Three

How the hell I made it down those stairs without killing myself is beyond me. I ran out of there like I was on fire, leaving Mr. Ryan alone in the stairwell slack jawed, clothes askew, and hair standing on end like he’d been molested.

Blowing past the caf? on fourteen, and clearing the final floor landing in a leap—no easy task in these shoes—I pushed open the metal door and leaned against the wall, panting.

What just happened? Did I just fuck my boss on the stairs? I gasped and my hands flew over my mouth. Did I order him to? Oh, Jesus. What the hell was wrong with me?

Dazed, I stumbled away from the wall and up a few flights into the closest restroom. I did a quick check under all the stalls to make sure they were empty and then turned the lock on the main door. As I approached the bathroom mirror, I winced. I looked like I’d been ridden hard and put out to dry.

My hair was a nightmare. All my carefully styled waves were now a mass of wild tangles. Apparently Mr. Ryan liked my hair down. I’d have to remember that.

Wait. What? Where the hell did that come from? I most certainly would not remember that. I slammed my fist on the counter and moved closer to inspect the damage.

My lips were swollen, my makeup smudged; my dress was stretched out and practically hanging on me, and I was once again missing my panties.

Son. Of. A. Bitch. That was the second pair. What was he doing with them, anyway?

“Oh, God!” I said, panicked. They weren’t lying in a pile in the conference room somewhere, were they? Maybe he picked them up and tossed them aside? I should ask him to be sure. But no. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of even acknowledging this . . . this . . . what was this?

I shook my head, scrubbing my face with my hands. God, I’d made a mess of things. When I came in this morning, I’d had a plan. I was going to walk in there, throw that receipt in his pretty little face, and tell him to shove it. But then he’d looked so goddamn sexy in that charcoal Prada suit, and his hair stuck up like a neon sign screaming, Do Me, and I just lost all coherent thought. Pathetic. What was it about him that made my brain turn to mush and my panties wet?

This was not good. How was I going to face him without imagining him naked? Okay, well, not naked. I technically hadn’t seen him completely undressed yet, but what I had seen caused a shiver to run through me.

Oh no. Did I just say “yet”?

I could quit. I thought about that for a minute but didn’t like the way it felt. I loved my job, and Mr. Ryan might be the world’s most epic douchebag, but I’d dealt with that for nine months and—the last twenty-four hours aside—I had him figured out and could handle him like no other. And as much as I hated to admit it, I loved watching him work. He was an asshole because he was both supremely impatient and an obsessive perfectionist; he held everyone to the same standards he set for himself and didn’t put up with anything but the best effort. I had to admit I’d always appreciated the expectation that I would perform better, work harder, and do whatever it took to get the job done—even if I didn’t always love his methods. He really was a genius in the marketing world; his whole family was.

And that was the other thing. His family. My dad was back home in North Dakota, and when I started as a receptionist while still in college, Elliott Ryan had been so good to me. They all had. Bennett’s brother, Henry, was another senior executive and the nicest guy I’d ever met. I loved everyone here, so quitting was simply not an option.

The biggest issue was my scholarship. I needed to present my in-world experience to the JT Miller scholarship board before I completed my MBA, and I wanted my thesis to be a powerhouse. It’s why I stayed on at RMG: Bennett Ryan offered me the Papadakis account—the marketing plan for the multibillionaire land developer—which was a bigger project than anything my peers were working on. Four months wasn’t enough to start somewhere new and have anything good to show for it . . . was it?

No. Definitely couldn’t leave Ryan Media.

With that decided, I knew I needed a plan of action. I had to remain professional and make sure Mr. Ryan and I never, ever happened again, even if this was by far the hottest, most intense sex I’d ever had in my life . . . even when he was withholding orgasms from me.

Ass.

I was a strong, independent woman. I had a career to build and had worked ridiculous hours to get where I was. My mind and body were not ruled by lust. I just had to remember what a jerk he was. He was a womanizing, arrogant, pigheaded asshat who assumed everyone around him was an idiot.

