How He Really Feels (He Feels Trilogy) (5 page)

“Miserable,” he said. He lowered his voice and smiled his sinfully wicked smile at me. “Your company would have made it more bearable.”

What!?! He hadn’t invited me. Why would he say that to me?

If that wasn’t flirting, I didn’t know what was.

“I didn’t get the invitation,” I said. I would have gone if he had asked me. For sure.

Just then, Malcolm entered the room.
“Hey, Jules. Morning, boss.”

“Good morning,” Nick and I said in unison. I glanced at Nick, and his eyes locked on mine for just a second. His gaze was burning hot. I could read the intense need in them, and then Jake came in the room, followed closely by Lucy, and the trance was broken when Nick glanced down at his iPad. “Good morning, everyone,” Jake said, and Lucy smiled and waved, taking the open seat next to me. Greg and Holly showed up a moment later, and then the meeting started. Nick was ever the professional, running the meeting like we hadn’t just kissed two nights before, when all I could do was focus on his sculpted lips as he spoke. Good God, he was a fine specimen of a man.

Luckily, the meeting was a recap of our current projects and a few new assignments; it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, and it certainly wasn’t news that Nick was leaving our team. I was grateful for that, although now I had several new projects that I needed to start on right away, including a market analysis report for one of my biggest clients.

Nick swung by my cube about an hour after our meeting. Seriously, with him strutting around in his sexy suit and tie, how was I supposed to concentrate on work?

“Hey, Nick,” I smiled flirtatiously.

“How are you, Miss Julianne Becker?” His eyes met mine, and I felt a tingle in my spine. He had no idea what he did to me, yet he stood there, composed as usual.

Melting, I replied, “I’m just fine, and yourself?”

“Great,” he said, running a hand through his hair. Oh, how I longed to do that for him. “Are you okay on the market analysis report? Davidson said we needed to have it done by week’s end.”

I thought fast, and I knew that I only had one option. He had made a move, and I was determined to make one, too. “Well,” I started, nabbing my chance, “I am planning to start it today, but I think I’ll need some help. Do you by chance have some time tonight?”

“Tonight’s kind of tight for me, but I can probably squeeze you in,” he smiled, showcasing his perfect teeth again.

He can squeeze me in anytime he wants,
I thought. Instead, I said, “That would be terrific. I could really use your opinion.”

“How’s seven-ish?
We could grab a bite to eat after,” he answered.

“Sounds great,” I flashed him another smile.

“You live in that apartment building on 7
street, right?” he asked.

“Yes, apartment 4B,” I replied, not bothering to wonder how he knew where I lived. Although I suppose it was sort of odd that he knew that particular bit of information.

“Alright, then I will see you at seven.”

My palms were sweating again. Holy fuck, he was coming over to my apartment!





Chapter 4







It was 6:45 and I was running around my apartment like a chicken with my head cut off. I cleaned up, straightening up my bedroom and putting away all of my stuffed animals, you know, just in case. I wanted to look perfect, so I dashed across my bathroom, putting on my make-up and fixing my hair. I spread my report out on the coffee table in front of my small loveseat so that we would be forced to sit close together. Frantic about what I should wear, I stood in my bra and underwear, staring at my closet.
I really need to find time to shop
, I thought. I needed some new clothes, pronto.

I didn’t want to wear my black tube top dress because it would seem like I tried too hard, even though I scored every time I wore it. I settled on jeans and a t-shirt. It was very casual, but I knew the t-shirt accentuated my breasts. I was getting very nervous as the clock ticked toward 7:00. I looked in the mirror and rethought my outfit choice just as the buzzer rang, signaling that it was too late to make any changes. I buzzed him up and checked the mirror one last time, deciding ultimately that I looked pretty hot.

I waited by the door for him to knock. I was picturing him walking up the stairs, down the hall, and-

My heart started racing in my chest. Would tonight be the night? Would I get up the nerve to make a move? I waited a few seconds before opening the door because I didn’t want to seem too anxious.

My heart went from racing to stopping when I opened the door. If this was anything close to Heaven, I was ready to go. He hadn’t changed from work, but he had loosened his tie and undone the first button of his shirt, and his dark hair was a little messier than the style he sported during working hours, like he had run his hands through his hair a million times that day. His hazel eyes looked more green than brown as they flickered lazily up my body. It felt like he was branding me with the heat coming from his eyes. “Hey, Nick, come on in,” I tried to sound casual, but I was nervous and already turned on. I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to concentrate on work with him in my personal space. I wanted to throw him down on the floor and make my fantasies a reality.

He smiled the warm smile that made his eyes light up. “Hey, Julianne,” he said, his sexy voice a low murmur. He walked across my small hallway into my living room and removed his jacket, placing it over the arm of my loveseat. “Nice apartment,” he said, looking around. I smiled, and then he sat. “Do you think that this will take long? We can order in instead of going out for dinner.”

Hmmm, do I want to go out on the town with him or have the home-court advantage?
I thought.

“Well, it might take awhile, I’m not really sure. We can just order in,” I took the home-court.

“Sounds great. Chinese?”

“Sure,” I smiled, as he got up to look for my phone.

He located it and asked my preferences, and then he ordered some food and I loved how he took control of the situation. We started working on the project, and I couldn’t help but focus on how good he smelled. It was a delicious mixture of soap, aftershave, and deodorant, with a slight hint of something that was just unique to Nick. He was so hot that I could actually feel heat radiating from his body as I sat close to him on my couch.

