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Authors: Cathy Williams

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BOOK: Hired for the Boss's Bedroom
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‘You don’t really believe that, do you?’

‘I guess not.’ Heather laughed and then looked at him seriously. She wanted to touch him so badly that it hurt, but she had to have the big ‘what happens next?’ question answered. ‘Although I came pretty close to it when I found out that my beloved husband had been having affairs behind my back. Affairs with very skinny women who didn’t embarrass him by doing something so uncool as
eating
.’

‘Remind me never to bump into that creep,’ Leo said. ‘I might be tempted to send him on a one-way trip to Mars courtesy of my fists.’

‘That’s very gentlemanly of you,’ Heather said, astonished, and Leo flushed darkly and shrugged.

‘I have no time for married men who fool around. I might play the field, but I have certain codes of conduct, believe it or not.’ He rolled over onto his back and stared up at the ceiling.

‘Does your code of conduct permit one-night stands?’ Heather asked lightly.

Leo turned to look at her. ‘Is that your way of asking me whether I want more of you?’

‘Maybe you should be asking me whether
I
want more of
you
.’

‘You’re kidding, right?’

Which was a sharp reminder of just how he saw her, Heather thought. He might wax lyrical about her body, but to him she was an amusing interlude, a break from his normal routine, someone who should be happy and grateful that he had found her attractive. She wasn’t going to feel sorry for herself, though. She had made her choice—which didn’t mean that she was going to jettison her pride.

‘No, I’m not kidding.’

Leo tensed. Had he been thinking
long term
? No. That wasn’t his style. Been there, done that. But he had been thinking longer than a night. Having been put in a position where he wasn’t calling the shots, he was uneasily aware of a feeling of impotence and he didn’t care for it.

‘Don’t think,’ Heather said carefully, ‘that because I’ve slept with you, that I’ve dumped all my principles about waiting for the right guy…’ Some primitive instinct for survival kicked in, making her realise that the last thing she should do was hand over all control to him. ‘I haven’t, because you were right about not confusing sex with love.’

Leo knew that he should have been relieved at that, but why was his relief taking the form of irritation? Why was he thinking that that just wasn’t what he was in the mood to hear?

‘Are you trying to tell me that you’re just using me for my body?’ He could hear the dark edge to the lightly spoken statement.

‘It’s a very nice body.’

‘But you’re still waiting for Mr Right.’

‘And he’s going to show up one day.’

‘But, meanwhile, why not give in to a little temptation?’ This was all good, he told himself. In fact, it couldn’t have been better. ‘Suits me.’ He cupped her face possessively, stirring into response as her breasts brushed his arm. ‘Now, why don’t I show you what a long way a little temptation can get a girl?’

CHAPTER EIGHT

H
EATHER
had had no real idea where she imagined their relationship heading. She had given in to wild impulse, to a driving desire to fling herself into the maelstrom of living with her emotions and not just with her head. That had been two weeks ago and now, as she sat in the quietude of her studio—which Leo had had transported to Katherine’s house with breathtaking speed and efficiency—she allowed herself a little time to contemplate the ramifications of her well-intentioned lapse of judgement.

Overall, not that good.

She picked up her paintbrush and began the delicate work of daubing colour onto the meticulously drawn illustration she had been working on for the past few days, but her mind was a million miles away.

She wondered how, in the space of only fifteen days, her harmless little fling had become her all-consuming obsession. Since when could a fling become such a big deal that she couldn’t actually see beyond it? Wasn’t it actually called a
fling
because it was something passing, something from which the recovery prospect was good—a bit like the common cold? And, that being the case, why was it occupying her every waking moment in what she could only think was a very unhealthy fashion?

She gave up on the illustration and instead swivelled her chair so that she could look out at the peaceful sunlit view through the windows, which had been flung open to allow in the balmy breeze.

With surprising astuteness, Leo had singled out the most appropriate room for her in which to paint. It was in the attic, a small space with a sloping roof and two generously sized ceiling windows, as well as the two long windows now open. The quality of natural light was unbelievable, and Heather had been quietly chuffed at his unerring instinct in sizing up the one place which she would be able to slot into with alarming ease.

In actual fact, she had been quietly chuffed at a surprising number of things in connection with Leo, starting with his choice of studio space for her, and ending with the amount of time he had devoted to being in the country—even though she knew that he probably had a heck of a lot of commitments in London, which he had doubtless put on hold so that he could be around for Daniel.

He had become a regular visitor to the hospital, where his mother was making a good recovery, and hadn’t blotted his copybook once with his son.

The debatable upside of all this time spent being the perfect son and father was that he had been around a lot more than she had anticipated. Often, they had breakfast first thing, and then he would shut himself away in his office while she retreated to her studio to paint. Except that the painting was often interrupted by the soft pad of his steps on the stairs, by the feel of his body as he bent to look over her shoulder at whatever she happened to be working on, by the brush of his lips when they inevitably found the curve of her shoulder.

