Wilde Novellas

By: Janelle Dennison

“Just one kiss?” He bent his head, slow enough to give her time to protest.

But she couldn’t resist him, or the deeper longing to give in to something so spontaneous and impulsive when she’d spent the last year and a half alone, being much too sensible about everything. Including her attraction to this sexy man.

Her lashes fluttered closed as his mouth touched hers, soft and fleeting at first, then gradually he exerted a firmer, more coaxing pressure. Her lips parted on a low moan, one he took as the invitation it was intended to be. The gentle glide of his tongue was slow and lazy, seducing her in degrees. Her fingers curled into tight fists against his chest as the kiss grew deeper, wetter. Giving in to the delicious, heady sensations and the thrill of arousal setting her nerve endings aflame, she returned his kiss with reckless abandon.

The hand resting on her hip slid lower and smoothed over the curve of her derriere. He squeezed her bottom in his palm, groaned deep in his throat, and pulled her closer, until there was no mistaking the hard, impressive length of his erection pulsing against her belly. Her body slickened in a purely feminine response as she imagined how all that aggressive male heat would feel stroking deep inside her.

The erotic hunger and need he incited was instantaneous and explosive, an intimate connection that sent her world spinning out of control. Her physical reaction to him was so powerful and instinctive, all from a bone-melting kiss, and she knew, and feared, that this man had the ability to make her forget about the hard lesson she’d learned about mixing business with more intimate pleasures.

She broke the kiss and looked up into his blue eyes, heavy-lidded and smoky with passion. For her. And then a breath-takingly confident smile made an appearance.

“I’d really like to see you outside of the office,” he murmured.

Panic streaked through her. His big hand still cupped her bottom possessively, and somehow she managed to shore up the fortitude to end this interlude before she gave in to the desire simmering between them. “We can’t,” she said abruptly, then amended that with a firm, “I can’t.”

He tilted his head, looking adorably boyish, and too damn persuasive. “Why not?”

Easing past him, she released the stop button and put the elevator back into motion before she did something incredibly stupid… like change her mind, or worse, let him take her right there in the elevator. Lord knew her body was primed and ready for his.

Feeling more in control with distance between them, she turned to face him again, and answered his direct question. “We’re coworkers, Eric, and it’s not… ethical.”

He shoved his hands into the front pockets of his trousers, which served to pull the fabric of his pants tight across his burgeoning erection. “We’re more colleagues than coworkers,” he pointed out in a practical tone of voice.

“It doesn’t matter.” She crossed her arms over her chest, and wished her breasts didn’t feel so sensitive, so achy. “I make it a rule not to mix business with pleasure, and that means not going out with someone I work for. Period.”

“Don’t you think we already crossed that line of yours with the kiss we just shared?”

Her face warmed at his blunt reminder of her eager participation in their embrace, and since she couldn’t come up with a snappy reply, she glanced up at the number panel and mentally counted down the floors. Twenty … nineteen … eighteen…

“Look,” Eric said, and casually strolled over to where she stood. “You’re at Massey on a temporary basis as a freelance creative director, so it’s not as though you’ll lose a job if you decide to date me and someone finds out about it.”

Lose her job? No. But she wasn’t about to jeopardize her standing with the firm in any way, since there was no telling what the future might bring, or if she’d need a reference or another freelance project with Massey.

And that thought was enough to make her think twice about involvement with Eric, no matter how much he tempted her to say yes.

“In fact, we both know you only have a few weeks left at the firm,” he continued, the first tinges of frustration threading his voice. “So don’t you think we could make an exception to that business/pleasure rule of yours?”

The man was relentless and it took all of her strength to refuse him. “No.” She kept her eyes glued on the flashing numbers. Twelve … Eleven . . . Ten…

“How about when the Enchanted Cruise Line account is contracted and your part in the project is over?”

She looked his way and sighed softly. Regretfully. “Massey is turning out to be a huge, lucrative account for me and my agency, so any involvement with anyone in the firm, let alone someone in your position who has the power to approve freelance employees for certain projects, just isn’t smart.”

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