Authors: Norah C. Peters
Tags: #romance, #romantic short story, #short story romance
When Love Takes Over You
by Norah C. Peters
Copyright 2013 by Norah C. Peters
Published on Smashwords
* * *
All rights reserved. Without limiting the
rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication
may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system,
or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the
prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above
publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters,
places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the
author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author
acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various
products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used
without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not
authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark
Smashwords Edition License Notes
This e-book is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to
other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you
share it with. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it,
or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return
to wherever you bought it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for
respecting the author's work.
* * *
* * *
Susan took a deep breath and followed the
P.A. into Mike Forest’s power office. Mike was standing behind his
desk, shouting into the phone when he looked up and noticed Susan,
his jaw dropped and with a few well chosen expletives he slammed
the phone down.
"I’m Mike, pleased to meet you," he held out
his hand and firmly shook Susan’s hand.
"Good to meet you Mike, I’m Susan," she
squeaked as she felt the strength of his hand and finally got to
see him close up. He was taller and more manly than she’d expected
after seeing him on so many TV interviews over the years. At only
37, Mike was the biggest property developer in London with an ego
to match and the well toned body of a man who still found time to
hit the gym. Susan felt weak at the knees as she slid into her
seat. She tried not to stare but she couldn’t. She took in his
tanned face, his strong jaw line and those deep blue eyes that
danced in the light. His jet black hair was cut short and with his
tailored dark suit he looked like he had just stepped out of a
"Are you feeling ok, Susan? You look a little
pale. Let me pour you some water."
Susan sipped the water and trembled. "Oh
thank you, that’s very kind of you. I don’t know what’s come over
me today. Anyway, I’m ready to get started if you are. I read over
your email but I could do with some more details before I can come
up with some initial interior design ideas for you to look at."
"Of course. Let me give you a quick run down
of what I’m working on. I’ve just been awarded planning permission
to build a luxury development in Battersea, right on the river
bank. It’s going to be my biggest project to date and I need to
make sure I’m working with the very best people because this is
going to be the most exclusive apartment building in London. I’m
talking a parking spot the price of a small flat in the commuter
belt. Think five star luxury for only the most exclusive
international clientele." Mike adjusted his red silk tie and
scratched his chin before tapping his fingers on the desk. "And one
other thing, I don’t suffer fools gladly, I expect 100% from anyone
who works on our projects. We’re all in this together and I want to
ensure this development is a huge success. And clearly, that’s
where you come in because I need a wow factor but it’s got to be
different to anything that’s every been done in Europe.”
"Sounds exciting!" Susan did her best to
ignore her attraction to Mike and frowned in an effort to focus on
the business at hand. "I’m sure you’ve already had a good look at
my portfolio and you know what you can expect from me. I have a
well earned reputation for excellence and originality. Still, I do
need to know a little more about what you want to create. I’d like
to know who you want to appeal to, what they expect, that sort of
thing. So, when it comes to the interior design, what would you
like me to factor in?"
Mike hopped out of his chair and looked out
the window at the city. "Susan, I need you to create an experience
so impressive, so jaw dropping that people can’t stop talking about
it. I want River Heights to be the number one choice for new money.
Think the opulence of The Dorchester and the style of The Ritz
rolled into one but even more exclusive. When I look out over this
city I see a desperate need for extreme exclusivity and privacy for
the ultra rich but they have nowhere to go. I aim to solve that
problem. With your help I can make this happen. One last thing, I
have a reputation for being an obsessive and compulsive maniac when
it comes to business. I’m sure you’ve heard about me already. “So,
let me be very clear. All the horror stories you’ve heard, they’re
all true. If you do great work you’ll make a lot of money and
cement your reputation as one of London’s top interior designers.
On the other hand, if you mess this up and make me look bad I’ll
destroy you. Got it?" Mike snarled and turned back from the window
to look Susan in the eye.
Susan gulped, her hand shaking, she reached
for her glass and sipped on the water before taking a deep breath.
"Mike, there’s no need to be so blunt. As I already mentioned, I
have a well earned reputation for excellence and if that’s not good
enough for you we can end this meeting right now. I can deliver on
what you need but I have no intention of working with a client that
talks down to me or threatens me. Do I make myself clear?"
Mike sat back down at the table and laughed,
"Good for you, Susan. I love working with people who can give as
good as they get. You’ve got fire in your belly, I like that. I’m
sure we’ll get along just fine. One question though, do I make you
nervous? You look a little tense."
Susan felt her cheeks flush. "Of course not!
I’m just over caffeinated this morning. Don’t worry about it, I’m
fine, just fine. Anyway, I’ll go away and come up with some initial
ideas and talk to you again in a week’s time if that’s ok with
"Sounds good, Susan. Hey maybe we could meet
over coffee in Battersea. That way I can show you how I want the
development to fit in with the local environment."
"Perfect. I shall look forward to it. Thank
you for your time and I look forward to meeting you next week."
