Surrendering to Us by Chelsea M. Cameron

  Surrendering to Us

  Copyright © 2013 Chelsea M. Cameron

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are use fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, business establishments or locales is entirely coincidental.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. All rights reserved.

  Cover Copyright © Chelsea M. Cameron

  Edited by Jen Hendricks

  Interior Design by sNovel Ninjutsu

  “For the last time, NO, I will not meet you in the supply closet,” I hissed into the phone as Lucah tried, once again, to convince me to sneak away from my desk for a mid-afternoon tryst. “You don’t seem to understand the fact that if either of us does something like that and gets caught, we’re both out on our asses. And I don’t have a back-up job as a corporate spy.”

  “I’m not a corporate spy,” he said in his grumpy voice. I could just picture his face, even though his desk is no longer right across from mine. I glanced up at Lilia, my new assistant. She was staring at her computer but as soon as she felt my gaze on her, terror bloomed in her eyes. Yeah, she was a little afraid of me.

  “Look, I’ll see you in a few hours. If there’s no one in the elevator, you can totally grope me.” I had to compromise.

  He sighed heavily. “It’s not the same, but I guess I can live with it. See you later, Sunshine.”

  “Bye, Mr. Blythe.” I hung up and couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face. That man made me so damn happy, sometimes it was hard to breathe.

  A timid knock at the door broke me out of my happy love haze and I looked up to find Lilia hovering just outside of the door. I took a deep breath and tried to remember that she was young and she was new, and I had to be patient.

  Clarke Enterprises was embarking on an intense public relations campaign to rehab our image after several of our employees were caught embezzling money and using it to fund a drug business. So we cleaned house and hired on a bunch of college students as interns, including Lilia. Her résumé had been the best, but she’d sort of bombed the interview. Still, I wanted to give her a chance, so here we were.

  “Miss Clarke? I have those new Codes of Conduct for you to sign off on.” Her voice was midway between a whisper and a squeak. In spite of being twenty-two, but she looked much younger, with large brown eyes and a nose that was too small for her face. But that girl knew how to dress, which was one of the things that made me hire her. She could give Sloane a run for her money in her navy jumper with a white shirt underneath and a little shrug on top. Her shoes were also fabulous, and I’d often found myself wondering if we were the same size so I could borrow them.

  “Great, thank you Lilia. If you just want to put them here, I’ll get to them when I can.” Now that Lucah was no longer my assistant, I was quickly realizing how much he actually did for me, a lot of it without me even knowing. I’d been trying to train Lilia to do things the way I wanted, but it was slow going. I may also have lost my patience with her a few times, which helped to increase her abject terror when she was in my presence.

  I gave her a smile, but that didn’t change the deer-in-the-headlights look she still had on her face. Maybe it was just that her eyes were so big. I should probably stop staring at her.

  “Did you need something else?” I tried to make my voice as soft as I could. As if I was talking to a baby or a scared animal.

  “No. Um, yes. I was just thinking that maybe I could start flagging your emails at three levels? Yellow, orange and red? Then you could deal with the absolute most important and work your way down.” I was stunned for a moment. Firstly, I remembered Lucah doing almost the exact same thing when he started working for me, and second, that was an excellent idea and I was ticked I hadn’t already thought of it.

  “Oh. Yeah. That’s a great idea, Lilia. If you wouldn’t mind doing that it would help me out so much.”

  “Oh. Great. Thank you, Miss Clarke.” She turned to go back to her desk.

  “Lilia?” She almost cringed, as if I was going to smack her. Jesus Christ. “If you have any other ideas like that, please don’t hesitate to come to me with them. It’s a really good idea.” Miracle of miracles, she cracked the tiniest of smiles. There was hope for her yet.

  My phone rang and she scuttled back to her desk. I looked at the caller ID before I picked up, and that caused me to roll my eyes.

  “Can I help you Mr. Blythe?”

  “Just hear me out . . .” I closed my eyes. He was relentless.

