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Authors: Kathryn Shay

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BOOK: Risky Business
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“Don’t be silly, Mags. You’ve seen plenty of happy marriages.” Nia looked to Paulina for her opinion.

“And when did
you
get so fearful of taking chances?”

“Paulina, I recommended that the business invest millions of dollars without batting an eye.”

“But you don’t take personal risks. You never did.”

Nia added, “Do you think you’re shying away from Logan because of what happened with Carl?”

“No, I don’t. He wanted a different lifestyle. I let him have it. Sure, I felt bad, but that was ages ago.”

“You let him go without a fight.”
Nia was thoughtful. “Just like you’re letting Logan go.”

“I’m not letting Logan go!” Her voice rose a notch. “I’m trying to keep him in my life. He’s too important to lose.”

Paulina released her hand and sat back. “Boy, from somebody who’s so smart, you’re saying stupid stuff.”

“Why don’t you guys understand all this?”

“Because your thinking is faulty.” Paulina sounded so sure.

“It is?”

Nia said, “Yeah, sweetie, let us explain it to you.”

oOo

Logan woke up Wednesday morning feeling more clearheaded. He’d taken a day to straighten himself out. He’d braved the nasty weather and gone to the gym and beat the shit out of a boxing bag, then came home and worked on his management assessment. He needed to go over it with Magdalena, and he hoped she’d
forgiven him for being such an ass the last time he saw her. He didn’t know how he was going to make their relationship return to what it was, and in truth, he admitted to himself, maybe he did want more from her. Maybe that was the conversation they should be having. One thing he knew for sure was he wouldn’t allow this strain between them to continue. He entered the offices at nine, feeling a hell
of a lot better. And hopeful.

But she wasn’t there, which was odd. Very, very odd. He went to the assistant’s office. “Laura, did Magdalena call in?”

“Yes, she spent the night in Queens.” Aka, she went to talk to her sisters. “She said she’d be in around one.”

“Hmm.”

“Do you think she’s okay?” Magdalena has always been sweet to Laura. To all the employees
.

“Why wouldn’t she
be?”

Her expression was all feminine. “I probably shouldn’t say this but I’m hoping maybe she had a date with that hunky guy from her past.”

That didn’t sit well with him. “Her family lives in Queens,” he said.

When Logan left the office at noon for his meeting with Teresa, Magdalena still wasn’t back. He was nervous as hell on the slippery ride over and even as he rang the bell to
her apartment and took the elevator up. She met him at the door.

She was pale, with circles under her eyes. “Are you all right, Teresa?”

“I had a couple of rough nights. What happened with you didn’t help, but I also don’t feel well.”

“I’m sorry. Have you seen a doctor?”

“It might be the flu.” Now he could hear the hoarseness in her voice. “The understudy is going on this afternoon
and tonight. If I’m not better by tomorrow, I’ll call my internist.”

He was still in the hallway. “Can I come in?”

She opened the door wider and let him through it. They sat at her small kitchen table. She brushed her hair back with both hands. “I’m a mess. You’ll have to excuse me. Why did you call and ask to see me?”

“You know the reason.”

“Because you called me Magdalena.” She
shook her head. “All those times we talked about her, and you denied you saw her in a sexual way.”

“I was truthful then. I don’t know why this happened.”

Her expression hardened. “I know. You’ve been kidding yourselves, both of you. You’re in love.”

“I love her like a sister.”

“Maybe at some point you felt that way. But we’ve been seeing each other for months. That’s obviously
not the case right now.”

“Maybe my feelings for her have changed. Grown into something else.”

“There’s no maybe about it.”

“I don’t know what to say except I’m sorry.”

“You know I can’t see you anymore.”

“I know.”

Her eyes filled. Oh, God. “I care about you so much, Logan, but it’s obvious where your heart lies.”

Reaching across the table, he tried to take her hand,
but she snatched it back. “Thanks for being kind about this.”

“I’d like you to go, now.”

He left the apartment, still feeling like shit, but he’d done all he could. He walked outside and stopped short. Where before it had been cold and slushy, now heavy snow was falling. He glanced at his watch. Only 2:00 p.m. He wondered if Magdalena had made it into work at all today.

oOo

When Magdalena looked up from her files on the computer, she noted it had gotten dark in the room and glanced out the window. Holy cow! Her watch told her it was three in the afternoon. It wasn’t too long ago that Philip had stopped in her office and told her to go home because a storm was expected. But she’d already come in late and had gotten involved in something and forgotten his warning.

