Authors: Tessie Bradford
An Ellora’s Cave Romantica
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Ageless Desires Copyright © 2009 Tessie Bradford
Edited by Helen Woodall.
Cover art by Syneca.
Electronic book Publication March 2009
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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons,
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characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.
Dedication and Acknowledgements
To my husband, Terry, who enthusiastically embraces his
position as Head of Research and Development. Without your support I would have
never found the courage to follow my dream.
A giant thank you to my daughter, Sarah, for always being
there to talk me down from the ledge when panic attacks threaten my resolve.
Thank you to the rest of my family and friends for their
unending support and encouragement.
And of course, thank you to my editor Helen for her hard
work, guidance and patience throughout this amazing journey.
Kate was trying to focus on what he was saying—she really
was! A normally well-functioning woman should not have been having such trouble
processing the English language. It was just that tiny flash of metal she kept
catching sight of when he formed a word just so. It’s not like it was a new
addition or anything, he’d had it for years. Kate had known him for years.
Nothing had changed. Nothing, except the fact that last night, that particular
piercing had played a prominent role in their marathon session of lovemaking.
Too bad it had only been in her dreams.
“Katie, you need to be careful when you look at a guy that
way, he might get ideas, you know?” Bryan Phillips adjusted his denim-clad legs
that were sprawled comfortably across his desk and laughed. Kate felt the blush
run right up her neck.
“Sorry, Bryan, I was thinking about something. What were you
“I was attempting to talk about the seminar but I’d rather
know about the ‘something’.”
Kate ran her hands down her thighs and acted as if her skirt
needed fixing immediately in a vain attempt to stall for time. At forty-seven
years old, her days of butterflies and nerves should be long gone. At least
that’s what she’d been telling herself. But as her heart rate continued to
increase and her palms became moist, she had to admit to herself that she had
lost all control when it came to her wayward thoughts concerning this friend
and co-worker, who just happened to be almost twelve years her junior!
“Get your mind out of the gutter,” she chuckled. “I was
riveted by whatever you were just saying.”
She actually hadn’t heard much past the ‘I’m looking forward
to a few days away, aren’t you?’ part. Ever since she found out that they were
going up north together for a seminar that required a
two night stay
she’d been daydreaming like a schoolgirl. Getting down and dirty with him in
the privacy of her own mind was invigorating, however the reality of traveling
with him when her libido was in overdrive was just plain nerve-racking.
“Well, the drive up should be beautiful. Even with living in
Michigan my whole life I still love just looking at the fall colors. I remember
going to our family cottage when most of the trip was two lane roads and there
was no civilization as far as the eye could see.”
Oh that was great
Kate inwardly moaned. Maybe she should chat about 8-track tapes and drive-in
“Well, why a company is putting on software demos at a
hunting camp in the Upper Peninsula in October is beyond me.” Bryan folded his
arms behind his head, pulling the fabric of his shirt tightly across his
“Oh, here’s a thought. Maybe it was organized by computer
loving hunters? ‘Tis the season you know.”
“All I know is that the company is paying our way and there
are only two training sessions that have anything to do with our clients’ needs
so we will have plenty of time to commune with nature.” His lazy smile warmed
Kate to the soles of her feet.
“That’s just it, Bryan. I can’t figure why we’re going in
the first place. Seems a bit like a waste of time to me.”
“You must have talked to Beth about it, right? She made all
“If you call ‘talking about it’ Beth dropping the materials
on my desk on her way out the door, then yes we chatted the whole thing up.”
She had no intention of relating how the weird conversation had been.
“Well, I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth,” he
said as he bounded out from behind his desk. He was standing next to her in a
flash and Kate couldn’t help but notice with Bryan at a bit over six feet and
with the height of her chair she was at a perfect level to— Oh good lord! She
rolled back quickly and stood.
“See you Monday morning bright and early, then.” She tried
not to run out of his office. She wasn’t sure if she succeeded.
“You can count on it, sweetheart,” Bryan drawled under his
breath as she scurried out the door.
