In the end, I have to make a business decision to hire the best auditor. I have every confidence that after I check references at the end of our meeting on Wednesday, the firm awarded that job will be ARK Consulting.
“Tara,” I call through my open door.
“Yes,” she yells back.
“Clear my calendar on Wednesday. I have a last-minute business meeting in Detroit that came up.”
I smile to myself as I sit back and stare at the picture Alyse has posted of herself and her team on her website.
But I know something kinky and adventurous lurks beneath the straitlaced persona she puts on for everyone else. That side is something I have a visceral need to explore, expose, and exploit.
I didn’t miss her sharp intake of breath when I told her I meant to own her. I didn’t miss the quick flutter of her pulse in the slim column of her neck when my mouth was at her ear. And I most certainly did not mistake the scent of her desire as I stood within an inch of her supple lips, wanting desperately to capture them with mine, making good on my promise to own her right then and there.
Remembering all of these things, as though they happened yesterday, it’s not surprising that my cock jerks at the thought of being buried inside her slick, velvety warmth. What is surprising, however, is the strange and foreign sensation I feel in the middle of my chest at the thought of simply having her in my bed and holding her in my arms.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I’ve never been able to forget her. I’m beginning to think that Ms. Alyse Kingsley may be a game changer. I have to wonder, though…am I ready for the game to change?
I think the answer to that finally is…yes.
Yes, I am.
A quick glance at the clock shows it’s almost noon. I ready myself for my next meeting, wondering what the hell Asher Colloway thinks he’s trying to pull and why he didn’t just put his name on my calendar instead of his holding company. Clearly he’s trying to surprise me.
Well, the surprise is on him. Not only do I know it’s him I’m meeting with, I know that he asked for client references, and I know he’s already called each and every one of them. We’re a small office and Heather keeps nothing from me, not to mention we like to give our clients a heads up when we know they’ll be called by a potential customer.
The thing is, I have no idea what he would possibly want to hire my small firm for, but since I’m desperate for revenue, I can’t not take the meeting. I have more to think about now than just my pride. I have three employees counting on me to feed and clothe themselves and their families. That’s a heavy burden.
I thought about having Al sit in, but decided against it. I already know Asher and he knows me, so having another male in the room isn’t a necessity. Besides, a little part of me is thrilled to spend a few hours alone with him, even if we are just discussing business. Okay, a big part of me.
I managed to close one deal earlier this week and am waiting to hear back from the other client, hopefully by the end of the day. That one doesn’t look too promising as we’re a bit apart on pricing for our services. I have a small office and can’t afford to be quite as flexible as other, larger firms that have more capital to work with. Another thing I did not take into consideration when I jumped into this dream of mine headfirst. Ugh.
My speakerphone squawks, and Heather’s voice floats through. Her normally quiet, soft demeanor has clearly been ratcheted up a few degrees, because she actually sounds excited. I can hear the smile in her voice. Yes, Asher Colloway will do that to a woman, at least any straight one. “Ms. Kingsley, your noon appointment is here.”
Ms. Kingsley? Heather hasn’t addressed me as Ms. Kingsley since our first interview, and even at the end of that meeting she was calling me Alyse. I keep the laugh from my voice as I respond, “Thank you, Heather. Please send Mr. Colloway in.” Once I disconnect I do chuckle. Heather usually has me on speakerphone when she buzzes my appointments in, so Asher’s little surprise has just been turned around. Ha! Boo-yaa!
I’m still laughing when Asher opens my door. The moment my eyes land on him, though, it stutters a slow death. My gaze slowly travels down his insanely fit body and I realize he’s watching me watch him, but I don’t care enough to stop.
He’s absolutely breathtaking in his fitted charcoal suit and crisp white shirt, which he’s left open at the throat, sans tie. And the tiny bit of chest hair I see peeking through against his golden skin makes me water in more than one place. I’ve never seen him in anything but jeans and henleys or polo shirts, but hot damn if he doesn’t look even more mouthwatering when he’s dressed up. My entire body feels warm and tingly, inside and out.