A/N So I'm nowhere near finished with this story so it definitely won't be updated as regularly as 'Losing You'. But I've been procrastinating with writing and I needed something to give me the incentive to finish it. And it will be finished. I hope you enjoy it. Please R&R. Thank you xx

Chapter One

From the age of eighteen, Lexie Campbell travelled the same route. Every weekday morning at 7:30 she would climb bleary eyed onto the tube train at Richmond, sink down into her seat, drink her coffee, and wait for the train to leave at 7:34. She always sat in the same place, walking all the way down the platform to the farthest carriage, telling herself it was good exercise.

And her carriage was nearly always empty until two stops down the line.

At Gunnersbury.

When he would get on.

At first she didn't pay much attention. The train travelled from the outskirts of London directly into the centre, so inevitably it got very crowded - and she wasn't really a morning person. In fact Lexie paid little attention to anyone, usually only slightly more than half awake at that time of the morning. She would see the focused, stern gazes of most of her fellow travellers and feel a twinge of sympathy for them, wondering what kind of a day they were about to have.

But this man finally caught her eye for no particular reason. For three or four days he'd been boarding her carriage and sitting down in the same seat, directly opposite hers; no matter that the rest of the carriage was empty. He looked like a student and, whilst she'd of course noticed his mop of dark, curly hair, designer stubble, baggy jeans, and t-shirts, she hadn't really looked.

This particular morning however she'd happened to glance up as he'd taken his seat. His eyes had fixed directly on her and he'd nodded almost imperceptibly. She had nodded back and thought no more of it. Other than the fact he had to be the most effortlessly sexy man she'd ever set eyes on. After twenty five minutes the train pulled into her station and she walked away.

Several days after that he'd smiled and nearly knocked her socks off. The train had nearly arrived at her destination and she'd been preparing to fight her way off when she'd felt a shiver of awareness race up her spine, a strange heat infusing her body. She'd instantly turned away from studying the people blocking her way... and she'd met his eyes. He was smiling at her. A lopsided, quirky kind of smile that made his dark, almost black, eyes sparkle wickedly. She'd known he was laughing at her... probably at her look of horror as she'd prepared to leave the train... but she'd liked it. Of course she'd grinned back, nearly missing her stop and having to push people out of her way to get off, knowing she was probably making him laugh even harder.

And that was how it had gone for nearly two years. They had not uttered one word to each other, and yet Lexie had felt as though she knew him inside out.

She knew he was American because she had heard his deep, accented voice as he'd talked into his phone. She knew he hated his coffee too hot because he would always wait for ten minutes before drinking it. She knew he hated being late because he would always phone his destination if the train was delayed. She even knew that he would get this little frown line over the bridge of his nose when he was thinking really hard about something that was making him miserable. And she'd loved the way his eyes twinkled when he was happy.

For two years she'd watched his life play out before her eyes.

After a few months he began getting on with a woman. She was tall and blonde and beautiful... everything Lexie wasn't. Blondie had batted her eyelashes at him and he'd had eyes for no one but her. He was attentive and sweet... and yet he still sat in the same seat and still smiled at Lexie when she stood up to leave each day.

But it wasn't necessarily his love life that defined who he was. His clothes and hair were far more telling. For those first few months he looked... scruffy. Hot... but scruffy. And then gradually he changed. Maybe it was meeting the blonde that changed him – Lexie would never know for sure – but first the jeans and t-shirts went, replaced by suits and ties that make him look like an office drone. Then his hair became steadily shorter so that after another few months all signs of the gorgeously thick curls had disappeared completely. And for some reason it seemed as though the man she had first seen was no more... both inside and out.

For seven or eight months he had seemed so happy she had almost been jealous. He'd begun wearing a wedding ring on the third finger of his left hand, and Lexie had begun making sure she was never alone on the train. Her friends were very obliging, especially Nick who'd enjoyed pretending to flirt with her when in reality he'd been dating a mutual friend of theirs.

And then everything changed. What it was that happened Lexie could only guess, but suddenly the beautiful man she shared her carriage with every morning began looking world weary. His eyes lost their sparkle, dark circles beneath indicating that he wasn't sleeping enough. At first she'd wondered if he and his wife had had a baby. But it hadn't been that kind of tiredness. And eventually, after several more months, the wedding ring simply disappeared from his finger.

