All work and no play? Not for this girl. Not anymore.
Melissa Sparks has had enough. Enough of being an overachiever, enough of having no social life, enough of being lonely. Just this once she wants a change. Something different. Something that looks very much like her business associate, Ben Cowley.
Ben is all alone in the deserted offices of Preston Elks. He’s gorgeous, he’s single and he’s been her secret fantasy for the last two years. It’s a split-second decision, but there’s no going back.
When Ben looks up from his desk, the last thing he expects to see is his too-serious, straight-laced colleague stripping naked. It’s been a year since his last relationship ended, and though he’s still picking up the pieces, Melissa throws his carefully balanced world off its axis. So does her offer: a brief affair, no strings attached.
Right about the time he realizes a simple affair will never be enough, she’s back in professional mode—and clearly as distant as ever. Now it’s up to him to show her that what they have is no fluke…and he’ll do whatever it takes to convince her. Even if it means inviting another man into their bed.
Product WarningsThis book contains a man haunted by his past decisions, a woman determined to succeed, sex hot enough to steam up every office window on the block, and a voyeur who gets off watching those windows steam up.
Copyright © 2012 Jess Dee
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
“We’re a team, Ben. We work together. If a problem arises, we solve it together. We have for the last two years. There’s no reason we can’t approach this situation in exactly the same way.”
Typical Melissa. Always ready to lend a colleague a helping hand, to help others in need. But Ben’s need wasn’t work-related this time, so asking for her help didn’t feel right. “Sure there is. Business is business. It involves both of us. This is personal. It’s my issue. Not yours.”
Melissa folded her arms under her breasts, letting her jacket hang down from her hand and trail past her waist to her legs. “When it affects your work, it’s my issue too.”
Her stance pulled Ben’s attention away from her face once again. His gaze snagged on her breasts—which rested prettily above her arms—before trailing down to her legs. She had good legs. Slim calves and feminine ankles that looked fine in heels. The midleg length of her skirt revealed a shapely pair of knees.
Nice. Very nice.
She should show off her body more often. From what he’d seen of it tonight, it was a body worth showing off. Funny how he’d never noticed that before. But then he’d never taken the time to think of Melissa out of a work context before.
She was smart, goal-oriented, a hard worker, always available to the staff who reported to her. He’d heard nothing but praise from their colleagues, and felt nothing but respect himself. In fact, she reminded him of himself. Not the well-respected part, but the goal-oriented, driven bit. She was so like him at work, the two of them would probably get along famously if they ever tried to be friends.
Why had they never tried to be friends? Apart from a little office flirting, Ben had never even considered the idea.
“So you have a solution to my hardness, anger and tension?”
Melissa nodded slowly, thoughtfully. “Actually, I do.”
Ben couldn’t resist flirting, couldn’t resist the urge to bring a smile to her face. He wanted to see what she looked like with her luscious lips curved into a big grin and framed by that mane of beautiful hair. Or maybe he wanted to turn the focus of their conversation away from him. “So let’s see. You think the first step to solving my problem lies in getting laid. I need to have sex.” He nodded once. “And what? You’re offering to be the one I have sex with?”
He grinned at her, waiting for those cheeks to turn the light pink he knew they would. The blush would only last a few seconds. Just until she realized he was teasing. And then maybe, just maybe, she’d be amused by his comment and smile for him.
The blush never came, but the smile did, and it smacked Ben right in the middle of his stomach. “That’s exactly what I’m offering.”
Ben faltered for just a second before he realized she’d turned the tables on him, and she was the one doing the teasing. He smiled too. “Good one, Sparks. For a minute there I thought you were being serious.”
Her smile faltered. “I am, Ben. I’m deadly serious.”
Ben laughed out loud. “You know, you’re right. I have been too uptight lately. I needed something to break the tension. Thank you for giving me something to laugh about.”
Melissa ran a tongue over her upper lip so it glistened even more. She walked over to the chair on the other side of his desk and laid her jacket upon it. “You should know me better than that, Ben. I never joke when it comes to finding solutions to problems. You have a problem, and I have the solution. You need a woman, and it just so happens…I am one.” To prove her point, she slipped open the first three buttons on her blouse, allowing Ben a healthy glimpse of what lay beneath—a tight, white camisole that covered the full curves of her breasts.
Ben’s jaw dropped.
That was all it took for him to get an erection. With a sudden rush of blood, his groin filled and stiffened, leaving him perplexed.
Considering friendship was one thing. Being hit for six by an unexpected dose of lust another altogether.
“Now please don’t mistake this for anything it’s not,” Melissa told him. “It’s not as if I’m going to start bringing food into work for you.” She rolled her eyes, mocking herself. “That’s a good thing, by the way. I’m a terrible cook.” Her smile was small, but it still lit up his office. “And I’m not going to get all soppy and lovey-dovey on you either.” She spoke more seriously now. “This is just one solution. Sex. That’s all, nothing more.”
Ben gaped at her. Sex? Melissa Sparks was offering to have sex with him?
She smiled again. This time with a seductive, sexy expression he’d never dreamed he’d see on her face—not directed at him anyway. The smile was just as enchanting as the previous one. “You look surprised.”
“Er, a little surprised, yeah.” Even more surprising was the fact he could form words. Melissa? Seducing him?
Melissa undid the rest of her buttons and pushed the shirt off her shoulders, so she was now clad from the waist up in just the camisole.
She looked sexy. Damn sexy. Sexy in a way Melissa had never looked to Ben. Uh—not just sexy. She was prime female flesh. All woman. And she did crazy things to his insides.
She made breathing difficult. Made him wonder if someone had messed with the air conditioning, because the temperature seemed to have jumped about twenty degrees in the last couple of minutes.
Ben was forced to loosen his tie and undo his top button. Anything to get fresh air on his feverish skin.
“Here’s the deal—assuming you agree, because this would involve both of us.” Melissa pulled the cami up and over her shoulders, leaving her breasts covered by nothing more than a satiny white bra.
Holy cow. She had a pair on her.
So not what he should be concentrating on. He should be remembering that she was a colleague. An excellent investment banker. A woman who’d given him outstanding advice and support over the years.
“You get to have sex with me whenever the stress and tension get to be too much. This won’t be a relationship. Well, not a traditional relationship, anyway. This’ll just be a natural extension of our working association. We work, we do the deed, we go home. End of story. I’m not interested in deep and meaningfuls.”
Melissa ducked her head as she said that, but Ben still caught a glimpse of some unidentifiable emotion in her eyes. Sadness? Loneliness? Determination? He couldn’t tell.