I quickly ripped my earbuds out and shoved them in my pocket, heart racing and embarrassment flooding me. My face felt hot, no doubt red as a tomato as I stared at him.
God, he was handsome in a rugged, yet very well put together way.
“I’m sorry.” I was humiliated as I glanced away, hating the fact my face always got so red when I was embarrassed. “Really unprofessional of me to be sitting in your chair like I own the place.” I closed my eyes as humiliation continued to run through my veins.
He didn’t say anything after I spoke, so I glanced up at him just as he pushed away from the doorframe and stepped inside his office.
“Don’t be embarrassed,” he said in a voice so deep and masculine that I felt chills race up and down my arms.
I moved out from behind his desk at the same time as he circled it, as if coming closer to me. He stood by his chair and I waited at the opposite end, both of us watching the other, the air becoming thicker the longer nothing was said.
Breathe. Stay calm.
I could stare at this man all day, every day, and it wouldn’t be enough. He made me feel weak in the knees, had my pulse racing, and had every logical thought in my head leaving. I knew it wasn’t right to desire him, not just because he was my father’s best friend, but because he was so much older than me, so well-established.
I’d be starting college soon, inexperienced in everything … and I meant everything. But that couldn’t stop me from wanting him, from loving him.
“Relax,” he said, and I swallowed, hating the fact that he could read me so easily. “You’re always so nervous around me.” He smirked again, and I felt my heart jump in my chest. It was sexy and almost dangerous.
“Well, I was caught sitting in my boss’s chair when he wasn’t here.” I laughed awkwardly. “And I guess you’re just … intimidating.”
This had him lifting an eyebrow, his smirk widening.
“Intimidating?” His voice got lower and he chuckled deeply. “Where it concerns you, Piper, you shouldn’t feel nervous or intimidated in the least.”
Goosebumps popped out along my arms. I couldn’t help the reaction I had for him. It was engrained in me Just the sight of him, even thinking about him, had my body reacting. I could envision myself walking up to him and placing my hands on his chest, smoothing my fingertips over his expensive suit, pulling on his lapels to bring him in closer.
We’d stare into each other’s eyes, sharing the same breath, our lips only an inch apart. And then I’d be bold and kiss him, whisper how much I loved him, that I’d wanted him since I knew what my feelings were. But on the heels of that fantasy I could also see him pushing me back, breaking my heart as he told me nothing could ever happen, that I was far too young, that our history, the fact he saw my father as his family, was crossing lines.
And I couldn’t blame him, because he would be right.
And as my daydreaming consumed me, I realized he’d moved away from the desk and now stood in front of me. I felt my eyes widen as he lifted his hand and brushed a piece of hair away from my cheek, a strand that had fallen loose from my bun while I’d been cleaning.
The feel of his finger along my skin was like fire and ice all in the same breath. My breasts felt heavy, tingly, my nipples ultra-sensitive. I clenched my thighs together as moisture pooled between my legs, my arousal raising its potent, intense head, letting me know that there was no way I could control myself where he was concerned.
He let his finger linger on my cheek a little longer than was probably necessary, but I wasn’t complaining. In fact, I wished he’d pull me in close, let my body rest against his, my head on his chest as I listened to his heart race like mine was.
The air was so thick around us, and I swore we were the only two people in the entire world This moment felt serene, seeming far more intimate than it probably was. But surely I wasn’t blind to the fact that he watched me with this intensity, almost a possessiveness.
And then I saw him lower his gaze to my mouth. I felt his stare all the way down to my marrow and found myself licking my lips. This deep sound left him, vibrations from his chest slamming right into me. I heard a gasp, and realized it came from me.
Was I imagining this?
Was Zane looking at me with desire?
I opened my mouth but nothing came out, words lodged in my throat. And then I saw him lean forward, maybe to kiss me, maybe to tell me to leave. But before he could say anything, the sound of people approaching interrupted the haze we were currently in.