Self-control is key for Lucy Reid’s happiness.
Until her new boss, Jason Young, arrives. Her coworkers are competing to bed him, but his rude behaviour and coldness toward Lucy strengthens her resolve to ignore her attraction to him.
But when she’s trapped in an elevator with him and she realizes his coldness toward her hides his own dark desire, her attraction threatens to break free. Jason is determined to make her lose control, and Lucy is aching to submit to the sweet temptation.
“No, no, no,” she muttered under her breath. She thought briefly of pushing the ‘close doors’ button before sighing and holding the door instead.
He slipped through the elevator doors and nodded his thanks. As the doors closed and the elevator hummed its way down to the parking garage, he glanced at her. “You’re working late this evening, Ms. Reid.”
She smiled stiffly at him. He was the reason she was working late when she should have been out celebrating Amanda’s birthday with the rest of her friends. She sighed and brushed at a speck of lint on her skirt.
It wasn’t that she hated her new boss. She just really, really disliked him. Jason Young was by far the most arrogant, egotistical jackass she’d ever had to work for. It didn’t matter that in the last six months he had taken their small, unassuming website and turned it into one of the most-viewed websites of the year. Nor did it matter that he had secured so many new advertisers that everyone in the office had received a bonus and ten percent raise. She knew he was good at what he did - it’s why he was hired in the first place. The problem was that she was a damn fine copy editor and she worked her ass off for the company, but for some mysterious reason Jason Young loathed her.
Today was particularly brutal. She had stayed positive only by reminding herself that it was Friday, and she could forget the day with a few, well-timed tequila shots at Amanda’s birthday party. Of course, thanks to Mr. Young, that plan was shot after lunch.
She sighed again and glanced at her cell phone. It was only eight thirty. She could go home, change into something slinky and sexy and still meet the gang at the pub. She realized that her boss was standing a little closer and staring silently at her.
She shot him a dirty look before returning her gaze to her cell phone. She was off the clock. There was no need to be friendly or polite with him.
“Ms. Reid, do you have a problem with me?” He asked suddenly.
“Why would you think that?” She asked.
“Because you - ”
He stopped as the elevator came to a sudden, grinding halt. The lights went out, plunging them into darkness, and she was thrown against him. Her cell phone flew out of her hand and hit the elevator wall with a crunching noise that made her wince.
She shrank against him, her heart thudding in her chest. With a low buzz, the emergency lights came on and bathed the elevator in a dim red light. She was still pressed against him with panicked intimacy. He was holding her with his large hands clamped around her full hips, and she flushed and shoved at his hard chest.
“Let go of me.”
“Just wait a minute, I think - ”
She gasped as the elevator made another groaning lurch and dropped a few more feet. Her stomach dropped with it, and her fear made her clutch to his broad shoulders.
“What the hell?” She whispered.
He frowned. “The elevator seems to be broken.”
She pushed again at his chest. “Let me go, please.”
His gaze dropped to her mouth and lingered there. His stare, combined with the warmth of his hands on her hips, was making her skin tingle and she licked her lips nervously. His gaze darkened and his nostrils flared, and she stared mesmerized at the dark stubble that covered his lower face. She was struck by the urge to kiss the dark shadow, to lick it with her tongue and feel it prickle against her lips. She was actually leaning forward when he gently pushed her away.
She turned away, utterly mortified by her behavior, and wondered briefly if she could pry the doors open and climb down the elevator shaft to get away from him. Instead, she walked gingerly across the elevator to rescue her cell phone. He opened the control panel door and picked up the black telephone receiver that was attached to it. He held the receiver to his ear, waiting patiently.
Lucy stared at her cell phone and muttered a curse. The screen was shattered but she pushed a few buttons, knowing it was pointless but trying anyway.
“S***,” she muttered.
He scowled at her and made a shushing gesture with his hand. “Yes, hello? This is Jason Young from the twenty-seventh floor. It seems our elevator has broken down.”
She shoved her phone into her purse and tried not to think about the fact that there was no way out. Already her chest was tightening and the air in the elevator seemed too warm. She wasn’t exactly claustrophobic, but it was useless to deny that tight spaces made her uncomfortable.
She fanned herself with the top of her blouse before unbuttoning her suit jacket and removing it. She placed it neatly on the floor of the elevator as he hung up the phone.
“Are they sending someone to fix it?” She asked.
He shrugged out of his own suit jacket, and she ignored the way his white dress shirt clung to his powerful shoulders and accentuated his wide chest.
“Apparently the power is out to the entire block - some kind of power surge. Until they can get the power back on, we’re stuck in here.”
“S***,” she muttered for a second time.
She looked up at the ceiling panels. “Can’t they send in, I don’t know, firemen or someone to open up the ceiling and let us out that way?”
He gave her a wry look. “I doubt that two people stuck in an elevator is a top priority for them right now, Ms. Reid.”
She flushed at his condescending tone and fanned herself with her shirt again. Sweat was starting to trickle between her breasts and she unbuttoned the top two buttons and stuck her head down her top, blowing lightly to try and cool herself.