Authors: Jenny Devall
Riley had gotten the worst vibe off of Zeke. She’d have to tread carefully, since he was Dirk’s best friend. And that kiss had her head spinning. It took a full minute for Riley to get back to what she’d been doing.
She stared at the screen then remembered what she’d been looking for.
“How long have you known Zeke?”
“Since college. We were roommates freshman year.”
“You said he’s married?”
“Yes, for about five years. Lovely woman who used to try to fix me up with her friends. She stopped finally when she realized I wasn’t marriage material.”
Riley nodded. Not marriage material. Of course not. Neither was she for that matter. She worked a lot. Liked living alone. Kept odd hours. Not even a cat wanted to live with her.
“What about you, Riley?” Dirk said, interrupting her thoughts.
“What about me?”
“A house with a white picket fence in your future?”
She snorted. “I’m married to my job.”
For once, she thought he did understand. She loved what she did, and so did he. She typed in some code. She didn’t want him to distract her, but she could smell him. It was a masculine scent. Nothing fussy. Soap and water, most likely.
“What are you doing now?”
She had to remember to be patient. This was old hat to her, but brand new to him. Most customers were not that interested. They just wanted it to work. Dirk struck her as much more controlling. He probably knew everything that went on in his company. Except for this leak. “I’m putting in a small program that will tell me the next time someone sends an e-mail to that anonymizer. Does everyone choose their own passwords for e-mail?”
“Yes. Otherwise IT would be forever changing passwords because people forget them,” he said.
She nodded. “How often do they have to change them?”
“Every three months.”
“I would have everyone change their passwords soon. Even if the three months are not up.”
“For extra security?”
“Yes, and have it so they can’t use the same password twice in, say, four years.”
“Four years? That might be a challenge for me,” Dirk said.
“It’s better that way,” Riley said.
She pushed away from his desk, wishing she could take the chair with her. She’d never worked in a more comfortable one.
“I think that’s all I can do for now. I’ve put a tracer on several e-mail accounts that looked a little suspicious. Might be nothing other than downloading porn.”
“Porn? On company time?”
“People do that, Dirk. Not everyone works as hard as we do.”
He frowned. “I guess I’m too trusting of my employees.”
“I wouldn’t be here if they were all trustworthy.”
“Right. No leaks,” he said. Then he brushed a hair out of her face. “Dinner tonight? We can go out or stay in.”
She blinked. “Is it mandatory?”
“No. Of course not. You still have your life.”
“Okay, then let’s do dinner out.”
“I also have a function Friday night that I need you at. Both as my girlfriend and as my spy.”
“I’ll have a dress sent to your place,” he said.
A chill went down her spine. She really did not like him choosing what she wore. “For the record, when I’m done with this job, I’m going back to jeans and t-shirts.”
He frowned. “That’s sad. Really.”
“Not for me.”
She left him in his office and took the elevator back to the lobby. It stopped two floors down from Dirk’s, and Zeke entered the car. Riley didn’t want to be alone with him, but stepping off would look suspicious.
And if he was the leak, she didn’t want to alert him to what she was doing. A dumb girl might not realize he’d been so creepy.
“Well, hello, Riley,” Zeke said.
Riley went on alert, but she had nowhere to go. The doors had closed and the car descended toward the lobby.
Zeke stood very close to her. Right in her personal space. He was tall, but not as tall as Dirk. She bet he could get as many women just with his looks as Dirk could.
“Uh, Zeke, right?”
She scooted away just a step, but Zeke followed her.
“Yes, Zeke. Did Dirk tell you we’re friends?”
He rubbed a finger down her arm.
“He mentioned something like that.”
“Well, we share things.”
“Share?” Riley said. She didn’t dare look away from him to see what floor they were on, but she hoped the lobby came soon. In fact, if someone cut the cable and they plunged to the lobby, she’d be happy for the broken bones.
