Coffee was great for mental acuity. She’d actually been able to organize the swirling thoughts and images in her head to a semi-manageable outline format while nibbling on her crumpet that Barker the Butler had sat down in front of her per Mr. Drake’s instructions. Adonis was high handed. She supposed that came with being a God, along with soul stirring beauty, his very own Mount Olympus, and impeccably groomed minions. Her eyes once again took in Barker’s crisp uniform, and perfectly polished shoes. Vaguely she wondered if he wore that when scrubbing the toilets, then she recalled where she was. Toilets on Mt. Olympus were probably self-cleaning.
Then Adonis prowled back into the kitchen and all thoughts of toilets, self-cleaning or otherwise, fled from her mind. Eyeing him warily over her coffee as he dismissed Barker with barely a nod, she felt a tingle run along her spine. There was a disconcerting energy around him. The kitchen that had seemed so large mere seconds ago shrank, as without looking in her direction, he strolled over to the coffee and poured himself a cup. Then turning and facing her, he leaned one hip against the counter, and took a very slow, deliberate sip, his eyes locked on her over the rim.
The hawk was back.
She shivered. The overwhelming desire to run from the room burst into her brain. Wrong move, any predator worth his salt would chase her down, and Adonis was worth a lot more than salt. No, in this situation a good offense was the best defense, so question number one, “Mr. Drake…”
“Maurice is a Dom.” the casual words that slipped from his lips, were at complete odds with the nearly feral light in his eyes, and…what the hell?
“What?” she set her cup down.
“Maurice is a Dominant. If you’re interested in him…”
Wait…what? Back up, “Interested?”
“Interested.” he repeated taking another sip of coffee, and still those eyes watched. A part of her wished he would just swoop in and snap her neck already.
Honestly, she was sick and tired of… well….lots of stuff. Closing her eyes, she propped her elbows on the counter in front of her, and rested her head in her hands, massaging her temples, “Mr. Drake, I had sort of a rough night. I’m tired. I have a headache, and I’m just not up to you being all prowly and growly, right now. So could we skip to the part where you explain to me what happened last night. Starting with why the hell you chose to be interviewed in a sex club in the first place?”
A low rumbling chuckle rolled around the kitchen. She sensed Adonis approach and that delicious scent surrounded her. She felt heat at her back, and a warm hand, on her shoulders, a low, humored whisper over her head, “I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of prowling and growling before.”
She’d have snorted or laughed or said something good and snarky, but his magic hands went to work on her neck so a blissful sigh slid from her instead. Billionaire he might be, but this had to be his true calling.
“There was a mix-up.” Adonis began without preamble, still in that soft, silky, wonderful voice, “A former employee, flipped Lewis’, interview with someone else’s. This particular someone, resembled you and her name just happened to be Mandy.”
“Oh,” it was as much reply as she could muster. Her head dropped forward, “You probably would have put together that something was amiss, but the drug went to your head rather quickly.”
“Hhmm,” Words were beyond her. She felt his low laugh.
“Are you still with me Miss Chase?”
With tremendous effort an “Mmm-Hmmm” Slipped from her lips. She was going to slide from her stool any minute.
She was going to melt in a puddle at his feet. His kitten liked to be stroked. Fuck it all, she was making him, crazy. He’d never felt possessive rage like this before. It was bad enough the men had been within ten feet of her, but then when Maurice started all his bullshit, his temper flared, and when Andie flirted back, he saw red. He’d wanted nothing more than to take her to his play room, strip her bare, smack her sweet ass pink, and fuck her till she couldn’t move.
Then she’d derailed him with her double oven outrage.
He’d been smiling when he went to see Maurice and Stan out. That ended when Maurice asked if he was interested. “Cause if not,” he said with a grin, “I’d like to get to know that sweet girl a little better.”
Blistering rage erupted inside him like a volcano. Somehow he’d kept it together enough to throw the jackass out without attempting to kill him. Not that he could. Maurice was one of the few men who could hold his own with Drake. But shit, it would have been fun trying. He’d stalked back into the kitchen determined to derail any interest his luscious house-guest might have in Maurice, only to have the little kitten shut him up and shut him down.
Prowly and Growly. Damn.
“Headache better,” He leaned close whispering against her ear.
A sleepy little “hmm..” was his only answer.
“Good.” Placing a soft kiss at her temple, he lifted her off her stool.
