfection, yes. Trying to get a woman to be the best she can be. But using Tiffany as a standard of beauty will only make women resent you.”

"I disagree.”

"You’re wrong.”

Another loud gasp. And this time Fleming did react. He stared at her as if she’d just spoken Swahili. Obviously, not too many people took it in their heads to disagree with the idiot. Sherry could practically see the account flying out the window on hummingbird wings.

"I see,” he said finally, glancing at his watch. "Well, I have another meeting in five minutes. Thank you for coming, Ms. Spencer. I’ll be in touch with your firm shortly with my decision.”

And with that Christian Fleming stood and left the room.

Kit sat back and swung his legs onto his desk, stacking his hands behind his head. Closing his eyes, he tried to wipe out the image of Sherry Spencer, standing there telling him he was wrong.

If it had been anyone but her, he would have thrown the person out on his or her rump. Kit had been running this company since his thirty-first birthday, and for the last five years profits had steadily climbed. If there was one thing he felt totally confident about, it was his business decisions.

So why was he even waffling about this? And why couldn’t he get Sherry Spencer out of his mind?

She was an unbelievably irritating, stubborn female, and yet he wanted her on this project with an intensity that baffled him. But on his terms. Kit liked being in control. In fact, he was passionate about it. He recognized the origin of his need to be in charge, and realized that in some ways it was a weakness. But he also knew that, in some ways, it was the reason for his success.

For that, at least, he could thank his foster parents.

His intercom buzzed. "Your sister’s here, Kit.”

"Send her in.”

He dropped his feet to the ground and stood, a grin tugging at his lips. A moment later his sister floated into the room, looking fresh and lovely. It never ceased to amaze him that twins could look so utterly different. Rachel’s eyes were the clear blue of the sky, and her hair was the natural blond of their nordic ancestors on their mother’s side.

"Hello, darling,” she said, moving behind his desk and raising on tiptoe to press a kiss to his cheek. Then she dabbed at the lipstick stain she’d left behind.

"Hi, sis. What brings you by?”

"I just wanted to give you a personal invitation to dinner tomorrow night. Jeff and I are having a small party.”

His eyes narrowed as he gazed down on her perfectly guileless face. Though he’d only found her again two years ago after a decade of fruitless searching, they’d grown as close as if they’d been together their entire lives, and Kit could read her like a book. "How small a party are we talking here?”

She waved. "Just a few close friends.”

"Who are you trying to fix me up with this time?”

"Christian Tyler Fleming! You have a suspicious mind.”

"Rachel Brook Strand, you have a transparent mind.”

She puffed out an indignant breath, which, of course, gave her motive away. "I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.”

"I thought that after the disaster with Samantha, you’d have learned your lesson. When are you going to stop trying to fix me up?”

She laid a hand on his cheek. "Once I’ve seen you happily married.”

Kit shuddered. "Heaven forbid.”

Shaking her head, she said, "I just know falling in love would do you a world of good. Look how happy I’ve been since marrying Jeff.”

"You’re the marrying kind, Rachel. I’m not.”

"Bosh. We’re twins.”

"Who don’t look alike, don’t think alike, didn’t even grow up alike.”

Her eyes clouded with sorrow, which made Kit uncomfortable. He should have kept his mouth shut. He hated that she still felt guilty for lucking out in the adoption roulette they’d been tossed into, when their mother had felt forced to give them up. It wasn’t Rachel’s fault she’d been sent to the modern-day Waltons, while he’d wound up with a not-so-funny imitation of the Bundys.

He raked a hand through his hair. "I’ve seen firsthand what marriage can do to people, sis. They learn to hate each other, they take no greater pleasure than tearing each other apart. I’m not falling into that trap.”

Her eyes misted. "The Howards were not a typical couple, you know.”

"I know nothing of the kind,” he retorted. Then, feeling the need to cheer her up, he sighed and said, "All right, I’ll come tomorrow night.”


"But,” he said, holding up a finger, "I bring my own date.”

Rachel squealed her delight. "You have a new girlfriend! How wonderful!”

