May 31, 2016 by Valerie Ullmer
Her Perfect Match out Today!!
Today is the release of my 1st book. 😀 To celebrate, I would like to share the second chapter of my novella. I hope you enjoy!!
© 2016 Valerie Ullmer
As Rebecca watched Gabriel pace from one side of the room to the other, anger marred his face as he waited for her agreement to his ridiculous request. She took note that even when he was angry, he was still the most handsome man she’d ever met, but the humor of the situation outweighed her desire for him. She placed her hand over her mouth to stop the laughter that bubbled up from her chest, but she was unable to hold it inside.
He swiveled and glared at her. “What’s so funny?”
“You can’t dictate that as part of the terms of our contract.”
“I might. We haven’t drawn up the contract yet.”
“Don’t you think that you’re being a little unreasonable?”
His eyes narrowed as he scanned her face, but she remained impassive, giving away none of the rioting emotions that coursed through her.
It had never occurred to her to date anyone in her employ. It didn’t mean that she had set rules for the others on her staff—they could date whomever they wanted—but for her, her employees were off-limits. She would never jeopardize her business for a relationship.
“So you would date an escort?” he demanded.
She shrugged. Not wanting to give in to his demands, she stood impassively. If she gave in now, it would make for an impossible work relationship, because he would feel that he could bully her into his point of view. This was the first hurdle they would have to overcome in their professional relationship.
While she could see the determined set of his jaw, she took the time to appreciate the fit of his dark-gray suit and the lithe way he moved around the office, surprising for a man who was close to six and a half feet tall. His wide shoulders, solid chest, and taut stomach, as well as his long legs gave him an intimidating presence that she was sure he used in business, as well as in the bedroom. And although she was there to discuss business, she found herself wanting to press herself against him and feel that strength for herself.
The night she met him was seared into her memory, and with those few stolen moments close to dawn, she had lost a part of her heart to the man who would become one of the most important people in her life.
Their friendship had developed over time, but when she realized that her feelings for him were deeper than even she expected them to be, she made excuses to stay away from him. Although she stood by her decision, she missed spending time with him, but in order to protect her heart, she managed to justify it.
But she was here because she wanted her business to succeed, and with a little capital from Gabriel, she knew it would. She was surprised that he’d agreed to the meeting, and she was determined to make it as professional as possible.
But his heated looks had her shifting in her seat while she hoped for a calm exterior. When she had run her lips across his neck briefly, she had known she crossed the professional line that she hoped to keep in place, but his touch had flared in her a desire that she found hard to extinguish.
“You’re driving me crazy,” he growled.
She shivered at his words but sighed, tired of the pretense.
“Have you ever dated one of your employees?” she asked.
He shook his head and a brow lifted as his gaze bore into her.
“I just started my own business, but I know enough that I wouldn’t date an employee. It has the possibility of too many complications,” she said.
The intensity of his gaze never wavered, but he stalked toward her, crowding her until the back of her legs bumped against his desk. He caged her in with his long arms and brought his mouth close to hers.
“It’s not nice to tease me.”
She paid no attention to his words, enthralled by the movement of his lips. She wanted to close the distance and taste them. But the small part of her brain that still functioned reminded her that this was a business meeting for her new venture, not a clandestine affair where she would beg him to take her on his desk.
But as her body vibrated with a need that she’d never felt before with another man, she thought about how much pleasure he would give her with even the slightest touch. And she wanted him to touch her, more than her next breath.
She worried her bottom lip with her teeth and felt as though she were in a daze. “M— sorry, what?”
For the first time, his mouth quirked up. He knew the exact effect he had on her and even though she craved it, she was worried that he might use that against her later. She wanted to push him away, but at the same time grab on to him and hold on for whatever he had in mind.
The brush of his lips against hers was so brief that she thought she might have imagined it, except she felt the sizzle of electricity pass through her with breathtaking intensity. When she noticed the heat in his eyes, she closed hers to savor the feeling of his warmth and the fleeting touch, wanting more.
