Turning back to him, Alyse asked, “Can I trust you?”
He felt anger spear through his chest. What kind of a question was that? Particularly after she’d just laid out all this stuff? But he let go of the emotion with an exhaled breath. She was frightened. Badly so. Also, while he’d spent months watching her, she hadn’t reciprocated. He probably felt like he knew her much more than she knew him.
“Yes,” he said as simply and firmly as he could.
“I wouldn’t have let Parker call him if I didn’t think you could,” Millie offered, shooting him a smile. He appreciated the endorsement, but he wanted to earn Alyse’s regard on his own, not because her roommate stood up for him.
They all waited while Alyse examined him. He sat up a little straighter and pushed his shoulders back. After all, if she was going to look at him, really look at him, for the first time maybe ever, he might as well try to maximize his assets. Such as they were. Never mind, he had no assets, which was the problem, but still, he wanted to look like someone she could trust.
After a beat, she nodded. “I think my boss might be having an affair with our lobbyist. He’s the most obvious beneficiary. These…donations coincide with a big increase in our lobbying budget.”
When she said that, she didn’t appear scared anymore. She looked pissed, a significantly better look on her.
“So?” he asked.
“So? So! They’re funneling money through YWR for corporate lobbying. They’re stealing books out of little girls’ hands for personal gain and hurting my reputation in the process. Liam, I won’t have it.”
Gone was the weepy woman who’d opened the door. She was seriously intimidating when she was angry. She was seriously hot when she was angry.
He grinned at her, backlit and golden and livid, and he ached.
Oh well, things were what they were. She’d never see him as anything other than a nerdy friend of Parker’s. There was no hope that they might be different. He was what he was and so was she—that didn’t stop a guy from wishing that for one night, she’d decide to go slumming.
Those beta heroes, man, they get me every time.
And in three weeks, you can get Liam.