Wilde Novellas

By: Janelle Dennison

She shifted beside him and handed him a signoff sheet. “If you’ll give me your final approval and signature on the layout of the presentation brochure then both of us can call it a night.”

“Only to return tomorrow morning bright and early,” he said wryly. Reaching for a pen, he scrawled his signature on the appropriate line of the attached report.

“It’s a vicious cycle in this business, you know that,” she said as she took back her papers to add to the presentation package. “But look on the bright side. Another week or so and we should have this campaign wrapped up and contracted. I’ll be gone, and things can finally return to normal for you and your creative team.”

With that, she issued him a final good night and headed for the door.

He sat there as she exited his office, her idle comment a jarring reminder that his time with her was limited. As for things returning to normal, he didn’t know what normal was anymore. Not unless it included a daily dose of her, which fueled his erotic nighttime fantasies of them together, in carnal ways that left him hot and bothered and hornier than he could ever remember being. After three months of working side by side, another week and a half and she’d be gone, and already he was mourning the loss.

He shoved his fingers through his hair, then scrubbed a hand down his face and along the late evening stubble lining his jaw. Oh, man, he was in way over his head when it came to Jill, intrigued beyond reason, and so crazed with wanting her that he knew his brothers would laugh their asses off if they knew a woman had him so tied up in knots.

While both Steve and Adrian had attempted committed relationships in the past, neither one of them had ultimately been lucky in love. After being burned, they’d opted for the joys and freedom of bachelorhood, and seemed content with their single status—much to the disappointment of their parents, who wanted their boys happily settled, as they were. Being the youngest, and having witnessed his brothers’ misery with the opposite sex, Eric had learned to guard his own emotions. He’d always been the consummate playboy, enjoying all women but never allowing one to get under his skin quite the way Jill had.

She stimulated and inspired him, mentally and physically, and it had been forever since a woman had managed that feat. And while the awareness between them was evident and she took his flirtatious behavior in stride, she never acted on the attraction. In that respect, she was reserved and guarded, and damned if he didn’t want to delve deeper and unleash the desire he’d seen in her eyes on more than one occasion.

She was a challenge he couldn’t resist.

Never before had he hesitated to go after what he wanted. He’d always been aggressive and impulsive when it came to pursuing the opposite sex, and it was past time he took a chance on Jill. Their business relationship was only temporary, which worked to both of their advantages, and there was no denying an affair between them would be both incendiary, and oh, so satisfying.

There was only one thing for him to do. Issue her a mutually satisfying proposition, and hope she agreed to the same.

After shutting down her office, Jill checked in one last time with two coworkers on her design team intent on putting in a few more hours of work before leaving for the evening. She spent a good twenty minutes approving the start of the Web site layout James was designing, and gave Catherine her input on a direct mail marketing outline. Then she took her briefcase and headed toward the bank of elevators that would release her from the confines of the thirty-sixth floor of the Chicago high-rise. Another day down, and only a few more weeks to go before she collected her bonus check and a newfound freedom and independence was all hers. That extra money would finally put her on solid financial ground, and enable her to devote more time to building her own agency.

With a soft ping, an elevator arrived and she stepped inside, pressing the button for the underground parking garage. Just as the steel door began to shut, a big body just barely squeezed his way past and into the elevator.

She gasped in startled surprise, then realized the intruder was none other than her gorgeous boss, Eric Wilde, briefcase in hand and his suit jacket draped over his arm, looking every inch the “Wilde, untamable bad boy” he’d been dubbed by female coworkers. The man had a way of looking completely sexy, at any time, including after a long, tiring day at the office.

His tie was off, presumably stuffed into his briefcase. The first three buttons of his oxford shirt were undone, and the sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, revealing the muscular strength in those forearms. His pitch-black hair was mussed since he had a habit of combing his fingers through the strands when he was deep in thought, and his bright blue eyes had the ability to shift from striking to intense to flirtatious, depending on his mood.

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