He nibbled on her lower lip as she breathed in his scent and became intoxicated by it. He explored her lips, never deepening the kiss, until a moan of frustration bubbled up from deep in her chest.
She hadn’t known that her hands had grabbed the lapels of his suit jacket and pulled him closer, until his deep laugh jerked her out of her haze. She opened her eyes and thought that she could see the residual heat in his eyes, but his mouth was curved in amusement.
She released her hold on him and smoothed out invisible wrinkles on her dress to keep her hands from reaching for him again.
The fierce look was back on his face, and he scowled at her.
“Then I’m not sorry.” Her voice growing steadier.
As they stood there without a word, she took several deep breaths to get her desire under control, and when she was ready, she smiled at him.
“Well, I think I’ve taken up enough of your time. I’ll send over the interview schedule as soon as I get back to the office.”
She was proud that her voice was steady and that she was able to look him in they eye. She would have to watch her reaction to him from now on. He was a dangerous man when it came to business, but she predicted that he was even more so with the women in his life. She didn’t want to become another simpering female who fell at his feet for attention. Although she’d already embarrassed herself by showing her desire for him, next time she would steel herself against her feelings for him before their meeting.
He hadn’t moved an inch, and the look on his face gave nothing away. He studied her, and she wondered whether he thought that she was absent-minded. One moment they were discussing business and in the next, she wanted to kiss him until she was breathless and aching.
He backed away from her and walked toward the door of his office, his hands deep in his pockets.
She blew out a small sigh of relief and picked up her purse and briefcase before she moved toward the door, toward her escape. She knew that she would have to work with him during the interviews, but she would make sure that they wouldn’t be alone any more than necessary. She realized that she couldn’t trust herself, knowing that she wanted him more than she wanted any other man in her life.
To get her mind back to business, she reviewed the rest of the day’s schedule. She had her thoughts back on the day’s business by the time she reached for the handle, and was taken by surprise when he whipped her around and pressed her back against the closed door. This time when he kissed her, there was no hesitation on his part.
He lifted his head and gazed at her, taking in her swollen lips and the dazed look on her face. He slid his long fingers through her hair and he bent down, his intent clear. Desire and some unrecognizable emotion flashed in his eyes, but before she could understand, he devoured her mouth. There was no teasing this time. He plundered her mouth, tasting her until she moaned.
Several heated minutes later, he ripped his lips away from hers and buried his face against the side of her neck. His chest rose and fell with deep breaths.
“Bec.” He trailed kisses beneath her ear, drawing out another low moan from deep in her throat.
He untangled his fingers from her hair before he ran his hands down her shoulders and back, leaving a trail of heat wherever he touched.
“More,” she begged when he lifted the pressure from her mouth.
She sensed his hesitation and braced herself, ready for him to put distance between them, but he brought his mouth back to hers and leisurely suckled her bottom lip. His hand snaked between them and when his thumb flicked against her sensitive nipple, she sucked in a breath and dropped her head back against the door.
Her long, deep moan must’ve brought him to his senses. With a look of regret, he stepped back from her swollen body, and took a deep breath.
“This is not the time or the place, sweetheart. While I would love to see where this would lead, I need to get back to work.”
As she cleared her throat, her senses dulled by his exquisite kisses, she straightened, and could still feel the imprint of his hands on her. She nodded in agreement, unable to find her voice. As she reached her hand behind her to open the door, she watched the mask that he wore during their meeting slide back into place. The sensual man of a few minutes before had disappeared, leaving her feeling bereft.
“I’ll see you soon.”
His deep voice slid across her body like a caress, and she jerked open the office door before she hurried past his assistant to the elevator bank around the corner from his office.
She took a moment to catch her breath and steady herself, but noticed that her hand shook as she reached to press the down button. She hated her moment of weakness and by the time the elevator arrived, she told herself that she had to get over her attraction to the man who had drawn out every exquisite feeling she’d ever experienced, from just a kiss.
Her fists clenched at her sides. When she stepped into the elevator, she was determined to ignore the effect he had on her. She blew out a breath and forced herself to relax as she reached for the button that would take her to the lobby, and escape.