It was with such intensity that he stared at her that she had a painful need to blush.
He strode further into the front office lobby area and stood directly in front of her desk. Heavy steps. Direct. Again the eyes penetrated her, as if she were standing there without a stitch of clothing on. She was unusually warm.
"Hello, can I--"
"Help me? I'm sure you can. I have an appointment with Mr. Jhanke at two o'clock."
British accent. Maple syrup voice. Reverberated like Orson Welles'. Nervously, she started to move around the corner of her desk to fetch her boss. "Oh, all right--I'll let him know you're here. You must be Mr.--"
He deftly moved in front of her path, causing her to nearly run smack into him.
"Mr. Morell. And you, my fair maiden, are?"
She couldn't get around him. She took a step back. He took one forward.
"Ah. Very pretty. And your last name?"
My, but no one could accuse him of being shy, could they, she thought. A large toothy grin threatened to give her away.
"Uh--Meeks. Kathleen Meeks."
"Well now, that's intriguing. Kathleen is such a strong name. Meeks is rather an interesting contrast. As if someone placed Kathleen there to surpass her heritage. So which are you?"
Was he breathing faster--or was it just her imagination? She had always found it exciting if a man she found particularly attractive became noticeably aroused around her. But now she was confused.
He leaned in ever so closely. "Are you strong? Or are you--meek?"
She laughed nervously at the play on words. "Mm--it depends on my mood."
He smiled broadly, revealing smallish, pointy teeth. "Ah--a little of both. I like that."
His inflections dripped with a heavy sensuality that was just understated enough to be seductive. Now the burning in her ears did come and spread rapidly to her cheeks before she could stop it. She was turning bright pink before this strange, sexy man's eyes.
She looked down, smiling at the carpet. Suddenly he had her hand enveloped in both of his. Bear paws. She blushed harder. He kissed her hand slowly and with a little more pressure than cordiality should allow. Was he tasting her skin?
He straightened up reluctantly, as if he didn't really want to, and she raised her eyes to meet his.
"It is my deepest pleasure to meet you, Kathleen," he intoned huskily.
"It's nice to meet you too, Mr. Morell."
An awkward hesitation as they stood staring at each other.
"I should probably let Michael know you're here."
"All right." He didn't move.
He smiled, mouth closed this time and stood aside--slightly. She slid past him, her hip almost brushing up against his dark flannel gray trousers. God, she could feel the heat radiating off of him. She started quickly down the hallway to Michael's office.
She looked over her shoulder, stopping short. "Yes?"
"You know you're even lovelier when you blush like that."
There was a taunting edge to his voice when those words rolled off his tongue, and before she could give him the satisfaction of seeing her do it again, she said, "Thank you," and swiftly exited the room.