Get ready for some love. Next part comes up on Monday ;)
Chapter One (part two)
Aj Riley glanced at the sheet he’d been handed as he climbed into the car. He was barely able to focus on the bold print. The fine print streamed off the page in a jumble of letters.
“Are you sure about this?” His oldest friend and partner, Matt Brodie asked.
The only thing Aj was sure about was the throbbing in his cock. It jutted out like a tent pole, ready for action. Unfortunately, he’d left the action and her hot, sexy body in the hotel lobby. Which left him aroused and out of luck.
Good thing he’d done up his jacket.
“Yeah, I’m sure.” He forced his attention back to Matt.
“The kid’s built up a damn good company. Problem is, he’s gone as far as he can and he knows it. We can turn the business around. If he agrees to stay on as managing director as opposed to outright owner, he’ll make himself a lot of money. Fast.”
Matt nodded. “Agreed.”
He motioned to the pages in Aj’s hands. “If we apply a little pressure, we can have the numbers sorted by close of business today.”
“Let’s do it,” Aj reinforced and his partner replied. He didn’t hear him. His concentration was shot.
Oh. God, yes. Let’s.
She might as well have been standing butt naked in the hotel foyer, beckoning to him. That’s how provocative her words had been. He was pretty sure she hadn’t meant to say them out loud. The look of horror on her face bore testament to the fact. In truth, her words hadn’t made a damn’s worth of difference. Her thoughts had been scrawled across her face and body, the heaving br*asts and hard nippl*s a dead giveaway. She’d been as turned on as he. Just as aware of the immediate connection.
He’d reacted the same way the last time he’d seen Lexi Tanner. His body had jolted to life the instant he’d laid eyes on her. Dammit, he hadn’t liked the feeling then either. This time, though, her presence hadn’t just jolted him, it had almost electrocuted him. Like a thousand-volt jumpstart to his groin.
What about the look on her face? He was aware that she didn’t know him, yet the instant she’d seen him, something had flashed in her eyes. Had it been recognition?
Shit, he hadn’t meant to catch her, hadn’t even realized she was in the hotel. He’d seen someone trip and couldn’t just let her fall. Instinct had taken over and he’d thrown out his arms. How could he know that once he’d grabbed hold of her he’d find it almost impossible to let her go.
Once before he’d held someone, determined never to let go. That time, he hadn’t had a say in the outcome. This time he had. He’d released her.
The Conference – The National Congress on the Psychosocial Affects of Childhood Leukaemia and Cancer – had yet to convene for the day, and people milled around outside the auditorium, sipping tea or coffee. Lexi approached them, more than a little shaken. The entire encounter with the man had lasted less than two minutes, yet left an indelible impression. Attraction had never flared so fast. Her body still fluttered in anticipation of what he might have done to her.
“Let’s do it”, he’d said, and she’d responded. In reality, he’d addressed someone else.
Arousal washed over her, leaving her wet and horny and a little stunned. S*x wasn’t something she took lightly. Uh uh. Not Lexi. She’d never sleep with someone on a whim, she had to know the man first, know him well before he got to see her naked. Yet, this guy... Hot damn, given half a chance, she’d drag him-kicking and screaming if need be-back to her room and have her way with him. For God’s sake, try to look professional. You’re about to walk into a room full of work associates. Think about Riley, get your focus back. Riley had simply slipped from her mind, like everything else, the second those arms clasped her arms. She was a goner. Lost in the feverish haze of desire.
“So did you find him?” A voice asked over her shoulder. She answered yes, instinctively, her mind occupied by flashes of those eyes.
“You saw Aj Riley?” Her friend and colleague, Leona Ramsey, gasped, walking around to stand next to her. “Did you speak to him?”
“Yes.” Lexi shook her head. “I mean no.” Leona knew she’d been tracking down Riley.
“The hotel wouldn’t even give me his room number.”
Her friend gave her a strange look. “So you didn’t meet him?”
“Didn’t even come close.” Lexi frowned and gave Leona a run down of her conversation with the receptionist. Leona clicked her tongue.
“Well that’s just too bad, isn’t it? What do you plan to do now?”
“Try again at tea. Maybe he’ll be back at the hotel by then.”
Leona narrowed her eyes. “Are you okay? You look kind of flushed.”
“I’m fine.” Lexi answered. I’ve just fallen in complete lust and can’t think of anything other than a night of sinful, sweaty s*x. Other than that, I’m fine.
Although I’d be a lot better after three or four orgasms.
“You’re shaken,” Leona pointed out.
Yeah, that’s what happens when I get turned on.
“Just hungry. I didn’t eat very much at breakfast.”
Leona lifted a platter of scones with jam from one of the tables, and offered it to Lexi. “Looks like you could do with one.”
“I could.” Lexi took the food gratefully and bit into it. It was sweet and buttery and dry, not at all like the salty male flesh she really wanted to sink her teeth into.