  “Well hello, Mr. Blythe. Fancy meeting you here at the elevators.” I put on a mask of shock. As if I were surprised to see him on my floor.

  “Why, Miss Clarke. It’s as much a shock to me as it is to you. Shall we ride down together?” He reached for the down button and I fought to keep a straight face. Only a few people knew Lucah and I were together and I wanted to keep it that way. There were definitely people who would use it to try to get rid of me.

  “Why Mr. Blythe, what a splendid idea.” He pushed the button and we waited for the door to open. Touching or kissing was out of the question, no matter how much both of us wanted to. We kept a strict three-foot space between us. It was almost sexier that way. I could feel the desire building already and I knew that neither of us was going to get much sleep tonight. Both of us had been so stressed with work lately, and with the addition of Lucah’s disaster of a brother, Ryder, some nights we came home and just collapsed in bed. Like an old married couple. Maybe I should start putting my hair in rollers at night, and Lucah should start reading mysteries with bifocals.

  The elevator opened and we both heaved a sigh of relief when it was empty.

  “After you, Miss Clarke,” he said, gesturing to the blissfully empty elevator.

  “Thank you, Mr. Blythe.” As soon as the doors clicked closed, that three feet of space was gone.

  “Hello, Miss Clarke.” Lucah said into my mouth.

  “Hello, Mr. Blythe.” His entire body pressed against me, and my skin ignited under my clothes. Clothes. Such pesky things. Always getting in the way.

  Our mouths started a feverish dance of lips and tongues and sometimes clashing teeth and noses. I didn’t care, he didn’t care, it was all about getting close, close, closer.

  But there was something else in his mouth that I wasn’t used to having there during working hours. I pulled back to look at him. Of course, he had been waiting for that. Slowly, he stuck his tongue out. It took me a second to see, but he’d replaced his silver tongue barbell with a clear plastic one that was only visible close up. I tried to touch it, but he sucked his tongue back into his mouth.

  “Aren’t we clever?” I said as his hands roamed all over my back and under my skirt. My hands were on his chest, and I could just barely feel his nipple ring through his jacket and dress shirt. My rebel in a suit.

  “I’m ready for you, Sunshine.” He grabbed my ass and yanked me close, and he was ready. “Do you want me inside you?” he growled in my ear, grinding his hips against me.

  “No, not really,” I said, trying to make my voice nonchalant, which was very hard to do when he was rubbing right where I wanted him most. God, I could come from just this. He laughed in my ear and moved his hand deftly under up my skirt and past my panties.

  “Liar.” He brought his fingers out and held them up. They were coated with my desire. The elevator dinged, announcing we were at the ground floor. Lucah stepped away from me, but at the same time, he slid his fingers into his mouth. Fuck, that was hot.

  I pretended to glare at him, but he just winked and took h
is fingers out of his mouth and gestured to the open doors.

  “Shall we?” Yes, we shall.

  We maintained the three-foot distance until we were out of the building and on neutral ground. As soon as our feet hit the sidewalk, he picked me up so our faces were level, which required a lot of lifting on his part.

  “Hi,” he said, giving me a kiss.

  “Hi,” I said back, and he set me down, taking my hand as we walked down the sidewalk. It was officially Lucah and Rory time.

  “So how was your day, dear?” he said as I leaned against his shoulder. The weather was warm, but I still snuggled close to him as if he was protecting me from a chilly wind.

  “Well, Lilia smiled when I gave her a compliment. That was something.”

  He gasped dramatically. “I didn’t know she had it in her. She must be warming up to you.” I laughed.

  “We can’t have that. I’m a stone cold bitch. And don’t you forget it.” He stopped me and gave me a loud kiss on my cheek.

  “I didn’t believe it for a second.” I stuck my un-pierced tongue out at him.

  “How was your day, my darling?” I said.

  “Well, I am working on a very secret project that I can’t even tell you about. I’ve been sworn to silence.” I gave him a look and he pretended to zip his lips.

