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Beautiful distraction, p.31
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       Beautiful Distraction, p.31

           J. C. Reed

  “What do you want?” I asked so low I had no idea whether he had heard me.

  “What do you think?” His heated gaze scorched the front of my top. The tip of his tongue flicked over his lips, leaving a shimmering, wet trail behind. I was standing behind the closed door, my heart beating wildly as he flashed a meaningful smile, leaving no room for interpretation as to what exactly he wanted.

  “You can’t have it.”

  He cocked a brow in wry amusement. “Why not?”

  “Because it’s not available.”

  “You’re seeing someone?” His tone became frosty but he didn’t pull back from me. “Even if you are, I’m not afraid of competition. I’ll make you forget him in a heartbeat.”

  I smiled at his cockiness. Boy, was he confident. One day I’d recover my own feistiness and verbally punch a hole in that unhealthy confidence of his…just not this minute because right now I couldn’t think straight.

  “Want me to make you forget him, Brooke?” Jett whispered, leaning closer. I barely had time to breathe before his lips lowered onto mine. He kissed me with such ferocity I felt I had never been wanted so much in my life. His tongue swirled in and out of my mouth in the sweetest and most delicious dance, and I melted into his embrace. My fingers clutched at his arms as my head began to spin and my legs threatened to give way beneath me. He pushed his hips into my abdomen and I groaned into his mouth. Beneath his expensive underwear he was hard. If only a mere kiss from me did this to him, I wondered what my touch could achieve. Slowly I reached up and ran my fingers through his dark hair and down his strong chest, touching every inch of soft skin. His chest hair was dense but soft, manly. I laced my fingers in it and pulled gently until his hips rocked into my belly, rubbing gently. My groan was swallowed up by his exploring mouth.

  One minute we were kissing, the next it was over with absolutely no transition. His arms dropped me so quickly I lost my balance and almost landed flat on my ass. My eyes fluttered open and I looked up at Jett’s cool expression.

  “What’s wrong?” I croaked confused, my mind fighting its way back to reality. Telltale dampness had gathered in my panties. I crossed my legs and pressed my thighs together to hide the shameful result of my lust.

  Jett’s lips were still moist from our heated kiss, and his eyes shimmered with need. Apart from that, he seemed unnaturally collected, unfazed by what happened between us.

  Well done, Brooke, one day in the job and already you’re trying to jump the boss’s bones.

  I hadn’t started it, but I sure did nothing to stop it.

  Flames of shame burned my cheeks and wandered down my neck. I moistened my lips and looked away. “I’m sorry. I—”

  “Don’t be,” Jett cut me off.

  I shook my head. “It’s all my fault. I probably gave you the wrong impression, which wasn’t my intention. My boyfriend and I just broke up and I—”

  Jett’s thumb moved beneath my chin and he pressed gently, forcing me to face him. His expression was dark, menacing even, and his face was a mask of controlled irritation. Whatever I did or said didn’t seem to please him, so I clamped my mouth shut before I managed to humiliate myself even more.

  “We need to sort this out before it gets out of control,” he said matter-of-factly. He made it sound like what happened between us was nothing but an inconvenience that needed immediate dealing with.

  “Don’t worry, it won’t happen again.”

  “It will, Brooke. The moment I met you, I knew you wanted me as much as I wanted you. Don’t even pretend it’s not true.” His gaze settled on my open lips. For a moment I thought he’d kiss me again…until he let go and turned his back on me. “Wait for me in the living room. I’ll be with you shortly.” His tone was hard and left no room for discussion. I regarded his strong back and shoulders. His muscles were tense beneath his smooth, taut skin. A tiny drop of sweat rolled down his spine and gathered at the waistband of his pants. Whatever issues he had, he wasn’t as unperturbed as I thought.

  “Yes, sir,” I said with a smile as I walked out of his bedroom holding my head high, quite pleased with myself. Whatever strange reaction Jett Mayfield could evoke in me with nothing but a handshake, he wasn’t immune to me either. The realization excited me. It made the trouble I knew I was getting myself into almost worth it.


