Authors: Jessica Gray
Copyright Notice and Disclaimer
Stubborn Love - Falling for Him Series, Book 6
By Jessica Gray
Copyright © 2014 Jessica Gray
Cover Design by
This book is copyrighted and protected by copyright laws.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior written permission from the author.
All characters, names, and places in this book exist only within the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons or locations is purely coincidental.
Clara rushed through the airport. She was running late.
“Miss?” the airline clerk called to Clara, waving her forward with her perfectly manicured nails.
Clara stepped forward, handing her the boarding pass she'd printed out from her home computer the night before. She’d hardly slept, thinking about New York and how close her dreams were to coming true.
She had been dabbling on the outskirts of the fashion industry for several years, without breaking through to the magical inner circle of “known” designers. With Rachel’s introduction, and the fabulous wedding dress she’d designed for her, she had finally made an impression on someone who mattered.
Sara Shaw, formerly known as Sara Newsom.
The woman was an icon in the fashion industry and owned one of the biggest fashion magazines in the country!
And she had invited me to New York City!!
The clerk pulled Clara from her reverie, “Miss, I have you checked in, but due to weather, the flight has been delayed.”
“Oh. Well, do you know for how long?” she asked, wishing she’d known that before she rushed out to the taxi.
“Sorry, I can’t say. The details will be updated on the departure boards throughout the airport as we get more information. Right now, we expect two hours.”
Two hours? What am I supposed to do in this airport for two hours?
Clara nodded at the clerk as she took her boarding pass back and stepped away from the counter. The line had grown considerably meanwhile, and she pitied the other passengers who would receive the same bad news she’d just gotten.
She looked around and noticed that most of the seating was occupied. Long lines of people queued at several nearby ticket counters. Clara shook her head and rolled her neck to ease the tension that started to gather there.
Her hands smoothed down the front of her new beige suit. It was one of her own designs; the fabric a neutral color that on most people would make their skin look sallow. However, with her dark hair, dark eyes, and pale skin, the color complimented her perfectly.
She had designed the suit with a business look in mind, but also with comfort and function as “must haves.” This trip was a road-test of sorts for both the design and the fabric choice.
Guess it’s going to get the extended test!
Seeing no available seating, and not wanting to even consider plopping down on the carpeted floor, she headed back to the main concourse area with the shops and eateries. She’d seen several coffee shops along the way and wanted to grab a book or a magazine and enjoy a cup of coffee while she waited.
At the first coffee shop, she stopped and ordered a caramel macchiato to go. When she turned to leave the service counter, a man rushed down the concourse. He bumped into her, knocking both of them back several feet, and spilling the entire cup of coffee down the front of her suit.
“Ouch!” she said.
Didn’t he have eyes in his head?!
Clara tossed the now empty cup into the closest receptacle and grabbed a handful of napkins to mop up the mess.
“Gosh! I’m so sorry!” came the harried voice belonging to the brick wall she’d just ran into.
When she saw hands reaching towards her, she instinctively slapped them away and took a step back, “Just don’t!” She raised her eyes to give the offender a piece of her mind and the next words on her lips died a silent death as she looked into the most gorgeous green eyes she’d ever seen.
They were emerald green, fringed by dark lashes, and set in a face that belonged on the covers of magazines and movie screens.
The brick wall is absolutely gorgeous!
“I am so sorry. Please forgive me, but I have to run. My plane is taking off in a few minutes to New York and I’m running late.”
The gorgeous man made to step around her, even as Clara realized her shaking knees and her staggered breath. She stepped sideways, preventing his exit and took a shuddering breath. I
can’t believe how turned on I am by this stranger!
Taking another slow breath, she offered him a tentative smile, “You might be on the same flight as I’m. It’s delayed at least two hours.”
The man looked shocked and turned around abruptly to glance at the overhead departure screen. She followed his movement, amazed that she hadn’t even noticed the screens on her earlier trek through the concourse.
