From Chapter 3 – To Know You. Not their first meeting, but the one when he makes his intentions clear to her….
The conversation had maintained a serious nature to it all evening and it wasn’t my normal style. I preferred frivolity, gaiety and witticisms. I could do sombre mature exchanges. I wasn’t a giggling brash girl who harped on about celebrities or spiteful co-workers, nor did I hunger for bitchy gossip. Still, I had to let my hair down from time to time and have fun, somehow.
“Why me, Mr Lucas?” I plucked up the courage to ask. “This evening’s concert, you could have chosen anyone to take.”
“To take?” he said, with a bemused expression. “It was your evening out as much as mine.”
“Then why gate-crash it with your presence?”
“Unwanted am I?”
The heat rose into my cheeks so fast as I realised the direction we were heading in wasn’t my intention. I sounded ungracious. “Oh no,” I quickly backtracked. “I mean, I’m very grateful for the ticket and your company.”
“You said gate-crash.” My foolish choice of wording wasn’t going to be dropped.
“I assumed you’d have better things to do than keep me company, that’s all,” I said softly. Shivery goose bumps crept across my skin as the conversation drifted into awkward territory. How could I feel so hot and cold both at the same time?
“I enjoy classical music. In fact, I purchased the tickets a long time ago. My brother was going to join me but he had to change his plans.”
Now, in the whirlwind of emotions, I felt guilty. Had I usurped his brother? “Plans?”
“Yes, a good coincidence, wasn’t it?” he remarked. I wasn’t convinced he was being honest with me. “The charities, which are benefiting from tonight’s proceeds, includes one I have a particular fondness for. Whether I came or not, the tickets were already purchased.”
“So you wouldn’t have come without your brother? You don’t have any other suitable companions?” His romantic background remained a mystery. Nobody at work seemed to be aware of girlfriends and the vacuum of information was filled with endless tittle-tattle and gossip.
“I have other family members and friends who could have filled his shoes. Then I heard your little disappointed voice by the photocopier.” He swilled the glass of wine about before swallowing a mouthful.
He painted me as the substitute. Not exactly endearing. “You have a little black book somewhere do you?” I chirped up. “My name has been added to your list. Is it a long list or am I a convenient stand-in?”
I tried to be humorous, but unsurprisingly failed to stoke up the belly laughs. The moment my impulsive mouth shut tight, I wondered if I had offended him. His expression remained unchanged by my outburst. Before he could answer I leapt back in. “Sorry, I’m being rude and unappreciative. It’s just you’re my boss, rich and, well, I ask again—why me?”
He didn’t answer, instead he pinned me down with his gaze. I was flummoxed for a moment and the pause led me to my analytical place. At what point had he decided to give me the spare ticket? The moment he saw me by the photocopier or the project meeting when we had barely exchanged a word. That brief meeting in his office seemed to have laid the foundation for something more substantial. Had he given me the ticket because of my musical preferences or because he wanted my company?
Shit! I hated overthinking. “What do you want from me, Mr Lucas?” I took the bull by the horns. “I’m not a lonely heart in need of solace.”
“Aren’t you?” He raised his eyebrows.
“No,” I said adamantly. “I’m quite all right as I am.”
“Indeed.” He pursed his lips, leaned forward and put his wine glass down. “Seems to me like you’re in need of something.”
The floor should have swallowed me up. I wanted to disappear. Instead, I crushed my knees together, stifling the trembles, not wanting to acknowledge my sexual awakening had been discovered. Was my attraction to him that obvious! He exuded attractiveness and I had responded to him as if programmed like a computer. I’d probably followed his textbook evening: entertainment, alcohol and then what?
“I don’t have a little black book, Gemma,” he said so softly I could barely hear his voice over the hubbub. “I just know when somebody needs me. Arrogant of me to assume so perhaps. I had a spare ticket and you, with your voracious green eyes and shaking fingers, had tempted me into giving it to you.”
“No little black book?” I asked, almost rhetorically.
“No.” He shook his head. “I’ve never needed one. I know what I want.”
I had to pee—always the way when my inner thing was activated so successfully. The adrenaline rush ramped to a high setting and my bladder responded on cue.
“I need to pee,” I said. Did I just say pee! “The ladies,” I added, embarrassed.
“I believe it’s the appropriate location,” he said sardonically. “You want my permission?” Another heart-stopping smile spread across his face.
My mouth opened and nothing came out for a second.
“No, of course not.” I picked up my small clutch purse with those silly shaking hands he had so observantly noticed. Smoothing my skirt down, I went to stand up.
“Are you sure that is all you need?” he asked softly.
What to say! I dashed to the bathroom.
