Legal Briefs Page 1

Author: N.M. Silber

Series: Lawyers in Love #3

Genres: Romance , Humorous

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Prologue

September – Bucks County, PA

Six people out in the woods … How would I do him in, bear trap, falling tree, maybe killer bees? I imagined a few different scenarios to amuse myself. I was a writer, in a cabin that would be a great setting for a mystery novel, lying awake in bed in the middle of the night. My friends, Jess and Cameron, were done with their happy couple sex in the bedroom next to mine, but an hour later, I was still staring at the ceiling. It’s not that the bed wasn’t comfy or the room cozy. The sheets were soft and the down comforter was warm. The whole place smelled like pine trees and apples. It was his fault I couldn’t sleep.

Braden, one of his closest friends, and Gabrielle, one of mine, were planning to get married. Adam Roth and I were going to be stuck with each other until death did us part, and it just might be a violent death for one of us. It wasn’t our mutual animosity keeping me awake, though, but rather something much more disturbing. For reasons I couldn’t begin to fathom, since the summer, I had actually been intensely, physically attracted to the bastard, and sensing it like only a seasoned player could, he had decided to amuse himself with me.

I sat up and punched my pillow a few times again, lying back down and turning on to one side and then the other, kicking the sheets and blankets around restlessly. One thing I did know, was that I was never going to fall asleep just lying here thinking, so I decided to get up and go look for a book in the living room. There was a shelf full of them there. I should be able to find something to distract myself.

I had forgotten to pack a robe, and I was only wearing a short satin button-down nightshirt, but I figured everyone was asleep by this time anyway. I just slid on my slippers and crept down the hall. It was a little chillier out there, and I wrapped my arms around myself to keep warm. I saw a dim light ahead and heard a crackle and snap. As I entered the room I smelled the wood smoke from the fireplace which was still smoldering. The room was in shadow, but the fire created just enough illumination for me to see. I went over to the bookshelf and started browsing, when a voice from behind me caused the hair to stand up on my arms and gave me adrenaline-induced pins and needles down the back of my neck.

“Couldn’t stay away from me, Adler?” Adam asked, sounding a little drunk. I spun around and saw him sitting in the semi-darkness, still fully dressed, and holding a glass of scotch in his hand. My stomach fluttered and I could feel my heart starting to pound.

“Jesus! You scared me, Roth. What are you doing up?” I asked in a shaky voice, expelling a heavy breath and pulling another one in. I hugged myself tighter.

“It’s no fun listening to Braden get laid.” His voice was smooth and seductive, nothing like the sarcastic tone he usually adopted when speaking to me.

“Yeah, Cam and Jess were tearing up the sheets too, although they’re finally done.” I turned back toward the shelf, trying to ignore the powerful desire to go over and touch him. I wanted to touch him all the time now when I saw him, and I had never been a touchy-feely person.

“I guess that just leaves us, Adler,” he said in a sultry voice and I turned back around slowly, giving him an incredulous look.

“You must be kidding, Roth. We can barely tolerate each other.”

“We had a moment this summer.”

“After drinking too much alcohol while sitting in the sun.”

He got up from the sofa where he was reclining, put his drink down, and began walking toward me slowly. My stomach flipped over and my heart started really slamming in my chest but I stood still and didn’t look away. He stopped inches away, and leaned an arm against the bookshelf behind me. I swallowed hard. He was so close I could feel the heat from his body.

“The way I remember it was that I said I was going in for a nap and a few minutes later, you came inside too. My door was open and I saw you in the hall. You were wearing that sexy little pink bikini and your hair was still damp.” His eyes dropped to my body and traveled slowly downward.

“I remember, Adam, okay?” I felt my skin starting to flush and I had to concentrate on controlling my breathing.

“You said, ‘I thought you were napping’,” he went on. “I said, ‘No, you didn’t,’ and you called me an arrogant asshole.” He paused to give me a lazy, sexy smile. “But you didn’t go into your room, Lily.”