“First we need to look at comps and competition, and then we should compare the research that Davidson’s secretary found. We still need social media data as well as client interviews,” he was saying something important, but all I could comprehend was that he was sitting next to me in my living room. I pointed to something on a data sheet he was looking at and brushed his arm purposely in the process. I felt a jolt of electricity as my arm touched his. All I wanted to do was take him into my arms and be a very naughty girl.

I tried to focus on what he was saying because he really did have a lot of great ideas. As I glanced at the paper that he was holding, I noticed a bulge in his pants out of the corner of my eye. I was suddenly curious about his package. Was he as turned on as I was in that moment? Or was he just that big? I forced myself to refocus on the paperwork in front of us, but with him sitting in my living room, it wasn’t easy.

We took a break from work when the food came. I hoped that he didn’t want to leave right after we were done eating, so I brought our work back up. We had a good plan laid out to be sure that the report would be done by the end of the week, and it also meant that he and I would be working closely together for the rest of the week. I didn’t mind that one little bit.

I offered him a drink after we had finished our work, and he accepted. “Is a glass of wine okay?” I asked, thinking slyly that if I could get him liquored up, maybe I could take advantage of him.

“Sounds great,” he replied.

I brought two glasses of white wine into the living room and turned on the radio. I tuned into the soft rock station that always played love songs. The mood was absolutely perfect.

“To this market analysis,” I said, laughing and holding up my glass.

He clinked my glass with his. “No,” he replied. “To you. You have a lot of amazing ideas in that gorgeous head of yours,” he said. I blushed as we each took a sip of our wine.

A million thoughts ran through my head.
Should I tell him that I am in love with him? He called me gorgeous! Is this strictly a work relationship? Gorgeous! Does he want me as much as I want him? My palms are sweating! He did, as Travis pointed out, find me on New Year’s Eve. What did that mean?
I decided to play it cool and see if he made a move.

We chatted about safe topics like work while we drank our first glass of wine, and soon I was pouring us each a second. Normally it took three or four glasses before I started to feel tipsy, but with Nick there, I felt drunk already. I don’t know if I was drunk on Nick or if I was just losing my toleration to wine, but I really felt giddy.

He finished his second glass of wine and set the empty glass down on the table, and then he took my hand in his. I felt a frisson of energy when his hand touched mine. “Shall we finish the dance that was cut short at the Christmas party?” he asked.

I willingly accepted his offer, never dreaming even in my wildest dream that Nicholas Matthews would ask me to dance with him in my apartment. I thought that
was going to be the one making the move on
! My dream was coming true, as was my resolution.

He pulled me up and into his arms as a slow song talking about secrets played. I felt his hard pectoral muscles against my chest, his washboard stomach against me. I could only imagine what he looked like under that shirt. I so desperately wanted to see, to touch,
to kiss.

I rested my head against his shoulder, breathing him in. I was lost in his wonderful aroma, his woodsy cologne mixed with his Nick scent. I started to feel dizzy, as if the world was slipping
out from under my feet. Again I noticed the heat, the sparks flying between us. We were so close that we were almost in a hug. In a way, I wanted to be apart so that I could stare into those eyes again, to read his thoughts, to see if he wanted me as much as I wanted him.

I had imagined how wonderful it would feel to be so close to him a million times. But in all of those wonderful daydreams that I had about Nick, none of them measured up to how fantastic it actually was. He was so absolutely beautiful, so perfect, so smart and funny and masculine. I felt so comfortable with him that I closed my eyes as we swayed and I imagined how it would feel to be with him, body and soul. Suddenly, he pulled away a little bit.

I felt sheepish as he looked into my eyes, and I wondered if he could read what I was thinking. What if he didn’t feel the same way at all?

He whispered, “Julianne, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I replied, feeling like my loud voice belonged to someone else. He pulled me close again. I could feel his warm breath against the top of my head as we danced.

“You are so incredibly beautiful,” he whispered into my hair.

“What?” I asked, my voice cracking like a teenage boy going through puberty, wanting to be sure that I heard him correctly. I pulled back slightly to look him in the eyes.

“You‘re beautiful.
I’ve thought so since the first time I saw you in that conference room a year ago,” he said, as he pulled me close once again. The stubble from his five o’clock shadow tickled against my skin as his chin brushed my cheek.

I had no words. I couldn’t handle thinking clearly when he was so close to me and so sexy and saying things like that to me.

“I know that it’s wrong for us to be together because I’m your boss, but Julianne, I just can’t hold back anymore. Being next to you makes it impossible for me to think straight. I can’t hide from this anymore, as much as I try to deny that I have feelings for you,” he said.

For possibly the first time in my life, I was speechless. I couldn’t believe that he was saying the one thing I had longed to hear for a year.

“Every time I see you walking around the office, I want to take you into my arms, like this, and feel your body against mine,” he whispered, his chin brushing my cheek again.

Nothing could have prepared me for this moment. I felt a million emotions all at once: nervous, excited, anxious, and overjoyed; but the prevailing feeling was lust. I wanted to express to him the torch that I had been carrying for him since the first day I had laid eyes on him. I wanted someone to pinch me to make sure that this was really happening. And most of all, I wanted him to kiss me.

“I feel the same way about you,” I finally said, gazing boldly into his eyes.

His eyes burned into mine, and everything in the room went away. There was no music, no report,
no floor under my feet. Nothing was in that room except for Nick and me.

He tucked my hair behind my ear and then ran his knuckles against my cheek, his eyes never leaving mine. And then, finally, he lowered his head to mine, slowly, the anticipation absolutely killing me.

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