  “So,” Jett said, pushing a sheet of paper across the couch table toward me. He was fully dressed now in black slacks and a pale blue shirt that emphasized his broad shoulders. Unfortunately, his fully clothed status did nothing to diminish his sex appeal.

  I narrowed my gaze as I tried to scan the paper without looking too obvious. He pressed his palm on top of it, obscuring my vision. “It’s sort of a CSACA.”

  I peered up at him. “A what?”

  “I don’t fuck my staff, Brooke. I know better than that.” He drew a sharp breath and held it for a moment before he let it out slowly and shook his head, as though irritated with whatever he was about to say. “And yet here I am, almost taking you on that bedroom floor. Apparently there’s something about you that makes me want to rip off your clothes, and I know you feel the same way about me. If we’re to work together, we need to sort this out once and for all.”

  Boy, was I cheap. What gave me away? My wet panties, or the labored breathing every time he so much as gazed at me? I heaved a silent sigh. Had my attraction to him been so obvious? And more importantly, was I really so delusional to think I could hide it?

  Yeah, I was.

  “I’m not really sure where this is going,” I said more to myself than to him.

  “By agreeing to an arrangement, there’ll never be a misunderstanding as to what’s happening between us and where we’re standing.” His gaze plunged into me with an intensity that frightened me. I just stared at him, lost in his eyes. The guy was not only stunning, he also seemed to know what he was talking about. You can’t keep your head screwed on while lusting after the boss. And we both needed a clear head if we wanted to get this job done.

  “I agree. What sort of arrangement do you propose? Working in different rooms? Communicating via email and text messages?”

  “Not quite, Brooke.” His lips curled into a wicked smile. “Since we’re adults and this goes way beyond the usual sexual attraction, it’s about time we gave each other what we so desperately crave.”

  My jaw dropped and my cheeks flamed up. Was it the kind of proposition I thought it was? He couldn’t be serious, and yet I knew from his no-nonsense expression that he was. “Pardon me?” He must have noticed my shocked expression because he remained silent for a moment, giving me time to process his words. I released a hissing breath I didn’t know I had been holding. While my brain was still protesting, my abdomen did tiny somersaults at the prospect of getting down and dirty with the guy. What would be the harm in following Sylvie’s advice and giving in to my own needs for once? I was single and had nothing to lose.

  Apart from your job and heart.

  No, my heart wouldn’t be in it. Just sex. And lots of it, or as much as it’d take to get bored and move on.

  “Why did you hire me?” The question burning in my mind for the last forty-eight hours finally snaked its way out of my throat.

  “It’s not what you’re thinking, Brooke,” Jett said calmly. “James wants out of the business. For weeks he and I had been talking about signing Sunrise Properties over to our company. The contract we drafted included a clause that I take a look at what James called the ‘brightest star’ in the real estate business. He arranged a meeting at The Black Rose so we could discuss a position best suited to your qualifications and goals.”

  I leaned back, surprised. My boss went behind my back and got me an unofficial interview to not only help me keep my job, but get a promotion. I felt a strong and overwhelming gratitude toward him and made a mental note to send him a thank-you gift basket as soon as possible.

  “He asked me to talk about the company’s portfolio and pitch
ideas for a future collaboration.” It only now occurred to me just how unlikely and far-fetched it all sounded. Mayfield Properties was huge, with the kind of contracts James could only dream about. No company owner would send an employee to meet with a Fortune 100 company director and risk messing up the chance of a lifetime.

  Jett nodded. “Only I arrived late, which made you angry, and you stormed out on me.” He smiled at whatever memory crossed his mind. Actually, that wasn’t the whole truth. I stormed out on him because he was irresistibly sexy and touched me in a way that made me feel all sorts of emotions I didn’t want to feel.

