Fatal Diversion (The Keeper's Series #4) - Stephanie St. Klaire
"Mr. President...” Dillon Stone was startled to her feet when Ransom Wyatt walked into the conference room. Ransom Wyatt, President of the United States.
“I understand you wanted to meet with me, Ms. Stone?” The president had a mischievous grin with fire in his eyes and wore it as well as the designer suit that hugged him in all the right places.
“Well…yes, but I thought I would be vetted first,” Dillon replied with an awkward chuckle that sounded so breathy it turned her cheeks crimson and left her mentally scolding herself for coming across as so…eager. It took all she had not to face-plant in her palm.
Ransom Wyatt wasn’t just the president. He was a salt-of-the-earth war hero who campaigned as The People’s Hero. Men beat their chests alongside their fierce leader while women of all ages fell to his feet — and probably into his bed.
“It is me you’re here to see, correct?”
“Yes, I mean…I thought I would be meeting with an intern…or another staffer. I just didn’t think you would have the time. You are the president, after all.” It wasn’t like confident Dillon to stumble over her own words or thoughts because she wasn’t easily intimidated. This reaction was something altogether different, and she wasn’t sure whether it was the thick, corded vein throbbing in his neck, his deep timbre that held a certain country flair, or the fact that he was the youngest — and very single — president in history that had her off-kilter.
“Well, Ms. Stone…you’re correct. I don’t have time. However, I am very interested in what you have to say, so I will have someone set up a meeting that’s more…” Ransom not so subtly looked her over, head to toe, stoking that fire in his eyes. “Convenient…for us both.”
In Dillon’s line of work, not much went unnoticed. Rather than flattery, a sense of irritation stirred within her. Her eyes roamed too, only she forced a look of disgust despite the flutter each bulging inch of him provoked. “Wait, that’s it?”
“As you mentioned, Ms. Stone, my time is short. I have a full docket this afternoon. How about dinner this evening…my quarters?” he asked, full of confidence and entirely unapologetic in his boldness.
She had a job to do, and it wasn’t the president. Especially now. The more he talked, the more Dillon chilled to his charm and remembered why she was really there. “Oh, I’m not sure I’m okay with that, sir.”
“You don’t eat dinner?”
“Of course I do.”
He tilted his chin up and cocked his head, looking at her with a heavy-lidded stare. “Do you work long hours like the rest of the city?”
“Then meet me for dinner, Ms. Stone, and we can talk…business.”
The hesitation in his words caused her stomach to roil. Dillon was sure the people who voted for this cowboy G.I. Joe type were confusing confidence with ego. “Sir, I just don’t know that it’s appropriate to have dinner with the president in his private living quarters…at night…alone.”
“Have you ever had a business dinner before?” He was challenging her. Testing her.
“Of course I have, but it wasn’t so…”
“So what, Ms. Stone?”
“Inappropriate,” she deadpanned. It was becoming clear the dinner he spoke of was her. The thought was both revolting and titillating.
She passed the test, which made him want time with her that much more, even if it was just for business. “Why does this feel inappropriate to you?”
“With all due respect, sir, it sounds a bit like a date.”
“Do all dinner meetings feel like dates to you, Ms. Stone?”
“Of course not. But you are…you. And I don’t make a habit of mixing business with pleasure.” That was a lie, but in her line of work, pleasure was more intense than anything that could happen in the White House…with Ransom Wyatt.
“I’m not sure if that’s a compliment, but I’ll make this easy for you. We can have dinner in the Oval Office. Does that feel more appropriate?”
"Mr. President…” What felt appropriate was crossing a blurred line and tiptoeing around unprofessional. Ransom Wyatt was good. So damn good.
“It’s multitasking really. Is that better?” His jaw jutted out in a crooked smile like he was used to having a piece of hay there to suck on.
“I-I…I’m afraid you’ve caught me off guard, sir.” Dillon was making a mental list of all the ways she would make Mercy pay for putting her on this assignment. He owed her. Big.
A man in a dark suit standing at the door interrupted as he tipped his wrist for