Page 5 of Unwrapped

“I’m not sleeping in the same bed as you.”

“Be serious right now and not a child. Maybe if you started acting more like a woman than a baby, you’d be in line for the promotion.”

“Oh, you asshole. I am an adult. I deserve that promotion more than you,” she said. Kicking off her shoes, she climbed onto the bed and laid down. Wrapping the blanket around her, she stared straight ahead. She couldn’t believe she was in bed, next to him.

Gritting her teeth, she held the blanket up to her neck, hoping to figure out some way of surviving without him.

What a shit way to go, freezing to death next to the man she loathed … and wanted.

Ivan seemed to know what to do and she wasn’t an idiot.

“Why do you deserve that promotion more than me? We both work hard. What gives you the right over me? Is it because you’re a woman?” he asked.

“Oh please, that is not it, and you know it. Not that my being a woman would even help my cause. Ugh, you don’t need it because you can do anything. You can be anything. Why do you have to take this from me?”

“Wait a second. You think that because I come from a wealthy family I’m not allowed to earn a promotion?”

“You don’t need it and everyone knows you’re going to be favored. Your family has connections.”

“Hold on just a second before you go sounding even more stupid than you already do.”

“How dare you?”

“Do you even hear yourself? I earn every single thing. Nothing is handed to me. You think I don’t know what I’m up against? I know how good you are. How fearless you are. It’s why I’m working twice as hard just so I can get a look in. I’m not going to get this job because of who I am. I’m going to get it for hard work.”

“See, you already know that you’re going to get it.” She shifted away from him, giving him her back. She hated how ashamed she felt for calling him out on being wealthy. She had to work for everything in life.

“Being so fucking negative is never going to get you the job. You have to fight and behave like you already have it, Delaney. No one wants a quitter and right now, that’s how you’re behaving.” She gasped as he banded a hand around her waist. “I didn’t have you pegged as a quitter.”

Biting her lip, she couldn’t help but like that he thought so highly of her. “I’m not.”

“Then the competition is still on, baby. Don’t give up just yet. We’re both in this race to the finish line.”

She couldn’t help it. Rolling over, she looked at Ivan and waited.

He didn’t give her any sarcastic comeback or witty retort.

He looked … genuine.

She didn’t know if she could trust him or not.

Taking a deep breath, she didn’t look away.

Suddenly the lights went out, and they were thrust into darkness.

Chapter 5

Perfect, Delaney thought to herself. This was really how her day was continuing to go.

She looked out the window and saw the city had been plunged into darkness.

The storm had cut the power.

This couldn’t get any worse.

She wrapped the blanket around her more tightly and pulled her legs up to her chest, hoping to stem off the chill. Looking over at Ivan, she saw he already watched her.

“Looks like it’s a blackout. Whole city has gone dark.” Ivan sounded amused.

“This isn’t the least bit funny. It fucking sucks, to be honest.”

“It could be worse,” he replied and leaned back on the couch, as if just making himself comfortable like he was at home.

She licked her lips, looking back out the window. “No, it really couldn’t get any worse.”

Standing, Delaney kept the blanket wrapped tightly around herself as she moved over toward the window. She could feel the cold seeping through the glass, which shocked her, seeing how thick it was.

Delaney placed her hand on the window and felt the chill go right into her bones. She curled her fingers into her palms and tucked her hand back underneath the blanket.

She felt Ivan move in behind her, his body heat instantly covering her, seeping into her. Closing her eyes for a moment, she just absorbed it, wanting nothing more than to lean into him to take in all that warmth.

But she wouldn’t do that.

She couldn’t.

Turning and facing him, she craned her head back to look into his face. He was such a tall, big man, clearly having a toned, hard body, no doubt working out to keep up his impressive physique.

“If we could have actually left, going to the hotel sounds pretty good right about now.”

He smirked and leaned against the window, as if the coldness didn’t affect him. He crossed his arms over his chest, his muscles bunching underneath the material of his shirt.