The Rivals
by Christiane France
ISBN-13: 978-1-61124-260-7 (Electronic)
Rod Levins’ future as a newly qualified lawyer is anything but certain. After graduating with an above ninety-five-percent average, he’s in line for a job with the town’s number one law firm.
But so are three others, including the man Rod’s fantasized about for many months.
Jinks Jessop gives the impression he’s interested in Rod also, but each time Rod makes a move, Jinks backs off. Is Jinks gay, straight, or simply a rival amusing himself at Rod’s expense?
When it comes to both his career and his personal life, Rod knows that “wanting” and “getting” are not synonymous. But he can hope...
...I was back in my office, reading over some old class notes on estate planning in preparation for my next appointment, when Jinks came in. He closed the door, dropped a file on my desk and came around behind my chair to sit on the window ledge.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“I hear you went to lunch with Stew Chetley. How could you do that?”
Jink’s question struck me as blunt to the point of rudeness. I swung my chair around to face him. “What’s the problem? You jealous?”
“Jealous?” His mouth dropped open and he just stared at me for a second. “God, no! You think I’m jealous because you had lunch with that sleazebag? You must be joking. What I meant was, I can’t imagine putting food in my mouth and getting pawed by him all at the same time.” He shuddered. “The mere thought makes me want to throw up. I hope it wasn’t too awful.”
I smiled. “It was fine.”
“Well, we didn’t have a cozy tête-à-tête in some dark, romantic bistro, if that’s what you’re thinking. We had lunch with his accountant to discuss the offer, which, by the way, has now gone belly up.”
“Oh, well, in that case…” He stood as if to leave, but then he hesitated, frowning. “Why on earth would you think I’d be jealous over you having lunch with Chetley?”
“A couple of reasons, I guess.” I gave an offhand shrug, aware I needed to choose my words very carefully. “He’s your dad’s client, you’re neighbors, and you move in the same social circles. I don’t know. I thought there was a chance he might be…how do I put it? Your special friend, perhaps?”
“My what?”
From the look on his face, I wasn’t sure if Jinks was about to pass out or explode. Then he grabbed my shoulders and pulled me close until our bodies were touching. His eyes were half-closed and dark as night. I could hear him breathing. I could feel his heart pounding in his chest. My heart was pounding, too, so hard I didn’t dare move.
He angled his head, and I knew he was about to kiss me, then he said, “You’re damn right I was jealous—jealous because of you, not him. And the thought of him putting his slimy hands on you made me… Oh, God!”
“Made you what?”
“Want to kill the sonofabitch, that’s what. So there, now you know.”
I closed my eyes, but before our lips could touch, the door flew open, and I heard Scott say, “Oops,” then laugh and add, “Sorry, guys. Am I interrupting something?”
Jinks had immediately stepped back, so I made a stab at glossing things over with some fast thinking and what, to my ears, was a rather phony-sounding laugh. “I had an eyelash in my eye, and Jinks was kind enough to get it out.”
Scott looked from me to Jinks and back, then he shrugged. But I knew from the faint smile and the way he said, “Good for you,” that he had his own ideas about what we were up to.
“You need me for something, Scott?”
“Yeah. It’s about the Young Lawyers’ Club annual barbeque and softball game. In case you’ve forgotten, it’s tomorrow tonight, and you’ve both been drafted to play for McDain. You guys still okay with that?”
“Sure, just email me a reminder of the time and where it’s at, and I’ll be there for sure,” Jinks said as he snatched up his file and disappeared out the door.
After Scott left, I thought perhaps Jinks would come back. That didn’t happen, so I tried calling him a couple of times. All I got was a busy signal and after a couple of attempts, I gave up. Maybe he could pretend nothing had happened, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t forget a thing about those few precious moments. Not his words, the passion I’d seen in his dark eyes, or the look on his face when I knew he was about to kiss me...
Cool mysteries and hot romance -
Latest Release: THE RIVALS -

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