I smiled at myself in the mirror and reeled through a collection of my recent Bennett Ryan memories.

“I appreciate that you got me coffee when you made your own, Miss Mills, but if I’d wanted mud to drink I would have scooped my mug through the garden soil this morning.”

“If you insist on pounding your keyboard as if you’re hammering gophers back home, Miss Mills, I’d appreciate it if you kept the door joining our offices closed.”

“Is there a good reason it’s taking you forever to take the contract drafts to legal? Does daydreaming about farm boys take up all your time?”

Hell, actually, this would be easier than I thought.

Feeling a new sense of determination, I straightened my dress, smoothed my hair, and marched pantiless and confident out of the bathroom. I quickly retrieved the coffee I was after and headed back to my office, making sure to avoid the stairs.

I opened the outer office door and stepped in. The door to Mr. Ryan’s office was shut, and there was no noise coming from inside. Maybe he stepped out. Like I could get so lucky. Sitting in my chair, I pulled open my drawer and removed my cosmetic bag, fixing my makeup before getting back to work. The last thing I wanted to do was face him, but if I didn’t plan on quitting, it would have to be done eventually.

When I looked through the calendar, I remembered Mr. Ryan had a presentation before the other executives on Monday. I grimaced when I realized this meant I would have to talk to him today to prepare materials. He also had a convention in San Diego next month, which meant I would have to be not only in the same hotel as him, but in the plane, the company car, and any meetings that came up as well. No, no awkwardness there at all.

For the next hour, I found myself glancing up at his door. And each time I did, my stomach began to flutter. This was ridiculous! What was wrong with me? I shut the file I was unsuccessfully reading and dropped my head into my hands just as I heard his door open.

Mr. Ryan walked out, not meeting my eyes. He’d straightened his clothes, slung his overcoat over his arm, and had a briefcase in hand, but his hair was still a crazy mess.

“I’m leaving for the rest of the day,” he said, eerily calm. “Cancel my appointments and make any necessary adjustments.”

“Mr. Ryan,” I said, bringing him to a stop, his hand resting on the door. “Please don’t forget you have a presentation to the executive committee on Monday at ten.” I spoke to his back. He stood still as a statue, his muscles tensed. “If you like, I can have the spreadsheets, portfolios, and slide materials set up in the conference room by nine thirty.”

Okay, I was actually kind of enjoying this. There was nothing about his posture that communicated comfortable. He nodded curtly and started to make his way out the door when I stopped him again.

“And, Mr. Ryan?” I added sweetly. “I need your signature on these expense reports before you leave.”

His shoulders dropped and he exhaled harshly. Spinning on his heel to make his way to my desk, he never met my eyes as he leaned over and flipped through the forms to the Sign Here tabs.

I placed a pen on the desk. “Please sign where the tabs are, sir.”

He hated being told to do what he was already doing, and I stifled a laugh. Snatching the pen from me, he slowly raised his chin, bringing his hazel eyes in line with my own. Our eyes locked for what seemed like minutes, neither of us looking away. For a brief moment I had an irresistible urge to lean in and suck on his pouty bottom lip and beg him to touch me.

“Don’t forward my calls,” he spat out, quickly signing the last form and tossing the pen onto my desk. “If there’s an emergency, contact Henry.”

“Bastard,” I murmured to myself as I watched him disappear.

.

To say my weekend sucked would be putting it mildly. I hardly ate, I hardly slept, and what little sleep I did get was interrupted by fantasies of my boss naked above me, beneath me, behind me. I almost wished for the return of classes just so I had something to distract me.

