“It’s a three-bedroom suite,” he replies, his attention now on his laptop. “Nothing needs to be arranged.”

He says nothing more, summarily dismissing me. This is what Declan does when he has no further need of my assistance. He jumps into work, forgetting about me.

Good thing we have firm lines drawn, and we know to stay on opposite sides at work. Otherwise, feelings could get hurt. But I know when he’s concentrating on me and me alone.

Now is not the time, and I’m perfectly okay with that.

I am excited, however, to see Chicago. I’ve never been, and it’s been on my bucket list. Later, when he’s not so focused on work, I’ll inquire as to whether or not I might have some free time to see a few of the sights.

Quietly, I stand from my chair and glide across his office, thankful the plush carpeting silences the heels I’m wearing. I don’t want to disturb him when he’s working.

Still, I can’t help one last glance over my shoulder, because he’s so handsome, why wouldn’t I?

While his attention is still riveted to his screen and he seems thoroughly engrossed, I get the distinct impression he is well aware that I turned around for one last look.

CHAPTER 17

Declan

The board meeting goes no differently than expected. My father runs it with an iron fist. When he steps down and I take over, I’ll do the same thing. It’s not by chance the Blackwood name is the leader for luxury hotels in the world. It came with back-breaking work, sacrifice, and an unfailing commitment to valued principles of leadership, purpose, and accountability. My father’s father taught him, and he taught me. And I’ll teach my children if I have any.

Today’s board meeting reviewed the minutes, accomplishments, and normal reviews of key performance indicators such as revenues and expenditures, research and development, and marketing since the last.

Tomorrow will focus on expansion, much of which falls on my plate. While my father will run the meeting, I’ll mostly be the one explaining our upcoming plans to expand the Blackwood empire. Of course, my father has no clue I’m looking to step into the hotel business on my own, but he will before the conclusion of my visit. That will be a private discussion behind closed doors.

I doodle on my notepad while the vice president of domestic marketing presents to the board. I’m not bored, but I’ve always been able to keep half an ear on what someone is saying while reflecting on other things. I guess it’s called mental multi-tasking.

Currently, my mind is on the hot brunette directly opposite me. No, Bailey hasn’t been afforded a seat at the board table. The large oval table comfortably seats twenty-four, and it’s reserved for actual board members and the handful of VPs in attendance. Instead, she’s in a row of chairs set along the perimeter for the assistants who are diligently taking notes. Of course, there’s an official secretary to the board recording the minutes, but we keep records of our own notes so nothing can be misconstrued.

I’ve strategically kept my gaze averted from the gorgeous and incredibly sexy Bailey Robbins. I’m here as the heir to the Blackwood empire, and I’m in full-on work mode. It doesn’t mean, however, I can’t devote time to thinking about my beautiful traveling companion or the fact she and I will be alone in the Blackwood suite tonight.

I’ve never once dallied with an employee, and I’ve never had one stay in the suite with me. My former assistants were provided their own rooms, but Bailey doesn’t need to know that. She’ll soon figure out I have no intention of leaving her alone this evening.

Yes, our agreement states we will only fuck in the club, but I’m going to chalk it up to a lack of foresight on both our parts. I had forgotten about the board meetings she’d accompany me on, and she certainly hadn’t factored in business trips.

But circumstances are different, and we must adapt.

I intend to be balls deep inside my lovely assistant, assuming she doesn’t seem to think we need to hold with the strict meaning within the agreement we signed. Of course, I’ll give her the option, but I think I’ve come to understand Bailey well.

She loves me fucking her. She’s into it as much as I am, and she looks forward to our times at the club. Hell, the night after she stayed with her mom, she practically attacked me. She was starved for it. Frankly, I’m beyond fascinated with her.

Yes, I’ve been with women that like sex. Love it, even. Crave it, for sure. But there’s something about the way that Bailey and I fit together that makes all that desire seem more potent.

I’m pretty fucking sure that tonight she’ll be in my bed, and there won’t be any fight about it.


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