er crisp, profitable way. ”We will start the signing in another sixteen minutes or so. ”

”Good. ”

His eyes flicked casually over the rest of us staff and then shot back to me. He said nothing, but as he explored me with that gaze, I could almost feel his hands undressing me.

He had come to expect sex on a periodic basis, and usually I did not fight it since he procured a quick and reliable albeit small fix of energy and life. His low moral personality erased any guilt I might have for doing so.

After the questions stopped, we handled crowd control issues as everyone lined up to get their books signed.

I offered to help, but Wilson told me they had things under control. So, instead, I stayed out of the way, trying to avert eye contact with Gabriel.

”Meet me in my office when this is all over, ” Micke mumbled, coming up to stand close beside me.

He wore a tailored, charcoal black suit tonight, looking every inch the intricate literary tycoon.

In spite of my unpleasant opinion of a man who cheated on his wife of Twenty years with a much younger employee, I still had to recognize a certain amount of physical charm and attraction to him.

After everything that had transpired today, though, I was not in the mood to be plunged across his desk when the store closed.

”I cannot, ” I answered back softly, still seeing the signing. ”I am busy afterwards. ”

”No you are not. It is not a dancing night. ”

”No, ” I concurred. ”But I am doing something else. ” ”Like what? ”

”I have a date. ” The lie came handily to my lips.

”You do not. ”

”I do. ”

”You never date, so do not try that line now. The only appointment you have is with me, back in my office, willingly on your knees. ”

He took a step closer, speaking into my ear so that I could perceive the warmth of his breath on my skin. ”Jesus, Katharina. You are so **ing sexy tonight, I could take you right now. Do you have any idea what you are doing to me in that attire? ”

”Doing to you? Im not doing anything. It is behaviors like that that result in women being veiled around the world, you know. It is accusing the victim. ”

He chuckled. ”You crack me up, you know that? Do you have any panties on under that? ”

”Collins? Please, Can you come help us over here? ”

I turned and saw Wilson sulking at us. It would figure. He needed my help, now that he saw Micke hitting on me. Who said there was no bravery left in this world? Wilson was one of the few who knew what passed between Micke and me, and he did not endorse. Yet, I wanted the departure,

belated or no, and thus temporarily removed Mickes lust as I walked over to help with the book sale.

It took almost two hours to shuffle customers through the signing line, and by then, the store was sixteen minutes from closing. Gabriel Loftbrok appeared a little tired but seemed to be in good spirits.

My stomach flib-flopped inside me when Warren beckoned those of us not affected with closing to come over and talk to him.

She introduced us matter-of-factly. ”Micke Lloyd, store owner. Wilson Sato, assistant manager. Thomas Newton, café manager. Andy Gaus, sales. And you already know Katharina Collins, our other assistant manager. ”

Gabriel nodded reasonably, shaking everyones hand. When he reached me, I averted my eyes, waiting for him to just carry on. When he did not, I mentally winced, clamping myself for some comment about our last encounters. Instead, all he said was, ”G.K. ”

I winked. ”Huh? ”

”G.K., ” he repeated, as though those letters made excellent sense. When my idiotic expression remained, he gave a swift head jerk toward one of the promotional flyers for tonights occasion. It read:

If you haven heard of Gabriel Loftbrok, then you obviously have not been living on this planet for the past eight years. He is only the hottest thing to hit the mystery/contemporary fiction market, making the tournament look like scribbles in a childs picture book.

With various bestselling titles to his name, the famous Mr. Loftbrok writes both self-standing novels and lasting installments in the stunningly popular Cady & Jerald series.

The Glasgow Pact continues the explorations of these intrepid investigators as they travel abroad this time, continuing to unfold archaeological mysteries and

engage in the persistent witty, sexual banter weve come to love them for. Guys, if you can find your girlfriends tonight, they
e here with The Glasgow Pact, wishing you were as civilized as Jerald.

—G.K.

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