REDEMPTION by Cara Marsi
stood. “Have you worked out a cover for me?”
Nodding, Callahan pushed back from the desk and rounded it to
face Logan. “I’ve arranged for you to be temporary
assistant to one of our vice presidents. Her regular assistant
starts pregnancy leave next week. Stop by her office now. She’s
It couldn't be. What were the chances?
this VP know why I'm here?"
shook his head. "As you instructed, I'm the only one who
Logan thrust out his hand. “I look forward to working
with you, Mr. Callahan.”
“Call me Dan. My receptionist will give you the suite
number where you’re to report.”
“I’ll be in touch.” Logan walked from the
room and the receptionist in the outer office handed him a piece
of crisp white paper. After thanking the woman, Logan stepped
into the hall.
He glanced down at the paper in his hand. His breath came out
in a rush. Damn his rotten luck.
temp your father hired is here.”
Biting back a groan, Doriana Callahan turned from her computer
and faced her assistant.
Lisa closed the office door and leaned her very pregnant body
against it. A huge grin split her pretty face.
Doriana arched an eyebrow. “You find it amusing that my
father overstepped my authority and hired your replacement?”
an unsuccessful attempt to look sympathetic. “I know you’re
upset with your dad, but he is CEO. So I guess he can do whatever
he wants.” Her gray eyes twinkled. “Your father
should do more of the hiring around here.”
are you talking about?” Doriana asked.
“You’ll see. Should I send him in?”
“Yup,” Lisa said. “Your dad hired a guy.”
Doriana made a face. “I’ve always had a female assistant.
What will I do with a guy?”
Lisa giggled. “Trust me. You’ll figure out what
to do with this one.”
“This pregnancy is affecting your brain.” Doriana
pushed away from the desk and stood.
can’t be any worse than the candidates the agency sent
over.” She shrugged into her suit jacket and lifted her
heavy hair free of the collar. She needed a haircut, but where
would she find the time?
gaze swept her. “You’re the only one around here
who wears a business suit. We do have a casual dress policy.
And you might want to loosen up a little, considering.”
“Considering what?” Doriana asked.
Lisa gave her a sly smile. “When you see your new assistant,
you’ll know what I mean.” She patted her stomach.
“This baby’s not going to wait much longer. It’s
a good thing your dad found someone.”
suppose I should be grateful for that.” Doriana sighed.
“Wait about five minutes before sending him in.”
“You need to primp,” Lisa said.
Laughing, Lisa opened the door and squeezed out.
Rubbing her aching temples, Doriana sat down and swiveled her
chair to face the large window that took up an entire wall.
Smog blanketed the Philadelphia skyline, obscuring her view
of Billy Penn atop City Hall. She missed old Billy’s comforting
presence, especially now.
She needed time to mentally prepare to meet the temp her father
hired. She did her own hiring for her department, but her dad
had insisted on this temp. Why? Didn’t her father trust
her after a decade with his company?
drifted to the long table under the window. Family pictures
rested on the marble top. Most were of Josh growing up. She
smiled, remembering how Franco wanted to name his new nephew
Noel because he was born on Christmas Eve.
believe Josh would be sixteen next month. She bit her lip as
an ache, sharp as a stonecutter’s chisel, stabbed her.
Nearly sixteen and out of control. When had Josh stopped being
her sweet, lovable little boy and turned into the arrogant,
rebellious almost-man who fought her every chance he got? A
hellion who reminded her more of his father every day
of Josh’s father brought the old, familiar pain. She’d
never revealed the identity of her son’s father to anyone.
Seventeen, scared and humiliated, she couldn’t admit that
her baby’s father had walked away without a word.
moved on with her life and even had a few relationships, but
she couldn’t forget the boy who stole her heart and disappeared.
She’d never had a chance to tell him she was pregnant.
Would it have made a difference? The old doubts and questions
tumbled through her mind, making her head throb.
deep breaths, she counted to ten, as she’d learned in
a stress management seminar. It didn’t help. Nothing helped
these days. The demands on her time gave her constant headaches.
Her son needed her, but so did Dad and the company, especially
with the recent setbacks.
on the desk shrilled. “Doriana,” Lisa said from
the outer office. “Jenson is having one of his hissy fits.
