Meet Noah Whitlow, III

~an excerpt from Legal Trouble~

Lust and disbelief punched Noah square in the gut. Somehow, the woman who’d plagued his dreams for the better part of two weeks had stepped from his mind and into his office. At the last fundraising gala he’d hosted, this one on suicide prevention and awareness, he’d heard a melodic laugh from across the room, and when he’d turned to see the laugh’s owner, he’d felt a blow dead center of his chest. Okay, that was a partial lie. His chest wasn’t the only place he’d felt the blow; his groin had taken a hit, too.

With a single glance, that curvy mystery woman, in her long dress the color of a sky at midnight, had utterly mesmerized him—which had subsequently terrified him. The reaction had reminded him too viscerally of the story Papá used to tell about the first time he’d glimpsed the woman he would one day marry.

“I felt as if I’d been bucked from my horse,” Papá had said. “And I just knew I’d found the love of my life. I had no doubt in my mind. Surrender was my only option.”

So, Noah, dancing with his date at the gala, his chest a war zone, had done the only thing he could think to do: he’d fled as quickly as humanly possible.

But his mystery woman was back. She was here. Or maybe he was the one who’d suffered a heart attack in the courtroom, and this was all a near-death experience.

Auburn waves fell in ringlets around a soft, heart-shaped face. Freckles dusted her nose and cheeks. Her eyes were the color of the Texas sky after a thunderstorm, her lips cotton-candy pink. She wasn’t a small woman, either. She was tall with the kind of round curves that made him dream of grabbing tight and going for a long, slow ride.

A flowing skirt wrapped her from waist to floor, and her top exposed both shoulders and a hint of midriff. She looked as if she’d dressed for a day at the beach, not the office.

And damn it, now he was picturing the decadent beauty splashing in the surf in nothing more than a bathing suit that barely covered the essentials.

“Mr. Whitlow,” the woman said, confidence polishing her voice smooth. “I’m Emma Morgan with Reynolds & Clark. You requested a meeting?”

“Uh, Reynolds & Clark?”

“Yes.” She held up a leather portfolio. “You wanted to discuss the Lone-Star Tech matter.”

Due to all the blood plunging from his head to his groin, his brain was slow to engage. The woman of his literal dreams was Emma Morgan, the attorney David had been grooming to take over the firm when he and Mary eventually retire?

“She’s young,” David had said, “but don’t let her age fool you. I’ve never worked with anyone better. She’s smart, a barracuda in court, and speaks three languages. She’s the whole package.”

Noah had, of course, been intrigued. He’d planned to drop by for an introduction at some point, but something always got in the way. He’d expected someone with schoolmarm buns and an ill-fitting pantsuit. Not her. Not the woman who’d nearly obliterated his higher brain functions in a single instant. How was he supposed to focus on anything but this sudden desire to draw her close and indulge in the fantasies that had tormented him for weeks?

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