“Wow.” My voice is dry as I scoop up all my materials and head for the door. “I mean, really…wow.”
“What?” Ryder snaps, right on my heels.
“Remind me to bring a tape measurer to the next meeting,” I call out as I exit the conference room.
“I don’t need one with that little prick. Emphasis on the little.”
My feet stumble at the temper sharpening his tone. “That man was perfectly polite.”
He’s practically on top of me, mouth grazing my ear, when he says, “There’s no part of you that man didn’t just eye fuck. Since when do you flirt with clients?”
No, the better question is, since when do I get off on my boss battling the green-eyed monster? And devolving into a brutish caveman?
“Who says I was?” I cleverly respond. I drop the stacks of folders in my arms onto my desk with a defiant thud. “Besides, if I have to bat my eyelashes a few times in order to score a huge account like this, what’s the harm?”
I’m bluffing, but I maintain my poker face. He’s right, I never flirt with clients. If I land a new account, I want to know it’s because the client is impressed by the reputation and quality of service TCG is known for. Not because they want to get in my pencil skirt.
Before I can register what’s happening, Ryder has me by the elbow and is dragging me through the office at a brisk, albeit forceful, pace. He stands close enough that my co-workers can’t see anything inappropriate taking place. And the bastard knows I’m not the type to cause a scene.
He pushes through the double doors and punches the button at the elevator bank. When the doors slide open, he shoves me inside. Then we’re enclosed in the cramped space with nothing but our own panting for company. Eyes pinning me in place, he slams his fist onto the emergency stop button, halting the car’s descent.
“You’ve got to be kidding me right now.”
“You are not going to flirt with some schmuck just to get his business,” he seethes. “I’ll fire you before I let that shit happen.”
I huff, hands on my hips. “You won’t fire me. No one can deal with your intolerable ass better than I can.”
His eyes narrow in challenge. “Try me. Take off your clothes in front of a client again and see what fucking happens.”
“Stop acting like I just stood up on that table and gave them a striptease. I took off my damn jacket. Big deal.”
This car gets a lot more claustrophobic when he launches himself across it and cages me against the elevator wall. His hips mount me to it, his arms trap me in on both sides. His lips are white around the edges from pinching them shut so tightly.
“To Baldwin, you might as well have been shaking your ass for singles,” Ryder growls. “Hell, to any man. The mere act of exposing this goddamn top was sexual. It was a deliberate move to provoke me, duchess, and you fucking know it.”
It’s ludicrous how my blood spikes with adrenaline. Nothing has been getting me hotter lately than Ryder being unapologetically direct. And a bit of an asshole. “And why would I want to provoke you?”
His nose nuzzles my jaw. “Good question. Why, indeed? Is it because you like getting a rise out of me?” He gives a sharp thrust of his hips, stealing my breath when I feel his rock-hard erection against my center. “Or because you want to feel something rise?”
Houston, all systems are go. We have launch.
And it’s fricking glorious.
About the author:
Traveler. Reader. Beach-goer. St. Louis Cardinals fan. Pasta-obsessed. North Carolina resident. Sarcastic. Bit of a nerd.
Author of the Cruz Brothers, Possession and Politics, and Timid Souls series, Melanie loves all things romance, comedies and suspense in particular because it’s boring to only stick to one sub-genre! From light-hearted comedies to sexy thrillers, she likes to mix it up, but loves her some strong alpha males and sassy heroines. Go visit Melanie’s website and sign up for her newsletter to stay updated on release dates, teasers, and other details for all of her projects!