She’d put money on the fact that Zeke did this to all Dirk’s girlfriends at some point. Dirk had no idea, and Riley was not going to be the bearer of bad news.
“Yes. Well, actually. I get you when he’s done with you.”
She gulped. “Aren’t you married?”
“We have an open relationship,” Zeke said.
Did his wife know that?
She put on a vapid smile then tapped his chin. “So you are my consolation prize?”
The smile fell off his face. “I’m no consolation prize. I’ll be the main event when I want. I’ll show you how a real man is.”
Riley doubted that, and if she were playing herself she could have kicked him in the balls by now. But a girlfriend of Dirk’s with the intelligence of a houseplant wouldn’t do that. She would probably thrive on the attention.
The car stopped. Zeke stepped away. “I give you two months, then you’re gone and into my bed.”
The doors opened. He pointed at her then left. Holy crap. She stepped out into the hallway, but waited a moment to give him a head start. She couldn’t tell Dirk that his best friend had just hit on her. He’d never believe her, and she’d compromise the gig. She couldn’t do that. She was a professional. Nor could she deck the guy. That would be bad form.
Maybe when the job was over.
Adjusting her dress, she strode to the reception desk to return her badge. The receptionist smiled as she signed out. Guess everyone thought she’d had sex with Dirk.
Zeke wasn’t lurking, but she suspected she’d be looking over her shoulder for him for the rest of the day.
Dirk sat in his chair and could still smell Riley a few minutes later. Working with a giant hard-on was difficult and not something he had to do very often.
Marcia knocked then entered. “How’d it go?”
She sat opposite him. Dirk had taken her into his confidence, sure that she wasn’t the leak in his company. Marcia had worked for him for ten years, and he had no reason to doubt her loyalty to him.
Though she did have a smirk on her face.
“We didn’t have sex. She did some magic with code and then left,” Dirk said.
He leaned back in his chair.
“She’s way too smart for you,” Marcia said.
Dirk thought so also. He was a smart man. Savvy even, but Riley was a whole other level of intelligence. He didn’t think he’d be able to keep up with her. That would frighten him if he weren’t a love-them-and-leave-them kind of guy.
“She is. Amazingly smart.”
Marcia cocked her head, an eyebrow going up. “You’ve slept with her already.”
“I don’t remember my love life being part of your duties as my assistant,” Dirk said.
It irked him that Marcia knew his this well. Of course he’d slept with Riley. How could he resist her? She was beautiful.
“It isn’t, but when they call here crying to talk to you, I’m the one who has to take the messages.” Marcia glanced at his door. “I don’t think she’s going to be calling you crying.”
That hurt. “Why not?”
“Because she’ll shake you off and move on. Her life won’t be impacted by you.”
He chewed on his lip, pondering that. “I don’t understand.”
“She’ll be intertwined into your life, but you will just be part of a job. She’ll get to the next one and forget about you. Your charm will have worn thin by then.”
“Marcia, you are a bitch.”
His assistant laughed. “You know I’m right.”
She probably was right, and that bothered Dirk more than anything. Riley would probably get bored with him. That had never happened, so he wasn’t sure whether that was a good thing or not. She’d be gone whether by his doing or her own.
Wasn’t that what he wanted?
“Yes, I guess you are.” He shrugged. “It will save me from breaking up with her.”
“If you say so.”
“What are you thinking?”
“That you are in over your head and I’m going to love watching this.”
He waved away the suggestion. He knew what he was doing. “How did Zeke get in here?’
“I swear he waited until I left for a moment, then barged in here.”
“He has a habit of doing that when I have someone in here. It’s like he has to meet every woman I date.”
“If you ask me, he has an unhealthy obsession with your love life. Maybe he isn’t getting it at home.”
Dirk didn’t know much about Zeke’s home life. He only went there for dinner a few times a year. “I couldn’t tell you.”
“You really should lock your office door.”
“Sad, really. It’s my damned company and I have to lock my door.”
“The biggest offender is your friend.”