  “I’m a Vice President. You can’t hide things from me, Lucah Blythe. I have eyes and ears.” My father was also the President and CEO, so that helped with eyes and ears thing.

  “Why, Miss Clarke, are you trying to intimidate me into giving up corporate secrets? That is very against the new rules I just happened to catch a glimpse of.”

  “How in the hell did you know about that?”

  “I have my own eyes and ears.”

  “Mrs. Andrews?” He lifted his chin in the air and turned his head away from me.

  “I will never reveal my sources. You forget that I once worked as a corporate spy. I know how to keep a secret and find information that other people don’t want me to know.” It was true. He had lying skills that I could never hope to acquire. It worried me, but only sometimes. He’d been so open with me about everything since he’d told me what he was doing at Clarke Enterprises and who he really was. It was almost a shock after him being so secretive for so long.

  We took the T back to our (I still got flutters every time I thought about it) apartment. After groping each other in the elevator, I was fully ready and prepared for a long night of making love, hopefully with a shower, sleep and some food thrown in between. But as soon as I had gotten the door unlocked and open, and he had shoved me against the counter in the kitchen, there was a frantic knock. Lucah and I paused, mid-kiss, and his hand paused as it was lifting my leg up to wrap it around his waist.

  “I know you guys are in there, and I’m praying that you aren’t mid-coitus. But if you are, remove your penis from my BFF, Lucah, and open the damn door.” Lucah and I stared at each other and I suppressed the urge to groan.

  Sloane had been so good when we’d lived together about giving Lucah and me alone time, and even making us dinner, but since we’d moved down the hall, things had been very different.

  “If we don’t let her in, she’ll never go away,” he whispered in my ear as his fingers tickled my thigh. Yeah, didn’t I know it.

  We’d tried ignoring her once when we HAD been mid-coitus and she had just blown up both of our phones and knocked until Lucah had pulled out, we’d adjusted our clothes and let her in.

  “Hello, former best friend,” I said as I opened the door. She just held up a bottle of champagne and walked in. Granted, we did use to live together, but that had changed a few weeks ago. I’d threatened to revoke her key privileges, but she just told me she’d made a ton of copies.

  “Hello, Sloane,” Lucah said, leaning against the counter. At least he didn’t have a hard-on this time. Maybe he’d gotten better at getting rid of it. Turn it on, turn it off. Penis up, penis down.

  “Look, I know you two are just about to have a night full of crazy sex that Rory will regale me with later, but I came with a peace offering.” She held out the bottle in both hands and bowed over it, as if she was giving us a precious gift. “It’s the last bottle of ‘96 Dom a client sent me. I saved it special for you. And I also wanted to tell you that I will, from here on out, give you your space. Another gift from me to you.” I took the bottle from her and went to find a bottle opener. I’d had to pretty much re-buy every utensil in my kitchen, because most of them had been Sloane’s and she’d kept them in our old place.

  “What’s up, Ginger?” Lucah ignored her and went to the cabinet to get glasses, but he brought three down. He might complain about her interrupting us, but he was always kind to her. Yet another reason I loved him. I couldn’t say the same for Sloane, but I loved her anyway.

  “Not a whole lot, what’s new with you?” He was fishing to see if she’d had any contact with his brother. Sparks had nearly ignited the building when they’d met a few weeks ago when Ryder came to help Lucah and me move down the hall.

  I’d warned Lucah about it, and he’d been skeptical until he’d seen them in action. Sloane had even tried to get me to invite him to the company Ball, but I put my foot down on that one. Since then, I hadn’t heard any mention of his name, and Lucah said that Ryder hadn’t said anything to him either.

  “Nothing. Just swamped with work. I have some new things I was thinking that our girl could wear.” Lucah’s eyes lit up. This was one thing that Lucah and Sloane saw eye-to-eye on. Me wearing her sexy lingerie.

