Pull Me Closer (Suits in Pursuit) (8 page)

BOOK: Pull Me Closer (Suits in Pursuit)
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H
urrying into his office, he slammed and locked the door behind him, and made his way to his desk. Anxious fingers found their way to his groin. He unzipped his slacks and released his cock, explicit images of Kerrigan running through his head—her delicious caramel body splayed naked, her legs spread wide, and her breasts bouncing wildly as he pumped hard and deep into her. He stroked himself, pulling and tugging until he found his release.
Kerrigan. God! She’s killing me.
He was careful, not to soil his pants. After the deed, he stepped into his private bathroom, to clean up.

Still hard, the damn thing wouldn’t go down.
Shit!
Running his hand up and down his shaft again, he had reached near climax when suddenly the intercom on his office phone sounded.

He answered through gritted teeth, his breathing
harsh. “What do you need Brenda?”

“Sir, I know you said not to disturb you, but Kerrigan Mulls is here. She’s been waiting in the main lobby for twenty minutes.”

Her timing couldn’t be better, or worse.
Invite her in, fuck her brains out and be done, get her out of my system.
He imagined her expression if he were to bring her into his office while he held his cock in his hand and explained what he wanted to do. The coy game she would play, batting those big round eyes and flaunting that sexy body, acting the part of the innocent when she was deliberately torturing him—the seductress. The problem—he wanted more than a quick lay. He actually liked her.
Shit!

“Brenda, please ask her to wait in the main lobby downstairs. I’ll be down soon,” he barked.

“Okay, sir. I’ll let her know.”

At least the interruption tamed his erection. Brenda interrupting him during masturbation was the equivalent to his mother catching him yanking off to a dirty magazine—an easy turn off.

His second act not fully carried out, he had no choice but to face her. With the intensity between them mounting, he was more determined than ever to break her.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Five minutes later, Axel appeared in the lobby, to find Kerrigan standing at the large floor-to-ceiling windows, peering out at the city as he walked up and stood next to her. Aware of his presence, she turned to greet him.

“Sorry about disappearing
. I had to take care of something. You ready?” He kept his voice smooth and calm, hoping his anxiety didn’t come across. He had waited for such a long time, to get her alone and away from the office.

“Yes. I’m ready.”

He tugged her elbow playfully
. “Great. It’s such a beautiful day out. You might have to convince me to come back. Come on, let’s go.”

She smiled back
, and her tight shoulders relaxed. “Well, you’re the boss. If you decide to play hooky, I can’t stop you,” she said with an effervescent tone like bubbles overflowing from a champagne glass.

“No, you probably couldn’t stop me, but I’d
take you with me. I need a partner in crime if I’m going to play hooky. Besides, I think we could have a lot of fun together.”

Her lips stretched into a beam
. “Just in case this is a test, you should know that I’d never take advantage of company time.”

“I think I need to keep you close to me at all times. You’ll keep me honest.”

He led them to a park nestled between an old office building and a wooded area. When they arrived, he pulled out his cell phone.

“We’re here. Yes, right
now. Thanks,” he said to the person on the other end of the call.

He turned and
penetrated her with his heavy gaze. “I thought we’d enjoy lunch in the park. Food is on the way. Okay with you?” He studied her face.

Her eyes sparkled like stars in the Milky Way
. “Yes. This is perfect weather. I love being outdoors.”

He stretched out his arms wide, enjoying the rays of sunlight
. “Great.”

They walked along the tree-lined cobblestone pathway to a remote section of the park where tables and benches were arranged. A stonewall separated the area from an open green space, making it
secluded and intimate. A wide variety of plants and mums painted in various shades of pink, white, yellow, red and purple lined the top of the wall, adding height for privacy. The skyline was a panorama painted with tall skyscrapers made of metal and glass stretching toward the stratosphere. The sounds of urban life were muffled in the distance. A brilliant afternoon sun played peek-a-boo in the bright blue sky behind fluffy white clouds. Freshly cut lawn and the sweet aroma of a botanical haven permeated their senses.

He led them to a garden table in the secluded seating area of the park. He towered behind her as he pulled out her chair, brushing his nose against her soft hair. Closing his eyes, he inhaled the floral fragrance that was uniquely hers. His heart raced in his chest, and his mouth became dry.