And it hadn't been long after that when he'd stopped getting her train altogether – and Lexie had found some other means of commuting to university, stupidly unable to sit and look at the empty seat, let alone watch someone else sit there.

Now three years, and what felt like a lifetime later, she still walked all the way down the platform at Richmond station. She still climbed into that last carriage and sat primly in the same seat, smoothing her nervous hands down the just above knee length skirt she had bought especially to begin this new job. And she still craned her neck when the train arrived at Gunnersbury, ridiculous disappointment flooding through her when the still empty train pulled away again.

Today she chuckled to herself, shaking her head incredulously. It was three whole years since she'd last seen him... in fact it was three years since she'd even been on the same continent as him. She'd spent the first two of those three years in America, finishing off her English and American law degree from King's College with a two year placement at Columbia University. And this past year she'd been travelling around, first America and then Europe.

But now she was home, finally trying to live up to her family's expectations by taking a job in the prestigious law firm, Williams, Hartwell & Co. Despite her first class law degree, Lexie wasn't interested in practising law. She had taken this job as a favour to her father. Not that she owed Walter Campbell anything... but she did owe John Hartwell, a family friend, several debts of gratitude.

So, reluctantly, she had agreed to come back to England for two weeks.

And no more... definitely no more.

Caden Williams, head of litigation and partner in the law firm, needed a temporary PA after Betty Hartwell – John's wife - had finally retired. Lexie knew Betty almost as well as she knew John, and was glad the older woman was finally taking some time out for herself. So apparently Mr Williams had found himself in desperate need of someone to help out for a short period of time... and that was where Lexie came in, albeit reluctantly.

Lexie's family despaired of her - she knew this because they told her. Often.

Her parents, her two older brothers, and her older sister were all high flying lawyers in her parents' law firm. She'd studied law simply to appease them all, but it wasn't what she wanted to do.

The trouble was she had no idea what it was she wanted to do. She had hoped taking a year out would help sort out her head, but it had made no difference... other than helping her come to the realisation that she would never want to practise law. The last thing she wanted to be was one of those office drones who had no life beyond the pressures of work. It simply wasn't who she was and she hoped one day her parents would understand that.

The train whizzed into Embankment station and, on reflex, Lexie nearly stood up. Her eyes automatically went to the seat in front of her, currently occupied by some old, balding businessman who looked as though he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. Nothing like the man she had built up in her mind to be the man of her dreams. With a little sigh she relaxed back into her seat. She still had another stop to go. This time Westminster was her destination where she would change to the Jubilee line. From there it would take her to her final destination - London Bridge - Christolau Towers.

Sitting back again she allowed her thoughts to drift to the man who, unknowingly, had been such a big part of her life. She'd built fantasies around him, ideas of what it would be like to be the one he looked adoringly at. Maybe be the one to soothe his broken heart. She'd made up stories in her head about his life... his job... his personality. And all this from a few train journeys... 25 minutes shared in the same space each morning... 500 acknowledgements... 500 smiles... and zero words.

'This is Westminster. Please mind the gap between the train and the platform.'

Lexie started and leapt up from her seat, flying out of the doors just as they began to close. She wasn't much looking forward to today anyway, so the idea of being late filled her with horror. Caden Williams was notorious for being a difficult man to work for. How Betty had tolerated him for the last few years apparently no one knew.

Not that she cared all that much, she decided stubbornly as she shouldered her bag and began the short walk to the Jubilee Line. She wasn't doing this for him... she was doing it for John. And maybe a little bit for herself. She wanted to prove to everyone, and especially all of her high and mighty family, that she wasn't just some loser dropout.

Ten minutes later and Lexie was exiting the tube station at London Bridge, heading for the law offices. The heels of her boring black shoes clicked on the pavement, her short grey pleated skirt swirling around her thighs, her plain white blouse almost obscured by the fitted grey jacket she wore. Her thick, auburn hair was neatly piled on top of her head in a bun, and she'd secured with so many clips that she could only pray it would stay right where it was. Allowed to hang freely, her hair had always been a source of consternation. It was wavy and wild and generally untameable. She could only hope it would hold out for the rest of the day.

On the outside she knew she looked the part... every inch the professional woman she needed to be. And yet on the inside she still felt that flutter of apprehension in her belly that told her she wasn't good enough.

She stopped as her eyes moved up the tall imposing building directly in front of her.

Christolau Towers.

