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By P.J. Mellor
APHRODISIA BOOKSCopyright © 2011 P.J. Mellor
All right reserved.
Chapter One"Ow-wee!" Reese Parker hissed at the paper cut and stuck her index finger in her mouth while she continued digging through the pile of papers in her desk drawer. The stupid itinerary and instructions the Dragon Lady had e-mailed her just before quitting time had to be there, somewhere.
A glance at her watch had her cussing under her breath. Paige and Bailey probably thought she'd forgotten about coming back to the bar. Dang the Dragon Lady for ruining what could very well be the last margarita night with her friends, for who knew how long.
Reese doubled her efforts, then paused and listened. Deciding she was hearing things, she resumed her search, only to stop and listen again.
She wasn't alone.
Her shaking hand finally closed around the stupid paperwork. Was that a moan? It sure sounded like a moan.
"Easy," she cautioned, under her breath, "it's probably just your imagination." Slow, silent footsteps brought her to her partially closed door.
A peek into the darkened hallway revealed nothing. Easing the door open, she stepped out.
Sure enough, a light glowed around the half-opened door of her boss's office. It could only mean one thing. Dorinda Laughlin, the Dragon Lady herself, was burning the midnight oil. Of course, she was. The Dragon Lady had no life and expected none of her employees to have one either.
A deep breath calmed Reese somewhat as she forced her feet to take her down the carpeted hall to the Dragon Lady's lair. Since Reese had already sacrificed part of her last night in town to come back to the office, she dang well wanted credit for it.
Hand poised to knock, she stopped when she heard another low moan. Breath held, she eased forward and peeked through the crack.
And promptly fell back against the wall, her hand clamped over her mouth. She wasn't sure if she would scream or giggle, but it was a safe bet neither would be appreciated by her boss. When she was reasonably certain she could contain herself, she snuck another peek.
Bathed in what appeared to be either candlelight or the soft glow of a table lamp on the other side of the office, Dorinda's preteen-like breasts jiggled with her movement. Her tiny nipples were puckered up like raisins.
Reese's first thought was to wonder if Dorinda had done something spontaneous, like shove everything off her desk in a pique of sexual frenzy. Nah, not the Dragon Lady. Everything was probably neatly stacked on the credenza on the far end of her office. She wondered if her boss had stacked while naked. That thought caused her to swallow a nervous giggle.
Despite feeling she may have to gouge out her eyes, she couldn't resist taking another look.
A man was stretched out on the desk, the Dragon Lady astride him. He had an interesting bald patch on the crown of his head. Reese wondered if anyone noticed when he was upright. While she contemplated this, he raised both hands to skim Dorinda's bony ribs. Round and round his hands went, while his partner moaned and rode him harder, before he palmed her minuscule breasts. Probably took him that long to locate the puny things.
That thought had Reese spinning around and clamping her hand over her mouth again.
When she could control herself, she turned to make her way out of the office. What the heck. There was something exciting about watching someone have sex, even her emaciated boss. Just a few more minutes, Reese promised her conscience.
Suddenly the man sat up, grabbing Dorinda's legs, arranging her so she lay back along his legs, a stiletto-clad foot on either side of his ears.
Reese watched, shifting to relieve the uncomfortable ache between her legs. When the man reached forward and twisted Dorinda's little nipples, Reese winced and rubbed her own.
Unable to tear her gaze from the raunchy scene, her breathing became shallow, her heart rate hitched up a notch. Or two.
"Oh, yeah, baby!" Dorinda's husky voice drew Reese's attention. "Harder, you whore! Drill me!"
The man slid her forward, then pounded her back against his groin. They groaned, and for a horrifying second, Reese worried she'd done it too.
"You naughty little cunt," the man said in a guttural voice, "you have to be punished."
He slid off the desk, dragging Dorinda with him.
Reese jumped, flattening her back along the wall next to the door.
When neither lover charged the door, she peeked around again.
The man bent her normally stiffly formal boss over the arm of her desk chair, revealing way more of her skinny anatomy than Reese ever wanted to see. He spread Dorinda's legs wide, than slapped her swollen labia with the palm of his hand. The wet, slightly hollow sound echoed in the quiet office.
On his knees, he pinched her together and alternately bit and licked her until she was writhing on the smooth leather.
Turn a little more toward the window, Reese silently urged. She wanted and, for some reason, needed a better view.
As though he'd heard her mental plea, he turned Dorinda toward the moonlight spilling in from the big plate glass window.
One hairy hand grasped his neon green condom–covered member. He thumped her, sort of like he was spanking her with his wanger. Dorinda growled deep in her throat.
Reese swallowed a shriek of laughter that threatened. Enough. She really needed to get back to the bar.
But when he flexed, driving his green penis deeply into the now-screaming Dorinda, Reese's breath caught. Watching the couple go at it should not have been titillating. Yet ...
How pathetic could she get? She was jealous of her boss. Jealous of raunchy, secret sex.