His shoulders relaxed, and he turned to smile at her. A marvelous smile. Clara’s knees trembled again, and she suddenly felt very warm.
“I really am sorry. Your suit is ruined and it’s my fault.” He smiled his marvelous smile again. “And you didn’t even get to drink your coffee!”
Mr. Gorgeous handed her another handful of napkins, which she used to sop up more of the coffee that was doing its best to soak into the fabric of her suit. She finally gave up and hoped that she’d have time to change once the plane arrived in New York. She was a complete mess!
The man was still apologizing, and as she looked up at him, she could tell he felt bad about drenching her.
“How can I make it up to you? Can I at least pay the cleaning?” He withdrew his wallet and pulled out several bills. Clara shook her head and refused to take them.
Her answer surprised herself, “No thanks, but you could buy me a new coffee.”
He looked at her, his gaze moving along her person, and gave her that marvelous smile again, that had her insides melting, “Know what? I have a better idea. Why don’t you accompany me to the VIP lounge until the plane leaves?”
“But I don’t have access….”
“Don’t worry. I’m a frequent flyer and can invite a guest. You can use one of the shower rooms to take care of the damage I did to your suit.”
She looked at him and then at her coffee stained suit. Her underwear must be a mess, too. She sensed the wetness of the coffee inside her bra for crying out loud!
“That sounds good.”
He nodded and gestured for her to join him as they headed back down the long concourse. Giving her a sideways glance, he offered, “By the way, I’m Nigel.”
“Clara, such a delightful name. Come on and we’ll see if you can salvage your suit.”
She nodded her head and walked alongside him to the VIP lounge. When they reached the reception, he explained to the lounge receptionist that Clara was his guest, and then waived his gold card over the scanner. “Miss, my guest needs to rectify the damage I caused to her attire with my carelessness. Would you please assist her with whatever means you have available?”
“Certainly. Miss, please wait for a moment, I’ll arrange a shower room for you. Will 30 minutes be enough?”
“Sure,” Clara told her with a bemused smile. Who knew that the VIP lounge included showers?
Shows what I know about traveling
The receptionist typed something into her computer and looked at Clara with a gracious smile. “You’re all set. Please follow me.”
Nigel nodded at her, “I’ll get a booth for us. Come on out and join me once you’re ready.”
Clara followed the receptionist down the hallway to her right. “Your shower room is right through that doorway. You’ll find towels and liquid soap inside. If there’s anything else you need, just push the button besides the mirror and let me know.” With these words, the receptionist handed her a small travel-sized stain pen.
“Thank you so much.” Clara sighed. That woman looked like a Barbie Doll, and she was secretly jealous of her lithe figure, height, and long flowing blonde hair. Standing next to her reminded Clara that she was only 5’5” in her stocking feet, weighed fifteen pounds more than she should, and all that extra weight gathered on her hips or her breasts! She would never wear a size 2. Clara was a comfortable size ten who hemmed every pair of store bought pants she owned!
Clara entered the shower room, putting aside thoughts of what she would never look like as thoughts of the gorgeous man waiting on her filled her head.
She removed the suit jacket, thin camisole and lace bra, grateful that the coffee hadn’t soaked her suit pants. With one of the towels she wiped her chest down, noticing the red spot on her sensitive skin as the result of being doused in hot coffee. She rinsed out her bra and held it under the hair dryer. The sheer lace dried within a few seconds and Clara sighed with relief, to notice it wasn’t stained.
I wouldn’t want Nigel to see me in a stained bra.
Hell, what was she thinking? He’d not see her bra at all – stained or unstained.
Next, she tackled the camisole and suit jacket. The stain washed right out of her soft pink camisole. Three cheers for polyester-blend fabrics. She hung it over the hair dryer and got to work on the suit jacket. It took some light scrubbing, but with the help of the stain pen, the jacket soon looked perfect again. She donned the camisole while the suit jacket hung over the hair dryer.
After several more minutes, she was once again dressed and examined herself in the mirror. Only fifteen minutes had gone by, and she looked good as new.
