I bit my lip as I thought back to my former job. Not only had James decided to sell the company, he also made sure his employees wouldn’t face unemployment. I made a mental note to send him a big fat thank-you card, together with a huge bottle of his favorite champagne. I figured I owed him that much.
“Thank you for listening to him.” Let’s face it, there was nothing on my resume that could possibly impress Jett Mayfield. That he took a chance on me based on my boss’s recommendation showed me that maybe Jett wasn’t the cold-hearted business shark I made him out to be. His company was overly successful and didn’t have the best reputation in the States, but his employees—or what I had seen of them so far—seemed to like working for him. I flashed him a hesitant smile. His beautiful lips curled into the most stunning grin I had ever seen. My chest tightened, and a warm feeling rushed through me.
He leaned forward and brushed his thumb against my lower lip as he whispered, “I hired you for your attitude, and so far I’m pretty happy with my decision. But I’m not sure I can work with you until I’ve f**ked this attraction out of my system.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat. Seeing him with his shirt off, dressed only in his underwear, I wasn’t so sure I could work with him until he had been inside of me. Every part of me wanted and demanded him, requested that his mouth kiss me and his fingers touch my body to ease the throbbing need inside of me.
I peered into his heated green eyes. The passion I saw in them burned through me like a wildfire. Holy shit, he meant every word of it, which scared the crap out of me because I knew he wanted me just as much as I wanted him. Somewhere at the back of my mind it occurred to me every lawyer would have a feast filing for sexual harassment. But, hell, he could harass me all he wanted.
Get a grip, Stewart. Switch your mind on for a change.
Every rulebook argues against getting involved with a coworker, and particularly against enjoying a fling with the boss because it tends to backfire. I thought back to Sylvie and how she got herself unemployed. What would keep Jett from firing me once we were done?
“So you’re telling me you’ll sack me unless I have sex with you.”
He cringed, hesitating. “That wasn’t what I meant, Brooke. I wouldn’t sack you, but we both would have a hard time doing our job.”
I cleared my throat to get rid of my fear of making a wrong decision. For some reason I believed he wouldn’t sack me, but there were a million other reasons why getting involved wasn’t advisable. What if he was married? I wasn’t a home wrecker. “I’m not sure sex is such a good idea.”
His brows shot up. “Why not?”
“Because—” I brushed my hair out of my face as I considered my words. In the end I decided to be frank. “You could be married.”
“Oh.” My heart did a somersault. I could barely keep myself from smiling like an idiot.
“No girlfriend either,” Jett whispered, staring at me with those green, sinful eyes that made me want to peel off his clothes to see what sin tasted like. “Look, Brooke. After we work this out of our system, we’ll both be able to focus on the goals of this company without any distractions.”
He made it sound like a business plan, clear and straightforward. It wasn’t the most romantic agreement, but it was the most reasonable move given the circumstances.
“So, what are you saying?” I said, my voice hoarse. “Just sex? No feelings involved? No expectations?”
“No strings attached.” Staring at me, he reached out his hand. “You can end it any time. No hard feelings when it’s over. I suggest you first take a look at the details. If everything’s to your liking, sign it.”
“You won’t sack me once it’s over?”
He shook his head and pointed to the paper. “You have my promise. Everything’s specified in there, including that your job’s secure.”
I hesitated, thinking back to Sylvie’s advise to start taking risks and finally have some fun. Jett wanted me, I wanted him. No harm in having a little fun on the side.
His glorious lips curled up into a wicked grin, turning him from hot to downright perfect like a sex god, and in that instant I made up my mind.
“Okay.” With a deep breath, I placed my hand into his and let his warm fingers caress my skin. My heart fluttered all the way down from my chest into parts I never knew could pulsate like this. It was beyond unsettling and…hot.
“Great. Why don’t you take the rest of the afternoon off to look through the CSACA? I doubt we’d get much work done anyway.” A soft smile lit up his eyes as he leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then turned away and left for his office, leaving me alone to face an array of emotions.
What are you doing?
My stomach was in nervous knots as I raced down the stairs to my office and closed the door behind me. Pressing my back against the cold wall, I peered at the neat stack of folders on my desk. I should be doing my job, but all I could think of was Jett and the many ways I would love to get intimate with him. A no strings arrangement might just be what we both needed, what would make us both happy in more than one way.
I had never heard of or seen a Consensual Sexual Acts and Confidentiality Agreement (CSACA) in my life, but a quick Google search told me they were pretty standard in the business and celebrity world. Apparently people didn’t like the outside world to know what they were doing behind closed doors, and I couldn’t blame them. When the media’s following your every move, who’d want a bitter ex spilling the beans about your kinky sexual fantasies?
