Authors: Elizabeth Lennox
The Billionaire’s Elusive Lover By Elizabeth Lennox
“Thank you so much Edith,” Helen Alexander enthused, shaking the older woman’s hand. “I promise I’ll be out of here quickly.”
Edith chuckled. “Don’t worry. My boss isn’t scheduled to be back for hours. He won’t know a thing.”
Edith looked at the beautiful woman with the black hair that curled down her back in what could only be described as riotous. “What are you trying to capture?” she asked, fascinated at the way the young woman was examining the sky and the windows, as if they held the secret to the world and she was determined to unlock with a secret key. Edith had never seen such passion, she thought silently. The idea of maintaining that much energy all the time seemed exhausting to Edith.
Helen smiled back at Edith. “The sunset today is going to be perfect,” she enthused. “The afternoon heat has created a heavy haze that will filter the sunshine. I guarantee the colors will be spectacular. Just wait and you’ll see.”
Edith smiled at the young woman. She couldn’t believe she’d let this woman into Alec Dionysius’ office but there was just something about her that had Edith violating sacred rules. Maybe it was her energy or enthusiasm, or something even more subtle that had her convinced that everything will be okay. No one got through to this office without an appointment and usually those appointments were booked months in advance. Mr. Dionysius was a very busy and extremely powerful man and everyone wanted to have “just five minutes” of his time. His security team always surrounded him when he was out and about in public or even at private parties. But up here, in this office, it was Edith that was the obstacle. No one got through her unless Mr. Dionysius allowed it.
Which made this aberration all the more strange. She watched as the lovely woman clicked her camera over and over again, fascinated by her facial expressions. When she pulled out another camera, Edith considered asking her questions, but then stopped herself, seeing the intense concentration on the younger woman’s face.
Ten minutes later, Helen snapped the last shot and dropped her camera. “See what I mean?” she said almost breathlessly, staring out at the horizon.
Edith stopped her curious inspection of the brunette beauty and looked out the floor to ceiling windows in her boss’ office. At her first glimpse, she gasped in surprise. “Oh, my!” she said, her hand covering her throat as she looked at the spectacular array of colors minutely shifting over the horizon. In a reverent whisper, Edith agreed, “You were right, Helen. Amazing!”
The two women stood there for a long time, their eyes glued to the horizon as they continued to watch the changing colors of the sunset. Neither were aware of the executive floor security guard or the clerical support woman who worked for Edith as they both walked into the sacred domain of the man in charge. All four of them stood still, awestruck by the light show. The silence was complete, broken only by the flashes of color slowly forming a silent melody as they shifted across the evening sky. The shifting light from the setting sun had an almost symphonic beauty to it that even a heavy breath would be a violation against.
“What the hell is going on in here?” a deep voice asked from the doorway.
Four people jumped at the same moment. Edith spun around, her shoulders instantly tense and wary. “Oh, Mr. Dionysius! You’re back early! I’m so sorry!” she gasped.
“That’s not very informative,” he replied with dry sarcasm.
Helen tried to look away. She really did. She didn’t want to be fascinated by a man who would interrupt such an incredible moment in time and not appreciate its beauty. Unfortunately, her eyes were glued to the most amazing male she’d ever seen. He was tall with a chiseled jaw, hawk-like nose and black, dangerous eyes. His perfectly tailored suit framed his body with an elegant façade but she was still able to see the broad shoulders and flat stomach which distinguished the latent menace underneath the tailored fabric. His hands were aggressively resting on his hips, pushing back the suit jacket to reveal power more suited to a furious male lion than a mere human male.
The fact that he was glaring at her didn’t register with her mind for a long moment until her gaze finally came to rest back on his face after surveying the rest of him with a slow, compulsive perusal. The heat that flared within her stomach almost made her knees give out. His eyes captured hers, held her captive and she felt powerless, completely at his mercy. No man had ever made her feel this helpless. Nor had any man ever made her feel anything like this. Her stomach felt like it was filled with bubbles that were floating, popping and moving into her bloodstream to zing around her body. Her mind told her to leave but her feet were immobile as she continued to take in the man with all of his incredible strength.
Helen heard her new friend’s attempt at conciliating the angry man and Helen wished she could step in and offer her apology, protect Edith from the man’s wrath, but she was held captive by his eyes. “I..um…I was just letting Ms. Alexander…she wanted to…” Edith fumbled through the explanation but she was too nervous to finish it.
The stumbling explanation finally did the trick. Helen was at last able to break through her stupor and focus, turning to Edith and Mick, the security guard who had called Edith with her request.
“Mr….” she fumbled because she wasn’t sure who he was but wouldn’t let her new friends down in this situation. They’d gone out of their way to help her and she didn’t want to repay their kindness by dumping them to the wolves. Or wolf, she corrected. This man was definitely baring his teeth. “I’m sorry but I don’t know your name but this is all my fault. I asked Mick to introduce me to Edith who allowed me into your office. I just wanted a picture,” she explained, lifting her camera bag, “and she’s stood with me the whole time to make sure I didn’t do anything besides take pictures so if there’s anything confidential in this office, I promise I didn’t see it.”
Obviously, her explanation didn’t do the trick because the anger in his eyes didn’t ease. “And you think that’s okay?” he commented with an affectation of calm, moving slowly across the room, his eyes never leaving her face. “What, exactly, were you photographing?” he asked.
