Then, out of nowhere, Shawn straightened slowly to his full height and paced around in front of her like some male underwear model. Okay, not that kind, but a girl could dream, right?
But the man must be thinking of something. She recognized this kind of pacing; this was his boss’s thinking pace, where he would be making huge, f*****g decisions.
What on b****y earth could he be thinking? His offer wasn’t mind-shattering, in fact, it was as boring as hell hounds.
However, he looked so intimidating, his broad shoulders seeming to fill the bed, his soft, warm, silky bed, with that thought, Catherine smiled, that Mr. Richmond actually stepped backward. His eyes bore straight into hers, his gaze holding her prisoner, searching her very soul.
“Stay in the mansion with me, and I will double your salary plus bonus,” the god mumbled, as if debating whether to take her right now.
“What? …You did your thinking pace just to tell me that?” She grumbled.
“Never mind, Mr. Richmond, but why not work in the comfort of my home? It’s all basically the same, right? We have an internet connection and…”
“No, it’s not the same. I need you near me all the time.” The devil added and turned his head away from her and took an empty shot glass from the nearby coffee table, went to his minibar, and poured himself a vintage expensive wine while Catherine watched him dumbfounded for the entire time as if he were able to solve the world wide world crisis.
“I’m sorry, what? What is the point of…”
“I have my reason, Miss Brown, and I’ll be paying you as my assistant, but not to ask me some silly questions.”
Silly? What the f**k is wrong with this man? Silly questions?
“Really?” Mischief danced for a moment in her eyes, and she shoved her nude sandals away from her feet. “To be clear, I haven’t accepted your offer yet, so I have the b****y right to inquire, right?” She didn’t sound apologetic; she sounded as if she was making fun of him, and Shawn noticed the heat on her face upon concluding her lengthy speech. Weird, she never expected Miss Brown to be this amazing, unsettled, and out of character; after all, she was his prim and proper secretary, always polite, always prepared, and above all, she was always one step ahead of his game in everything, and yet watching her now, so out of character, made him want to kiss those plump rosy lips and taste her nectar.
Somehow, Shawn knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that this woman’s existence would be tied to his for all eternity because he would do everything to win her trust. “Are your naked feet supposed to intimidate me, Miss Brown?”
‘Ah, what? What the hell was he asking?’
“See? You are now thinking, tsk! Tsk! You better think about your life judgment, Miss Brown, because I can’t be persuaded anymore. I want you in my mansion tomorrow and that is final.”
She thought to herself, ‘He’s got to be kidding me.’ Did he just notice how she took her sandals off her feet? D**n it! It was just her manner, “Are you seriously noticing those mundane manners of mine? It’s none of your concern, I want to be naked all the time. It’s not like…” She gaped after realizing what she said. Oh, f**k! Her and her mouth.
“Oh, pray tell me, Miss Brow,” Shawn added, with those knowing-it-all smirks when he saw her blush and covered her mouth with her hands.
“Not that naked, I mean… my feet… I-I…”
“I think I heard just enough, wife. And I can’t wait to find you naked all the time in my mansion.”
She stood up, and cried out, “Jesus! Shawn, that’s not what I mean. W-what I mean is…”
He never thought there would come a moment when he would love his name on a woman’s lips unless they were screaming for him to go harder and faster, but hearing it from her made him want to hear it again, so he added, “Oh, I know, wife, and it’s no wonder you were naked yesterday in your little apartment. I would not be surprised if you ended up naked in my bed tomorrow, you know and…”
“Are you f*****g kidding me, Mr. Richmond? I was not naked yesterday…I-I have a towel and y-you… stop calling me ‘wife.’”
“Shawn…” he added with a sly smile.
“Call me Shawn, I like it better.”
“No way, you are Mr. Richmond to me.”
“Oh, well, then settle it then, Catherine.”
Did he just call her by her name? Dafaq!? Did he know her name? Wow! That was surprising.
Shawn watched the woman with sudden interest and never thought she was this lovely, especially when she was almost yelling and furious at the same time. Yet, he allowed the burning desire for her to flare briefly in his eyes and was satisfied when she stepped back again. “No, I mean, I will call you Mr. Richmond,” she repeated. D**n it, she knew she was talking nonsense. How could he look at her like he wanted to devour her? F**k it! She couldn’t even think straight, so she sat down and went to retrieve her sandals from the floor instead.
“How is it that I’m allowed to call you Catherine and you are not calling me by my name? I like my name in your lips; it sounds better,” he demanded, his voice deep and compelling, that of a man accustomed to instant submission.
