First Love, Last Love(4)

By: Carole Mortimer

'Not you?' she scorned.

He sighed. 'Not me. I don't have the stamina. It's going to take a strong man to pin you down.'

'No man will ever do that,' she vowed vehemently. 'I intend staying free of those sort of entanglements.'

The lift stopped, the doors opening. Steve pushed her out. 'Off you go, infant. And try not to fall foul of our provider again.' He grimaced. 'I just hope the insurance people will cough up, I certainly can't pay for the repairs to a Rolls out of my own pocket. You were right about those brakes,' he added thoughtfully. 'They aren't catching properly.'

Lauri frowned. 'Nevertheless, I was the one who crashed. You can't take the blame.'

'It's my responsibility. And I don't want anyone probing into this too deeply, don't forget we didn't have L-plates up. Thank God Blair didn't realize you're still a learner, he would probably have ripped me to pieces.'

Lauri shook her head. 'I don't think he's the physical sort.'

Steve grinned. 'That isn't what I heard,' he said suggestively.

'You're disgusting!' she had time to shout before the lift doors closed. Trust him to take her words the wrong way!

She could imagine that Alexander Blair could be very physical, given a beautiful woman in the right setting. It made her body tingle and her skin color a delicate pink at the thought of that handsome specimen of a man in such an intimate situation. She had no doubt he would be a good lover, he didn't keep his many women just because he was rich. She had been hearing about Alexander Blair's life, both business and private, for the last three years, ever since Jane had become his personal secretary, in fact. He was an astute and ruthless businessman, that much he had gathered from the little Jane was prepared to tell, her aunt's loyalty all to her boss's privacy, despite Lauri's interested questioning. His 'private' life was a lot easier to hear about; often in the gossip columns, Alexander Blair seemed to change his women at regular intervals, each one seeming to last an average of two to three months. Until he tired of them, no doubt. Her brief meeting with him this morning had shown her that he was a man people rarely said no to. She wondered what he would look like when he wasn't furiously angry or being tauntingly sarcastic. Very handsome, with a somehow earthy quality, a hinted-at sensuality in the fullness of his bottom lip and the very deep blue of his eyes. Yes, there was no doubt that if he set out to be charming Alexander Blair could charm anyone. Except her! She wouldn't ever be charmed by that insufferable—

'Hey, sleepyhead!' a voice broke into her thoughts. “I've spoken to you twice and you haven't heard a word I've said.'

Lauri looked ruefully at Diane, one of her workmates in the typing pool. They had apparently been sharing the same mirror for the last five minutes or so as they tidied themselves before the start of the day, although Lauri had been unaware of it, her attention being solely on Alexander Blair. Drat the man!

'Did you ask your aunt about Mr. Blair?' Diane was obviously repeating the question, her tone patient.

Lauri frowned at the mention of the man she had just discovered she disliked intensely. 'Ask her what?'

Her friend sighed. 'Whether he's coming back today. The place has been dead without him this last month.'

As far as Lauri was concerned it could have remained dead, she could certainly have done without this morning's incident. 'He's back,' she told Diane firmly.

Her blue eyes widened. 'He is?'

'Mm. I just—I saw him in the car park just now.' She didn't want to tell anyone she had just made a nasty dent in his beautiful car. She would never live down such notoriety. And Jane would be furious.

'How does he look?' Diane asked eagerly as they walked down the corridor to their office.

'Tanned,' Lauri grimaced.

'Well, of course he's tanned, he's been in America the last four weeks. What I meant is is he still as good-looking as ever, the sexy devil?'

'I suppose so. And I thought he went to America to work, not to get himself a sun-tan,' she added bitchily.

Diane gave her a teasing look. 'Don't tell me I've actually found someone who doesn't think our boss is the dishiest male ever!'

'You've found her—me,' Lauri confirmed.

The other girl's eyes widened. 'Didn't you think he was gorgeous?' she gasped.

'He was all right,' Lauri admitted grudgingly.

'All right!' Diane sounded scandalized. 'My God, girls,' she addressed the other typists in the room, 'meet someone who's immune to the sexy Alexander.'

'You can't be!'

'Surely not, Lauri!'

'I think he's lovely.'

'His eyes are just mesmerizing,' someone else sighed.

Lauri let the outraged comments pass over her, unaffected by her colleagues' obvious disbelief in her disinterest. 'I suppose his eyes are quite fascinating,' she admitted with remembered attraction. Deep blue eyes they had been, fringed by long dark lashes. Yes, they could be called mesmerizing, very mesmerizing, if they weren't looking at you as if you were a particularly obnoxious insect that had wandered into his vicinity. How Jane could work in such close contact with him she just couldn't imagine, although Jane had always maintained that he was a fair man to work for.