Authors: Jennifer Crusie
turned to leave, but his arms went around her from behind, pulling her gently back against him as he buried kisses in the side of her neck.
“No doorbells this time,” he whispered. “I swear.”
She felt dizzy with the sudden heat he stirred in her.
No, she thought, fighting it. No way.
She kicked back at him with her heel, and he said, “Ouch!” but he didn’t let go.
Emily meant to say no. She knew she could pull away easily, that he wouldn’t stop her. But his mouth was so teasingly gentle on her skin, and he was so hard against her, and finally she just wanted him so much. She gave up and turned and found his mouth in the dark and licked his lips, thrusting her tongue into his mouth as she thrust her hips against his. She heard him gasp and felt his body shudder under her assault, and then he picked her up and sat her on the edge of the conference table, moving his body between her legs. She wrapped her legs around him and pulled him tight against her as his fingers fumbled at the buttons of her blouse. She tried to undo his shirt, but he was leaning down to her breasts, running his tongue across her.
Then she heard voices in the hall. The cleaners.
“Not again,” Emily said.
And Richard said, “No. Nothing stops us this time.” He pulled away from her and slid his hand under her skirt to pull off her bikini panties.
“You put me on hold again, and it will be the last time you ever touch me,” Emily said with blood in her voice.
“If I have to, I’ll make love to you while the cleaners watch,” Richard said, and she lifted her hips to help him slide her panties off.
“I wish I could see you,” he said. “You’re so beautiful, but it’s too damn dark in here.” His hand slid between her legs, and he stroked her there, tormenting her, kissing her shoulders and neck, until she laced her fingers in his hair and pulled his mouth to hers.
When he stopped, she said, “No, don’t stop,” and tried to pull him back to her, but he kissed her and pulled her to the edge of the table. She realized that he was fumbling with a condom and she laughed until he slid hard into her with a suddenness that made her cry out. His hands, clamped on her hips, pulled her to him again and again, and he leaned into her each time, to stroke as deeply as he could, building the heat and pressure in her until she cried out and twisted in his arms, and he drove harder and faster to spur her to explode again and again until she collapsed in his arms and lay there shuddering, her legs still wrapped around his waist.
Someone knocked on the door. “Anybody in there?”
“I promise,” he whispered to her, and picked her up off the table by wrapping an arm around her. He backed up until he felt a door behind him. She unwound herself from him to stand beside him, and he opened the door and pulled her inside, closing the door after them. He heard it click shut just as the cleaner turned on the light in the conference room.
“Where are we?” she whispered dazedly into his shoulder. A little light filtered around the edge of the door.
“We’re in a closet,” he whispered. “I hope to hell it isn’t a broom closet.”
“They don’t use brooms,” she said, and an electric sweeper began to whine outside the door.
There was no room to sit down, so he held her against him and she moved so that her breasts pressed into his chest. “I wasn’t finished, you know,” he whispered in her ear, and picked her up, easing himself back inside her, pinning her to the closet wall with his body. She wrapped her legs around him again, and he throbbed against her. He was being gentle and slow, and she bit him on the shoulder. “Harder,” she said, and he slammed himself against her, pulsing into her until she cried out weakly. He muffled her cries with his own, thrusting his tongue into her mouth in the same rhythm that his hips thrusted against hers. Emily came again as she never had before, the muscles inside her clenching and expanding over and over while his tongue stroked her mouth. Then she heard him moan and felt him slump against her, holding her to the wall while he shuddered.
“Richard,” she said, and he kissed her.
“We’ve got to do this in a bed,” he whispered, touching her hair. “It’s so much easier.”
They held each other, kissing and touching wordlessly, until the cleaners left.
“Come home with me,” he said.
“I can’t.” Emily put her head on his chest. “I don’t have anything to wear tomorrow.”
And I’ve got to think about this,
she told herself.
Because this is more than I expected. This is more than I ever dreamed of.
