Xavier lost a bet and now has to pose nude for an art class. While posing, things sizzle between him and one of the students. She shows up later for an interview at his law firm. She’s the best candidate so he has no choice but to hire her.
Kellye has wanted to work for the most prestigious law firm in Dallas since graduating law school. Can Xavier convince Kellye that when it comes to finding love, all they need is one day at a time?
Xavier Sparks glanced down at the cards in his hand. He was holding kings, all of them. Spade. Diamond. Heart. Club. Perfect. It was the best hand he’d had all night. Nothing could beat this. Well, a flush, maybe. But when he took a quick look around the table, he gauged by the expressions on his friends’ faces that none of them could possibly be holding anything better.
Picking up several poker chips, he tossed them. “I see your twenty, and raise you ten more.”
“Too rich for my blood.” His friend Wayne slapped his cards on the table. “I fold.”
“Me too,” sighed his buddy Mark, placing his cards face down.
Carlton, another buddy, smiled and picked up his own chips. “You never could keep a straight poker face. I see your thirty, and raise you twenty more.”
Xavier looked at his cards, still confident he held the winning hand. “All that trash talk is not going to help you. I’ll be taking your money home with me just like I did last week.”
Tuesday night poker had been a weekly ritual with his friends for the past two years. Working seventy-hour weeks as a senior partner in a law firm left little time for dating or any other fun activity. Sure, he managed the occasional fling. He didn’t totally ignore his libido, but those relationships where few and far between.
Poker with his friends was his only outlet, his sanctuary away from feuding clients, depositions, and power hungry judges. Not to mention dealing with the other partners in the law firm and managing the daily concerns of the other ten attorneys working in his office. Well, nine actually. He had one more interview on Friday. Hopefully this woman would impress him. The other six applicants sure hadn’t.
Henry, the artist of the group, brought him out of his musings. “I see your fifty, Carlton, and raise you fifty more.”
“Shit, man. No way can you have a hand that good.” He was bluffing. Xavier knew he was. “I see your one hundred and raise you one hundred more.”
Carlton tossed his cards on the glass-topped table. “Aw hell no. That’s too rich for my blood. I fold.”
Henry leaned back in his chair with a big grin on his face and chucked the rest of his chips in the pile. “All right, I call. But first, I have a proposition for you.”
“Yeah, a proposition.”
“If you win, you get the money, of course. But I’ll also give you my tickets to the Mavericks game this weekend.”
“Are you serious? Those tickets are courtside. You spent five-hundred bucks for those tickets.”
“Uh huh,” he said, smiling.
There had to be a catch. There was always a catch. He wasn’t the best lawyer in Dallas for nothing. “What happens if you win?”
Henry sat up, placed his elbows on the table and smirked. “If I win, I’ll let you keep your money, just your money. But you have to pose for my freehand class tomorrow night.” He looked around at the other guys at the table. “Nude.”
Amidst lots of laughing, hand clapping, and fist slaps on the table, he said, “Nude? Are you crazy?”
“Come on, man. My model canceled on me just before I got here.”
“You expect me, an attorney for the most prestigious firm in this city, to pose nude for a bunch of twenty year old college students. You must be out of your goddamn mind.”
“Actually, it’s a graduate course. But still. It’ll only be for an hour, hour and a half tops. You’ll never see them again.”
“No. No, and hell no.”
“What’s the matter? You ashamed of that old man body?”
“Don’t try to use that reverse psychology shit on me.” There was no way in hell he was going to pose nude for any class, graduate students or not. And no, he was not ashamed of his body. He had a great body. But posing nude? Nude. No way.
“Are you going to pass up Mavericks tickets?”
“Court. Side. Mavericks tickets. You’ll be able to see the sweat drip off, man. Come on? One night. One hour. That’s it. And I still have to win the game.”
Xavier’s eyes skimmed over his hand again. Was he that confident? If he admitted it to himself, he played poker every day. Each time he walked into a courtroom or sat down at a deliberation table, he was playing poker in an attempt to get his client the best deal. Keep a client out of jail, haggle with an insurance company. He played poker every day. And won.
He wasn’t the managing partner of Sparks, Martin and Baker for nothing.
“All right. You’re on. If I win, I get the money and the Mavericks tickets. If you win, I’ll pose nude for your class.”