Craning her neck up, shielding her eyes from the bright sunlight on this beautiful July day, Lexie felt a strange sensation in the pit of her stomach. It was a stunning building. Not the tallest in London but possibly the most architecturally beautiful. She'd done a bit of research on it the night before and knew it had been sold by the original owners a few years ago for more money than she could ever hope to make in her lifetime. There was nothing on who had bought the building, but the inkling she had that it was some arrogant billionaire made her roll her eyes. It was probably compensation for lack of equipment in the trouser area, she decided, chuckling to herself as she sucked in a deep breath and finally entered the building. In her twenty-three years on this earth she had definitely come across more than one man just like that. They all thought they were the best thing since sliced bread. And yet they were generally deficient in several areas... mainly personality.

Looking around her, she tried desperately hard not to be intimidated by the sheer beauty of the interior. Everything appeared to be made of glass. It was light and airy and functioned like a dream. People were buzzing around, obviously busy going about their daily business, and yet none of them looked stressed. They all looked happy and keen and excited, and she felt her own excitement rocket up several notches. In front of her in the lobby, three escalators led upwards towards a large mezzanine with a long reception desk at the forefront. A third level looked to house informal seating rather like a lounge. On ground level, to her left there was a cafe, and to her right a concierge desk. And all of it appeared to be made of nothing but metal and glass. It was, quite simply, stunning.

Taking the first cautious steps towards the escalators she practiced her easy smile and, before she knew it, she was standing in front of the reception desk being treated to a friendly smile from the receptionist.

"Good morning, how may I help you?"

Lexie inhaled in a shaky breath... this was it, no turning back now. "Morning. I'm here to meet with Mr Williams from Williams, Hartwell & Co. I was wondering if you could direct me to the correct floor please?"

In front of her, two security guards appeared and Lexie wondered if she was about to be thrown from the building. Did they think she was a fraud? She certainly felt like one.

"Okay. If you could give me your name I'll call up and let Mr Williams know you're here."

"Yes, it's Lexie Ca-... um, no... Alexandra Campbell."

The other woman smiled politely. "Okay. One moment please." She pressed several buttons in front of her and placed a headset over her head.

Lexie stepped back slightly, her heart pounding nervously. She hated feeling like this. Nerves just weren't a part of who she was anymore. She'd overcome all of that by travelling. She no longer felt the crushing expectations weighing on her shoulders. So how could she suddenly feel like a nervous teenager again? Her eldest sibling's words from that morning floated back to her...

"Just don't mess up, Alexandra. This an extremely important law firm and Caden Williams is very influential. And just think, if you play your cards right, you might actually find yourself with a real job. But if you mess up, just remember you'll be letting the whole family down."

Pressure. That's what her family had always put on her.

Be perfect, Lexie.

Be someone you're not, Lexie.

Be just like us, Lexie.

"Ms Campbell? Mr Williams is in a meeting at the moment but his secretary has assured me you are expected and has asked me to send you up." The woman pointed to her right. "If you take the lift up to the 18th floor, Janie will direct you to the waiting area." She smiled brightly. "And welcome to Christolau Towers."

"No! This is NOT acceptable!"

For emphasis, Cade slammed the palms of his hands down on the conference room table, minutely satisfied when several members of his team jumped. "This is a very important client and I will not have him displeased!"

Murmurs of apology began to filter around the room and suddenly he could take no more, turning on his heel and striding out of the room, the door slamming firmly in his wake. The office floor was silent and he had no doubt that every single one of his employees had heard his outburst. He should care... but he didn't. Anger was like a constant companion these days and he was finding it hard to deal with the incompetency of the people surrounding him.

"Get back to work!" he roared, the red mist of anger clouding his vision until he could barely see one foot in front of him.

With a precision born of memory rather than conscious thought, Cade stormed across the floor and into his own office, slamming the door and turning the lock. His hands were clenched into fists at his side and he could feel everything spiralling out of control. He felt sick, his heart pounding viciously in his chest, his palms sweating.

Cade paced, digging his short, neat fingernails into his palm in an attempt to dull the ache that was taking over his body bit by bit. His breathing was becoming erratic, the edges of his vision blurring as he tried unsuccessfully to seize control of his out of control body.

Surrounded by floor to ceiling windows he still felt as though the room was too small. It was closing in on him and he knew without a doubt that he wasn't going to be able to control this panic attack. All he could do was let it happen. Gritting his teeth he sank down into his leather chair, planted his feet apart and concentrated on sucking air into his lungs.

