New lawyer Maggie Flynn is nothing like the women Michael Rannigan usually dates.
So why can’t he get her out of his mind?
Brilliant Manhattan attorney Michael Rannigan has his life arranged exactly the way he likes it. As a founding partner at the law firm of Murphy, Rannigan, & Metheny, he can let his underlings do the legwork on the high-profile defense cases his exclusive 50th-floor division handles. He prefers to simply breeze in and do what he does best: dazzle juries and charm the press.
His private life is well-ordered, too. Michael doesn’t have the time or the patience for relationships. Instead, he has a contact list of hot blondes who meet his needs at any given moment, whether it’s a date to a gallery opening or awards show. Or he just wants to get laid.
Some people would call him shallow. But they’re just envious.
Maggie Flynn has her life mapped out as well. After she graduates from law school she plans to take a job with the Prosecutor’s Office where she interned. But when she attends a job fair and meets Michael Rannigan, her plans change. She’s studied his cases, even heard him speak once. He’s smart and sexy and she can’t resist interviewing with him.
Michael hires Maggie and has her assigned to his elite 50th-floor team. He knows smart when he sees it. He also sees the spark in her eyes. She wants him. And having her nearby strokes his ego. It’s not like anything will come of it, she’s so far from his type. But there’s something unsettling about Mary Margaret Flynn, like she can see through his bullshit in a way no one else ever bothered to do.
Maggie realizes that her crush on Michael is all but hopeless. He’s a self-absorbed womanizer. But beneath that cool exterior, she’s seen the man he can be and she’s sure that love can bring that out. In the meantime, she’s content to work with him.
What would happen if they ever crossed that line?
In this scene, Maggie has an unexpected guest for Christmas.
After everyone ate as much as they could, the guys agreed to do all the clean-up. Maggie supervised returning the tables to their proper places then sank onto the sofa, resting her feet on the coffee table.
“What about the dessert, Flynn?” Ben asked when the leftovers were packed up.
“Let’s be informal. Grab some if you want some. I want to do presents,” Maggie said. Michael brought her a fresh glass of wine. She looked up at him, grinning in appreciation, and patted the space beside her.
“I’ll sit on the floor, I don’t mind,” he said, sliding to a spot beside her feet.
“Now the way this works is, everyone takes a number. We go in order starting at 1. Number 1 picks first. Number 2 can pick a new present or steal from Number 1. Everybody got it?” Ben asked. Maggie watched in amusement as some played shyly while others were cut-throat.
“What’s this?” Michael asked quietly. She looked down to see him holding an ornament from the tree. It was a small red glass ball held by a green paper cone. Her name was spelled out in glitter.
“I think I was about six when I made that,” she smiled. “The Christmas ornaments were some of the few things I took from my dad’s house.”
He grinned. “I like it.”
When the gifts were over, Maggie had a new hand-crocheted toilet-roll cover. Michael had a $10 gift card to Starbucks. “Guess somebody didn’t get the memo,” he quipped so that only Maggie heard, and she giggled softly.
He winked and leaned close. “Mags, I should be making my way to the airport.”
“Okay,” Maggie sighed. “I’ll walk you out.” She got her coat and hat while he said his goodbyes. “I’ll be right back,” she said to Casey as they headed out of the apartment. They walked down the stairs without chatting.
Once out on the sidewalk, Michael turned and faced her. “I had a great time, Mags. Thanks for inviting me.” He glanced up. “We have an audience, by the way.” He waved at the crowd gathered in Maggie’s front window.
She looked up at them, scowling. “Come on,” she said, turning right and heading down the sidewalk. She stopped just around the corner.
Michael smiled. “Thanks. I just wanted to say goodbye privately. I brought you a gift but I didn’t want to give it to you in there.” He pulled a small flat box from his pocket. It was light blue, tied with a white ribbon.
Maggie’s eyes widened. “Sean Michael Rannigan, you did not!”
“How did you know the S stands for Sean?
She shrugged. “Everyone knows it’s Sean. I can’t believe you went to Tiffany…” She stopped and looked up at him, smiling sadly. “This wasn’t for me. This is supposed to be for someone else.”
“No, Mags, this is for you,” he said earnestly. “I mean, to be honest, I went there yesterday looking for something for Jana.”
“What, Toys R Us and GapKids were closed?” Maggie quipped.
“Ah-hah-hah, you’re very funny. I found a little trinket to give to Jana, but then I turned and saw this. All I could think was that you should have it. It’s for you, Mags.”
Curious, Maggie slowly pulled the white ribbon and lifted the lid. In the box resting on light blue velvet was a delicate silver bracelet. It had a vintage look to it with large rectangular milky white cabochons alternating with trios of small round diamonds surrounded by platinum filigree. She looked back up at Michael, eyes wide.
“Those are moonstones,” he said proudly. “This was in the vintage case. It was made in 1915.” He gazed at the bracelet. “It’s graceful and classy, just like you.”
“I don’t know what to say, Michael. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful. Will you help me put it on?”
He lifted the bracelet from the box and as Maggie held out her left hand he fastened it around her wrist. She held it out and watched it catch the natural light. As she did, she noticed a tiny platinum tag hanging from the clasp. Peering closer she saw that it was engraved. To Maggie, From Michael.
“See? I told you it was for you.” She looked back up at him, eyes shining, and as she did, a gust of wind caught some stray hair, blowing it across her face. Michael gently moved the errant strands, tucking them behind her ear. Without planning it at all, he planted a tender kiss on her lips.
He moved back slightly as Maggie looked up at him, eyes shining with desire. He leaned into her again, the kiss this time all heat and passion. She brought her left hand up to cradle his right cheek, her desire matching his. When he stopped kissing her, he pulled her close, tucking her under his chin and they stood like that for a moment.
Finally, he gently set her back from him. She looked up, the sad glint once again in her eyes. After all, he was leaving her to go to someone else. “Merry Christmas, Mags.”RESISTING RISK by Pandora Spocks