"No, I don’t have a new girlfriend. She’s a... colleague.” In that instant, Kit realized who he meant to ask to act as his buffer between him and whatever single women his sister had decided to throw at him, and his heart panicked. When had he made the decision to ask Sherry Spencer out? One night in her company could well drive him crazy. She wasn’t his type. She had too much energy, too much... personality.

He liked quiet, sophisticated, undemanding women. The kind he could walk away from without a backward glance. He had the feeling that the more he got to know Sherry Spencer, the more trouble she’d prove to be.

Rachel waved, a knowing smile on her lips. "Whatever. Eight o’clock, and don’t be too fashionably late.”

His intercom buzzed again, and Kit waved to his sister as she fluttered her fingers at him and left his office. Still slightly reeling from the decision he’d come to, he answered absently, "Yes?”

"Fred Simpson from Simpson & Bailey on line three.”

Kit shook his head, and took a steadying breath. However bad this plan was, he meant to see it through.

He picked up the receiver and punched the blinking button. "Fred, I was just about to call you. I don’t know if your associate has reported on our meeting this morning, but I have to tell you, I wasn’t very impressed.”

Now that was a lie. He’d been impressed by a lot of things about Sherry, not the least of which was her unmitigated nerve. Not the least of which was the way she walked in high heels. Not the least of which were her shapely legs, and the way she filled out a tailored suit. Not the least of which was the shrewd and intelligent light in her eyes, in sharp contrast to the rest of her face. His brain had splintered apart. That had to be the answer. Maybe he needed a vacation.

Abruptly he realized that Fred had spoken. "Excuse me?”

"I said, Sherry did report on the meeting, and I’m sorry it didn’t work out between you two.”

She’d reported she’d failed before he even had a chance to announce it? She must have a solid hold on her job. Anyone else would’ve waited for the axe to fall, all the while hoping for a miracle. "Yes, well, she and I did seem to have our differences in concept.”

"I’m sorry. I have another ad exec I think will agree wholeheartedly with your vision, and I’d be happy to—”

"Who said I wanted another ad exec?”

"I was hoping I could convince you to use Simpson & Bailey just the same.”

"I plan on using Simpson & Bailey.” A shocked silence buzzed through the phone. "On one condition,” he added. "Actually two. Nope, make that three.”

"And they are?”

"One, I want Sherry Spencer to handle the account. Two, we can discuss concept again, but if she still doesn’t convince me, she does it my way. And three, she’s got exactly one chance to convince me. Tomorrow night over dinner.”

Another stunned silence. "Well?” Kit said impatiently.

"Can you hold for a moment while I discuss this with Sherry?”

Normally Kit wouldn’t languish on hold for anyone, but for some reason this felt important enough to allow it. "Make it quick,” he said, then punched the speaker button and dropped the phone into its cradle.

While he waited, Kit tried to read the latest quarterly report, but the numbers just weren’t sinking in. He felt a strange agitation, and decided it was because he had the feeling Sherry Spencer would prove to be more trouble than she—or any woman for that matter—would be worth.

Several minutes later, the phone clicked again. Only this time it wasn’t Fred on the line, but the woman in question herself.

"Mr. Fleming?” she said, her tone about fifty degrees below zero.

He picked up the phone. "Ms. Spencer.”

"I’m pleased you’re willing to hear me out again. I’d be happy to schedule a meeting in the next few days—”

"The meeting’s scheduled, Ms. Spencer. Tomorrow night, eight o’clock.”


"I have a dinner engagement I have to attend tomorrow night, and I’m not looking forward to it very much. I was hoping I could put in an appearance and get our meeting out of the way, all in one shot”

Silence. Kit was fairly certain she was deciding whether to feel insulted or relieved. When she finally spoke, he could tell relief had won out. Which he found rather annoying. "All right, Kit my man, it’s a deal.”


"How should I dress?”

Some small demon grabbed Kit by the tail. "In something sheer?”

"In your dreams, Fleming.”

Only this young woman would have the audacity to address him so familiarly. Which told him several unflattering things. One, she didn’t consider him a physical or emotional threat. Two, she wasn’t all that worried about losing the account. And one and two led him to observation number three. He did not have control over this lady.

Which made her dangerous.



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