The playboy's virgin

By: Mia Carson

“Sure you were. Can I get you a refill? I’m heading that way.”

Her fingers froze, and she shifted to lean back in her chair and eye him curiously. “What’s this? The mighty CEO is offering to fetch his lackey coffee? Are you feeling alright? Do you have a fever? Hallucinations maybe?”

“Listen, smart-ass, do you want coffee or not?” he asked roughly and bent down so they were at eye-level.

She sucked in a breath and cursed when his scent overwhelmed her. His dark chocolate eyes searched hers, and she fumbled for words. They were so close, all she had to do was let her chair straighten and his lips would be against hers.

“Belle?” he whispered her name, and her stomach clenched because his voice was so hoarse.

“Yeah, coffee would be… would be great,” she said and reached for her mug.

He took it but didn’t move away. Her hand stretched up, ready to tug on his beard and bring him closer, but she stopped herself at the last second. He saw her hand and smirked.

“I’ll be right back,” he told her and stalked away, giving her a nice view of his perfectly shaped ass.

“Get it together,” she muttered to herself and ran her hands through her hair. “He’s off-limits and way out of your league. Your job is more important, so keep your hands to yourself and focus.”

But when Greyson returned a few minutes later and set her coffee down with a smoldering gaze, taking in her clingy black sweater and lingering on her bare shoulder, a shiver shot down her spine and want pooled low in her belly.

This is going to be impossible, she thought and hunkered down in her chair. I’m so screwed.

Chapter 4

All day, Greyson was distracted by Belle. Every time she stood up, he pictured her in that black slinky dress. He pictured taking it off of her slowly, watching the desire in her eyes flare to life as he caressed her body and finally kissed her. There’d been so many women since his one and only real relationship, and he feared he’d never feel that spark of warmth in his chest again. Until Belle walked into his life.

He sat at his desk, staring at the ceiling, and ran his fingers over his palm, remembering how firm and warm, how soft, her hand was in his. He wanted to hold it again and not let go.

“Grey? We have a problem,” Bob from legal said as he walked in.

“Bob, haven’t we talked about this? No problems for legal after noon,” Greyson said and sat up to glance at the clock on his desk. “It’s four.”

“I know, but this one can’t wait. It’s about the new partnership.”

Greyson groaned and held out his hand for the file. “They declined the entire deal? I thought we had an agreement? The new figures looked fine to me.”

“I guess something got lost in translation,” Bob said, exasperated. “I don’t know how it happened, but they said if we don’t get it fixed and sent out by Friday at midnight, they’re turning to our competitor.”

“That’s not going to happen. Damn it, we’ve been working on this deal for months,” he snapped and stood abruptly. He glanced out the glass walls of his office and spotted Belle busy at work beside Tim. Every few minutes, Greyson would look her way and smile at the light in her eyes while she concentrated. The last thing he wanted to do was pull her away from what he'd promised, but he needed her. “Tell Belle I need to see her ASAP.”

“You think you can fix it?”

“Did they send over their specifications again?” he asked and Bob nodded. “I’ll make it work, even if I have to get on a plane and fly out there myself.”

“If you need help with it, I can stay,” Bob said, but Greyson was already shaking his head.

“Your wife just had a baby. She needs you more than I do with your brood of brats running around,” he teased.

Bob nodded in appreciation. “I’ll let Belle know you need her. Sorry, boss man.”

“No, not your fault. Shit happens, and it’s my job to fix it,” he muttered and sat down heavily. A few minutes later, Belle walked into his office, and he cringed, knowing she was going to hold this against him. “We have an emergency.”

Her face fell, and she gripped the chair in front of her. “What happened?”

“Our merger with another gaming company that will let us expand and bring in more jobs is about to fall through. I have until Friday at midnight to fix it, and I’m going to need your help drafting a new one,” he explained. “It’s going to mean staying late every day.”

