Home > Womanizer (Manwhore #4)(3)

Womanizer (Manwhore #4)(3)
Author: Katy Evans

I’m assisting him in his research. He’s one of Carmichael’s most genius minds, and it is our job to find the businesses that require Carmichael’s definite attention.

I’m not a girl who wants to specialize in takeovers, but to find companies that need help and find ways to acquire that help for them. But in order to do what I want to do in the future, I figured the best way to build a company up is to know how companies are usually taken down, and why. Reviewing each leg of a business and finding the weak spots is how sharks like Carmichael topple them and claim ownership. But finding the weak spot can also help me learn ways to rebuild and strengthen until—voilà—you have a healthy business again.

Part of the day I’m overwhelmed wondering if I’m cut out for this and desperate not to fail. Coffee, notes, folders, research.

Hostile takeovers are the name of the game. I need to research info on positioning—whether the business we’re after is listed on the Dow or NASDAQ, investors, company history, capital investment, cash influx, costs of running, the works.

I have nine-to-five hours, but I linger today until 6 p.m., helping Mr. Lincoln finish the stacks of folders for the presentation with Carmichael and his board tomorrow.

I’m bringing the last set of copies from the copy room on the third floor along with Lincoln’s fifth coffee when I set them on his desk—and spill his coffee right down my required gray jacket.

“Shit!” I mutter. “Mr. Lincoln . . .”

“It’s fine. It’s fine. We’re nearly done here. Just go. Take that mess off. Just don’t let anyone see you without it.”

Feeling the coffee sticking against the fabric, I whip the jacket off.

“Go, I tell you,” he says as he waves me off and keeps sorting the files.

I do go, but not before I refill his coffee and bring it back to his desk. “I’m sorry,” I apologize.

“Stop apologizing—you’re going above and beyond what any intern ever has on their first day. Go home and rest,” he says again, kinder now that he sees I brought him coffee.

I nod and then head to the elevators, folding the jacket over my arm. Three elevators stop on my floor and each of them is bursting with people leaving. All of them staring at the stained jacket draped on my arm.


Am I to go down as the intern who fucked up on her first day?

I click the up arrow and find the elevator heading to the top is absolutely empty.

I step inside and exhale, trying to regroup and waiting to leave until the entire building has left first.

I step onto a gorgeous terrace.

My breath catches when I spot something.

A dark figure at the far end, leaning on the railing.

He’s wearing a white shirt and black slacks, the sleeves rolled up to the elbows. I can see the definition of his back muscles and the slim waist encircled by a sleek black belt, and the ass.

His backside is to me, and I blink because, what a fine backside it is.

A cigarette dangles from the corner of his mouth. I’m not a smoker, but suddenly I want to be.

He looks relaxed and on top of the world, and suddenly I want to be right on top of it and relaxed with him.

“Would it be terrible of me to ask for a hit?” I take a step forward.

He doesn’t turn to look at me. He doesn’t seem surprised I’m here. I suppose he heard the elevator ding when I stepped outside and he’s used to others coming here.

He merely stretches his hand out, silent, and I see his forearm and the masculine veins there because maybe he works out.

I walk forward to where he leans over, looking at the city. “It’s my first day here.”

“Treat it just like any other day and you’ll be fine.”

I start at the deep voice. I take the cigarette from his fingers and take a hit, inhale, and I’m exhaling the smoke when I feel him look at me. I look back.

Lovely brown hair with light sun streaks throughout and a pair of eyes that are unsettlingly intense stare fixedly at me. They’re fringed with dark, spiky lashes, and above them, a set of straight dark eyebrows. The rest of the features accompanying them start to filter into my brain, and I can’t believe anything could be both this male and this perfect. Smooth forehead, a nose that is elegant and a mouth that is strong, a jaw with perfect hard lines, a little scruff on it—but not a lot—and lips that make me, for some reason, very aware of my own lips.

I’m staring.

So stop staring.

“I . . . uh . . .”

They start to dance, those eyes.

“Do you want to light one?” His voice is more gravelly than before.


He signals to the nearly extinguished cigarette, reaching into the inner pocket of his shirt to pull out a pack, and with a movement flicks open the top.

I’m thrilled to meet someone other than my brother and his girlfriend. This is one friend I’m making on my own.

I nod, afraid to reach out. He takes a cigarette between his lips, lights it, takes a drag, and hands it over to me, slowly blowing out a cloud of smoke that billows upward as he watches me, his eyes glimmering.

I take it, place it between my lips, and inhale. I exhale the smoke out slowly. “Thank you.” I stay where I am. “I’m afraid of heights.”

He turns and shifts his shoulder, eyeing me in curiosity now. “Any reason you’re here, other than masochism?” His lips tilt a little.

So do mine. “My fear of heights keeps my other fears in perspective. When things start to seem crazy, I look for the highest place I can find and everything else feels manageable. It all feels smaller.”

He gives me a smile that sends my pulse racing unexpectedly as he plucks the cigarette from my lips and buries it in the standing ashtray nearby as he says, “Come here, seriously, I won’t let you fall.”

I hesitate.

He tucks his cigarette pack into his slacks and easily, like it means nothing, reaches out to pull me a few feet closer to the edge. “See? Nothing to fear.”

His pleasantly deep voice seems to sink into my stomach like an anchor, sending a little prick all over. I shiver. And then I realize this guy, this stranger, is touching me. His hand is on my waist, curving around me.

Um, hello, move, Livvy? I’m not the kind of girl who lets guys this close without a proper date.

I squirm a little. But his hands are strong. “You can let go of me.”

“Can I really?” His eyes are still dancing.

“Yes, um. You can.” I’m shaking. There’s more amusement on his face.

He looks down at his hand, smiling, and raises his eyes with pure mischief. “Are you sure?” He scans me as if to make sure I’ve got my footing.

I nod. “I’m okay.”

He lets go, looks at me with that same puzzled smile, then at his watch. “And I’m late.”

I exhale and nod. “I’ll just stay up here for a bit.”

He pulls out his pack of cigarettes and sets it on the ledge, then winks at me, and walks away.

I stare at the cigarettes. I take one step, and another, and even if everything I ever wanted were waiting for me, sitting up on that ledge, I couldn’t reach it if I wanted to.

I tell myself I’m not going upstairs today. But I find myself wandering up the elevators the next day, and up onto the terrace before I head home. It’s not the terrace that has been niggling at my curiosity nonstop.

It’s Hot Smoker Guy.

I’m not a girl who thinks a lot about guys. I hardly thought about them all through college, I was too busy trying to graduate. So this curiosity is a bit of a first, and maybe just a tad worrisome too.

He’s wearing a blue polo today. It’s kind of ballsy that he doesn’t care about being fired because he’s not wearing the requisite black-and-white or gray uniform everyone in the company wears. He is most definitely the mail guy.

“You don’t care about the dress code either, huh?” I say.

He lifts a brow, apparently amused by the tone of approval in my voice.

“You’re wearing a polo today, and the other time no jacket.”

It seems impossible, but his eyes sparkle even more. “You know all about my dress habits?”

He seems amused and delighted by that, and for some reason, it makes me flush.

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