By Kishan Paul
Mary stood in front of her bathroom mirror inspecting herself. The deep purple dress fit her body like second skin and flattered her in all the right places. She turned to check out her rear and smiled. Yup, in all the right places. She grabbed the curling iron and worked on her hair.
Her stomach fluttered as an image of the brown-haired, dark-eyed man popped into her head. She’d been drawn to Stirling Drake since they first met a month ago. So drawn to him, in fact, that she tripped over her shoes when their eyes locked. Fortunately, she was able to grab on to the back of a chair before she fell on her face. The rest of the night, she had tried to stay focused and work the event while keenly aware he watched her. It had only been a few weeks since she’d started her catering job, and they’d made it clear that flirting or dating customers was grounds for immediate dismissal. As attracted as she was to him, she needed the money, and so she made it her goal to avoid him at all cost. It worked beautifully until the end, when he cornered her in the kitchen and asked her out.
Mary closed her eyes and remembered the musky scent of his cologne and his warmth when he leaned in to speak. Stirling was one of the sexiest men she’d ever met, and for reasons she didn’t understand, he wanted her. It took every ounce of self-control to turn him down but she did. Every night since, she’d seen him in her dreams—as he did things to her she could never say out loud. Images of last night’s escapades filled her head. Never had she enjoyed bedtime as much as she had the past month.
The smell of something burning brought her back to the present. She pulled the curling iron out of her hair before it ruined her locks and then fixed her lipstick. Clearly, dreaming wasn’t in her best interest. Life had taught her that lesson years ago. If she wanted something, she worked her tail off to get it no matter how many times that tail got kicked in the process. It was like her Aunt Gwen used to say, “When life gives you lemons, throw them back at the sons-of-bitches.” That was exactly what she planned to do.
Saying yes to Stirling fulfilled a very selfish goal for Mary. By going to the charity auction catered by her former asshole employer as his date, she would be wined and dined by the very people who threw her out. The cherry on top was the fact that she hoped to find out if the living, breathing Stirling was even remotely as good in bed as he was in her dreams. The doorbell rang before she could think any deeper on the subject.
Mary scanned her small apartment as she headed to the door. The room was sparsely furnished with mismatched thrift store finds but it was hers. Well, until the first of the month when they would most likely kick her out for not paying rent—until then it was hers.
She sucked in a breath, opened the door, and then stopped breathing all together. Just like in one of her favourite dreams, Stirling stood before her in a dark tuxedo with a black tie. The things he did to her with that tie…
Her face, as well as other parts of her, heated. When she finally met his gaze, she noticed the hungry way he stared at her. “You are beautiful.”