After three hours at the exhibition, Sidonie began to relax. Staying on her feet all day, smiling and being pleasant, was harder than she remembered. She hadn’t done this for a long time, preferring to remain behind the scenes, but it was time she showed her face in public.
They were doing good business. People were buying her company’s core offerings, software to organize business applications, and they were interested in future developments. The world was good and her life was finally on an even keel.
To be honest, talking to geeks about her products was a good way to spend the day. If only her feet didn’t ache so much. When she’d seen the shiny black, spiked shoes with fuck-me heels, she had to buy them. Sometimes shoes said “I’m yours” so strongly that she couldn’t resist. So what if she rarely left her office? She enjoyed the shoes, and it wasn’t as if she spent a fortune doing anything else.
Now they seemed like a real mistake, although when she glanced down and admired their shiny gorgeousness she couldn’t be entirely sorry. Only when she moved and her feet screamed for mercy did she have some slivers of regret.
Looking up, she lost her breath. A man stood before her, a slight smile quirking one corner of his mobile mouth. She had to look up, despite the spiked shoes giving her extra inches. He must be six two at least, probably an inch taller. And every inch of that frame was filled-out beautifully. His black hair was brushed back, his chin free of stubble. A pair of sexy black-framed spectacles set off a pair of golden eyes that gazed into hers with a connection she’d have to be a liar to deny. Whatever else, she wasn’t a liar.
Words fled. Sense abandoned her. He was probably used to people doing that when they met him for the first time. Or maybe she’d been in retreat for too long. Either way, she gaped at him like a guppy out of water.
The smile broadened and humor lit his eyes. “Can you help me?” he suggested in a sexy-as-sin deep voice.
“Yes, sorry. I mean, yes. Can I help you?” Oh fuck, now she felt utterly stupid. What would he think if he knew this was her business?
“The contact lenses. How did you get the idea to develop them?”
The mention jolted her brain back into action. For a minute there, she’d thought he’d scrambled them for good. “Ah, the contact lenses, yes. If you’ll follow me I’ll show you our demonstration model.”
She led him to the big picture of the iris and the lens at the back of the open booth, and showed him the smaller display underneath. “The new developments in reactive glass gave me the idea. I know other companies are developing something similar, but I wanted to combine the discoveries with optics, so people could have their prescriptions made up with the lens. Normally it’s clear, but if you want to activate the special features, they’re available whenever you want them.”
“Interesting. How do you operate them?”
She picked up a small remote. “We thought it was better not to get too clever. People won’t buy this for the tech, they’ll buy it because it’s useful to them. The remote could be on a wristband like a smartwatch or incorporated into a piece of jewelry.” When she flicked on the switch, a dim blue haze was visible on the lens set in the viewer.
On the previously white screen above, the projection flickered then came to life. “It will give information. So you can give a speech without a visible autocue, and receive information from your PA while you’re in a meeting. The device is also interactive. You can network it or you can link it to your computer and use it as a screen.”
He purred, a sound low in his throat. “I love this, it’s so neat. You’ve not broken ground with this, but you’ve developed the tech into a really useful device. You’ve put the needs of the average businessman first.”
“And other consumers. Gamers, for example.”
“Do you play?”
Startled, she turned her head and got the full hit of those amazing eyes again. “Play?”
He didn’t mean sitting at a computer fighting virtual enemies. Playing games meant different things to different people, and if she wasn’t mistaken he was talking about something far more personal. His voice had deepened and lowered.
So he was incredibly hot, so what? He was a potential customer.
Forcing some sense into her head, she found something to say. “Not computer games.” Oh, shit, that wasn’t good. It sounded like a come-on.
Maybe it was. Maybe it was time she had some fun. Running scared, and then turning around to fight back had covered much of the last five years. Finally she could look forward to something for herself. So maybe she should stop and smell the flowers. So to speak, because she couldn’t remember deliberately smelling a flower in her life.
His smile deepened, and a dimple appeared at one corner of his mouth. A kissable dimple. Oh fuck, he was trouble.
He froze, his lips on hers, then drew away. His tawny eyes were dark, wild with need for her and the sight sent her arousal up another notch. “Dessert?”
“What do you want to order?”
He chuckled, low in his throat, the vibration rumbling through his chest. “You on a plate.”
“That sounds delicious to me.” Her panties were soaked, and the tops of her thighs wet with her arousal. If she didn’t have him soon she’d explode.
