Authors: Joy Tremay
A Daring Affair
By Joy Tremay
A Daring Affair
All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2013 M. Joy Cumba
First Edition 2015
Edited by Sigrid Macdonald
Contributory editor Vince Dickinson
Cover Art by The Killion Group, Inc.
Ebook formatting by
No part of this e-book may be copied, sold, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, locations, organizations, places, actual events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used in a way that is purely fictional. All characters in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
In loving memory of my grandfather Severino
(Mahal kita, Lolo)
and for my cousin Erwin
Table of Contents
Mia Connelly’s heart flipped when she saw him. He looked like a linebacker in a three-piece black suit and dark blue tie. His silver-gray eyes pierced into hers and she quickly looked down at her keyboard, staring blindly at the keys. Eric Greyson never failed to put her into a tailspin, and the reason behind it wasn’t something she wanted to explore.
“Good morning, Mia.”
She heard a deep voice, and looked up reluctantly to see his handsome, chiseled features. She gulped and nodded her head, unable to speak. Whenever he was in her vicinity, he made her nervous.
The general manager of Bliss Hotels was one of the handsomest men she had ever seen, and fortunately, she had encountered him infrequently, until now.
Mia had been working at the high-end, upscale hotel in Edmonton, Alberta for three years. The hotel belonged to a half-dozen luxury hotels in Western Canada under the Bliss Hotel chain. She appreciated the large tips and the camaraderie of her co-workers. But lately, Eric had been visiting her hotel much too often, and to her chagrin, hovering around the front desk.
“Do you like the new uniforms?” he asked.
She immediately noticed how every strand of his dark brown hair was in place, unlike her own curly, reddish-brown hair, that no amount of hair spray could tame. The speculative gleam in his eye caused a tingle right down to her toes.
“Yes, sir,” she answered politely. Although the truth was that she thoroughly disliked the scratchy black sweaters.
“Good,” Eric nodded in satisfaction. His eyes leisurely inspected her features, causing her to literally feel a wave of heat surging through her body.
Mia stopped herself from fidgeting as Eric continued to look at her. She had to look up to meet his gray eyes because his six foot three frame was much taller than her five foot four. She cleared her throat and stood stiffly as his perusal encompassed her auburn hair that fell several inches below her shoulders and swept down her slim length. His gaze captured hers effortlessly, and she was immediately drawn to him. Her awareness of him reached an all-time high as they stared at each other for what seemed like forever.
Finally, Eric grinned, causing her heart to flip again.
“Have a great day, Mia,” he said before sauntering toward the executive offices.
“Thank you, sir,” she mumbled. She let out a deep breath and told herself to calm down. After all, he was probably just making sure she was neat and tidy on the job.
“Wow,” whistled someone behind Mia, “that guy has to be the hottest piece of eye candy I’ve seen. He seriously makes all my lady parts tingle.”
Mia turned and smiled at her friend and co-worker Elaine, who was walking toward her. Elaine’s long, straight blonde hair was always smooth, and she always looked fashionable, even if she had to wear the same uniform as Mia. It probably had to do with the statement necklaces Elaine was fond of wearing.
“What did he say to you?” asked Elaine curiously.
“He wanted to know if we liked our new uniforms.”
Elaine touched the sleeve of her black sweater and grimaced. “Ugh, this cut is atrocious. It makes me look like an old granny. Plus, the fabric itches,” she said, pouting.
“I know,” sympathized Mia. “At least we get to wear our own white shirts underneath, and these black slacks they make us wear aren’t too bad.”
“If Mr. Super Stud had asked me, I would’ve said, ‘If you rub my arm, you’d see how scratchy this fabric is,’“ Elaine said slyly.
“I’m sure you’d want him to rub more than your arm,” said Mia, rolling her green eyes.
Elaine was a born flirt and although she had already undergone two divorces before reaching her thirty-fifth birthday, she was still on the hunt for Mr. Right.
“Who wouldn’t?” asked Elaine, sighing wistfully. “He’s thirty, single and never been married.”
“How do you know all that?” asked Mia.
Elaine shrugged. “Easy - I asked around.” She placed her elbows on the counter, cradling her head in her hands, and looked inquisitively at Mia. “Have you noticed that he’s been stopping by here more frequently? I’ve worked here for six years, and he’s always been either in the Vancouver or Calgary locations. In fact, we rarely had sightings of him here.”
Mia shrugged and began typing on her keyboard, checking on the guest lists.
“No, really, Mia, ever since that day a few weeks ago when you told me he had helped you pick up those apples after you spilled them in the lobby, he’s been coming by practically every day.”
Mia remembered that day clearly. She had been arranging a dozen red apples to fit into a large glass bowl on the table in the hotel lobby. As she juggled the apples in her arms, they fell on the carpet. She was grateful that it had been too early in the morning for guests to be walking around.
As she stooped to pick up the apples, she found herself nose to nose with a pair of shiny black shoes. She looked up, mortified to see her boss’ boss and general manager, Eric Greyson.
“Here, let me help you with that,” he said in a deep voice that caused a ripple of awareness to streak through her body. He crouched near her to pick up one runaway apple.
“Oh, sir, you don’t have to,” Mia said in complete embarrassment.
Mia had watched Eric walk over to the bowl and drop several apples into it. He turned and looked at her with a smile on his rugged features. He looked like a pro athlete with his tall, muscular physique. He also exuded an aura of virility and power that was difficult to ignore.