Her eyes flew open, her arms going round his neck, “What…”
“Grab your coffee. We’re heading back to the sofa. You’ll be more comfortable there and we still have quite a lot to discuss.”
“Sure, okay,” One hand left his neck and grabbed the cup, aqua eyes looked up at him like he wasn’t quite right in the head, an entirely accurate assessment, “Um, you know there’s nothing wrong with my legs, right?”
“So far this morning, you’ve shut yourself up in my closet, and nearly fallen into my hearth. I’m just being cautious.”
“Uh-huh.” She pushed a little puff of air between those succulent lips in the cutest damn snort he’d ever seen. Once again, numerous sophisticated female faces flashed across his mind. Nope not a one. None of them would ever make a sound like that, or fall onto his kitchen island in a heap of oven outrage, or call him prowly…damn the list was endless.
He placed her in that same corner of the couch, then grabbed the wool throw, from the back and covered her with it, “You were shivering.” He explained to her cocked eyebrow.
“Now based on what I’ve told you so far, do you have any questions.” He seated himself with enough distance between them so she wouldn’t feel cornered. He didn’t want to be accused of prowling again.
“Yes,” She nodded, “I only took one sip of the margarita before the bad ass bitch took it from me…”
He laughed out loud, “Bad Ass Bitch?”
“Definitely, you didn’t see her……wait, ” Her eyes widened with sudden comprehension, “she knew..”
And so he told her about Lena McGovern the bounty hunter, a.k.a bad ass bitch, and finished with the special floating formulation of the drug.”
“So one sip was all it took. Wow, I think I’m impressed.” She whispered.
“I’d like to ask you a question?”
“Okay.” She lifted her cup to her plump pink lips with both hands, took a savoring sip and made the tiniest sound, more than a sigh, not quite a moan, and sensual as sin on Sunday.
He adjusted his legs to make room for his rapidly swelling dick, “Why didn’t you leave?”
“What?” She frowned, a little ‘v’ crinkled her forehead. It was….distracting.
“When you walked into the bar.”
“Oh,” That crinkle disappeared, “Well I almost did, but Brunhilda..”
“Brunhilda?” Who the hell….
“Um, you know leather corset, long tight leather skirt, perfect blond hair, terrifying…”
Ah, so Madame Scarlet was Brunhilda. He wasn’t the only one who got a nick name.
“I told her I was there for the interview, and she said of course, like she knew, and well, you don’t know Lewis. We’ve all been waiting for that stroke to strike, and I didn’t want to go back with nothing.
“So you weren’t curious?” He probed, just asking was all. Nothing wrong with asking.
“There wasn’t much to be curious about,” She replied dryly, “Everything was out there for everyone to see.”
“And that makes you uncomfortable?” Good he didn’t like that shit either…not that it mattered as he wouldn’t be keeping her.
“Uncomfortable in the extreme,” She looked down, her voice became small, “So are you, you know, like that?”
Shit, how could he answer that. Though he would not be keeping her and it did not matter at all, he didn’t want to frighten her. Besides his lawyer would have a shit fit if he revealed too much. No need in upsetting the man. He settled for a partial truth, “No. No one else sees or touches what’s mine alone.”
It was a very small “oh.”. It sounded…. sad. He didn’t like it.
“Well, that whole public sex thing creeped me out and all the leather and the bar…” She shuddered.
Now that was unexpected, “What about the leather and the bar?”
Her face flamed, “Nothing, really.” She studied the pattern in the throw.
Now he had to know, anything that made her blush like that was bound to be… interesting, “Myranda,” he put a small push behind the whisper. He noted her eyes sought his instantly, again – didn’t matter, “What about the leather?”
“Um, well it’s silly…”
“Not if it bothered you. I’d like to know.”
She blew out a breath, and started talking very fast, “It’s just that you can’t wash it, and all those people and all that sex…fluid….stuff….” She made a rolling flying motion with the hand not holding her coffee, “You know, going everywhere, and well there was a bar, people eating and drinking. Isn’t that a health code violation?”
“Sex fluid stuff….going everywhere?” What the hell? He had to bite down on his cheek. He couldn’t very well bust out laughing after encouraging her to open up.
“Yes, I mean it’s not as bad as “Chuck E. Cheese’s” or God forbid, “Dave and Busters” but….” she went on rapid fire.
“Dave and Buster’s?” He repeated mechanically. Taking in her flushed face, and her hands gesticulating wildly. She’d put her coffee down. Obviously whatever the hell she was talking about needed two-handed, random, waving gestures, and fuck-it-all, if it wasn’t adorable. His half-masting dick hoisted to full mast and was ready to set sail.
