Authors: Elle Casey
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Romantic Comedy, #Contemporary Women, #Humorous, #Sagas
“You know.” She sits down slowly and rests her hands in her lap. So coy. So in control of my man parts, and she doesn’t even realize it.
I recline in my chair a bit, feeling on slightly firmer ground than I did five minutes ago. “I’m not sure that I do.”
She sits back rather suddenly and blows some air up onto her forehead, her hands now resting on the arms of her chair. “William, you really need to stop playing games with me, or I’m going to have a heart attack right here on your floor.”
“Do you have a pre-existing condition or is this a new illness?”
She laughs, and I feel as though I’ve scored a point or two.
“It’s pre-existing from the moment I met you. Do you have any idea how confusing you are to me?”
“I rather thought I was an open page. As non-confusing as a man can be.”
“Well, you’re wrong about that. You’re very confusing. Very, very.”
I frown in mock concern. “
, very? Well. That sounds serious.”
I stand, moving swiftly to join her on the other side of the table, ignoring her look of concern. It’s time to take this bull by his horns and wrestle him to the ground. I’m too strung out from the hacking to let this simmer on the back burner any longer. A man can only take so much before he cracks.
“Here’s what we shall do, then.” I take the seat next to her and turn to face her. We are half a meter apart. I could almost swear I feel heat coming from her body right over to mine. “Since I am a gentleman and cannot bear the thought of you being inconvenienced by my terrible lack of manners and dismal lack of clarity, I will offer myself up for your questions.”
“Are you talking about the presentation?” She’s gone shy on me again.
I’m ready to tear both our clothing off at the way she whiplashes me between sexy and coy. I’m nearly certain she’s not doing it on purpose. That’s what makes it so maddening.
“No,” I say calmly, battling to keep my inner turmoil from revealing itself. “I’m talking about whatever it is that’s making you have a heart attack on my floor. I don’t fancy a trip to the hospital this evening, so if I can help you avoid that eventuality, then it would be my pleasure.”
She laughs and some of her color goes back to normal. “You are so formal sometimes. Is that a British thing or a William thing?”
“I suppose it’s a bit of both. My brother would have answered you differently and he’s just as British as I am. Or nearly so.”
Expecting her to respond, I wait. I look into her beautiful eyes and try to glean what she’s thinking behind them. But she says nothing. I say nothing. Time stretches.
One would think that the silence would be awkward, but it isn’t. My mind wanders to our dance, the waltz that we had together and the way our bodies moved in perfect rhythm with one another’s.
“What are you thinking right now?” she asks softly.
And for once I can be completely honest with her. “I was thinking about how you lied to me.”
She swallows with effort. “Lied?”
“Yes. When you told me you couldn’t dance.”
“Oh.” Her hand goes to her throat and rests there, toying with a thin necklace of silver. Her fingers tremble.
I want to reach out and take her hand, but I don’t. I remain as cool as I imagine George Clooney would be in this situation. “I learned the truth that night that we waltzed together. You can dance. You can dance very well, in fact.”
She smiles and looks down at my knees. “I can only dance like that when I’m with you.”
When she looks up at me with a mixture of innocence and hope and desire and worry in her eyes, I am done for. Just a simple sentence, a few words strung together that to the casual listener would mean nothing, but to me, mean ever so much more. It is with those words that she slays me. She lays me bare, and so I open my mouth to tell her exactly how I feel about her, about us, and about the future I hope she might consider sharing a bit of with me.
“ISN’T THIS COZY,” SAYS A sarcastic voice from the doorway.
William’s head whips around. “Ingrid!” He stands all of a sudden, nervous or upset, it’s hard to tell.
I back my chair up on its wheels involuntarily. I feel as though we’ve been caught being bad. Is she his girlfriend or something? I’m so confused.
you doing here?” he says a little too loudly for a conference room.
Okay, so he’s not happy she’s here. I can breathe easier, at least. But that doesn’t explain her thinking that she should be here. I stare at both of them, waiting with baited breath to see how it all plays out. I also send up a prayer that she’s just a psycho bitch and that I’m not horning in on something they have going. If he tells me he slept with her I’m going to have to second-guess this whole extra button un-done thing. Maybe I should have worn smaller heels.