Saturday morning I awoke frustrated and crabby but managed to somehow get myself together and take care of housework and grocery shopping. Sunday morning, however, I was not so lucky. I woke with a start, panting and trembling, my body sweaty and twisted in a mass of cotton sheets. The dream I had was so intense it had actually brought me to orgasm. Mr. Ryan and I had been on the conference table again, but this time we were both completely naked. He was on his back and I straddled him, my body sliding back and forth, up and down his cock. He touched me everywhere: along the sides of my face, down my neck, across my breasts, to my hips, where he guided my movements. I fell to pieces when our eyes met.

“Shit,” I groaned as I pulled myself out of bed. This was going from bad to worse, quickly. Who would have thought working for an angry jackass would result in my getting fucked up against a cold window at work and liking it?

I started the shower, and as I waited for the water to warm, my thoughts began to drift again. I wanted to see his eyes looking up from between my legs, wanted to see his expression as he climbed on top of me, pushed into me, felt how much I wanted him. I ached to hear the sound of his voice saying my name when he came.

My heart sank in my chest. Fantasizing about him was a one-way ticket to trouble. I was on the cusp of getting my graduate degree. He was an executive. He had nothing to lose, and I stood to lose it all.

I showered and dressed quickly to meet Sara and Julia for brunch. Sara and I got to see each other every day at work, but Julia, my best friend since middle school, was tougher to nail down. She was a buyer for Gucci and dutifully filled my closet with samples and overstock. Thanks to her and her discount, I owned some of the most beautiful clothes money could buy. I still paid a pretty penny for them, but it was worth it. I made decent money at Ryan Media, and my scholarship covered all of my school costs, but even I couldn’t spend nineteen hundred dollars on a dress and not want to off myself.

I’d sometimes wondered if Elliott paid me so well because he knew I was the only one who could handle his son. Oh, if only he knew.

I decided that it would be a bad idea to talk to the girls about what was going on. I mean, Sara worked for Henry Ryan and saw Bennett around the building all the time. There was no way I could ask her to keep that kind of secret. Julia on the other hand would kick my ass. For almost a year she’d listened to me complain about what a dick he was, and she would not be happy to find out I was screwing him.

Two hours later I was sitting with my two best friends, drinking mimosas on the patio of our favorite restaurant, talking about men and clothes and work. Julia had surprised me with a dress made from the most sumptuous fabric I’d ever felt. It sat in a garment bag slung over the chair next to me.

“So how’s work going?” Julia asked between bites of her melon. “That douche of a boss still giving you a hard time, Chloe?”

“Oh, Beautiful Bastard.” Sara sighed, and I carefully studied the condensation on my champagne flute. She popped a grape into her mouth and spoke around it. “God, you should see him, Julia. It’s the most perfect nickname I’ve ever heard. He is a god. And I mean that. There’s nothing wrong with him, physically. Perfect face, body, clothes, hair . . . Oh, God, the hair. He’s got that artfully arranged messy thing going on,” she said, motioning above her head. “Looks like he just banged the hell out of someone.”

I rolled my eyes. I never needed a reminder about the hair.

“But—and I don’t know what Chloe has told you—he really is awful,” Sara continued, growing serious. “I mean, I wanted to shove a pocket knife into each of his tires within the first fifteen minutes of meeting him. He is the biggest dick I’ve ever met.”

I almost choked on a piece of pineapple. If Sara only knew. Truly, the man was blessed in the man-parts department. It was unfair.

“Why is he such a jerk?”

“Who knows?” Sara said, and then blinked away as if she was really considering whether he had a good excuse. “Maybe he had a hard childhood?”

“Have you met his family?” I asked, skeptical. “Hello, Norman Rockwell.”

“True,” she conceded. “Maybe it’s some sort of defense mechanism. Like, he’s bitter and feels like he has to work harder and prove himself to everyone all the time because he’s so damn pretty?”

I snorted. “There isn’t a deep reason. He thinks everyone should care as much and work as hard as he does, and most people don’t. It pisses him off.”

“Are you defending him, Chloe?” Sara asked with a surprised grin.

“Definitely not.”

