“Don’t you have to be in court soon, Counselor?” Nikki reminded him in a voice that came out breathless.
“Yeah, I do,” he replied. “Guess I got a bit sidetracked. You’re turning out to be a big distraction, you know that?”
She bit her lip. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be such an imposition.”
“I said a distraction not an imposition. There’s a big difference. I didn’t realize until now just how badly I’ve needed such a distraction.” He stepped away with a reluctant sigh.
Her pulse still hammering, Nikki exhaled the breath she hadn’t realized was trapped in her chest.
Wade spun toward his office. “Help yourself to the phone and anything else while I get cleaned up.” He paused again on the threshold. “Of course, you’re welcome to use my office if you need greater privacy.” He added over his shoulder with a look of devilment. “Or in the event any wild impulse overtakes you while I shower.”
He went to work on his shirt buttons. His collar was soon wide open revealing a generous show of muscular chest that make her hands itch to rip it off him. She diverted her gaze and curled her itchy hands by her sides.
“Have no fear, cowboy,” Nikki replied in a cool tone meant to disguise the warm flush coming over her. “I corralled all my wild impulses long ago.”
“Did you, now?” He still stood in doorway, head cocked. “Somehow, I think you may have missed a few strays.”
“Maybe I need to make myself clearer. I have an aversion to cocky cowboys.”
Just keep telling yourself that, Nikki. Maybe if you repeat it often enough it’ll become true.
“Is that so?” His brows flew upward. “I can’t say I ever met a woman with an actual aversion to me.”
“Don’t take it personally. It’s nothing against you in particular, but your type.”
“And what do you think you know about my type?”
“Since I don’t have a pole handy, enough to keep you at arm’s length. Besides that, this whole line of conversation is entirely inappropriate in light of professional ethics, don’t you think? You are my attorney, after all.”
“Well, darlin’”—he scratched his unshaven jaw—“there’s a little hitch to that.”
“What do you mean? You said you’d help me.”
“And I will, but you can’t engage my professional services until I know who you are.”
“I’ve told you who I am!” she insisted.
“Sweetheart, I’m a lawyer, and according to the law, your claim don’t weigh without authentication.”
“So what are you saying? That you don’t believe me?”
“I’m not saying that at all. Only that our professional relationship will commence once you get your ID. In the interim”—his gaze slid over her in a way that threatened to melt her insides—“you’d best find yourself a nice, long, sturdy pole.”