Good! An easy question. She needed those right now since her knees were trembling at his closer proximity. “The sunset,” Helen brightened. “Because of the storm we had earlier today, the refracting light was particularly extraordinary tonight. I really didn’t mean to invade your space in this way. I promise I’ll get out of your way now.” Helen grabbed her camera bag with shaking fingers, pulling it onto her shoulder and quickly walked toward the double doors that would give her freedom from the strange power he seemed to have over her.
“Stop,” he said in a deep, commanding voice when she started to move past him. Turning to the others, he dismissed them with a glare. They immediately got the message and left the office silently.
Helen watched her friends leave, knowing they still felt as if they were in trouble. She hated thinking that her actions had caused them harm and turned to face the person who had made them feel uncomfortable, allowing all her confused emotions toward this man to coalesce into anger, which was much easier to define and handle than the ambiguous feelings that were spiraling through her system. She didn’t understand those feelings. She understood, and could react to, this burgeoning anger that filled her with a righteous fury, all directed towards this tall, formidable man who thought he could speak to people in such a demoralizing manner. “That was very rude of you,” Helen snapped, her eyes coming back to him, unafraid of showing her irritation.
Alec’s eyes snapped back to hers but he didn't say a word. He waited until he heard the door close behind them before speaking. “Excuse me?” he replied with lethal calm. Anyone else would know that he’d just been pushed beyond what he considered acceptable but this tiny woman seemed oblivious to the possible consequences.
Despite the queasiness that filled her stomach, she straightened her shoulders and faced him head on. “I said, you were very rude to your staff. You should apologize. It’s my fault that they let me in here so you should only be mad at me. There was no need for you to show your impatience at them.”
Alec couldn’t believe his ears. Was he actually being taken to task by a woman who barely reached his shoulders? His eyes traveled up and down her figure once again and he couldn’t deny that he was intrigued. No, he corrected. He’d been intrigued when he’d walked in and caught sight of her gorgeous hair that fell down her back and witnessed her cute little bottom wiggling against her gauzy skirt. Now that she was standing here, challenging him and telling him off, so to speak, he was more than intrigued. He was fascinated. He acknowledged that a large part of his fascination came also from her voluptuous curves that were barely encased in the tight, green tee-shirt and the stunning dark green eyes that were glaring back at him. Her mouth was spouting commands and issuing statements he wouldn’t allow from any of his staff under any circumstances. In a split second decision, he also knew in that moment that he would soon have those lips whispering softer words into his ear in the very near future.
He kept his face impassive as he moved closer to her, explaining in the most reasonable tones that she was currently in a great deal of danger. “It is their responsibility to make sure no one enters this office without my approval. You standing here is evidence that they were not doing their job very well. What makes you think that I should apologize for mediocre performance?”
Her mouth dropped open at his statement that her friends had been slack in their vigilance simply because she’d used his office for a few short minutes. “That’s ridiculous,” she snapped at him, taking a step back. He was so tall, she had to tilt her head back to look up at him. And she didn’t discount the impact he was having on her senses as well. Being this close to the man was definitely not good for her concentration. She was thinking about what he had underneath that perfect white shirt, wondering if he had muscles or if he was just well made, instead of defending Edith and Mick.
Concentrate, she told herself sternly. What happened in the next few minutes could me the difference between two people having a job tomorrow or being sacked immediately. “They were just being nice,” she stated in as cooperative a tone as she could muster under the direct glare of this handsome man.
His lips thinned slightly at her response. “I don’t pay them to be nice,” he replied with a voice that suggested she shouldn't argue any longer.
Helen couldn’t believe anyone could be so handsome and yet at the same time, so lethal. She wouldn’t admit that she was scared and squared her shoulders, wishing she could find the right words to help out Edith and Mick. Deciding that caution was the better part of valor, she decided to take this argument down a notch. “Well, they were very nice and helped me out a lot tonight. I got some wonderful pictures of the sunset so…” she started to move around him warily. “I’ll just get out of your hair if you’ll promise me that you won’t be mean to them about this situation.”
His arm reached out and imprisoned her, pinning her between his long, muscular arm and the hard wall behind her, effectively halting her retreat. He stared at her for a long moment, searching her face to see if she genuinely thought he would take her orders. When he saw the sincerity and confidence on her face, Alec laughed outright. He couldn’t believe it but this woman who had invaded his office and charmed his staff to violate sacrosanct rules, was actually issuing an ultimatum. “You’re joking, right?” he asked.
Since she was trapped on the right by his arm blocking her exit, she slipped deftly to the left in order to put just a little space between them. His close proximity wasn't good for her. Unfortunately, he must have anticipated her move, because his body shifted so suddenly, and so subtly, she didn't know how but she was suddenly trapped once again by his body and the sofa. Helen shook her head, her long gold hoops brushing against her cheek. “Absolutely not. If you’re going to be mad at someone, then be mad at me. Call the police and have me arrested for trespassing if you’d like but leave them out of this.”
He leaned forward, his broad chest pressing her legs back against the back of the sofa, all anger vanishing at her astonishing demand. “So you used my office to take pictures. I’m guessing you’re a professional photographer, correct?”
Helen was stunned by the sudden change in him. His eyes were no longer glaring at her angrily. In fact, she thought she saw a small smile curl his lips. But that was ridiculous, she told herself quickly. No one could change emotions that fast.