All That He WantsBy: Olivia Thorne
Okay, that’s kind of goofy (and now you know more than you ever wanted to about my dessert preferences). A better analogy would be real sex versus phone sex. Phone sex can be incredibly hot – but it doesn’t hold a candle to real sex.
Um… just to be clear… at that point in my life, standing in that lobby at 6PM on a Friday, I’d never had phone sex.
One other thing: as I held up my arm to shake his hand, I smelled his cologne.
I read somewhere that our deepest and most primal memories are connected to smell. If you think about it, as a baby, you probably responded to scents – your mother’s, your father’s – before you could figure out what the hell sounds they were making, or before your eyes even focused right.
Even now, when I think of Christmas, I smell baking cookies in the kitchen and that clean, pine scent of freshly cut Christmas trees.
Other memories are just as vivid: burning leaves on an autumn day. Clean laundry fresh from the dryer.
When I think of him now, I smell that cologne.
Masculine and heady, with the basic layers of musk and sandalwood, and just a tiny bit of sweetness thrown in.
It wasn’t overpowering at all. Just a hint. A tease. I mean, I was right next to him, and I caught the barest whiff.
It smelled classy. Expensive. Exotic, and yet… comforting, somehow.
And damn sexy.
Because I was completely tongue-tied (what with the voice and the scent), I looked over at Stanley. He nodded reassuringly like, Dude’s okay.
Which was good. I trust Stanley. If he gets a good read off of somebody, I accept his intuition.
“M-Mr. Brooks?” I stuttered as my hand clasped his.
His skin was so warm. His handshake was really strong, but unlike a lot of jerks who try to push women (and other men) around, he didn’t try to crush me. He just let his hand envelope mine. Firm but inviting.
I melted a little bit more.
“Good to put a face to the voice,” he said as he hung onto my hand for a second or two longer than was absolutely necessary. (I didn’t mind. Not at all.)
“Yes,” I agreed, because that was all I could think to say at the moment.
Then he dropped my hand and got down to business. “Okay. Call your boss for me.”
The unpleasant prospect of having Klaus chew me out over the phone pumped a shot of adrenaline into my system. And that temporarily overrode all the sex hormones flooding through my veins.
“Ohhhh… I don’t really know if – ”
“Relax, Lily, you’ll talk to him first, and it’ll be on your phone, so I won’t even see the number. Besides, he’s probably not even out of the parking deck yet, is he?” Connor smiled.
And, no, the truth was that he probably wasn’t.
I sighed, pulled my cell phone out of my little black purse, and hit ‘KLAUS’ on my contacts list.
This was not going to go well.
But how could I say ‘no’ to what was actually a pretty reasonable request?
And, even more importantly, with those gorgeous blue eyes twinkling at me?
“What,” Klaus’s perpetually pissed-off voice answered.
“Um… I have Mr. Brooks here, and he’s pretty insistent about – ”
“WHAT THE HELL?! What part of your brain shut down when I left, Lily?!”
And then he went off on a mini-tirade of profanity and insults that was worse than usual.
Just as my blood reached the boiling point (which was really only 1.5 seconds in, after Klaus dropped the first F-bomb) and I was on the verge of saying something that would get me fired, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and caught that smell again. That sexy, intoxicating scent.
I looked up to see Connor’s hand extended towards me, palm outward, right about my shoulder level.
He was looking at me with a bemused expression. Like puppy-dog eyes, but if the puppy dog knew you weren’t a very good owner and he had to explain to you how to walk him and feed him, but he still loved you anyway.
“May I?” he asked with that sexy-as-hell smile.
Meanwhile, Klaus’s torrent of profanity was still pouring full force into my ear.
What the hell, I thought, grinned wryly, and handed the phone over to him. Connor glanced at the phone screen and then held it up to his face.
“KLAUS!” he shouted in a backslapping, Hey, buddy! kind of way. “Connor… Brooks here from LMGK. How’s it going?”
First impression: Connor just commanded the conversation right from the beginning. He reached out verbally, took hold of Klaus by the neck, and steered him in the direction he wanted him to go.
Second impression: he paused slightly after his first name. At first I thought he was being friendly by saying ‘Connor’ alone, then realized Klaus might not know who he was, so he included the last name as a formality.