Kate’s pulse was still racing when she sat down behind her
desk and started doing her Friday afternoon paper organizing. When had she
started thinking about Bryan differently? If she was honest with herself, it
wasn’t just last night—but boy that had helped! It had been building slowly
over the last few months. They had been taking a few more lunches together and
they had been joining other co-workers at the bar more Friday nights of late
but Bryan had never acted like anything but a perfect gentleman. Bryan’s
friendship was very important to her and she’d be damned if she was going to
ruin it because, apparently, she was sex starved.
Kate stopped her futile effort at finishing her work and
allowed herself to rehash the strange conversation that she and Beth had
recently shared. Beth had strolled into Kate’s office, plopping herself
casually into a chair. They were best friends first, business partners second.
Beth slid a couple of papers across the desk and simply waited. Kate scanned
“And I care about this seminar why?”
“Because you’re going, of course!”
“What would ever give you that idea?”
“The fact that I just made reservations for you maybe?” Beth
Kate looked at the papers again. Granted, the subject matter
seemed partially relevant to a few of her clients. But Beth knew that Kate
didn’t like to travel for the company. That was one of the many reasons that,
after her divorce three years ago, she had sold her part of the company back to
Beth. She didn’t want to be in the fast lane anymore. She now worked on a
consulting basis only. She picked her own clients and definitely set her own
schedule. Curiosity however, made Kate read on.
“The Upper Peninsula, you’ve got to be kidding, right? I am
absolutely not making that long-ass ride to attend a one day seminar! I’d have
to go a day early, spend the night, go to the stupid thing, spend the night
again and then drive home. Are you crazy?” Kate shook her head in utter
“Oh, did I forget to mention that you aren’t attending
alone?” Beth paused dramatically before continuing, “Want to know who’s going
“Were you drinking at lunch?” Kate laughed as she picked up
her coffee cup and drained it in one swallow.
“Don’t be ridiculous, I only do that with you.”
“Okay, I’ll bite. Who is going to this event
“Bryan Phillips.” Beth burst into a giant grin.
The cup slipped from Kate’s fingers to clatter onto the wooden
desk. She quickly set it right with shaking hands.
Absolutely not, no way,
, her brain screamed frantically. Hours and hours in a car followed
by a hotel and meals and nights and— Oh God she felt dizzy.
“Bryan will pick you up Monday morning at six a.m. You kids
have fun now.”
“Don’t you dare walk out of here, Beth,” Kate practically
shrieked. “You can’t force me to go, you know.” Kate sounded like a whinny
“My name has the CEO after it so, let’s see, yes I think I
can.” And with that, she had left Kate’s office.
“Well, I’d look like an idiot if I tried to back out now,”
Kate mumbled, turning off her computer and forcing her thoughts back to the
present. She knew that somehow, over the next two days, she had better get her
mind off Bryan’s overall yumminess and onto all things computer or there could
be real trouble on the way.
* * * * *
Bryan glanced over at his passenger. God she was beautiful.
Wavy auburn hair softly framed her round face which was dominated by gorgeously
large hazel eyes. She was wearing a soft purple sweater that highlighted her
ample curves and he actually had to concentrate on not reaching over to touch
her. His cock had been rock hard since the moment she had bounded down her
front steps, thrown her suitcase and a cooler into the backseat and hopped into
his car. Though not particularly chivalrous, he was glad that she had obviously
been watching for him and got to his car before he could get out and help. His
jeans definitely didn’t hide his condition and he sure as hell didn’t want to
scare her off in the first three minutes of the trip. Hopefully, by the time
they reached the lodge, he would have himself under some kind of control. Bryan
wanted to seduce her, not jump her bones—at least at first.
Kate finally seemed to relax about an hour into their
seven-hour drive. The morning had dawned clear and crisp and they had left
early enough to get out of the city long before rush hour began. Now, cruising
up northbound I-75 and enjoying the scenery, she had settled into a comfortable
mix of friendly chatter and companionable silences with him.
“Okay, I’m starving.” Kate reached over and unbuckled her
seat belt. She turned, knelt and leaned over into the backseat. “Please don’t
crash into anything while I’m unbuckled.”
Bryan swallowed hard and tried not to groan out loud. Her
unbelievable ass was displayed proudly mere inches from him and she wanted him
to concentrate on the freeway?
