At His Desire: The Billionaire's Beck and Call, Part 7

BOOK: At His Desire: The Billionaire's Beck and Call, Part 7
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At His Desire: The Billionaire’s Beck and Call, Part 7

 

By
Delilah Fawkes

 
 
 

I
awoke from dreams of rough lovemaking in Mr. Drake’s dungeon and stretched my
arms over my head, yawning peacefully. I could still feel where his hands had
gripped my hips the night before, and traced the skin he’d touched with relish.
The sun was just coming up over the hill, the floor-to-ceiling windows tinting
themselves to keep out the unwelcome light.

I
sat up, realizing the other side of the bed was empty, the red sheets crumpled
and cold. Where was Mr. Drake? I’d hoped to catch him sleeping just this
once... to get a glimpse of him beside me, vulnerable and completely mine. To
see him, just once, when he wasn’t in total control.

No
such luck.

I
should have known that a man like him always rises early.

I
slipped a silk robe over my shoulders and padded down the hall to the stairway,
hoping to find him at breakfast, but as I neared the second floor landing,
raised voices met my ears. I stopped just shy of Mr. Drake’s study, hesitating
in the shadows. The door was open just a crack, but the male voice floating
through the doorway was all too familiar. Lex Smith was here, his sharp voice
echoing through the hallway.

“We’ve
got no other choice, Chase! Honestly, what else do you think we should do?
We’ve got to make an impression on these people, or we’ll lose them.”

“I
thought you said it wasn’t anything to worry about? That the losses were
minimal?”

“So,
I understated the issue a bit. That’s not the point. We’ve got to build investor
confidence.”

“We
can’t afford-”

“We
can’t afford
not
to!”

I
heard Mr. Drake sigh, and imagined him running a hand through his hair. I felt
like I was intruding on a private moment, an eavesdropper who had no business
listening in. I debated with myself for a moment, then turned and snuck
downstairs toward the kitchen. If Mr. Drake wanted me to know what was going
on, he’d tell me himself. I wasn’t about to break his trust.

After
a hot cup of coffee and one of the chef’s delicious omelets, Mr. Drake appeared
around the corner. For the briefest of moments, he looked exhausted, his green
eyes dulled with worry. Then he saw me, and smiled.

“So,
you’re up after all. Excellent. I need you to go back to your apartment and
pack your things.”

I
lowered my fork. “Good morning to you, too.”

He
leaned over and kissed my hair, his expression softening. “Good morning, Isa. I
wish I weren’t in such a hurry, but I have work to do. Quickly. We need to put
together a weekend getaway for the investors and members of the board, and we
need to do it now.”

He
grabbed a fresh baked croissant from a basket on the counter and toyed with it
absentmindedly. “Hopefully they haven’t already gotten wind...”

I
put my hand on his arm, and he looked at me, as if startled that I was still
there.

“What
can I do to help?”

He
frowned, his eyes appraising me. “I need to call everyone on the investor list,
and set up three days and two nights of entertainment to occupy them all. Mr.
Smith offered his parents’ hotel and casino as a possible location.”

I
took a deep swig of coffee, and stood up. “No problem. Give me the names, and
I’ll take care of the rest.”

His
lips twisted into a half smile, his eyes twinkling incredulously. “Isa, are you
sure--”

“I
used to put together events for my grandmother’s charity all the time. I’ve got
this.”

He
raised an eyebrow, obviously needing more.

“She
built a halfway house for problem teens, but could no longer handle running it
when she fell ill. I was the only one who could help out, so I guess you could
say I learned on the job. I know a thing or two about organizing events for
wealthy benefactors.” I smiled up at him. “Trust me. I can help you, if you let
me.”

He
ran a hand over his chin, as if absorbing my words. “Well, aren’t you just full
of surprises?”

I
put a hand on my hip. “Are you going to let me take care of this, or are we
going to stand here all day?”

He
laughed then, the sound making my heart do a back flip.

“Get
ready, and I’ll drive you.” He pulled me close, kissing me hard. “And if we
finish early, maybe you can get tied up at the office...”

I
laughed with him, and he smacked me playfully on the rear. I’d definitely have
to work quickly.

 

***

 

I
sat on the floor of Mr. Drake’s office, surrounded by a fan of index cards, his
laptop, and a fistful of hotel brochures. My ear was aching around my blue
tooth headset from the day’s worth of phone calls, but I grinned as I surveyed
all that I’d accomplished.

I
looked up as Mr. Drake entered, closing the door behind him.

“Is
there anything you need? How’s it going?”

There
was a wrinkle above the bridge of his nose that only showed when he was
anxious. I wanted to jump up and kiss it away, but instead, I pulled up the
page of notes I had on the computer.

“Everything’s
booked, and 20 out of 22 guests have RSVP’d in the positive, along with their
spouses. This weekend is going to be a huge success. No one can pass up an
all-expenses paid corporate bash thrown by
The
Chase Drake.” I grinned up at
him, and blew a piece of hair out of my face where it had fallen out of my bun.

He
shook his head, a smile replacing the pinched look of almost-panic he had been
wearing. “I don’t know what I’d do without you. How did you manage to pull all
this off?”

He
gave me a hand, pulling me to my feet.

“Didn’t
you know I’m a genius?”

“I
always suspected as much.”

We
stared at one another, the laughter fading, replaced by something else
entirely. He grabbed my hair, tilting my head back, and I let my breath out
slowly, my whole body suddenly very aware that we were alone. His mouth met
mine, hot and urgent. I moaned softly as he deepened the kiss, teasing my
tongue with his.

“I’m
going to need you, Isabeau. With me. This weekend.”

He
kissed me again, slowly, his lips on mine making me quake with longing. He
pulled away and looked into my eyes.

