Total D*ck (Bad Bitch #3)(3)

By: Christina Saunders

He studied my face, then narrowed his eyes before taking the proffered documents. After throwing them on top of the stack of pleadings and briefs cluttering his work space, he leaned back in his chair and laced his fingers behind his head. A stain, likely from beer, spread beneath his right pec and over his abs. I stared for a moment, but not at the stain—his chest was broad and lean, and I could make out the imprint of a six-pack beneath his shirt.

“I’ll read that shit later. For now, tell me what your boss wants.” He smirked as I glanced back up to his eyes. Had he noticed I’d been checking out his body?

“Well.” I cleared my throat, my voice suddenly raspy. “We have a long-term client, Rhone Industries, that has run into an issue with a competitor. Mr. Rhone visited us yesterday and laid out several pieces of information concerning the theft of high-dollar trade secrets and what seems to be a concerted campaign of corporate espionage involving Greenwood Technologies. I can’t really tell you more until we’re on the same team. Suffice it to say, Stone and Porter is not in the business of doing plaintiff’s work. We never sue. We only defend. We need someone who is a seasoned plaintiff’s lawyer that knows how to get results.” I arched my eyebrow as a cocky smile began to form on his face. “Somehow, and I’m not entirely sure how”—I glanced around the messy office—“your name was thrown into the mix. Mr. Porter would like you to spearhead the case. However, Mr. Rhone is our biggest client, so we want to be intimately involved every step of the way. Co-counsel.”

He grinned. “So, Mr. Stick-Up-His-Ass Guy Porter needs help but he sends you begging? Why couldn’t he come himself? I would have rolled out the red carpet for him. Hell, I may even have showered if I were feeling extra frisky.”

“I’m sure Mr. Porter would have very much enjoyed visiting your quaint little office here.” I wrinkled my nose in distaste as I studied the faded wallpaper and tasteless paintings. “But he’s in Saint-Tropez at the moment.”

I leaned back and crossed my legs at the knee. He followed the movement, his grin faltering for a moment as he took in the shape of my legs. So the rumors were true—in addition to him being a total dick, he was also a womanizer. The urge to stalk out of this shithole and never look back waged war with the need to live up to Mr. Porter’s expectations. He’d given me a position of trust with this assignment, and I wasn’t going to let him down.

“So, are you interested or should I move to the next candidate on my list? We are working against an evidence trail that is disappearing by the second, so I’ll need your answer today. Now, in fact.” I stood.

He didn’t move, still affecting an air of nonchalance. “Who’s your next candidate?”

“I’m afraid that’s confidential.” The next candidate’s track record wasn’t half as good as Granade’s, but if I had to go with him, I would.

“Pendleton? It’s Pendleton, isn’t it? He’s good, sure.” He rose and came around his desk. Even in my heels, I was at eye level with his shoulders.

I gripped my briefcase by the handle and took a step toward the door. “As I said, Mr. Granade, that’s confidential.”

“You might want to do a little more research, though. Last I heard, his second mistress was pregnant and his wife was about to file for divorce.” He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against his desk. “Scandal doesn’t exactly jibe with the Stone and Porter image, does it? I think that’s why they don’t hire any female associates. Afraid their dicks will get the better of them.”

I gritted my teeth and took another step toward the door, but I maintained eye contact. I didn’t want him to think he’d gotten the better of me—ever. But he was right about Pendleton. He was the next choice, and now with this new information, I would have to mark him off the list. I had a couple more hopefuls, but none with the experience or skill of Granade.

He cocked his head. “What’s my cut?”

“If you’d looked at the documents I gave you, you would see that the fee is done in the usual thirty-three and a third contingency for counsel, with those monies split equally between your firm and Stone and Porter.”

“Equal split, huh? Will I be doing equal work? Doesn’t sound like it. Sounds like Porter will be doing hookers and blow in Saint-Tropez while I’m working up the case. You need a closer, Ms. . . .” He trailed off and raised his brows in question.

“Carmichael.” Color rose in my cheeks, and I hated it. It wasn’t often I was made to feel like an afterthought.

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