This excerpt from Chapter One, is where Katrina meets Elliot while she is getting shown around the office on her first day of work at the Sydney law offices, Turner Barlow & Smith -
Priya lead me down the corridor and into an open area, where a group of PA desks were clustered, surrounded by window offices. She came to a stop outside a small windowed office next to the Partner’s corner office, and tapped on the door before opening it. A man in his early 20’s looked up from his work revealing the most vivid blue eyes I had ever seen. My breath caught a little as I drank him in. Even through his dress shirt I could see how well muscled he was, his face showing that light amount of stubble I loved on a man. I don’t know how else to describe him except to say that he was beautiful; those blue eyes, that full mouth, his light golden brown hair and, those broad shoulders! I felt myself swoon a little but came back to reality when I noticed him arch one of those perfect eyebrows of his at us in question.
“Sorry to interrupt Elliot but I just wanted to introduce you to our new librarian Kat,” Priya said.
“Um, Katrina,” I said, hating having my name shortened to a furry animal.
“Sorry – Katrina,” Priya said with a slight eye roll.
Elliot didn’t speak at first; he just sat there studying me. My cheeks flushed involuntarily and the discomfort of being stared at caused me to start nervously looking around the room, out the door; anywhere but at him. My apparent unease seemed to make him realise he was staring. He quickly cleared his throat and said, “Hello Katrina.” His voice was as beautiful as the rest of him, it had a deep rumble to it that sent chills up my spine.
I was trying desperately to be cool so he didn’t notice my immediate attraction. A guy like this must have women swooning all over him and I wasn’t going to let myself be one of them – despite his hotness. I had met guys like him before and it never ended well. Despite my efforts, I didn’t manage much more than a tight smile, a small nod and a, “Hi, um, uh, Elliot.” You sound like an idiot! My mind told me. There was a silence after that; nobody said a word and this awkwardness enveloped us like a thick woolen blanket while we all tried not to make eye contact.
I felt like I needed to say something to break the silence, “Ah…I didn’t think a junior would get a window office,” I observed - what? It was all I could think of!
Elliot looked over his shoulder at the window behind him and shrugged, “Every solicitor gets one, it comes with the office. Mine is a very small one though.” His blue eyes met mine but revealed no emotion. I could imagine that he must have thought I was a complete ditz! I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks while moths of embarrassment churned through my stomach.
Priya raised her eyebrows at the exchange, smiled and observed, “Well, this was fun,” she ushered me out of his office as she told Elliot, “Just thought you should meet Katrina so you knew what she is doing leaving things on your desk. Enjoy your day Elliot,” she quietly closed his door and led me back towards the library. “So, your bright red face tells me you noticed he’s a bit of spunk huh?” she said quietly to me when we were far enough away. I tried to act nonchalant and just shrugged my shoulders a little. “Don’t get any ideas though, all the girls are after him but he doesn’t show interest in any of them. There’s a strict no dating policy here and he adheres to it; there’s a list of junior solicitors a mile long wanting to work here and I really don’t think he is going to risk his job.”
“Fair enough,” I said, mentally kicking myself for feeling a little disappointed.
“Someone nice to look at though huh? Stops the office being so boring.”
“I suppose it does.” I answered carefully.