“I came to get you for dinner. We have reservations.”
He sputters, trying to respond, but suffers a few false starts first. “You have no … you are …” He sighs heavily. “Ingrid, may I speak with you privately?” He doesn’t wait for her response. Instead, he grabs her by the elbow and pushes her out of the door, not very gently. She looks annoyed, but then triumphant when she catches me watching.
The door shuts behind them, and I’m left alone in the conference room. If there were another way out, a second door, I’d take it. But there isn’t, so I wait. I pack up the bits of paper and a pen that fell out of my bag when I was searching for my thumb drive and zip everything up. I need to get out of here before I get in the middle of some weird lover’s quarrel or whatever this is. I try not to be devastated. I had no right to expect anything from him.
For a moment there I got my hopes up, thinking we were connecting like I’ve been fantasizing about, but then -
! The moment was gone. It’s probably the universe trying to save me from my own stupidity. They say everything happens for a good reason, right? Maybe Ingrid is my guardian angel.
I stand, ready to check the door for my escape, when it opens up again and then closes quickly. William is standing there, his tie askew and his face a mix of emotions. I can’t tell if he’s pissed, embarrassed, or coming off a hot make-out session. I don’t see any signs of her dark red lipstick on his face, but I think there’s a smudge on his neck.
I blink a few times. Is he really going to try and play this off? “Helllloooo …”
He visually deflates. “Could we please start over? Perhaps pick up where we left off?”
I’m torn. He looks so sad but at the same time, I’m pretty sure that is lipstick on his neck.
Words fly from my mouth in a rush. “Did you kiss her?”
I cannot believe I just said that. I rush to cover. “I know I have no right to know. I’m just … curious.”
“Please sit. I’ll explain everything. Almost everything.”
I look sideways at him over the correction he made, but sit down all the same. I like him too much to just walk away when we’re finally together again.
“Okay, fine. I’m sitting.”
He takes the seat next to me and turns it to face mine. “Ingrid is a very persistent thorn in my side. Try as I might, I cannot shake her.”
“I can see that about her. Maybe you’re not trying hard enough.”
He runs his hand through his hair, leaving it standing on end. He couldn’t be cuter than he is now. Even when I’m trying to decide whether I should be mad at him, I can’t help seeing that.
“Believe me, I have tried. She is … shameless. Really, it’s beyond the pale. I used to admire the American go-get-them attitude, but now that I’m on the receiving end of it, I find I’m not quite as fond of it.”
He’s so cute. I can’t even thing about being mad at him. “It’s go
“Indeed.” His mouth quirks up in a half-smile.
I suddenly feel protective of him. “Why not just shoot her down? Tell her to go … you know … away.” Almost said the F-word there. I have to watch myself where she’s concerned. She gets me all cranky and it’s really none of my business.
He sighs heavily. “Suffice to say she owns this building and the lease we have on it, and she has zero compulsion to keep her professional relationships professional.”
“Are you saying she’s blackmailing you or forcing you to date her over a lease?” He must hear the doubt in my voice, because he sits up straight, takes me by both hands, and nearly pleads with me.
“I am new to the business as of this year. I have to prove to my father that I’m worth the investment he’s made in my education and my position here. Without me, he cannot retire, and for his health, he needs to do that. We will move from this location next year, but we are not in a position to do that now. I cannot afford to upset Ingrid at this point because she could raise our rent beyond a comfortable level. We are due for a re-evaluation.”
“Wow. So you’re like … pimping yourself out for the company?”
His hands slide away from mine and he sits back, his face turning a little pale.
My fingers fly up to my mouth. I am such an asshole. If anyone can understand desperation and trying to make a successful business life, I can. And yet, here I went and judged him. “Oh my god … I can’t believe I just said that.” I am such a hypocrite. Isn’t what I accused him of exactly what I was considering doing just an hour ago?
