Gracie didn’t notice John’s withdrawal as they made their way to the top floor of the Hyatt Regency, where John’s bank was wining and dining all their biggest clients and a few others they hoped to recruit very soon. Gracie was more occupied by the Dallas skyline, the room full of people that she had no interest in schmoozing and the soreness between her legs—Not necessarily in that order.
She’d dressed in a very sedate cocktail suit that came just below her knees. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a loose chignon and her grandmother’s pearl earrings were at her ears. She looked like a successful attorney, not a woman who less than two hours before had brought her lover to orgasm by telling him about her domination fantasy. And she definitely didn’t look like a woman who wasn’t wearing any underwear.
John seemed nervous, more so than usual for a function like this, so she casually put her arm around his waist as a way to offer support. She hadn’t realized how important this evening was to him, and she probably should have been a little more sensitive earlier. What she wasn’t expecting was John to show revulsion at her touch. The look on his face would have been comical if it hadn’t been directed at her and in front of a group of people.
“I’m sorry, Gracie,” he stammered out. “You took me by surprise.”
The excuse must have even sounded lame to him, because he wouldn’t meet her eyes after he’d told the lie. He took a step away from her and Gracie flushed in embarrassment.
“I’d like to introduce everyone to Gracie McGuire. She’s a partner at Decker, Deets and McGuire and one of SureTrust Bank’s most valued clients.”
Gracie stood rooted to the floor, her stomach in knots and sweat puddling at the base of her spine. Something was wrong. She and John had been dating for three months, and he’d always taken every opportunity to show her off as his own private possession, but now for some reason she was just his client. There was only one thing that could have happened to make John’s feelings change in such a short amount of time. He’d liked the idea of her fantasy in the heat of passion, but now when he had to look at her over canapés he couldn’t stand the sight of her. He was ashamed.
Gracie gave John a look of boredom, as if he were no more than dirt under her shoe, and felt satisfaction at his flinch. She’d just learn to keep her mouth shut from now on. Bedroom secrets were meant to stay secrets. Lesson learned.
Gracie’s pale skin showed polite indifference as she made the round of introductions.
“This is Peter Sterling, the CEO at the Nightingale Corporation,” John droned. “SureTrust is hoping to get his business very soon.”
“We’ll see, John, old buddy,” Peter said with a conspirator’s laugh and a wink at Gracie.
Gracie had to refrain from rolling her eyes. The good old boys’ club never changed. Peter was a middle-aged executive with silver at his temples and capped teeth. He probably cheated on his wife with anything in a skirt and smoked Cuban cigars at his expensive country club. Peter was boring. John could have Peter with her blessing. Gracie was through with men like them.
She was much more interested in the tall, dark man that stood to Peter’s left. His hair was as black as midnight and his eyes as blue as sapphire. He didn’t have the face of a pampered businessman or the body of someone who’d spent too many hours behind a desk. His suit was expensive and his cologne a seduction. He made the other men in the room pale in comparison, and the other women in the room overflow with envy that he wasn’t theirs.
This strange man had witnessed Gracie’s humiliation at John’s words, but he hadn’t looked on in speculation and titillation as the other guests had. He’d looked furious on her behalf.
Gracie looked down at her watch and wondered how much longer she needed to stay at this thing now that she’d decided John was a horse’s ass. She had briefs to read, a pair of comfortable slippers to put on and a nice bottle of wine waiting at her apartment. She didn’t have any personal possessions at John’s, so she wouldn’t have to go through any awkward scenes when she told him she was through.
She sighed in defeat. It wasn’t even nine o’clock. She needed to stay at least another hour for her own business purposes. The least she could do was enjoy the free food and the endless champagne.
The stranger caught Gracie’s sigh of impatience, and his eyes laughed at her predicament. Gracie and the stranger both remained silent as Peter and John postured back and forth, their gazes never leaving each other. There was something very different about this silent man. Something dangerous. Something secretive. And she was drawn to him. She shivered as his eyes seemed to undress her and thoughts of what he could do to her with those sensuously full lips invaded her mind.
John interrupted her thoughts when he remembered that she and the others standing around were still important clients. “I beg you pardon, Gracie, gentlemen. Peter and I go back a ways. I think you know everyone else, Gracie, except for Peter’s friend there. And I hate to admit that I haven’t caught his name yet. Peter didn’t tell me he was bringing a guest,” John said. The admonition was there at Peter’s oversight, but it was skillfully done.
“He’s not my guest, John,” Peter said. “We had just started talking when you and Gracie came up. I haven’t caught his name either.”
John’s smile was saccharine as he extended his hand to the stranger, everyone’s attention focused on the man who had intruded John’s special event. “John Johnson,” he said. “President of SureTrust National Bank.”
The stranger looked at John’s outstretched hand with disinterest but took it in his grip anyway. “Mitchell Caldwell,” the stranger said.
Mitchell Caldwell didn’t have to tell anyone his position of importance. Everyone already knew who Mitchell Caldwell was, including Gracie. The murmurs that surrounded them assured that the word had traveled fast. Gracie thought John might pass out with the glorious news. It was a coup in his corner to be sure. The majority stockholder of the Caldwell Corporation, a billion dollar financial institution, was standing in the midst of peons.