“I know. Odd.”
“Is Riley coming to the shindig Friday night?”
That perked Dirk up. “Yes, she is. I’ve picked out her dress already.”
“She isn’t a doll. She’s a human. Why do you need to dress her?”
“She has horrid fashion sense, and if you saw what she wore normally, well, no one would believe I’m attracted to her.”
“You do have to make it real,” Marcia said.
“How are the plans going for our soiree?”
“Everything is in place.”
“What would I do without you, Marcia?”
“You’d never be able to run this or any other company.”
She was right. She’d been the best hire he’d ever done. She’d walked in and taken over as if she’d been here for years. “You’re right. I hope your last bonus was satisfactory?”
“It was. And the Christmas present and the birthday present.”
He’d left those up to her, and she usually bought herself something nice. He didn’t care. She was his best employee.
“What happens if you fall for her?” Marcia asked.
“For Riley? Can’t happen. I’m not marriage or love material. No, I’m like a palate cleanser. Good for in between courses, but never good enough for a meal.”
“You sell yourself short. I bet you’d be a devoted husband if you decided to be.”
“If I decided, I’d do it with the same ferocity I do everything else. The key is that I’m not going to decide to be a husband.”
Marcia’s small smile bothered him. What did she think she knew?
“Don’t you have work to do?”
“I do, and heaven knows my boss is a slave driver, but I’m meeting my husband for lunch. That’s what I came in to tell you. I’ll be out a little longer than usual.”
“I shouldn’t, because you’ve been so impertinent, but take the afternoon off.”
Her face lit up. “Yeah? I’ve been impertinent? I was hoping.”
“Get out of here before I change my mind,” Dirk said.
Marcia left, but he pondered what she’d said. What if he did fall for Riley? He didn’t think it could happen, but worse things had. He shook his head.
“No. I can’t fall in love.”
He didn’t think he had it in him to be so gushy. And even if he did fall in love, he’d approach it like a business deal. There shouldn’t be emotion involved. It’s how he spent most of his life.
He sighed. The problem was that when he’d awakened this morning, he was sad that Riley wasn’t there. That did not bode well. His run on the treadmill had been harder than usual to get those thoughts out of his head.
The little minx had wormed her way into his thoughts way too much in a short period of time.
Riley wasn’t one to want a man’s approval, but she liked the gasp that came out of Dirk when she opened her front door. She wore the dress he’d sent over. Despite not wanting to wear such a revealing outfit, she did feel kind of sexy in it.
The neckline plunged well below her breasts. If she’d been a bigger cup, she would be out of the dress. The waist was cinched and decorated with ruching. A slit ran up to mid-thigh on the right side. As she walked, she showed a little leg.
She had bright red strappy sandals, but not ones that were too high.
Dirk whistled. “My goodness. If we had time I’d have you out of that dress, or just out of your panties, and take you against the wall.”
That he found her that attractive, sent a thrill through her. She didn’t want to feel that way. As someone who had always gotten by on her brains, she was uncomfortable with this much attention to her looks.
Dirk was pleased, clearly. He was the client, and for the duration of the job, she would get some great sex. Fringe benefits of the job that her boss didn’t need to know about.
“Then we should get going.”
She closed the apartment door behind her. Dirk put a hand on her lower back, guiding her to the stretch limousine. Usually he had a sedan.
“Fancy,” she said.
“It’s a special occasion,” he said.
The privacy divider was already up, so Riley couldn’t greet the driver, whom she was getting to know well.
“I’ll wait until we get there.”
He pouted a little, but didn’t say anything. She needed to be clear-headed to act dumb in front of his employees. Tonight was about talking to them and getting a feel for what might be going on.
Riley was pretty sure she had narrowed it down to three suspects, including Dirk’s best friend, but Dirk had insisted she shouldn’t dismiss anyone.
“Why are you all the way over there?” Dirk said.