“Well,” Her face going deep crimson, she held up her thumb and forefinger in the universal sign for small, “I have this little, sort of, germ thing and…”
“A germ thing?” Oh hell, she was just as cute sober as when she was drugged up.
“I’m not obsessive compulsive or anything. It’s just well, Dave and Busters has those touch screens and there’s always fingerprints, and people are drinking and you know if they’re drunk they’re not all that hygienic and they serve FOOD!” She cried, throwing both hands in the air, before slapping them down in her lap, “It’s nuts.”
“Uh-huh.” Shit, his dick had turned to solid granite.
“And well you can’t wash leather. How do they clean those thongs? Please tell me there’s an incinerator somewhere and they just burn them before they leave.” Glancing up at him, her hands once again fumbling with the throw.
“An incinerator…for the thongs?” He repeated, his eyes locked onto her mouth.
She shrugged, and then bit down on that juicy bottom lip, and what little restraint he had disintegrated. He was across the sofa in less than a second, both her hands in one of his and over her head, his body covering hers.
“I’m going to kiss you, now.” He informed her, his mouth hovering over hers.
“Oh.” her tongue darted out, to lick that bottom lip, and he met it with his own.
Sweet, so damn sweet and soft, he got the tiniest little taste before that tongue darted back inside. His kitten was shy. Fine, he could work with that. He wanted to make a meal of that bottom lip anyway, and so he did. Sipping and nibbling his way from one corner to the other, and tracing the sensitive outer edge with his tongue, and when her lips parted he took the whole juicy, plump morsel between his teeth in a stinging bite. Her soft gasp was his invitation. His tongue swooped over and just barely inside, touching lightly, teasing just the rim of her mouth with light little touches, dipping in, and dodging back until she tried to follow, a tiny feminine mew of frustration coming from her throat. A sweet hungry little sound that shot straight to his already engorged cock. Fuck, she was torture and paradise at once. He pulled back so their lips barely brushed, his hand moving to trace the line of her jaw and under her hair to cup her neck, “So sweet, Andie.” he whispered on her damp mouth, “Give me your tongue baby,” and when he parted her lips with his, her tongue came out to play.
Gods were really good kissers. She’d expected a full out assault, like when he’d had her against the wall in the sex club, but this lazy seduction was slow and sensual, and devastating. His lips slid over hers, and her bones melted. His tongue stroked the inside of her mouth, and heat bloomed low in her belly. His thumb brushed the little spot behind her ear, and she arched into him, one word playing over and over in her mind…more. She wanted more, she wanted closer, she just….wanted… her body began moving, straining against him, and tiny desperate sounds came from the back of her throat. Sounds that she’d never made before in her life, and it was hearing those sounds in her own ears, that brought her to the surface of the desire swamping her. A tendril of fear working its way into her mind. He sensed it instantly. Releasing her mouth with a soft groan, he brought the hand down that had been holding both of hers, to cup her face. His thumbs stroking along her neck, he pressed a tender damp kiss to the corner of her mouth, before pulling away and resting his forehead on hers. “Myranda Chase,” he whispered on a groan, “You go to my head.”
Somewhere in her kiss fogged mind she decided that was fair, since he’d pretty much destroyed hers.
“Mr. Drake,” Someone else was in the room, oh crap. Pushing at his chest, she felt her face go red. It didn’t bother Adonis a bit. He took his time, planting another chaste kiss on her forehead before pulling away.
“Simon,” He turned and stood in front of her blocking her from this Simon person’s view. She used the added privacy for a couple deep breaths. Gods could kiss. No wonder Zeus got all those women pregnant.
“Dr. Randoph is here.”
“Good, Miss Chase will see him in the Wisteria Room.”
She would? It was news to her…and wisteria room what the was that?”
“It’s just a basic physical, Myranda. A precaution, but a necessary one.” He turned back to her. The tender lover of less than a minute ago gone. High handed and Imperious taking his place. “Come.” He extended his hand.
She thought about refusing, but he seemed to read her mind, “Unless you’d prefer to be carried?”
Oh for fuck’s sake, “Fine,” she huffed, taking his hand and rising.
“Oh, Miss Chase,” Adonis jerked her close, sudden fire lighting his eyes, “All that eye rolling is going to get you in trouble.”