On His Terms(5)By: Jenika Snow
He wanted to fuck her, and if she was willing to play that game he was going to show her exactly what it meant to be with him. Rian Hartford didn’t give up on something he wanted, and what he wanted, like a fiend, was Sorcha Case.
The workday was winding down, and for what felt like the hundredth time Sorcha looked at the clock. She wrapped up her paperwork, closed out her programs, and shut down her computer. Fortunately, Mr. Hartford had stayed in his office for most of the day dealing with clients. The only time she really saw him aside from this morning was when he had gone on a lunch meeting with a few attorneys from the office below. The way he looked at her as he walked past her desk though, like a cocky bastard that had something up his sleeve, had made her unsettled in a purely aroused way all afternoon.
She breathed out, grabbed her purse, and headed out from behind her desk. It was already past five, but she always double-checked with Mr. Hartford before she left to make sure he was settled with everything. More times than not all he did was wave a hand to dismiss her without saying anything or looking at her, and she prayed it was the same tonight. Bringing her knuckles down on the wood, she called out softly, “Mr. Hartford?” She pushed the door open, saw him sitting behind his desk with a stack of papers in front of him, and for a moment lost her train of thought. His attitude might suck, and he may have absolutely no compassion, or at least didn’t show any, but she couldn’t help but appreciate the way he looked.
He had his jacket off and slung over the back of his chair. The desk lamp was on and a swatch of light covered his serious face. The sun was starting to descend behind the skyscrapers, and this ominous atmosphere surrounded him. He glanced up from his work, leaned back in his chair slowly, and rested his finger on his mouth, as if he was concentrating. For a second all he did was stare at her, seeming to wait for her to speak, but Sorcha couldn’t find the words. Right now, as he stared at her with those cold blue eyes, he looked like the very devil himself.
“I’m…” She cleared her throat, hating that she could want him more than any other man she had ever been with. He had this air of self-assuredness that covered him like a second skin. Maybe it was because her life felt like it was so out of control that seeing this man so in control, had her aroused beyond belief?
“Well, get on with it, Miss Case.”
Lord have mercy, even though he was a snappy bastard, his voice was so deep, so husky, that she was sure if she just closed her eyes and focused on it she could come right then and there. “I’m leaving for the evening, and like always,” she felt her resistance for her unwarranted arousal fade. “And like always, I wanted to make sure you were all set before I left.”
He lowered his hand from his face just as slowly, set it on the desk once more, and started drumming his fingers on the smooth, glossy top. He wore a ring on his pinky, maybe a family crest or alumni seal, but the clank-clank, clank-clank of it hitting the table was in time with her heartbeat. “Miss Case, have I ever needed anything from you before you left for the night?” He lifted a dark eyebrow, and she pursed her lips and clenched her hands into fists.
No, you asshole, but at least I have the decency and work ethic to ask.
“No, Mr. Hartford,” she said between her teeth.
He lifted the corner of his mouth in a sarcastic smirk, and she bit back a retort. She was so stressed with everyday living that she seemed even more annoyed with him than usual, and that was saying something.
“So, then you don’t need anything?” Sorcha didn’t stop herself from having a bit of a lash in her voice, and his smile faded immediately.
You need this job. You need this job. You need this job.
She repeated the words in her head like a mantra.
“No, I don’t need anything, Miss Case.”
Sorcha tried to get her body under control, but the way he said her name, slightly sardonic, with a hint of controlled heat, had lust and annoyance slamming into her. Irritation should not have made her want him more, but the thought of having him under her, doing what she said and giving up his control, was quite a heady feeling. Who the hell was she kidding? Rian Hartford would never relinquish his control to anyone, least of all his lowly secretary.
He didn’t say anything in response, and so she nodded, tightened her hold on her purse strap, and turned around to leave. But before she excited the office his deep voice stopped her.
She looked over her shoulder, and the way he stared at her had her pulse increasing, her palms sweating, and this impending doom settling inside of her. “Yes?” She hadn’t meant to say the lone word so softly.