Authors: Ella London
I flip through the DVR menu options and select the show. The screen changes as a commercial about bathroom cleaner comes on.
“Don’t you dare spoil this for me,” I say with narrowed eyes and mock consternation, taking a massive bite of cheesy pizza. “You’re the worst for that.” Still, I’m glad to see his funk didn’t last long and seems to be ebbing fast. Maybe it was just a mild, temporary flare-up. It makes me feel better about following my gut and coming home, though.
Before I can forget, I grab my phone and send Dane a quick email explaining what time I left. I use the excuse that I thought he might have left for the day too, and then apologize profusely just to cover my backside. I tell him I’ll be in extra early tomorrow and will make up any time he feels I need to, then sign off and send.
I drop my phone on the end table and curl my feet up in our big comfy chair, which has to be a good ten years old now. Our apartment isn’t filled with expensive things, but it’s warm and it’s home. Our mom made the quilted green-and-blue blanket on my lap before she died a few years ago. A real family heirloom, one I treasure. It’s soft and worn, the last project she did to distract her during a brutal round of chemo.
My brother cringes and puts his pizza slice on his plate, rubbing the stump of his left arm, which was removed just below the elbow.
“You okay?” I toss the blanket aside and jump up. “Need some pain meds? I can grab—”
“It’s fine,” he says with a groan as he rubs the knotted, scarred flesh. “I took some ibuprofen before you got home. It just takes a little more time to kick in.”
I frown, but settle down into the chair.
The show comes back on after another minute, and my mind wanders as I think about all the things I need to do tomorrow. I should make a list—I gotta start my paper, plus go to the grocery store and pick up stuff for dinner for the rest of the week. Plus there are the bills I haven’t paid yet, and the tires on the car seem to be a bit low…
I reach for my purse by the side of the chair to get out a pen and paper. Then I pause, hand stuck in the middle part of the purse.
Where is my journal?
I open the large handbag and peer inside, my stomach squeezed in a tight knot of anxiety. Oh God, I didn’t. I didn’t leave it at work. No, I couldn’t have.
My throat closes.
Yup, I did.
With stiff limbs, I put my purse down and stare blindly at the TV, not wanting my brother to see my worry. I can’t believe I did that. How stupid could I be?
Maybe Dane won’t see it. Or if he does, maybe he’s a gentleman and won’t look inside. Surely he would respect my privacy, right?
Plus, there’s still the chance he left before I did, and if I get in early enough tomorrow, I can reclaim my journal before anyone knows about its existence.
Part of me is tempted to drive all the way back just to get it, but I convince myself to stay put. It’s just after nine PM. There’s no way he’s still in the office—since I’ve started working for him, we’ve never been there that late, as he often opts to take work home with him and finish up there. I’m being paranoid. Besides, my building pass won’t work to let me back in after six PM, so I can’t sneak in anyway.
The die has been cast, and I just have to hope that everything’s safe.
hat night in bed
, I lie awake for hours until sleep’s seductive pull finally tugs me under. The last thing I imagine is Dane’s face, disgust and disappointment deep in his eyes over what he read in my journal. Right before he fires me from my job.
,” I holler as I carry a filled-to-the-brim mug of plain black coffee, turning the corner to head back to my office. “Will you bring the specs for the Sanderson remodel?” I blink when I see her desk is empty.
Did she leave? I didn’t tell her she could go.
I bite back my sudden flash of frustration and glance at my watch. It’s already well after eight. I didn’t mean to stay at work this long; time slipped away from me while I had my head buried in design work. Still, it’s not like her to leave without a note, especially since I didn’t dismiss her for the day. Maybe there’s a message for me on her desk.
My dress shoes clack across the tiled floor as I stop in front of her tidy work area. The lamp is still on, and there’s a red, leather bound book sitting on a stack of papers. I push it aside and see the Sanderson paperwork right on top. My mug of coffee is put down so I can scoop up the papers.
My eyes are drawn back to that red book. What is it? Did she leave some of her homework behind? I flip it open to a random page.
in yesterday wearing a pair of black pants that molded to his ass…and huge package. I couldn’t stop staring at him. I thought he busted me in the afternoon looking at his crotch when he got up from his desk, but I don’t think he did. Close call, whew!
blink in surprise
, pausing. Is this…a diary? Innocent, sweet-faced Emme Williams, writing about checking out some guy’s dick? Something about the shock of that realization makes my own dick stir, even as my stomach gives an uneasy surge.
I should stop. This isn’t any of my business, and clearly it’s personal. Some niggling part of my conscience pokes at me, tells me I should walk away and pretend I never saw this diary.
But ignoring things didn’t get me where I am now.
