IMPULSE by Mina J. Moore
I took a sip of my drink I watched as he came into the room, heart fluttering all over the damn place. My hand shook when I put the crystal glass down on the counter. Scanning the room to divert my ridiculous reaction, I found Tom mingling with his colleagues, ever the efficient executive. No one really knew who he was when he didn’t have that fucking Armani suit on. But I did.
He was a raving asshole of the worst kind. I seethed as his co-workers patted him on the back and cheered to his success. Tom was the kind of person who should be kicked in the balls instead.
Our relationship was non-existent. It had ended the moment he lifted his hand and connected with my cheek. Unfortunately, we were both executives for the same company and my presence at these functions was expected.
A leggy blonde approached him and whispered something in his ear. It must have been really good because he quit the group and followed her down the hall toward the bathrooms. No doubt she would be on her knees very soon.
I turned to go outside for some fresh air and slammed right into none other than Rafe Carlson.
“I’m sorry, I was…” I trailed off like a ditz when he smiled. Rafe was a complete babe and everyone in the office spent at least a few seconds drooling whenever he walked in. Much like I had when I saw him get here this evening.
Rafe worked for a different division and didn’t interact with my side very much, but he did frequent our offices and his face was always something I enjoyed with my latte in the morning. I could tell I was vulnerable and in a fucking mood. Literally.
“A walk, Ms. Drevon?”
So formal. I was about to level that. “Call me Elsie. No need for such formalities between friends.” I smiled and tossed back my drink. I was going to need it.
The air was minty with the floral arrangements, the weather crisp and fresh. Rafe touched my lower back, propelling me toward the maze of exquisite shrubs towering a good ten feet above us. I shivered as a breeze blew through me, disappearing behind a large oak. The old tree afforded the privacy we needed to sneak into the mouth of the maze and move deeply into its heart.
I allowed the progression, knowing what Rafe would want from me. It was obvious we were not strolling about for conversation. Everyone knew of my terminated status with Tom. I glanced up at him. He was well over six feet but I was tall for a woman at five ten. My eyes were level with his full lips and I bit my mine as he licked his. This was going to happen and I didn’t give a damn. I was tired of holding on and waiting for things to change. Depression was a bitch and I needed to get pulled out. My gut was pushing me to act and forget the unknown consequences. Why worry about something so frivolous as a good fuck with a gorgeous man. Shelly had bragged to the entire office last year after they had engaged in a casual affair. She had been breathless and flushed when she spoke of their time in the sack. The rumors must have circled back because Rafe had dropped her like a bad habit.
I fought my protective instincts because this was new. I had never taken what I wanted when I wanted it. Things in my life were always, planned, dissected and weighed.
Rafe reached over and clasped his hand around my neck, bringing my lips to his. I was stunned and invigorated at the same time. His kiss was raw and hard. Not the soft kind of a man seducing a woman. He knew I was past seduction. He knew it the moment I agreed to come out here with him. Crossing each other in the hall a hand full of times or sitting across from each other at a meeting did not constitute a long-standing friendship.
That was about to change.
I held onto his lapels and pushed my breasts against his chest. His taste was spectacular, part whisky, all male. He backed me up against a partial wall on the opposite side and my hands slapped against its cold surface, searching for something to hang onto as his tongue ravaged my mouth. The risky slit in my black dinner dress gave him quite an advantage and he took it all the way up to my panties. When his fingers pushed at the lace, I felt myself throbbing. He pulled back and smiled as I struggled to catch my breath. I closed my eyes, refusing to survey my surroundings, where I was and what I was about to do.
“Look at me,” his husky voice commanded and I obeyed.