Compared to the information I gathered on Google, the two-page CSACA in my hand looked pretty standard. Sitting on my bed with my laptop balanced on my thighs, I skimmed the text briefly as I compared the points.
CONSENSUAL SEXUAL ACTS AND CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT
We, Mr. Jett Mayfield and Miss Brooke Stewart, from henceforth known as Parties, hereby declare under penalty of perjury that we are over 18 years old and enter into this contract fully aware of its nature and undertake to abide by its conditions. The Parties wish to summarize their understandings in this agreement as follows:
1. Both parties declare that this agreement is of their own free will and that neither they nor anyone mentally, physically or emotionally close to them has been threatened with bodily or mental harm.
2. Both parties agree not to disclose any information considered confidential, including the whole or any portion of this agreement and any details related to the sexual activities, to any Party not associated with this agreement without the express written consent of the other party.
3. Both Parties agree to keep the nature of this relationship monogamous. If one Party gets romantically or physically involved with a Party outside of this agreement, the contract is to be terminated with immediate effect.
4. It is the duty of both Parties to inform the other Party of any suspected or known sexually transmitted diseases and infections prior to commencing this agreement.
5. Both parties are forbidden from using mood altering substances including but not limited to medication, drugs, and sexual mood enhancers prior and during sexual congress without explicit agreement by the other Party.
6. Both Parties are forbidden from using any recording devices before, during, and after acquaintance and subsequent sexual congress, without express written consent and agreement by the other Party.
7. Both Parties agree not to seek financial gain, notoriety or advancement in career in any form as a result of this relationship.
This Contract constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties. No modification or Amendment to this Agreement shall be effective until set forth in writing, executed by the parties and attached as an amendment hereto. Breach of Contract or a failure by one party to uphold their part of the deal will result in immediate termination. In the case of breach of any sections by either Party the offended Party may seek all remedies available at law or in equity. This section shall survive termination of this agreement and remain in effect for a period of 1 year from termination of this Agreement.
By signing below, I/we acknowledge that I/we have received, read, and understood the terms and conditions outlined, and agree to abide by the above.
Slowly, I scanned the rest of the contract until I found the clause stating I couldn’t be fired from my job as long as I abided by the rules and did my job as stated in my work contract. I placed the paper on the bed and shut down my laptop. My mind raced a million miles an hour, circling around one single thought: sex. Hot sizzling, steamy, mind blowing sex. And all the great things that came with it: touching his skin, kissing his lips, wrapping my legs around his hips, and taking it all.
Jett made no secret of the fact he wanted nothing but a sexual relationship. Since my relationship with Sean had just ended and I wasn’t the kind to jump head on into dating, Jett’s proposition didn’t offend me. In fact, the idea of no emotional involvement seemed quite intriguing. Men had meaningless sex all the time and they seemed happier for it. They didn’t have their hearts broken and their plans for the future shattered. Lots of women were content with just the carnal side of a relationship. For once, I wanted a piece of that carefree living, of having my needs fulfilled without any sort of emotional involvement. It was just a bit of safe fun and nothing else. No harm in giving it a try because I knew right from the beginning what I was getting myself into.
I chewed my lip as I kept going back and forth between my arguments. Jett was my boss, meaning there was a bit of a conflict there. Could I accept him as my superior during working hours and get down and dirty with him at night? The thought sent a delicious shiver down my spine. It was a challenge that was hard to resist.
Get your mind out of the gutter, Stewart.
Sylvie’s relationship with her boss turned sour, but this was different. First, Jett wasn’t married. Second, we had a contract, so there would never be any sort of confusion. And last, Sylvie had assumed she was having a romantic relationship and that Ryan loved her. Jett and I had nothing but a sexual arrangement that was tailored to our needs and suited the both of us.
The pro points began to dominate, or maybe it was the way I subconsciously wanted to progress. Somehow I knew I’d accept Jett’s offer before I admitted it to myself.
The screen of my smartphone lit up with a text message from Sylvie. I skimmed its contents about an important looking letter that had arrived on the day of my departure. Deciding it wasn’t important, I made a mental note to call her later. My stomach grumbled, and I realized not only had I wasted my afternoon obsessing over a decision that had been made the moment Jett entered The Black Rose, but I had also skipped lunch.
Night was slowly falling, and a million stars dotted the black skyline. The air had noticeably cooled down, making me shiver in my thin shirt and skirt. I changed into a pair of blue jeans and a red snugly pullover, and made my way downstairs to find something to eat.
The scent of pasta, fresh pesto, and seafood hit my nostrils the moment I descended the stairs and turned right, following the narrow hall to the kitchen. Was Jett cooking? Hardly likely. I had yet to meet a man who could do more than warm up macaroni and cheese. He probably had a chef at his beck and call, and good for him. And me, because I was famished.