Randi had been pouring over files for hours. The entire office was dark as all the staff had left for the weekend. Her eyes burned from exhaustion. She leaned back in her chair and rested her eyes. She screamed at the sudden movement of her chair being spun around. She opened her eyes to find Philip with his hands on the arms of her chair, his face very close to hers. “Philip!” “Why, Randall?” he angrily whispered. She tried to get up, but he wasn’t about to move. “Why?” he repeated. “Philip, please.” His breathing was heavy from his anger. He took in a deep breath before standing and allowing her out of the chair. She rose and made her way to the front of the desk. When she turned to face him, she found he had followed and was right there. “Philip!” her hand went to his chest to keep him at bay. “What are you doing here?” With every step she took back, he matched it with one forward. “Why? Why did you have to take the Cooper account from Justin?” “Is that what this is all about?” she tried lightly. “I’m waiting for an answer Randall,” his face was so close to hers. Her body was pinned at the front of her desk with no where else to go. “Look, I saw an opportunity for Kingston and I took it.” “Kingston?” he spat. “Or yourself?” Her hands on the desk were the only thing keeping her from falling back. “What’s it to you?” “Do you have any idea how angry you’ve made my father?” “Am I supposed to care?” she returned. “If I were you, I’d care very much!” “He doesn’t scare me!” she lifted her chin in defiance. “He should!” he shouted in return. “Look, business is business.” “Randall, this isn’t business,” his voice calmer. “Then what is it?” her dark eyes gazing into his looking for answers. “I need you to please lay low for a while,” he softly pleaded. Her confusion read all over her face. “You what?” “If you work with me, I can resolve this.” “Work with you? Are you crazy?” “You have to trust me.” “Trust you?” she shouted. “No, that isn’t even a remote possibility.” “Please,” his whisper pleaded. She closed her eyes at the feel of his breath on her face. His hand rose to cup the nape of her neck. When he drew her close, her hands rose to his chest to push him away. “He’ll hurt you. I can’t let him do that,” his words soft whispers against her lips. It felt like forever since he’d tasted her kiss. He hadn’t realized until he felt the softness of her hair in his hands how much he missed her. Her quick intake of breath before his mouth came down on hers was involuntary. Her mind raced as she tried pushing him away. His other hand rose to join the first as they tangled in her long tresses. Her resolve slipping away uncontrollably as his tantalizing kisses continued. She slid her hands up his chest to encircle his neck and then tangle in his locks as well. Holding him close. Her soft coos and moans exciting him, turning his kisses hungry. She was breathless when he finally lifted his lips from hers. “Philip,” she huskily called his name as he began seductive kisses at her throat and neck. When his lips returned to hers, the hunger in both of them was great. His hand softly caressing her neck, knowing how sensitive she was to his touch. She opened her eyes when their lips parted, gazing deeply into his bright blue gaze. “Business is business,” he whispered. Anger rose in her like a volcanic eruption. She pushed him back with all her might. Standing before him, her hand came sharply across his cheek. His hand rose to the sting in his cheek. “Father’s right, you are feisty.”
Keep Your Enemies Closer
Todd Michaels is the billionaire playboy of the Michaels family of Austin, Texas. For almost two decades, he’s successfully run the Midwest branch of his family’s business when he unexpectedly encounters Samantha “Sam” Winslow, a relentless, surprisingly astute up and comer in Minnesota, who’s hell bent on one upping Todd.
Almost too coincidentally, a media storm begins accusing Todd of having an affair with his brother’s wife, and Todd assumes Sam is behind the attacks against him. What better way to get answers from his attractive adversary than to do what Todd Michaels does best? See if she’ll confess during a little pillow talk.
Jessie Moore is a new junior executive in her aunt’s company. After her mother passes away following a battle with cancer, she finds information leading her to believe the one person she has always idolized is not who she appears to be. Hurt and betrayed, she sets out on a mission to forget her pain, even if it's in the bed of her distant uncle Todd (Michaels). After all, Todd’s a no-commit kind of man. Just what she needs. A little fun with no strings. After Todd’s initial rejection of her idea, she takes it upon herself to show him they can both enjoy each other. However, one night in Todd’s bed isn’t enough. She finds herself falling for him. As the truth of who she is comes to light, she is shocked when it turns out she wasn’t climbing into Todd’s bed night after night after all.
Shane Sullivan is Todd Michaels’ young protégé. He’s been working with Todd for almost two years. However, whenever Jessie Moore makes a visit to her uncle’s office, his attraction to the young woman is usually doused quickly with her constant teasing and put downs. She makes sure Shane knows she’s out of his league. She was born to be in this business. Finding out he was the one she was spending glorious nights with puts Jessie over the edge, trusting no one. When the media storm hits her family, her first thoughts are Shane Sullivan is the anonymous source providing all the sordid details to the media … details only he could possibly know. She sets out to prove the truth and protect her family.
More and more secrets are revealed, and this family has to stand together to survive. The next chapter in the Michaels’ Legacy may prove their failure or survival, if they can come together as a family.
Drew Jaymes was the town bad boy in Peach Valley, Georgia. A boy orphaned at a young age and raised by his aunt. His dream of racing was his passion, until he met a young woman with bright aqua eyes. One summer with her, and he thought his whole life changed.
Nicole Bennett was part of a founding family of Peach Valley. A grandmother that was cold in life, yet was the only family she had once her parents had died in a car accident when she was a child of five. Her young life was spent in an all-girls school in Great Britain. Returning to Peach Valley before heading off to university, she met and fell in love with the town bad boy. She lost her innocence and her heart in a barn in a rainstorm. A young man who’s heart belonged to racing cars. Believing Drew’s love wasn’t real, she ran off to university and left Peach Valley, never wanting to return.