Green... he focused on gold and green... and red... and... freckles...

After several minutes his breathing began to come easier and he stood up slowly, walking to the windows and leaning against the cool glass. He stared blindly out at the city of London spread before him. Many years ago he'd come to England determined to make a name for himself. He'd wanted to prove something to himself and the world... to show his father that he could succeed all by himself. And he'd done just that... making his first million not long after his twenty second birthday. And now, seven years later, he had the world at his feet.

So why didn't it feel as good as he'd thought it would. Obtaining Christolau Towers had been his last big acquisition, and his fingers were itching for more. Nothing was ever enough. That's what he'd learned about himself over the last few years. No matter how big it was, or how much money it cost, it was never enough. He didn't flaunt his wealth... in fact it had never been about the money. He gave away just as much of it as he earned. It was about...

Hell, he didn't even know what it was about anymore. The word 'power' sat at the periphery of his thoughts but he didn't allow it the time of day. Surely what he was doing was about more than mere power? As a well-respected defence lawyer to the rich and famous, he had enough power to last a life time.

But three years ago his parents had been killed in a devastating accident that had destroyed everything he held dear. Now there was no one to try and live up to. And with no siblings or family that he knew of, he was essentially alone in the world.

His thoughts immediately shot to Rachael... scheming, conniving, Rachael. His ex-wife.

He had removed his wedding ring only weeks before his world had fallen apart, after she had confessed what he'd already known deep down... that she had been sleeping with other men for months. She'd taken him to the cleaners... and he hadn't cared. His parents were dead. His only reason for existing, gone.

Shoving his hands deep into the pockets of his suit trousers he allowed himself a moment to think of his mother. She had been warm and caring. Even his driven father, who had often come across as cold and hard-hearted, had ultimately been a good role-model. As a boy, Cade had never wanted for anything, and he had been encouraged to pursue whatever road he wanted to in life. True his father had been upset when he'd chosen not to join the lucrative family business but he'd gotten over it pretty quickly... especially when Cade began making money. At the end of the day, other than his parents, it had been Rachael who was the first person he'd ever allowed close. And after her he'd vowed never to allow anyone to hold that power over him again. To love and be loved was to hurt... that was all he had learnt from his brief marriage. And losing his parents had taught him that same lesson. Now he had both the money and the power his father had wanted him to have... and still he wasn't happy. A brief flash of fiery auburn hair appeared in the periphery of his mind and he immediately forced it away - he didn't need to think about her... not today.

A knock on his office door snapped him out of his destructive thoughts. "What?" he barked, annoyed that someone was ignoring all the warning signs to leave him alone.

"I-I'm sorry to interrupt you, Mr Williams," a nervous voice called through the wood. "It's just I have a Lexie Campbell here. She's your temporary PA."

Campbell? He didn't remember...

Oh yes. Somewhere in the back of his mind he did remember John Hartwell saying something about getting him a new PA. He'd refused, knowing there wasn't anyone in the world other than John's wife who could put up with his temper. So who the hell was this?

"I don't need a new PA," he snapped, his fingers clenching tightly again. "Send her away. What I need is to be left-"

"Um, she's here on Mr Hartwell's orders, Mr Williams," the voice interrupted. "I really think you should-"

With the force of his incredible anger behind him, Cade pushed himself away from the window and strode purposefully towards the door. Flipping the lock he wrenched it open and glared at the secretary standing before him... Janie something-or-other.

"I really don't think you're understanding me," he said in a lethally soft voice. Most people knew that when he used that voice he was dangerously close to blowing his lid. "What I'm telling you is... um… is..."

The words trailed away as his eyes suddenly focused on the woman standing behind Janie.

He blinked.

She was still there.

He was well aware that he was staring and yet he couldn't stop. His heart was racing off into overdrive, his breathing shallow, as his mind was taken back to nearly five years ago when he had first set foot on the train that had changed the course of his life forever. Before that journey he'd been content with his life as it was. Work hard, play hard had been his only motto. And then he'd seen her...

She'd been like a ray of sunshine on a gloomy day. And it hadn't been anything to do with her fiery auburn curls. No, it had been her eyes. Even from a few feet away he'd been able to see the flecks of gold in amongst the wash of brilliant pale green, sparkling in the light from the overhead strips. And he'd been mesmerised.