I never expected sex that night. The prospect seriously hadn’t crossed my mind. After all, I hadn’t been in the company of a man for what seemed an age. My sex life existed in limbo and I’d no idea what I needed to do to return it to safe existence. The end of the evening I’d foreseen was a taxi ride home, then burying my head under the covers with my dancing fingers. I would satisfy those urges on my own, as I always did when alone. Mr Lucas’s, Jason’s, handsome face naturally would be plastered on the back of my retina, accompanied by imagines of his long legs, graceful fingers and those damn cornflower eyes.
My presence that evening had served its purpose, or so I believed. I’d kept him company and he had satiated his curiosity. At the end of the day, I was just another intern with a decent brain, but limited prospects. My ambitions didn’t lie with his corporation or for that matter any business in the arena of mergers and acquisitions. I was waiting for my recovery to end and to feel strong enough to survive on my own two feet again. Physically I was fine, yet emotionally I remained a delicate frozen petal, which could easily shatter with the touch of an inconsiderate man. Mr Lucas seemed to be a challenging man to play with and I wasn’t up to strength for his kind of games. That was so apparent from the ease in which he flustered me.
Yet… Sex might be on holiday in my life for a good reason, but it had to be re-established as gratifying and fun. An evening with Jason Lucas had, at least, kick-started my libido and had positive effects on my dormant sex drive. I would go home having taken a few tentative steps towards my goal.
All those resilient thoughts came crashing down when I visited the restroom. Looking at my reflection in the mirror, I reminded myself I was attractive. Nothing glamorous or splendid, but many told me I had a natural beauty that was best served by not being overly altered with make-up. I re-applied the faint line of lipstick and ran my tongue along my teeth. My insides buzzed with the warmth of wine. Pheromones had permeated my skin and unleashed my wicked side. The hot sexy pulse of my blood eagerly flowed about my body, activating all my erogenous zones one at a time until a unison of nervous energy shouted out for pleasure.
I returned from the restroom and after I sat, he gathered my hand in his, which turned my insides delirious and my sexiest place wet with desire. Perhaps I had been over-thinking the situation too much and should simply concentrate on the moment I existed in, and not the God awful past.
“I don’t do this kind of thing. You intrigue me and I’m drawn to you like a moth to fire.” His voice, even with the background noise, was clear and mesmerising. He swept the hair out of my face with his steady index finger. “You’re lonely and quite in need of a good time. Let me finish this evening off for you in a style you should enjoy. What would you say, Gemma Marshall, if I said I want to take you back to my place and fuck you senseless?”
An earnest expression slipped over his face. An unfaltering confidence—this was a man used to achieving his goals. I gulped and examined my shoes. Part of me still wanted the floor to swallow me up, however, my libido thought differently and she won.
Oh yes, fuck me please!
Then, much to my surprise, that other part of me shouted from where I had buried her: spank me, tie me up, make me do whatever you like. She had awoken, and I’d no idea how to tame her or put her back to sleep. Yes, the moment had come—I was going to live again.
My answer was simple. “Yes, please,” I said mouse-like. “I think I would like that.”
As we were driven through the darkness, out of the city to the perimeter of the suburbs, the evening drew to an end. The landscape was opened up—gone the omnipresent city lights, and in their place, picturesque villages chained together by an extensive commuting network. The car drove through a set of iron gates that automatically swung open as we sped past a small gatehouse. Down a tree-lined driveway, which seemed a quarter of a mile long. The Jaguar halted outside a house. No, a mansion. Outwardly, possibly Victorian: a hundred or so years old. Built with stone blocks and gothic arches chiselled above the windows. Ivy grew up around the decoratively carved porch, which housed the recessed oak door—an imposing entrance, rather like a castle’s.
We’d travelled in an interminable oppressive silence and I’d waited for him to interrupt the strange stillness. Neither of us had done the deed though. Both of us had shunned speech as if it might ruin the occasion. Would he back out of the arrangement or would my blabbering mouth blurt out something inappropriate? My hands shook with anticipation and I couldn’t bring myself to glance at my fellow passenger. Nothing transpired between us and the bizarreness of the situation wasn’t lost on me.
How could I be here with a strikingly handsome man and not be talking? Was I making a mistake? Usually, I arranged to contact someone if I went out with a man for the first time or at least leave details of where I was going. Nobody knew I was with Mr Lucas. However, how could I walk away from the situation with my head held high and my sanity in place? Then the realisation stuck me, I didn’t want to. My sexual reawakening needed completion; I had to trust my instincts. For most of my life, those vibes had served me well. The car halted and Jason Lucas climbed out with graceful ease while I shuffled over to the opened door. His calming hand appeared and collected my trembling one.
“Come, Gemma.” A command, not a request.