Wild for HimBy: Elizabeth Lennox
A Steele Brothers Novella
“I’m joining you,” Mindy announced, sitting down at the picnic table across from the big guy. She read between the stern lines of Gus McMann’s always-serious expression and brightened her smile, not allowing his scary look to intimidate her. Or, at the very least, not letting him know that she was quaking in her heels.
“I know you don’t want me here although, I don’t really understand why. Fortunately, that’s never stopped me before and,” she stared up at his craggy features that always made her heart pitter patter and carried on, “we’re going to be friends and I won’t take no for an answer. So just stop glaring at me, Gus. Regardless,” she told him, not daring to look up at him because she would probably stand up and run away. The man was more than slightly intimidating! “I’m joining you and we’re going to figure out what I’ve done to make you hate me. Because this silent treatment you’ve got going on?” She pulled her tuna sandwich out of her bag and smoothed the paper down onto the wood of the picnic table. “Yeah, I don’t like the silent treatment. It bothers me.” She waved her red-tipped fingers in the air dismissively. “Makes me crazy.”
Mindy unwrapped the wax paper from her sandwich but didn’t take a bite. Her hands were trembling too intensely and she was trying to put on a brave front. Tucking stray dark curls behind her ear, she took a deep breath, trying to fortify herself in the face of his continued silence.
“So!” she took a deep breath and looked up at the big lumberjack. “Tell me…did I hurt your feelings somehow when I first took this job?” Mindy was the flight manager for Steele Industries. She was in charge of ensuring that the four private planes that flew Steele Industries employees around the world were mechanically sound, on schedule, flight plans submitted and food on board. She did it all and, she didn’t like to brag, but she was damn good at her job.
Even more, she was nice! She was a very friendly person! She’d made friends with everyone in the building that worked at the private airport. If there was someone who worked there and she wasn’t friends with them, it was only because she hadn’t met them yet.
This guy was the lone holdout. Gus owned the cargo shipping company that also had offices in the building. The man owned fifty planes and delivered cargo all over the world. She knew he was busy but…well, he never spoke to her. Never even said hello. Mindy heard him greeting others and, okay, sometimes all they received was a curt nod, but when she came around, he barely even acknowledged her.
Since their offices were right across the hall from each other, and the man was smokin’ hot – she wanted to at least be friends with him.
Okay, total honesty, she wanted to be more than friends with him. She wanted to walk into his office, plunk herself down on his lap and kiss him. Hmmm….yeah, she wanted more than just a kiss. Her imagination was quite good. This man and a desk…oh, the possibilities were endless!
Clearing her throat, she focused once again on trying to find out why he hated her so much.
“Anyway, you have lunch here every day. I usually eat lunch at my desk. So I thought to myself…” She paused and smiled up at him, “I do that a lot although you won’t need to worry about what I’m thinking. My mother tells everyone that all of my thoughts just come right out my mouth. I have no filter,” she laughed. “So yes, I just thought that I would come down here and enjoy my lunch with you. Today.”
Still silence. And worse, he was looking at her with a strange look in his eyes. Since she didn’t really know the man very well, she couldn’t interpret that look. It seemed heated in a way, but Gus was one of those men who didn’t show many emotions.
Actually, he didn’t show any emotion. The man was blank. He was one of the most attractive men she’d ever met in her life, had that whole tough-guy, lumberjack image going on, complete with a rough flannel shirt and jeans that seemed to be his uniform every, single day – and the scruffy beard, dark eyes and thick eyebrows.
Mindy had to clear her throat as her eyes moved over his features. She would have fanned herself, feeling a bit overheated with her perusal, but she didn’t want to give away anything. And she definitely didn’t want to scare the guy. Boy, if he knew some of the dreams that woke her up at night, starring this man in his…well, wearing nothing at all…he would….um…she didn’t know him well enough to know what he might do.