His hand left me and his fingers pressed at his nose, his nostrils flared as he took in my scent. The devious look in his eyes had me trembling all over. Rafe lowered to his knees and moved my dress over my hips, exposing me to his perusal. I waited, unsure what he was about until he moved my panties and his tongue pressed hungrily against me. He instructed me by touch to hook one leg over his shoulder and I was too weak to resist. I prayed I could stand for this. He must have heard my thoughts because his other arm braced around my lower back and held me tightly. That tongue continued to lick and torment me until my head pushed back against the solid concrete and I saw stars but not from the pain. My world was exploding and I released a keening wail that should have embarrassed me. Rafe replaced my clothing and slowly moved my leg back until I could stand without shaking. I kept my eyes closed and focused on regulating my heart. When I opened them Rafe was gone.
I was thankful to find my way back out and now again for an empty ladies room. My hair was a mess from when Rafe had had his hands all in it. I combed it back and was glad it was naturally wavy and long. It was easy to look presentable again. My red lipstick was next. Being a blonde had it merits and wearing this shade was one of them. If it weren’t for the damn presentation we all had to be present for, I would have run to my car straight from the garden.
Maybe I could hide in the crowd and hope that Rafe would be gone. His part here was as a guest. He was not required to stay.
Son of a bitch was front and center when I walked out. I glanced away and shot straight to the bar for a martini. When I turned around he was still staring and held his drink out to me. I gulped mine down instead.
The president was long winded in his speech and I was squirming like a bug the entire time. An hour later, I was out the front door while the applause was still going. I made it to my car in record time and was glad no one stopped me along the way.
My clutch hit the foyer table along with my keys. I struggled out of my wrap and dashed to the bathroom. The full-length mirror showed me what Rafe had seen. I pushed at my dress, brining it up past my hips. The black lace peaked out and I closed my eyes when the memory of his lips engulfed my senses. I was still confused as to why he had just left. After that type of interlude you would think hot sex would follow. Was he teasing me?
My phone dinged, bringing my attention back to the present. I walked out and retrieved it from my clutch. The number was unknown to me but the message wasn’t.
I’ve wanted to taste you since I first set eyes on you…
I clasped the phone to my chest, my breath sawing in and out of my lungs. How had he gotten my number?
It took three times for me to text back.
How did you get this number?
I have my resources. When can I see you again?
I walked over to the couch and sat down. My gaze took in the luxury of my penthouse apartment and everything I had worked so hard to for. Tom had taken something from me with his abusive ways. I finally realized what it was.
My independence as a woman.
I was a top executive and I was good at it. Commanding a team of professionals and bringing in over a million in profit on a monthly basis gave me that title. I had earned it by busting ass. My work had kept me at arms length for serious relationships. Tom had been the first man I had considered and settled with. In doing so, I had committed. He hadn’t. After a few months the affairs began and then the abuse. Luckily, I had ended things that first time. After a year of seeing each other, he had done more damage than good.
I glanced down at my phone and scowled. The mere thought of turning from another relationship, no matter how fleeting it might be, pissed me the hell off.
There was a brief pause and I was afraid I had taken too long to respond. The vibration of his response had me smiling.
Dinner. I’ll pick you up at seven.
I didn’t even question how he knew where I lived. Last weeks business dinner party at my place would have taken care of that.
Fridays were usually casual around the office. I stepped into the corporate elevator and found that I was smiling. A pair of jeans and a crisp linen shirt with my favorite Louboutin pumps was my ensemble for the day.
The doors opened on the 10th floor and my smile faded as Tom stepped in. I clutched my briefcase and tried to stifle the twist of my stomach.
His piercing blue eyes took me in and I couldn’t help the shiver that coursed through my body. I hated that he still had that effect on me.
“I saw you leave with that womanizing prick last night. Did you get what you wanted?”
I seethed with fury. How dare he even give a shit after all we had been through.
“Did you enjoy your bimbo?” I retorted.
He laughed. “Hailey? She gives the best head in New York City.”
I wanted to vomit. I shouldn’t be surprised at his crudeness.
“I’m glad to hear it. Now you can stay the hell out of my business.”
He touched my shoulder and I flinched away. “It’s okay to be jealous, darling. I know you still feel things for me.”
