By Aubrey Wynne
“Gus, did you purchase my supplies?”
“Yes, sir,” the chauffeur said over his shoulder, weaving through traffic. “You will be pleased with the pendulum. It’s a brilliant clear amethyst. However, there were no white candles only red.”
“That’s fine. I only need the red for tonight.” Stirling Drake smiled at the fat raindrops now splattering against the windshield. He loved a good storm. “Did you find the sixth volume?”
“It’s on your desk, sir.” At the red light, Gus looked in the rear view mirror. “Will you be needing my assistance before the charity auction tonight?”
Stirling needed to take care of this hex before he left this evening. “No, I think can manage without assistance.” He let out a sigh. “The last thing I want to do is put on a tux tonight.”
“But it’s for a good cause, and she should be there. Speak of the…” He slowed the car. “Is that Miss Reynolds, sir?”
Through the tinted glass, he saw the stunning honey blonde march toward the curb, a tote bag slung over her shoulder. Her purse swung wildly from her wrist as she shook her fist at what appeared to be the heavens. A wicked smile curved Stirling’s lips, and the rain immediately turned into a downpour. The thin material of her dress now clung to her delicious curves.
“I believe the damsel is in distress.” He rolled down the window of the Mercedes. “Can I give you a lift?”
She leaned down, wiped the sodden gold tendrils from her face, and gave him a disgusted look. “If you can improve my day, I’ll go anywhere with you.”
He opened the door, stretched out his long legs, and took the tote from her. “Allow me.” Mary rewarded him with a dazzling smile. She left a trail of water across the dark leather seat as she slid across.
“Mr. Drake, how nice of you. It’s been one hell of a day, and I don’t think it’s noon yet.” Her voice cracked. “I’m not a vengeful person but if I could—”
“Why don’t you tell me what happened, Miss Reynolds?” The anger flashing in those green eyes sent heat through him. This woman had stirred his blood when he first met her last month. Drake Corporation raised funds each year for literacy, and she had catered the dinner. Asking her out, he had been politely informed that dating clients went against her moral business standard. Stirling vowed then to never hire that caterer in the future.
“So I told that spiteful pastry chef that I’d put a curse on her.” Her head slammed against the back of the soft leather.
“Can you put a curse on her?” he asked in a low voice as he slid closer. Stirling’s midnight eyes locked with Gus’ tawny stare in the rear view mirror.
Her laughter seemed incongruous to the previous rant. The sudden switch in mood made her even more attractive. Yes, there was something about this female; she awakened a longing deep inside him.
“Don’t be sil… You’re not serious.” Her full lips pursed slightly, and she gave him a wary look. “Are you?”
“Of course not, Miss Reynolds. However, your misfortune is my good fortune.” He gave her his most charming smile and slowly reached out his hand and brushed a dripping curl behind her ear.
“And how is that?”
“I can no longer be considered a client if you are no longer employed. Perhaps I could share some magic with you over dinner. Would you be my date for the charity auction tonight? I believe an event you were in charge of?”
A grin curved her mouth. “Please, call me Mary.”