After she
had sat, he maneuvered his chair to the side of the table, sitting more closely to her. Two copies of the McBride presentation in hand, she passed one to him. The light graze of her fingers sent a cold chill up his spine. Flipping through the pages of his copy, he paused as he read them over. A slow, easy smile crept onto his lips.


Kerrigan, this is amazing. You’re amazing. It’s brilliant how you’ve played into McBride’s love of sport fishing with the campaign’s theme. I think you should present, not me. I know the man quite well. He’ll respond much better to an intelligent, beautiful woman than he would respond to me.”

“You’re kind, but I’ve never pitched anything this
big before. Are you sure you want me to do it?”

He
captured her eyes with his and held her gaze. His reply was slow. Husky. Deliberate. “I’ve never been more certain of anything. I want you.”

Cheeks reddening, she blinked rapidly and twisted her fidgety hands together on the table
.

“Besides, I’ll be there supporting you. You have
exceptional talent and tremendous potential. This is good for your growth as an account manager. I believe in you. I’ll always be there for you.”

Her crossed leg bounced up and down in a jerky movement
. “Mr. Christensen … Axel thanks for your support and belief in me. This is an exciting opportunity. I won’t let you down.” Her voice pitched.

P
lacing his hand on hers, he stroked her gently. “You’re welcome. It’s well deserved, and you’ll be great. Now that business is out of the way, we can talk about other things.”

With eyes riveted on his hand resting on hers, she bounced her leg more frantically.
He knew this simple act would affect her, but he also sensed her apprehension.

He lifted his hand
away. “For starters, I thought we agreed that you’d call me Axel. Mr. Christensen sounds too formal. I want to you be comfortable with me.”

“Sorry. Old habits die hard.”
A strong wind blew wisps of her long hair across her face.

“Good.” He said,
the thin line across his face fading into a smile.

Moments later, a
rustling sound drew Axel’s attention. The bearded deliveryman approached carrying a white canvas tote and plastic bag. He placed sandwiches and bottles of water on the table and left after Axel tipped and thanked him.

“Now tell me, you work so hard, what do you do for fun?”

She took a swig of water. “Oh. I’m truly boring, actually. I enjoy reading a good book. I love outdoor activities like hiking, boating and biking. There’s something magical about being under the open sky. Sometimes, I catch a concert or play—pretty typical stuff.”

“There’s nothing boring about you. I love the outdoors too. I mostly go hiking or bike. What about your friends? You didn’t mention doing things with them.” He wondered if Kerrigan had a boyfriend or if she was seeing anyone.

She twirled a long strand of hair between nervous fingers
. “I’m sort of a loner. I have a few close friends, Ashley for one. She likes to hang out at bars and clubs, but that just isn’t my scene. I go to provide moral support mostly, and usually I’m the designated driver. I’m not into drunken men hitting on me.”

“Yeah, bars and clubs can be
obnoxious. I’m not into drunken men hitting on me either.” He joked, trying to break the tension. She giggled. “I’m somewhat of a loner too. I prefer to spend quality time with people that mean something to me. That’s a very short list.” He paused, looking into her eyes. “You’d make that list Kerrigan.”

“The newspaper sure makes it seem like you’re out clubbing every night and charming the ladies.” She said.

T
roubled by the accusation, his smile inverted, and his eyebrows made a sharp downward arrow.

He shook his head. “
You shouldn’t believe everything you read. The thought of me charming the ladies as you put it, does that bother you?”

“Why should
that bother me? What you do in your personal life is none of my business.” She shrugged her shoulders unconvincingly.

He stared directly into her eyes, without as much as a smile. “You brought up the
women, so I thought they meant something to you. Just to be clear, the media reports shouldn’t upset you, especially because they aren’t true.” She dared to go down that road with him, and he wasn’t backing off now. “You should know that I’m a one-woman man, despite what you may have heard or read or think you know about me.”

“Good to know,” s
he said. She was wise to limit her reply and not to goad him further.

“Is
that so?” His brow raised, he bit into his sandwich and chewed slowly.

“Yes. I can only imagine how exhaust
ed you would be living up to that reputation. I’m relieved to know that my boss is more focused than the newspaper reports.”