But when they reached the street and he hailed a cab, he got in beside her and gave the driver his address.
In the back seat of the cab, he couldn’t seem to stop touching her, not to arouse her but almost as if he had to prove she was there beside him. He looked at her as if she was a miracle, touching her cheek, her hair, holding her hand. The smile in his eyes was more than just heat and lust. She felt loved and desired and claimed.
The claimed part bothered her.
“Richard...” she began.
“I want to make love to you all night.” He kissed her sweetly. She felt dizzy every time his mouth touched her.
“No, listen,” she said, and he laughed and kissed her again.
He was a great kisser.
He was a terrible listener.
When Richard got out at his apartment, he turned to help her out, but Emily pulled the door shut in his face and told the driver to go on.
I want him again,
but on my terms this time. Because if I don’t establish some kind of equality in our relationship pretty soon, I’m going to spend the rest of my life being ignored, humored, dictated to and put on hold.
Even to be with Richard, that’s too big a sacrifice.
Oh, my God, Richard.
She leaned back in the cab and thought about him again and the way he’d moved against her, inside her. She closed her eyes and savored the memory. It was going to be a lot of work to get him to take her seriously, but he was worth it. He was worth everything.
* * *
chipper this morning,” Jane said.
“Thank you.” Emily smiled smugly.
“Your underpants are on your desk.”
“The cleaners found them in the conference room and put them on the lost-and-found bulletin board. Real clowns, those cleaners.”
“Does anybody know?”
“Absolutely not. I was the first one here. And I only knew they were yours because I bought them for you.”
“You get a raise.”
“Thank you. I deserve one. So who was the lucky man?”
“What man?” Emily said brightly, and went into her office.
An hour later, Jane buzzed her on the intercom. “The Hun would like to see you in his office. ASAP.”
I bet he does,
He snaps his fingers, and I scurry up the stairs, and then he makes love to me on his office desk until I lose my mind. Well, actually, that last part sounds great, but I’m not going to his office. It’s time to make Richard start listening to me right now, because once we’re married, it’ll be too late.
Emily swallowed, sandbagged by her own subconscious.
Well, yes. Married. But on my terms, not his.
“Tell him I’m busy,” she said.
“Okay,” Jane said.
Emily spread the gem photographs that advertising had sent her across her desk.
There really isn’t any choice,
she thought, as she compared the paste to the gems. The fake stones were pale and dull, refusing to catch the light, while the rubies sparkled from inside and pulsed with color. She scribbled notes for a memo to Richard.
Even he’s got to see the difference here,
Even he should be able to spot the sizzle of the real thing.
The door opened, and without looking up, she said, “Jane, I’ve got a memo for Richard the Hun here.”
“Good,” Richard said. “I’ll take it.”
She looked at him over the top of her glasses. “Didn’t it occur to you to have my secretary announce you?”
He closed the door behind him and walked to the desk. “Your secretary is gone. And I need your memo on the stones now. I’ve got a report to make, you know.” He smiled down at her. “My reports go in on time.”
You are one arrogant SOB,
As if he’d read her mind, his smile widened, and her heart leaped to her throat. He leaned over and put his hands on the desk, and she remembered the last time he’d leaned over her, remembered where his hands and lips had gone. Her heart beat faster, and her breath came a little quicker.
Oh, no, you don’t,
she told herself.
She forced herself to lean back in her chair and look up at him calmly. “I’ll have Jane send the memo right up,” she said, trying to keep the huskiness out of her voice. “It has my recommendations and the estimates.”
“What do I have to do to get it now?” he asked softly.
I haven’t fooled him,
Damn him. I’ve got to take control.
Jane’s voice came over the intercom. “George on line two.”
“I’ve got it.” Emily slid her chair back slightly to pick up the phone.
“Emily,” Richard said, trying to be stern. “The memo.”
Richard the Hun in action.
