Eclipse of the Heart - By Carly Carson Page 0,1

spoke into the phone. Obviously, Rosie had no idea what kind of professional look would be required for a Director of Entrepreneurial Services. Probably all that gossip about the man's mistresses had scrambled her brain.

"Mr. Winter?" Rosie's clear voice carried across the sitting area. "Your next appointment is here early. Ya want her to wait?"

"Yes, sir." Rosie put down the phone and called across the room. "He said to go on in."

Amanda straightened her shoulders, smoothed down her sedate gray skirt, and pasted a pleasant expression on her face. She tried to ignore the acrobats in her stomach. This job was too important for her to make any mistakes.

Her resolve faltered when she opened the door and confronted her interviewer across the expanse of an acre of Oriental carpets. A wall of windows on the far side of the office let in too much light.

Logan Winter.

She started across the carpet as he rose to his feet from behind an enormous desk. His body language was controlled, his face watchful. He wore his dark hair cut short, his gray eyes were cool enough to match his name, and his shoulders stretched far enough to block the light now that he was standing. His firm mouth spoke of a man used to making decisions and ruling his world. But there was just enough sensuality in his lips—Stop! she hissed to her libido. You aren't here for a date.

She walked across the room as he let his gaze flick over her, down and up, quickly, but he made little attempt to hide it. Her back stiffened and she held out a hand.

"Amanda Thompson," she said, and it didn't take any effort for her voice to come out cool. She could see that he was a man used to getting his way with women, but she didn't intend to be another name in his little black book.

He grasped her hand, and a tingle buzzed over her palm and up her arm. Whoa, no wonder women chased him. She saw surprise flicker in his eyes as he held her gaze.

She pulled on her captured hand and he released it promptly.

"Please sit down, Amanda." He pointed to the chairs positioned in front of his desk. "Thank you for accommodating the change in schedule." He smiled, but it was perfunctory. "I do appreciate my…ah…employees having an easygoing temperament."

"Umm…" There had been no change in her schedule. But was it important to point that out when they were both sitting here ready for the interview, especially since he'd just implied that he didn't enjoy arguing?

"I'm very interested in the position," she said, deciding a positive note was best.

"Good." Another brief smile as he folded his hands on the desk in front of him. "I assume the agency outlined the duties involved in this job, and what my expectations are?"

She nodded. "Of course, I do have questions."

"Naturally." He glanced at his watch. "I'm a firm believer in on-the-job-training. But if you have a couple of important questions that can’t wait, I’ll try to answer them. Otherwise, I think it would be better to go over your duties in more detail tonight, when we have more time."


"The agency did tell you about the travel requirements?"

"Not specifically." She resisted the urge to wriggle in her seat. This was the strangest interview she'd ever had. "Of course, most jobs require travel." She didn't want to be difficult.

"Yes, that’s right. I've been looking for someone for several months so I'm anxious to start right away."

"I see." She took a deep breath. "Mr. —"

He held up a hand. "Logan, please. Will it be a problem for you to start immediately?" His tone was a little cooler than it had been. "I do appreciate availability, given the nature of this position."

Okay, that was fair. She couldn’t expect that every idea they’d need to explore would be right here in New York. But—

She lifted her head to meet his gaze. "Are you offering me the job?"

"You’re not the type I usually hire for this position." His eyes flicked up and down her torso, in another once-over she thought was fairly crass, all things considered. She wasn’t a heifer he was planning to purchase.

"But," he continued, "I’m ready for a change, so let’s give it a try."

A try? Sweat trickled down her back like a cool warning. She needed a permanent position.

"You haven’t asked me anything about my background, or my qualifications." She stuttered to a stop under his sardonic gaze.

"That’s why I employ an agency," he