The One Nighter(5)

By: Shauna Hart

The things he could do.

“Was it?” he asked.

She opened her mouth, her gaze lowering as she felt the power of his body against hers. Her nipples peaked at the thrill of feeling him so close. Images were already stirring in her mind. Thoughts of what would happen if she gave into him again.

“So, when would you like to go over the accounts tomorrow?”

She blinked as she tried to follow him in the conversation switch.

One minute he had her ready to fall into his arms, and the next he wanted to talk business?

“Uh… We can start at ten o’ clock.” She heard the words tumble out of her mouth, knowing she sounded like an idiot.

“That would be great, Ms. Brighton. I look forward to being graced with your expertise,” he explained, turning away to pick up his glass and sit down.

She couldn’t believe it!

Had she just been dismissed?

Chapter 4

Walking back to her desk, she tried to get a grip on her raging temper.

She couldn’t believe it!

How dare he dismiss her? Who did he think he was?

The answer was glaringly clear.

He was her boss.

And she had no choice but to get used to it.

As much as she wanted to walk in there and hand him her notice, she knew she couldn’t. There was no way she could take that risk. She had bills to pay. It wasn’t like she had a roommate or even family who could help her out until she found something new. And, let’s face it, unemployment only paid enough to be embarrassing.

She was truly on her own.

But until this moment, she had never felt alone.

It wasn’t fair. Fair seemed to have left the building when Connor Mason walked back into her life. If only she had more time… Time to come up with a plan, time to find something else.

But she didn’t.

Yanking her purse out of the drawer, she swiveled in her chair to slide her sweater off the back. As she stood up, Jill appeared. The normally infectious smile she offered did nothing to lift her spirits.

“So?” she began, her eyebrows arched high.

“So, what?” she bit back.

“Did you meet him?” she inquired.

“Uh huh,” she replied, gritting her teeth.

Jill rolled her eyes. “Well, what’s he like?” she prodded.

She let out a huff of aggravation. “It was kind of like meeting the devil face to face.”

Her grin widened. “Sounds sinful,” she purred, her eyebrows wiggling up and down.

Melanie shook her head. “Look, I need to get out of here,” she said, pushing past her.

Jill frowned. “Where are you going in such a rush?”

She jerked her purse higher on her shoulder. “Anywhere but here.”

“I know what will cheer you up. Come have a drink with me at Charlie’s, and you can tell me all about him.”

Her lips formed a thin line. “No offense, Jill. But the last thing I want to talk about is Connor Mason.”

With that, she left Jill to stare after her. As she drove home, guilt intruded on her personal melancholy. She hadn’t meant to be rude. It wasn’t Jill’s fault that she’d slept with their new owner a year ago.

No, the fault lay resolutely in her lap.

It didn’t seem right that the one time she let go of her inhibitions, she would be punished so severely. Everyone had a lapse in judgment once in a while, didn’t they?

So, why did hers have to come back?

The worst part was that she knew she had to face him again tomorrow. She felt like she was in the middle of a Scrooge tale, only she couldn’t change the channel. Still, no matter how many times she tried to look away, it was always there glaring back at her in the end.

Tomorrow, she would have to face the devil again.

All she could do was hope that she was strong enough to resist the sin.

* * * *

He couldn’t believe it.

After months of thinking about her, wondering where she was, she turned up in his office. It was the worst kind of irony. Especially now. Maybe he should’ve expected it. It seemed to be some sort of universal law that whenever his life started going well, something blindsided him. Still, of all the things that could’ve happened, she always would have been the least likely. Hell, he’d thought he would never see her again.

But he couldn’t deny that seeing her again wasn’t completely unwelcome.