His Indecent PropositionBy: Aphrodite Hunt
He intuits this and gestures to one of the chairs in front of his desk. “Sit.”
“Thank you.” She seats herself gratefully.
She is still a little terrified. Less so than when she first walked into the room, but it’s still there – an omnipresent, overpowering awe of him that sends palpable quakes down her torso and limbs.
“How old are you, Susan?”
“Twenty-nine this year.”
“Isn’t that a little young to be VP?”
“Age should not be a determinant, but merit, sir.”
He nods. His eyes haven’t left hers. She feels herself being drawn into his blue, blue eyes – the windows upon windows of their depths. She doesn’t dare blink for fear of losing herself.
He says, “And what would you do for this job?”
“Anything?” His deep voice takes on a dangerous timbre.
She is aware she’s treading on dangerous territory now. Still, the offer is open-ended and questionable. Anything can mean working till twelve midnight every office day and coming in on weekends and holidays. Anything can mean chasing another three hundred million dollar contract to the ends of the Earth.
Anything is a speculative word . . . every bit as speculative as what really happened in that Iraqi desert.
Is she dreaming or is there an appreciative gleam in his eyes?
“Do you have a boyfriend, Susan?”
Now the conversation is veering down a path she had not expected. Does she really have a boyfriend? Well, she’s technically dating Brad Thornbird, but they are not living together or anything. She isn’t even sure they are going anywhere with their relationship.
“Yes, sir.” A bead of sweat trickles slowly down the back of her neck.
His eyes slowly dip to her chest and focuses on her two jutting breasts. She has large breasts, and she can’t mask them with officious buttoned-up clothing. Oh my God, is Channing Crawford checking me out?
“I have a proposition for you, Susan Chalmers,” he says calmly. His gaze rakes her face again.
The gnawing apprehension bubbles over in her stomach.
Oh what oh what is he going to ask me to do?
He says, “I have seen you around and taken note of your progress in all these years.”
You have? She’s astonished.
“I believe you have the ruthless ambition to make things happen for yourself.”
“I do, Mr. Crawford, I do.” This comes out in a bit of a rush.
He leans back in his chair, and it creaks with protest.
“You see, I have certain personal needs. I’m looking for the right woman to fulfill them, and I believe you have the characteristics to tend to my needs, Susan.”
She can’t believe what she’s hearing. Her jaw drops.
“Wh-what kind of needs, Mr. Crawford?”
He steeples his hands. “Let’s just say I enjoy taking a strong-willed, ambitious woman like yourself and molding her into someone who will bend the knee and obey my every command. Are you that woman, Ms. Susan Chalmers?”
The proposition dangles in front of her like a carrot on a stick.
This can’t be happening, she thinks. This is surreal. Channing Crawford wants her in the physical sense? He who is unattainable and lives in the clouds, who is secretly desired by every woman in the company, only they are too afraid to even speak of it?
Bend the knee.
It sounds deliciously depraved . . . and yet tantalizing.
Her terror surfaces again.
“Wh-what’s in it for me, sir?”
“I will be making a decision on the Vice-President post by Friday next week. Leonard Drake, a fine upstart individual with extremely impressive paper qualifications and a track record that dwarfs even yours, is your main contender – as you no doubt have acceded. He has promised to bring in the Buchanan contract by Thursday next week.”
He lets this float in the tension-filled air between them.
The Buchanan contract? Her spirits sink. The Buchanan contract is the Holy Grail of contracts – the biggest, most notoriously sought among them. Edward Buchanan is a recluse whose company is worth eighteen billion dollars.
A recluse who donates generously to the church.
“I see,” she says, the pit of her stomach caving in. How can she possibly compete with that?
But that’s precisely the point.
She can compete with it.
Her voice is shaky as she says, “What would you require me to do, Mr. Crawford? And for how long?”
“Let’s make it until Friday, Susan Chalmers. As for what I require . . . well, let’s just say you will do my every bidding . . . my every command.” His crystalline blue eyes bore probingly into hers.
She licks her lips nervously. “And would those . . . requests . . . be sexual in nature, sir?”