Determined to carry on a normal conversation, she asked, “You all prepared for the talk?” Leona was about to address the hundred-odd audience in the auditorium about the latest developments in the treatment of childhood cancers and leukamias. Lexi managed to keep her attention focused on her friends answer for atleast thirty seconds before her stomach lurched and, unbidden, she heard him whisper in her ear, “Let’s do it.”
The tea break found Lexi back at the front desk, asking the same receptionist to dial Aj Riley’s room. He gave her a quizzical look. “You haven’t seen him yet?” He asked.
“No...” Lexi replied, thinking the obvious - if she had she wouldn’t be here right now.
“Oh, I thought... Never mind.” He smiled at her as though to hide his confusion.
“I can try his room. He returned earlier, but I believe he left again.”
After a couple of moments, he shook his head. “There’s no response. Would you like to leave a message this time?”
Lexi shook her head, “No.” She sighed. “I don’t suppose he told you what time he’d be back?”
The receptionist answered with a deadpan face. “Most of our guests don’t leave that kind of information with us.”
Of course they didn’t. It was worth asking – just in case. “Thank you. I’ll try again later.” She left as frustrated as before.
This time she managed to walk through the lobby without making a complete debacle of herself.
Although she subtly scanned the area twice, there was no sign of either Riley or the complete stranger she’d so delicately bumped into earlier. She chose to ignore the pangs of disappointment that fluttered through her stomach.
The next three attempts at contacting Riley proved just as successful as the first two.
Later, Lexi sat at dinner with Leona, feeling disheartened and disillusioned. The sooner she could meet Riley, the sooner she could convince him to donate the fifty thousand and the sooner she could start up the project.
It was a good program. She’d spent months drawing up the plans, which had approval from both the hospital board and the ward staff. A couple of nurses had even signed up to help. Now she needed the funding to get it off the ground.
All her efforts today had come to nothing. Well, nothing except tripping in the lobby and landing with her nose mashed into the spectacular chest of
Not a bad result, all things considered.
“Yoo-hoo. Hello? Earth to Lexi?” Leona waved her hand in front of Lexi’s eyes
Lexi blinked and ginned. “Sorry, I zoned out on you for a minute there.”
“Yeah, I noticed.”
“I guess I’m obsessing a little.” She looked sheepishly at Leona. “I’ve just got to find Riley, Lee. He’s right here, so close I can almost touch him.”
“Don’t you ever get tired of trying to raise money for POWS?” Leona asked, referring to the Paediatric Oncology and Haematology Ward at Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Hospital, where she worked as a Paediatrician and Lexi worked as a social worker.
“It’s not even part of your job description.”
“So tired I can hardly limp out of bed some mornings,” Lexi answered. “It’s just something I need to do. It’s like I can’t rest until I’ve done my bit to help.”
Lexi shrugged. “In a sense, I suppose. I’ve been there I know what it’s like.
Now I can use that knowledge to make the journey a little less tough for someone else.”
“Your sister found it tougher,” Leona pointed out. “She had leukaemia.”
“That is such a doctor comment to make. You only see the patient’s point of view.” Lexi griped good-naturedly. Knowing Leona was teasing her. “Never mind the siblings and the rest of the family who go through the trauma of cancer.”
Leona grinned. “Yeah, doctors. Go figure. Why would we want to focus all our attention on a sick child when there’s a whole family out there who needs some loving care?”
Lexi smiled back. Leona always included the whole family in her treatment plan. As a general rule, doctors weren’t trained to look after the emotional needs of the patient’s family. As a social worker, Lexi was. But she knew she hadn’t done a good enough job. Not yet. When she finished raising money for the sibling program, when she could provide better support for the brothers and sisters of children with cancer, then she’d put a little pressure on herself.
“Lex,” Leona said, her tone more serious. “I think you are moving too fast on this one. You’ve got too much riding on the program to screw it up. Wait for Wednesday to see Riley. Meet him when you’re more prepared, when you have all your files and information with you.”
“You’re right, Lee. I know you are.” Lexi squirmed in her seat. “It’s just that he’s here, in the same hotel... I can’t wait. I have to see him.”
“I think you’re being impulsive,” her friend warned. “You know how you tend to say the wrong thing when emotions take over. Your mouth just runs off without you.”
Darn. She did tend to shoot off her mouth when she got excited, and meeting Riley was definitely something worth getting excited about. He was, after all, the person voted most likely to sponsor her program.
“I’ve got to do it, Lee. I’ve got to make the most of this time. Destiny’s given me this chance. I’m going to jump at it. Of course, I’ll go to the appointment as well. I’d never cancel that. Excitement churned in her belly.
“Look, I promise I’ll check every word that comes out of my mouth. I’ll be the paragon of tact and diplomacy, but mark my words. On Wednesday, when I walk into his office, it will not be the first time I meet Mr. Riley. That I promise you.”