“So, what have you got in that cooler, Katie?” His voice
came out almost normally.
“I have fruit, ham and cheese croissants, pop, chips and a
few other things. What sounds good?”
“Got a restaurant phobia I’m not aware of?”
“Of course not,” she chuckled as she dug deeper in the
cooler and came up with two of the sandwiches and pops. “I just thought that if
we didn’t have to stop for meals, we would get up north sooner.” Okay, if that
didn’t sound questionable… Kate flopped back into her seat just in time to see
Bryan cast her a sideways glance.
“It almost sounds like you’re excited to go to this ‘waste
of time’ conference, Katie. Or could it just be the prospect of spending
quality time with your favorite computer programmer?”
“I, uh, well, I haven’t had time off in a while and I, uh…”
Kate couldn’t seem to get her seatbelt re-fastened. Bryan tried not to swerve
the car as his excitement level raised another notch. He had never seen Katie
this way, acting unsure of herself, even nervous. Hope slammed into him hard.
Any chance of waiting to start his full-on seduction ended as his second brain
“Katie, did you have an extra cup of coffee or something
this morning? You seem really jumpy for some reason.” Bryan brushed his hand
across her thigh on the way to grab his sandwich. He could have sworn he heard
The air in the car seemed to suddenly be too thick to draw
into her lungs. Kate looked down to where he had touched her to make sure that
the sparks she had felt weren’t visible. Unable to stop herself, her eyes
darted to his crotch before she looked up at him. Damn if it didn’t look like
he was happy to be here.
“See anything you like, Katie?” His voice was barely a
whisper but in the confined area, the words seemed to echo and hang in the air.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, Bryan,” she
answered too quickly, while tossing a piece of sandwich into her mouth. She
tried to look very interested in the scenery flying by her window.
“Like hell you don’t, lady. You’re making me as horny as a
teenager and at the risk of sounding like an arrogant bastard, I’m thinking
that you may be having the same thoughts.”
Kate jerked her head to gape in open-mouthed shock. This
would be a good time for some snappy retort but none was forthcoming. She
hadn’t played this game in so long. Besides the fact that she had married her
first love right out of high school, she had been divorced for three years and
hadn’t had but a handful of dates in that entire time. The only sexual episodes
in her life currently were wet dreams and two impressive dildos that she had
ordered a while back from a catalog. Her mind raced in a million directions
searching for the right next move. Closing her mouth seemed reasonable.
“Well, I guess silence is better than ‘go to hell, Bryan’.”
Kate fidgeted in her seat. When she fantasized about Bryan
she was always so seductive and alluring, always knew the right things to say
and do. But now, faced with the stunning reality that this incredible man was
attracted to her, she was at a momentary loss.
“Tell me I’m out of line Katie. Tell me that something isn’t
different between us. Tell me that I’m just imagining things and I’ll shut up.”
“Bryan, you and I have been friends for years,” she started
desperately. “Whatever is going on is making me very uncomfortable and not just
a little embarrassed. Let’s just ignore it, okay? Eat your food. I’m too old
for this kind of stress.” There, remind him of her advanced years and superior
maturity, that should handle things.
“You’re kidding, right?” he laughed uproariously. “That’s
the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Ignore it…” Bryan let his voice trail off as
he put his hand on her knee and slowly began to drag it up her thigh. He
stopped when he reached the juncture of her hip. “Last time I checked, Katie,
you have a few good years left before you check into the retirement home and
you’re one very hot lady.”
“Bryan, seriously,” she breathed as she covered his hand
with hers. Her intent was to firmly remove him from touching her person. The
outcome was her hesitating, feeling the warmth of his skin under her palm. He
gave her a gentle squeeze and then moved their hands together to rest on his
thigh. He held her startled gaze as long as was safe at the speed in which they
were traveling before he turned back to the road ahead. Kate allowed herself
the luxury of his touch for a brief time before common sense kicked in. She
suddenly retrieved her digits and folded her hands in her lap.
“Both hands on the wheel, mister. Ten and two o’clock
“There are some other positions that we could try, Katie.”
“Now there’s the kissing until breathless position, the
rolling around naked position, the various licking positions and my favorite…”