From the Back Cover
Liam pulled out several pair of dark pants bearingthe Fite logo and a pair of t-shirts, and thrust the pile at her.
Reluctantly Bev clutched them to her chest and made eye contact with the sales clerk. "I guess I'd like a room." She walked over to a wall rackofsports bras, knowing he was right but annoyed he'd ambushed her. Sinceday one she had intended on dropping into Macy's--wonderfully impersonalMacy's--to see if she could wear any of the Fite line--but not in aRockridge boutique with the help of a starved Amazon with buttocks likehalved cantaloupes, and certainly not with him looking on.
"This one is totally the best for D cups. And up." The clerk held up awhite bra that looked more like a very small, thick, short, sleevelesst-shirt.
"That's quite a lot of coverage." Bev took it from her. "How do you get into it?"
"You just have to kind of pull like really, really hard. Over your head," she said. "I can help if you get stuck."
"That won't be necessary." Liam put his hand on Bev's shoulder andguided her towards the back of the store. "The changing rooms are overthere."
Alarmed he was following so close, Bev said, "You can wait up at thefront. Or better yet, go catch your train. No reason for you to behere."
"Oh, I think there is." The corner of his mouth twitched.
Bev slammed the changing room door in his face and locked it. She kicked off her shoes and turned away from the mirror to pull off her jeans. The walls that weren't mirroredwere covered with artistic, enlarged photographs of naked athletes inmotion, just to drive home the message that you really, really weren'tone of them.
Well, Bev wasn't falling for it; they wouldn't insult her into feelingbad about herself. She got her feet into the leg holes of a pair ofpants and tugged them upward, then unhitched her bra and began thestruggle to fit the compression top over her chest. At one point bothbreasts were shoved nearly down to her belly button like stretched water balloons, but she reached down and pulled them up into the high-techembrace of the sixty-four dollar bra and felt fairly confident she would be able to remove it herself.
"You all right in there?" Liam 's voice was too close to the door for comfort. "I heard noises."
Just the sound of my breasts deflating. "I'm fine." She jerked at-shirt off the hanger and pulled it over her head. With her breasts incaptivity, the slippery shirt slid down over her chest without a fight,and, bracing for the worst, she turned to squint at herself in themirror.
She groaned. Why did they put elastic bands all over the place? Withwaistbands so low on her hips they would give a Rodin sculpture fatrolls?
"I don't think so," she muttered, turning to look at her rear end. "Yikes." Butt cleavage was not a trend she was going to embrace, nomatter how many apparel companies she inherited.
Liam rattled the door. "Let me in."
"No! I already took it off."
The doorknob turned. "Then put it back on, because I'm coming in."
The damn door came unlocked. She threw her body against it. "Stay out there. What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"If you don't want me to see skin, then put something on. I'm coming in."
"Damn it." With one foot pushing the door closed, she craned across thedressing room to grab the next top and pull it on. It was as tight asthe first, but only half as long. Her freakishly narrow waist--the onehe had been fondling earlier--was exposed no matter how hard she pulledit down. "You gave me a kid's size!"
"They don't have kids' sizes here." And then he was standing in the open doorway. Big and looming and looking her over. "Interesting."
She stretched up to her full height and glared at him. "They need to fix the locks in this place."
He continued to stare. "Turn around."
"If you want to be in apparel you'll have to get over this prissy self-consciousness."
"Prissy? Tell you what. You put this getup on. Then we'll see prissy."She pulled him all the way inside and shoved the door closed. At leastthe rest of the store didn't have to see her.
"The rise is all wrong. Did you put them on backwards?"
"The only problem is that I'm wearing them at all. Get out of here and I'll take them off."
To her horror he stepped right up behind her, stuck his finger under the waistband right at the flesh above her hip, and pulled the fabric awayand over to read the tag. "And these are a large, too. They don't comein an XL."
"Yet another miscalculation. Not that extra width would do anything forme. They seem to have put all the fabric for the waist down at myankles." Her feet were buried under the flared legs. "Am I supposed towear heels with them while I'm doing my marathons? They seem a bitlong."
Engrossed in the clothing on her body, he didn't lift his eyes to herface once as he continued his perusal. "And the top is a bit short onyou too, isn't it?"
"Maybe it's a hat."
Again ignoring her personal space, he stuck his fingers under the bottom hem of the shirt and pulled. The rough tips of his fingertips brushedher ribcage and she shivered--not that he noticed. He stuck his hands uphigher, to the bottom band of the compression bra underneath, andwiggled his finger under that elastic. "This bra is a best-seller. If we change it, even a little, we get complaints," he said, then abruptlypulled his fingers out and stepped back. "Jump."
Unnerved by the shock of his hands on her body, she blinked. "What?"
"Jump. Something high-impact. Don't worry, there's a hospital just down the street if you pass out or break something."
"I am not going to jump."
He narrowed his eyes. "Jump, or I tell the design team you've got the muscle tone of a Cabbage Patch Doll."
"I'd fire you."
"It would be worth it," he said. "Jump."
To hell with him. Just because she hated exercise didn't mean she wasincapable. She bent her knees and sprung upwards, did it again just toshow him she could, then stood with her hands on her surprised hips,glaring at him.
But he was smiling. And from the way he was pinching his lips, she sawhe was on the verge of laughing. "Thank you. That was great."
She jabbed him in the shoulder. Hard as a rock, of course. "Now get out of here."
"Could you do it again? You moved so quickly--really, quite a blur--I didn't get to see if the bra worked on you."
Shaking his head, he leaned over and took another pair of pants off the hook. "Now try these on."
"Face it, Liam, the company just doesn't make clothes for average women. They're not even close."
"That's what I'm afraid of. Though, let's be honest, Bev--you're hardlyaverage." He thrust the pants into her arms. "We've been getting returns on these for being too big. Act like the businesswoman you'repretending to be and try them on please." Then he turned around andfaced the door, crossing his arms over his chest.
"You aren't staying in here--"
He unhooked a hand and looked at his wrist. "I've only got another ten minutes."
She stared at his back. He thought he could intimidate her. Neverdropping her gaze, she bent over and wriggled out of the pants.