Her insides had turned into a mass of jelly as their eyes connected. At that moment, she had forgotten that she was holding several apples to her chest, and that they were standing in the middle of the lobby. The elevator suddenly opened and several guests stepped out. Mia quickly walked over to the table to carefully arrange the apples in the bowl.
“What’s your name?” he asked abruptly.
“I’m Eric Greyson,” he introduced himself, his hand out to her. She was struck by how large his hand was compared to hers, as he kept her hand in his a tad longer than necessary.
“It’s nice to meet you, sir,” Mia said shaking his hand, hoping she didn’t look as flustered as she felt.
Clearly he didn’t remember meeting her. Several months ago, her supervisor had introduced her to him in passing. She had always managed to miss his inspections of the downtown Edmonton hotel since once a year she always left for several weeks to visit family in the States.
“Try to keep those apples in line, Miss Connelly,” he said teasingly, his eyes intent on hers before he released her.
“I will, sir.”
She watched him walk away, feeling a ridiculous urge to call him back. It was highly unlikely that she would ever see him again. After all, he was the general manager of Bliss Hotels, and she was just a front desk employee.
“-and he asked me right away if he could touch my boobs. Can you believe that?” asked Elaine, snapping Mia out of her reverie. Fortunately, Elaine tended to babble incessantly, and didn’t require an active listener.
“Wow,” Mia answered, injecting a note of affronted disbelief in her voice, “men are pigs.”
“Aren’t they?” Elaine said, nodding her head in agreement.
“Mia, can you come in here?!”
Mia heard her supervisor bellow from his office and rolled her eyes. Ben had a tendency to raise his voice, but he was a good supervisor who treated the hotel staff with respect, and his bite was worse than his bark.
“You called, Ben?” she asked, admiring his slicked back pompadour and dapper suit. His hairstyle and fashion choice reminded her of a 1950s crooner.
“Mia, can you work tomorrow?” Ben asked, pursing his lips. He shuffled a stack of papers on his desk with exasperation. “Monica called and said that she can’t work tomorrow because her kid is sick.”
“I can’t, Ben,” Mia said regretfully. “I have to work at my mom’s shop tomorrow.”
She really would have liked to help him out, especially since he was always so accommodating when she flew back to Arizona each year. Ben stood and stretched, his height on par with her five foot four. He was a stocky man in his mid-thirties, but he kept himself fit since his stint in the arm several years ago conditioned him to exercise regularly.
“Oh, well, I guess I’ll just have to cover her shift myself.”
“Sorry, Ben,” she said sincerely.
“No problem, Mia,” he said with a grin. He looked past her and straightened, his look turning deferential. “Good morning, sir,” Ben said politely.
Mia turned around, and her eyes widened when she saw Eric standing at the doorway.
Eric nodded at Ben and looked straight at Mia.
“You have another job?” asked Eric.
Mia bit her bottom lip, hoping that having a second job wasn’t against company policy. She wasn’t exactly moonlighting.
“Yes, sir, I work at my mother’s boutique on the weekends and several nights a week,” she answered apprehensively.
“Do you work here full-time?” he asked with a frown. He was speculative in his regard of her, which caused her to fidget.
“Yes, I have the 6:30am to 3:30pm shift Monday through Friday,” she answered cautiously.
“I see,” Eric said slowly. “You certainly have a full schedule.”
His gray eyes captured hers, and she felt like a deer trapped in headlights.
“Ben, I hope you’re not overworking her,” Eric said without taking his eyes off her.
“Don’t worry, sir, I would never exhaust one of my best employees,” Ben said, smiling.
Mia appreciated Ben’s praise, and blushed as Eric’s eyes wandered over her trim figure.
“Have a good day, Mia,” he said before he turned and left Ben’s office.
Suddenly, Mia felt like sitting down. She had been having one too many Eric encounters lately, and her nervous system couldn’t take it.
* * *
“I really don’t like the way this shirt looks on me. I look like a fish,” complained a woman in the boutique, as she held up a bright orange blouse.
Mia smothered her smile as she looked at the blouse. The sleeves had a fin-like shape to them and, since her customer had eyes like a puffer fish, it was no wonder she disliked it.
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Newberry,” Mia said politely. “Would you like to exchange it for something else?”
Although sale items were not exchangeable, Mia decided that she would make an exception for one of her mother’s regulars. It was the least she could since Mia’s mother insisted on stocking the boutique with colorful fashions only certain buyers would find appealing.
Mrs. Newberry nodded her graying head and walked over to the back of the store where the sales clothing was displayed. Mia took the orange blouse she had left at the counter and chucked it behind her in a box marked
. She sighed as she looked out the window at the gloomy Edmonton weather. Her mother had taken off to Florida to get away from the cold Canadian winter, and she couldn’t blame her. It had been a long, bone-chilling winter, and Mia would have loved to get away herself.
“This is what I want, dear,” said Mrs. Newberry, coming back to present an embroidered shawl that wasn’t an even exchange with the orange blouse. Mia let her have it anyway.
After Mrs. Newberry left, she found herself alone again, so she sat on a plush red stool, placed her elbows on the glass jewelry counter, and wished she was in a tropical place.
Mia had been shuttled back and forth from her parents’ respective homes since she was five years old. Her American father and Canadian mother had divorced, and each had quickly re-married, leaving her to adjust to two households before she had even learned the alphabet. Her father lived in Arizona with his second wife and children, Mia’s half-siblings, while her mother, Victoria, had stayed in Edmonton with her second husband whom she had divorced three years ago.