Erotic Romance Novella
Date Published: 2/12/13
Powerhouse project manager, Kyra Benson, loves her new job. If only her domineering boss wasn’t the bane of her existence and a boon to her fantasies. An office affair is out of the question, even though he’s the sexiest thing she’s been around in years. If she’s going to keep her job and save her team, she’ll need to meet him on common ground…and find a way to protect her heart.
X2 Games CEO, Bryan Ross, has devoted his life to his company. The last thing he needs is to get sidetracked by a strong-willed, demanding woman who thinks she knows more about his business than he does. Even if he can’t get Kyra out of his head, she’s the one person who can save his business. But is he’s willing to make her an offer she can’t refuse—an offer for the boardroom and the bedroom.
Can the two adversaries negotiate a truce and find love? Or will business—and everything they’ve worked so hard for—come before pleasure?
A received a copy for a free review. All my thoughts are my own. Kyra’s a talking back, take no prisoners and one great employee. She’s strong and determined. Bryan knows shes’ the best employee, but she’s willful and headstrung. Normally for me I need to get more invested and neither of them are vulnerable. The fire and passion of how they live their lives leads them to some hot sex. I read it fast. The denial that leads to passion is palatable, and when I forgot this review was due tomorrow… I skimmed one page remembering this whole paragraph. Clearly there was plenty to enjoy and remember.
One of these days, Kyra Benson was going to kill her boss. Sooner or later, one of them would have to go, and it sure as hell wouldn’t be her.
Kyra seethed as she stood across from the CEO of X2 Games, Bryan Ross. Forget his supposed charm, forget his startling good looks. In this moment, Kyra hated him. And given his narrowed eyes and set jaw, the feeling was mutual.
They’d been arguing about resources for her project for the last several weeks. Now, energy crackled around them like a brewing storm, and she half expected a lightning bolt to singe her desk. How the hell he expected her to push her team to complete the next game in time for release, without the manpower they needed, was beyond her. He thought she’d just get it done as if she had a magic wand. Moron. He’d give into her eventually. She was just that stubborn. But she hated having to beg for every development resource.
As their harsh breaths mingled across the desk, his gaze dipped to her lips. Instantly, his pupils dilated. As if her body was on autopilot, she responded with a racing heartbeat, wobbling knees, and a pang of lust at her center. Don’t be stupid, Kyra, you know better. Sleeping with him might be unforgettable, but it won’t get you what you want.
Palms flat on the desk, Kyra spoke softly in an attempt to rein in her response to him. “You have a choice to make. You can cut the scope of the game, or you can add more time. I can’t create miracles out of thin air. You can also give me the additional resources I asked for months ago.”
Bryan scowled and started pacing, his taut, athletic body prowled around her office. “You’re a project manager with a background in lean development. We’re a startup. Our other resources are taxed. I thought you were supposed to be the best. That’s what I need from you.”
She rolled her eyes. “I’m the best project manager you have, and you know it. I’m sorry the last guy sold you a bill of goods.” He thought he could simply usher a command to get what he wanted, but what he wanted took work. It meant more nights that her team wouldn’t see their families, or girlfriends, or the light of day, and she wouldn’t have that. Determination hardened her voice as she added, “You’ll have to find another way. What you’re asking for is going to kill my team.”
He raised a brow. “Don’t you mean my team?”
Shit. Just what she needed—to piss off the boss. Bryan took the gaming business seriously, and it had earned him a tidy fortune. In classic CEO fashion he didn’t take it well when anybody questioned his process. But it was her job to protect her guys at all costs. Even if it cost her.
Drawing up to full height, she crossed her arms. About to step in a mud pile so deep she probably would regret it later, she spoke the truth as she knew it. “No, Bryan, I mean my team. You may sign the pay-checks, but they work for me, because they genuinely like me and know I have their backs. Can the same be said about you?”
He glared at her. Those blue-flecked hazel eyes bore into hers. Convinced she was about to be fired, Kyra held her breath. For a long moment, he didn’t say anything, just stared at her. His gaze eventually dipped to her lips again, and a shiver stole up her back. If she stopped to think about how good looking he was, she’d be too distracted to stand up to him.
When he spoke, it was like someone poured warm chocolate over her body. Too bad he was telling her something she didn’t want to hear.
“I’m making the call, Kyra. I need this deadline. Now, either you have the stuff to do it on time, or you don’t. And if you don’t, I’ll find someone who does.”
When he stalked out of her office, she considered going after him, but that could only have an ugly end. Either they’d end up screwing like rabbits in the hallway—she wished—or she’d kill him with her bare hands. His supposed bedroom prowess was legendary. Bryan Ross was the stuff young, geek-girl programmers dreamed of. Brilliant, sexy, and he knew his way around a Joss Whedon reference. He also went through women like her friend, Megan went through shoes. Rumor had it that some girl had broken his heart, and he hadn’t been serious about anyone since.