Lord help her.
She wanted it too.
Chapter TwoA sheen of perspiration had developed on her forehead by the time Reese hopped out of the elevator and headed for the door of her office building. A glance at her watch told her if she hurried, she could make the end of happy hour.
The big black limo she'd noticed on her way in was still idling at the curb in front of the door.
Jerk, she thought, hurrying toward the corner. Some people thought because they had money they didn't have to obey the law or even show common courtesy.
Good thing the Bullfrog Pub was less than a block from her office, or else she wouldn't have made it. Especially in her current state of sexual frustration.
The comforting smell of fajitas and beer greeted her as she stepped through the door. Her friends Paige and Bailey were still seated in the round booth in the far corner, their usual spot on Thursday nights.
"About damn time," Paige groused as Reese slid into the booth. "We were taking bets as to whether or not you'd remember to come back."
"Cute." Reese shrugged out of her blazer and flopped back on the padded seat. "Y'all are not going to believe what I saw! Wait! First we need to order another pitcher."
"Just did," Bailey said, with a smile, over the salted rim of her glass.
"Don't just sit there and eat!" Paige glared when Reese grabbed a fried crawfish from the appetizer platter and popped it in her mouth. "So ... what did you see that we won't believe? Swallow your food and tell us!"
Reese glanced over her shoulder, then leaned over the table. Her friends leaned with her.
"I just saw a horrible, shocking sight...." Reese nodded at the waiter when he set a fresh salted margarita glass in front of her.
"Well?" Bailey whispered when he'd walked away. "Are you going to tell us or do we have to guess?"
Reese snickered and took a fortifying sip of her drink. "You'd never guess. Trust me."
"Shit, Reese!" Paige gripped Reese's forearm. "Tell us already."
"Ow. No need for brutality." Smiling, she met the gaze of each of her two best friends. After a pause for effect, she said in a low voice, "I just saw the Dragon Lady getting her brains screwed out."
"Eww!" Bailey set her drink on the table and did a theatrical shudder. "I think I'd have to gouge my eyes out."
Paige snickered. "No shit? Is she as much of a skinny ass naked as she looks fully clothed?"
Reese blinked. "Yeah. But after a few minutes, I didn't notice, I guess."
"After a few minutes?" Bailey looked horrified.
"Damn, Reese, how long did you watch?" Paige laughed and poured another drink. "And," she added, glaring at Reese, "more importantly, I have to wonder why? Were you turned on?"
Reese swallowed and reached for a fried cheese stick. "I don't know. Maybe a little." She bit into the stick and chewed thoughtfully. "Makes me wonder if I have a latent voyeuristic tendency."
"Honey," Paige said, dipping a crawfish into the hot avocado sauce, "we all have a voyeuristic tendency. That's why they invented porn."
Bailey and Reese groaned.
"I'm just saying." Paige tossed her long, dark hair over her shoulder as she popped the crawfish in her mouth and chewed with gusto. Which was pretty much the way Paige did anything. Reese envied that quality.
After she swallowed, Paige asked, "So, did the Dragon Lady see you?"
"Thankfully, no." Reese snickered. "She was, um, otherwise occupied." At that, she and Bailey broke into hysterical laughter.
Paige did an eye roll. "A better question would be, did you get the stuff you needed? Remember? That was the reason you had to run back to the office. Is any of this ringing a bell?"
In answer, Reese reached down into her satchel and produced the papers. "Right here. At least now I won't have to worry about leaving for the airport tomorrow morning in time to swing by and pick them up."
"Trust me"—Paige licked the rim of her empty glass—"you'll just find something else to obsess over. It's what you do." She shrugged and leaned on the table. "And speaking of what you do, why on earth did you agree to do this? You're not up to it, Reese. You get plane sick, train sick, and carsick. Hell, you practically puke in the elevator."
"I know." Reese shrugged and reached for the last crawfish. "But it wasn't really an option. I want a promotion. When Dorinda told me about her dream to open a bed-and-breakfast, I felt like we'd, well, bonded. Sort of." She chewed and swallowed. "And now, every time I look at her, I know I'll have flashbacks of her sexual romp. I need to get away for a while." She shuddered. "Besides, business has been slow. It's not like I have anything major going on. Maybe, if I do this for her, it will give me a leg up on my competition."
"Sweetie." Paige patted Reese's hand. "Listen to me very carefully. There is no competition. No one wants your job."
"I'm afraid she's right," Bailey said in a meek voice.
"I'm her executive assistant! I handle a lot of important clients—"
"And then the Dragon Lady reels them in and takes all the credit, not to mention the commission. Am I right? You know I am, I can see it in your eyes."
Reese looked at Bailey, who nodded.
"Face it," Paige continued, "you're a glorified gofer. A step-up from a secretary. Maybe."