And if it hadn't been for those unusual green eyes he wouldn't have recognised her now. Because, rather than looking like the carefree student of his dreams, she now looked like every other buttoned up office worker he'd ever set eyes on. And yet there was still something about her that made him want to throw away his plans for the future and forge new ones... with her in the starring role.

That first time he'd seen her on the train she'd barely even glanced in his direction. And yet he hadn't been able to keep his eyes off her. The moment when their eyes had finally met had felt like a cliché in a typical romance novel. His heart had stopped beating and he'd unexpectedly found himself struggling to take a breath, the air suddenly too thick and filled with a sexual tension that hit him like a punch to the gut. And all he'd been able to do was nod a greeting. Not even a word. Like a coward he'd never uttered a single word to her.

"Um, Mr Williams... is everything okay?"

He blinked again. Christ, was this woman his new personal assistant? She hadn't moved. In fact she was staring back at him with the same blank look on her face he imagined was on his own. Then another thought occurred to him...

What if she didn't have any clue who he was? It wasn't like she would've spent the last three years obsessing about him the way he'd been obsessing about her. Whenever he felt like he was losing it, it was her he thought of... her face he pictured... the freckles dotting across her pretty little button nose... the way her face lit up when she smiled... and how he'd felt when that smile had been directed at him.

"Mr Williams?"

Janie was talking again. And he was supposed to respond how?

"What?" he snapped.

"Um... what would you like to do with Ms Campbell?"

A sudden vision of exactly what he would like to do with Ms Campbell flashed before his eyes and a burst of lust hit him so hard he could barely stand. Drawing in a breath, he pulled on all his considerable reserves and forced a mask of indifference in place. He couldn't let her see how she affected him. It would only lead to misery – his own especially.

"Do what you like with her. I've got a meeting to attend."

He forced his legs to move in the direction of the lifts, fighting against himself because he'd seen the startled look on her face as he'd barked out the command. He'd seen the hurt flashing in those beautiful green eyes. And he wanted to go back.

The lift arrived and within moments he was inside. He needed to talk to John... because there was no way on this earth he could work alongside her for two minutes let alone two freaking weeks. She did something to his focus that he wasn't altogether sure he liked.

Lexie's jaw dropped as she watched her new boss striding away, and she wondered absentmindedly if the world had suddenly stopped turning. Because that was the way it felt to her in that moment.

It was him. The man of her dreams had just been standing right in front of her... and he'd barely even acknowledged her presence. He'd glared at her as though she was an inconvenience he could do without... and then he'd barked out some orders to his secretary and disappeared.

And the worst thing was he hadn't even recognised her. All those years had meant nothing to him. Without knowing it, he'd just killed her dream dead.

"I'm very sorry about that, Ms Campbell. For some reason he's in a shockingly bad mood this morning. I don't think he's a Monday morning person."

She turned back and smiled weakly at Janie. "Don't worry about it. John Hartwell told me he's quite a tyrant."

Janie chuckled. "That's an understatement. Apparently he used to be fairly easy going. But a few years ago something happened – nobody is entirely sure what – but it changed him. Now his temper is... well volatile is probably the best description. Most of us girls here are petrified of him. But he pays good money so..."

Something had happened to change him? Three years ago? About the same time he'd removed his wedding ring? Had it been his divorce that had changed him? Or... another thought occurred to her that never had before... had his wife died?

Compassion rose unbidden inside of her and she had to bite her tongue to prevent herself from defending his behaviour. What the hell was wrong with her? She didn't know the man... not really. And yet here she was all prepared to defend him to someone who'd known him for years.

Giving herself a mental slap she took a few breaths and smiled. "Well, as he's so... volatile... maybe you could show me a few of the ropes before he comes back and throws that temper in my direction?"

Janie's face brightened. "Oh, that's a good idea." She pointed to the office next to his. "This was Betty's office. We can start by going over the filing system."

But Lexie was barely listening, her focus disrupted by images of cold, dark brown eyes in an exceptionally hard but handsome face.

Cade was almost shaking with anger by the time he reached John Hartwell's offices on the 25th floor and he burst through the door at the same time as he banged on the wood.

"Why have you sent me her?"

John looked up startled. "Sent you who? What's the matter, Caden?"

But Cade was too fired up to listen. "Her? Why her?" He began pacing the floor, tearing his hands through hair that was already messed up.

