Read an Excerpt
Lisa Graham wanted to stomp her foot in frustration. Sometimes, life was not fair. No, sometimes, life really sucked. Big time.
She’d barely survived the day from hell in the office, snagged her last pair of pantyhose on the edge of a desk drawer, spilled coffee on a freshly printed document and had her foot stepped on in a crowded elevator. With her car in the service shop, all she wanted was to grab a cab to take her home, fall into a bubble bath and drink the rest of the bottle of wine left in the refrigerator.
She was through with wasting her time with losers. Men, who came on strong, promised the earth but then were only concerned with themselves and their own pleasure.
She couldn’t remember the last time a man she’d been with had been concerned with her orgasm. Her pleasure. Her feelings.
It was her own fault, she supposed, for choosing badly. After Jason, she’d decided to stop choosing at all. She and her collection of dildos could entertain her just fine, thank you, without worrying about some man’s fragile ego. Was it too much to ask that men think of her once in a while?
Not to mention the fact that she couldn’t seem to find one who was willing to indulge her fantasies. Oh, yeah, she had fantasies. Plenty of them. Some of them were so erotic she blushed just thinking about them. And it seemed that was all she would ever get to do. Just think about them.
She sighed as the elevator reached the ground floor with a slight thump! and disgorged everyone into the lobby. The bath and wine were looking better and better.
She emerged from her office building to find that her bad luck only continued. The skies had opened up, delivering a pouring rainstorm. Her umbrella barely withstood the wind, and every cab that passed was occupied. Life was not being kind to her. Of course, being five-foot-two didn’t help when everyone else shouting for cabs was considerably taller and much larger than her petite figure. How was a driver to see her when people rudely shoved her out of the way?
After twenty futile minutes on the sidewalk, she wanted to just lie down on the wet concrete and cry.
A man brushed against her, hurrying past, and when she turned to spit a curse at him, she saw him opening the heavy oak door to the little bar next to her office building. The sign over the door read in discreet lettering. In fact, the whole thing was so low key, she realised she’d never noticed it was there in all the time she’d worked in the building. Maybe what she needed to settle herself was a drink. By then, the worst of the rush hour should be over, and she could finally find a taxi. And what could it hurt?
Keeping the umbrella over her head until the last possible minute, she wrestled open the heavy door and stepped inside. As she shook the water from the umbrella and snapped it closed, she took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the dim interior.
The bar was small. Cosy. The only lighting came from brass sconces set into the richly panelled walls. Thick carpeting covered the floor, and an oak bar sat against one wall of the L-shaped room. She noticed that, strangely, there were no tables, only high-backed booths with curtains that could stay open or be closed. They lined the wall and followed the shape of the room.
Every stool at the bar was taken by people engrossed in their drinks. The booths all seemed occupied as well, some of them with their curtains discreetly drawn.
Hmmm. Lisa wondered what that was all about. Secret business meetings? Lovers taking refuge from the storm? No matter. There just didn’t seem to be a place for her.
Sighing, she was about to turn and plunge back into the rain when a man in the furthest booth raised his hand and waved to her.
She squinted in the dimness. Was it someone she knew? She could barely make out the thick black hair and square-jawed face. No. Not familiar. But he waved again, and she thought, What the hell. She’d had plenty of fantasies about strange men. Maybe this was her chance to indulge herself. Tentatively, she made her way back to the booth.
“Do I know you?” she asked, frowning, as she stood in front of him.
He smiled, displaying even white teeth. A tiny dimple winked at the left corner of his sensual mouth. “Not yet. But you definitely look like someone who could use a drink, and as you can see, I’m wasting this booth sitting here by myself. Can I persuade you to join me?”