I glance up to find the meeting coming to an end. Everyone is slowly but surely clearing outof the conference room. Except Kayne. He’s still sitting, jotting notes.
“Ellie. Can you clean up in there? I’m heading to lunch,” Mark calls.
“Yes, Mark,” I once again dutifully respond, and Kayne looks up.
His stare makes the insides of my thighs heat up. Get a grip!
I head into the conference room, steeling my nerves.
“How was the meeting?” I ask Kayne sweetly as I begin to collect the information folders left behind.
“Excellent. Mark is a genius at logistics. He found an alternate flight route out of Mexico that will save a few hundred thousand over the next year. I’m pleased.”
Kayne utilizes Expo to import limes and his own personal brand of tequila out of Mexico. He’s making a fortune right now on that little green fruit. Because of weather conditions and poor crops, the price per bushel of limes has quadrupled. Mark sees dollar signs every time we have margaritas after work.
“That’s good.” I smile. “No lunch for you?” I ask casually.
“I have another meeting in an hour. I’ll be having lunch then. Mark said I could utlize the conference room to do some work to kill time.”
“I see,” I say as I pick up the last folder.
“What about you?” He tracks my movements with his majestic blue eyes. They remind me of a wild jungle cat.
“My lunch is sitting right in front of you. I’ll be dining on miniature cupcakes.”
“Healthy,” he mocks.
“I know, but they’re little. So … less calories?” I shrug playfully.
“I guess that’s one way to spin it.” He smiles, pulling the silver tray toward him. “Which flavor is your favorite?” Kayne looks up at me like I’m a confection sweet enough to eat. I swallow hard.
“It’s a toss-up between the red velvet and lemon drop.”
“Well, I’m a red velvet man myself.” He picks up the lone red velvet cupcake on the plate.
“Would you mind sharing your lunch with me, Ellie?”
“Of course not. It’s only polite to share.” I fiddle with the collar of my dress shirt.
Kayne pulls the wrapper off of the dyed cake, and then splits it in two. “Sit.”
I take a seat next to him, still clutching the file folders in my arms.
He offers me one half of the cupcake, and I take it with trembling fingers.
“Do I make you nervous, Ellie?” he asks as he lightly licks the cream cheese frosting.
“No.” I try to play it cool. “Just too much coffee.”
“I see.” He stares at me intensely as he laps the top of the cupcake clean. I think I just came watching his tongue work the icing. “Aren’t you going to eat?” he asks enticingly, right before he stuffs the naked cupcake into his mouth. I just sit there frozen, trying not to squish the dessert still in my hand.
This man could write a handbook on seduction. Chapter one: Cupcakes.
Kayne looks at me expectantly. Without even thinking, I shove my half into my mouth. Not seductively at all. I’d be the first one to buy that handbook. Kayne smirks, his eyes alight. Then he brushes a crumb off my bottom lip. I nearly pass out.
“Did you decide what school you’re going to attend in the fall?” he asks as he lounges back in his chair. I can’t believe it. We had that conversation over three months ago, the last time he was here.
“You remembered?” I can’t stop the smile from spreading across my face.
“I’m in the business of not forgetting.” He skims his tie slowly between his thumb and index finger. Lucky tie.
“It’s between the University of Miami, NC State, and Hawaii,” I tell him.
“Inclined to warm weather.”
I pout my lip. “I’ve never been away from the East Coast. I wanted a change. I plan to visit Europe next summer.”
His responses are so simple, so controlled, yet so inveigling it feels like I’m falling into a trance.
“I want more than a two-bedroom apartment shared by four people,” I divulge meekly.
“I admire your aspirations. Do you know what you’re going to study?”
“Thinking about starting your own import/export? I’d hire you.” His gaze is heavy, probing almost. Is it suddenly hot in here?
“Well, thank you for the vote of confidence. But I’m not sure what I want to do yet. I just know it’s an open field. And something I’ve come to learn.”
“Do what you know?”
“Something like that.”
Kayne nods, glancing at his watch. “Crap, Ellie, I have to go.”
“I understand.” We both stand up, our chests landing an inch apart. I stop breathing.
Kayne stares down at me with those mesmerizing eyes. “Thank you for sharing your lunch with me.”
“Anytime,” I breathe. Inhaling the clean scent of his expensive cologne. The smell is heady.
“Mmmm hmmm, Ellie?” He leans a little closer.
“Are you going to Mark’s party tonight?” I ask, a little lightheaded from his scent and his proximity.
A smile plays on his lips. “I was invited.”
“And are you going?”
“Will you be there?” he counters.
“If I’ll be spending the evening alone or not.” I stare straight up at him, trying not to waver.
“Are you asking me out, Ellie?”
“Maybe.” I bite my lip.
“Then maybe I’ll be there.”
Did he just accept?
With that, Kayne picks up his phone from the table and drops it into his pocket. I just watch him like a dumbstruck fool.
“Until tonight,” he says, then steps away from me and starts for the door. “Oh, and Ellie.”
He stops short right next to me so we are shoulder to shoulder. “The next time you want to get my attention. Bend over. Your tits are nice, but I’m more of an ass man.”
He then leaves.
With me nailed to the floor.