I noticed Julia’s blue eyes were trained on me and had narrowed in silent accusation. I’d done my share of complaining about my boss in the past several months, but maybe I’d never mentioned that he was gorgeous?

“Chloe, have you been holding out on me? Is your boss a hot piece?” she asked.

“He is gorgeous, but his personality makes it pretty hard to appreciate.” I tried to be as nonchalant as I could. Julia had a way of reading every thought I had.

“Well,” she said, shrugging her shoulders and taking a long sip of her drink, “maybe he’s pissed off because he’s got a tiny dick.”

I tipped back my champagne flute as my two friends howled in fits of laughter.

.

Monday morning, I was a bundle of nerves as I made my way into the building. I’d made my decision: I wasn’t going to sacrifice my job because of our lack of judgment. I wanted to finish this position with a stellar presentation for the scholarship board and then leave and start my career. No more sex, no more fantasizing. I could easily work—business only—with Mr. Ryan for another few months.

Feeling the need for a boost of confidence, I wore the new dress Julia had given me. It hugged my curves without looking too provocative. But my secret confidence weapon was my underwear. I’d always had a thing for expensive lingerie, and early on had learned where to hunt for the best sales. Wearing something sexy under my clothes was empowering, and the pair I had on would most certainly do the trick. They were black silk in front, embellished with embroidery, and the back consisted of a series of delicate tulle ribbons, crisscrossing to meet in the center near my tailbone with a dainty black bow. With each step, the fabric of my dress caressed my bare skin. I could take whatever Mr. Ryan had to say today, and I could dish it right back to him.

I’d arrived early to have time to prepare for the presentation. It wasn’t strictly my job, but Mr. Ryan refused to have a dedicated assistant, and when left to his own devices, he was a disaster at making meetings pleasant: no coffee, no pastries, just a room full of people, pristine slides and handouts, and, as always, endless work.

The lobby was empty; the wide space opened three stories up and gleamed with polished granite flooring and travertine walls. As the elevator doors closed behind me, I gave myself a mental pep talk, recounting all the arguments we’d had and the jackass comments he’d made.

“Type, don’t write anything longhand. Your handwriting looks like a third grader’s, Miss Mills.”

“If I wanted to enjoy your entire conversation with your graduate advisor, I’d leave my office door open and get some popcorn. Please, keep your voice down.”

I could do this. That bastard had picked the wrong woman to mess with, and I’d be damned if I would let him intimidate me. I lowered my hand to my ass and smiled wickedly . . . power panties.

As I expected, the office was still empty when I arrived. I gathered everything he would need for his presentation and headed to the conference room to set up. I tried to ignore the Pavlovian response I had to seeing the wall of windows, the gleaming conference table.

Stop it, body. Engage now, brain.

Glancing around the sun-filled room, I set the files and laptop on the large conference table and helped the catering staff set up the breakfast spread along the back wall.

Twenty minutes later the proposals were set out, the projector was prepared, and refreshments were ready. With time to spare I found myself wandering over to the window. I reached out and touched the smooth glass, overwhelmed by the sensations it brought; the heat of his body against my back, the feel of the cool glass against my breasts, and the raw animalistic sound of his voice in my ear.

“Ask me to make you come.”

I closed my eyes and leaned in, pressing my palms and forehead against the window, and let the power of the memories overtake me.

I was startled from my fantasy by a throat clearing behind me. “Daydreaming on the clock?”

“Mr. Ryan,” I gasped, spinning around. Our eyes locked and I was once again struck by how beautiful he was. He broke eye contact to survey the room.

“Miss Mills,” he said, each word sharp and clipped. “I’ll be giving the presentation on the fourth floor.”

“Excuse me?” I asked, irritation flooding me. “Why? We always use this room. And why did you wait until the last minute to tell me?”

