Worth the Risk – Excerpt

"Mom, thanks for offering to send over a masseuse, but I'm fine, honestly."

My neck has been stiff for a week, but the last thing I need is some hairy man coming to my house and putting his hands on me when I've got trades to make. I've only got a few hours before I pick Delilah up from school. I really just don't have time to take an hour to myself right now, no matter how much pain I'm in.

"Mitchell, it's too late," my mother insists.

I'm sitting at my desk in my home office trying to concentrate on the stock market, but my mother's voice is coming through the speaker loud and clear.

"I use this service all the time. Comes right to your house. Don't be stubborn."

"Did you at least ask for a woman?" I take a sip of my already cold coffee.

"Yes, yes…don't worry. Margaret always comes to my house. She's not that attractive, but she can work miracles on a sore neck."

I roll my eyes at her pushiness. "Okay, Ma. Thanks," I say, finally giving up. "I've got to go now. Love you."

"I love you too, Mitchy," she says, calling me by my boyhood nickname before hanging up.

I have to smile at that. I might be thirty-five and a single dad but somehow I'll always be her baby. It's how I feel about Delilah—no matter how old she gets, I'm going to protect her and take care of her for the rest of my life.

For the next hour, I hunch over my computer, researching which stocks to buy and deciding which to sell. My doorbell startles me, making me shift my focus.

Standing, I walk to the door, tilting my head slowly to the left and right to try to release some stiffness in my neck. It happens every so often when I'm stressed, and lately I guess I've been more stressed than my body can handle.

I open the door and my eyes widen in shock. Standing in front of me with her massage table resting against her hip is the most attractive woman I've seen in a long time. The kind of woman who would intimidate most men. I stand there and stare for longer than is polite, taking in her sun-kissed skin, the fullness of her lips, her breasts, those slim hips, and shapely, long legs.

"Hi. Are you Mitchell?" She has a soft, melodic voice. "We have a massage appointment at noon."

"Of course. Where are my manners?" I chuckle. "I was expecting someone named Margaret, but I'm going to guess you're not her." She hardly fits my mother's description as unattractive. This woman is such a babe I can't take my eyes off her gorgeous face. I could get lost in those evergreen eyes, and what I wouldn't do to have those soft, plump lips on my…

I suddenly remember my manners after all.

"I'm Mitchell." I finally extend my hand toward her and we shake. Her hand fits perfectly in mine.

"I'm Alex," she replies with a smile. "Margaret had a conflict in her schedule, so I'm here instead. I hope that's okay."