I gravitate toward men with dark looks.
Asher Colloway fits that bill to a perfect “T”. At a little over six feet, he’s tall, at least for me since I hover around the five-foot-four mark, give or take a half inch on a good day. And he’s downright beautiful. All of the Colloway brothers could effortlessly grace the cover of a magazine, but Asher is different. He’s a guy you could easily get lost in before your brain catches up to remind you why you shouldn’t. He has an aura about him that’s nothing short of magical and when you look at him, a spell is woven that you can’t escape. You don’t want to.
When I met him for the first time at seventeen, I thought he was the best thing since sliced bread. I even thought I was in love with him, but we were in very different places in our lives. Then I met Beck and I moved forward instead of looking back. Now, though…now, I can honestly say that at twenty-nine, Asher is the sexiest man I have ever laid eyes on, hands down.
I want him. Desperately.
And desperation makes you do stupid, stupid things.
“Get your fill yet?” A smug smirk turns up one corner of his kissable mouth.
Damn him. I have absolutely no snarky comeback to that, because I’ve been openly ogling. I only hope I don’t have drool dripping down my chin. I nonchalantly reach up to check, faking a cough.
“Why the secrecy?” I ask, changing subjects, not taking my eyes from him.
He closes the door before taking a seat in the chair across from my metal desk, throwing one foot onto the opposite knee. He steeples his fingers in front of his chin. The arrogant glint in his dark eyes makes me want to drop to my knees in front of him, unzip his pants, and wipe it off.
“You knew it was me.”
I knew Asher had taken over as CEO for his father’s company—I may have asked Livia what the Colloway brothers were up to after she’d reunited with Gray. In preparation for this meeting, when I researched GRASCO Holdings and found that CFC fell under them, I was irritated at first that Asher wanted to catch me cold. I never attend a client meeting without doing my homework first, especially since I’m fighting for the very existence of ARK Consulting. But then I quickly decided to turn the tables on the self-assured SOB.
Knowing that I would be meeting with Asher today, I’ve dressed particularly sexy in a short nude pencil skirt paired with a sheer royal-blue blouse and a matching low-cut cami underneath. Definitely not how I would dress for a normal client meeting, but I went all out for Asher. I let a slow smile turn my lips as I sit back in my black vinyl chair and casually cross my legs.
Asher’s eyes follow my leisurely movements and widen at the expanse of bare thigh I’m now showing. He may have even seen a flash of the nude thong I’m wearing from his position. His heated gaze rises, capturing mine, and I have to actually talk myself into breathing, trying to remain unaffected by the intense desire he clearly wants me to see. It’s not working too well.
“It may surprise you to know that I do know how to use the Internet,” I finally manage to bite sarcastically.
“You haven’t changed a bit, Alyse.”
“I beg to differ,” I retort, knowing full well life has made me more cynical and closed off.
He rewards me with a small smile, which almost melts me on the spot. He’s like the sun. Warm. Inviting. Only more deadly if you spend too much time in his presence. He’s quiet for several beats, his eyes assessing me deliberately. “I like a woman with fire.”
“Do you?” I cross my arms, unsure where this conversation is headed, but it’s not about business anymore. I don’t miss how his eyes linger too long on my now-exposed cleavage.
“Yes.” He uncrosses his leg and leans forward, elbows on spread knees, hands clasped. His want-filled gaze burns my cocky attitude to ashes. “It makes her complete submission all the sweeter.”
A flash fire of heat scorches my lady parts. My mouth drops open temporarily before I think to close it. Asher is so good, so smooth, and I am waaaay out of my league trying to trade barbs with him.
“What are you doing here, Asher?”
He leans back again, resuming a casual position, a slight smirk on his face. His eyes twinkle like stars and I find myself getting lost in them again. “Besides getting you wet?” he drawls roughly. Even though he’s spot on, his assumption angers me. I open my mouth to protest when he interrupts. “You still with Popeye?”
Huh? It takes me a minute to figure out what he means. Finn. I stare at him in complete and utter shock for several moments. Then, I can’t help it. I laugh. I’ve never been around a man who has kahunas as big as Asher Colloway. He was always direct, but in the years since I’ve seen him, he’s sharpened it considerably. It’s refreshing and unsettling at the same time.