Craving My BossBy: Tasha Fawkes
My jaw drops. I pull myself together and curtail my emotions. Oh, but it’s so hard. He wants to publish my book? How—he leans against the window and crosses his arms over his chest, studying my reaction with just the hint of a smile.
“Is that a ‘yes’?”
“You know you aren’t beholden to what I want just because I’m the CEO. You may work for me, but what you write is yours and yours alone. All I’m offering you is a platform and the opportunity to publish with the biggest independent company in the country.”
“And would you advise me to turn down that opportunity?” I ask him, recovering with admirable confidence, if I do say so myself.
“There’s more to my terms. I want to personally represent you.”
My heart skips a beat. “But if… say my book is a success.” Just thinking it is was exhilarating, let alone saying it out loud. “Say I decide to become an author full-time. You’ll lose an editorial assistant.”
“I’ll lose a damn good one,” he agrees. “But hopefully I’ll have gained a client. One eager to continue repeating her successes.”
“If my book is a success.”
“I don’t think you understand what you’re sitting on, Miss Shiels.”
He pushes himself away from the window and walks behind my chair. I try to follow him with my eyes, but wind up facing forward as he pauses directly behind my chair. His hands come to a rest on my shoulders, so close the knuckles of each thumb brush against the skin of my neck. I barely quell an excited shudder.
Is he trying to seduce me? That’s what my intrepid heroine would ask, but I can’t bring myself to form the question.
“No. You don’t understand.” Daniel crouches down behind my chair and his voice drops to an almost-whisper. “But you will.”
I shiver as his breath warms the back of my neck. “I’m sorry?”
“You’re a talented editorial assistant, Miss, Shiels, and it shows through your writing.”
He withdraws his hands and moves to my side. I sink back into the chair, heart pounding in my chest.
“But there are still places in the book where your research falls short,” Daniel concludes as he sits down in his chair.
I study him, not sure what he’s getting at. “Such as?”
He grins. “A few scenes come to mind.”
I find it difficult to swallow. Judging by his expression, I think I know exactly the scenes he means. I’m certainly not going to argue that I have any firsthand knowledge of the bondage lifestyle. His next words could knock me over with a feather.
“I want you to have lunch with me tomorrow.”
“I’m sorry?” I ask. Obviously, it’s not the response I intend, but the only one I can manage at this point. I’m sure I mishear him… or maybe my lust-addled brain fails to compute his request the way he means it.
Daniel looks faintly annoyed at having to repeat himself, but I swear, there’s an amused twist to his normally reserved smile that I’ve never seen before.
“I said, would you like to have lunch with me tomorrow, Miss Shiels?”
That’s not what you said at all, I realize. The first version of his invitation wasn’t an invitation: it was a command. A thrill of excitement shudders through me. It’s probably just my imagination… Anyway, Daniel is doubtless used to giving orders, considering he’s the CEO. It’s probably second nature for him to frame his invite that way.
“I’m sorry…” I clear my throat. “Yes, of course, I would love to have lunch with you tomorrow, Daniel. Mister Stone… Daniel.” Why does every version of his name suddenly sound like an intimacy I haven’t earned yet? I blame the way he’s looking at me. There’s no way a girl can hope to feel platonic or professional with those gorgeous green eyes of his fixed on her. I wish my body didn’t interpret his look as a signal to get so aroused. Already I can feel heat between my legs, kindling to a slow burn. One prolonged glance between us and I’m wetter than Stewart’s clinical fumbling has ever managed.
“Good,” he says. “I look forward to it.”
I want to kick myself. His reply is perfectly formal—mine, on the other hand, definitely employs the use of the L-word. I nod quickly and rise, heading for the door before I can say something that will—
“Oh, and Miss Shiels?”
I turn, foolish heart leaping into my throat. He smiles, wide and brilliant and beautiful, and I know I could die happy on my way out the door knowing that mouth, belonging to that man, invited me to lunch. Never mind that he wants to represent my novel.