His to Keep (Beauty and the Brit)(8)

By: Terri Austin

Blimey, she was serious. And so lovely it almost stole the breath out of his lungs. Iain felt an unwilling smile pull at the corners of his lips. “Are you quoting from a book or something?”

Brynn nodded and cleared her throat. “A manual, actually. Leading by Example: A Partnership in Effectiveness.”

“Sounds boring enough to send me to sleep.”

“I wrote it.” She enunciated the words, pointing her chin upward. He’d pricked her ego a bit. It was always vital to know as much about one’s opponent as possible, and Iain had just learned that Brynn Campbell took pride in her deadly dull work.

“Brilliant. Then we can dispense with the lessons. Give me the short version, and afterward, I’ll take you to lunch.” Iain really wanted to take Brynn to bed. He wasn’t sure if she could teach him anything about leadership, but he was almost certain he could teach her a thing or two about pleasure.

Chapter 2

Short version? Brynn was thinking of adding a chapter or three based on Iain Chapman alone. His eyes kept roaming over her from head to toe, and with each glance, her skin tingled a little more. Her throat went dry. As he continued to stare at her, Brynn was aware of every breath she took, every beat of her thumping heart. Then he touched her neck.

How was she supposed to think clearly with his long finger brushing her heated skin? Heated? Damn, the splotches must be back. It happened every time Brynn got really flustered. She thought she’d outgrown them but apparently not. Awesome.

When she’d walked into this office, Brynn had been a nervous wreck. The thought of teaching a class, even to one person, made her stomach muscles seize up in fear. But after meeting Iain Chapman, after being inspected so thoroughly by those light brown eyes, seeing that dimple crease his right cheek—her anxiety had only gotten worse. Iain Chapman was attracted to her. No, not just attracted—he wanted her.

Brynn was a wallflower by choice. She didn’t garner attention from men like Iain Chapman. Handsome men. Powerful men. He must treat all women as potential sex partners, because Brynn couldn’t think of one reason why he’d single her out.

She put him somewhere in his early thirties. Tall, with wide shoulders and narrow hips, the mere idea of what he must look like naked sent a little thrill shooting up her spine. Not that she’d ever find out. Still, Brynn’s fingers itched to grab a pencil and start sketching based on her imagination alone.

Iain was stunning in a virile, hot, masculine way. With his short, black hair neatly combed away from his face, it tended toward wavy. One lock broke ranks and fell across the top of his forehead, where ghostly horizontal lines deepened when he frowned. Which he’d done a couple of times in the last five minutes. Shallow sunbursts radiated from the corners of his eyes—sharp eyes that missed nothing. Not her toenails or her bracelets…or her boobs—he’d checked those out more than once. It must have been a habitual reaction, because Brynn didn’t have much to ogle. She wouldn’t be able to hold the interest of a man who wore arrogance and self-assurance as casually as he wore an expensive designer suit. He even had one of those little pocket-square things that matched his silver tie.

And to top it off, he was British. Not that there was anything wrong with that—both of her brothers-in-law were Brits. Posh ones. But there was nothing posh about Iain Chapman, despite his clothes. The three-piece charcoal suit, the starched white shirt, the power tie—they smacked of wealth. This office, with its expensive furnishings, the outstanding view, and a floor so shiny she could see her reflection—it made a statement. Luxury. Success. Elegance. But that accent gave him away. Iain didn’t come from wealth—he’d earned it.

Now standing only a foot apart, he still leaned toward her. Brynn fought the urge to take another step backward, give herself a little breathing room. Somehow, she managed to keep her feet in place.

He was the antithesis of everything Brynn normally found attractive in a man—he was large, intimidating, cocky. She’d only had two relationships, and both had ended up the same way—in humiliation. But they had been boys, unsure of themselves. Iain Chapman was one hundred percent confident man.

Brynn felt a sharp tug of desire, a pull of sexual interest so strong it caused her breasts to feel prickly and sensitive. Caused her nipples to harden. Warmth spread through her body as he continued to size her up.

She’d never experienced anything like this, but she had to ignore it, because A) Iain Chapman was her client. Romance between coworkers was fraught with inherent drawbacks and inevitable embarrassing consequences—as outlined in the HR manual Fraternization: Keep It Out of the Workplace. B) He was simply too much. Not only was his physical presence overwhelming, but his personality also sucked up all the oxygen in the room. He filled the space, commandeered every square inch of it. And that intimidated the hell out of her. C) He was sexually intense. Brynn didn’t do intense, and she was an abject failure in the sex department. She had a low-gasm problem that wouldn’t be solved by a man like Iain Chapman. He’d only make her affliction worse—or at least more embarrassing. So…time to snuff out that sexual spark and get on with the business at hand.