Love Irresistibly(10)

By: Julie James


you imagine the liability I’d be exposing the company to if someone got hurt and I’d had advance notice that there was a potentially dangerous sting operation going down in one of our restaurants during regular business hours?”

Cade considered this point. “I can’t reveal the nature of our investigation,” he finally said. “But I can assure you that neither of the two men who will be at Sogna on Sunday night are considered dangerous. Nobody’s pulling out guns and causing a shoot-out in the middle of your restaurant. This isn’t the O.K. Corral.”

“I’d still like the names.”

His blue eyes held hers boldly. “You drive a hard bargain, Ms. Parker.”

“I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t.”

“Hmm.” He stretched out in the chair, looking effortlessly handsome and every inch the successful trial lawyer in his tailored navy pinstripe suit. “Now, normally, this would be the point when I’d have to give you the tough-guy speech about how, if you were to reveal to anyone the confidential nature of the information I’m about to give you, you could be charged with obstruction of justice and face a possible felony conviction and imprisonment.” He flashed her a dashing grin. “Luckily, though, since you’re a lawyer and obviously know that already, we can skip over the tough-guy stuff. Which is nice, because that part of the conversation can get really awkward.”

Maybe it was the fact that Brooke, admittedly, was having a bad day. She’d been dumped by the Hot OB, had just spent three hours on the phone haggling with the Staples Center lawyers over every tiny, miniscule part of their food service contract, and had done it all on two measly bites of a chicken taco and a melted strawberry-mango smoothie. She was tired, hungry, and, up until ten minutes ago, had been looking forward to the first Sunday in a long time when she did not have to work. So, yes—

she was, perhaps, feeling extra-cranky because of circumstances that had nothing to do with anyone sitting in that office right then.

But Cade Morgan was seriously beginning to piss her off.

He’d come here, to her office, to ask for her help.

Now he was threatening her with obstruction of justice charges—and most annoyingly, he was doing it with a smile.

So she returned the favor. “That is nice, Mr. Morgan.

Because in response to your tough-guy speech, I, in turn, would’ve had to give you my tough- girl speech, about where, exactly, federal prosecutors who come to my office looking for assistance can stick their obstruction of justice threats.” She smiled ever so charmingly. “So I’m glad we were able to sidestep that whole ugly business. Whew . ”

Although her attention was focused on Cade, out of the corner of her eye, Brooke could see Agents Huxley and Roberts looking at the wall and ceiling, seemingly trying to hide their smiles.

Cade looked momentarily caught off guard, the first time since he’d waltzed into her office, then his eyes flashed with something else entirely.

Amusement, perhaps.

That annoyed her even more.

“Point taken, Ms. Parker.” Then he clapped his hands, moving on. “All right. Here’s what I can tell you. The reservation is for seven thirty, under the name Charles Torino.”

Charles Torino.

Nope, Brooke had no clue who that was.

“I’ll save you the Google search,” Cade said, as if reading her mind. “He’s the CEO of a hospital here in Chicago.”

“And the other man?”

“State Senator Alec Sanderson.”

Ah. Now Brooke was beginning to see what all the fuss was about. Based on the bits and pieces of information she had—the special agents from the white-collar crime division, the fact that Cade had previously prosecuted several high-profile corruption cases—Brooke would hazard a guess that the state of Illinois had yet another dirty politician on its hands.

Only one thing to say in response to that.

“I can get you into Sogna at seven A.M. on Sunday morning,” she told them. “I realize that’s early, but some of the kitchen staff will be arriving at ten o’clock, when deliveries for the dinner service start coming in. You’ll obviously want to be done before then.”

“That’ll be fine,” Vaughn said, appearing pleased with this arrangement. “After working for the FBI for seven years, a seven A.M. start feels like sleeping in.”

“I think you can stop telling her that you work for the FBI, Roberts,” Huxley muttered under his breath. “She’s got it.”

Brooke was trying to hold back a smile, thinking she rather liked these two special agents, when Mr. Obstruction of Justice had to chime back in.

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