“Because,” he growled, leaning on his fists on the table, “I am the boss. I make the rules, and I decide when and where things happen. Maybe if you weren’t intent on staring out windows, you would have taken the time this morning to come confirm the details with me.”

My mind flooded with white-hot images of my fist connecting with his throat. It took every bit of control I had not to jump across the table and strangle him. A smug smile crept over his face.

“Fine by me,” I said, swallowing my annoyance. “No good decisions are ever made in this room anyway.”

.

When I turned the corner into the new conference room, my eyes immediately met Mr. Ryan’s. Sitting in his chair, his hands predictably tented in front of him, he was the portrait of barely contained patience. Typical.

Then I noticed the person beside me: Elliott Ryan.

“Here, let me help you with that, Chloe,” he said, taking a stack of folders from my arms so I could more easily maneuver the cart full of food into the room.

“Thank you, Mr. Ryan.” I shot a pointed look at my boss.

“Chloe,” the elder Mr. Ryan said, laughing. He took some handouts and sent the stack around the table for the attendees to take. “How many times do I need to tell you to call me Elliott?” He was every bit as handsome as both of his sons. Tall and muscular, all three Ryan men shared the same chiseled features. Elliott’s salt-and-pepper hair had turned silver over the years since I’d first met him, but he was still one of the most handsome men I’d ever met.

I smiled gratefully at him as I sat down. “How is Susan doing?”

“She’s doing fine. She keeps bugging me about having you over,” he added with a wink. It didn’t escape my attention that the youngest Mr. Ryan snorted in annoyance beside me.

“Please tell her hi from me.”

Footsteps sounded behind me and a hand reached out to gently tug my ear. “Hey, kiddo,” Henry Ryan said, giving me a wide grin. He turned to address the rest of the room. “Sorry I’m late, guys. I guess I thought we were meeting up on your floor.”

I chanced a smug look out of the corner of my eye, meeting my boss’ gaze. The stack of handouts came back to me and I handed a copy to him. “Here you are, Mr. Ryan.”

Without so much as a glance, he snatched the stack and began leafing through them.

Dick.

Just as I was taking my seat, Henry’s boisterous voice called out, “Oh, Chloe, while I was up there waiting, I found these on the floor.” I walked over to him and saw two antiqued silver buttons sitting in his palm. “Would you ask around and see if anyone’s lost these? They look kind of expensive.”

I felt my face heat. I had completely forgotten about my ruined shirt. “Um . . . sure.”

“Henry, can I see those for a minute?” Jackass suddenly chimed in, taking them from his brother. He turned to me with a wicked smirk in place. “Don’t you have a blouse with buttons like these?”

I glanced quickly around the room; Henry and Elliott were already absorbed in another conversation, oblivious to what was happening between us.

“No,” I said, trying to sound as disinterested as possible. “I don’t.”

“Are you sure?” Taking my hand, he ran a finger from the inside of my arm to my palm before dropping the buttons and closing my hand around them. My breath caught in my throat and my heart pounded fiercely against my chest.

I jerked my hand back as if I’d been burned. “I’m sure.”

“I could have sworn the blouse you wore the other day had little silver buttons. The pink one? I remember because I noticed one of them was loose when you came looking for me upstairs.”

If possible, I felt my face heat further. What was he playing at? Was he trying to insinuate that I had orchestrated a way to get him alone in the conference room?

Leaning in closely, his breath hot on my ear, he whispered, “You really should try to be more careful.”

I attempted to maintain my calm as I lowered my hand from his. “You bastard,” I replied through gritted teeth before he pulled away, looking taken aback.

How could he look surprised, as if I’d been the one to break the rules? It was one thing to be a dick to me, but to jeopardize my reputation in front of other executives—he was going to get an earful later.

Throughout the meeting we cast glances at each other, mine fueled with anger and his with increasing uncertainty. I looked down at the spreadsheets in front of me as much as possible to avoid looking at him.