“We were talking,” I said, fighting to keep my voice steady. I felt that pull again now, the urge to touch him was so strong, I dug my nails into my sweaty palms so I wouldn’t do it.

“I knew by the look in your eyes how much you wanted me.”

“You’re still an arrogant asshole,” I shot back. There was more desperation than anger in my voice, though. I felt out of control, like I was plummeting off the side of a cliff. I wanted to give in to my desire so much that I was starting to tremble.

“And you could tell how much I wanted you too.” His eyes went to my lips, which were slightly parted as quick little pants escaped them.

“Nothing happened, Adam,” I reminded him in a throaty voice.

“Something happened, Lily. We were about two seconds away from f**king each other unconscious, when Gabrielle came up the steps.”

He reached out to bury his fingers in my hair and tilt my head back further, pulling me toward him and lowering his mouth toward mine. I closed my eyes, feeling hot and dizzy. I felt his warm breath on me and smelled Scotch as I parted my lips further in anticipation, waiting and wanting to taste it too.

Suddenly, there was a sound out on the deck …

Chapter One

November - Philadelphia

“What are you thinking about while you’re pretending to listen to me?” My friend Bruce’s comment snapped me out of my reverie. The lights and pounding music of the club had combined with the alcohol to make my head feel a little fuzzy and I had let my thoughts wander.

“That weekend out in Bucks County when Adam and I wound up chasing after that intruder we heard out on the deck. It made me paranoid. I keep triple checking my locks now.” That was half true, at least. I had been thinking about that weekend, but the moment stuck in my head was the one right before we heard something out on the deck, the one when Adam had almost kissed me.

“It’s not a bad idea in your case. Tell me again why you live in the ghetto,” Bruce said, being his usual snarky self.

“Because a law librarian’s salary isn’t much to live on already, and I have the added cost of publishing my own books. At least the erotic romance novels are selling well.”

“You don’t think your parents would help you out if they knew you were living there?”

“They want me to use my law degree to be a lawyer, not a law librarian and part-time smut peddler. They’re really into ‘tough love,’ especially the tough part. Let’s talk about something nicer, which would be just about anything.”

“Okay, thinking about your boy again, huh? What’s it been, a month now since you’ve seen him?” he asked. I sighed and rolled my eyes. Except for that.

“Yeah, I saw him at Gabrielle and Braden’s wedding, but we didn’t talk. It’s for the best. I should just forget about it. We probably couldn’t even handle hooking up. We’d fight over who got to be on top.”

“You’re not going to forget about it. Don’t think I haven’t noticed that the main characters in your latest novel, Touch, were a tall, dark and handsome guy and a curvy, brunette with big brown eyes. I wonder who that could be.”

“There are lots of people who fit that description.”

“That’s just the beginning of the similarities. You want me to go on? It doesn’t take Freud to figure it out, sweetie.”

“So maybe I based one of my erotic novels on my own sexual fantasies. It doesn’t mean I should try to make them reality. This attraction is just physical, and it will pass. Eventually.”

“Whatever you say. Speaking of hot guys, check out that cutie on the dance floor. He knows how to move. He’s probably great in bed.”

“Does Jason know you check out other guys?”

“We’ve been together for seven years, Lil. He knows who I come home to every night.”

“Is that true about dancing?” I asked. “That guys who can dance are good in bed?”

“Think about it, rhythm, hip movement …”

Hmm, I could use some rhythm and hip movement. I hadn’t had sex in a couple of months. The guys I had been dating were nice, but I wanted someone who stirred something up in me. I snorted to myself when I thought about that observation. I should just sleep with Adam. He certainly stirred something up. Usually, it was fury.

As if my thinking about him had caused him to appear, when I was on my second Apple Martini, Bruce’s gaze became riveted by something over my left shoulder.

“Uh oh,” he mouthed.

“Uh oh what?” I asked, nervously. Anything that followed “uh oh” couldn’t be good.

