Authors: Missy Jane
Darina’s self-esteem took a hit when she caught her fiancé
in the arms of her boss’s daughter. Although three months have passed, she’s
still hurting. Having to work in the same building with the no-good loser
doesn’t help matters. But things take an interesting turn one evening when the
sexy security guard she couldn’t help but notice pays her a visit in her
Solon has wanted the enticing executive for months, and
can’t believe his luck when an innocent attempt to check on her turns into
something else entirely. The heat between them is undeniable, but Sol isn’t
sure he has enough to offer. And when Darina seems uncertain, Sol knows the
odds are stacked against their spontaneous tryst becoming more than just hot
When Darina’s ex-fiancé comes sniffing around, Sol realizes
he’ll fight anyone he must to keep her…even Darina herself.
Ellora’s Cave Publishing
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Resignation Copyright © 2011 Missy Jane
Edited by Grace Bradley
Cover design by Syneca
Photography: OLJ Studios/Shutterstock.com
Electronic book publication September 2011
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Darina closed her eyes and let out a deep breath as
frustration filled her. She lowered the pen onto the clipboard before grasping
the temporary employee badge the security guard had placed beside it. He’d been
flirting again, but she suspected it was more pity than genuine interest. Those
soul-deep brown eyes held a wealth of understanding as he watched her
studiously ignoring the scene across the lobby.
No. Don’t think about that.
She opened her eyes slowly and looked up to see the scene
hadn’t changed in the slightest. With a quick smile at the sexy security guard,
she clipped the badge to her blazer and pulled her purse more firmly over her
I can do this.
Lifting her chin, she tried to concentrate on each step as
she walked across the foyer to the elevators ahead. Willing herself to be
invisible had become more natural over the past few months.
So far, so good.
Luckily, Marc hadn’t spotted her yet. The last thing she
needed was for him to try to speak to her again. He just didn’t get it. Bad
enough the entire office knew he’d cheated on her and broken her heart, but now
he wanted to be friends? She couldn’t decide if he was an idiot or a vindictive
bastard. Most likely both. From the corner of her eye, she saw Heather look her
way before wrapping an arm in Marc’s and tugging him in the opposite direction.
Good. Keep him busy, you whore.
The thought made her smirk, wishing she could say it out
loud where everyone could hear. Unfortunately that would cost her this job.
Heather’s daddy owned the firm, and if she ever decided Darina was too much of
a distraction for Marc’s simple mind, Darina would find herself out of a job
faster than she could blink. It would be completely unfair considering the
years she’d given the firm, but such was the way of the world and fairness
never came into play.
Darina picked up the pace and made it to the elevators
without incident, not breathing easy until the doors slid shut and the happy
couple was no longer in view. She watched the numbers change as she neared her
floor and tried to focus on the day ahead. There was a ton of work to do,
reports to type and numbers to balance. Hopefully all that would keep her mind
on business and off the past few minutes.
The elevator doors opened and Darina walked briskly to her
office, finger-waving to her coworkers along the way with a pasted-on smile she
didn’t feel. Everyone smiled back, most even said good morning. Darina wondered
what was going through their minds. Were they thinking of the Christmas party
three months ago when her world came crashing down? Did any of them wonder how
her holiday had been since she’d spent it alone, mired in betrayal? She took
another deep breath and pushed away the self-pity that always made her feel
dirty and stupid. She was tougher than this and life had to go on. With a sigh,
she entered her office and got to work.
* * * * *
Sol Canova watched as Darina Tanner straightened her spine
and walked to the elevators seemingly without a care in the world. He admired
her resolve, knowing it must kill her to see her ex-fiancé in the arms of the
spoiled bitch, Heather.
Marc is a complete idiot.
What Marc saw in Heather that could rip him away from
Darina, Sol couldn’t even begin to guess. He had fantasies about Darina’s long
brown hair lying in loose curls over his pillow as she smiled up at him,
happiness gleaming from her cocoa-colored eyes. Her curves made his fingers
itch to caress them. Her breasts would be a perfect handful and her legs…yummy.
All of her, from head to toe in her fashionable navy business suit, looked like
a walking fantasy.