  I interlaced my fingers in my lap, mortified. Yep, I had behaved like a real bitch in front of my future employer. Why he still took me on board was beyond me. Oh wait, we sort of had sex after that; so there was my answer.

  “Did you employ me because we spent the night together?” I blurted out.

  Amusement glittered in his eyes, but he shook his head slowly. “No, I hired you because you were brutally honest, just like now. You weren’t prepared to suck up and take crap from anyone. That trait’s hard to find. Besides, you came highly recommended. Sunrise Properties might not play in the big league, but James managed to survive years of recession and sell out big, which can only mean one thing: he knows how to pick his employees.”

  I bit my lip as I thought back to my former job. Not only had James decided to sell the company, he also made sure his employees wouldn’t face unemployment. I made a mental note to send him a big fat thank-you card, together with a huge bottle of his favorite champagne. I figured I owed him that much.

  “Thank you for listening to him.” Let’s face it, there was nothing on my resume that could possibly impress Jett Mayfield. That he took a chance on me based on my boss’s recommendation showed me that maybe Jett wasn’t the cold-hearted business shark I made him out to be. His company was overly successful and didn’t have the best reputation in the States, but his employees—or what I had seen of them so far—seemed to like working for him. I flashed him a hesitant smile. His beautiful lips curled into the most stunning grin I had ever seen. My chest tightened, and a warm feeling rushed through me.

  He leaned forward and brushed his thumb against my lower lip as he whispered, “I hired you for your attitude, and so far I’m pretty happy with my decision. But I’m not sure I can work with you until I’ve fucked this attraction out of my system.”

  I swallowed the lump in my throat. Seeing him with his shirt off, dressed only in his underwear, I wasn’t so sure I could work with him until he had been inside of me. Every part of me wanted and demanded him, requested that his mouth kiss me and his fingers touch my body to ease the throbbing need inside of me.

  I peered into his heated green eyes. The passion I saw in them burned through me like a wildfire. Holy shit, he meant every word of it, which scared the crap out of me because I knew he wanted me just as much as I wanted him. Somewhere at the back of my mind it occurred to me every lawyer would have a feast filing for sexual harassment. But, hell, he could harass me all he wanted.

  Get a grip, Stewart. Switch your mind on for a change.

  Every rulebook argues against getting involved with a coworker, and particularly against enjoying a fling with the boss because it tends to backfire. I thought back to Sylvie and how she got herself unemployed. What would keep Jett from firing me once we were done?

  “So you’re telling me you’ll sack me unless I have sex with you.”

  He cringed, hesitating. “That wasn’t what I meant, Brooke. I wouldn’t sack you, but we both would have a hard time doing our job.”

  I cleared my throat to get rid of my fear of making a wrong decision. For some reason I believed he wouldn’t sack me, but there were a million other reasons why getting involved wasn’t advisable. What if he was married? I wasn’t a home wrecker. “I’m not sure sex is such a good idea.”

  His brows shot up. “Why not?”

  “Because—” I brushed my hair out of my face as I considered my words. In the end I decided to be frank. “You could be married.”

  “I’m not.”

  “Oh.” My heart did a somersault. I could barely keep myself from smiling like an idiot.

  “No girlfriend either,” Jett whispered, staring at me with those green, sinful eyes that made me want to peel off his clothes to see what sin tasted like. “Look, Brooke. After we work this out of our system, we’ll both be able to focus on the goals of this company without any distractions.”

  He made it sound like a business plan, clear and straightforward. It wasn’t the most romantic agreement, but it was the most reasonable move given the circumstances.

  “So, what are you saying?” I said, my voice hoarse. “Just sex? No feelings involved? No expectations?”

  “No strings attached.” Staring at me, he reached out his hand. “You can end it any time. No hard feelings when it’s over. I suggest you first take a look at the details. If everything’s to your liking, sign it.”

  “You won’t sack me once it’s over?”

  He shook his head and pointed to the paper. “You have my promise. Everything’s specified in there, including that your job’s secure.”

