Authors: Ambrielle Kirk
Looking down at her clipboard, she signed her name on the packing slip. She was content before…when there was no man in her life. When there was no man to worry about breaking her heart.
When Alexia arrived home that evening, she wasn’t surprised to find a package in her rental box. She’d been getting deliveries for the past several weeks for the new company. There was no return label on the box, and when she opened it, there was a letter and book inside.
She skimmed the cover of the book, which featured a title of a picture of a pie chart graphic. “Investing on the right track.” Shawn’s name, followed by his certified financial planner designation was listed under the title.
He’d written a book? She had no idea. She picked up the card and slid her finger under the flap to open it. There was a handwritten note inside.
“Thank you for the clock,” it read. “It’s a nice addition to my office décor….” It went on to say that he’d been having a hard time to reach her and he also apologized for being such a jerk. “I haven’t shared this with you yet, but my first book has finally hit the shelves. What do you think…?”
Alexia couldn’t help but smiling. He’d accomplished so much. As much as she was hurt by the words she overheard in his office the other day, she was still very proud of him. She leaned back in the chair, book in hand, and opened it to the first page. Moments later, she’d become so engrossed in his biography and what led him on his career path, that she’d forgotten about dinner.
She forced herself to put the book down. Just as she got up, she spotted something among the tissue paper in the box. Lifting the tissue paper from the box, she discovered that it was a calculator.
Her breath caught in her throat in surprise. This couldn’t be. It couldn’t be her calculating from over a decade ago. There was no way.
She turned the calculator over in her hand, and her heart clenched when she saw the familiar engraving on the back. It was her name carved out on the back. This was hers. The same one that her father bought her at the start of the high school year. How had he found this?
Shawn had tied a note to the calculator with a string. Thank you for letting me borrow this, the note read.
Sitting down on the chair, she swallowed. She wanted to pick up her cell. There was nothing else in the world, she wanted right now than to hear Shawn’s voice. The anticipation would be gone tomorrow. What she wanted and needed were two different things. She wanted his company, but what she did not need was his deceitfulness.
Shawn was a seducer…a high achiever. And he’d do anything to obtain his goal. Even at the expense of her feelings.
“You’ve been distant this entire afternoon,” David said, as he fell in step beside her. “Hungry? We can leave now and have dinner.”
“It’s nothing, really.” Alexia stopped in front of table with filled with advertising brochures and pamphlets. “I didn’t get much sleep last night as I was going over opening day details. I plan to make up for it tonight.”
It was half of the truth.
He picked up a brochure, running his fingers over the glossy print. “Too bad. There will be sleep in our near future soon, cousin. Once we get all the knots untied and details straightened, our work should be much easier.”
“I really want to believe that.”
“Hey.” David nudged her in the back. “Don’t you know that guy?”
“What guy?” She turned around and looked in all directions.
He pointed toward a group of people huddled together. “That guy. The one standing over there by the entrance. The banker dude.”
It didn’t take long for her to spot Shawn among them. He stood out with distinction and his smiled seemed to light a glow around him. The tailored blue collared shirt, black slacks, and dress shoes made it apparent that he was there on business.
“Yeah.” Alexia tore her gaze away just as Shawn lifted his head in their direction. “I know him.” She turned in walked in the opposite direction, pretending to be engrossed in the products displayed on each table.
It was David who’d solicited her attendance at this business expo. How would she have known that Shawn would be here? She hadn’t seen Shawn in over a week, and his calls were now less frequent.
David stopped at another graphic designer’s table. “Wow, I like these.” He picked up a card and examined it.
That was all the excitement that the business representative behind the table needed to hear. He approached them and began discusses his product line-up with David.
Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed Shawn approaching them. “Dang it,” she mumbled.
“Alexia.” His familiar voice caressed her like a blanket.
She spun around and met his gaze, which seemed serious.
His eyes moved from her to David, who was still occupied with the rep at the table. “Can I have a word with you? Alone.”
