I make my way down the cold New York street, coffee tray in hand. It wobbled a bit, and for the life of me, I’ve never understood why they can’t make these little cardboard things sturdier. But it doesn’t matter. Even if the coffee is wobbly and I’m freezing my ass off and I’m terrified of my heel going through a subway grate, today is going to be a good day. Today has to be a good day.
After years of doing nothing but making copies and getting coffee and being asked to come up with marketing ideas that were completely ignored, I’ve been promoted. Though I should probably use the term promoted loosely—more like a stroke of good luck. The promotion came with a late-night phone call and a red-eye flight from Seattle after the three people ahead of me in line got food poisoning from bad shrimp at the New Year’s party and were too sick to fly. My hatred of seafood has never felt more justified than it does today.
Anyway, I’ve got the job now. I can finally put marketing associate on my resume, and not just ‘assistant to the marketing director.’ Not to mention that I get to work with Chris Flintlock, which is a dream come true. The man is as brilliant as he is handsome, and he is really fucking hot. He came to Ellison media a couple of years ago when it was basically a sinking ship, and his new ideas, new ways of attracting clients, new methods of thinking about marketing, turned everything around. He saved everyone’s jobs—including mine. Now we have a few huge clients, and are searching for more.
That’s why I’m in New York fighting icy winds. Ellison has meetings with the sex toy company The Pleasure Chest. A small boutique chain of stores, they have the potential to explode. Chris needs another set of hands in these meetings. That’s why I’m here.
I’m meeting Chris downtown at an office building. He’s just had a meeting with one of our existing clients to touch base and see how they’re feeling about everything, and they agreed to wait for me there. My small rolling suitcase gets stuck for a moment, and I nearly fall. I manage to keep the coffee from spilling—just barely. Bringing Chris coffee isn’t in my job description, but I figure after a day of meetings with the most important one still to go, he’ll appreciate the caffeine boost. I wasn’t actually supposed to have to walk this far, but I got the address wrong. I think I’m just around the corner from where I’m supposed to be, but even this short amount of time in the wind has me freezing. Being from Seattle, I thought I’d prepared well enough. Guess not. I imagine this would be easier if it weren’t the middle of winter when it gets dark before the work day ends. It’s barely eight o’clock and it feels like midnight.
The building itself is nondescript, just a tall building surrounded by other tall buildings. The lobby is beautiful, with polished marble floors and a large security desk—though the guard doesn’t look twice as I walk past him to the elevators. I look at the building map and press the up button, heading up to the fifth floor and Colson Foods. The lobby is clean and corporate, and I park my suitcase by one of the chairs, and take off my coat. The receptionist gives me a funny look, but I try to give her my best smile. “I’m Scarlett Brown, my colleague Chris Flintlock is here for a meeting?”
The receptionist’s face turns into a dazzled smile. “You’re here with Chris? He’s straight back in the main conference room. You can’t miss it—you’ll see him through the glass walls.”
“Thanks,” I say, retrieving the papers I need to take in to Chris, and the coffee tray. I try not to smirk as I walk past the girl, imagining the kind of flirting she was subjected to. Chris is a notorious flirt, but as far as being a playboy, I’ve heard nothing. I think the flirting gets him what he wants. As far as that receptionist goes, she’ll give him whatever he wants.
This hallway is longer than I thought, but the girl was right, I do see him. He’s sitting alone in the conference room, papers spread out in front of him. I take the moment to look at him. He never fails to be gorgeous—blond hair just long enough to sweep into his eyes, and a suit that accentuates every inch of his frame. I know from seeing him in the office that he clears six feet easily, and no suit hides the fact that he’s cut like a diamond—though I can’t figure out how he possibly has time to go to the gym when he’s constantly flying across the country. If I had to eat that much airport food I would be the size of Charlie Brown’s magic pumpkin.
Anyone who works in the Seattle office will tell you that whenever Chris comes in it’s a good day, mostly because getting to look at him would make just about anyone happy. That might be shallow, but what Chris doesn’t know won’t hurt him.
I head towards the door of the conference room, not wanting to just lurk outside until he notices me staring like a stalker. I push the door open, and Chris looks up. I see his reaction almost before I realize what’s happening. There’s a step up into the room that I didn’t notice. My heel has caught the step, and I already know that there’s no saving me from this fall.
Suddenly I’m on the floor and looking at the ceiling. I feel spots of wetness as drops of coffee sink into my shirt, and I hear fluttering as the last of the papers I was holding settle. Then it’s entirely silent. In the corner of my eye I can see Chris’s reflection in the glass, his mouth hanging open in shock.
“Wow,” I say.
My voice seems to spur him into action, suddenly jumping up and making his way around the table to me. “Are you all right?” he asks, concern flowing through his voice. I sit up, fighting the dizziness I feel. It only lasts for a second though, and then I’m face to face with Chris as he leans down to help me up. He puts his arm around my waist and practically lifts me into a chair. Then he’s even closer to my face, looking in my eyes. His eyes are bluer than I thought, crystal clear and gorgeous. I’ve never been this close to him, and the close up is just as good as the wide shot. He leans down, circling my ankle with his hand. “That looked nasty. Does this hurt? I want to make sure you didn’t sprain anything.”
I don’t know if it’s the fact that I just fell and have adrenaline racing through my body at the speed of a freight train, or the fact that I’ve always had a little bit of a crush on him, but the sight of Christopher Flintlock kneeling in front of me sends fireworks shooting through my brain. I can think of a hundred different ways for this scene to continue, almost all of them ending with us naked and me screaming his name.
His hands move from one ank
le to the other, gently rotating. “Any pain?”
I shake my head. If anything, his hands on me makes me feel better than I’ve felt in a long time. Chris looks up at me and gives me a small smile. “I know who you are, you know,” he says.
My eyebrows shoot into my hair. “You do?”
“I’ve noticed you in the office. It always seems like you’re running around the office doing something or other. Most of the time I don’t notice assistants. I always noticed you.”
“Really?” I swallow, my mouth suddenly dry.
“Really,” he says, his hand drawing up the back of my leg, “I’m glad you’re the one they sent, it’ll be nice to take this few days to…get to know each other better. What do you think?”
My heart is beating so fast, he can probably hear it. “I think I’d like that,” I say. “I’d like it even better if we started now.”
Chris raises an eyebrow, sliding his hand up my leg, inching it up beneath my skirt. His fingers reach my panties, and he leans closer to me, lowering his voice. “Normally, I wouldn’t do this with a colleague. And normally I wouldn’t go this fast. But I just can’t help myself.” He slides his fingers through my folds, feeling how wet his words have made me, and I feel the brush of his lips on mine. He slides a finger into me, and I’m in heaven, tremors of pleasure skating outward along my nerves.
“Hello?” I open my eyes to Chris’s concerned eyes looking into mine. “You okay? You zoned out for a second there.”