Getting up, she went to talk to Logan. She knocked. No answer, so she opened his door with her key. No Logan.

“Ms. Ludzecky, why are you still here?”

Pivoting, she saw the floor janitor dressed in a heavy parka. “Oh, hi, Bill.”

“We all got notice to go home. A blizzard’s coming.”

Was that why Logan was gone? Why wouldn’t he have checked on her?

“I got caught up in something.
We both better get out of here. Stay safe.”

“You, too. I’m afraid all our drivers were sent home.”

“I’ll be fine.” Back in her office, she checked her phone. No messages from Logan. Texts from each of her sisters and
Matka
, warning her of the weather. Because Magdalena disliked storms. They made her jittery
.

She knew why. When she was six and out playing in the backyard after inches
had fallen, she’d wandered away. The snowfall increased and she’d been lost for an hour. After the neighborhood had been alerted, they found her in a cove of trees about four blocks away. She’d been scared and cold when Luke had come for her.

To reassure her family, she sent a group text to everyone that she was fine, then dressed in her warm down winter coat, which hit her at the calves and
had a hood. Sliding on black boots and gloves, she left the office. God, she hoped she could get home. Just that little fear ticked up her pulse rate
.

She clicked into the weather app on her cell, which warned travelers to be off the roads by six tonight. That wasn’t too bad. The subway was still running, so she’d make it back to her condo.

Lifting her chin and straightening her shoulders,
she strode straight out to the street. And was blown back against the brick of the building. What the hell? Planting her feet, she stepped a foot away from the structure and used it as a shield as she started down the sidewalk. The wind whistled furiously, whacked her in the face and dragged the hood off her head. She kept walking, but another gust came up and threw her against the building,
literally. For a moment, Magdalena’s mind blanked and she was six again. Her whole body convulsed. She’d just gotten her bearings when a taxi swerved up to the offices. She couldn’t believe her luck. But the taxi’s light went off as soon as the passenger door opened.

And, oh, thank God, Logan got out. He startled when he saw her. “Magdalena? What are you doing out here?”

“I—I just realized
there was a storm.” She had to yell over the howling the elements created. “I’m trying to make my way home, but the wind has other ideas.”

Encircling her with his arm, he led her back inside the foyer, and she was grateful for the warmth. Looking up at him, she saw his ears were bright red and his lips chapped. “You okay?” he asked. “You don’t like storms.”

“The wind took my breath away.
But I’ll be all right. What are you doing here? I thought you left the office.”

“You thought I’d leave you here and go home? Wow, things are worse between us than I realized.”

“I know you wouldn’t do that, Logan. I haven’t been thinking clearly.”

“I haven’t, either, but I am now.” He scanned her outfit. “Sit tight. I’m getting my briefcase from upstairs, then we’re hunkering down at
my place.”

Nervously, she glanced out the front window. “We could stay here.”

“We’ll be glad we didn’t if this storm fulfills the forecast. Do you need anything?”

Just you.
She shook her head. “I’ll wait here.”

With a half smile, he kissed her nose.

He was back in ten minutes. Along with his briefcase, he’d brought two scarves. “I found these in my office. Old Christmas presents.”
He pulled up her hood, zipped the coat she’d undone and looped the scarf so it secured her hood and covered everything but her eyes. Then he did the same for himself with the other scarf. They went out the door. His place was only four blocks away, but the wind whipped furiously on the empty street. Sliding his arm around her again, he tugged her close. They were going to be okay. Now that
Logan was here, everything would.

oOo

Logan unlocked the door to his place and drew Magdalena inside. Their heavy clothing was soaked through, they were both shaking, and her cheeks were bright red, despite the scarf. His face was ice-cold. He swore the temperature dropped ten degrees on their way here and the snow accumulated inches. Crossing to the fireplace, he flicked on the
gas. She kicked off her boots and removed her coat. While he divested himself of his outerwear, she sat on the sofa and pulled the Southwest print throw around her. He joined her. “You’ll warm up soon.”

“I’m just glad we made it here.”

He turned on the television, with the remote. They listened to the weather person… “Gusting winds of 45 miles per hour…Snow expected to fall all night…Schools
canceled tomorrow and Friday…All vehicles are to stay off the roads starting…In some areas, the snow is coming down sideways.”