It was as if the air went out of her body. She sank into the chair and stared blankly at the floor. “How late?” she asked so quietly he almost didn’t hear.

“Few hours at least. We have to tear it apart and start from scratch. It took a month to do the first one,” he stated. “You alright?”

“Yeah, yeah that’s fine. I just need to make a call.” She smiled, but it didn’t reach her eyes. “I’ll be back in a few.”

Greyson sat back in his chair, tapping his fingers on the files and wondering why staying late would upset her until he remembered her saying she worked another job. When she started talking to someone on the phone at her desk, he picked up his and called Kelly in HR.

“Hey,” he said when she answered. “How is Belle paid?”

“She’s getting a stipend. Why?”

“Change her to hourly,” he ordered.

“You sure?” she asked. “She’s still just an intern. We never did that for any of the others.”

“Yeah, I’m sure. We’re going to be working on a new proposal for the deal about to fall through, and I’m going to need her here late. Want to make sure she’s compensated for her time,” he grumbled, and when Kelly whispered something under her breath, Greyson straightened. “What was that?”

“Nothing at all, sir,” she chirped happily. “I’ll make the change tonight. Starting hourly pay or higher?”

“Starting should be fine. Thanks, Kelly,” he said and hung up.

That would be a nice surprise for her, at least. He hoped if this was going to be too much, she would tell him, but the bags under her eyes that morning told him something else about this woman. She was more like him than he’d originally thought. A hard worker, someone who didn’t quit and didn’t let herself rest. He blew out a heavy breath through his nose. Maybe this week, he’d find a way to convince her to slow down and take it easy before she wore herself out.

He picked up the phone and called Kelly again. “Yes, sir?” she asked, and he could almost see her curious expression.

“Does Belle have a full class schedule?”

There was a pause and a shuffle of papers. “Hmm, I can’t say yes or no to that, but I’d assume so. It’s her last semester, why?”

His frown deepened. “No reason. Kelly?”

“Boss man?”

“Don’t tell her I asked,” he said and hung up just as Belle walked back into his office. “If you can’t stay late, let me know. I can make other arrangements.”

“It’s all taken care of,” she stated and clapped her hands together. “So, when do we start?”

“Tonight if possible. The sooner we get started, the sooner we might be able to get this finished,” he said. “You’re sure you can do this?”

She nodded, and her smile widened. “Not an issue. I’ll get my stuff from Tim and come back here.”

She turned, but he called her back. “Why don’t you call in some take-out for dinner? Did you eat lunch today?” he asked, noticing how pale she looked. Her eyes widened, and she glanced away guiltily. “Order takeout. We’ll eat while we work.”

Belle tugged at her pierced ear and left his office. He watched her go, admiring the view as he always did, but worry nagged at him. Usually, he didn’t pay that much attention to anyone else’s habits in his office, being too busy with everything on his plate, but with Belle keeping him on track, his mind was able to pick up on the little things. He thought about last week and realized he hadn’t seen her eat during the day. Ever. He knew she took an hour lunch like everyone else, but he usually left the office for his lunch, ate with one of the other guys, or went out.

He scratched his beard, wondering if he should push it, but decided against it for now. At least he was able to change her wage. Maybe after this week, she’d see she didn’t need her other job.

Why do you care so much?

He dated plenty of women, even spent weekends with them, but it was always a quick in and out, no emotional attachments and no promises. He wasn’t that type of guy, not anymore, unless Belle was around. Then something inside of him warmed, was pulled to her. She was beautiful and strong, but he sensed the stubbornness in her, the same he had. After their spat on Friday, he knew she had a temper too, hidden beneath the tough exterior. This week of staying late at the office was going to be his chance to get under her skin, just as she did to him.

“What makes you tick?” he mused quietly as he watched her stride back to her desk and finish the rest of the day’s work. He smirked and rocked back in his office chair. She’d challenged him on Friday, and he was going to accept her challenge and find a way to make Belle his.

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