“I could eat you with a spoon.” His murmured comment sounded unbearably decadent to her, although she wasn’t sure how he’d do it.
Not that she cared. He could use what he liked as long as he didn’t stop.
With a wicked grin, he released her then took her hand and led her to the black leather sofa set in front of the flickering fire. He sat and gazed at her, standing next to the sofa, as she tried to shrug her dress back into place. Then she gave up and let the sides fall.
He smiled, his satisfaction evident in the warm approval in his eyes. “Pretty,” he said when the upper slopes of her breasts were bared. Swallowing, she let the dress fall further, down to her waist, and she slipped her arms free of its constraint. She never let her gaze leave his, watching avidly for his response.
His attention sharpened and heated until the atmosphere between them became almost unbearable.
“Sometimes life is kind,” he said. “This is one of those days. You’re lovely.”
She caught hold of the sides of the dress, pausing when she realized she was touching raw edges. No zipper. “How did you…?” She stopped when he held up one finger. As she watched, a talon shot out from the end, like an extended nail, curved and wicked, the yellowish edges gleaming and razor-sharp.
“Eagle,” he said. “Remember?” His smoldering look faded a little. He seemed to be waiting for something.
She grinned, not attempting to conceal her delight. “That’s amazing. I’ve never seen anything like that.”
He sucked in a deep breath, then released it in one long sigh. “Thank fuck for that. It’s really important to me that you accept what I am. Trust me, my eagle’s well under control.”
Grabbing her hands, he tugged until she lost her balance and tumbled into his lap. Deftly, he turned her so she lay across his thighs, then he lay back and swung his feet up, turning her so she was lying on top of him. “I want skin to skin.”
So did she. She was already feverishly unbuttoning his shirt, dragging the buttons through the holes. They were stiff and she tried to rip them undone, but she couldn’t manage it. The shirt was too well made for that, or she wasn’t tough enough, she didn’t know which.
He undid his tie for her and watched her tussle with the top button. Then it was done and the shirt was unfastened from top to bottom. With his hand around her back, he sat up enough to discard his jacket, then he dispensed with the cuff button with one swift slice of his talon.
“Why didn’t you do that before?” she demanded indignantly.
He stole a kiss before he answered her. “Because I enjoyed watching you concentrate. And your breasts moved so gorgeously I could watch them all day. As long as I get to touch them.” He tackled the other side and then he was bare from the waist up. It was her turn to look, and he was well worth it.
His chest was bare of hair, but not of muscle. The ripple of well-toned, coordinated muscle was a delight. He was lightly tanned, the shade of golden bronze perfect. She smoothed her hands over that glorious display, frantic to touch. Skin to skin, she knew what he meant.
When she bent, eager to rub her tender nipples against his chest, he stopped her by seizing her upper arms and holding her steady. “Shall we take this to the bedroom?”
Panic ripped through her. If she did that, she was committing herself to a night. God knew how she’d get out of this place with a ruined dress. Steal one of his shirts, probably, and do the walk of shame to the cab stand.
But leaving wasn’t primarily on her mind right now. Fucking him was. Preferably fucking him and leaving, because she wanted this, but she didn’t want to wreck the memory of what they were doing here.
“Let’s stay here,” she purred and pushed against his hold. He let her, drawing her slowly down until they both sighed when her breasts touched his feverishly hot skin. “Oh yes.”
“Right. We stay here.” He chuckled and the vibration rumbled against her deliciously. Her nipples hardened, crinkling into sharp, sensitive points and she rubbed them against him. His low laugh ended in one long murmur of pleasure before he nudged her cheek until she turned her head enough for him to take her in a long kiss. He licked into her mouth and she welcomed him, touching her tongue to his in greeting. He reached in further, grinding his lips against hers, his hard body pressing against her soft one.
A flash sparked between them, as if something had caught fire and suddenly he was no longer the civilized, considerate lover. Fire burned in his eyes when he stared at her and he gripped her arms, swung her with a power that had her gasping and twisted so she was under him. “This is where I want you. Later, we’ll—” He broke off, sat up, and tore his fly open. He disposed of the remainder of his clothes and hers with a ruthlessness that defied opposition, dropping his glasses on top of the pile of discarded clothing. Without them, his eyes were brighter.
When he pushed one finger into her soaking cunt she gasped and arched up. “More,” she managed to say before he reared up and, with a low growl, took his cock in hand and pushed it into her.