Stephanie White was a dedicated, ambitious journalist working for a top London newspaper. Recently the city had been plagued with a series of serious crimes and rumours had it that one man, a Mr Henry Carlton, was behind it all. If she could get closer to Carlton and figure out the full facts she could write a story that would rock the city and jump start her career to a new level. The only problem was that her egotistical co-worker, Tom Phillips, was now also interested in the story; but she would soon be grateful for his support when events begin to take a turn for the worst

A Dangerous Affair

Stephanie White picked up her glass of wine from off the bar and wriggled onto a nearby stool, sipping her drink and observing the man across the room with wary eyes. Everything about him was dark, from his pristine charcoal business suit to his neatly cropped hair and cold ebony coloured eyes. Perhaps this evening was a mistake but despite the warning bells in her head, Stephanie was determined to learn more about the man's activities, write her unfinished article and get the recognition she deserved. This was going to be a top story in itself but Stephanie wanted the full scoop on the chaos that had descended upon the suburbs of London recently; and it was her belief that this man held all the answers. She had to find a way to infiltrate the group without arousing suspicion and that meant she needed to attract the man's attention. She had dressed purposely that evening with this in mind however now that she was sitting across the room from the man she was acutely aware of her vulnerability.

Her Editor-in-Chief, Mr Michael Bricks, a somewhat intimidating but dedicated professional, had warned her against continuing with this story once they had discovered that the man standing opposite her was involved. Mr Henry Carlton was a known felon and suspected narcotics dealer but what unnerved Stephanie more was his supposed lust for beautiful, young women. He certainly wasn't short of them that evening for he was surrounded by a dozen or so attractive ladies. She would have to walk a thin line between getting the information she needed and attracting too much attention from the infamous Mr Carlton.

Tom Phillips entered the bar and spotted her immediately. He had known without a shadow of a doubt that she would follow up on her story and go in search of Carlton. On the way there he had tried to justify his actions in following her to the bar; after all he owed her no favours. In fact, since he had begun working for the newspaper she had barely even acknowledged his presence in the team. This had puzzled him as she seemed to have a good enough rapport with everyone else in the office. Nevertheless, she was putting herself in danger. She was trying to get information out of a class A drugs dealer and renowned womaniser for god sake. Who did she think she was, Sherlock Holmes? Besides, he had nothing else planned for that evening and he hated staying in on a Saturday night, it went against his principles. She would obviously realise that she was in way over her head and he would be there to help her out. He rather liked the idea of coming to her rescue; it would at least wipe that overly confident, prudish smile off her face and force her to acknowledge that she couldn't do everything on her own.

Stephanie had always frustrated Tom immensely. He never failed to charm or sweet talk the women at work, but not her. There was not one person in the office that he didn't have a good working relationship with apart from her, and now he saw it as a challenge to get her on side. After all, she had to be the most alluring woman at work, annoyingly, unattainably so but incredibly alluring all the same. Perhaps it was her aloofness that intrigued him, and apparently most of the other male workers in the office too.

Pushing his way through the crowds of people, Tom finally reached the bar and ordered himself a whiskey. He purposely sat behind Stephanie so that she was unaware of his presence. He watched and waited to see how she was going to approach Carlton. If she was going to put on the charm he'd love to see it; he'd never seen it before. He'd also never seen her dressed anything like the way she was dressed that evening. She always covered herself up with prim and proper blouses and below the knee skirts but this was a Stephanie he'd never seen. He had a fantastic view of the bare expanse of her back in that sleek, black, satin dress. Perhaps this wasn't going to be a waste of time after all. He watched as she sipped her glass of wine and scrutinised Carlton from a distance. Boy, he was almost jealous of the guy if she was going to come on to him dressed like that! She crossed her legs and took another sip from her wine glass. The black satin fell away from her lap and revealed a sensational pair of stocking clad legs. God she was stunning! Even more than he'd realised. But she'd have to work on her seduction techniques if she was going to lure Carlton, he was moving away and he was surrounded by a harem of other women too.

Oh god, where was he going now? Damn it, she'd have to follow him and stop beating about the bush if she was going to get her story. She waited for a couple of minutes before pursuing the group through a corridor at the rear of the bar towards a back room. She only paused for a second at the door before she felt a firm hand on her arm pulling her backwards into the corridor.

"I hope you know what you're doing because that guy means business… in more ways than one."

Stephanie swung her head around and came face to face with a disturbing pair of chestnut coloured eyes. She knew those eyes; she'd seen them before assessing her from across the office. Tom Phillips. Of all the people to appear out of nowhere why him?

"I fail to see what business it is of yours," she came back. "What are you doing here Tom?"

He gave her a charming smile. "The same thing as you I assume, I'm after a good story."

"Oh no you don't," she replied, pushing him away and fixing him with a fierce glare. "This is my story. You have no right to be here."

He'd always wondered if those eyes of hers were as piercingly blue up close as they were from a distance. He'd never been this close to her before but now he realised that they were. If he could find just one thing about this woman that was unattractive it would put his mind at rest. But there she was with those stunning eyes that seemed to look right into him. He'd never seen eyes like hers before. They were the palest blue, like the kind of water you would find in a tropical lagoon, almost translucent. And her hair shone in a similar way, framing her face with silvery gold. Her lips…he didn't want to dwell on them. They were far too much of a temptation, exquisitely shaped and begging to be kissed. How on earth was any guy who knew her supposed to get any peace?

"No right," he said incredulously, "you don't own the newspaper sweetheart and you sure as hell don't own me. I'll do what I damn well like." With that he stepped around her and walked into the room.