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Dirty Rich One Night Stand
Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Day 1: The Trial of the Century

Coffee is life, love, and happiness. Actually, it’s just alertness, and on a day that I’ll be covering the trial of the century along with a horde of additional reporters, I need to be sharp. That need is exactly why I’ve dressed in my sharpest navy-blue suit dress and paired it with knee-high boots before enjoying a fall walk to the coffee shop three blocks from my New York City loft. Only two blocks from the courthouse, it’s bustling with people, but the white mocha is so worth the line, and I’ve allowed myself ample time to caffeinate. In fact, I have a full two hours before I have to be inside the courtroom, and I plan to sit at a corner table and draft the beginning of my daily segment Cat Does Crime before heading to the courthouse.

I step into a line ten deep that slowly moves, and google the name of the defendant, looking for any hot new tidbit that might not have been live before bed last night. I tab through several articles, and I’ve made it to a spot near the front of the line when some odd blog linked to the defendant’s name called “Mr. Hotness Gets Illegally Hot” pops up in my search. Considering the defendant is a good-looking billionaire accused of killing his pregnant mistress, I buy into the headline and click. The line moves up one spot, and I move with it and then start reading:

I need help. I’ve done something bad. So very bad. I was told he would take care of me. Protect me. That was three months ago. I remember that day like it was yesterday. But now, it’s today, a world behind me and in front of us. I enter his office and shut the door. We stare at each other, the air thickening, crackling. And then it happens. That thing that always happens between us. One minute I’m across the room, and the next I’m sitting in his chair, behind his desk, with him on his knees in front of me. Those blue eyes of his are smoldering hot. His hands settle on my legs just under my skirt, and I want to run my hands through his thick, dark hair, but I know better. I don’t touch him until he tells me I can touch him.

I grip the arms of the chair, and his hands start a slow slide upward…

“Next!”

I blink out of that hot little number of a read and pant out a breath, feeling really dirty and gross, and with good reason. I’m hot and bothered over what I think is a fantasy piece about a man who is accused of pushing his pregnant girlfriend down the stairs and killing her. Correction, his pregnant mistress. Only the baby wasn’t really his, and he says he wasn’t her lover, and he was still charged over fingerprints on a doorknob.

“Cat!”

I jolt at my name as Jeffrey, who works the register as regularly as I visit, shouts at me from behind the counter. I take a step forward, only to have a man in a dark gray suit step in front of me. Frowning, I instinctively move forward and touch his arm. “Excuse me.” He doesn’t respond, and I am certain he’s aware I’m now standing right next to him. “Excuse me,” I repeat.

He doesn’t turn around, and now I’m irritated. I tug on the sleeve of what I am certain is his ridiculously expensive jacket and achieve my intended goal: He rotates to look at me, the look of controlled irritation etched in his ridiculously handsome face telling me I’ve achieved my goal. He now feels what I feel, and as a bonus: He now knows that despite my being barely five foot two, blonde, and female, I will not be ignored. “I was next,” I say.

“I’m in too much of a rush to wait for you to finish playing games on your phone.”

“Games? Are you serious?” I open my mouth to say more and snap it shut, holding up a hand to stop him from doing or saying something that might land me in a courtroom today for the wrong reason. “Wait your turn, like the gentleman you should be.”

His eyes, which I now know to be a wicked crystal blue, narrow ever so slightly before he turns to the counter. “A venti double espresso and whatever she’s having.” Mr. Arrogant Asshole looks at me. “What do you want? I’ll buy your drink.”

“Is that an apology?”

“It’s a concession made in the interest of time. Not an apology. You were the one on your phone playing—”

“I was not playing games. I was working, while you were plotting the best way to push around the woman who was ahead of you.”

“That’s the best you’ve got? I’m pushing around women?”

“No, you’re not pushing around women today,” I say. “You tried and failed. I can buy my own coffee.” I face the counter. “My usual.”

“Already wrote up your cup,” Jeffrey says. “It should be ready any minute.”

“Thank you,” I say, and while I should just move along, I find myself turning to Mr. Arrogant Asshole because apparently, I can’t help myself. “I’ll leave you with a helpful tip,” I say, “since you’ve been so exceedingly helpful to me today. The phrases ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ are not only Manners 101, but failure to use them will either keep a man single, or make a man single.” And on that note, I move on down the bar, which has a cluster of people waiting on drinks, but thankfully, I spot the corner table I favor opening up. Hurrying that way, I wait for the woman who is leaving to clear her space, and then murmur the “thank you” that Mr. Arrogant Asshole back at the counter doesn’t understand before claiming her seat and placing my bag on the table. Settling into my seat, I have no idea why, but my gaze lifts and seeks out Mr. Arrogant Asshole, who now stands at the counter, talking on his cellphone and oozing that kind of rich, powerful presence that sucks up all the air in the room and makes every woman around look at him. Me included, apparently, which irritates me. He irritates me, and the only way you deal with a man like him is naked for one night, which you end with a pretty little orgasmic goodbye, and that is all. Anything else is a mistake, which I know because I’ve been there, done that.

Once.

Never again.

It’s in that moment, with that thought, that Mr. Arrogant Asshole decides to turn around and somehow find the exact spot where I’m sitting, those piercing blue eyes locked on me. And now he’s watching me watching him, which means I’m busted and probably appear more interested in him than I want to appear. I cut my stare and pull out my MacBook, keying it to life, and just when it’s connected, I hear, “Order for Cat!”

At the sound of my name, I eye one of the regulars, a twenty-something encroaching on thirty, who got fired from his job and started some consulting business. “Kevin,” I say, and when he doesn’t look up, I raise my voice. “Kevin!”

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