Plus, she left it on her desk, where anyone could pick it up and look inside. Who’s the guy she’s talking about? Someone at school? Could very well be…or a coworker here.
A mental image of her hunching over the journal, writing about some asshole in the office, soft brown curls falling over her brow as she tucks a strand behind her ear with her slender fingers, makes my chest tight. I shouldn’t care that she has a crush on someone. She’s my assistant, for fuck’s sake. She’s barely twenty-five, still in grad school, quiet and polite, practically fresh off the farm. Totally not my type.
None of that keeps me from grabbing the journal and adding it to the top of the Sanderson paperwork. I tell my conscience to shut the hell up and slam my office door behind me.
I manage to focus on my work for another good half hour, but the red journal keeps drawing my attention. All her secrets, right there and ripe for the plucking.
What do I know about Emme, other than she’s a hard worker? She’s in grad school for business administration after getting a Bachelor’s in interior design. She’s small and curvy, with a mess of brown hair that never seems to stay restrained. Her lips quirk in one corner, and she has deep dimples. She’s quiet but her eyes convey thoughtfulness, and I can tell she’s a quick learner.
And she’s spilled her guts in a book I can’t stop myself from reaching over to grab.
After a furtive glance at my office door, I open the diary and start to read.
A half hour later, my dick is so hard it’s screaming to be released from my pants. The blood is roaring in my veins, and my heart won’t stop racing. Holy fuck, the dirty shit Emme’s written about
…who knew? Who knew that quiet young girl has such intense fantasies?
Has anyone ever expressed such brutal, gut-wrenchingly honest feelings about me in their entire life? Sure as fuck not my ex-wife, or any of these women I date on and off. They’re always far too restrained, always so careful not to give their real selves away, not to drop their guard. No one pierces the façade; no vulnerabilities leak through.
Sounds familiar. Sounds like my people. We are smooth and polished and charming. Something I always praised myself on.
But not Emme. She bleeds her heart right on the page, no fears, no shame. Just raw emotion, right there in the smooth curves of her inked lines.
I’ve learned more about Emme and her life in these pages than I’ve bothered to learn about any other woman in ages. And the sudden numerous realizations about myself and the many flaws in my character humble me.
Bring a fresh stab of guilt.
Of course, a small part of me wonders if she left this on purpose for me to find. Perhaps this diary is a message to me, or whatever. But I don’t think so; it’s too illogical for her to do so. If she
sending me a message, I don’t believe she’d leave it out for anyone in the office to stumble upon. Not to mention the HR complications that come from her sharing such intense, sexual thoughts with her boss. She wouldn’t risk her job this way—I know that much.
Yeah, I really shouldn’t have looked, shouldn’t have invaded her privacy like this. Hell, I never even allowed myself to think about her like that—like…a flesh-and-blood woman. Anything other than just an employee. The office is not a place for fooling around; you don’t shit where you eat. After growing up and watching my dad stick his dick in more secretaries than I can count, I took that motto to heart.
And I’ve never been more tempted to break it than I am right now.
My gaze goes to a recent entry as I reread it, let the words soak in.
just can’t seem to satisfy me the way I need to be satisfied. It doesn’t help that when I’m at work and I see Dane’s hands, I pretend he follows me to the bathroom and locks us in a stall and shoves his hands in my panties while I bite his shoulder to stay quiet. And he makes me come and come all over his fingers, and then licks them clean.
Am I crazy or weird for wanting him so much?
The thing is…this isn’t even just physical. I mean, don’t get me wrong. He’s so hot. But he’s so damn smart too, and I find that just as sexy as his looks. He’s well-read and interesting, plus he has an intuitive sense of design that is flawless. Everyone wants to be the center of his attention, the object of his praise. Who can blame them? When those eyes focus on you, you’re swallowed whole by his intensity and intelligence.
Is it any wonder he’s always on my mind?
What I wouldn’t give for his attention to turn to me, just once. For him to tell me in that low, sultry voice of his all the wicked things he would do to me. From watching him, I can tell so much about him, how thorough he is in everything he does. I bet he’s like that as a lover. Methodical. Intense.
I bet he’d make me feel like the woman I am on the inside, not the one everyone sees on the outside.
feel her emotion
, her longing, pouring off the page, and my heart squeezes in discomfort. This is dangerous stuff I’m starting to think here. Because I can’t possibly be entertaining the idea of having sex with Emme. Of making her feel the way she deserves to feel. Beautiful. Wanted.
Has no man really taken the time to give her what she needs? What a damn shame. A crime, really.
I might be a nosy bastard for reading this book, but I’m a very good lover, and knowing I can give Emmy what she wants and needs—perhaps even more than she bargained for…stirs something deep in my chest.