Heather, a blonde waif who wouldn’t know a healthy meal if
it was shoved down her throat, looked like a typical trophy wife. Her body was
the best money could buy and suited her personality. With a smile to rival her
politician granddaddy, she often acted as if there wasn’t a brain cell left in
her pretty head. It was just an act, of course, and all the more disgusting
because of it. She was conniving and stopped at nothing to get what she wanted.
Even an engagement ring.
Sol spotted the rock sitting on Heather’s finger from across
the foyer and wondered if Darina had seen it as well. If so, she gave no
outward sign and he felt a surge of pride for her strength. He’d never been
engaged, couldn’t even think of a single woman he would tie himself to, but
knew Darina’s pain couldn’t have ended after only three months. He remembered
catching her as she stumbled from the conference room that night, tears
streaking down her face. He’d followed her upstairs, knowing what she might be
interrupting. Heather had told him to keep everyone downstairs, but he couldn’t
lie to Darina when she asked if he’d seen Marc head to his office. It shamed
Sol to think he could’ve stopped her, but she’d deserved to know the truth
about the two-timing bastard.
Sol’s musings were interrupted when his partner, Dan, stood
from the chair beside him and slapped him on the back.
“Someone’s locked in the bathroom on four. You want to get
it?” Dan asked.
Sol smiled as he considered the possible scene awaiting
“Nah, you go ahead, old man. I’ll man the fort.”
Dan grinned and shook his head as he headed for the service
elevator. Sol watched him go before turning back to the monitors in front of
him. Eight little black-and-white screens showed the elevator foyer of each
floor as well as the small parking lot outside. 9800 Travers Place wasn’t the
largest building in the heart of downtown Houston, but it housed one of the
most successful human resource consulting firms in the South. And Heather’s
father owned every brick from the ground up.
Come on, beautiful. Where are you?
His gaze automatically shot to the monitor for the sixth
floor just as Darina’s supple form appeared for a brief moment. His breath
caught and his cock hardened in just that quick glimpse. She had no idea what
she did to him every time he saw her, and as far as he was concerned she never
would. She deserved a hell of a lot more than he could offer. Darina was a
goddess in his eyes and she deserved a man who could keep her happy and bathed
in jewels. Sol sighed and shook his head. He’d be doing good to afford dinner
at a decent restaurant. No, Darina Tanner wasn’t for him, no matter how often
he dreamt of her.
* * * * *
Darina finished typing up the last email on her list and hit
“send” with a sigh of satisfaction. Finally, she was done for the day and could
head home to her apartment…alone. She forced a smile on her face, determined
not to let the thought depress her anymore.
I need to get a cat.
After turning off her computer and gathering her purse, she
headed out the door and toward the elevators. She heard the murmur of voices,
but rounded the corner before realizing they were familiar and froze at the
sight. It was nearly six o’clock on a Friday and the building should’ve been
empty by now, but Heather and Marc stood waiting for an elevator wrapped in
each other’s arms, sharing a searing kiss.
Darina slapped a hand over her mouth to cover a gasp as she
silently stepped back around the corner. They hadn’t seen her. She stood
trembling, willing herself to go back to her office before they realized she
I’ll just wait until they’ve had time to leave. No big
Sol watched the drama unfold on the monitor and swore under
his breath. He knew something like this was bound to happen. Marc and Darina
worked on the same floor. It was inevitable they would eventually run into each
other. He watched Darina creep back around the corner just before the elevator
doors opened and the happy couple disappeared from view.
He wanted to punch Marc in the face when he arrived in the
foyer with the bitch, but refrained from endangering his job and his freedom.
They walked out into the night arm-in-arm just as Sol’s replacement walked in
the door. He looked back down at the monitor but Darina didn’t reappear.
Damn. I hate leaving without knowing she’s okay.
He stood slowly and stretched, then took his sweet time
handing the reins over to Andy, the night guard. After twenty minutes had
passed and Darina’s image still didn’t reappear, Sol gave up the idea of simply
walking out the door. He scrubbed a hand over his face and sighed, knowing she
was hiding in her office all alone and hurting.
“Andy, I need to check something up on six before I head
out. I’m sure it’s nothing. I’ll be heading out the back to the parking lot
when I’m done.”
Andy grunted and went back to reading a magazine as Sol
headed for the service elevator. He jammed his key into the slot to call the
elevator, feeling like a fool.