As soon as it was all over, I gathered my things and got the hell out of there. But as expected, he was hot on my tail all the way to the elevator until we were both seething silently in the back, on our way up to the office.

Why wouldn’t this thing hurry up, and why did someone on every floor decide they needed to use it now? People all around us were talking on phones, shuffling files, discussing lunch plans. The noise grew to a heavy buzz, nearly drowning out the verbal ass-kicking I was giving Mr. Ryan in my head. By the time we reached the eleventh floor, the elevator was almost at capacity. When the door opened and three more people decided to squeeze in, I was pushed farther into him, my back against his chest and my ass against his . . . oh.

I felt the rest of his body stiffen subtly and heard him take a sharp breath. Instead of pressing into him, I stepped as far away as I could. He reached forward and gripped my hip, pulling me back again.

“I liked that ass against me,” he murmured, low and warm into my ear. “Where do you—”

“I’m two seconds away from castrating you with my heel.”

He leaned even closer. “Why are you suddenly more pissy than usual?”

I turned my head and said, in barely a whisper, “It would be just like you to make me look like a career-climbing whore in front of your father.”

He dropped his hand, slack jawed. “No.” Blink. Blink. “What?” Confused Mr. Ryan was surprisingly hot. Bastard. “I was just playing around.”

“What if they’d heard you?”

“They didn’t.”

“They could have.”

He genuinely looked like the thought had never occurred to him, and it probably hadn’t. It was easy for him to play games from his perch at the top. He was the workaholic executive. I was the girl halfway up the ladder.

The person on our left glanced over and we both stood straight, looked forward. I elbowed him sharply in the side, and he pinched my ass hard enough to make me gasp.

“I won’t apologize,” he said under his breath.

Of course you won’t. Dick.

He pressed into me again, and I felt the length of him grow even harder, the traitor warmth spreading between my legs.

We reached the fifteenth floor and a few more people filed out. I reached behind me, slid my hand between us, and palmed him. He exhaled a warm puff against my neck, whispering, “Fuck yes.”

And then I squeezed.

“Fuck. Sorry!” he hissed into my ear. I let go, dropping my hand and grinning to myself. “Christ, I was just playing around with you.”

The sixteenth floor. The rest of the crowd exited in a single rush, apparently headed to the same meeting.

As soon as the doors closed and the elevator began to move, I heard a growl from behind me and caught a quick, sudden movement as Mr. Ryan slammed his hand against the stop button on the control panel. His eyes turned on me and they were darker than I had ever seen them. In one fluid motion, he pinned me against the wall of the elevator with his body. He pulled away just long enough to give me an angry glare and mutter, “Don’t move.”

And even though I wanted to tell him to fuck off, my body begged me to do whatever he said.

Reaching over to my discarded files, he plucked a sticky note off the top and placed it over the camera lens set into the ceiling.

His face was only a couple of inches from mine, his breath coming out in sharp bursts against my cheek. “I would never imply you’re trying to fuck your way to the top.” He exhaled, bending into my neck. “You’re thinking too much.”

I pulled back as much as I could, gaping at him. “You’re not thinking enough. This is my career we’re talking about. You have all of the power here. You have nothing to lose.”

“I have the power? You’re the one who pressed into my dick in the elevator. You’re the one doing this to me.”

I felt my expression soften; I wasn’t used to seeing him be vulnerable with me, even a little. “Then don’t blindside me.”

After a long pause, he nodded.

The sound of the building all around us filled the elevator as we continued to stare at each other. The ache for contact began to build, first in my navel and spreading lower, between my legs.

He bent forward, licking my jaw before covering my lips with his, and an involuntary groan rumbled in my throat as his hardened cock pressed against my stomach. My body began acting on instinct and my leg wrapped around his, pressing me closer against his arousal, my hands finding their way to his hair. He pulled back just long enough for his fingers to flick at the clasp at my waist. My dress drifted apart in front of him.

