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Authors: Nicola Peterson

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BOOK: Dream Lover
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Maxwell had been so wrapped up in his thoughts he almost cannoned into Quinn when she stopped to show her boarding pass. For a moment she looked quickly over her shoulder at him, her lips parted in surprise as he pushed into her.

‘Sorry,’ he muttered looking away quickly from her big golden brown eyes and moving his hand from her shoulder as he regained his balance. For a split second his fingers had tangled with her soft hair and once again his imagination ran away with him.

‘Mr Cordell, do you have your boarding pass?’ she asked when he stood apparently staring into space. She watched while he fumbled around in his pockets before finding the card. Maybe he’s scared of flying too, she thought, then dismissed that idea she couldn’t imagine him being afraid of anything.

All too soon they were on the plane, well at least the seats in business class were wide and comfortable, not claustrophobic like the last flight she had been on and her seat had been in economy, maybe she would be all right after all she thought hopefully. After stowing away her bag she was fumbling with her seat belt when strong fingers closed around hers.

‘Just how scared are you?’ Maxwell asked keeping hold of her hand.

Quinn looked up into concerned blue eyes, ‘Terrified,’ she whispered.

He sighed, ‘On a scale of one to ten?’ he asked while rubbing his thumb slowly across her knuckles.

‘Twenty,’ she told him honestly, then held her breath while she waited for the abuse she would no doubt receive.

He made an irritated huffing sound, ‘Why the hell didn’t you tell me?’ he demanded releasing her hand. ‘We could have driven,’ he told her angrily while reaching for his brief case.

‘I’ll be okay,’ she said in a voice that was far from ‘
okay
.’

He sighed exasperatedly and opened his brief case, ‘I need you to check over some papers with me,’ it was only later she realised he didn’t really want the papers checking he was trying to help her forget about the flight by distracting her.

Before she realised they where high above the clouds, ‘Pay attention,’ he demanded when she looked toward the window. The next time her attention wavered was when the plane banked to make its final approaches into Heathrow Airport.

When she gave a startled, ‘Oh my,’ as the plane dipped he took her hand and held in between his own, his long fingers stroking gently across her knuckles. The feeling of his strong warm hand wrapped around her own helped calm her as the plane eventually made the final approaches and then a slightly bumpy landing. Quinn ignored the feeling of disappointment when he let go of her hand and busied himself collecting his papers and her brief case ready to leave the plane.

The limousine sent to collect them from the airport crawled through the London traffic. ‘Once we arrive at the hotel I will be going straight into the conference,’ he told her. ‘We will be having lunch at one, don’t be late I’ll meet you in the lounge,’ he paused for a moment, ‘have a couple of hours to yourself,’ he looked quickly toward her. ‘Shop or rest whatever, you do look a little tired.’

Quinn had noticed he did not look at her for long, sometimes she wondered if he were asked to describe his p.a. would be able to.

She was quite wrong with her assumptions and would have been surprised in just how much detail he could describe her, right down to the tiny freckle by the corner of her eye.

Maxwell left Quinn to book them in to their rooms and headed off toward the conference centre before he left he instructed her, ‘Don’t forget to hang my clothes up, I don’t want them creased for this evening,’ he informed her quickly turning and walking away.

Giving an exasperated sigh she followed the bellboy to their rooms, only to find they were booked into a two-bedroom suite.

The suite was beautifully furnished and decorated. Both bedrooms were almost identical only difference was that one was slightly larger so she had the Bellboy leave Maxwell’s luggage in that one. Each of the rooms had bathroom en suite. Between the two bedrooms was a beautiful spacious lounge, furnished tastefully with huge comfortable sofas and armchairs, a massive TV and discretely away in one corner a computer, fax and photocopier.

