I wasn’t about to admit that I was one of them. The man had enough ego for five men. “That’s not it at all, you don’t interest me in the least!” I didn’t mean to speak the words so strongly but I couldn’t take the chance that he’d see through my lies.
“Are you certain?” He raised an eyebrow, then lowered his eyes to my chest. “I don’t do relationships but a consensual enjoyment of pleasures wouldn’t be against my rules.”
Had he just offered to please me? Holy crap. I needed to run from this room and go hide somewhere. “You’re not my type.” Where those words came from I had no idea. My mind was running on self-defense mode and he was throwing up all kinds of warnings with his teasing.
“Something tells me I could be exactly what you need, but let’s get back to work.” His teasing banter slipped into seriousness in a blink of an eye and I could only assume he’d been amusing himself.
I stood absolutely still and watched him walk back to the fireplace. My heart was beating rapidly and all I wanted was to return to the safety of my own apartment.
“Let’s try this again and don’t back away when I walk toward you. Instead try offering a smile, encouraging me to join you.”
I doubted my legs would work so his demand was pretty much pointless. Even my lips were trembling as he invaded my space again. I forced myself to smile when he was only a few inches before me and almost hyperventilated when he leaned in to whisper in my ear.
“You look lovely this evening.” Chills moved down my arms at the warmth of his breath against the lobe. I couldn’t stop the involuntary shiver.
“This is where you would tell me thank you.” The amusement in his voice snapped me out of my mental fantasy, which was pretty hot at the moment if I was being honest.
“Thank you.” I whispered the words softly and met his eyes as they found mine.
I was shocked when his fingers lightly caressed my arm and gasped at the tingle left in their wake. I wanted to step back again but I felt like I was held to the spot by some invisible magnetic force.
“Would you like to walk out on the balcony to get a breath of fresh air?” The timbre of his voice was so deeply seductive I almost moaned. Fresh air would definitely be a relief to this closeness with him that seemed to be warning me of the danger he could do to my soul.
“I think that’s a good idea.” My voice was husky and I had no idea why I suddenly felt like my body was on fire.
He opened the door to his balcony and rested his hand on my lower back, guiding. The coolness of the winter air was a welcome relief as I stared over the city below. My heart was still racing as he stood behind me, the warmth of his body penetrating through the thinness of the long sleeved t-shirt I was wearing.
“A beautiful woman sharing an incredible view, I do believe this will be a night to remember.” The seductive quality in his voice was almost hypnotizing and I couldn’t stop myself from turning to face him.
I lifted my face without conscious thought and offered him my lips. I didn’t know what was wrong with me but at the moment all I wanted was to surrender to his kiss.
He lowered his head and stopped scant inches from my lips. “Now that Miss Burns, is a perfect example of seduction.” With a smirk he lifted his head and walked back into the living room.
I gripped the railing tightly for a few moments needing to gain some control over my emotions. This was nothing but a lesson to him and for reasons I didn’t care to contemplate my feelings were hurt. Taking several deep breaths I forced myself to walk back in and join him.
“I don’t think you’ll have any problems with this job.” The tick in his strong jaw made him appear angry and I had no idea why he was mad when I was the one who’d almost given in to the illusion.
“Maybe I wasn’t pretending.” I could have slapped myself for uttering those words. He made me feel inferior and I hated it. I should have told him that all the money in the world wouldn’t make me kiss an ass like him.
“Be careful what you say. I don’t think you’re ready to play in my world little girl.”
The man was an egomaniac. He deserved to be taken down a notch or two and I was just angry enough to do it. “Maybe it’s you who should be careful. Looks are sometimes deceiving.” All I can say is the devil made me do it. His high and mighty look pissed me off and I didn’t want him to see me as this child who couldn’t hold her own.
“I don’t doubt that at all. So you think you can match my skills? Be very careful how you answer because I don’t take challenges lightly.”
Pompous ass. He might be rich, handsome and successful but I’d never backed down from any challenge. Growing up with a mother like mine I’d learned to fight for anything I wanted in this life. “You just might find you’ve met your match.” I wasn’t even sure what we were talking about any longer. I only knew he’d gotten to me and I hated him for it.
He walked with aggressive movements until we were standing toe to toe again. I was completely unprepared as his hand tangled in my hair, pulling my neck back almost painfully. “This is one game you won’t win.” His lips crushed into mine and the kiss he gave was meant to punish.
Never in my life had a man treated me this way and the gasp that escaped left him the opening he needed to strike with his tongue. I don’t know when the rage turned into passion but our tongues dueled frantically until I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stand on my own.
That kiss seemed to last forever and I wasn’t sure how much further it would have gone if I hadn’t let a whimper escape. My mind was completely muddled with the taste of him driving me to insanity. His flavor was unbelievable and all I could ask for was more.
He pulled away and I almost lost my balance with the abrupt movement. “We leave for New York tomorrow. I expect you to be ready by noon.” Without any further explanation, he walked over to the front door and held it open.
I felt like I’d been slapped in the face, the change was so fast. My lips were throbbing with the pressure of his earlier seduction, and my cheek burned with the friction from his five o’clock shadow. Mindless, I walked out and raced toward the elevator.
Whatever game we were playing had been taken to a new level and I had no idea how to keep up. All I wanted was to get as far away from him as possible and hopefully clear my head. I waited impatiently to reach my floor and when I finally arrived my feet carried me inside swiftly.
I stood in my kitchen gripping the counter of the island bar trying to make sense of how wrong this night had ended. In over my head was an understatement. A man like Taylor Ross could break me without trying and I knew I’d be forced to fold my hand.
I should resign and walk away from this before I lost more than my pride. The unfairness of the situation made me want to weep, but I’d be damned if I’d allow him to bring me to that level. I wasn’t even sure what the game was any longer.
It was times like this I wished I had a mother to talk to. Picking up the phone I called Ashley, she was the only friend I had that I’d discuss something as serious as this with. Explaining what had happened tonight, my stomach fluttered. Taylor Ross was the big leagues and I still felt like I was in high school when it came to my experiences on the emotional side.
“Holy Shit! He kissed you?” Ashley gasped into the receiver. “I’ve seen pictures of your boss online, I would so be tapping that!” Obviously she wasn’t getting the magnitude of the world of crap I was suddenly floating in. “Did you like it?”
“That’s not the point!” Hell yes I liked it. Kissing Taylor was way different than those awkward fumbling’s with some boy after a date. I’d never been in a serious relationship and outside of David Miller trying to feel me up after prom my experience was pretty much nil.
“I’d say that’s pretty much everything. He’s sexy, rich and from what you’ve told me exciting as hell.”
This conversation was not helping. “He’s my boss and something tells me fun with him might leave me shattered.”
“You’re twenty maybe a little shattering is just what you need at the moment. Seriously I don’t know why you’re holding on to the V card. If you want him, then I say go for it. I mean you did say he wasn’t into relationships, right?”
“Consensual enjoyment of pleasures,” I repeated Ross’s earlier statement verbatim. “What the hell does that even mean?”
“Sounds to me like the guy just wants some no commitment sex. That leaves you with two choices. File a charge of sexual harassment on him, or have a little fun.” Ashely was laughing and it was apparent she didn’t see the big deal.
“I need this job.” Not to mention the cushy living arrangements weren’t something I wanted to give up. “If I slept with him I’d feel like a whore.” That was the gist of the situation. I did find Taylor attractive but at the same time I didn’t have a clue how to deal with him. I mean what could a person like me offer?