Happy middle of the week, folks. It's time to tease you again, thanks to our lovely host Sandra Bunino, and I thought I would give you a little tease from my story The Takeover, which is part of Evernight's new Office romance Anthology, which is scheduled for release in June.
To set the scene it's the day the new CEO is due to arrive and everyone has been ordered to dress up. Heroine Emma finds herself in a dilemma when she is left facing a shut door, while balancing two trays of hot coffee, her hand bag and a bag of files. Work colleague Shane comes to her rescue.
"Here, let me. How do you get yourself into these pickles, titch?"
Shane Nevin's deep tenor stopped her fumbling, and a shiver of anticipation went down her spine, dampening her knickers like it always did. Em suppressed another sigh, and smiled up at Shane as she did her best not to swoon
Shane, too, had dressed up for the occasion, and the three-piece suit just emphasized every inch of his six foot three ruggedly masculine frame. If she didn't know better Em would have thought that suit was tailor-made. However, Shane was just a lowly office worker like herself, so unless he'd suddenly won the lottery, then he must have just struck lucky when he got that suit off the peg.
"Nice suit," Emma said, and inwardly rolled her eyes at herself. Nice suit? That's right up there with I carried a watermelon, for frick's sake. Could I think of anything more stupid to say to him?
Shane simply smiled at her comment, reached around her to open the door for her, and grasped one of the trays out of her hand.
"Here, let me help you. Queen bitch made you get the coffees again, I see, as well as made you finish that report, I bet."
Emma almost missed a step at the steely annoyance behind those clipped words, tempered as they were with a smile directed at her. And not just any smile. This was a pure drop-your-knickers-in-an-instant smile of male appreciation that made Emma feel rather lightheaded. She'd seen him use that dimpled grin with devastating effect in meetings with suppliers that meant they dropped everything to accommodate him, but she'd never been at the receiving end of it. Neither had he ever run his gaze over her body with such heated intensity that the fine hair on her arms rose to attention, and her nipples beaded into shameless beacons of lust. Em knew she would have to lose her now sodden knickers, as her body responded to this man's charisma with a gush of wetness between her thighs. Jesus, that smile was lethal, and set off an almost painful wave of arousal and feminine need in her core that left Emma breathlessly staring up at him.
"I could say the same to you, by the way." Shane winked at her, and Emma blinked as the spell was broken.
"What?" she asked.
Shane laughed and swept one large hand through the air in front of her.
"Your attire, Em. Nice suit. Who knew you were hiding such a great pair of pins, not to mention…" His gaze dropped briefly to her boobs, where her nipples were still practically waving red flags to draw attention to themselves, and he grinned again, and ran a hand through his hair. The action made a strand of his light brown hair fall across his forehead and her fingers itched to brush it back for him. It had a natural wave to it that could have made him look boyish. Coupled with the angular jaw, covered in designer stubble, the strong slash of a nose, and his intense crystal blue gaze, it just enhanced his raw masculinity and sex appeal, however.
Emma laughed nervously and somehow managed to keep on walking. Shane hit the button for the lift to carry them up to the executive offices, and she risked another glance up at him from under her lashes. He wasn't looking at her. Just stood waiting for the lift to finally get back to them, and he stepped a bit closer to her when the space behind them filled with more office workers. His spicy scent wrapped itself around her senses, and she inhaled sharply as the doors slid open. Heat raced up her arm when Shane grasped her elbow and steered her into the far corner of the lift. The high rise building was home to many firms, and the lift soon filled to capacity. Shane braced his hand behind her on the wall, to stop from being pushed further into her. With the two trays the only barrier between them, Emma's mouth went dry when she looked up to find him watching her.
"Yes, well, orders from above and all that. Must please the new CEO. I heard he's a tough old coot."
A curious smile flitted across Shane's features at her husky reply and Emma shut her eyes and bashed her head back against the mirrored wall. What was with that porn star voice she'd seemed to have adopted? Shane would think her a right simpleton.
Her stomach tightened in need and she bit her lip to stop herself from moaning out loud, when she sensed rather than saw him dip his head. Gooseflesh broke out across the sensitive skin under her ear as his hot breath skittered across it.
"Anything for the CEO, is it, titch?"
The silly name sounded like a lover's caress. He'd adopted the moniker for her within hours of their first meeting, because she'd struggled to hang the Christmas decorations on the high ceiling of their part of the open plan office. Instead of grating on her nerves, like it usually did when he brought attention to their height difference, it simply turned her on. Thanks to her heels she came up to his shoulder, rather than his chest, and it wouldn't take much for him to kiss her.
Her eyes flew open and heat crept into her face at the decidedly unprofessional turn her thoughts were taking. They were in a lift for fuck's sake, in full view of everyone else, and this was Shane. They were friends, and besides, even if they weren't, he was completely and utterly out of her league. A man like him could have any woman he wanted, and he frequently did. Lord knew Emma had fielded enough annoyed women's phone calls on a Monday morning, when she'd answered his phone. He never played the field in the office, but Shane clearly enjoyed a healthy sex life outside of it, and why shouldn't he? It was only natural after all. Emma might have taken a seeming vow of abstinence worthy of any nun, but that didn't mean other people did. She knew that, and she fervently squashed that annoying little voice in her ear, that proclaimed she'd only sworn off men since Shane's arrival. Ever since he'd held that ladder for her—a mere four months ago—and Em had irrevocably fallen in lust at first sight, no other man had passed muster. Not that she had been particularly active in that department, but Emma used to have fun. She frowned at the direction her thoughts were taking, and slammed the door shut on them. No good would come of it. She was so not going to dwell on how easy it would be to allow herself to fall in love with the man towering over. Lust was one thing, love… therein lay nothing but heartache. She wrenched her gaze up to Shane's face, and all conscious thought fled her befuddled brain.
Emma had no idea what had changed between them, but there was no mistaking the blatant lust in Shane's eyes as he smiled down at her, and she held her breath when he dipped his head again and whispered his next words.
"What if the old coot is neither old nor a coot, and wants to do all sorts of dirty things to you, that he should have no business thinking, let alone acting on? Then what will you do?"
Hmm, what will she do, do you think?
Do check out the other fabulous teasers today.