“Such an angry kitty,” he whispered. Placing his hands on my shoulders, he looked into my eyes and slid the fabric to the floor. Goose bumps spread along my skin as he took my hands, turned me around, and pressed my palms against the wall.

Reaching up, he removed the silver comb from my hair, letting it fall down my naked back. Taking my hair in his hands, he roughly pulled my head to the side, giving him access to my neck. Hot, wet kisses rained down my spine and across my shoulders. His touch left a spark of electricity over every inch of skin he touched. On his knees behind me, he grabbed my ass and pressed his teeth into the flesh, eliciting a sharp gasp from me before he stood back up.

Holy hell, how does he know to do these things to me?

“Did you like that?” His fingers pressed and pulled at my breasts. “Being bitten on the ass?”

“Maybe.”

“You’re such a filthy fucking girl.”

I yelped out in surprise as I felt his hand smack hard where his teeth had just been, and my only response was a moan of pleasure. I breathed in another sharp gasp as his hands clasped the delicate ribbons of my underwear and ripped it off.

“Expect another bill, asshole.”

He chuckled darkly and pressed up against me again, the cool wall against my breasts sending shivers through my body and pulling forward the memory of the window that first time. I’d forgotten how good the contrast—cold versus warm, hard versus him—felt against me. “Worth every penny.” His hand slid around my waist and down my abdomen, slipping lower until his finger rested on my clit. “You know, I think you wear those things just to tease me.”

Was he right? Was I delusional, thinking they were for me?

The pressure from his touch caused me to ache, his fingers pressing and releasing, leaving me wanting. Moving lower, he stopped right at my entrance. “You’re so wet. God, you must have been thinking about this all morning.”

“Fuck you,” I groaned, gasping as his finger finally pushed inside, pressing me back into him.

“Say it. Say it and I’ll give you what you want.” A second finger joined the first, and the sensation caused me to cry out.

I shook my head, but my body betrayed me again. He sounded so needy; his words were teasing and controlling, but it felt like he was begging too. I closed my eyes, trying to clear my thoughts, but everything was just too much. The feel of his clothed body against my naked skin, the sound of his rough voice, and the feeling of his long fingers plunging in and out of me had me teetering on the edge. His other hand reached up, firmly pinching my nipple through the sheer fabric of my bra, and I moaned loudly. I was so close.

“Say it,” he grunted into my ear as his thumb rolled over my clit. “I won’t have you angry with me all day.”

I gave in, finally, whispering, “I want you inside me.” He let out a low, strangled moan and his forehead rested on my shoulder as he began moving faster, plunging and circling. His hips ground against my ass, his erection rubbing against me. “Oh, God,” I moaned, the coil tightening deep inside, my every thought focused on the pleasure begging to break free.

And then the rhythmic sounds of our panting and groans were suddenly interrupted by the shrill ringing of a phone.

We stilled as the realization of where we were crashed down on us. Mr. Ryan cursed as he moved away from me and took the elevator’s emergency receiver.

Turning, I grabbed my dress, slipped it over my shoulders, and began fastening it with shaking hands.

“Yes.” He sounded so calm, not even a little out of breath. Our eyes locked across the elevator. “I see . . . No, we’re fine . . .” He bent over slowly, removing my torn and discarded panties from the elevator floor. “No, it just stopped.” He listened to the person on the other end, while rubbing the silky fabric between his fingers. “That’s fine.” He finished, hanging up the phone.

The elevator jerked as it began ascending again. He looked down at the lace in his hand and then back to me. And then he smirked, stepping away from the wall and stalking toward me. Placing one hand next to my head, he leaned in, running his nose along my neck and whispering, “You smell as good as you feel.”

A small gasp escaped me.

“And these,” he said, motioning to my panties in his hand, “are mine.”

The elevator chimed as we stopped at our floor. The doors opened and without a single glance back in my direction, he slipped the delicate fabric into the pocket of his suit jacket and strode out.

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