He wants you to call him. You have that meeting in a half hour.
And Mr. Tanner is waiting. Should I send him in?”
hand froze over the reply button. Tanner? Long hours had her
imagination working overtime.
“Doriana?” Lisa said.
Doriana shook herself back to reality. “Tell Jenson I’ll
call him. And I didn’t forget about the meeting. Please
send in Mr..., the temp.”
her best professional smile, Doriana stared at her office door.
Of course it couldn’t be him. It couldn’t be
him. The refrain ran through her head like a mantra.
The door opened and her gaze connected with gold-flecked hazel
eyes. Josh’s eyes. No, Logan’s eyes.
Dorie.” His voice, deeper than she remembered, held the
rough edge that had so excited her as a teenager. He closed
the door softly and leaned against it, a black-clad Adonis who,
despite the years and the hurt, took her breath. Unmoving, he
Was he looking
for the young girl he’d romanced, then abandoned? That
girl died the night her son was born. Their son. Anger and bittersweet
sorrow roiled Doriana’s stomach. She brushed hair from
her face with a shaky hand.
look good,” he said.
So do you. She couldn’t say the words. Pulling
her gaze from his, she glanced toward the window. The pictures.
Josh. Fear splashed over her like ice water from the Delaware
River. One look at the pictures and Logan would know. She wasn’t
ready for this.
stiffened her spine. She would protect her secret and her son
until she discovered why Logan was here. “Is this some
sort of joke?” she asked, returning her attention to Logan.
“What are you doing here?”
“Working for you, last I heard.”
He strode slowly across the carpeted room with the predatory
grace of a mountain lion. A hunter with a lithe, muscular body
and sun streaks gilding his light brown hair. Had he come to
snare her with past memories that were better left dead, to
destroy her orderly life? To make her son, and her, dream of
things that could never be?
glad to see me, Dorie?”
Heat spread from her neck to her face. Dorie. Logan’s
pet name for her when they made love. “Don’t call
He stood in front of her desk and stared at her with hooded
eyes. “All our memories aren’t bad, are they, Dorie?”
seductive voice burned her with enough electricity to power
a high rise. She stared at his full lips. Her own lips tingled
as she remembered the feel of his mouth on hers, remembered
his wildness and her own answering needs.
on legs that had the consistency of wet cement, she curled her
hands into fists. She wouldn’t let the past hurt her again.
Nothing mattered now except protecting Josh. And protecting
her heart. “I don’t know how you talked my father
into this, Logan, but it won’t work.”
his palms on her desk and leaned toward her. She held her ground,
inhaling his scent of citrus and outdoors. Faint lines bracketed
his mouth and eyes. A smattering of gray wove through his hair.
His eyes held a steely glint that warned of dangers she knew
too well. The guarded look on his face and the rigid set of
his jaw hinted at emotions kept in tight rein. Had he finally
learned to harness the recklessness that had driven her to him,
that had made her betray her parents’ trust?
working for you, Doriana,” he said. “I’m here
Like you stayed the last time? An iron fist of apprehension
and fear squeezed her heart. Did Logan know her secret? Josh
had accepted that his father left before he was born. Lately
he’d begun asking questions. She promised to tell him
about his father when he turned eighteen. What would her troubled
son do if he knew his father was in town?
concern herself with unnecessary fears. In six months, Lisa
would be back and Logan would be gone. She had nothing to worry
“Sit down,” she said. “We’ll talk.”
She sank slowly into her chair and picked up a sheaf of papers,
studying them, buying time. She lifted her gaze to find Logan
staring at her. Seated in the chair nearest her desk, he stretched
his long legs in front of him. The coolness in his eyes slowly
gave way to an awareness that made heat coil in her stomach
despite her anxiety.
boy she’d known had matured into a gorgeous hunk whose
chiseled features were roughened by the power and air of mystery
that clung to him. Clad in black pants that hugged his muscular
legs, black leather jacket and deep brown sweater, he looked
like a man who’d seen too much of the dark side of life.
And was comfortable with it. Excitement quivered along her skin