It hadn’t been intentional, but she’d taken a spot opposite him on the bench seat. She slid closer. He kissed her lightly, then ran his hand up her leg until he was under her dress.
“Just let it happen,” he whispered.
He nipped at her neck as he fingers dipped into her panties.
“I almost wish you weren’t wearing any panties at all.” He leaned back to look at her face? “Possible?”
She didn’t need to think about that. She couldn’t imagine going the whole night with this dress on and no panties. That was above and beyond her job description.
He frowned. “Okay, but I bet I can talk you into going without someday. Maybe not tonight,” he murmured into her ear.
His fingers were doing a dance across her folds, and she spread her legs to give him better access. She couldn’t help it. Her eyes fell closed as he found her nubbin. He rubbed it in a circle.
Part of her knew that this was about power with him. Right now a lot of her didn’t care. The tension grew and she gritted her teeth. He kept her right on the edge.
She gripped his arm that was not currently in her panties. “Oh, Dirk.”
Then he pushed a little harder and she came in glorious waves. Her body shuddered as he kept rubbing. Finally she came down off the orgasm.
He pulled his hand out of her panties, sniffed his fingers, then smiled. “We’re here.”
The limousine had stopped and here she was with her legs spread and her panties wet. Her face was probably flushed too.
He opened the door then offered his hand to her. Damn him. He’d timed that this way on purpose.
She cleared her throat. Thankfully her dress was in place, but she bet her lipstick didn’t look good. She’d have to duck into the ladies’ room before she met anyone.
Walking into the hotel where the event was being held, she gripped his arm. “That wasn’t funny.”
“You enjoyed it.”
“Yes, but I need to check my makeup.”
“You look lovely.”
“I doubt that, but I have a feeling that all of your dates look like this when they get out of the limo.”
He just chuckled. He then spent the next fifteen minutes introducing her to his staff. Zeke was there, and he gave her a leer. She’d expected that. Her tits were just about hanging out, and he couldn’t seem to keep his eyes on her face.
Later Riley said to Dirk, “Did you notice how Zeke looked at me?”
“I did, but that’s just Zeke. He’s harmless.”
So Dirk had no idea. Wasn’t her place to worry about it. She’d be gone in a few weeks. She spent the evening talking to Dirk’s staff, but no one stood out for her as leak suspects. Her instincts told her it was one of the three that she’d already decided on.
Two of whom were related to Dirk, so she had to be careful.
She also spent the evening trying not to look as if she never attended galas like this. She watched to see what fork each person picked up.
At the end of the night she realized that she’d had too much champagne. She wasn’t staggering, but she realized her inhibitions were definitely lowered. Dirk looked even sexier. She excused herself to use the bathroom. When she returned, she’d tucked her panties in her purse.
She’d be ready for him in the limousine. Might be enough time if they went back to his place. As soon as they were in it, she straddled him. “Hey.”
“Hi, Riley. I think you’re drunk.”
What did that matter? She still wanted him. The only difference was her boldness. He caught her hands in his when they tried to unbutton his shirt. “I will not take advantage of you when you’re drunk.”
She sat up. “Who cares? Not like we weren’t going to do this anyway.”
“Maybe, but I don’t think you would be on my lap without your panties.”
He nudged her off of him. She frowned at him then crossed her arms. He was no fun.
As much as Dirk was amused and aroused by Riley’s actions, he knew that she wouldn’t have done that without the help of too much champagne. It had caught up with her quickly, he could tell. Her face was flushed and she was smiling more than usual.
When he took a woman to bed, she was there of her own volition. Not because of alcohol. His ego demanded that. He also wasn’t going to take her to her house, in case she got sick. He couldn’t leave her in this state.
She looked out the window. “Where are we going?”
“To my place.”
Her smile lit up the limousine. “You’ve changed your mind?”
“No, I don’t want to leave you alone in case you get sick,” he said.
