My mouth goes dry. I look up from the stack of papers I am reading and stare into his piercing gray eyes. His sardonic grin irritates me – not just because I know he is mocking me but because it is having an effect.I clear my throat and find my voice. “Excuse me?”
Mr. Barrera – or rather Andres as he has instructed me to call him – raises an eyebrow. “I asked, ‘Do you like to be on top?”
I know he is toying with me, trying to make me fluster and stammer. I struggle to keep my cool even though I can feel warmth rising from neck and spreading to my face.
Andres’ grin grows even wider. He walks over to me and takes the papers from my hand. We are alone in his study and I am starting to regret agreeing to this late night meeting. But we are so close to finalizing a contract. I need to be available whenever and wherever he summons me. Because once I get him to sign on the dotted line, then all of the heavy flirting, sexual innuendo and dubious emergency meetings will be worth it. So very worth it…His face is inches away from mine now. His scent is a mix of cologne and mint. It makes me wonder if he freshened up just for me. I try not to smile at that thought.
His hand moves to my face and for a second I think he is going to touch my lips. Instead, he casually brushes away a strand of hair from my cheek.
“It’s a simple question, Juliana. Do you like being the top charity fund-raiser in this city.”“Yes, of course I do.” I try to sound confident, but my voice comes out in a whisper.
“Good. Because once I hire you to do this event for my foundation, you will also become the top fund-raiser in the state, perhaps even the country.”“Does that mean we have a deal?” My voice is still low, but it is deep and confident.
“That depends.”“On what?”
“On whether you are open to pursuing a, shall we say, more personal arrangement once our business relationship is concluded?”“Your event is six weeks away. How do you know you will still want such an arrangement?” I ask in my most innocent voice.
I see that familiar flash of desire in Andres’ eyes and I know perfectly well what he wants now and what he will still want in 42 days.“I think we both know the answer to that my dear. I don’t like playing games, Juliana,” he says, with a hint of petulance. “I made it very clear at our first meeting how I felt and I agreed to your request to keep things professional. But all that goes out the door the second I stop being your client.”
I take a sharp breath and will myself to stop staring at his lips.He smiles again and then offers me his hand. “So, do we have a deal?”
I nod. But when I grab his hand to shake it, Andres pulls me to him and leans in to whisper in my ear.“I think I will like you being on top too…” Before I can respond, he kisses my cheek and walks out of the room.
Despite my wobbly legs, I manage to make it to my car in the driveway. Once inside, I let out a deep breath. I look at my reflection in the rearview mirror and smile because I am pleased with my performance. Of course, not all of it was an act. I am attracted to Andres, there is no doubt. But I realized if I pretended that I wasn’t then he’d soon tire of me playing hard to get. Today, he needed to see that I could be vulnerable to his charms. And it worked.
I take my cell phone out of my purse and dial my best friend’s number.
“It’s done,” I explain when she answers. “The contract is signed and he has no idea that he just made a deal with the devil. In six weeks, Andres Barrera will finally get what he deserves and I'll finally get my revenge.”
-- THE END --
**This original work of fiction is owned and copyrighted by the author**