Clara freshened up her makeup, ran a comb through her hair, and headed with a pounding heart towards the lounge area. She had a gorgeous guy waiting on her, and now that she didn’t have to worry about her ruined clothing, she intended to enjoy spending time with him.
Nigel chose a booth that overlooked the airport tarmac and grabbed a fashion magazine off the rack before seating himself. The waitress came by to take his order, but he waved her off, deciding to wait for Clara to reappear.
He made a phone call, letting his secretary in New York know about the delay, and opened the magazine. His thoughts continued to divert back to Clara, his eyes to trail to the door that led to the shower rooms.
It had been a long time since a woman had made such an impression on him. Working in his chosen field, Nigel wasn’t a stranger to gorgeous women, but Clara was different. She had his heart racing, from the first moment he’d looked into her eyes. Dark brown eyes with light sprinkles. And her smile had knocked him off his socks and quickened his pulse.
The cut of her suit was exquisite, as if it had been made just for her, and she had an innate beauty that was also evident in her physical looks.
She could be a model if she was taller.
Her skin was porcelain smooth with a pale color that under the right lighting, it would appear translucent. The dark hair and dark eyes made such a striking contrast to her pale skin; it almost took his breath. How would it feel to touch her smooth skin?
Nigel, you’ve known that woman for 15 minutes!,
he scolded himself.
Her clothing choice intrigued him. Most women would run in the opposite direction when confronted with wearing such a neutral color, but on her, it stressed her beauty even more!
Abandoning the magazine, he allowed his mind to continue cataloging his new acquaintance. He closed his eyes and recalled her figure.
Sure, she weighs at least twenty pounds too much to be a model.
Good! I’ve seen enough skinny models to last me for the next decade. Give me a woman with meat on her bones, who doesn’t require additional padding to fill out an outfit. Please!
Nigel worked as a fashion designer, and every day, he saw lots of skinny models. Too many in his opinion, but that was what was trending, and since the camera added at least ten pounds, he understood the attempt by the models to keep ultra thin.
That doesn’t mean I like it!
In his mind’s eye, he saw the full curves of Clara’s body, and he became more than a little interested in what might lie underneath her clothing.
She’s so refreshingly natural and real.
The dark wavy hair practically begged a man to run his fingers through it.
And that suit!
It hugged her body and enhanced the curvy hips and breasts while hiding the little flaws. The pants showed off her butt and he clenched his fingers with the thought of touching it.
I wonder who designed her suit? It can’t be a department store brand
. Not only did the fabric scream designer, but also the lines were too exquisite for mass production. The suit fit her like a glove! The longer he thought about her suit, the more intrigued he became. Nigel mentally ran through the current in-designers, but none of them had a signature that fit.
Not Vera Wang! Not Marc Jacobs! And definitely not Michael Kors!
In fact, none of the current in-designers had clothing designed for short, curvy, sexy women. That left one option.
The suit was custom made for her!
But that idea didn’t hold up to inspection either. He hadn’t pegged her for one of those rich ladies that wear haute couture. She hadn’t been wearing any jewelry, she wasn’t sporting an expensive hairstyle, and she hadn’t had access to a VIP lounge! Nigel smiled to himself, deciding to find out who and what Clara is!
A few minutes later he spotted her walking towards him. His eyes travel over her clothing, relieved that she’d managed to get rid of the coffee stains. He set the fashion magazine aside and admired the elegance of her walk. It wasn’t contrived, nor did it look awkward.
It was natural! It was her!
He felt his body stir the longer he watched her, and when she offered him a small smile as she neared the table; his eyes wandered to the bow of her mouth.
What a beautiful, kissable mouth!
His body hardened, and he was glad his comfortable suit pants were hiding the evidence. A growing evidence. He stifled a groan when she licked her lips and then pulled her bottom lip inside her mouth, biting down on it gently. It wasn’t done to entice, but was a clear sign that she felt the same attraction he did.
I want to kiss her!