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I never usually pay more than scant attention to men—it’s safer not to. But I couldn’t help but pay attention to this one. He was tall for an Asian man. Judging by the way he was bending down to talk to me, he stood over six feet tall. I inhaled deeply as I lifted my wide eyes up the long length of that incredibly ripped body and noted the way he had been assessing me as well. My gut clenched as he returned his dark eyes to my face and his smile curved wickedly as if he knew the exact effect he was having on me.
He dropped down onto his haunches beside the car and his eyes were almost level with mine as he said quietly, “I would like to see your letter of recommendation, if you don’t mind.”
I frowned. How had he…? I hadn’t noticed him inside when I had shown it to Hirokawa. So how the hell had he known my name? My wary hesitation made him grin and my thoughts went a trifle haywire. And so did parts lower down my anatomy.
Holy shit! The man was absolutely the most intense, dangerously sensual male I’d ever laid eyes on.
I swallowed the dryness in my throat and fought to control a sudden glandular reaction that I’d never experienced before—total and consuming lust.
Oh, yeah. This man is dangerous.
I hesitated, unable to frame a reply.
“I’m sorry. You have no idea who I am, of course.” He extended his hand and I reached out of the car to take it as he said in quiet amusement, “I’m James Rhee. I’m Shihan Hirokawa’s business partner.” His hand was calloused, hard and warm. A shot of something akin to a hundred gigawatts of rampant electricity zapped up my arm to my heart, curled around my chest and zoomed unerringly straight to my suddenly wet, clenched pussy.
“Oh.” My physical reaction must have been visible, because he seemed amused. I felt oddly breathless and uncertain beneath that intense, dark stare and I tugged my hand free. “Um…of course you may see my letter.” I opened my case with trembling hands and drew it out, handing it to him through the open window.
As he stood and looked at it I opened my car door and shimmied out, feeling that it was awfully rude to be sitting in my car while he was trying to talk to me. As I rose to my full height I realized how big he truly was. At five foot seven I was used to looking down on most Asian men. I was craning my neck to read his expression.
And the man has absolutely no concept of personal space.
Instead of stepping back and giving me room to take a deep breath, he remained planted like an oak right where he stood, making it impossible for me not to feel the throbbing heat sifting off that Greek-god body and enveloping my senses in the heady scent of sandalwood and hot male. He glanced at me and I noted his gaze taking another slow detour down my businesslike slack suit before returning to my face. My woman-senses went to full red-alert status.
Dear God. What a hunk.
“I’m afraid my Japanese is pretty rusty. Can you translate?” He shifted slightly, his hard, mouth-watering chest brushing my shoulder as he handed the letter back to me, and I chewed the corner of my lower lip as I ended up being the one to take a cautious step backward to sanity and safety. I avoided his eyes, opening the letter again and glancing at it, flushing warmly at the praise Matasi had heaped on me.
I felt uncomfortable translating the letter as written, so I edited out the more effusive compliments and the part about my being his finest student. I gave him only the facts about my rank and my years of study, and the part about my capabilities as a teacher. I refolded the letter but he reached for it once more, nodding with a slow smile as he opened it and his eyes ran over it a second time. I had the sneaky feeling that he could read the letter as well as I could and I blushed again as he glanced back up to meet my eyes. His eyes were sooo sexy.
“You left a few things out,” he murmured as he handed me the letter. “When can you start?”
I must have looked comical with my mouth sagging open and my eyes shocked, but he was polite enough not to tell me so. “Start? You…you mean I have the job? Without even showing you anything?”
His eyes were glittering black as he said, “I’ve seen everything I need to see, and the recommendation of a man as highly respected as Matasi Kanegawa is good enough for me.”
“But…I’m a woman!” I blurted, totally confused now.
His eyes detoured down my tailored suit again and returned to my face. “I can see that.” I felt as if he had physically touched me with that incredibly unnerving black gaze. My chest was about to implode.
I blushed hotly and shook myself back to sanity. “Um… I’m just a trifle confused. Shihan Hirokawa just told me he wasn’t hiring any female instructors.”
“He isn’t. I am. I have a school of my own in Hollywood. Are you interested?”
Sweet Jesus—am I interested? Is he friggin’ joking?
I nodded numbly, unable to tear my eyes away from his. For just that moment I thought that I was drowning, unable to catch my breath, then he broke my breathless trance by handing me a card and saying in a suddenly businesslike tone, “Excellent. This is the address. You don’t need to bring your own equipment and I furnish the gi. You wear what? A size four?” His eyes moved over me again and I swallowed.
“I wear a five. My legs are too long for a four. I just take the waist in.” I was babbling.
“I have someone who’ll make you one to order. Come in early and she’ll measure you.”
Oooh—the man had a voice like melted butter.
Then I realized that he’d just said “early.” I quickly asked, “This is part time, right?”
He lifted one dark, winged brow and said quietly, “That all depends on you, doesn’t it?”
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