They made love with an insatiable hunger that thrilled and frightened her at the same time.

Under the onslaught of his continual presence, she felt herself becoming deeper and deeper embroiled in a situation that was as far from being a fling as chalk was from cheese.

And now there were further complications which had been thrown into the mixture, complications which she would have to mention to him when he returned from London later that evening.

If things felt a little crazy, then she had no one to blame but herself. She had allowed a situation to develop and now what had been an exciting white-water ride had become a whirlpool which was sucking her down faster and faster. The worst of it was the shocking realisation that she wanted to be sucked under, she
wanted
to give herself totally and completely to him, and she wanted to do that because she had fallen in love with him.

She had blithely ignored all the warning signs which now rose up to stare her accusingly in the face. She had thought nothing of the way he had taken over her thoughts; the way he could make her laugh and relax in his company; the way she was tuned in to his presence before he even entered a room; the way she had found herself waking up in the mornings with a spring in her step and a song in her heart, like a character from a corny romantic movie.

Now, of course, with that missing jigsaw piece firmly in place, she could see just how and why her safe, cosy life had been first undermined and then dismantled. She felt sick at the prospect of picking up all the pieces once he disappeared back to his London life, with its glittering social whirlwind of high-level meetings and chic cocktail parties full of those sophisticated, glamorous power babes with whom he claimed to be bored. At the time, she had been thrilled to bits by that unguarded snippet of information.

Now, she reflected on
why
it had been so easy to be swept away by every small thing he had said. Hijacked by love, she had been pathetically quick to believe what she wanted to believe. He’d told her that the skinny, beautiful barristers bored him, and she’d guiltily translated it into meaning that
she
uniquely captured his attention. He’d told her that she made him laugh, which was rare for any woman, and she’d invested it with a significance which it really didn’t have. He hadn’t played any mind games with her because he hadn’t needed to. She had managed perfectly well on her own in undermining her pragmatic view of what they had.

She spent the rest of the day working on automatic while her mind went wild, freed from the constraints of pretending to herself that she was in control. By the time she sat with Daniel and supervised his prep, fed him and settled him into bed—noticing the way he now asked after his father when a couple of months ago the mere mention of Leo would have been enough to raise a scowl—her head was spinning.

She couldn’t remember ever feeling like this, as though she was entering scary, unchartered territory, even when her marriage had been at its lowest and she had realised that she would have to walk away from it.

Daniel had asked her when his father was due to return, to which she had replied vaguely, ‘Some time later, maybe around ten or so.’ In fact, it was shortly after eight when she heard the slam of the front door from where she was pouring herself a glass of wine in the kitchen while doing her best to get involved in a rather silly television-sitcom.

Leo was still ridding himself of his jacket as he strode into the kitchen. Most unlike him, he had hurried his meeting along, politely declining the usual drink afterwards to celebrate successful completion of a deal, and had spent the entire trip back to his mother’s house in the grip of a disconcerting type of eagerness. He had even been tempted to stop en route when he had happened to drive past a particularly charming florist in one of the nearby villages so that he could personally pick out a bunch of flowers for Heather. But he had managed to resist the extraordinary impulse. What the hell did he know about flowers, after all? His secretary usually saw to that type of thing. Except he knew rather more now about horticulture than he ever had before, having listened with amusement as Heather had acquainted him with all the flowers in her back garden, laughing when he’d told her that it was a sorry state of affairs for a woman in her mid-twenties to know the Latin names of plants.

He smiled when he saw her, his eyes roving possessively over her luscious body, and then he smiled some more when he saw the faint tinge of pink flood her cheeks at his hungry appraisal.

But first things first. He poured himself a glass of wine to join her and asked after Daniel.

‘Is he asleep yet?’ He extracted football tickets from his pocket and dangled them in front of her. ‘Ever seen gold dust? I give you these.’ With his eyes still trained on her, he placed the gold-dust tickets on the kitchen counter and lazily reached to pull her to him, murmuring into her hair that he had been thinking about her all day.

This, she thought, was how her defences had been so thoroughly overhauled. His softly spoken words and the feel of his body pressed against hers were lethal weapons. She shivered, wanting to break free, but stupidly clung to him with the glass of wine still in her hand.

He removed it from her, placed it next to his on the counter and did what he had been wanting to do since he had left the house at the ungodly hour of five-thirty in the morning. He kissed her with a thoroughness that had her whimpering and cleaving to him, and hating herself for doing both, when firstly she wanted to talk to him and secondly she knew that she was just digging herself deeper into a hole.

