“Lunch?” One of Phil’s associates asked as they left the Montgomery County Court House. “There’s a great Thai restaurant around the corner.”
Phil glanced at his watch. It was 11:45. He had to be within a few miles of Lina’s office. “No. I’m going to take the rest of the day off.”
Fifteen minutes later, Phil, dressed in a dark gray suit and royal blue silk tie that brought out the blue in his eyes, was entering Dolmar Enterprises for the first time, his eyes scanning the modern lobby with it’s high ceilings and exposed brick walls. The receptionist’s eyes widened as he stopped before her desk. “Hi.” She smiled. “May I help you?”
“I’m here for Lina Hunter.”
“Oh. Is she expecting you?”
“I texted her but haven’t received a response, so probably not.”
“I think she’s in a meeting or at least she was.” The receptionist came to her feet. “They have a creative meeting every Monday at 11. It usually less than an hour but sometimes it runs over. I don’t know—”
“I can wait,” Phil interrupted her nervous ramble.
“Oh, okay. Who should I tell her is—”
“Her husband,” Phil answered.
“Oh.” Heat came to the woman’s cheeks. “I didn’t realize. Let me just—I’ll go see if she’s done.” She hurried off, only to return less than a minute later. “They’ll still in the meeting. Uhm do you want to wait in her office or—”
“Her office,” he answered.
Lina’s office was bigger than he expected, not that he’d consciously given it any thought, but the size surprised him. It was almost as large as his own. He looked at the black and white photographs of Washington DC gracing the walls and then made his way to her desk. His eyes zeroed in on a framed picture of him and Lina at Alice’s wedding. It was a candid shot of them dancing. She was smiling up at him, looking absolutely gorgeous. His gaze drifted to another photo, this a recent one of Logan and Liam. Logan was holding Liam and Liam’s arms were wrapped around Logan’s neck and they were both smiling. Phil’s chest expanded as he looked at photo evidence of the growing bond between his sons.
The sound of Lina’s office phone pulled his attention away from the pictures. He crossed to the bank of windows in the back of her office, looking out at her view of Wisconsin Avenue. It had been months, yet he was still having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that she had a real job with real responsibilities. She was his wife and the mother of his children. The working Lina was a mental adjustment he was still struggling to make.
He heard voices and turned to see Lina, William and a man he recognized from the news as Damien Rouse coming out of a room directly across the hall. Dressed in a sleeveless black sheath dress accentuating the curve of her hips and narrow waist, her dark hair falling loosely around her shoulders, Lina looked both sophisticated and feminine. Her head was nodding at what Damian was saying. Phil felt a surge of possessiveness grip his chest as he watched her interacting with the billionaire business man.
Lina’s gaze shifted from Damian to Phil, her eye’s widening in surprise. “Phil?” She disentangled herself from the other two, meeting him just inside her office. “What are you doing here?”
“My case was settled.” He ran his hand around her hip to the small of her back as he dropped his head and brushed his mouth over hers. “I was hoping to take you to lunch.”
He reached around her to greet William, shaking his hand before turning his full attention to the other man. “Phil Hunter,” he said, holding out his hand.
“You haven’t met Lina’s husband?” William asked his brother, clearly surprised.
“No, I haven’t had the pleasure,” Damian answered, returning Phil’s handshake. He looked like an older version of William with the same black hair, his sprinkled with gray, an olive complexion and dark brown eyes. “Your wife is a very talented lady.”
“She is,” Phil agreed, his hand stroking her hip.
“I hate to run, but I’m already late for another meeting,” Damian said. “It was good to meet you Phil. I’ll have my wife reach out to Lina and set up a dinner soon.” He turned to Lina. “I’ll see you Friday.”
“I’ll make the changes we discussed and send you the updated design.”
“No need. I’ll see them in New York with everyone else.”
“I’ll walk you out,” William said.
Phil followed Lina back into her office. “New York?”
“I just found out. It’s one night.” She crossed to her desk. “I need to check my emails. It will just take a second.”
“Lina,” a tall slim woman began, coming into the office, “Would you…” she trailed off when she saw Phil. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were in a meeting.” She began to back out of the office, stumbling slightly as she stared at Phil.
“It’s fine. Stay.” Lina said, continuing to look at her computer. “It’s just my husband. Phil meet my assistant, Brooklyn.”
Phil greeted Brooklyn before taking a seat at the small conference table in the corner of Lina’s office. For the next five minutes he watched Lina in business mode, signing off on her assistant’s paperwork, answering an email and taking a quick phone call. It was a side of her he had never seen.
“I’m sorry. That took longer than I expected. Ready?” She came around her desk.
“Not quite.” He held out his hand, remaining seated.
“What?” She smiled. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“What?” She made her way to him. “Phil, this is my office,” she whispered when he snagged her hand and pulled her between his thighs. “What are you doing?” She rested her hands on his shoulders.
“I’m proud of you.” His eyes narrowed as he looked up at her.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean I’m proud of you. You’re good at this. It suits you.”
“Yeah?” She smiled and he could tell his words please her.
“I’m coming to New York with you?”
Her eyes widened. “You have to work?”
“We settled the case. My week is suddenly free.”
“What about the kids?” She curved her hand around the back of his neck.
“Your mom can watch them.”
“Will be fine,” Phil finished.
“I’m going to be working.”
“I’m coming. We’ll stay the weekend. I’ll even take you to a show.”
“Really?” Lina’s face lit up.
“Really.” When he saw the pleasure on her face, he made a silent vow to take her to a couple of shows a year, regardless of how tortuous he found them. “And we can sleep in on Saturday—hell, we’ll spend half the day in bed. Just the two of us. What do you say?”
“Good.” He brought her hand to his mouth, kissing the inside of her wrist.