Authors: Minx Malone
Asking For Andre
Andre Lavin lives life in the fast lane and the pampered Italian playboy isn’t used to being denied. Anything. Which makes his attraction to the shy, hauntingly beautiful Cassandra Michaels even more frustrating. She’s unimpressed by his flashy lifestyle and his every attempt to get closer seems to drive her further away. Until he overhears her whispered wish for sex lessons.
In Casey’s experience, rich, handsome men don’t fall for girls like her, but there’s nothing to stop her from enjoying a fling. All she needs is one night to find out what she’s been missing and then she can go back to her boring, predictable life. One night to touch and be touched, and she can leave with her heart intact.
Or can she? Because although Andre is more than ready to teach her anything she asks, he isn’t willing to let her go.
Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Asking for Andre
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Asking for Andre Copyright © 2011 Minx Malone
Edited by Grace Bradley
Cover art by Syneca
Electronic book publication July 2011
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Asking for Andre
Andre. You are so much more than I could have ever asked for. One lifetime with you is not enough.
“You need to have a fling.”
Casey Michaels grinned and picked up her headset. She’d been working as a receptionist at the Mirage Advertising Agency for three months now and as cheesy as it was, she felt she’d finally found home. She could wear business-casual attire, she had plenty of free time to do the assigned reading for her online classes and the administrative assistant, Anya Petrova, was quickly becoming her best friend.
Her only friend actually.
“A fling is the last thing I need. I said I was lonely, not slutty.” Casey adjusted the headset and pulled her chair closer to the desk. Recently she’d been given some administrative duties assisting some of the executives in the afternoon while a temp covered the phones. It was a chance for her to work on some interesting projects and gain experience for her resume. It also gave her a much-needed break from the tedium of being stuck behind the reception desk.
“Having a fling does
make you slutty. Having a fling with a loser makes you slutty.” Anya fed another sheet into the fax machine. A second later there was a crunching sound and the paper came out the other side wrinkled and torn.
“Damn this place! I told Law we need a new fax machine.” Anya grabbed the sheet of paper and crumpled it into a ball before throwing it in the trash can under the desk. “That man can’t see what’s right in front of his face.”
Casey wisely chose not to comment. Anya had an on-again, off-again relationship with the owner, James Lawson, which caused her no end of frustration. From what Casey could tell, their boss was in love but Anya just wasn’t ready to commit.
“Even if I was a fling kind of girl, there’s no one for me to have a fling with. I’m not exactly Miss Popular.”
Casey’d always been something of a loner but since moving to the nation’s capital it had been even harder to meet new people. Most of her neighbors worked long hours. She only saw them in passing as they came to and from work. The people she saw at the grocery store and on the subway seemed to change daily.
It was such a stark contrast to the small Virginia town she’d come from where everyone knew each other and crime was almost nonexistent. The entire atmosphere of city life was different. When she’d first arrived she’d thought everyone was talking to themselves until she realized they all had tiny cellphone earpieces in. Some of the women in the office even wore those in the bathroom. Casey couldn’t think of anyone she wanted to talk to
It was no wonder she had trouble fitting in.
Anya looked pointedly at the clock on the wall. “No one to have a fling with? That will not be a problem, trust me.”
The doors to the agency opened again. The man who walked in wore a tailored, gray pinstriped suit with a black turtleneck. His black hair curled over his collar, the perfect complement to his thickly lashed gray eyes.
She sighed softly. Calling his eyes gray was like calling sunshine yellow. His eyes were sharp and penetrating, as shocking as a bolt of lightning. He was elegance personified, a woman’s walking wet dream.
Andre Lavin was, quite simply, the best part of her day.
He pulled his cell phone from the inner pocket of his suit jacket, holding it up as if trying to get better reception. The move made his jacket ride up. All the blood left Casey’s brain as he turned, giving her an award-winning view of his ass.
She gulped and looked away for a moment. What if he turned around and caught her staring? But like a homing magnet, her eyes were drawn back again and again.
God that man can wear a suit.
