The moment seemed to go in slow motion from that point. I felt myself drawing closer to the ground with each passing second, when suddenly, the well dressed man lunged forward, his arms snaking around my waist and holding me fast, tight against his own body. In that moment, with his arms around me, I lost my sense for a second.
My world righted in this stranger’s arms, figuratively and literally, it was the strangest sensation … I looked into his face, my apologies and thanks dying in my mind as I choked on a gasp at what I saw and hadn’t noticed before in my haste.
I was stunned, totally and completely. He could have easily starred in one of my favorite bodice busters as the tall, dark, dangerous and intensely enthralling hero. He was a picture of pure masculinity. Power radiated from him in droves, most likely culminated by the respect his attention grabbing presence commanded.
His black as night hair was cut and styled short on his head, looking soft and touchable, making me want to shamelessly delve my hands into its thickness. It framed a face that was exquisitely breathtaking, with its stark planes and angles, a sensual mouth, perfectly straight nose and riveting ice blue eyes.
He filled out his suit with mouthwatering, toned perfection. His athletic physique apparent even underneath his tasteful three-piece suit. Well … what had been a tasteful suit before my thermos had exploded coffee everywhere.
But nevertheless, the dark stain in no way detracted from his shear sexiness. The designer wear his person boasted causing one to fantasize of washboard abs and from the strength of his unyielding grip on me, bulging biceps, temptingly hidden from view beneath the covering the layers of his clothing provided.
He also smelled amazing, scrumptious really. Cologne, I guessed, which was surprising because I’d never liked the smell of cologne. The various fragrances always cloying and too thick.
This man’s made me want to breathe in deep, to wallow in it and as I took all of this in, I became increasingly aware of his body pressed hard against mine. This sent an altogether different sort of awareness rippling through me and made my toes to curl on the cold marble floor.
His eyes bored deep into my own, scorching with a wintry, compelling heat, then suddenly, slowly, his full lips tipped upward slightly. Forming a sexy smirk that couldn’t be described as anything but knowing.
Damn. He knew the effect he was having on me. But of course he did, he probably expected it. He was gorgeous. Savagely so. I took a deep breath, partially to get my bearings and bring order to my haywire thoughts and the other part … to breathe him in.
“I am so sorry, I wasn’t thinking.” I said, cursing myself for sounding so breathless but caught up in his arms the way I was, my hands resting lightly on his upper arms which were corded with strength and muscle, there wasn’t much else I could do. I tried to step away, remembering the reason why this whole mess occurred in the first place, my being late which by now I most certainly was, but was caught back by the steel bands of his arms that were still wrapped tight around me.
The man eyed me speculatively, “It’s just a stain. Nothing that won’t wash out.” Mmm … his voice was heaven. A low, warm rumble that wrapped itself like silken threads, tight around me.
A throat was cleared daintily. “Excuse me, Mr. McIntyre,” a woman behind us called out. “Your next meeting is in twenty minutes. Do you need any assistance with … your jacket?” The man whose last name I now knew was McIntyre, one that sounded vaguely familiar, turned slightly to look back at his companions as if he was just remembering they were there.
“Go on ahead,” he said, still not yet releasing his iron grip on me and making me feel awkward as his elevator companions began to look our compromising position over curiously. “My driver will see me there and no Ida, but thank you. Tell our associates that I was a bit … inconvenienced and will arrive shortly.”
I cringed slightly at the suggestive way he slid over that word. Knowing quite well that I was the inconvenience and instantly bummed that was how this amazing specimen of a man viewed me not even within two minutes of our acquaintance.
His companions nodded and filed around us and out of the building. The only woman in the group, whom I guessed must have been the one who’d spoken up, looked back at us. Her eyes narrowing ever so slightly when they came to rest on me. Then she turned on her heel and strode gracefully out through the revolving doors.
Realizing that Mr. McIntyre and myself were now alone, aside from the receptionist who was looking on and minding her own business, I tensed. Waiting for what would come next.
“Why aren’t you wearing any shoes?” That voice, curling around me seductively with every word and so easily stealing my coherence, which was vital around a man like this one.
“Umm … I took them off because I was running here.” I squirmed in his grip, avoiding his eyes, but he still did not release me.
“You ran here and you didn’t think to bring running shoes?” He shook his head, a ghost of that sexy grin gracing his already devastating lips. “Can I ask why you felt the need to run?”
At this point, Mr. McIntyre was looking at me like I was the most amusing thing in the room, which I guess I was. He seemed to be enjoying himself in his seemingly subtle way.
“I was going to be late if I didn’t,” I said, giving another experimental squirm and coming up with the same results as my previous attempts. “Not that it really matters now …”
He eyed me silently for a second while I studiously avoided his gaze, staring across the room at a potted plant I’d never thought was so extremely interesting until now.
“Is this your first day?” He asked softly, moving himself into my line of vision. I was taken aback. How in the world could he know that?
“Yes, how …”
“I’ve just successfully bought this company. It’s my job to know its coming and goings.” At last, he looked away, glancing across the lobby. “Who is it that you work under?”
Taken by surprise yet again as I was at present still trying to wrap my head around the fact that this man owned the company I worked for … and that I’d spilled coffee on him. Why wasn’t he cutting my legs out from under me right now? He didn’t even seemed angry which was strange … because I knew for a fact that if someone had soiled one of my Armani suits, I’d be fuming.
“Hatter …,” I said quietly, confused and wary of stepping into a trap.
McIntyre nodded, releasing me only to place his hand at the small of my back - coaxing the embers of an already scorching heat, that was slowly beginning to spread its way through my body- guiding me toward the elevators. As we were waiting for the next car, his hand never straying from my person, a wave of forgotten knowledge overtook me, making my eyes widen. Mr. McIntyre just bought my company … as in Jonah McIntyre, one the youngest, most successful entrepreneurs in all of the United States. I’d just spilt coffee on a multi-billionaire …