They never did get around to the scarves Monday night but they had on Tuesday. Lydia’s pussy tingled at the memory of Galen using restraints on her and then licking and sucking her to orgasm after orgasm until she’d been little more than a limp rag. Then he’d untied her and flipped her over on the bed, taking her pussy from behind while he stuffed his thumb up her anus. She’d come all over again while he’d pounded her, finally calling out her name as he’d detonated inside of her. At least this time they’d remembered the condoms. She’d picked up an extra box and had taken to stashing a supply in her purse—as well as her desk, her kitchen drawer and everywhere else she could think of.

She sat at her desk Friday afternoon trying to concentrate. She was tired and still being frustrated by the scroll. She’d taken dozens of photos of the scroll, the ring and the case and now she was hunched over them with a magnifying glass looking for further clues. The more she studied the thing the more she wanted, needed, to find the answers.

The ringing phone startled her to the point that she dropped her magnifying glass to the desk with a clatter.

“Hello?”

“Do you always sound so startled when you answer the phone?”

“Galen!” It was the first time he’d called her at work. She tried to remember she wasn’t happy with him. It was hard when her nipples sat up to attention and her panties got wet just from hearing his voice over the phone.

“I wondered if you’d like to actually go out tonight—dinner and a movie maybe?”

“You want to go out?” Out? As in public? She did a little happy dance in her chair at the enormity of the moment.

“Unless you’d rather stay in…”

“No!” She realized she’d shrieked, forced herself to lower her voice, even her tone. “Out would be great. Will I have time to go home and change first?”

“If you leave your office on time for once. I thought we could go for Indian food if you don’t mind.”

The nearest Indian restaurant was two towns east of the tiny town of Kilkenny where Southern Michigan University was located—about a twenty minute drive. She twisted her lips as she realized that going out of town also meant they would be a lot more anonymous, so it wasn’t quite the statement she’d been hoping for. Still, it was a fairly significant step.

She actually left the office a few minutes early, taking her lunch break at the end of the day, she reasoned. Cutting a half hour off her fifty-hour week wasn’t going to hurt anybody and it would give her time to fix her hair and shave her legs. By the time Galen knocked on her door she was polished and perfumed from head to toe.

“You look incredible.” He stood on her doorstep bearing a wrapped bouquet, looking distinguished and handsome in a pale gray summer suit with a sky blue shirt that matched his eyes and a rep striped tie.

“Look who’s talking.” She accepted the flowers with a brief kiss and hurried to find a vase in the cupboard. She unwrapped the bouquet of mixed wildflowers with a squeal of joy. He knew her so well. The sunflowers, Shasta daisies and purple coneflowers were so bright and cheerful she felt her eyes brimming with tears. Thank heaven for waterproof mascara.

“I thought we might go back to my house tonight, if you want to grab a toothbrush before we leave.” His voice was pure bottled seduction. “Maybe some clothes for morning.”

“Five minutes.” She grabbed his lapels and pulled him down for a fierce quick smooch, then darted into the bedroom. Three minutes later she was back with a backpack in her hands. She’d stuffed in shorts, a T-shirt and her all-purpose overnight kit. And condoms. Lots of condoms.

Galen couldn’t take his eyes off of Lydia.

She was stunning in her slinky yellow wrap-around dress. The neckline was low enough to reveal a generous serving of cleavage and the side slit of the skirt showed off her long toned thigh every time she moved. She’d bundled her hair up into some sort of deliberately messy knot held at the back of her neck by a pair of tortoiseshell chopsticks that tempted a man to pull them out and tumble the silky curls down around her shoulders. He intended to do just that once he got her back to his house after the movie.

Her legs were bare and bright coral toenails peeked out of her gold high heeled sandals. Yeah, he had plans for those toes too. There wasn’t an inch of Lydia’s body he didn’t want to play with. The only problem he could see was that she was so beautiful she looked even younger than her almost thirty years, making him feel even more like he was robbing the cradle. At the same time he felt a surge of pride that she was willing to be seen with him.

He took the backpack while she picked up a tiny gold purse and followed him to the door. She held his arm as they made their way down the exterior wooden staircase. He held the passenger door for her and she smiled brilliantly as he handed her in. “Nice car. On the way home tonight can you put the top down?”

“As my lady desires.” He chuckled and walked around before climbing in beside her. The convertible had been the biggest impulse purchase of his life a year earlier. Jason called it “Dad’s midlife crisis”. If the kid only knew! He had to smile at Lydia’s youthful exuberance though. Most of the women he’d taken out in the last few decades wouldn’t have been willing to mess up their hair even at the end of a date. And something told him that in Lydia’s case it had a lot less to do with her age and a lot more to do with—her.

He still had no idea what he was doing or where the relationship was going. After dealing with Barry Rawlings at the conference, he’d all but convinced himself to end things with Lydia when he got back. It would have been the smart, rational thing to do and he prided himself on being both of those things. But then that unseen magnetic force had drawn him to her office Monday afternoon and he’d known he couldn’t stay away.

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