The man who had been like his surrogate father for seven years of his life was frowning at him. "I'm sorry, son, I've got no idea what you're talking about."

"Lexie Campbell, that's what."

"Lexie…? Oh, you mean Alexandra? Why?" he asked as his eyes glittered with amusement. He glanced at his watch. "It's still early. What's she done already?"

"What's she...? No, she's done nothing. I mean..." He broke off as he struggled to find the words he was searching for. He'd never been at a loss for words before and it angered him all over again. He was a top notch lawyer for god's sake! "Dammit, John!" he exclaimed as he brought the palms of his hands crashing down on the desk. "Why couldn't you have found me some other old lady assistant?"

At that John promptly burst out laughing. "Are you trying to tell me you think she's going to distract you? Have no fear, Cade, nothing or no one has ever managed that stupendous feat."

Cade ground his teeth together, his jaw aching along with the throbbing that was beginning in his head. She was already distracting him. Hell, she'd been distracting him for five long years. And now suddenly he had a name to put to the face.

Alexandra Campbell. Lexie.

"Listen, give her a chance, Caden, that's all I'm asking. She's got a law degree. She'll be an asset to you. You might even find if you talk to her that you've got something in common. She's spent over two of the past three years in America."

Cade smiled, but it wasn't because he was listening to John at all… it was because he was thinking how perfect her name was. He'd always imagined her with a name like that; unusual enough to make her individual, and yet common enough that it didn't sound strange. And just like that he pictured her as he did in his fantasies, her naked body pressed to the mattress by his, her auburn waves spread across his pillow, her name falling from his lips as he brought them both to the edge of sanity. He almost groaned at the vision, his body responding instantly and predictably, making him damn glad he was stood behind John's desk.

"Do you already know her, Cade?"

The curiosity in John's voice propelled him backwards towards the door before he gave himself away. "I'll give her one day," he growled over his shoulder as he left the office. "And she'd better be as good as you say."

Lexie wasn't a stupid girl. In fact she'd found working her way through university fairly easy. So why right now was her head swirling from the sheer quantities of information she'd tried but failed to take in?

Because she wasn't really concentrating, she acknowledged wryly as Janie once more went through Caden's computerised diary. In fact focusing at all was, at this moment in time, quite a tough ordeal.

He'd been gone for two hours so far and yet it seemed like both no time at all and forever since he'd stormed out. He was probably trying to get her fired. After all, her reputation wasn't exactly squeaky clean... and if he'd gone to John... well, let's just say she wasn't holding out much hope. John might have been the one to recommend her, but he knew far too much about her wild teenage years… and if he told Caden…

"In my office... now!"

Lexie looked up just in time to see a flash of the black suit he was wearing disappearing into the office next to hers and she glanced nervously at Janie.

"You'd better do as he says," the other woman said quietly. "And don't forget to take these with you." She handed Lexie a notepad and a pen, wished her good luck then disappeared out of the door as fast as her legs could carry her.

Squashing the feeling of trepidation, Lexie squared her shoulders, smoothed the non-existent wrinkles out of her skirt and headed purposefully towards the connecting door to his office.

The moment she stepped into the intimidating office space, she wanted to turn tail and run away. God, she was in way over her head. What on earth had made her think she could possibly do the job of a PA when she'd never done this kind of work bef-?

"What the hell are you wearing?"

Lexie blinked and glanced down, wondering if by some awful twist of fate she'd actually forgotten to dress herself properly that morning. Perplexed she looked back up from her neat skirt and blouse to see Caden Williams glaring at her from the other side of his desk. At odds with the tension in his face, the rest of his body radiated relaxation. He was lounging back in his chair, his elbows resting on the arms, his fingers steepled in front of him. But it was his eyes that dragged her in. Those almost black, hard eyes that penetrated through to her soul.

"Um... I don't know what you mean, sir."

"Your clothes, Ms Campbell. What made you think they're suitable for wearing in my office? This isn't a nightclub."

Lexie tried hard to fight against the tide of anger that rose up within her but it was a losing battle. Anyone who knew her would know that when rattled she had a red hot temper.

Cade had tried really hard. Hell he'd gone down to the gym and lifted weights until he'd felt the tension lift from his shoulders... and other parts of his anatomy. But the moment she'd stepped into his office it had all gone to hell in a handbasket.

Buttoned up.

