“I don’t think you fit the definition of the word.” Ashley giggled and the sound was grating on my nerves. “Seriously either do him or don’t. From what little I’ve read about him online he has some huge reputation in the business world. He’s not going to risk you actually filing charges against him if you turn him down.”
She was right. I didn’t see Mr. Ross being the type of man who’d force me to do anything. I’d been the one who refused to back down because of my own pride. Maybe I was just making more out of this than needed to be. Taking a deep breath I allowed some of my anxiety to ease.
“You’re right. I guess I just freaked out because I never expected him to kiss me.” Maybe the truth was more along the lines of me not expecting to enjoy that kiss as much as I had too.
“Well there you go. If it were me I’d just go about my job like nothing happened. Unless you want him, then I’d say take him up on the challenge.” She yawned into the receiver.
“I’ll let you get some sleep. We’re going to New York tomorrow for a business trip. I’ll call you when I get back.”
“Damn I wish I had your job! If you need me just give me a call.”
“Love you. Get some sleep, sorry I woke you.” We hung up and I felt a little better. He probably wouldn’t even remember last night. There was no doubt in my mind he had women tripping over their feet to enjoy his pleasures and that thought helped me stop worrying about being alone with him on the trip.
After a restless night filled with dreams of my boss, I realized I only had a few hours before he arrived. Taking a quick shower the sleepiness evaporated and gave me enough energy to pack for our excursion. I’d never visited New York and I hoped to see some of the sights during our down time.
I packed up the overpriced clothes in the only suitcase I owned. It was a little worn and I made a mental reminder to pick up one a little more fitting before our next trip. Not sure how I was expected to dress on the plane, I’d chosen a simple pair of black dress pants, slid on the shortest of the heels, and topped it off with a silky white dress shirt. Pulling a black trench coat from my closet I carried it into the kitchen and draped it over a chair.
Having never flown before I decided on a light breakfast of cereal. The stuff was probably loaded down with sugar but it was a childhood obsession that I still hadn’t outgrown. Instead of coffee I opted for orange juice. I seriously didn’t need any caffeine this morning because despite knowing I wasn’t Mr. Ross’s type, my nerves were still a little strung about spending time alone with him.
I chalked up last night to him being bored and me overstepping the boundaries with my challenge. There was no way a man like him would want someone like me and thinking anything else was just foolish. Finishing my breakfast quickly I walked back to the bathroom to fix my hair and makeup.
The tips I’d learned from the spa yesterday paid off because when I looked back in the mirror a woman much more refined stared into my eyes. I tamed my unruly blonde curls with a hot iron and wrapped them in a bun that added a few years to my appearance. Satisfied, I brushed my teeth and then walked back into the living room to wait for him.
I wasn’t expecting his driver to show up at my door and when he took my bag I could only follow him to the elevator somewhat shocked. This wasn’t my life and I knew it was going to take some adjustment on my part to get accustomed to how things worked. Standing outside the back of the limousine I peeked in and almost gasped at the sight of Mr. Ross resting back against the cool leather talking heatedly into his phone.
“We will discuss this more when I arrive tonight. Just make sure that you aren’t late for the meeting.”
His deep blue eyes looked over me with a coolness that did little for my nervousness. “I would like to leave sometime today Miss Burns.”
I didn’t even realize I hadn’t entered the car and I hastily slid in, buckling my seat belt. The driver shut my door and within moments the car was moving forward. I didn’t turn my gaze to him, instead I folded my hands demurely in my lap and glanced out the window as the scenery moved by.
My heart was racing in my chest and I took several deep breaths to calm myself. I heard him chatting away again but his tone seemed more relaxed now. Just the sound of his voice was enough to make me feel things I shouldn’t and without thought I crossed my legs in attempt to thwart the strange sensations.
“You seem very uncomfortable, Miss Burns.” The mocking undertone of his sensual voice forced my eyes to his. I knew I shouldn’t have looked his way. The heat he was radiating from those dangerously blue depths made my mouth dry.
“It’s my first real challenge as your assistant.” I hoped he bought that I was nervous about doing a good job for him and not the real reason for my anxiety.
“Which challenge are you referring to?” A smirk lifted his full lips and I almost stopped breathing.
“The job of course.” I lowered my eyes to my lap flustered at his words. Uncomfortable didn’t begin to define the way I felt being alone in this car with him. It didn’t help that the subtle fragrance of his aftershave was bathing me in its aroma and doing little to help me remember he was my boss.
“I do believe the job will come easily for you. You demonstrated your skills very well last night.” I bit my lip wishing I could open my mouth and tell him that I didn’t mean to challenge him at all. Clenching my hands tightly together, I forced my eyes to return to the passing view.
His soft chuckle reverberated through my body in ways that should be against the law. I tensed and inched over until I was pressed against the door. He was obviously much better at playing games than I was and it terrified me that I was actually turned on by this little cat and mouse game.
“You could always forfeit.” The arrogance in his tone was my undoing. Without thinking it through I turned to glare at him.
“Perhaps you should. I’ve never lost a bet Mr. Ross and better men than you have tried and failed.” What the hell was I saying? The words just flew out of my mouth like some demon was possessing me.
“So we’re betting now. What wager should we throw down?” His deep laugh even filled his eyes and I knew I was in a world of trouble.
Me and my big mouth. This wasn’t the first time I’d put my foot in it. Growing up fighting for the smallest of reprieves with my own mother, my first defense mechanism was to never back down. “I’ll let you decide your own doom.”
“Confident are we?” He tapped a long digit against his chin, seeming to contemplate the stakes. “Give me a moment, I’m sure to find something that will be worthy of such an opponent.”
The egomaniac was laughing at me and even though I knew he’d probably smash me like a bug, I couldn’t give an inch. “You do that Mr. Ross, but just remember I don’t like losing.”
I was so screwed. And not just a little bit, but like driving myself off a cliff and landing on jagged rocks, car explosion screwed. Glancing at his face I felt I could see the devious thoughts moving through his mind. This man had a world of experience under his belt, I didn’t doubt, and I was like some little girl who still needed training wheels on her bike.
“Let’s make this interesting shall we?” The smirk was back and I really wanted to slap it off his face. “You convince Mr. Morale’s to sell his company to me without sleeping with him in the process, and you win. If you don’t then you please me in whatever way I choose for one night.”
My jaw dropped open at his suggestion and I wanted to tell him to take his bet and stick it so far up his backside that he limped. “I’m not screwing you for a bet.” What kind of man would even make that kind of wager in the first place?”
If anything his smirk grew more defined. “I don’t think I mentioned screwing you Miss Burns. I said please me and I’m sure a women with your looks understands that doesn’t necessarily involve fucking.”
My face heated at his words as I tried to digest what he was saying. Even with my limited experience of the work place I knew that what he was offering was illegal. Maybe I should have filed charges of sexual harassment against him. If the thought of pleasing him didn’t turn me on so much I might have considered it then.
“Fine. You’re going to lose but just so we’re clear I am not having sex with you. When I win, and I will, you give a five thousand dollar donation to my college fund.” I had lost my ever loving mind. I had no idea how I was supposed to convince his client. Not to mention the fact that if I lost it didn’t matter how handsome I found Mr. Ross. The idea of pleasing him wasn’t even something I understood how to do.
His answering smirk and curt nod made my heart race. There was no way I could lose this bet. It didn’t matter that I was clueless somehow I would find a way to convince Mr. Morale’s into selling, because pleasing Mr. Ross might very well be my own undoing.