As Quinn hung up his clothes she couldn’t help but smile he had brought far more clothes than she had, as well as a change of suit for the next day there were two white dress shirts, one black dinner jacket and pants along with a further dinner suit in dark navy. Along with two pairs of shinny black patent leather shoes, a handful of socks, and an assortment of boxer shorts. Pushing his underwear quickly into the draw she slammed it shut hastily and tried to push the vision of him dressed in just his shorts out of her mind.

Leaving his room she hung her own clothes up, with the exception of cream underwear to go with the cream dress she would wear she left these on the bed. Quinn took a last look at her reflection before she left the room. Both of the dresses picked for her were classically plain, bringing out her colouring and figure to the fullest. Both her hair and eyes shared the same blend of brown and gold, she didn’t for one moment believe she was a woman of outstanding beauty, but her unusual eye colouring and soft full mouth drew men’s attention to her, she was never short of admirers.

At ten to one she made her way out of her room and down to the lounge to meet her employer as arranged. It wasn’t hard to find Maxwell Cordell; he was the tallest man in the room at a little over six feet four. His dark head was a good couple of inches above everyone else, and his shoulders a couple of inches wider than most everyone else.

Although she wasn’t late she was aware he was looking for her, his head moving this way and that as he scanned the room for her.

Across the room Maxwell saw her, for an instant his brow creased, his eyes closed then opened quickly, at the same time his broad chest expanded as he inhaled deeply.

For a moment she thought he had been looking over her shoulder and she turned to see what he was looking at. For some reason it never dawned on her it could have been herself that took his attention so completely.

‘Just on time Quinn,’ Maxwell said as she reached his side, he did not give her a chance to reply but quickly introduced her to several of the men in his group.

As usual nearly everyone tagged, ‘Miss’ onto the front of her name. Maxwell did not correct their mistake and she did not get the opportunity so she was soon known as Miss Quinn, Maxwell Cordell’s personal assistant.

At lunch Quinn found herself seated between Maxwell, and Giles Rothwell, who she found out very quickly, was a self-opinionated man who believed that everything he said should be heard by everyone in the room, he also believed he was every woman’s ideal man. More than once through the meal she had removed his hand from her thigh, ‘Touch me again and you will scream,’ she smiled sweetly at him while she spoke, and then added, ‘because if you do I will stab you with my fork. Okay?’

Giles looked down his rather long nose for a few moments before speaking, ‘Tell me Miss Quinn, how long have you been working for the famously evil tempered Maxwell?’ he asked ignoring her threat.

‘A few weeks,’ she replied politely, not wishing to cause a scene.

‘That long?’ he laughed catching her chin in his hand and making a great display of inspecting her face. ‘You must be quick on your feet,’ he told her with a smile.

Quinn’s brow creased as she moved her head back, breaking the unwanted contact, ‘How do you mean?’

‘No scars yet I see,’ he smiled, then laughed when she pulled further away from him.

‘Is there a purpose to this conversation?’ she asked giving him a cold hard stare. No matter what her relationship with her employer there was no way she would be disloyal to him.

Giles sat back in his seat and surveyed her for a moment, ‘A rose with thorns,’ he said testily.

Quinn smiled back at him and turned away ignoring his insult, she’d heard worse. Only for the fact he was the finance director from the company’s Leeds office she would have slapped his face for touching her the way he had, but she had every intention of reporting to Maxwell what had transpired between them, confident that he would deal with him.

‘You and Maxwell should make a good pair,’ he hissed into her ear.

‘Meaning?’ she asked turning back to him and looking straight in to his face.

He gave her a sneering smile; ‘You’re both as friendly as vipers!’

Before she could respond he stood up and stormed away, his hasty exit was not missed by Maxwell who had been in conversation with the director of overseas operations, the moment there was a lull in their conversation he turned to her.

‘What did Giles want?’ he demanded to know, well aware of his reputation for being something of a womaniser.

‘I’m not really sure, besides insulting you and checking me out for scars,’ she told him as she looked down at her thigh, ‘but if he touches my thigh again, or any other part of me I’ll slap his face,’ she added looking up into his blue eyes.