“Hmm. We’re snowbound. For God knows how long.”

Magdalena wouldn’t want to be stranded with anyone else more than Logan, despite their problems lately. Hell. Thoughts of him reminded her of something. She pulled her phone out of the briefcase next to the couch.
“I’ve got a date tonight. I’ll have to call Carl and reschedule.”

Before she could find his number, Logan snatched the device away and set it on the coffee table
.

“What are you doing?”

“You’re not calling Carl.”

“I know he’ll realize by the weather that our date’s off, but it would be rude—”

“I don’t care.” For the first time since he came back to the office, she was able to
study his face. Despite the weather emergency, his features were relaxed. His eyes were filled with affection. And more.

“You’re not going to reschedule with Carl.”

“Why?”

“Because I don’t want you to. I’ve been thinking about our relationship since Saturday. We were wrong to turn our backs on something that’s obviously there. Look at it this way. We spend an inordinate amount of time
together. We love each other. We’re always kind to each other. Maybe we belong together.”

“What about our fears of ruining our relationship?”

“Magdalena, don’t you see? Things have changed between us. It’s already too late.”

Magdalena knew she and Logan were on a precipice. She could risk everything and lose. But he was right. Things had changed, maybe irrevocably, which her sisters
had told her, too. So, as she’d done so many times in business, she jumped. “You’re right, Logan. I want to go further, too.”

He swallowed hard and closed his eyes. “Before you say more, I have to tell you something, and I hope you’ll still mean those words you said.”

“Is it what you couldn’t talk about Monday? What had you in knots?”

“Yes. And I have to tell you because we can’t start
out with secrets.”

“Go ahead. Logan. I’ll understand.”

He took a deep breath, and his face had gone somber. “When Carl came to the office, and I realized who he was, overheard him ask you for another chance, I flipped. I’d been frustrated by our decision anyway and knew I wanted more, but I wouldn’t admit it. When Carl showed up, I called Teresa.”

“That isn’t a big deal. You’ve been
seeing her for six months.”

“I went over there.”

She watched him. And knew what he was going to say. Knew that she’d have a choice to make then. “Go ahead tell me.”

“We had sex.”

“I thought so. I hate that you turned to her.” She sighed. “But truthfully, I don’t think I ever liked hearing about your sexual exploits.”

“Then this doesn’t change your decision to give us a chance?”

“No.”

“I hope the rest doesn’t. I don’t want you to think less of me.”

“What more can there be?”

“I’m embarrassed. Ashamed, even.”

She took his hand. “Tell me,” she repeated.

“At the…let’s say culminating moment…I called your name.”

“Oh, Logan. That must have been horrible for her.”

“It was. How could I do something like that?”

She was chagrined by the small
smile that claimed her lips. Tried to bite it back because it was inappropriate. “Because you were thinking of me.”

“Aren’t you disgusted by what I told you?”

“No, though I hate that Teresa was hurt by it. And that you feel bad over it. But, oh, hell, I have to admit I’m flattered.”

His smile, when it spread across his handsome face, was a ray of sunshine in the dim living room. “Well,
then.”

“Yeah, well then.”

“Huh.”

“Huh.”

He looked over at her and she looked over at him. When he didn’t say anything, she did. “Take me to bed, Logan. Right now.”

“I thought you’d never ask.”

 

Chapter 7

 

His bedroom was dim from the thick curtain of falling snow outside the windows, but the glow in Magdalena’s eyes when he touched her intimately lit up the room. “I can’t believe I’m getting to do this,” he said, cupping her breast as they stood before the bed.

Her eyes closed, and she murmured his name.

Slowly, he unbuttoned her blouse. After he slid
it off her, he leaned in and kissed her bare flesh. He liked the goose bumps the touch of his lips raised on skin that was soft as silk. Her hands went to his hair, tangled there and anchored him against her. His mouth went lower to peach lace, and he nipped at her through the material. She moaned. When he unclasped the fastener in the front, her breasts spilled into his hands. Now, this he’d never
seen, felt, touched. His heart beat fast, because this was his Magdalena, and he was seeing all of her for the first time. He relished her. Kissed her. Suckled her. And she began to squirm. For him. Just for him. Kneeling down, he removed her skirt, the rest of her clothing until she was blessedly naked. He took a minute to step back
.

BOOK: Risky Business
3.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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