His Unexpected Lover

Elizabeth Lennox - The Thorpe Brothers #2 - His Unexpected Lover

His Unexpected Lover (The Thorpe Brothers #2)
Elizabeth Lennox


Chapter 1

“I can’t do this,” she whispered to herself. “I thought I could, but it’s simply too painful.”

Kiera’s shoulders slumped and she tried to find the answers within the depths of her martini. Unfortunately, the liquid only mocked her, small circles forming on the top and quickly dissipating as if to say, “You never should have come here.”

Or maybe the glass was only telling her that a heavy-footed person was walking by.

She held her head up with her forehead, trying to figure out what to do. She’d only been at her new job for a less than a week and already she loved it. The people were fun, hard-working, extremely smart…that all added up to an ideal workplace where she was challenged to excel and stand out, but what was even better, she respected her peers. Instinctively, she knew that The Thorpe Group encouraged competition but, unlike other law firms, didn’t condone the backstabbing and win-or-get-out pressure on cases. Oh, they won cases! Clients came to The Thorpe Group for legal advice from all over the country, all over the world even, because they knew that The Thorpe Group would deliver. The difference was that their success was due to a brilliant legal team versus barely ethical legal tactics.

There were other law firms out there with a similar reputation, although none as glamorous as The Thorpe Group. Gaining a few years at this firm on her resume would set her up perfectly for success wherever she wanted to go as a next step.

No, the work and the workers weren’t the problem.

Even the location was great. Chicago was a fabulous city with excellent museums, a thriving art community, tons of shopping and a wide range of people with which to interact.

Nope, all of her issues were personal. She’d foolishly convinced herself that she would be able to deal with this problem but, after only a few days, she knew that the issue was bigger than she could handle.

Axel Thorpe.

She’d seen the gorgeous, huge male in the hallway earlier today. And that one sighting, just the short glimpse of the man as he walked into a conference room, was why she was here, trying to drown her problems in a martini.

Unfortunately, she realized after ordering the potent cocktail that she didn’t like martinis.

She also didn’t like her body’s reaction to seeing Axel Thorpe again. She’d almost embarrassed herself when she’d seen him. Thankfully, she didn’t think he’d seen her trip. Nor had any of her co-workers, which was at least something. She’d had to catch herself by grabbing onto a chair, which probably looked ridiculous, but mercifully, she hadn’t fallen on the floor. She might have passed off the accident as just a fluke, but she’d almost fallen over the conference room table. Not something most people trip over because of its size and obvious placement in the room. But then again, most people hadn’t just seen the love of their life after so many years.

Kiera sighed and took another sip of her martini. Maybe she just needed to plow through the drink. Keep forcing it down. Hopefully, the alcohol would keep her mind from replaying the scene. She would eventually feel nothing. Maybe that was the way she should handle Axel too. Just keep running into him until her body was numb from the reaction.

Perhaps today’s sighting and the humiliating aftermath was just a fluke. Maybe if she just went up and spoke to him, greeted him and asked him how his day was going, she wouldn’t be so flustered when she accidentally saw him. Sort of like taking an allergy shot every week to build up one’s immune system.

She sighed and took another sip of her martini, her face squinching up ridiculously as she tried to swallow the foul stuff. And she had to acknowledge the stupidity of her idea. Being around him six years ago hadn’t diminished his appeal or the impact he’d had on her when she was in college. Every time she’d seen him, she’d been floored. Just like today. Her knees went weak, she had trouble breathing, her whole body started shaking and she was unable to speak coherently.

Maybe it was just an allergy!

She almost giggled to herself and looked down at her drink. Was she reaching the giggle stage after only a few sips of the martini?

She pulled a file folder out of her leather bag, intending to get