Monthly Archives: September 2015

Merger, Episode 2


Episode 2 by C.A. Szarek



Holt was going to enjoy this.

Green eyes. Blonde hair full of natural waves. It was down, dancing around her shoulders. Rockin’ body. He didn’t even mind that she was inappropriately dressed for the acquisition meeting. Her white tank top was tight, stretched across her generous breasts. Her pale pink skirt was short, baring a hint of creamy thigh. She had rhinestones on her flip-flops and a bewildered expression on her beautiful face.

To be fair, Mr. Wright hadn’t told his people they’d be there this morning. That had enraged Holt when he’d realized the small, but successful manufactures’ employees would be blindsided.

He’d smooth things over, like he always did. No one was losing their jobs. He needed them, the experts in widgets for over thirty years. He’d be foolish to clean the place out.

Holt was more excited about this takeover than any of the others his company had done before. Because Betty Lou Smart worked here.

He was determined to have her in his bed again.

Her boss had called her a sure bet. According to the old man, she was a dream to work with, and ran the place.

Inappropriate thoughts dominated his mind. Holt had a damn good memory—of her screams when she came—and he was going to experience that again. Her body had trembled and her sex had clenched his. Like a glove. Like they were made for each other.

Someone cleared their throat and Holt had the uncharacteristic urge to jump. He and Betty Lou had been staring—at each other. He still had hold of her hand, so much smaller than his own, and his thumb had started to caress her soft skin of its own accord.


Holt ordered his fingers to release her, and forced his eyes to sweep the large room.

All eyes looked to him—as usual.

He smiled. Avoided Betty Lou’s gorgeous green gaze, too. “I’m glad everyone could join us this morning. As I was saying, there’s nothing to fear from Bastion Coastal Industries merging with Wright and Sons. This is an exciting opportunity for us all. I wanted to take this time to allay fears and answer questions. Our business plan is efficient and should make the transition as smooth as possible.” He turned things over to his business partner, Carina.

The willowy redhead could command a room as well as he could, and loved all eyes being on her.

Holt didn’t miss the glare she’d thrown his way when he’d kicked her out of the seat for Betty Lou, nor the look of mild contempt when he and his onetime lover had had their…moment.

He never should’ve slept with his partner. It’d been a one-time thing, too. She’d wanted more; he’d wanted to keep things professional.

Funny, he didn’t have that intention with Betty Lou Smart.

Carina’s portion of the meeting was all about bar and pie charts. Duties and job titles. Then they’d open things to questions.

Holt was prepared for everything. Even had the health insurance rep to answer the inevitable demands about medical benefits. Had the IRA people there, too. Pension and retirement were important, after all.

Problem was, he couldn’t concentrate on a damn thing, except the blonde woman sitting beside him.

Betty Lou was visibly uncomfortable. She fidgeted in the chair, avoided his gaze, and wasn’t paying attention to Carina’s speech. She tugged her skirt to her knees over and over, shifted her feet, crossed her legs, and uncrossed them several times.

Holt wanted to put his hands on her. Comfort her. Kiss her. He was driven to do so, in a way he’d never been before. He studied her profile.

A delicious pink color started at her neck and crept upward, spreading across her high cheekbones.

Oh yeah, she knew he watched her.

His cock twitched and he had to resettle in his chair.

“Mr. Bastion.” Carina’s tone suggested she’d called his name more than once.


Holt jolted to his feet. Had to swallow hard.

“Do you want to open things to questions?” Carina’s full mouth was a hard line, and she spoke through clenched teeth.

Holt was in trouble. Deep trouble.



Merger, Episode 1

Episode 1 by Luanna Stewart



Betty Lou slowed from a jog to a quick walk as she neared the boardroom. Even though she was late for the meeting there was no sense arriving out of breath. She stopped mid-stride when she heard a male voice. It wasn’t her boss, whose whiny treble could barely be heard at the best of times. This new voice was deep and a bit husky. She’d heard this voice six months earlier, when she’d done something she’d never done before.

No, it couldn’t be him. It was just the acoustics in the room, or something.

Finally the words being spoken penetrated her panic. “As I said earlier, there will be no layoffs with this acquisition, and my staff will do its best to integrate seamlessly with the organizational chart Mr. Wright has provided.”

She pivoted on her flip-flops, ready to leave the building, get in her car, drive to her tiny apartment, and never emerge. But the deep, male voice continued, outlining all the positive aspects of his buying the company.

No, no, no. This couldn’t be happening. She’d heard rumblings of Mr. Wright wanting to retire, and the possibility of selling the company, Wright & Sons, since there were no sons. Even if there were sons, Betty Lou doubted they’d want to stay in this tiny town making widgets no one wanted to buy.

She took a deep breath and sidled around the door, ready to learn her fate. Her hopes to slide unobtrusively into the nearest chair were dashed. Every damn chair was taken, and every damn face turned to study her, most of whom she’d never seen before.


“Ah, you must be Ms. Smart.” The tall Adonis who’d been speaking glanced at his watch and raised a brow. “So glad you could join us. Here, take this seat.” He asked the glamorous redhead on his left to vacate her chair, and motioned for Betty Lou to approach.

Oh yeah, it was the same guy. The one she’d met at her best friend’s wedding. The one she’d danced with all night long. And the one she’d woken up entwined with the following morning.

With no choice, other than jumping out the nearest window, she rounded the table. Damn the man, he was just as handsome as she remembered, with his deep blue eyes and black hair. She knew she was either blushing or having a hot flash. She stumbled the last couple of feet and all but fell into the chair.

The room remained silent, every eye focused on her. Like they were expecting her to speak. She’d get through this meeting, and then start job hunting.

“Sorry I’m late. I had a phone call that just wouldn’t end. You know how that is.” She flashed a smile around the room inviting everyone to share in her executive problems. No one smiled. She tugged her short skirt as low on her thighs as she could and felt woefully underdressed. Thank God she’d decided to wear a bra under her white tank top.

A piece of paper was slid in front of her. She scanned the organizational chart. The good news was she still had a job. The less good news was she’d be reporting directly to the new boss, Holt Bastion. So that was his last name. They hadn’t gotten beyond first names before making love all frigging night.

She turned her head to find the gorgeous piece of man flesh staring at her. He didn’t seem to recognize her, thank goodness, so she’d brazen it out and act like they’d never met before. And do her best to forget that night. “Are you Mr. Bastion?”

He smiled, white teeth flashing, dimple appearing in his right cheek. Her heart fluttered and her girlie bits woke up. It seemed her body couldn’t forget that night.

“Call me Holt.” He shook her hand, and her nipples tightened. Thank God for the bra, otherwise everyone in the room would know she wanted to jump the guy right there on the table. “Nice to meet you.” He leaned closer and lowered his voice to a bedroom whisper. “Again.”