Hot, Sexy & Bad(5)

By: Judy Angelo



Lena laughed and leaned over to comfort Arie with a quick back rub. “It’s okay, honey. You aren’t the first to obsess over an inaccessible hottie and, trust me, you won’t be the last. All part of growing up, my dear. You’ll soon find a stable, steady man who’ll be home every evening by six.” She got up off the desk, still sporting a smile. “And at the end of the day you’ll be glad you went for regular and reliable rather than suave and sexy. The sexy ones? Nothing but trouble, and I speak from experience.” With a laugh and a shake of her head she turned and headed back to her office.

That left Arie feeling even more depressed. Regular and reliable, Lena said. Somehow, that didn’t appeal to her one bit. Perverse creature that she was, what really turned her on was hot, sexy and…

She shook her head, stopping herself before she went any further. It was just too bad but she would be getting none of that, at least not today. She had a busy day ahead of her and the last thing she needed to be doing just then was wasting any more of her precious time pining over Rome Milano.

Honestly, I need a life. Mumbling under her breath, Arie got up from behind her desk and headed for the door. She had a wedding to cater on the weekend and she needed to get some air. Now was the perfect time to run out and get all her errands done. That’d be sure to pull her mind away from matters that were only getting her all hot and bothered.

She didn’t get back to the office until almost five o’clock that afternoon and she was in good spirits. The fresh air had done her good and on top of that, she’d found some great deals in Wedding Belles. It was her luck to go shopping for supplies the day they were having their after-Thanksgiving and getting-ready-for-Christmas sale.

“Hey, look at these,” she called out as she used her foot to nudge Lena’s office door open. “White orchids. They’re going to look great on the buffet table, don’t you think?”

“Well, you’re in a good mood.” As Arie turned, her arms full of bags, silk bouquets and streamers, Lena hopped up and ran to help her. “Come on, rest them over here.”

With a happy sigh, Arie relinquished her load to her partner, her face beaming. “We’ve saved a lot of money this time and it will all be going to the bottom line.”

“Sweet.” Lena hurried over to plop the armload of supplies on top of her already crowded credenza. When she turned there was a sly smile on her face. “But now I have a spanking for you.”

“For me? What did I do?” Arie gave her a mock frown. “Don’t tell me I forgot to give you a receipt or something. You’re such a pain when it comes to book-keeping.”

“No, you forgot your cell phone. As usual.”

“Oh.” Arie tapped the pocket of her slacks. “I thought I had it on me.”

“Nope, but you should have. I was trying to call you.”

“Yeah? What about?” Arie shrugged out of her sweater and walked over to hook it on Lena’s rack. “We got a last minute booking?”

“Better than that. Better for you, anyway.” Lena gave her a mysterious look that made her frown.

“What’s that supposed to mean? Hey, did you double book me?” She folded her arms and glared. “Tell me you didn’t.”

“No, I didn’t. I got a phone call for you.”

“On my cell phone?”

“No, on the office line. I was trying to reach you on the cell to tell you about it.” Lena’s smile grew wider and even more mysterious. “Guess who called?”

“Oh, please. Not the guessing game. Just tell me, already. You know I hate it…”

“Rome Milano.”

“…when you do that. You always…” The words caught in her throat. Her eyes widened as she stared at Lena. “Did you just say Rome Milano?”

Lena gave her a super-satisfied grin. “I did.”

“You’re kidding, right?” Arie felt her heart jerk in her chest. “He doesn’t even know me. Why would he call?” She sucked in her breath as a thought flashed into her mind. “Does this have anything to do with the event we catered for them? Was there a problem?”

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