  I hesitated, thinking back to Sylvie’s advise to start taking risks and finally have some fun. Jett wanted me, I wanted him. No harm in having a little fun on the side.

  His glorious lips curled up into a wicked grin, turning him from hot to downright perfect like a sex god, and in that instant I made up my mind.

  “Okay.” With a deep breath, I placed my hand into his and let his warm fingers caress my skin. My heart fluttered all the way down from my chest into parts I never knew could pulsate like this. It was beyond unsettling and…hot.

  “Great. Why don’t you take the rest of the afternoon off to look through the CSACA? I doubt we’d get much work done anyway.” A soft smile lit up his eyes as he leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then turned away and left for his office, leaving me alone to face an array of emotions.

  What are you doing?

  My stomach was in nervous knots as I raced down the stairs to my office and closed the door behind me. Pressing my back against the cold wall, I peered at the neat stack of folders on my desk. I should be doing my job, but all I could think of was Jett and the many ways I would love to get intimate with him. A no strings arrangement might just be what we both needed, what would make us both happy in more than one way.


  I had never heard of or seen a Consensual Sexual Acts and Confidentiality Agreement (CSACA) in my life, but a quick Google search told me they were pretty standard in the business and celebrity world. Apparently people didn’t like the outside world to know what they were doing behind closed doors, and I couldn’t blame them. When the media’s following your every move, who’d want a bitter ex spilling the beans about your kinky sexual fantasies?

  Compared to the information I gathered on Google, the two-page CSACA in my hand looked pretty standard. Sitting on my bed with my laptop balanced on my thighs, I skimmed the text briefly as I compared the points.


  We, Mr. Jett Mayfield and Miss Brooke Stewart, from henceforth known as Parties, hereby declare under penalty of perjury that we are over 18 years old and enter into this contract fully aware of its nature and undertake to abide by its conditions. The Parties wish to summarize their understandings in this agreement as follows:

  1. Both parties declare that this agreement is of their own free will and that neither they nor anyone mentally, physically or emotionally close to them has been threatened with bodily or mental harm.

  2. Both parties agree not to disclose any information considered confidential, including the whole or any portion of this agreement and any details related to the sexual activities, to any Party not associated with this agreement without the express written consent of the other party.

  3. Both Parties agree to keep the nature of
this relationship monogamous. If one Party gets romantically or physically involved with a Party outside of this agreement, the contract is to be terminated with immediate effect.

  4. It is the duty of both Parties to inform the other Party of any suspected or known sexually transmitted diseases and infections prior to commencing this agreement.

  5. Both parties are forbidden from using mood altering substances including but not limited to medication, drugs, and sexual mood enhancers prior and during sexual congress without explicit agreement by the other Party.

  6. Both Parties are forbidden from using any recording devices before, during, and after acquaintance and subsequent sexual congress, without express written consent and agreement by the other Party.

  7. Both Parties agree not to seek financial gain, notoriety or advancement in career in any form as a result of this relationship.

  This Contract constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties. No modification or Amendment to this Agreement shall be effective until set forth in writing, executed by the parties and attached as an amendment hereto. Breach of Contract or a failure by one party to uphold their part of the deal will result in immediate termination. In the case of breach of any sections by either Party the offended Party may seek all remedies available at law or in equity. This section shall survive termination of this agreement and remain in effect for a period of 1 year from termination of this Agreement.

  By signing below, I/we acknowledge that I/we have received, read, and understood the terms and conditions outlined, and agree to abide by the above.

  Slowly, I scanned the rest of the contract until I found the clause stating I couldn’t be fired from my job as long as I abided by the rules and did my job as stated in my work contract. I placed the paper on the bed and shut down my laptop. My mind raced a million miles an hour, circling around one single thought: sex. Hot sizzling, steamy, mind blowing sex. And all the great things that came with it: touching his skin, kissing his lips, wrapping my legs around his hips, and taking it all.

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