By: Katy Evans

They say he once leaped from the top of his office building.

He’s been called bold and daring both in business and out of it.

I hadn’t believed everything I read last night.

I’m not sure it’s all a lie now.

There’s quite an energy under those business clothes.

He wears those clothes like second skin—hell, as if he sometimes sleeps in them. Under his white shirt, I can see the impressive muscle tone of his arms and chest. No picture I saw online truly captured the effect of that tanned, well-structured face in person. Absolutely none. His face is walk-straight-into-a-wall stunning, and I won’t even dwell on his body, but now I understand why his bed is the most coveted spot in town.

He hangs up and settles back down, and we stare again for a moment. “Do you want to go ahead now, Miss Livingston?” he prods, gesturing to my phone.

“I amuse you,” I blurt.

Hiking up one eyebrow, he seems to turn the question in his head a bit, steepling his fingers before him. “Intrigue me, yes. Do you paint?”

“I was at a neighborhood park this morning. Members of my community get together sometimes; we’re trying to stay active against street violence, gang fights, drug selling in general.”

“Are you now?” he says, without inflection.

I’m not sure if he’s really intrigued or has simply decided he doesn’t want to allow me to interview him after all. Thinking back to my questions, and how much I need to draw out the most information that I can, I open my mouth to try to get on his good side—maybe a little flattery?—but one of his assistants interrupts.

“Mr. Saint, China calling,” she says as she peers through the doors. “And the car’s ready.”

He eases out of his chair, and his muscles ripple under his shirt as he maneuvers his arms back into his crisp black jacket. He grabs the Chicago Cubs cap sitting on the side of his desk, and as he looks at it, a muscle jumps in the back of his jaw as if he’s suddenly irritated about something.

I don’t want to overstay my welcome so I force myself to stand.

He lifts his head to briefly spare me one last glance. “It was interesting. Rachel,” he adds.

A horrible sense of loss weighs down on me, growing heavily with each sound of his sure, steady footsteps heading toward the door. Oh god, that’s it?

“Mr. Saint, could you see me again . . . ? ” I begin.

He’s already at the threshold of the open doors. His assistant hands over a couple of yellow Post-its, and he bends his dark head as he quickly skims them. He has an extremely toned back, an inverted triangle from his broad shoulders down to his waist—covered perfectly by that black designer jacket. As another one of his assistants goes to summon one of the elevators, one of his employees catches up to him with a ball.

A baseball. Of course. Either he’s getting it signed by the players today or throwing that ball out at Wrigley Field.

I glance around at his assistants. Two are typing. One is waiting by the elevator. And the one who’s always hovering by his side is . . . hovering by his side. All their eyes are on him as he boards. It seems like nobody is breathing until he leaves, not even me.

When the elevator takes him away, his assistants return to their desks. Other than me, I’ve never met people more eager to get back to work.

I smile as I approach the one who let me into his office. Her name plaque reads CATHERINE H. ULYSSES. “He’s got an effect, hasn’t he?” I fished. Does he sleep with any of you girls? is what I really want to know.

She scowls a little. Protective? “Can I help you?”

“Yes, I’d like to see about the possibility of booking another appointment with Mr. Saint. We couldn’t cover the subject I’m interested in. I’d love at least an hour with him, even two, if it’s not too much to ask.”

She says she’ll keep me posted, and the four of them stare at the shirt I’m wearing and none of them looks happy. Sigh.

His assistants hate me, and he’s probably banning me from M4 for life.

I’m so disappointed when I ride the cab back to my apartment that I replay the scene over and over, trying to find something I can use. It takes an effort to push away my embarrassment first, digging underneath to the gist of the meeting.

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