Emily suddenly found herself enjoying the situation. She covered the mouthpiece with her hand and grinned at him. “I’m busy. Get on your knees and grovel.” Then she turned back to the phone. “George! How wonderful to talk to you. You know, I was just saying to Jane, George and I don’t talk enough.”
“Emily?” George said.
“That’s me,” Emily said, batting her eyes at Richard. “What’s up?”
“Well...” George sounded confused. “I was just wondering how it was going with Richard? Everything all right?”
“Just great, George.” She stuck out her tongue at Richard. “Couldn’t have asked for a nicer guy to work with. Always asks, never orders. Great listener. Considerate, undemanding, a real liberated kind of guy.”
Richard raised his eyebrows at her. “You want to play games?” he asked. Then he walked around to her side of the desk and got down on his knees.
“What are you doing?” Emily said.
“Going over the last project totals,” George said.
“Cooperating,” Richard said. His hands slid over her knees and up to her waist, taking her skirt with them. Emily tried to put her knees together, but he thrust his body between them, spreading her legs farther apart and pulling her hips toward him.
“Stop it.” Emily tried to shove him back with her free hand.
“Now, Emily,” George said. “Relax. I’m not interfering with your project.”
“Relax.” Richard put his mouth against the softness of her inner thigh.
Emily moved her hand to his head and tried to push him away.
Great day I picked to stop wearing panty hose and start wearing stockings,
she thought wildly.
Oh, God, what is he doing? We’re in my
for heaven’s sake.
“Emily?” George said. “Emily, don’t be difficult about this.”
She twined her fingers in Richard’s hair and jerked his head up. He winced and pulled her hand away. “The garters are a good idea,” he said. “Don’t ever wear anything else.” And then he lowered his head again, clamping her hand at her side.
“Emily, will you please listen to me about this?” George said.
“I’m listening, George.” She tried to roll her chair away from Richard, but he pulled her in closer. His lips were tickling her inner thighs, his tongue flicking in and out. The tickling made her giggle, which was bad for her phone image, she knew. Of course, if George could see her now, her phone image would be the least of her problems. She tried hard to concentrate on George’s rambling, but Richard was much more interesting.
“Richard can do a lot for you, Emily,” George was saying.
“No kidding,” Emily said, trying to decide if she was more concerned about preserving her dignity or having great sex in the middle of the morning.
It wasn’t much of a decision.
Richard let go of her hand and reached under her skirt, pulling the silk of her bikini panties to one side.
“Emily?” George said as Richard slipped his tongue inside her.
“I’ll talk to you later!” she cried, and slammed down the phone. Richard darted his tongue in and out of her, and Emily fell back in her chair, lacing her fingers in his hair and pulling him closer, lost in the waves of heat he was stirring in her.
Jane knocked on the door, and before Emily could stop her, she came in, frowning at some papers in her hand. Richard fell back under her desk, pulling Emily in her desk chair after him, and Emily gasped and glanced down and then laughed out loud. The great Richard Parker, hiding under the desk. Between her legs. With a condom in his hand.
“What’s so funny?” Jane asked.
“Oh, how the mighty have fallen,” Emily said, and Richard slid his hand between her thighs and pinched her.
“And what’s wrong with you? You’re all flushed.”
“I think I have a fever.” Emily swallowed. “I may lie down for a while.” She felt Richard’s head between her legs again, the softness of his hair on her thighs, and then she felt his tongue on her skin, moving upward again.
“I really have to lie down,” she told Jane. “Hold all my calls for an hour.”
“Let me get you an aspirin,” Jane said.
“No, I have everything I need right here. Just go away.” His fingers were pulling at the silk again.
“Emily!” Jane looked concerned. “You’re really
He slipped his tongue inside her.
“No.” Emily grasped the edge of her desk. “Go away and leave me alone.” His tongue was thrusting harder and harder against her, and she could feel the waves of heat surging through her. If Jane didn’t get out of the office, she was going to scream and fall off the chair right in front of her.