I wanted to growl at him. “In your fucking dreams,” I responded with a mighty glare.
The door swooshed open and I marched out and into my corner office, slamming my briefcase down on my conference table. I had to take a few breaths to calm down.
My assistant caught me pacing the room like a caged animal, hands in the air.
“Elsie? Your nine o’clock is here. Sharon was a Godsend and had been with me since before my promotion to the executive team. One of my requests had been that she come with me. We had been friends more than co-workers and I adored her.
I squinted my eyes. “I don’t recall an appointment.”
Sharon glanced down at her iPad. “It’s with Rafe Carlson.”
My heart skipped a beat and I nodded for her to send him in. I turned my back to the door and studied the skyline from my windows. Taking a deep breath I turned as I heard him enter.
Two steaming cups of Starbucks in hand, Rafe approached with a grin. “Looks like someone has already pissed you off this morning.”
I twirled my ponytail and grabbed one of the cups. “Some asshole in the elevator.”
“Would said asshole be Tom Gafferty?”
Rafe took a slow sip of his coffee. “I happened to be behind him when I saw him enter with you inside. I had a meeting earlier.”
I looked down at my shoes. “It really doesn’t matter. I no longer have anything to do with him.” I could go into some detail but I preferred to take the high road. Tom’s reputation was stellar and everyone thought he was this upstanding guy when in truth he was a sadistic ass. Only those in his sick circle knew and approved because they were just as horrible.
Rafe came closer. “If it helps any, I wouldn’t mind having his face at the end of my fist.”
I hid my gleeful grin behind my hand. “I think I like you.”
He placed his cup down on my desk and clasped my shoulders. “And I am fascinated with you,” he whispered.
I grimaced in spite of the flip and tumble my stomach did. “You don’t even really know me.”
“I know enough.”
Confusion was settling uncomfortably within me. Was he some kind of stalker or did he just prey on vulnerable women?
“I can see you are turning this over in that beautiful head of yours.” He glanced away and dropped his hands. “Let’s just say I’ve observed you and I have this admiration for your work and style which gradually turned into attraction.” He turned and presented me with his back. The suit stretched enticingly across his wide shoulders as he crossed his arms.
“I was glad to see you were no longer involved. With him.”
I tilted my head as he turned back to face me with those last two words. “Is there some animosity between you and Tom?”
The muscle clenching at his jaw gave me my answer.
“Let’s just say I don’t care for his methods and have seen the real Thomas Gafferty at his best.”
I sighed. “Well, that makes two of us. Too bad he has blinded everyone else.”
Rafe approached me slowly. My pulse quickened and I couldn’t move. I leaned my butt against my desk and waited like a caged rabbit. He placed both fists on either side of my hips and leaned into me until our noses almost touched.
“I am looking forward to tonight,” he whispered looking down at my lips.
Before I could take my next breath, he pulled back, turned and left, leaving me all hot and bothered. Sharon broke my pathetic state as she entered seconds after Rafe departed and handed me a bunch of folders for my review.
“I will need to send those out today…” she trailed off. “Elsie, are you alright? Your cheeks are red and you look faint.”
I waived her off and rounded my desk to sit. “It’s nothing. I just ran into Tom on the elevator and he managed to piss me off.”
Sharon hissed. “That fucker. Why can’t he just let you go?”
“Because…” I answered as I flipped through the documents. “I dumped him and that doesn’t happen to Tom.”
“Well that’s too bad. He’s gonna have to get used to it.”
I didn’t answer and she started to walk away. “How was your meeting with hottie?” She asked smirking at me over her shoulder.
“I am having dinner with him tonight.”
She turned so fast her iPad slid out of her hands and hit the floor.
I faced my computer and started sorting through my email. “Nope and I am going for it.” I winked at her feeling euphoric and terrified at the same time.
Sharon giggled. “You better or I will kick your ass myself.”