“No,” I say under my breath, closing the journal. No fucking way. I’m not going to have sex with her. It’s unprofessional. It’s unethical. I’m her boss, for fuck’s sake. I can’t take advantage of her like that. She knows it, and I know it. Hell, she doesn’t expect it to ever happen, and rightly so.
Even though her words are practically begging me to give her everything she craves, show her how good it feels to have hot, dirty sex. For the rest of my life, I know I’ll never forget the things she’s written in here. The fantasies she’s had about her and me. Am I really supposed to be strong enough to resist such a delicious temptation?
Is this the struggle my dad faced? For the first time in forever, a part of me views him in a slightly less disdainful light, wondering if maybe we have more in common than I thought.
Then I remember the tear-stained face of his last secretarial conquest when he broke up with her—and subsequently fired her—and my stomach sours. Even my mother doesn’t know the extent of his philandering, though I bet she suspects. Just one of the reasons I quit working for his design firm and started my own several years ago. I couldn’t be dragged into his sordid life choices anymore.
I swallow a big chug of coffee as my brain wars with itself on how to handle the situation. My email dings and, speak of the devil, there’s an apologetic email from Emme, explaining she had to leave early due to a sudden situation at home. No mention of the diary, not even a hint, and the explanation makes me believe her leaving the diary was accidental. Although perhaps unconsciously, she did want me to find it…
I huff a big sigh and rake my hands through my hair. What the hell am I going to do?
A gentleman, and honorable man, would put the journal back and pretend he never saw it. He’d go through each day with her, being polite and distant as usual. Or maybe he’d reassign her to another department in the company so there was no possible temptation to break all his important, self-imposed rules.
I want to be a gentleman, an honorable man.
But staring at the cover of the journal, I just don’t know if I am. Or if I
want to be in this specific case.
Still, I rise from my desk and put the book back on her desktop. I might be a snooping bastard, but I’m not a thief. I’ll sleep on the issue tonight, maybe let a nice glass of Scotch at home help me decide what to do.
I shut down my computer quickly, exit the building, and pull out of the lot, flying down darkened local streets to my condo. The whole time, Emme’s wicked words haunt me. I can’t get the images of us having sex out of my head. Bending her over her desk. Fucking her mouth in the conference room, fingers digging in her scalp, her curls twined around my hands. God, the dirty shit I want to do to her now…funny how I didn’t think about her to this degree, but seeing all her wicked thoughts on paper opened the floodgates of my own latent, surprising feelings.
There’s no fucking way I can go back to viewing her the way I used to. I know what simmers below that smooth, quiet surface of hers now.
And even more uncomfortable, she seems to know exactly what simmers below mine, or at least has a clue that there’s more to me than what I show everyone.
* * *
cotch doesn’t help
. Not one bit.
I kick my feet up on my ottoman and take a deep swig from my glass, savoring the burn as it slides down my throat into my stomach. The light in my study is dim, with soft jazz playing in the background. This is my normal routine after putting in a long day to wind down and shift out of the work zone, but it isn’t working. I’ve sported a semi for the last hour, and needless to say, it isn’t the most comfortable thing ever.
“Fuck,” I mutter as I stand and shove my dick to the side so it isn’t pinched in my pants. This is stupid. I refuse to let her get under my skin.
Stick to the plan.
I can’t afford to get distracted or divert any of my attention to something that has the potential to throw me off track. I will not be like
I put another CD on, one with a driving beat and dirty metal grind, and pour two more fingers in my glass. I take a huge swig.
That does it. The alcohol finally seeps into my system, loosening my limbs and fuzzing my brain. Thank fuck. Maybe that will get thoughts of Emme’s sexy mouth out of my head. And with that, my dick springs back to life.
The temptation is too much. After putting my glass on a side table, I unzip my pants and fist my cock, pumping up and down. Blood pumps hard in my veins, and my breath begins to pant. My stomach clenches with need. I fantasize about pinning her to the wall in the bathroom, just like she wrote in her diary. Fingering her, whispering in her ear and making her shiver. Licking her juices after she explodes on my hand. My cock aches and gets even harder, and I tighten my fingers until it’s almost painful.
Electricity zings through me, fast and sudden, and my balls tighten.
Oh, the things I could do to that mouth…
So fucking close now. I stop breathing and pump more as pre-come coats the top of my hand, slicks across my dick. When I think about her on her knees, those wide eyes looking up at me as I penetrate her mouth and rub the head of my dick on the back of her throat, that does it. I explode with a loud groan, semen spraying in a strong arc.
It takes a minute for my body to stop shaking with need, for my cramped hand to loosen.
I lean back into the chair, body spent, but nowhere near sated.
Fuck. Emme might be a bigger problem than I ever would have dreamed.