“Please
say you’ll come?”

I
smiled up at him. “I’d love to. As long as you promise not to work me too
hard.”

His
hand slipped up under my skirt. He ran a finger over the crotch of my panties,
tracing my lips through the lace. “I will promise no such thing.”

I
shivered beneath his touch. “I’m all yours, Sir.”

 

***

 

The
next couple of days passed in a whirlwind of activity. I finally went home to
my lonely little apartment to see that my mail was piling up and my one
houseplant was getting crispy around the edges. I watered it, marveling at how
quickly my life had changed in such a short period of time.

I
changed out of my new clothes and stepped into the bathroom for a shower. The
diamonds on my choker winked at me in the mirror. I’d become so used to wearing
Mr. Drake’s collar, I’d almost forgotten to take it off. I ran my fingertip
over the tiny lock charm nestled in the hollow of my throat. I could
practically feel his hands in my hair as he fastened it on...

I
stepped into the shower with the choker still in place and sighed as the water
poured over me.

 

***

 

Later,
Mr. Drake sent a car and a note insisting I go shopping for the weekend ahead,
and although I grumbled at the expense, I had to admit, I had nothing to wear.
The clothing in my closet wouldn’t impress a J.C. Penney executive, much less
the investors of Drake & Smith. I let myself be driven about, packages
piling up in the trunk of the Rolls Royce and tried to tamp down the feeling of
unease rising inside of me with each stop.

Was
I ever going to get used to this? I imagined guilt bubbling up inside of me
like hot lava.

Just breathe, Isabeau. So what if that
dress is worth more than all the furniture in your apartment?
I giggled nervously in the back
of the car, and put a hand over my mouth when the driver cocked an eyebrow at
me in the rearview mirror.

I’d
been in the office several times arranging last minute details, but hadn’t seen
Mr. Drake for more than a moment or two. He’d been locked away pouring over the
books with the accounting staff behind the CFO’s back, hoping to find
God-knows-what before the big event.

He
entered his office just long enough to change his shirt and steal a kiss from
me before heading back downstairs, but I felt the stress pouring off him like
steam from a radiator.

I
recalled the words I’d overheard between him and Lex days before, and
wondered... What exactly was going on? How bad were these losses he’d
mentioned? Was Mr. Drake in serious trouble?

I
chewed the cap of my pen. If I could make his problems disappear, I would in a
minute. But for now, I was glad I could at least take the detail work of this
weekend off his plate. I had to admit, it felt good to be needed. To be trusted
with something so important.

I
closed the lap top and stood up. I’d done all I could for now. The rest was up
to him.

 

***

 

The
driver held the car door open, and I stepped out, fidgeting in my red satin
dress. I thanked the man, and walked to the gilded double-doors of the Titan
Hotel, feeling naked in my sleeveless little number. Two men in full livery
swept the doors open for me with a bow, and I nodded to them nervously as I
walked through.

I’d
heard of this hotel before, but had never even been to this part of the city,
much less set foot inside the gleaming, modern structure. The Smith family had
built this hotel and casino to cater
 
to
the super rich, a place where luxury and exclusivity were guaranteed. I blew
out a shaky breath, and stood up a little straighter. Just because I couldn’t
afford a snow globe in the gift shop didn’t mean I didn’t belong.

Sure, Isabeau. Just keep telling
yourself that. Maybe one day, you’ll even believe it.

The
choker shifted around my neck, and I sighed. I wasn’t in this alone.

I
moved through the lobby, my heels click-clacking on the veined marble. Water
sculptures framed the check in and concierge desks, while the entire back wall
housed an enormous aquarium. I moved toward it, marveling at the way the light
from the water danced across the floor, mirroring the movement of the colorful
fish housed within. The light dimmed for a moment as a shark swam by. I jumped
and backed away. My back collided with something hard, but before I could turn
around, strong hands clamped down on my arms.

“You
look breathtaking this evening, Miss Willcox.”

The
sound of Lex Smith’s oily voice made goosebumps rise on my flesh. I pulled out
of his grasp, and heard him chuckle.

“Thank
you.”

He
grinned at me like a wolf, his eyes wandering over the drape of my satin dress
all the way down to my exposed legs. I wanted to cover up under that stare, but
wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.

“I’m
glad you came to this little get together. I’ve been thinking about you.” He
brushed back his dark hair, his silver cufflink gleaming in the light from the
aquarium.

“Oh?”
I didn’t like where this was going, but I didn’t want to be rude.

“Absolutely,”
he said, his voice lowering to a purr. “I hope we’ll get another chance to
dance, you and I.”

I
didn’t know what to say. The last thing I wanted were his hands on me, but I
didn’t want to cause a scene by telling him what I really thought about him.
Not when this weekend was so important to the company. I backed away just as
the elevator doors slid open on the other side of the lobby.

“Lex,”
Mr. Drake said. “I hope I’m not interrupting. Mind if I steal Isabeau away?”

If
I could have leapt into his arms at that moment, I would, but instead settled
for beaming at him.

Lex
shot me another look, dark and full of promises. His lips twitching into a
lopsided grin. “See you later, then.”

I
repressed a shudder. What did he want from me, anyway?

Mr.
Drake’s hand clasped mine, and I tore my eyes away. He led me into the
elevator, his thumb caressing me. When the doors closed, he turned to me,
looking me over with appreciation.

“You’re
so beautiful, Isa... That dress is simply stunning on you.”

He
held my hand to his lips and kissed my palm, his green eyes capturing me. I
licked my lips, my body heating at his touch. I wished we could be alone now,
instead of going to this party. I wanted the magnetic Mr. Drake all to myself.

BOOK: At His Desire: The Billionaire's Beck and Call, Part 7
8.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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