Total D*ck (Bad Bitch #3)(10)

By: Christina Saunders

She turned to Eric as he sat down in front of his laptop. Carey pulled his own from his bag and set up in the next seat over.

“Please give Carey the same information you gave me yesterday. I’ll try to keep up, but it’s perfectly fine for you two to put your heads together and speak your language. I just want to know your end results on what you think may have happened.” Scarlett sat on Eric’s other side and watched as he began typing and showing Carey basic log-on information. She began making notes on her legal pad, paying close attention to Eric’s explanations.

I ignored the digital brain trust and kept my eyes on Scarlett. She didn’t bother looking at me, still on her campaign of “Kennedy is beneath me.” I wouldn’t have minded being beneath her, for a little while at least. Then I would flip her over—

“Are you even listening?” Her voice broke through the pleasant daydream.

“Yes,” I lied as she shook her head and went back to taking notes.

“—so when does the backup occur?” Carey appeared to be deep in investigation mode.

“Every night at midnight. Like clockwork. I started it that way years ago and sort of stuck with it. Now, of course, everything is much more secure. But the principle is the same. There isn’t a single piece of information on the Rhone network that doesn’t have at least one level of redundancy.”

“Does that include the data that was taken?” Carey asked.

“Hang on a second.” I stood and walked to stand over Eric’s shoulder. His screen ran some sort of code. “Is anyone going to talk about what was taken? What was it, anyway?”

“I was wondering when you’d get around to asking the most important question of the case.” Scarlett leaned back in her chair. “Better late than never, I suppose. Eric, go ahead.”

He took his glasses off and cleaned the lenses with his shirt. “A complex series of algorithms that are highly proprietary to Rhone’s weapons-testing program.”

“Okay, Eric. That’s great and all. But try to put that in terms a non-geek can understand.”

“Well, it’s not as simple as saying ‘they snuck in and stole the piece of paper with the secret formula on it.’” Eric glared at me as I edged over so I could stand behind Scarlett. The tight prison of hair on the top of her head begged for my fingers. Messing it all up moved steadily up the list of my priorities until it ranked right below “win this case and make millions of dollars.”

“It’s a series of mathematical formulas that help Rhone figure out the best way for the U.S. military to kill people.” Carey’s fingers flew across the keys as he spoke, the multitasking almost unnerving.

I slapped the back of Scarlett’s chair. “That’s more like it. Now we’re cooking with gas. That sounds like some damages. Maybe we can treble them, get some punitives. Really hit the jackpot.”

“Thanks for that crackerjack legal analysis.” Instead of chilling me, her icy tone had the opposite effect. She continued, “Now that Mr. Granade is on the same page, instead of wandering through a grade-school picture book all on his own, please continue with your analysis.”

She was icy, but I sensed that was only on the surface. I wanted to get closer to her, to see how deeply I had to go before I got to her hotter climes. I slid into the chair next to her and watched her write notes in an elegant script as the geek squad got back to chattering.

Leaning over, I whispered in her ear, “So, when are we going to do some actual legal work?”

She stopped writing and turned toward me, her face close enough that I could kiss her by closing the short distance. Would she hit me? Or would it be like a Gone with the Wind sort of smack that was just foreplay? Surely the latter. I didn’t give a damn either way.

“I realize you’ve been out of law school all of four years longer than I have, so maybe I’m sort of New Age on this point, but getting up to speed on your actual case seems like legitimate legal work.” Her eyes flickered down to my lips and back to my eyes. I knew that look. She may as well have written “fuck me” in block letters on her legal pad. This would be easier than I thought.

She opened her mouth, no doubt to scorch the earth under my feet with her fiery tongue, but her mouth turned into a smile and she stood.

“Mr. Rhone.” Stepping around my chair, she greeted the man who walked through the door.

His blond hair shone under the natural light filtering through the glass rooms. Dressed in dark slacks and a crisp button-down with the sleeves rolled up, he looked like the more approachable version of corporate America. I guessed he was in his early forties, trim and polished.

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