She licked her lips as her eyes roamed over his lean arms and broad shoulders. The same arms she imagined holding her down as his body powered over hers. The shoulders she hooked her legs over in her dreams every night. How many times had she woken in the early hours of the morning, damp with sweat, her breasts tight and aching? There were nights she could have cried from her desperate soul-stirring obsession.
Her eyes fluttered shut, her pulse racing in anticipation, her panties damp from the erotic images her brain couldn’t hold back. It was useless thinking of him this way, the worst form of torture her sick mind could conjure. There were few things more futile than imagining the most amazing sex she’d never get to have.
When she opened her eyes again, Andre stood directly in front of the reception desk.
“Mr. Lavin!” She jumped to her feet. Her headset flew off, knocking over a small container of pens on the counter. They rolled in every direction, a few falling over the far edge where he was standing.
She raced around the desk and scrambled to collect the mess. As she snatched the last offender from near his foot, she looked up. Her position put her directly in line with his crotch. She was hardly an expert but whatever was behind that zipper looked big enough to do some damage.
“Oh dear god.” Her voice was barely above a whisper but he must have heard because he made a choking sound that could have been laughter. She glanced at him warily, to find him watching her, his eyes stormy.
“This is quite a welcome, Cassandra”. He hesitated before extending his hand to help her up, his eyes roaming over her in a way that made Casey shiver.
“I’m so sorry, sir.”
He still held her hand, bringing it to his mouth to kiss her knuckles. The gesture would seem contrived coming from anyone else but was as natural as breathing to him. When he flipped her hand over to kiss the inside of her wrist, she sucked in a shocked breath. How could any culture consider this a polite greeting? His lips dragging over her skin roused feelings that were anything but proper.
“There is nothing to be sorry for. I can’t say the sight of you in any position is something to apologize for.”
With that shocking statement, he inclined his head to her in a half bow before turning and walking away. She stood staring after him, watching as he was met by the owner of the company with a hearty handshake.
The sight of you in any position…
His scandalous words of course had her imagining just what she could do to him in that position. She’d always been awkward and self-conscious during sex. She couldn’t imagine kneeling before a man, boldly taking him in her mouth while he watched.
Just the thought of Andre watching her do that brought enough heat to her cheeks to light a match.
Behind her, Anya cleared her throat. “You know, there’s a trick to a successful fling.”
Casey pressed the backs of her hands to her cheeks, hoping to cool the blush that lingered. She smoothed down her skirt and went back behind her desk, dropping down in her seat with a weary sigh. “Is there?”
“You have to pick someone who won’t expect any messy romance or complications. Someone sophisticated.” The other woman nodded pointedly in Andre’s direction before turning her attention back to the fax machine.
Casey let out an exasperated breath. Despite his flirtatious nature, Andre would never see her
way. He was a paparazzi favorite, regularly photographed with actresses and starlets.
So far out of her league he was orbiting in his own galaxy.
Over the past few months, they’d shared off-hand conversations about books, current events and her desire to travel. He was an unusually good listener and seemed to remember every detail she’d ever shared with him. Once he learned how much Casey wanted to visit Italy, he’d brought her pictures of his villa in Positano, told her stories of life growing up there and encouraged her to plan a visit.
Despite the fact her agency worked for him, Andre never treated her like an underling. He was courteous, respectful—everything a gentleman should be. He’d had ample opportunity to make a move on her but never did. He might flirt a little but she suspected that was just an ingrained part of his personality. Considering the type of women he was known for dating, she doubted he meant anything by it. She was hardly supermodel material.
Which was just one more reason she needed to get over this stupid crush before she ended up embarrassing herself.
Anya pulled a brown paper sack from her bag on the floor and held it out to Casey. “Oh, I almost forgot. I brought beignets from that place you like.”
Casey squealed and ripped into the bag immediately. She popped a beignet in her mouth, where the soft pastry melted on her tongue like butter. “Man, these are better than sex. Who needs men when you have melt-in-your-mouth French pastries?”
