Captivated by You(4)By: Sylvia Day
“I don’t want to be on the outside, either.”
She linked her fingers with mine. “Spending private time with friends doesn’t make us any less of a couple.”
“I prefer to spend time with you. You’re the most interesting person I know.”
Her eyes widened and she stared at me. Then she exploded into movement, hitching up her skirt and straddling me before I realized what she was doing. Cupping my face in her hands, she pressed her gloss-slick lips to mine and kissed me senseless.
“Umm,” I moaned, as she pulled away breathlessly. My fingers flexed into the generous curve of her gorgeous ass. “Do that again.”
“I’m so hot for you right now,” she breathed, rubbing my lips clean with her thumb.
“I’m good with that.”
Her husky laugh slid all around me. “I feel so awesome right now.”
“Better than you did in the hallway?” Her joy was infectious. If I could’ve stopped time, I would have at that moment.
“That’s a different kind of awesome.” Her fingertips tap-danced on my shoulders. She was … radiant when she was happy, and her pleasure brightened everything around her. Even me. “That was the best compliment, ace. Especially coming from the Gideon Cross. You meet fascinating people every day.”
“And wish they’d go away so I can get back to you.”
Her eyes glistened. “God, I love you so much it hurts.”
My hands shook and I dug them into the backs of her thighs to hide it from her. My gaze wandered, trying to latch on to something that would anchor me.
If she only knew what she did to me with those three little words.
She hugged me. “I want you to do something for me,” she murmured.
“Let’s have a party.”
Seizing the opportunity to move on to other topics … “Great. I’ll set up the swing.”
Pulling back, Eva shoved at my shoulder. “Not that kind of party, fiend.”
I sighed. “Bummer.”
She gave me a wicked smile. “How about I promise the swing in return for the party?”
“Ah, now we’re talking.” I settled back, enjoying her immensely. “Tell me what you have in mind.”
“Booze and friends, yours and mine.”
“All right.” I considered the possibilities. “I’ll see you your booze and friends, and raise you a quickie in a dark corner somewhere during.”
Her throat worked on a quick swallow and I smiled inwardly. I knew my angel well. Indulging her closet exhibitionism was a complete 360 turnaround for me, and though it still amazed me when I thought about it, I didn’t mind in the least. There was nothing I wouldn’t do for those moments when the only thing that mattered to her was being filled with my cock.
“You drive a hard bargain,” she said.
“Exactly my intention.”
“Okay, then.” She licked her lips. “I’ll see you your quickie and raise you a hand job under the table.”
My brows rose. “Clothed,” I countered.
Something that sounded like a purr rumbled in the air between us. “I think you need to revisit and revise, Mr. Cross.”
“I think you’ll need to work harder to convince me, Mrs. Cross.”
She was, as always, the most invigorating negotiation of my day.
WE separated on the twentieth floor, where she exited the elevator into the Waters Field & Leaman foyer. I was determined to get her on my team and working for me. It was an objective I strategized every day.
When I reached my office, my assistant was already at his desk.
“Good morning,” Scott greeted me, standing as I approached. “PR called a few minutes ago. They’re fielding an unusual amount of inquiries about a rumored engagement between you and Miss Tramell. They’d like to know how to respond.”
“They should confirm.” I passed him and went to the coatrack in the corner behind my desk.
He followed. “Congratulations.”
“Thank you.” I shrugged out of my jacket and slung it on a hook. When I glanced at him again, he was grinning.
Scott Reid handled myriad tasks for me with quiet care, which led others to often underestimate him and allow him to go unnoticed. On more than one occasion, his detailed observations of individuals had proven extremely insightful, and so I overpaid him for his position to keep him from going anywhere else.
“Miss Tramell and I will marry before the end of the year,” I told him. “All interview and photo requests for either of us should be routed through Cross Industries. And tell security downstairs the same. No one should get to her without going through me first.”
“I’ll let them know. Also, Mr. Madani wanted to be notified when you got in. He’d like a few minutes with you before the meeting this morning.”
“I’m ready when he is.”
“Great,” Arash Madani said, walking in. “There used to be days when you were here before seven. You’re slacking off, Cross.”
I shot the lawyer a warning look that carried no heat. Arash lived to work and was damned good at it, which is why I hired him away from his former employer. He’d been the toughest counsel I had ever run across, and in the years since, that hadn’t changed.
Gesturing at one of the two chairs in front of my desk, I took my seat and watched him take his. His dark blue suit was simple but bespoke, his wavy black hair tamed by a precision cut. Sharp intelligence marked his dark brown eyes, extending to a smile that was more warning than greeting. He was a friend as well as an employee, and I valued his lack of bullshit.
“We’ve received a respectable bid on the property on Thirty-sixth,” he said.
“Oh?” A tangle of emotions held my reply for a moment. The hotel Eva hated remained a problem as long as I owned it. “That’s good.”
“That’s curious,” he shot back, setting one ankle on the opposite knee, “considering how slowly the market’s recovering. I had to dig through several layers, but the bidder is a subsidiary of LanCorp.”
“Cocky. Landon knows the next highest bid is a ways off—about ten million ways. I recommend we pull the property off the market and revisit in a year or two.”
“No.” Sitting back, I waved away the suggestion. “Let him have it.”
Arash blinked. “Are you shitting me? Why are you in such a hurry to get rid of that hotel?”
Because I can’t keep it in my holdings without hurting my wife. “I have my reasons.”