‘You’re right. I don’t guess.’
Surprise spiked through her. ‘So you know who’s trying to jinx the deal?’
‘Sí, I do,’ he murmured in a tone that sent a shiver down her spine. When he didn’t elaborate, she frowned.
‘Are you going to tell me who it is?’
‘Have you finished reading the report?’
He uncapped the bottle and drained half of it in greedy gulps. Elise stopped herself from staring at the solid column of his throat. Or at the dark stubble that had crept over his jaw in the last few hours.
‘Go finish it. The “who” doesn’t really matter. What I need is a PR strategy on how we can resolve this problem if they remain intransigent.’
She returned to her office, fully aware there was no point pressing him for more information.
When she next raised her head, the view at her window had changed from day to evening, with lights from the adjacent skyscrapers illuminating the night sky. Her senses jumped when Alejandro filled the doorway.
‘You done?’ he asked, leaning against the jamb.
Elise nodded, wishing there was something else she could refocus her attention on besides the sleek musculature of Alejandro Aguilar’s body.
There’s the file. Her work. The reason she was here. She’d signed a contract mere hours ago that had drawn clear lines of boss and employee. While her past experience had borne witness that clients could violate contracts, she had a feeling Alejandro would stick rigidly to his.
But that didn’t mean she could drop her guard...or ogle his breathtakingly gorgeous body whenever she was in his presence.
She dragged her focus to the file. ‘My opinion hasn’t changed. They would have to have been offered something over and above what you’re offering. And that’s...’
‘That’s what?’ he encouraged.
‘That’s bordering on financial suicide, unless the other party has unlimited funds. Or are willing to go all out to steal this deal from you.’
His gaze swept downward, veiling his expression. Her senses twitched. She used to think she was a good reader of people. A horrific violation of her trust had robbed her of that last year.
Even so, she knew she’d struck somewhere in the vicinity of a nail.
Alejandro turned around without answering.
Elise rose. ‘Am I right? Mr Aguilar, is someone going to extraordinary lengths to see you fail?’
‘Alejandro,’ he murmured.
‘If we’re to work together, you’ll have to call me Alejandro.’
Elise wasn’t sure why the thought of repeating his name, even minus that sensual Spanish intonation she had no hope of mimicking, sent a shiver of awareness through her. ‘I... Okay.’
‘The chef has prepared dinner for us. Come. We’ll talk some more while we eat.’
She followed him out of his office to a set of smoked-glass doors, which swung open to reveal a small twelve-seater dining room. At the head of the table and directly adjacent, two places had been set, complete with silver tableware and glasses that indicated this was a multi-course meal.
They sat, and the chef walked in bearing two platters. Elise chose the chicken ravioli starter and almost groaned with pleasure as the delicate tastes melted on her tongue.
‘Okay, I take it back. Given the choice of going outside for fresh air and a sandwich or this, I’ll choose this every time.’
The chef, who was almost at the door, grinned at her compliment. Smiling in return, she turned back to her place and noticed Alejandro’s scowl.