Eleven years later, the death of her grandmother brings her back to the one place she never wanted to be. Seeing the man who broke her heart all those years ago wasn’t something she’d ever planned on either.
Drew returned to Peach Valley after a long absence to compete in a race. When he’s charged with attempted murder, he turns to the only person who can help him: Nicole. She’s a successful assistant district attorney up north, and he wants her skills as his defense. Nicole didn’t buy into all the town’s hatred of him that summer long ago. Her belief in him during the trial of his life was what he needed. Little did they know this trial would take them on bold adventures and reveal secrets long buried.
Is it possible for first loves to become a love of a lifetime? Can they make it past everything their families have kept secret? Can Nicole show a town stuck in the 50’s they’d been wrong about the bad boy all along?
She sat at the foot of the bed when he exited the bathroom following his shower. His sleep pants at his hips, his chest bare.
He looked at her curiously. “You okay?” he asked as he stepped into her room from the hall.
“Now will you come back to our bed Noah?”
“Eden, look, what happened –“
She stood up abruptly. “Don’t!” she warned. “Don’t you dare say it shouldn’t have happened. Or I wasn’t ready.” She hastily wiped the tear that slid down her cheek. “I’m not some china doll.”
Here was Eden. Her determination shining brightly. The ironic part about it was she was now arguing the completely opposite argument she used to. Instead of arguing for him to not get his hopes up that a little sex was going to make things right, she was arguing…what?
“I wanted you Noah,” she said softly. “And, don’t you dare say you didn’t want me.”
He stood before her, his hands on her shoulders to hold her at arm’s length. “I want you, Eden,” he softly confessed as his eyes gazed into hers. “I just don’t know the rules of the game.”
He saw the hurt fill her eyes. “You think I’m playing a game?” she asked him.
He released his hold on her and paced a little. “I mean the whole amnesia thing. Eden, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.” I know what I should do. Stay away from you until your memories return and we can figure all of this out.
“Why not just not think?” she asked. “I don’t know what to do either, Noah. But, I don’t want to be in this limbo anymore.”
Limbo. There was a good word, he thought. How long would they be there until her memories came crashing in around him?
She could see how conflicted he was. She walked over to him and placed her hand on his arm. “Noah, what’s wrong with me?” His confusion could be seen in his eyes. “Why don’t you want to be with me?” she further probed.
He pulled from her light hold. “It isn’t that I don’t want to be with you,” he tried to explain.
“Noah, you said it had never been like that with us before. Why?”
Oh great. How did he explain this?
“You were different. Before,” he finally told her.
This Eden was too inquisitive for his own good. The Eden before the accident didn’t give a rip how he felt about anything. This one forcedhim to face his feelings.
She watched as he went through his thought process.
“Don’t give me broad terms Noah,” she warned. “I want to know.”
No you don’t.
As if reading his mind, her eyes told him yes, I do.
Live for today, Jake’s words repeated in his mind.
Noah took the few steps needed to be in front of her. His hands back on her shoulders, his eyes looking in hers, he told her, “You were,” he paused. Then, he sharply pulled free and jammed his hands into his hair. “Different!”
She couldn’t understand why this was so difficult for him. What on earth could have been so different he couldn’t tell her?
She walked to stand before him. Her eyes searching his. She placed her hands flat on his bare chest, and she felt that pull again. She felt his heart rate rise as his eyes looked into hers.
Slowly her hands slid up his chest. Her bottom lip between her teeth. “Noah, am I…” she chewed her lip a second, “inadequate?”
He was taken back by her question. “No!” He couldn’t go through that again. There was absolutely nothing inadequate about her. Not in the beginning and sure as hell not now. Tonight she’d been the woman he’d only dreamed his Eden would become.
“I don’t understand,” her voice soft. “Even now, all I can think about is your mouth and hands on me.”
He just looked at her. She seriously didn’t just say what he thought she did.
Her hands went to the back of his head and pulled him in for a soft kiss as she rose on tip toes. He didn’t hesitate when she wanted passage and her tongue slipped inside. Softly exploring, tasting.
His hands went to her waist for a moment before caressing to her back.
The feel of his hands on her flesh sent a sensation through her. She lifted her lips from his. “Yes, Noah,” she sighed. “I love your touch.”
They kissed a moment longer before he snuggled her close. “This Eden,” his voice a soft whisper. “This is what’s different.”
Her head spun from his delicate kisses at her neck and shoulder. He was intoxicating.
“What Noah,” she whispered back, returning feather light kisses of her own to his chest. “Tell me, what’s different?”
She was like a drug. An addiction. She had a way of getting through she hadn’t possessed before. How was that possible?
He didn’t want to talk. He wanted to experience these new feelings. New sensations. To overdose on this new Eden and shore up all of it.
He pulled back and looked at her. “Eden, what happened downstairs shouldn’t…”
“Don’t say it,” she softly warned again.
“Shouldn’t have happened – the way it did.”
“I don’t understand,” she replied in a whisper.
Her breath caught as he slid his hand along the nape of her neck. “You okay?” he asked, taking his hand back. It was possible she’d hurt her head or something with their excursion in the kitchen.
“I love when you do that,” she replied.
A soft smile lit his face as he repeated the action. She closed her eyes at the sensations flowing through her from the motion.
“Eden,” he whispered before giving her lips a butterfly kiss. “The first time should not have been in the kitchen.”
Her head fell back, giving him better access to her neck and throat. “I don’t believe I was complaining,” she answered.
“It still shouldn’t have been.”
“Then how should it have been?” she huskily asked.
Ignoring every lecture he’d given himself in the shower, “Let me show you,” he answered, burrowing his hands in her hair, angling her head to the best advantage for the deepest kiss possible.