She pouted, her bottom lip coming out. She was not happy with him, but he had a code. As much as he might love them and leave them, they were consensual in the loving department. He felt bad that he hadn’t realized sooner that Riley had over-imbibed. He would have stopped her, and they both would have a great night.
Instead, he’d have to change into crappy clothes, because most likely she’d spend some time with her head in a toilet. Not his favorite way to spend the night, of course.
She crossed her arms and sat as far away from him as possible. She was adorable in her pouting, but he would not give in.
The limousine finally drove under his building, and they got out. Riley staggered a little, so Dirk grabbed her arm. She resisted, but he held firm. “Let me get you up to my place.”
She tugged again, and this time she landed on her ass, giving him a good view of her naked crotch. His dick twitched, but Dirk’s brain would control this scenario.
Thankfully no one else as in the garage to see her unclad state. He held out a hand to help her up. She tried on her own, then with a frown accepted his hand. He put his arm around her to hold her steady.
“Please, let me help, Riley.”
“I don’t want to. You won’t let me have fun.”
She licked the side of his neck, and he couldn’t help smiling at her playfulness. He rested her head on his chest and sighed.
“You’ll sleep it off, and if you feel up to it in the morning, we’ll stay in bed all day,” he said.
He felt as if he were bribing a child to behave in a supermarket. If the kid did, he’d earn a candy bar. If Riley behaved he’d have sex with her. He chuckled at the thought.
“What’s so funny?” she said.
“Nothing at all, Riley.”
The doors finally opened onto the hallway outside his penthouse. Riley stumbled, so he propped her against the wall as he unlocked the door. When he finished that task, he scooped her up in his arms and deposited her in the bathroom of his bedroom.
“Let’s get that dress off of you,” he said.
Her eyebrows went up. “So you are going to make love to me?”
He slid the zipper down the back of the dress. He wasn’t desperate enough to fuck a sick woman. “No, I’m putting you in clothes you don’t mind throwing up on.”
He got the dress and her bra off of her. She stood there naked, in his bathroom, as if she did it every day. He did know every inch of her, but he still admired her curvy ass and sexy back. He wanted to kiss down it, and he would when she was healthier.
“Okay,” she said, sounding like a petulant child.
That made him chuckle also. He usually had someone else to deal with this, but he figured Riley was his responsibility tonight.
He returned to the bathroom with a t-shirt and some sweatpants that might fit her. She donned them, and then her face went white. She bent over the toilet, and he gathered her hair in his fist. As expected, Riley emptied the contents of her stomach.
She sat back on her heels and groaned. Dirk wiped her face with a warm washcloth.
She smiled at him. “Thank you.”
“You’re probably not done.”
“I hope I’m done.” She threw up again. He wiped her face again.
She sat on her butt. “I think I am. Damn.”
He handed her a glass with some mouthwash in it. “Rinse. Don’t drink anything for a while.”
She did as he suggested, then let out a sigh. “Now I’m tired.”
“You feel better?”
“Oddly, yes. My stomach’s a little fluttery, but I don’t think I’m going to barf again.”
He held out his hand. She took it, and he loved the little tingle her touch gave him. It scared him, but he liked it just the same. No woman had ever done that to him. He might be taking a risk spending time with Riley, but he didn’t want to miss a minute of her.
For as long as he could. She’d be gone when the job was done, and that would probably be best. So he’d have her as close to him as possible until she found the culprit of his leak.
He walked her to his bed. He hadn’t gotten a chance to change. “You get comfortable. Let me strip down and I’ll join you.”
She slid under the covers, looking exhausted. “I’m cold.”
He took off his clothes, folding them neatly on his dresser. He joined her under the covers, wrapping himself around her. “Now, sleep. We’ll have fun in the morning.”
She nestled closer to him, and he had to admit he liked this. How domestic of him. He wasn’t a snuggler. He had sex and they left. He took care of their needs in bed, but when he was done, he sent them home.
Riley would stay the night. She might even stay tomorrow night, and the prospect equally thrilled him and scared him.