Catherine, teeth scraped across her lower lip, betraying her nervousness, but her chin went up defiantly. “Look, Mr. Richmond, if you don’t want me to call you by your surname, it’s no big deal. We haven’t signed a contract or anything, so I’ll leave now.” She put her sandals on, took a deep breath, and stood, slowly taking a step toward the door, but Shawn suddenly appeared like a solid wall, blocking her way. She glanced at his smiling eyes, judging the distance to the rear door, wondering if she could make it before he pounced. Somehow, she was afraid that running would trigger his own predatory instincts or his billionaire manly ego.
“Mr. Richmond, let me pass, I don’t have time for this nonsense,” Catherine objected gently, laying a placating hand on his arm. Two could play this game. She knew the man was playing with her, and she knew this game very well. After all, she knew him from head to toe.
However, Shawn didn’t so much as turn his head, his deep blue eyes remaining on her face, searching her eyes, “No, this is not a game, I’m merely asking you back, to take the job. I need you,” he told her softly, his voice soft and menacing. Even the unseen would grow uneasy upon hearing his deep, tantalising voice, slowly pushing himself closer to the blonde unfashionable-woman whose blue eyes flashed like jewels yet smelt like wild lilacs.
Game on, Catherine thought to herself. “Oh really now? Mr. Richmond, you fired me in a blink, remember?”
With their close proximity, she wondered why she hadn’t fallen down to the floor and been unconscious for a while.
“I already apologized for that, Catherine, haven’t I?”
Oh f**k! Oh please do not look at me like that, I’m about to melt. She thought to herself.
But, gazing at those mesmerising deep ocean eyes, and sensing a stark possessiveness in his stares, with a sensual cruelty around his beautiful mouth, an intensity burned in him that she had never witnessed before.
“I asked you a question,” he said softly.
His voice sent butterfly wings brushing against her stomach. It was a black-velvet weapon, a magician’s method, and it sent heat curling unexpectedly through her body. She felt the color creeping up her neck and into her face. “I’m no longer your employee, Mr. Richmond. You can’t bully me just like that!”
“Bully? I am not bullying you.” He waited, as still as a lion poised to pounce, his unblinking eyes fixed on her face.
She felt a strange compulsion to answer him, to tell him she was wrong. The urge beat at her head until she rubbed her temples in protest. Then she sighed, shook her head, and even attempted a smile. “Look, I’m not certain what you wanted from me, Mr. Richmond, but I’m not going to let you intimidate and bully me this time.”
“I’m not bullying you. I never did. What the hell made you think I was bullying you?”
She raised her eyebrows and shrugged carelessly. “Every f*****g time, but now,… it doesn’t matter. I can just as easily move on, I can find a job online… so goodbye.”
She was about to move and halted when he moved towards her instead. That made her step back against the wall. Shawn studied her face. She was lying to him. She wanted the job. She was eager to take it but too proud to say anything. She coated her desperation well, but she craved work. Yet not once did her cobalt eyes waver from his dark regard, and her entire body betrayed resistance.
Shawn moved then, gliding close to her so fast that she didn’t have a chance to run. He could almost hear her heart pounding, hear the rush of blood, of life, through her veins. His gaze rested on the plum lips, biting the lower lip so frantically. “I think this job will suit you perfectly, and it’s yours, it’s always been yours.”
Shawn was too close, too great, too fierce and powerful. Up close, Catherine could feel the heat radiating from his body, the allure and charisma he exuded. He wasn’t touching her, but she felt the warmth of his skin against hers all the same. She had an urge to run as fast and as far as she could, or maybe pounce on his lips?
“B-but why in your m-mansion?” She sounded defiant, even to her own ears.
Shawn just smiled in an infuriatingly masculine way that told her he knew she was afraid of him. The smile did nothing to warm the dark, intense frost in his eyes. He bent his head slowly toward her until she could feel his breath against her neck, then near her lips, almost gracing them. Her skin tingles with apprehension, or maybe from the unsettling excitement. Every cell in her body went on alert, screaming a warning, but she could not help but moan a little, and she prayed he didn’t hear it, or all was lost.
“Why not? Its a f*****g huge mansion…” he whispered into her pulse.
Catherine took a deep breath and forced herself to remain perfectly still, unflinching. If they were playing a game, she was not going to make a wrong move. “I need to know what I’m getting myself into, Mr. Richmond. And I know this game of yours, and I am not buying it, not even for a dime.”
He flashed a sly smile again. He looked like a hungry predator eyeing its prey. “I am not playing a game here, Catherine?”
“Oh, really? Cut this bullshit now. My boyfriend is waiting for me downstairs. I have to go.” She added a little lie and hoped for the best, because if she had to stay another minute here, she might as well let him win this game.
Hearing it, Shawn felt an unfamiliar anger rip through him at the very thought of any of the other men around her.