Dylan looked up from his corner office desk on the thirtieth floor of Kelly
Tower to find his assistant, Eric, practically quivering in the doorway.
Eric’s voice tremored as he tried to say, ‘I... There’s... I’m not sure I
quite know how to...’
Whistling a breath through the smallest gap between his lips Dylan pushed back
his chair and leant his chin upon steepled fingers. ‘Take a breath.
Visualise your happy place. Count to ten. Whatever it takes. Just remember
that I am a very busy, very important man and get to the point.’
Eric did as he was told, so quickly Dylan thought the kid might
hyperventilate. But he managed to say, ‘I have to get onto your computer for
‘Go for your life.’ Dylan pushed his chair back to give the guy room.
Eric slid into place, his fingers flying over the keyboard with the speed of a
kid born with a laptop attached to his thighs. ‘A friend of mine works for an
online news mag and he messaged me to say I had to see something. This
address ought to give us a direct feed.’
Dylan’s cheek twitched. ‘Seriously, kid, if you’ve come in here all a
fluster because some blog has footage of me feeding spaghetti and meatballs to
that nifty little Olympic diver I met in Luxembourg last week...’
His next words froze on his tongue and he slid his chair back beneath his desk
with such speed Eric had to leap out of the way.
The monitor was not in fact showing any footage of him. Or the nifty little
Olympian. Or meatballs for that matter.
Dylan didn’t even have the chance to be the slightest bit ashamed of his own
self-absorption as the crystal clear digital footage brought his reason
d’etre, the family business he championed day in day out, back to the
forefront of his mind with a wallop.
The half acre forecourt keeping Kelly Tower clear of the maddening CBD crowds
that traversed Brisbane’s hectic George Street had in its north corner a
twenty-foot-high, silver, zig-zag sculpture - representing the impressive
escalation of fortune securing representation with the Kelly Investment Group
The sculpture usually stood proud and alone bar a few stray pigeons brave
enough to cling to its slick diagonal bars. Today it had been taken over by
camera crews and reporters with mini-sound recorders and logo-labelled mikes.
That kind of excitement had encouraged a crowd of ten times as many interested
From what he could make out through the sudden ache descending upon his head,
the excitement in the reporter’s voice, and Eric wheezing in the doorway, in
some kind of crazy protest a woman had handcuffed herself to the zig. Or was
it the zag?
Dylan had nothing against handcuffs per say. They had their place in the
zeitgeist of the single man. Just not in the middle of a busy work day, not
in front of his building, and not when as the head of Media Relations
it was his job to make the fact that a crazy person had picked that particular
statue to which to attach her daft self seem less interesting than it
The crowd parted, and Eric’s friend’s camera slipped into the gap, giving
Dylan a better look at the ruination of his afternoon.
Fair skinned, dark-eyed, with dark wavy hair made all the more interesting by
the fact she kept having to shake its wind-mussed length out of her face. A
floral top cinched and flowed in all the right places, telling tales of the
kinds of curves and hollows that could distract a weaker-willed man. Not to
mention the white calf length trousers into which her second-glance-worthy
bottom half was poured, a pair of the most insanely high-heeled hot pink
And, of course, handcuffs.
‘What are we going to do?’ Eric said in whispered awe.
Dylan jumped; he and the woman had been having such a moment he’d forgotten
his assistant was even there.
The heel of his palm reared up over the mouse, ready to jab the webpage closed
when a sudden gust of breeze blew the woman’s hair from her face right and she
looked directly into Eric’s mate’s camera lens.
His hand went rigid a breath from touchdown leaving him staring into a pair of
brown eyes. Bambi eyes, for Pete’s sake. Big, beautiful, liquid brown with
long delicate eyelashes that made them appear wounded. Vulnerable.
His gut twisted. His teeth clenched. A shaft of heat shot him upright, then
filled him with adrenalin. Every masculine instinct reached out to her as the
deep-seated urge to protect her clobbered him from the inside out. He felt
himself rising from his seat, his wrists straightening as though preparing to
slay whoever it was who put that look in those eyes.
Then she licked her lips, shapely pink lips covering the sexiest kind of
overbite, and blinked those big brown eyes as her gaze shifted left, she
dropped her chin a fraction and she grinned flirtatiously at the person behind
The trance splintered like broken glass, ringing in his ears as it dislocated
swore beneath his breath, regained control over his mouse hand, closed the
damn webpage and gave his usually exceptionally discriminating protective
instincts a good mental kick in the pants.
They knew better. Far better.
The only people sheltered by his vociferous guard had the name of Kelly. The
blood of his blood. That was as wide as his circle of trust stretched.
His family needed to stick together. Tight together. For no matter
how sincere people might seem to be in courting amity, the downside of being
richer than Midas and more recognisable than the Prime Minister was that they
would always be considered Kellys first, everything else second.
He’d leant that lesson nice and young. No matter how beguiling a woman might
be, how well-bred, how seemingly genuine, they all wanted something from him –
his wealth, his connections, even his name.
Nowadays he only let himself play with those who wanted the heat of his body
and nothing more. No history and no hereafter. It was a process that had
worked beautifully for him for some time.
The fact that not a single one of the warm bodies had stoked the fire of his
protective instincts like the one with the soft brown eyes trained directly on
his family was something he had neither the time nor inclination to ponder.
Feeling mighty fractious, he was out of the chair and through the door before
Eric even realised he was moving.
‘Sir!’ Eric cried.
Dylan waved a hand over his shoulder, and all but ignored the wave of hellos
and bowing and scraping that followed in his wake as he jogged down the
hallway towards the elevators.
Eric was puffing, red-faced, and his hands were shaking by the time he caught
up. ‘Tell me what to I can do!’
‘Don’t go anywhere,’ Dylan said as the elevator doors closed so slowly he made
a mental note to talk to his brother Cameron – who, being an engineer, surely
knew where to source faster closing ones. ‘And tell your mother you’ll be
late home. I have the feeling this will be a long day.’
From "Getting Red-Hot with the Rogue"
by Ally Blake
Mills and Boon Modern Heat August 2009
978-0-263-87247-7 Copyright: © 2008
® and ™ are trademarks
of the publisher. The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books
S.A. For more romance information surf to: http://www.eHarlequin.com