He waves me off, staring at the table next to him. “No apology necessary. You are entirely correct. I am a male prostitute.” He looks up at me. “I don’t suppose you’ll believe me when I say I have never slept with that woman?”
“Did you kiss her?” My heart is squeezing in my chest. This is not a question two business associates ask one another. I’m revealing my feelings for him way more than I probably should, but it’s too late now.
“Would it matter?”
I shrug. “It shouldn’t.”
“But …?” He stares into my eyes, waiting for my answer.
“But I think it does."
He smiles. He smiles very big.
I’m not exactly sure what’s going on here. “Why are you so happy about that?”
“Because. I didn’t kiss her, but the fact that you care that I might have means something.”
I can’t stop smiling right along with him. “You are so confusing.” I forget all about that stupid lipstick when I stare into his eyes. He is so devastatingly charming. I’m losing my mind.
“Confusing?” He’s acting outraged now. “I’ve laid my soul bare to you, woman. I’ve nearly come right out and said I care for you in plain English.”
I open my mouth and just let it stay that way. Shaking my head, realizing that he’s just told me he likes me, I can’t stop the overwhelming urge to hug him. I lean over and grab him around the neck before the emotion can pass, pressing my chest into his face.
“I like you too,” I say, kissing him near the ear. He smells so fine, just like I remembered.
His voice comes out muffled. “I could die and go to heaven, right now. I swear it.” And then his hands slide around behind me, his fingers completely covering every square inch of my ass, and he squeezes.
I moan in response as a shock surges through me and I go wet between my legs.
“Do you like that?” he asks, lifting his head from my breasts as I pull back a little.
I nod before leaning down to kiss him. Our lips meet and I’m reminded again of how well we fit together. Like we’ve been kissing for years and not just a few days, a few hours.
“I love your mouth,” he says. His tongue comes out to touch mine and we play at battling them together, outside our lips. He smiles and I smile at the ridiculousness of it.
“You like my mouth?” I ask, lifting my skirt up and straddling him. Thank God I’ve been doing my groin stretches. It’s only a little uncomfortable fitting my legs under the arms of the chair. I move my hips in a small circle, settling myself over him. So much for subtlety. So much for keeping it all business.
He groans, rubbing his hands up my back. He’s under my blouse, undoing my bra. I smile and grind into him some more when he releases my breasts and immediately fills his hands with them.
I take a moment to undo the buttons on my blouse so he can have better access. He helps me get out of everything from the waist up and it all falls to the table in a heap. He immediately puts his mouth to my breast and sucks my nipple hard.
I lift my arms up languidly and lean back a little. I love sitting on his hard bulge, in the middle of his office with the cool air blowing over my heated skin. “I want you to fuck me on the table,” I say, fantasizing out loud. And yes, I know this is crazy when some person still working late could be on the other side of the door, but I don’t care. William makes me feel reckless and wild.
“And I want to fuck you on the table as well,” he says, moving to the other breast. “But first I want you to suck my cock.”
A thrill shoots through me at the idea and the way he comes right out and says it.
“You do, hmm?” I ask, putting my hands on his shoulders and moving my hips. “I can probably do that for you. If you ask me nicely.” It’s a power surge. Yep. That’s what goes through me when he stops fondling my breasts and lifts an eyebrow at me.
“Ask you nicely?”
“Yep.” I grin evilly.
He pushes on my hips, signaling for me to get up. I wiggle my legs out and stand in front of him. My breasts sway between us, right at his eye level.
I know he wants to stare me down, but he can’t resist looking at my nipples.
“Bloody hell, these tits will be the death of me yet.” He looks up at me, an almost pitiful expression on his face. “You know I’m your bloody slave when you’re topless, yeah?”
He sounds so street right now, I can’t help but gush for him. I really, really want to be laid out on his conference table. But I also know he wants me to show him what I can do, and for some reason, I want to show him too.
I back up a little and slide my hands over my breasts, from the side to the front and then under to push them up for him. “How about we put your cock in here and see what happens?”
He stands, rips his tie out of the collar, nearly strangling himself, pulls half his buttons off trying to remove his shirt, and drops his pants to his ankles. “I thought you’d never ask.”