“Your boy is here.”

“What’s he doing?” I asked, pretty sure I didn’t want to know, and unwilling to be caught looking.

“I don’t think you want to know,” he answered, confirming my suspicions.

“Wonderful.”

I slurped my drink and began planning my escape. I knew why Adam came to these places and the last thing I wanted to see was him picking up some other woman, but I didn’t want him to see me sneaking out either. God, I missed the days when we just hated each other. I sloshed down even more alcohol. If I couldn’t make it out of here, maybe I would be lucky enough to have a blackout.

“Interesting…” Bruce said, apparently analyzing whatever Adam was doing. I was tempted to look, but I told myself not to do it. I wanted to know, though. I had to admit Bruce was usually on target with his observations.

“Tell me,” I said resignedly. “It’s better that I hear it. It’ll help me regain my sanity.”

“Some blonde’s hanging all over him. She’s practically shoving her tits in his face.”

“What’s so interesting about that?” I asked, wondering if I had done something awful in a past life to deserve this.

“He keeps looking around like he wants to leave, but she keeps putting her hand in his lap. She may actually be rubbing his dick. I guess that’s one way to get his attention.”

“Classy,” I said, feeling my stomach starting to roil. “I’m the one who wants to leave.”

“Not yet you don’t, sister! Come on!”

“Come on where?”

“To the dance floor, of course!”

He yanked me out of my seat and I followed along obediently, although I really couldn’t tell you why I did. Bruce just had a way of compelling me to do things. The pounding music was starting to give me a pounding headache and I had a feeling that if any more lights flashed in my eyes I might go blind. I really wasn’t in the mood to shake my booty, but Bruce wasn’t going to take no for an answer. As soon as we got out onto the floor, he started channeling his inner boy band, busting out all of his fanciest moves.

“What are you auditioning for?” I shouted at him over the music.

“One of us has to catch your boy’s attention and you’re moving like you’re in a body cast,” he shouted back, swiveling his h*ps like Elvis in the early days. “It’s too bad Jason was on call tonight. If he were here, we could have gotten really raunchy.”

“I don’t know that having a threesome under the disco ball would exactly set me apart from his current companion.”

“She’s not his companion anymore. He must have ditched her. He’s sitting by himself.”

“Are you sure that she’s not just blowing him under the table?”

“I just love your girlish charm,” he yelled back at me.

“I feel the same way about you,” I responded. Hearing that he had changed his mind about his little friend cheered me up and I found myself loosening up a bit. At least I could probably get out of there before he found one he liked better. Now, if I could just get Bruce Travolta to leave the dance floor.

“I think you have an admirer,” Bruce shouted a few minutes later.

“I have many admirers,” I joked.

“This one is a tall, dark and handsome prosecutor.” Suddenly, he backed up and practically doubled over laughing.

“Are you choking on something? Because I don’t remember any of that Heimlich shit from Girl Scouts.” He punched me in the shoulder, still laughing hysterically. “Ouch! What the f**k is wrong with you?”

“Come on, Lil. Will you try to look like you’re having some fun, for Christ’s sake?” he shouted/growled through his self-induced mirth. He grabbed my hand and spun me around twice. Not a great idea after two rapidly consumed apple martinis. I wound up facing the other way, and when the room stopped spinning too, I looked up and saw Adam reclining in a chair at a table not far from where we were, with an amused look on his face. He smiled and waved. I furrowed my brows and Bruce yanked me back around, nearly dislocating my shoulder in the process.

“Why didn’t you wave back?” he demanded with a maniacal smile. He was so intent on looking like he was having a blast that he was now dancing like a muppet.

“Because he’s laughing at me. Will you stop that? You look like you’re having a spasm. Someone’s going to call the paramedics.”

“He’s not laughing at you. Well, maybe a little, but not in a mean way. More in a ‘she’s pretty adorable’ way. I’m telling you.”

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