Reese's shoulders slumped. "You're right." She sighed. "But I've already committed to going. So I will. One last time. Bailey, if you'll look around for a better job, I'll start sending out my résumé when I get home."
"She'll do better than that," Paige assured her. "I'll update your résumé while you're gone. When I'm finished with it, people will be falling all over each other to hire you, at twice your current salary. Maybe more. As soon as I'm done, Bailey can start submitting it. Then, when you get back, you just have to go on interviews and make your selection."
"Thanks. I think."
"Where are you going again?" Bailey scratched the bridge of her nose.
"Sand Dollar. According to the map, it's on the Gulf Coast."
"I thought you said it was an island." Paige signaled for another pitcher.
"No, none for me," Reese told her, "I'll never make it out of bed on time for my flight if I have any more. And you're right. The place I'm bidding on is an island, just off the coast."
"Sand Dollar has an airport?" Bailey threw down a wad of money.
"According to my itinerary, it's a municipal airport."
"Which is small-town speak for a hole-in-the-wall," Paige said, digging in her briefcase, then tossing her platinum card on top of Bailey's cash. "Put your wallet away, Reese. Tonight's on us."
Bailey nodded. "A going-away present."
"Y'all do realize I'm only going to be gone five days, a week tops? Maybe two weeks if I have to stay for the auction."
"Yes, we know." Bailey sighed as they made their way to the door. "But that means we'll miss margarita night next week. Maybe even the following week."
"I'm sure you'll survive." After hugging her friends outside the bar, Reese waited for traffic to clear before crossing the street to her loft.
What little buzz she had going on from the margaritas dissipated by the time she ran up the stairs to the fifth floor. She told herself the stairs helped keep her legs toned and her lungs strong.
Besides, a lot of people disliked elevators.
The thought of the moving sidewalk at the airport and, worse, her upcoming flight made her palms sweat. A glance confirmed her packed bag was ready and waiting by the door. Nothing to do but try to get some sleep.
She didn't even want to contemplate the shuttle flight to Sand Dollar. For that matter, how the heck was she going to get out to the island? She'd promised to check out the property before the auction. What had she gotten herself into?
"You can do this," she told her reflection as she flossed her teeth while preparing for bed. "You have to do this." Paige's words about her less than prestigious job echoed in her head. One more trip and her association with the Dragon Lady would be history.
Chapter ThreeBy ten the next morning, Reese knew if she survived the trip, she would never travel again. Ever.
Her distinctly green face stared back at her from the cracked mirror in the ladies' room at the Sand Dollar Municipal Airport as she wiped the wet paper towel across her forehead.
How could she possibly throw up again? Everything had already made a reappearance.
The flight from Houston had been fairly uneventful. It gave her false confidence. The flight from hell in the little plane, which she could have sworn was held together with baling wire, shot said confidence all to heck. She wouldn't have been surprised to see her shoes come up into the paper bag they gave her. That they hadn't done cartwheels down the runway on landing was nothing short of a miracle.
"It's all behind you," she muttered, picking up her bag and heading for the exit. "Just find the limo and get on down to business."
* * *
Benjamin Adams fanned the piece of cardboard and watched the passengers ignore his sign as they hurried past.
"Where the hell could she be?" He visually searched both gates again. How in the hell could he have missed her? The airport wasn't that big.
If he wasn't desperate for money, he'd leave.
But he was, so he waved the sign again as he turned, looking for anyone who looked like they might be expecting to be picked up.
That's when he saw her.
Built like a Barbie doll, she wobbled on too-high heels, her gaze darting around. Short, baby-fine–looking blond hair fringed her face in a messy sort of way.
He knew the moment she spotted him. Her small body drew more upright, her little face taking on a look of disdainful horror.
Oh, yeah, he still had a definite effect on women. True, it wasn't the effect he would have preferred, but at least they still noticed him. Just not necessarily in a good way.
"I'm Reese Parker," she said in a hesitant voice as she walked toward him.
Of course, she was. Just his luck.
"Is that all your luggage?"
"Yes. I pack light. Besides," she added in a breathless voice as she trotted along next to him, "I don't plan to stay long."
Good. He had a bad feeling about Miss Reese Parker. From her attire, she obviously wasn't in Sand Dollar for a vacation. That left only one other logical reason: she'd come for the auction of his grandmother's island.
Shit-fire-spit, as his grandmother used to say. Could his day get any worse?
The exit door whooshed closed behind them.
"Where is the limo?" his annoying passenger asked, shielding her eyes against the sunshine.
"Don't you have any sunglasses?" Her face was all scrunched up.
"Huh?" Beneath her palm, pale eyes looked dumbfounded.
"Sunglasses. You're on the Gulf Coast. Sunglasses are basic necessities here. Did you bring any?" Was he going to have to lead her around? Wait. Maybe that might not be a bad thing.
Excerpted from Island Nights by P.J. Mellor Copyright © 2011 by P.J. Mellor. Excerpted by permission of APHRODISIA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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