But he turned her on! He undid three buttons on her shirt and slid his hand expertly to cover one of her breasts. She made no move to stop him. The air felt as though it was being sucked out of her lungs; it always did the minute he laid a finger on her. She moaned as he began to play with the jutting nub of her nipple. When he licked his finger and returned it to her roused nipple, she could feel the dampness there race to every part of her body, until she felt like a rag doll that had to be propped up for fear of falling.

‘The gold dust might have to wait until morning,’ she said shakily, edging apart from him. Her breast was still exposed from where he had fished it out of her shirt, the big, pink disc of her nipple gleaming slickly from his wet fingers. She hurriedly did up her buttons and moved to rescue her drink from the counter. ‘I wasn’t sure what time you were going to be back, so I told him it was better not to wait up.’

‘I got here as quickly as I could,’ Leo admitted roughly, thinking back to the unholy haste with which he had dispatched his legal team and headed for his car parked in the basement of his vast office in Central London. He took a sip of his wine and shot her one of those wolfish smiles that could make her toes curl. He walked to the kitchen door and quietly closed it. ‘Usually, I wrap up a deal with a slap-up meal with the team. Tonight all I could think about was getting back here. Explain that to me, if you will.’

The old Heather, the one that had existed yesterday, would have basked in that lazy, sexual appraisal that had her pulses racing and her heart beating like a hammer inside her. She wouldn’t have cared less about explaining anything. She would have strolled over to where he was still standing by the door, watching her with proprietorial hunger. She would have reached up on her tiptoes as she melted against the hard muscularity of his chest, tilted her face to his with her eyes half-closed, and she would have let her body give him whatever answers he wanted to hear.

The new Heather, however, sidled towards the Aga and busied herself concentrating on the pasta sauce which she had earlier prepared for herself, having thought that he would most likely be eating out in London before returning to the country.

‘There was no need for you to rush back,’ she said indistinctly to the thick Bolognese sauce. ‘I mean, I do understand that you have a job to do in London, and that job is going to prevent you from being here a hundred percent of the time. Don’t forget, I was married to a workaholic.’ She didn’t dare turn round, because she knew that her will power would be threatened the minute she saw him standing there, lean, mean and sexy beyond belief. Stirring the sauce was her cowardly way of buying time.

Leo frowned. This was hardly the rapturous response to which he had become accustomed and which he now took as a given. Maybe she was having an off day. He crossed the room, vaguely noticing the way she stiffened, and dismissed that fleeting observation as a trick of the light.

‘You were married to a creep,’ Leo asserted. He slipped his arms around her and nibbled the side of her neck. She was all creamy curves, and the knowledge of what lay under those clothes was a fierce turn on. When they had first slept together, she had been wildly aroused but still unsure of herself. She was out of practice, she had later confessed, and she had virtually apologised in case she had been a let down. Leo had been touched by that lack of self-confidence. Since then, with all her barriers truly down, she’d been the most passionate, most satisfying,
hottest
lay he had ever had. He couldn’t get enough of her. He frequently interrupted his working day so that he could seek her out and lose himself in her voluptuous body. When he wasn’t around her, he caught himself looking at his watch and projecting his thoughts to when she would be back in his arms.

Heather didn’t reply. Lust fired through her like a raging furnace, and her eyelids fluttered as she leaned back into him and stopped stirring the sauce, thereby losing whatever thread of helpful distraction it had offered her. She heard her own soft moan which caught in her throat as his hands began wandering the length of her body, unbuttoning her shirt to free her bare breasts which hung full and ripe and waiting to be touched. She gave another low moan as he began to caress her. She was barely aware of him easing her away from the Aga so that he could lean against the counter and continue to slowly manipulate her body from behind, notch by exquisite notch, towards a place of no return.

He was whispering into her ear, shredding her ability to think clearly as he began telling her what he wanted to do to her, where he wanted to touch her, how he wanted to touch her. By the time he slipped his hand under her gypsy-cotton skirt, her body was screaming for satisfaction, but he stopped her from turning around so that she could minister to him the way he was ministering to her, and she was too far lost in her own sensual pool to find the energy to resist him. She parted her legs and his fingers found the wet, slippery core of her and began stroking.

Her feverish response was an unstoppable force against which she had no resistance. She arched back, barely able to breathe, and when she eventually came her orgasm seemed to last for ever as she was tipped over the edge with shocking abandon. It seemed ages before she was once again earthbound, then she swivelled round to look at him, her face still flushed and her nipples still stiff and rosy with arousal.

‘This wasn’t meant to happen,’ she said unevenly, and Leo grinned at her.

‘Since when?’ Instead of taking her right here and right now, he would wait until later when they were in bed. He would savour the moment. ‘We’re combustible when we’re together. I like that.’

BOOK: Hired for the Boss's Bedroom
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