Home > Bared to You (Crossfire #1)(6)

Bared to You (Crossfire #1)(6)
Author: Sylvia Day

My abrupt stop bottlenecked the threshold and Mark ran into my back, sending me stumbling forward. Dark and Dangerous caught me by the waist, hauling me off my feet and directly into his chest. The air left my lungs in a rush, followed immediately by every bit of common sense I possessed. Even through the layers of clothing between us, his biceps were like stone beneath my palms, his stomach a hard slab of muscle against my own. When he sucked in a sharp breath, my ni**les tightened, stimulated by the expansion of his chest.

Oh no. I was cursed. A rapid-fire series of images flashed through my mind, showcasing a thousand ways I could stumble, fall, trip, skid, or crash in front of the sex god over the days, weeks, and months ahead.

"Hello again," he murmured, the vibration of his voice making me ache all over. "Always a pleasure running into you, Eva."

I flushed with embarrassment and desire, unable to find the will to push away despite the two other people in the room with him. It didn't help that his attention was solely on me, his hard body radiating that arresting impression of powerful demand.

"Mr. Cross," Mark said behind me. "Sorry about the entrance."

"Don't be. It was a memorable one."

I wobbled on my stilettos when Cross set me down, my knees weakened from the full body contact. He was dressed in black again, with both his shirt and tie in a soft gray. As always, he looked too good.

What would it be like to be that amazing looking? There was no way he could go anywhere without causing a disturbance.

Reaching out, Mark steadied me and eased me back gently.

Cross's gaze stayed focused on Mark's hand at my elbow until I was released.

"Right. Okay then." Mark pulled himself together. "This is my assistant, Eva Tramell."

"We've met." Cross pulled out the chair next to his. "Eva."

I looked to Mark for guidance, still recovering from the moments I'd spent plastered against the sexual superconductor in Fioravante.

Cross leaned closer and ordered quietly, "Sit, Eva."

Mark gave a brief nod, but I was already lowering into the chair at Cross's command, my body obeying instinctively before my mind caught up and objected.

I tried not to fidget for the next hour as Mark was grilled by Cross and the two Kingsman directors, both of whom were attractive brunettes in elegant pantsuits. The one in raspberry was especially enthusiastic about garnering Cross's attention, while the one in cream focused intently on my boss. All three seemed impressed by Mark's ability to articulate how the agency's work - and his facilitation of it with the client - created provable value for the client's brand.

I admired how cool Mark remained under pressure - pressure exerted by Cross, who easily dominated the meeting.

"Well done, Mr. Garrity," Cross praised lightly as they wrapped things up. "I look forward to going over the RFP when the time comes. What would entice you to try Kingsman, Eva?"

Startled, I blinked. "Excuse me?"

The intensity of his gaze was searing. It felt as if his entire focus was on me, which only reinforced my respect for Mark, who'd had to work under the weight of that stare for an hour.

Cross's chair was set perpendicular to the length of the table, facing me head-on. His right arm rested on the smooth wooden surface, his long elegant fingers stroking rhythmically along the top. I caught a glimpse of his wrist at the end of his cuff and for some crazy reason the sight of that small expanse of golden skin with its light dusting of dark hair made my cl*t throb for attention. He was just so...male.

"Which of Mark's suggested concepts do you prefer?" he asked again.

"I think they're all brilliant."

His beautiful face was impassive when he said, "I'll clear the room to get your honest opinion, if that's what it takes."

My fingers curled around the ends of my chair's armrests. "I just gave you my honest opinion, Mr. Cross, but if you must know, I think sexy luxury on a budget will appeal to the largest demographic. But I lack - "

"I agree." Cross stood and buttoned his jacket. "You have a direction, Mr. Garrity. We'll revisit next week."

I sat for a moment, stunned by the breakneck pace of events. Then I looked at Mark, who seemed to be wavering between astonished joy and bewilderment.

Rising to my feet, I led the way to the door. I was hyperaware of Cross walking beside me. The way he moved, with animal grace and arrogant economy, was a major turn-on. I couldn't imagine him not f**king well and being aggressive about it, taking what he wanted in a way that made a woman wild to give it to him.

Cross stayed with me all the way to the bank of elevators. He said a few things to Mark about sports, I think, but I was too focused on the way I was reacting to him to care about the small talk. When the car arrived, I breathed a sigh of relief and hastily stepped forward with Mark.

"A moment, Eva," Cross said smoothly, holding me back with a hand at my elbow. "She'll be right down," he told Mark, as the elevator doors closed on my boss's astonished face.

Cross said nothing until the car was on its way down; then he pushed the call button again and asked, "Are you sleeping with anyone?"

The question was asked so casually it took a second to process what he'd said.

I inhaled sharply. "Why is that any business of yours?"

He looked at me and I saw what I'd seen the first time we'd met - tremendous power and steely control. Both of which had me taking an involuntary step back. Again. At least I didn't fall this time; I was making progress.

"Because I want to f**k you, Eva. I need to know what's standing in my way, if anything."

The sudden ache between my thighs had me reaching for the wall to maintain my balance. He reached out to steady me, but I held him at bay with an uplifted hand. "Maybe I'm just not interested, Mr. Cross."

A ghost of a smile touched his lips and made him impossibly more handsome. Dear God...

The ding that signaled the approaching elevator made me jump, I was strung so tight. I'd never been so aroused. Never been so scorchingly attracted to another human being. Never been so offended by a person I lusted after.

I stepped into the elevator and faced him.

He smiled. "Until next time, Eva."

The doors closed and I sagged into the brass handrail, trying to regain my bearings. I'd barely pulled myself together when the doors opened and revealed Mark pacing in the waiting area on our floor.

"Jesus, Eva," Mark muttered, coming to an abrupt halt. "What the hell was that?"

"I have no freakin' clue." I exhaled in a rush, wishing I could share the confusing, irritating exchange I'd had with Cross, but well aware that my boss wasn't the appropriate outlet. "Who cares? You know he's going to give you the account."

A grin chased away his frown. "I'm thinking he might."

"As my roommate always says, you should celebrate. Should I make dinner reservations for you and Steven?"

"Why not? Pure Food and Wine at seven, if they can squeeze us in. If not, surprise us."

We'd barely returned to Mark's office when he was pounced on by the executives - Michael Waters, the CEO and president, and Christine Field and Walter Leaman, the executive chairman and vice chairman.

I skirted the four of them as quietly as possible and slid into my cubicle.

I called Pure Food and Wine and begged for a table for two. After some serious groveling and pleading, the hostess finally caved.

I left a message on Mark's voice mail, "It's definitely your lucky day. You're booked for dinner at seven. Have fun!"

Then I clocked out, eager to get home.

"He said what?" Cary sat on the opposite end of our white sectional sofa and shook his head.

"I know, right?" I enjoyed another sip of my wine. It was a crisp and nicely chilled sauvignon blanc I'd picked up on the walk home. "That was my reaction, too. I'm still not sure I didn't hallucinate the conversation while overdosing on his pheromones."

"So?"

I tucked my legs beneath me on the couch and leaned into the corner. "So what?"

"You know what, Eva." Grabbing his netbook off the coffee table, Cary propped it on his crossed legs. "Are you going to tap that or what?"

Books
     Bared to You (Crossfire #1)
     Reflected in You (Crossfire #2)
     Entwined with You (Crossfire #3)
     Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)
     One with You (Crossfire #5)