She’ll probably be gone by the time I get up there. And
if not I’ll…what? What in the hell can I possibly do?
Sol just shook his head and stepped into the metal box,
stabbing the number six roughly in agitation. The ride up seemed to take three
times as long as normal as he shifted from one foot to the other. Sweat beaded
on his brow and he wiped it off roughly, irritated at his nervousness.
She’s just a woman like any other and I’m just going to
see if she’s okay. Yeah right
Darina wasn’t a
anything, she was absolute
perfection. He tried to regulate his breathing as he stepped out of the
elevator and headed for her office. He prayed she was through crying, because
if he saw her in tears he wouldn’t be held responsible for his actions. As a
security guard he had access to the employee database and knew exactly where
that bastard Marc lived. If he found Darina crying, he just might have to pay
Marc a visit later and put him in tears too.
* * * * *
Darina sat behind her desk, rubbing her hands up and down
her cold arms. All she wanted was to feel warm again. She frowned when her eyes
stayed completely dry.
I can’t even cry over him anymore.
A raw emptiness filled her until getting out of her chair
seemed like too much effort. She sighed and leaned her head against the back,
staring blankly at the dark ceiling.
The pale ceiling tiles held no answer. She took slow, even
breaths until her pulse calmed to normal and contemplated leaving her office. A
noise sounded in the hallway but she couldn’t even muster the strength to care
who it might be. It was most likely the cleaning crew anyway. It wouldn’t be
Marc, of that she was certain. No way would Heather allow him out of her sight.
A small relief in itself.
The door opened and she sat up just as the lights came on.
The sudden illumination made her squint and all she could make out was a large
shape in her doorway.
What the hell?
“Ms. Tanner, are you all right?”
The deep voice sounded vaguely familiar, but she couldn’t
place it. It also sounded sexy as hell and she rubbed her eyes in the hopes of
getting a better look. She blinked and had to look up a ways before reaching
the concerned gaze of the security guard from downstairs. He stood well over
six feet, with broad shoulders and well-defined muscles in his dark uniform.
His thick, black hair looked just long enough to run her fingers through,
though it didn’t touch his collar. She frowned as her addled thoughts returned
to his question.
“Solon,” he replied at her slightly embarrassed pause. “My
name is Solon, Ms. Tanner, but everyone calls me Sol.”
“Oh. Um, yes, Sol. I’m fine.”
His dark gaze met hers for a moment before slowly sliding
down her body. It lingered at her breasts, where the tops were slightly bared
from one too many buttons coming loose when she’d massaged her neck. She
followed his gaze and her cheeks burned when she realized what a view he was
getting from his impressive height, but she resisted the urge to cover herself.
At least he seems to like what he sees.
Marc had stopped looking at her with lust in his eyes months
ago, the first sign of trouble. A shiver raced up her spine from Sol’s obvious
interest. She tried to relax against the chair more, thrusting her breasts out
a bit as her nipples hardened under his attention. Sol’s Adam’s apple bobbed as
he swallowed and stepped farther into the small office.
“I know you usually leave by six, Ms. Tanner. I just wanted
to make sure everything was okay up here,” he said, his voice huskier than
She smiled and he appeared to clench his teeth. It gave her
a perverse thrill to know she affected him this way, to know she
affect him at all. After Marc threw her away she’d had her doubts, but Sol’s
hot look blew them away and made her blood boil with sudden recklessness.
I must be losing my mind.
She turned her chair slightly, pulling her legs from beneath
her desk and into Sol’s line of vision. Then she slowly raised one to cross it
over the other, causing her skirt to inch up and expose a bit of thigh. His
breath stuttered loudly in the quiet room before he cleared his throat and shut
the office door behind him.
Sol’s breath left him in a rush and his heart damn near
stopped completely. Not only was Darina not crying but she was flirting…with
him. Suddenly he was the luckiest man on earth and wondered what he’d done to
deserve such a treat. He stepped toward her desk warily, expecting at any
moment for her to come to her senses and order him back downstairs.
Baby, please don’t ask me to leave.
She sat up a little straighter as he approached and he
stopped beside her desk, a mere two feet of space separating them. He stood
looking down at her, admiring the sight of her beautiful cleavage, golden skin
appearing soft as silk, begging for his touch.