Since Kyra had started at X2 several months ago, she hadn’t been able to crack into the man behind the power façade to decipher whether that was true or not. She couldn’t see him torn up over any woman. They’d been at odds most of the time, even in her interview. Initially he’d been cordial and outgoing, but when she gave him a little pushback about company processes, his mood had soured. She’d been certain she wouldn’t get the job, but he’d personally called and invited her to join their growing team. They’d been battling ever since.
Well not entirely true.
There’d been one moment three months ago when they hadn’t been at loggerheads. She’d been working late with her team one night and had gone to the employee lounge to get them all drinks from the vending machines. Bryan had been in one of the private game rooms with a petite blonde. Their conversation had been hushed, but thanks to the great acoustics, Kyra heard it all.
The blonde’s breathy voice saying, “I just want to show you how much you mean to me.”
Bryan’s lower, sexier cadence replying, “Elaine, when I said we needed to talk, I meant we needed to actually have a conversation, not have a fuck in my office. It was a courtesy that I wanted to talk over dinner, but we can do it here just as easily.”
“Bullshit,” she said. “You just think I won’t make a scene in public.”
As awkward scenarios went, Kyra knew she’d been in for one hell of a doozey. But there was no way to make it to the elevators without passing the game room, and the door was open enough that she’d be seen if she tried. She’d figured it was better to stay put in the shadows until they were done with their little break-up scene. She kept one hand clamped over her mouth to keep from breathing too loudly or making an inadvertent squeak. Too incredulous to retreat, she watched through the crack in the door as the pale blonde strutted around in front of Bryan.
Bryan’s gruff voice rang in Kyra’s memory. “Elaine, now is a good time to stop that. We’re not going to have sex.”
“Why should I?” She tipped her head up to meet his eyes. “I know you like it, and I’m trying to get through to you so you’ll understand how good we can be together. Maybe this is the only way.”
Unable to help herself, Kyra had craned her neck for a better view. If she was to properly recount the story to her best friend and head of Quality Assurance, Megan, Kyra wanted to be sure she got the details right.
Elaine pulled Bryan’s belt from the loops on his trousers and tossed it aside. “Whoops.” She then quickly unfastened his pants.
From her vantage point, Kyra could see the muscles in his jaw ticking.
“Elaine—” he whispered through clenched teeth. Something she did cut his voice off. When he spoke again, his voice was lower, sexier. “This is a really bad—mmm, idea. I don’t have time for this.”
“Make time, Bryan. Besides, I know what you like. I just want you to remember how good I am.”
Kyra had rolled her eyes, making a mental note to herself. Never be so desperate for a guy you’re willing to cancel out your self-respect.
Elaine sank to her knees in her tailored black pantsuit and whispered, “Now there’s what I’ve been waiting for.”
Bryan had his head thrown back and his lips had parted. With a sleepy, half-lidded gaze, he stared down at Elaine. He stood mostly rigid while Elaine worked her tongue over the length of his cock and back down the other side.
Kyra had been unable to tear her gaze away from Elaine’s hollowing her cheeks and they way she sucked Bryan into her. One of his hands clamped over the edge of the pool table so hard, his knuckles had gone white. His breathing grew more and more rapid. Kyra hadn’t wanted to look away.
A low harsh groan escaped Bryan’s lips.
Through clenched teeth he whispered, “Fuck, Kyra. Your mouth feels so good.”
At the sound of her name, Kyra sucked in an involuntary breath. No, she hadn’t heard that correctly. She strained to hear better, inching forward slightly but trying to keep to the shadows.
Immediately, Bryan’s gaze pinned on the door. She was certain he couldn’t see her from his vantage point. She had been concealed in the dark, right? As Elaine continued to suck his thick erection into her mouth, he stared at Kyra’s hidden location. And she had watched the scene, transfixed as Bryan’s hand dug into Elaine’s hair and guided her mouth.
“Not too fast.” He stroked a thumb over her chin. “Yeah, like that.” Bryan clenched his teeth and focused his intense gaze on her location. His gaze never strayed.
That was hot. He was hot.
When he finally climaxed, Kyra was ready for one herself, she’d been so keyed up. For her part, Elaine hadn’t noticed that he’d called her the wrong name. But Kyra had known.
Kyra had told herself that it didn’t mean anything. That earlier that day they’d been locked in battle over a schedule and his subconscious had just interjected her name. But the butterflies in her belly didn’t care what rationalizations she used.
Ever since, working together had become impossible. Even now, just from the memory alone, she could feel the walls of her pussy convulse and quiver. She wanted him.
Shaking the memory loose, Kyra rubbed the back of her neck in an effort to release some of her tension. She glanced at the clock on her desk and cursed. It was barely seven thirty in the morning and she’d already had her ass handed to her by her boss. The makings of a fantastic day. She rolled her shoulders. First, she’d grab coffee, then she’d come up with a plan Bryan Ross could tolerate. Because whether he had the hots for her or not, she still had a job to do.
Q Malone’s love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense
she borrowed from her cousin. It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Q was a
precocious thirteen. She’s been in love with kick butt heroines ever since.
Waiting for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, in the meantime Q works out her drama,
passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is.
Q Malone also writes Sexy Contemporary Romances and thrilling Superhero Romances as Nana