The limousine had stopped and my door was being held open. How I managed not to trip over my own feet as I exited was beyond me. Taking in my surrounding my nervousness went up even more. I’d assumed we were flying on a commercial airline, instead I was faced with a small private jet with the stairs already unfolded and ready to board. Ross Industries stood out in bright blue letters on the side of the plane.
“We’re flying in that?” My voice cracked and the earlier wager was forgotten momentarily. I didn’t know much about jets, or planes for that matter but surely this thing was more dangerous than the bigger ones.
“I like to be in control Miss Burns, I rarely fly the public airlines.”
Control. That didn’t surprise me in the least but risking my life for this job was not part of the deal. “Are you sure this thing will make it off the ground?” I knew I was being paranoid but the thought of being lifted into the air by such a small vessel was frightening.
“I would be offended but since I can see you’re serious, this baby is one of the safest ways to fly.”
“Fine. But if die on this thing I’m holding you personally responsible.” Forcing my feet to walk toward the boarding stairs I heard his laugher and all I could do was grit my teeth as I walked into the steel trap of death.
By the time he joins me I’m strapped into the surprisingly comfortable seat and gripping the arm rests for dear life. A couch sat across from me but I couldn’t help but feel that the seat was safer. I didn’t expect the opulence in the cabin and it helped a little to make the small place seem less claustrophobic.
“Is it all planes that terrify you Miss Burns or just jets?” He walked over and sat causally on the couch and I kept my focus straight ahead.
“I’ve never actually flown before so I can’t say.” The thought of hurling on the fancy interior of this thing is the only reason I haven’t done it. I just want this ride over and done with.
He stands to move around the cabin, and I close my eyes focusing on my breathing. Coming back a few minutes later I feel his knee brush against mine and tense.
“Drink this Laura, I think it will help you relax.”
It’s the first time he’s used my given name and I open my eyes to gawk up at him. Taking the glass from him, my hands tremble threatening to spill the golden contents.
“Fuck. Let me help you.” He takes back the glass and holds it to my lips.
Shocked, my mouth opens and the strong liquor burns my tongue as he tilts the glass. I swallow and start coughing much to his obvious amusement.
“You’re not much of a drinker I see.” His eyes crinkle at the sides and I’m shocked by how attractive it makes him look. As if he needed any more help in that department.
My sarcasm defense rears its head as I reply with a glare. “I’m not old enough to drink.”
“Add it to my list of crimes.” He laughs at me handing over the glass.
Joking Taylor is not something I’m prepared for because my insides quiver seeing the brilliant smile on his already too handsome face. Without thinking I tilt the glass back and almost choke again. It takes me a minute to realize I wasn’t thinking of him as Mr. Ross at that moment and I’m sure that’s another dangerous move toward my own defeat. I down the rest of the liquor not giving myself time to think.
“Mr. Ross our checks are complete. If you’re ready to depart sir, we can leave now.”
The pilot doesn’t look much older than Taylor and I clench my eyes together again tightly. I was going to die on this thing. Yep no doubt about it.
“The sooner the better.” His tone with the pilot is abrupt and I wonder if he’s always in a grumpy mood. Then I remember his earlier amusement at my expense. There is a sense of humor but perhaps it’s only when it brings embarrassment to others.
The liquor finally hits me and I feel some of my tension ease along with a rush that has my head swaying to the side. I hear Taylor curse under his breath and then he shocks the hell out of me by lifting me into his arms and carrying me over to the couch.
The plane begins to move and he quickly moves to put me down. Losing his balance he grips the armrest with one hand while the other moves to the opposite side of my body resting on the top of the leather cushion. His closeness drives the thought of taking off into the sky to the back of my mind and a soft moan leaves my lips. I inhale the masculine scent of him and for a moment I’m lost.
“Distraction works too.” His words don’t resonate in my mind until I feel his lips press against my own. Suddenly I’m starving for affection and my tongue darts into his mouth and his flavor envelops my senses. He tastes of mint toothpaste, combined with a hint of coffee and some other tantalizing flavor that I can only categorize as Taylor.
My head spins as he ravages my mouth and there’s nothing but this moment. Whimpering, my hands tangle in his thick hair and my body strains upward aching to feel his chest against me. The nervousness and effects of the alcohol are forgotten as his strong hands grasp my wrists pulling them from his hair and pressing them against the inner wall of the plane.
His knee parts my legs and I gasp as it pushes into the seat then against my core. The sensation is so heady my hips strain forward, aching for the contact. He breaks our kiss and his teeth bite down gently on my lower lip, tugging softly before releasing.
“Already conceding defeat little girl?” His grip on my hands is almost painful as they press more firmly into the wall and it takes a moment for his words to register.
Staring up into his cool gaze I tremble and try to make sense of the question. When it hits me I struggle to release my hands but he holds them firm, showing me just how powerful he truly is. It’s then that I feel his very large arousal against my stomach and my sense of self-preservations kicks into overdrive. “You might need to think about a cold shower since the only thing I’ve proven is you want me.
His eyes shoot daggers at me but my hands are released. Forcing myself not to rub them to regain circulation, I return the glare. I have no idea how I managed to be such a bitch but the result works because he moves to the chair he’d pulled me from only moments earlier.
“Game on.” Whatever small victory I’ve won is lost by his comments and I know I’m in over my head and could easily drown.
The thought of him being hard for me was heady but even a woman without sexual experience knew a guy could get it up if the wind blew the right way. If anything my words had given him more reason to play dirty. My subconscious told me I’d just screwed myself royally.
The rest of the flight is spent worrying more about how I’m going to win this bet than the fear of plummeting to my death. My legs clench tightly together trying to ignore the ache throbbing between them. The thought of pleasing Taylor for a night suddenly wasn’t the most horrible idea in the world. I knew that was my libido talking and not my common sense. I wanted this man to the point that it terrified me.
We touched down in New York and the fear of my demise was the last thing on my mind. Death on that plane might have been easier than whatever devious scheme Taylor could contrive and the tick in his jaw told me that he was definitely plotting. Sexy as hell or not, I had to fight this overwhelming attraction I felt for him.
A new driver picked us up at the airport and Taylor didn’t speak to me as we were driven to our hotel. My eyes widened in wonder as I stepped out and glanced up at the at least twenty story high building. The thought of spending the weekend here trumped all the worry about the earlier events as I allowed my excitement to overwhelm me.
I was brought back to earth as Taylor’s hand rested on my back encouraging me to move forward. The automatic doors we passed through were like a ticket to an amusement park and I took in the extravagance surrounding me like a child.
When my eyes finally found his again I was stunned by the confusion on that beautiful face. As soon as the expression came it had passed, and the tell-tale tick returned to his strong jaw. I guessed he was still angry that I’d managed to outwit him in the plane. For reasons I didn’t care to contemplate my ego was flattered.
The front desk personnel were almost overly efficient as they seemed to trip over themselves to accommodate him. Obviously he didn’t just command my attention. In five minutes we were walking toward the elevators and on the way up to our rooms.
Or room I would find out as we reached the penthouse floor. The incredible view of the Hudson mesmerized me and I walked over to the glass that lined from floor to ceiling to stare at it in awe. “It’s breathtaking.”
“Let me show you to your room.” I didn’t want to see my room at the moment, I wanted to stare at the vision. I also didn’t want to argue with him so I turned my gaze away and followed petulantly. It was hard to be angry when I was led into a new paradise.
The bedroom had an incredible view of the Hudson as well and the massive bed with a dark red, leather headboard seemed to take up most of the room. This place was like something out of a fairytale. It took a moment for my brain to kick in.