Th
e corners of his lips twisted into a smirk. She always reminded him of his position. “I’m glad to relieve you of your worry. Now that we’ve established the truth, we can move on to more interesting topics. I enjoy learning new things about my employees.”
Take that.

The rest of their
chat had been easy. Two o’clock came, and then it went—they would be late getting back to the office. He enjoyed her company, and learning that they shared similar tastes, interests, likes and dislikes.

“After graduating from business school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life,” he said.

She nodded in agreement. “Me either.”

“I interned at an agency in New York for six months, and I loved it.”

“I interned at an agency after college, too. The creative energy and excitement of the hustle and bustle won me over too.” A smile touched her eyes. “My first real gig was in New York.”

He wrinkled his forehead. “Why did you leave the city?” He asked.

“The pace got old. Plus, I received an offer I couldn’t refuse—tripled my salary and moved to Texas where the cost of living was much better. Besides, I landed the internship thanks to one of my brother’s connections. In some way, I wanted to prove to my family that could make it on my own. They weren’t thrilled with my career choice.”

“That’s why I started the agency. I didn’t want my father’s money. I wanted to achieve success on my own terms and of my own merit. I’ve always believed in hard work, but I play hard too.”

“So, you’re just a regular hardworking Joe?” She teased, the smile in her voice chiming like a song.

He cocked his head to one side. “I’m as regular as they come—just a little more interesting, I hope.”

Axel was undoubtedly flirting. He hoped that making her realize how down-to-earth he was would ease her antsy jitters and anxiety whenever they were together.

This was a good start.
He enjoyed spending one-on-one time with Kerrigan, getting to know her personally. Although he could spend all afternoon with her, he knew the afternoon had to end.

“Thank you for indulging me in a game of hooky this afternoon. Better
get you back to the office. I’d hate your reputation to be smeared by the likes of me. You might be mistaken as the lady I’m keeping company with,” he teased, trying to gauge her reaction.

Shifting in her seat,
Kerrigan raised one eyebrow and rubbed her nose. “I didn’t mean to insult you.” Her voice was soft and meek.

“It’s
disappointing that I have this reputation. It’s quite opposite of the man I am. I want so much more,” he said.

“Aw, the plight of the highly sought, eligible bachelor,” she sneered.

He stood and held out his hand to help her up. “It’s too bad that I’m not highly sought by one woman I want.”

She placed her hand in his
, and he helped her up from the chair. Her touch surprised him, not expecting the rush of warmth that started in his hand, moved up his arm, and then radiated through his torso and down to his feet. They walked back through the park quietly neither saying a word. When they neared the front of the building, he slowed his pace, prolonging their time together.

Facing forward, he observed her
with a furtive glance from the corner of his eye. “I’m a bachelor but, not by choice. I’ve been waiting for the right woman to come along so I can show her what I’m made of, whom I am and how good things can be with me.”

“I’m sure you’ll find
your special lady someday.” She said.

He
stopped, gently grabbing her by the forearm and she whirled around to face him. He peered into her eyes. “I already have, but she’ll take some convincing. She keeps barriers between us. Kerrigan, do you have any idea how I can get her to trust me, open up to me?”

His words
landed perfectly as if he were an arrow and she the dartboard. Bulls-eye.

“Sounds
as if you need a healthy dose of patience. Give her time to learn to trust you,” she said.

He released her arm
. Hope was a lighter load than the uncertainty that he had carried all these months. “Hmm. That is good advice. Although I’m not a patient man, especially when I know what I want.” He glanced back down at her.

“If you’re not willing to wait for her, she must not be
very special to you.”

He caught her eyes again. “She
’s incredibly special to me. Of course, I want things to move along faster, but I know she’s afraid. What are you afraid of Kerrigan?”
Shit.
The question blurted out.

She gasped and stepped back. “Excuse me?”

His heart hammered in his chest. “I, I meant … your womanly insights might be helpful.” He stammered. “What would make you afraid to explore your feelings?”

“That’s a topic for another day.”
She rested her fanned hand on her chest at the base of her throat.

“I’ll hold you to that. So, have you written any pages in your new chapter? Are you finding everything you had come here looking for?”

She shrugged her shoulders. “I’m learning that writing a new chapter takes time. I’ve found some things I was looking for, and well others … not so much.” Her eyes sank.

BOOK: Pull Me Closer (Suits in Pursuit)
6.98Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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