She’d successfully avoided him for weeks. The hurt may have been gone, but she would never forget that Shawn was capable to bringing out those emotions in her. She refused to be vulnerable again.
“What is there to have a word about?” she asked.
“Why you’ve been avoiding me like I don’t exist? Like there was never anything between us.”
David turned around then. “Everything okay, Alex?”
“Yeah, everything’s okay.”
“I thought you looked familiar,” David said to Shawn. “Shawn, right? The banker?”
“Financial advisor, to be exact,” Shawn said. “Nice to meet you again.”
They shook hands.
“Nice to meet you.”
With that, Shawn turned back to address her. “I’ve been calling you, attempting to understand why I get the silent treatment.”
David looked back and forth from her to Shawn. Alexia didn’t want to cause a scene, let alone give everyone standing within two feet of them to observe all of her personal business. Shawn didn’t seem to care, but she did.
“Let’s find somewhere else to talk.” Before David could object, she started off in the direction toward the door.
Shawn fell in step beside her.
They found an area further down the hallway that had no traffic at all.
Alexia rested her back against the wall and crossed her arms. “What is there to talk about?”
“You know good and well. Why the silent treatment from you?”
“I don’t like feeling used, Shawn.” The veins in her neck tightened in anger.
He shook his head. “Who said I was using you?”
“I heard the conversation you had in your office. About how you lure all your woman clients. Persuade them to fuck you and then push your products on them,” she demanded, trying her best to keep her voice down.
“I apologize that you happened to overhear something like that, but no, that is not the way I run my business.”
She glared at him. “Then why would you bet on earning my business?”
“That was not my intention. I made a bet, but it was strictly business. It had nothing to do with me helping you.” He cupped her elbow with his palm. “The things he implied were not true. I wish he had never said them, but you know how men are.”
“No, I don’t,” she said, curtly, trying to pull away from him.
“Don’t…” He tightened his grip on her arm and moved in closer. “What have you done to me?”
“What do you mean?”
He held her gaze. His own stare was filled with passion and urgency. “I missed the hell out of you.”
Could missing him have been the feeling of emptiness she felt over the weeks? It wasn’t something she wanted to admit. “Well, you managed this far without me.”
“Why hide? Why not give me a chance to explain myself?”
She swallowed and turned away.
“What are you afraid of?” he asked again.
He was persistent with questions she didn’t know how to answer.
“I don’t know,” she whispered.
“I’ll do anything…anything to convince you of this need to have you in my life.”
“I know too much about you and your ways.”
He curled his lips down in a frown. “You would discredit me for the things I have done in my past. Those don’t define me now.”
“I got a taste of what it would feel like if you were to toss me aside after using me like all the others.”
“Rumors, Alexia. Really? You believe the rumors from over a decade ago.” He pulled back just a bit, searching her face for answers.
“I don’t want to take any chances.” She managed to move free of his hold.
“Shawn, let this thing go. We had a fling. That was all.”
His lips parted in surprise. “A fling.” He shook his head. “No way. Not to me.”
Alexia backed away toward the direction they came. “I’m not going to do long term again, Shawn. You have no idea what it feels like to have someone and love someone so much…and then lose them.”
“Your parents? Is this what this is all about?”
She turned around without answering and half-ran, half-walked away from him.
Alexia bit at her nails for the tenth time. Her nerves were a wreck. Only an insane person would do this. She glanced out of the window again at the two story brick house that belonged to Shawn Morgan. It was too late to back out of his driveway now. Her emotions were what ultimate drove her to come here. They were a mix of loneliness, longing, and some other feeling that she could not pinpoint.
She opened the car door and got it. As she took the walkway through the front door, she cursed herself at how desperate she felt. She’d denied herself the only thing that had brought her joy in a time commanded by intense business deadlines.
After a deep breath, she rang the doorbell and waited.