Maxwell looked quickly from her eyes to her thigh then back again, ‘You do that,’ he said and turned away to continue his conversation.

Right up until the moment the luncheon finished she was unsure of why he wanted her there, she hadn’t taken notes, she hadn’t been told to talk to anyone in particular.

When they started back into the conference Maxwell told her, ‘We should be finished for five, pre dinner drinks are seven thirty for eight, don’t be late,’ he paused for a moment, ‘Spend the next couple of hours how you wish,’ spun on his heel and disappeared.

As the Chairman led everyone back into the conference room Quinn looked around the room and realised it would be a good opportunity to meet some of the secretaries she often spoke to by phone or email. There were ten other secretaries present and soon she had introduced herself to everyone and found without exception they were all amazed Maxwell had a female p.a. but when she asked why not one could answer but she did have a feeling a couple of the older women did know but were not saying.

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

Quinn decided to do as her boss told her and spent a little time relaxing so after hanging up her dress she stretched out on the sofa in just her under slip and watched TV. After flicking through the channels she turned it off once again and was engrossed in an article in a magazine left by the hotel when the door flew open. Unable to keep back the startled gasp she held her magazine across her chest, ‘Mr Cordell...’ she stammered, ‘I wasn’t expecting you…’

He shook his head and headed for his room, ‘I don’t want people getting the wrong idea Quinn, so I would be grateful if you didn’t give them ammunition,’ he stopped and looked down into her startled face. ‘Don’t sit around half naked,’ he snapped then quickly carried on into his room.

‘Damn the man,’ she muttered softly waiting for the moment his door opened and he disappeared though it before she dashed to her own staying there until she heard him leaving once again.

When he reappeared from his meeting at five o’clock she was busy on her lap top, ‘I hadn’t realised you had brought that,’ he commented.

‘Well I knew I would have a couple of hours to myself, I’ve got quite a lot done without the usual interruptions,’ she explained.

He looked at her for a moment, ‘I had meant for you to entertain yourself, go shopping whatever.’

She shrugged her shoulders and pushed her hair away from her face.

‘Finish up for now, and if you can be ready earlier we’ll go for a drink in the lounge,’ not waiting for her reply he turned and walked away.

As usual every thing he said was delivered as a demand leaving her no option other than to get ready immediately.

Just over an hour later she was ready with the exception of what to do with her long thick hair. Eventually she held it back from her face with a plain gold slide. Taking a last look in the mirror she smoothed down the snug fitting black dress Dominique had chosen for her to wear that evening. She had to admit it was a lovely dress the sweetheart neckline was not too low, the bodice not too tight, although the length was just a little shorter than she normally wore, finishing above her knees, she had completed off her outfit with a gold chain and matching bangle.

When she walked into the lounge just after seven Maxwell was already there waiting for her. He was standing looking out of the window, his broad body encased in an immaculately cut dinner jacket, his dark hair still damp from the shower, he turned quickly when he heard movement.

‘Ready?’ he asked looking her over from head to toe, his broad chest expanded as he inhaled. His blue eyes rested on the swell of her breasts, ‘I hadn’t realised you were quite so … curvy Quinn,’ he commented with a slow drawl to his voice.

Quinn took a step back, uncomfortable at the way he was looking at her, ‘I have another dress,’ she told him, ‘I’ll change.’ Suddenly very aware that the dress was more fitted than she normally wore, it had been a long time since she had worn anything that showed off her figure.

‘It wasn’t a complaint, I happen to like curvy women.’ Then without further ado he took her arm and pulled her quickly toward the door. ‘Just one other thing,’ he stopped quickly and reached for her hair, ‘Leave your hair loose,’ he released the snap on the slide and ran both his hands through the long tresses. After rearranging her hair he slid his hand down her arm and cupped her elbow then pushed her through the door.

BOOK: Dream Lover
11.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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