  I popped the cork on the champagne and poured us all glasses. My stomach rumbled, but I’d have to deal with it. As if reading my mind, Sloane went to the fridge, pulled out some cheese and then got some crackers and a plate. When it came to food, she did most of the grocery shopping for herself and then for Lucah and me. Things would just appear in my fridge that I didn’t buy, and she would plead innocence. Pretty sure she thought that if she didn’t monitor my eating, I would be reduced to starving, or eating chips because I couldn’t function without her.

  “Thanks,” I said as she handed me a cracker sandwich.

  “I’m making steak skewers with aioli and an arugula salad with grilled pears and crème fraiche over at my place. It should be done in a few minutes.” She said the whole thing with a smirk.

  “What do you want?” I said, taking a swallow of the champagne. It was crisp and delicious. I knew the significance of the vintage, and they hadn’t been lying. I wanted to just grab the bottle and drink the rest of it myself.

  “I don’t want a thing,” she said, popping a cube of cheese into her mouth. “I just . . . have a proposition for you. And for you, actually.” She turned to Lucah, and he raised one eyebrow. I had no idea what she was talking about, but I had the feeling I wasn’t going to like it, and neither was Lucah.

  “So, your brother needs a job, correct?” That was all she needed to say for me to know what she wanted.

  “No,” I said and Lucah shook his head and swallowed some of the champagne.

  “No to what? You haven’t even heard my idea!”

  “I can pretty much figure out your idea, and the answer is no,” I said. I glanced at Lucah. Back me up here.

  “I don’t need your permission,” she said, draining the glass of champagne.

  “No, you don’t, Sloane. But that’s not the way to get what you want,” Lucah finally said.

  “How do you know what I want? Can you read my mind?” Sloane snapped, pouring more of the champagne. Oh, crap. This was not going to end well. Sloane liked to get her way.

  “No, but I know the effect my brother can have. I’ve seen it many times, and I’ve seen what happens when that initial spark dies out. He’s not very nice, my brother, and he needs to figure his shit out. This is not the solution.” His speech was met with silence from Sloane.

  “It was just a suggestion.” She acted like a pouty teenager, and it was completely out of character for her. I wondered if
this had anything to do with the conversation we’d had not that long ago about her being afraid that she was going to end up alone. I also had the suspicion that Lucah and me moving in together had something to do with her extremely petulant and childish behavior. Just a hunch.

  “I have to go check on dinner,” she said and left, taking her champagne glass with her.

  “That went well,” I said, finishing my glass and pouring some more. The bottle was almost empty. So much for savoring the vintage.

  “It’ll be for the best, in the long run. He’d break her, and I couldn’t stand to see that happen. She’s too good for him.” It wasn’t that Lucah had such a low opinion of his brother. Ryder’s track record spoke for itself. Lucah had filled me in on more of the dirty details, and most of the stories were shocking.

  Ryder had done it all. Sex, drugs and rock and roll, leaving a trail of heartbroken women in his wake. One had even killed herself when he’d broken up with her. She’d been severely depressed and on drugs at the time. Drugs he’d sold her. And there was more. So much more.

  It would be so much easier of Sloane was a teenager and I was her mother. Then I could lock her in her room. But maybe I could lock her in her apartment . . .

  “But if she’s determined to have him, in whatever sense, there is nothing we can do about it. God, I wish I could ship him off to military school,” Lucah said.

  This had been happening increasingly more often. I would think something and then he would say nearly the same thing out loud. Sometimes I wondered if Lucah and I were absorbing each other and someday we’d wake up and we’d be attached at the hip. Literally. That wouldn’t be so bad.

  “I know, but she’s an adult and she has to make her own decisions.” He held out his arms and I leaned into them while he pulled my hair out of its low ponytail and ran his fingers through it.

  “We could always tell her he has herpes.” That made me smile.

  “I love you.”

  “I love you, Sunshine.” Love made you feel fluttery even when your boyfriend mentioned herpes.

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