That's what he'd thought when he'd first seen her outside his office earlier. But she'd been wearing a grey jacket over what he could now clearly see was a very tight, white blouse that highlighted the delicious curves of her breasts and made him want to rip it right off her.

And her skirt?

It barely covered anything at all, falling well above her knee, swirling seductively around her thighs with every movement, as she folded her arms and glared at him. Since when had an irate woman ever turned him on?

Since now.

"What gives you the right to dictate what I wear, Mr Williams?" she threw furiously at him. And far from angering him, her words only fuelled his hunger. "I'm dressed decently and-"

"And every red-blooded man in this damn office is gonna go home tonight fantasising about you! I'm sorry, Ms Campbell but I need my staff focused on their work. Not thinking about what it would be like to-"

"To what?"

Her eyes glinted a darker shade of emerald green when she was angry, he noticed absentmindedly. Her hands moved to her hips, thrusting her full breasts in his direction and he nearly groaned as his body responded instantly. Images of him sweeping everything on his desk to the floor, bending her over, hiking up that skirt and burying himself deep inside her, hit him like a freight train and he stood up abruptly.

"Go home and change."

"No!"

His eyes widened in surprise and Lexie almost felt the need to giggle. Just how many times had anyone ever said no to him? And she'd bet certainly never a woman. In fact she had the feeling that women in general were only too happy to say yes to his every whim.

His eyes were boring into her and she sensed a change in the room... an electrical charge sparking between them as they stared at each other. Then slowly he leant forwards until his palms were resting against his large mahogany desk.

"So let me get this straight." He lifted up his hand and began counting off on his fingers. "Firstly, I've been saddled with a PA I don't want. Secondly, it looks like I'm stuck with her. And thirdly, I ask her to go home and change and she says no."

Raising her eyebrows, Lexie nodded. "That about sums it up, yes."

"So you won't go home?"

"Nope."

"Why the hell not?"

She held up her own hand to count off the points. "Because for one I live in Richmond, secondly I came here on the tube, and thirdly..."

At the mention of the word tube, Lexie was aware of Caden stilling in front of her. Every movement frozen as if someone had turned him to stone. And suddenly she realised he knew. He hadn't been completely oblivious to the connection they shared. Or he'd at least tried to hide it. But this time he hadn't been able to. And for some reason that felt worse. At least earlier she'd been able to hide behind the thought that she was alone with her memories.

Now she just needed to make him think it meant nothing to her, continue as if nothing had happened. Because if he thought she recognised him too, he might just use it against her.

"... this is the twenty first century," she continued with barely a pause. "I'm not exactly dressed like a prostitute. I'm smart and just because my skirt is a little short for your tastes I'm not going to-"

"Fine!" he snapped, his eyes like pools of inky blackness. "Keep the damn skirt on."

She relaxed ever so slightly, surprised and a little bewildered that he'd given in so quickly and easily. He looked beyond furious as he stared at her, his jaw so tense she could see the muscles pulsing rhythmically just beneath his ear. And for some reason that look sent shivers of desire racing up and down her spine. Her legs began to tremble but she couldn't drag her eyes away from him, as though he was holding her captive with his darkness.

"Sit."

The instruction was a cross between a bark and a growl, and Lexie had the insane urge to refuse just to see what he would do. How far could she push him?

"Don't defy me, Alexandra," he growled, obviously able to read her mind. "I've had a hell of a day already. Now sit down."

His eyes narrowed, his expression darkening as she hesitated yet again. But John's pleading words over the phone four days ago came flooding back and she knew she couldn't allow herself to get fired. He would be so upset with her. So instead of refusing, she summoned up the sweetest smile she possessed and nodded, slipping into the chair in front of Caden's desk.

"Of course, Mr Williams." She held up her pad and pencil. "What can I do for you today?"

Cade watched in stunned astonishment as, five minutes later, Lexie Campbell strolled out of his office, her head held high, that damn skirt swishing seductively around her thighs. Before she'd entered, there had been a million and one things he'd needed her to do. But when she'd sat herself so primly down in front of him, he'd forgotten each and every one. The argument they'd had, had fired up his arousal like rocket fuel on a naked flame, every single one of his brain cells fleeing south as they'd stared at each other, her green eyes bewitching him.

With a noise that sounded suspiciously like a groan, he grabbed a pile of folders from his in-tray and opened the top one, determined to bury himself in work and forget all about the fact that, on the other side of the door, sat one very distracting, very frustrating, green-eyed witch.