All That He Wants

By: Olivia Thorne



“…excuse me?”

“Come on, Lily, daylight’s burning. Stanley will be here to chaperone, and I promise I won’t bite. But I need to talk to Klaus. Immediately.”

“I’m… not sure I’m comfortable – ”

The voice on the other end sighed.

“Lily.”

Pause.

“Please?”

When he said ‘please,’ he didn’t beg.

He didn’t whine.

He wasn’t even really ‘asking.’

He…

God.

I know you’ll think that everything that happened afterwards is coloring how I’m interpreting it now, but…

…it was almost sexual.

It was the tone of voice a man might use on a woman in the bedroom, when she’s on the verge of orgasm and he wants to push her over the edge.

It was the voice of a man who knew how to get what he wanted from women. A man who knew how to push all the right buttons – and skillfully. Who knew how to ‘ask’ without really asking at all.

A man who could make you want to say yes to just about anything.

I’m blushing as I remember it.

“I’ll be down in two minutes,” I stammered.

“Good,” he purred, and hung up.





6





I was really, really nervous as I rode the elevator down all 23 stories to the lobby.

One, I was nervous that I was about to do something really stupid and get my ass chewed out by my boss.

Two, I was all butterflies about seeing the stranger who owned that golden voice. If he sounded that good, imagine how he must look…

Let me explain. I’m not great with guys. I don’t flirt very well – in fact, any guy I find really attractive, I kind of lose it when I’m around him. Maybe it’s lack of practice. I don’t get approached that much by really handsome men, even though LA is the capital of pretty boys. I hear most of them are narcissistic and self-involved; I wouldn’t know, since they rarely give me the time of day. And when a hot, charming guy does start talking to me at a party, I either give giggly, airheaded responses that make me look stupid, or stilted, one-word answers that make me seem like I’m not interested, when in fact I’m just nervous as hell. After a minute or two of that, most of the hot ones move on.

I tend to end up dating average guys, guys I become friends with first – guys who are sort of cute, not intimidating at all. The type of guy who becomes more attractive the longer you know them. The type that grows on you. Nice guys. Regular guys who are even-keeled and sweet, or at least seem that way for the first several months until the bad things start floating up to the surface.

I like that – I like nice guys. But once… just once… I wanted to have one of the hot ones.

So I was nervous that he was going to be absolutely gorgeous, and that I was going to make a fool of myself.

Three, I was pretty much positive there was no way he was as good-looking as his voice would suggest, and I didn’t want to ruin the fantasy.

I know, it sounds stupid – “Oh, you’re afraid he’ll be good looking, and you’re afraid he’ll be ugly! Make up your damn mind!” Followed by a slap on the back of my head.

But hear me out. Ever see a guy from the back, and you’re like ‘DAMN, break me off a piece of that’? (Not that I would get to break me off a piece of that in reality, but I can still dream.) Amazing ass, great shoulders, gorgeous hair, fantastic arms? You’re thinking somebody went back in time and made a clone of Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp at age 27. Or 33. Or 38, even. And then you see them from the front…

And you’re like, ‘Oh, no. No, no, no.’

It’s the ‘glamorous Hollywood is actually composed of tattoo parlors and skeezy massage parlors’ effect.

Or the Monet effect: beautiful from far away, but not so good up close. I think that was from Clueless.

Either way, reality doesn’t match up to fantasy.

Sometimes I won’t even try to see what the guy looks like from the front even though his backside belongs in a Greek temple. I’ve been disappointed enough that I treasure my little fantasies.

It’s all about managing expectations. Again, with nice guys, it’s, ‘Oh, he’s kind of cute… I’ll go out with him. Oh, he’s funny… and he’s got a good personality… okay, I’ll give it a shot.’

‘Low expectations’ equals ‘not as much disappointment’ in my book.

And my expectations for Mr. Connor Brooks were sky-high.

If I were going to be disappointed, I would have preferred to hold on to my fantasy.

As it turns out, I was not disappointed.

Far, far from it.





7





The crowd in the marble-floored, exquisitely decorated lobby was thinned out by the time I stepped out of the elevator. In Los Angeles, anybody who has a modicum of power or money jumps ship by 4PM so they can get a head start on traffic. To home, to drinks, to dinner, or maybe out of town to Vegas.

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