“Would you say that if you knew Mr. Lavin was asking about you the other day, I wonder?” Anya smiled craftily when Casey swiveled around to face her. “Well, that got your attention, didn’t it?”
“Mr. Lavin asked about me? What did you say?” Casey narrowed her eyes. Anya was quirky enough to do just about anything.
“He just asked how long you’d worked here. If he had known we hired you he wouldn’t have waited so long to start work on his new campaign, I’m sure.” Anya smirked.
“I’m sure he was just making polite conversation.” Casey tucked a stray curl behind her ear and tried to look nonchalant.
Anya leaned against the file cabinet and crossed her long legs. “I think he’s trying to find out more about you without being totally obvious. I told him you were twenty-six, single and in desperate need of getting laid.”
Casey gaped. “You did
actually say that?” She supposed it could be worse, although Anya made her sound about as exciting as a cloistered nun. Not that she’d be far off the mark. When was the last time she’d had a date?
“No, but I should have. He obviously likes you even though you give him no encouragement at all. The man is gorgeous and he stares at you whenever he thinks no one is watching. I even like the way he says your name.
,” she purred, rolling the “r” the way Andre did. Anya let out a dramatic sigh and popped another pastry in her mouth.
“It’s ridiculous. And embarrassing. No one calls me Cassandra. I’ve always just been tomboy Casey.”
“It’s sexy, especially with his accent. You should give him a chance.” She shook her head, seemingly perplexed that anyone would want to hide from a handsome, rich man.
“Are you kidding me?” Casey whispered. As he walked by, she scanned him from the top of his head to the bottom of his leather-clad soles. Despite all the time they’d spent talking, she still blushed every time he said hello. To her chagrin, he seemed determined to do so every time he came in. No matter who else was around or what was going on, he sought her out. She suspected he enjoyed watching her get flustered.
“A man like that is exactly what you need in your life. Shoot, a man like that is exactly what
girl needs in her life.”
When Andre turned in their direction, Casey spun around in her chair. Heart pounding, she peeked over her shoulder a few moments later, just in time to see his back disappear into a conference room.
“The only reason he stares at me is because I’m always dropping things or tripping in front of him. He’s probably just trying to stay out of my way.”
Anya chuckled. “Yeah, there was that time you spilled coffee all over yourself just because he said hello. That was pretty bad. But other than that, it’s been harmless stuff. He seems to like you all tongue-tied and klutzy.”
Casey rolled her eyes as she recalled all the times she’d embarrassed herself in his presence. At this point it was best not to even keep track.
“Anya, men like that date supermodels and actresses. Not broke, fashion-challenged receptionists, okay?” She looked down at her plain, beige, cable-knit sweater and brown tweed skirt. Both items had been purchased at the thrift store three blocks from her apartment. She ran a hand gently over the soft, nubby fabric of her sweater. It was usually one of her favorites.
Casey glanced at the conference door again. No matter how nice he was, she couldn’t forget they were from two different worlds. Andre Lavin probably spent more money on toilet paper than she did on clothes. The thought made her a little sick.
“Well, apparently he never got that memo because he seems very interested in getting to know you. So what are you afraid of? Are you worried that if you let your hair down a little he might actually ask you out?” Anya reached over and pulled the clip from Casey’s hair. The long, brown strands tumbled over her shoulders.
“Hey!” Casey tried unsuccessfully to grab it back before giving up and twirling her hair into a low bun. She secured it with a rubber band. “I am not afraid of anything.”
There’s no reason to fear something that could never happen. Andre Lavin asking me out is about as likely as a spaceship full of Martians landing on the lawn outside.
“I just hate having my hair all over the place. Some of us are trying to be professional.” Casey focused on typing up a memo. Maybe if she just pretended Anya wasn’t there the other woman would give up and leave her alone.
“You’re trying to be invisible. Besides, you know very well I’m talking about more than just your hair.” Anya pulled Casey to her feet and surveyed her from head to foot.
“If you would take the granny bun down and lose those outdated clothes you would actually be hot. And of course get a better bra.” She cupped Casey’s breasts, pushing them up higher on her chest.