Susan held out her hand and felt the warm strength of Mike’s hand
wrapped around her now relatively tiny hand. She felt her heart
leap as she looked into his blue eyes and wondered why he had such
a big smile on his face.
* * *
Susan sat, with her best friend Becky, by the
fire in her living room with glasses of Merlot in hand to wind down
after another hectic day at the office.
Becky’s eyes twinkled in the light from the
blazing fire. "So, tell me, is Mike Forest as hot as he looks on
Susan beamed from ear to ear, "Actually, he’s
even hotter. It doesn’t sound very professional but I felt weak at
the knees when I walked into his office. He’s gorgeous, I mean,
drop dead gorgeous. I hope he didn’t notice but I barely heard a
word he said I was so distracted. We had a quick meeting and I had
to get out of there as soon as possible before I made a fool of
myself and said something silly."
"That doesn’t sound like you at all, Susan.
It sounds like he made quite an impression on you. Hey, maybe you
just met your future husband. What do you think?"
"I wouldn’t go quite that far, Becky. I know
nothing about him other than he has a body to die for and he’s
absurdly wealthy at a young age. I do have standards, you know?"
Susan giggled and poured some more wine.
"Hmm, he sounds terrible. No, he wouldn’t
suit you at all. Plus, you’d have to tame him first before he’ll
ever be husband material. Susan, I take it you know about his
reputation as a player?"
Susan nodded. "I know. I did some quick
research on him at the gossip sites and it looks like he’s out with
a different model or movie starlet every weekend. He’s quite the
man around town as they say. Maybe I’ll have to settle for a short
lived romance with him after the project is over. The next few
months will be tough though. I mean, have you ever worked with a
guy that makes you weak at the knees so much so that you can’t even
think straight? I’ve never felt like this before."
"Yeah, it happened to me once and I married
the guy," Becky raised her glass and smiled as she clinked Susan’s
"That was different though, Becky. I don’t
feel in control of myself with Mike, I’m afraid I’m going to say
the wrong thing or giggle like a school girl if he cracks a joke.
If this was happening outside of work it wouldn’t be such a problem
but every time my phone goes or I get an email I’m all jumpy in
case it’s him. I’ve only met him once and I can’t stop thinking
"Sounds like love at first sight if you ask
me." Becky beamed as she looked at Susan’s dreamy expression in the
Susan put her hand through her long blonde
hair. "I’m meeting him next week for coffee in Battersea. I can’t
stop thinking about it, I don’t know what to wear and I’m just
hoping I can manage to be professional and keep it together. Of
course, I need to remind myself that this is a huge opportunity for
my business so I better not mess it up. In fact, he warned me not
to mess it up or he’d destroy my reputation."
"He did? He sounds like quite a handful,
Susan. Don’t go all head over heels like this if he’s one of those
high powered maniacs that walks all over people. It’s just not
worth it, that’s way more trouble than it’s worth."
Susan looked into the fire and sighed.
"Maniac, that’s the word he used to describe himself, actually. But
you’re right, I’ll need to tread carefully with this one. I’ve been
burned enough times in the past with his type. Being realistic I
know what I should do, I need to keep him at arm’s length but the
problem is following though and doing that. It’s never quite as
easy as it sounds."
* * *
Mike sat in the cafe at Battersea Park and
looked over as Susan walked in. She looked stunning, he guessed she
was about 32 and young for someone so successful in her field, her
long blonde hair tumbled down to her shoulders and her smart navy
business suit made the most of her slim figure. He liked what he
saw and made a mental note to ask her out at some point in the
future after the project had been completed.
"Hello, Susan! Good to meet you again, I hope
you found this place without too much trouble."
Susan felt her knees go weak as soon as she
spotted Mike. He looked like a movie star who had taken a wrong
turn and ended up in the park. She felt her pulse quicken. "Hello,
Mike! How are you today? Oh, no problem at all, I grew up just down
the street from the park."
Mike sat up. "Oh really? Now there’s a
coincidence. I live only 5 minutes walk from here. I love this part
of town, it’s just such a good spot."
After a waiter took their order and brought
over the drinks, Mike moved the conversation onto business. "Now, I
looked over your initial sketches and I really like what you’ve
come up with. Actually, I’m very impressed."
Susan blushed and looked away, avoiding his
blue eyes. She reminded herself that Mike was a notorious player
and that this was a business meeting not a date. She smiled. "Thank
you! I’m pleased you like it. I have some more ideas but I just
wanted to check first that we’re on the same wavelength before I go
Mike smiled back, amused by the way Susan
wrinkled her nose when she smiled. "Excellent! Hey, I was thinking
when I was on my way over here. There’s a great new French
restaurant just outside the park, overlooking the river. We could
take an early lunch and get a feel for the ambience of the area,
it’s right next to where the building is going up. I thought that
would be more fun than just walking over and standing on the street
like we originally planned. What do you think?"