"I hope you don't think this is what it's like to work here. Most of the fund managers are very nice. It's just Mr. Roth. He's demanding and has a very short temper."
"April is being gracious in her description," Carol added wryly. "B.P. Roth is beyond demanding. And his short temper runs very hot."
The door opened again and the commanding presence of B.P. Roth stepped into the hall. Having already formed a mental image of a middle-aged, probably barrel-shaped man with a growing bald spot, Jewell was surprised to see a young man, perhaps early thirties, with caramel-blond hair that waved back from his forehead, and a refined, chiseled chin. There was an inherent strength in the set of his jaw. The starched-white shirt and tailored slacks accentuated a tall, and athletic build. His distinct profile turned from Jewell, deep brown eyes sought out and found the two hapless women in his employ. Carol looked up and April stood straight.
He barely glanced at Carol, focusing his fury on April. "Get me an appointment with Rowlings tomorrow. Book a conference room and inform senior management on the incubated Asian fund. Everyone is to attend."
His voice held a softer, somewhat incomplete quality despite its rough huskiness, with a slight rounding of his syllables. Jewell shifted her attention momentarily to his hands, set firm at his hips, and caught the slight twitching of his fingers. He may be speaking, but his hands probably itched to form the signs to match the words.
April nodded and jumped into action at his sharp tone. Mr. Roth turned away and his gaze fell on Jewell. Hard eyes took her in from head to toe in one powerful perusal before focusing on her face. Something about the way he assumed he had the right to look at her that way spurred Jewell into action.
She laid her hand against her chest, palm flat, and moved it in a circular motion. His left brow rose slightly and he scowled.
"Please, what?" he demanded.
"Book a conference room, please," she signed. "Wouldn't that be more polite?" Jewell made sure to face him and pronounced her words clearly, so he could read her lips without a problem.
Mr. Roth's hands sat at his waist and he shifted to an arrogant stance. His eyes widened slightly as he stared back at her. With two long strides, he moved closer to her.
"And you are?" he demanded with a jut of his chin toward her.
Jewell was shocked by the momentary disorientation of her senses when he closed the space between them. His presence was so overpowering, it acted like a force field around his body pushing against her when he neared her. A hint of the masculine scent he wore filled her senses, sandalwood and a subtle oriental spice. Her cheeks warmed.
Not allowing his presence to daunt her, she spoke and signed together, spelling out her name. "Jewell Kincaid."
Past his shoulder, Jewell saw April and Carol watch the exchange, and April laid down the phone handset. Jewell heard them whisper, but didn't turn from their boss and bring them again to his attention.
"Do I know you?" he asked.
Jewell shook her head. "No."