Shawn opened the door and his lips immediately turned up in a grin. He had a beer in one hand and the other hand on the doorknob. Her heart tempo increased at the sight of him. He must have been lounging around, as he was shirtless and was only wearing a pair of running pants.
“I um…” She cleared the lumps from her throat. Suddenly, she’d forgotten what it is she planned to say.
“Shawn, I came to apologize.”
He took her by the waist and pulled her inside. “No need to apologize. You did nothing wrong.”
“I was selfish.”
“No…you were cautious. I understand.”
“I…” She paused, contemplating her words. “I realize how much I miss you, too. I’m so afraid of losing someone, that I never really let anyone in my life.”
“You’re afraid, I know.” He traced the outline of her chin with the pad of his thumb. “I can’t promise that I will live forever, Alexia, but I can promise you that as long as I’m able I will always be there for you.”
At this declaration, her heart opened up. It was what she needed to hear, and with the sincerity in his eyes, she could tell that he meant it. The statement was more than just his words, but it was his promise to her.
She made the first move, initiated the kiss the came next.
Their lips met with urgency, and their tongues united in demanding rhythm. Her body collapsed against his when he took her in full embrace. She felt warm and safe within his arms. It was a moment she wanted to savor, and it was a feeling that she had only obtained with Shawn. No other man had ever come near as close.
He slid his palms down her black pencil skirt, and then up again to grasp her waist. “Was this dress a ploy to seduce me?
Alexia swayed into him. “I came from the office.”
“How was your day?” He leaned down and kissed the underside of her chin.
Her breath hitched when his warm tongue came in contact with the curvature of her neck. “It was busy. Lots of paperwork…” She pressed her lips together when he sucked gently on her neck. “…to fill out.”
“You need to relieve some stress, yes?” He pressed a trail of kissed from her neck to the sensitive area behind her ears.
She dug at his bare back with her fingertips. “Yes.”
“It’s been a while, Alexia. You’ve made me wait a very long time.”
“Sorry,” she whispered.
“I want to make love to your slowly.” He pulled the strap of her top down the side of her arm and kissed her shoulder. “If you will allow it…”
She nodded, clinging to him tight as he scooped her up.
He carried her up an elegant spiral staircase and down a long hallway. They entered what appeared to the master bedroom, and he set her feet down on the floor. When they embraced again to kiss, she felt the heat of his erection through the fabric of her skirt. As they moved toward the bed, she kicked off her pumps. They left a trail of clothes along the path to the bed. Finally, she sat on the edge of his bed with nothing but her panties on.
His eyes remained locked with hers as he knelt down before her at the foot of the bed, raising her feet to his inspection. He kissed the insoles of her feet, and the surreal sensations had her purring in satisfaction. Starting with her ankles, he kissed his way up the insides of her thighs. The stubble on his face tickled her skin, stirring up nerve endings throughout her body.
Her legs were propped up on his shoulders and she struggled to regain her composure as his lips made contact with her belly. Pushing her panties to one side, his fingers found her core and he sunk two inside. She bit the corners of his lips as he stroked her clit. Her pussy became so wet that his fingers slid effortless in and out of her sheath. He suddenly removed his fingers, and then covered her clit with his mouth without warning. Body arching upwards and hips moving involuntarily off the bed, she dug her fingers into the mattress.
Her breathing came in long, slow pants to match the long lingering lashes of his tongue. He moaned into her as he licked at her pussy, paying attention to her entire core. Strong hands held firm onto her ass, pulling her pussy toward his hungry mouth. He devoured her with a ferocious appetite, tonguing her clit until she could no longer hold her emotions inside.
Her orgasm pulsed through her, intensely.
Shawn lifted his head, an innocent grin tugging at the corners of his mouth. He stood and his thick rod distended from a patch of curly brown hair. She lifted herself, reached out, and wrapped her fingers around it. The veins pulsed against her palm as though he were begging for release.