When I completed and submitted my thirtieth book, I decided to celebrate by offering a taste from each one. In this very hot short story, Griffen takes over Aubrey's company and thinks she's one more thing he acquires. Enjoy!
This excerpt is safe for work.
To catch you up: Griffen was Aubrey's boss, they had an affair and here she confronts him about a take-over of her new employer's company. Aubrey is recovering from walking pneumonia, not that Griffen knows that yet. He thinks she's sleeping with Drake, her new boss, and has been sent to 'negotiate' his backing down from the take-over.
~ * ~
Griffen remembered every little signal of desire she had ever projected. He had injected them like heroin—all those parted lips and panting breaths and quivering lashes. The pebbled nipples and soft swallows. The dampness he would bet every last cent he owned was showing on her French lingerie under her skirt.
Her posture made tiny adjustments, shoulders softening, neck exposing a fraction more, pheromones releasing between them so they started to feel drunk. He wasn’t imagining it. She was staring at his mouth like it was her last chance at salvation.
He didn’t even have to touch her. He started to lean in and she met him, releasing a little sobbing noise as she stepped forward and dug fingertips into his shoulders, came up on tiptoes and crushed her mouth under his.
These plump, bee-stung lips of hers haunted his dreams. He claimed them without reservation, hooking a hand behind her neck and feasting.
Then, as he felt her surrender, he straightened off the desk and pulled her into his body, relishing the press of her full breasts, the soft give of her stomach against his wood, the way she leaned in as though too weak to stand.
He didn’t know what it was about this woman that drew him so inexorably. Her fastidious demeanor, her cool intelligence, her sharp wit? The way she was wound up tight most of the time, but brought all that same passion to bed? All of it made for a heady package. And this—the way she shivered under the stroke of his hands like he gave her untold pleasure. She made him feel like a god.
It had been way too long.
He was a pillar of want, ready to turn and push her back onto his desk the way he had dozens of times before. The return to the familiar fostered both a laugh of triumph and a kick of danger.
He had made it easy for her to leave. He had been feeling stifled by that search in her eyes for something deeper, something he wasn’t capable of, so he’d sent a message that she needed to adjust her expectations.
Her quitting had blindsided him.
He had told himself it didn’t matter. Sex was available anywhere with anyone. It didn’t have to be her.
But he hadn’t found another woman who did this to him. She licked at his tongue and moaned and rubbed her pelvis into his with invitation, making the world recede so all he wanted was to penetrate.
Unless this was manipulation.
Ah, hell, he was forgetting this wasn’t a social visit. He had gone after Cutting Edge, confident she would show up and offer herself. Here she was and here they were.
But he wasn’t a man who borrowed or shared. He took. Owned.
She really should have remembered that about him.
Pulling back was an effort, but he did it. His nostrils flared to take in as much of her scent as he could. Better than perfume. Spring wind and tropical shampoo and her. All pressed up against him like she’d been ironed onto his shirt front.
She fluttered her eyes open, lips parted and shiny as she panted to catch her breath. He loved that look. She wore it when she was coming back from orgasm.
Confusion dimmed her golden-brown eyes. Recognition.
She started to pull away, but he tightened his arms, keeping her exactly where he wanted her.
“Call him.” He sounded like a barbarian, voice guttural. “Tell him it’s over. Then we’ll get back to ‘negotiating.’”
“Let go,” she insisted, and pushed with more determination, but in a weak way that was a mixed signal.
He reluctantly loosened his grip and she staggered against the edge of the desk, leaning there, head hanging, forehead in her palm.
“Forgot about him, did you?” He was trying for mockery, but he listened intently for confirmation.
He had to fight the urge to yank her back, feeling barely this side of civilized as he wondered whether the good doctor provoked that same incendiary reaction in her.
Going after Cutting Edge was supposed to be a lark. Griffen was asserting his dominance for the simple reason that he hated to lose to anyone. Aubrey had taken her talents elsewhere, both in bed and out, and he still hadn’t found suitable replacements. That was annoying so he had arrogantly set out to prove he could get her back, both professionally and personally. He hadn’t counted on how much it would mean to him.
“Why—” She lifted her head to glare at him like their sexual explosion had surprised her.
How could it? It had always been like this.
“Why do I react to you like that?”
“Why do you resent it?” Then, because the idea pleased him so much, he asked, “Am I correct in assuming he doesn’t make you feel the same?”
Her expression blanked and he almost thought she was going to say, Who?
He was about to leap on that, but she winced and her hand went to her brow again. She struggled, expression growing distressed.
He felt a tug on his conscience, but made himself ignore it. “Call him.”
“I can’t do this, Griffen.” Her voice was so faint he barely heard her.
“Break up with him? Why the hell not?” He unconsciously shifted his weight into a balanced battle stance, mind fracturing with responses to whatever reply she gave.
“I can’t—” Her voice hit a wall and her gaze lost focus. Her hand fell like it was an object she discarded. She blinked, white lips parting, trying to say something while her face drained of what little color had been there, eyelids fluttering—
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