“Mr. Caldwell,” John stuttered. “I had no idea you planned on attending tonight. Your secretary never confirmed your invitation.”
“Let’s just say it was a whim. I didn’t have anything better to do tonight.”
Gracie coughed to cover her laughter. John didn’t know whether to be insulted or kiss the man’s feet, and the uncomfortable silence from the other guests showed they weren’t quite sure what to do with a man like Mitchell Caldwell either.
The laughter lit Gracie’s eyes and she stuck out her hand, determined to see if the spark that had ignited before she’d learned his name was still there.
“Gracie McGuire,” she said.
Mitchell took her hand in his gently and brought it to his lips. The heat from his touch sent a sizzle to Gracie’s most intimate places, and her breath caught in her throat. “The pleasure is all mine, Ms. McGuire. I hope I’m able to do business with your firm very soon,” he said.
Gracie felt the dampness pool between her legs and wished that she’d not been so foolish to go without panties. She’d have to make a trip to the ladies room and wipe away the moisture that was sliding down her inner thighs.
“Stop by my office any time,” Gracie said before excusing herself and heading to the ladies room. She could feel the heat of his gaze follow her down the hallway to the bathroom door, and when she was safely inside she hurriedly checked the stalls for other occupants and then locked the door to keep everyone out.
Gracie unzipped her skirt slowly and lowered it to the floor, watching herself in the large mirror over the sinks. She was naked from the waist down and her buttocks were toned and firm. She laid the skirt carefully over one end of a settee that was positioned against the wall. She didn’t want to cause any more talk tonight by reappearing at the party in rumpled clothes.
Just a seductive glance from the stranger had made her hotter than she’d ever been. She had no choice but to relieve the pressure that was building inside of her.
Gracie unbuttoned her suit jacket and slipped it off her shoulders, placing it on top of her skirt. Her breasts were full and aching with need. Her nipples erect. All because of a man she’d just met. She stared at herself in the mirror, her breasts high and proud and her pussy shaved, the lips glistening with moisture.
She skimmed her hands up her body until they held the weight of her breasts. She moaned at the touch and closed her eyes, savoring the feeling of one of her most sensitive areas. She plucked at her nipples until they were hard and aching and the juice was flowing freely down her legs. She squeezed her nipples until she felt a jolt go through her clitoris and she experienced a small orgasm that brought her to her knees on the settee.
She lie back on the cushioned seat and spread her legs wide. Her reflection shone back in the mirror and her petals glistened with her desire. Her fingers thrummed against her clit with speed and precision, inciting a moan that she was sure could be heard outside.
Gracie closed her eyes as she felt the sensations rioting through her body. She thought of her dark haired stranger and what his cock would feel like as it stretched her body. She pushed two fingers in and out of her pussy, wishing it was her stranger hitting the special spot deep inside. She was writhing in exquisite torture on the settee, the pins fallen from her hair and a light film of sweat covering her body.
“Mmm, oh yeah,” she panted, strumming her clit as she pistoned her fingers faster in and out of her dripping hole. “Fuck me harder, Mitchell. Harder,” she screamed. The sound of her voice reverberated off the tile wall as she came in a gush of liquid heat that soaked the settee beneath her. Her body heaved in exhilaration and she moaned as she cupped her sex, holding in the sensations as long as possible. She wished it really could have been Mitchell that had given her such an exquisite feeling. It had been a long time since she’d come that long and that hard.
She was going to have to do some major damage control before she went back in to the party. Gracie washed off quickly with a damp towel and tried to erase the musty scent of sex from her body. She put her clothes back on quickly, shoved the pins back into her hair and dug through her evening bag for the emergency makeup kit she always carried. She took a final glimpse in the mirror and decided she looked fantastic. Radiant even.
She flipped the lock on the door and slipped out, glancing at her watch to see what time it was as she made her way back to the party. She’d had no idea that she’d spent so long in the bathroom. It was almost ten o’clock. Hopefully, no one would suspect that she’d been giving herself the orgasm of a lifetime for the last forty-five minutes.
Gracie made her way over to the bartender with a bounce in her step, ignoring the crowds of people talking about business and gossip in little groups all over the room. “Champagne, please,” she said with a smile.
“Absolutely,” the bartender said with a wink and a leer that would have been frightening if he hadn’t been so young. He held the glass just out of her reach, and Gracie shot him a look that had been known to make grown men tuck their tails between their legs and run away.
“Is there a problem?” Gracie asked.
“I know all about you, Gracie McGuire. I know how much you’d like me to pour this champagne over your naked body and lick it from your pussy. And I know how much you’d like me to restrain you and fuck you while you scream,” he whispered.
Gracie felt the pleasure from her earlier experience disappear only to be replaced with the long, icy fingers of fear. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she said. “How dare you speak to me that way.”
“You can’t deny your desires,” he said. “We all know what your guilty pleasures are. And for the record, I don’t think there’s anything sick about your fantasies. I got so hot thinking about all the things I wanted to do to you that I had to go jack off in the bathroom. There was another guy in there doing the same thing. You’re going to be the object of many men’s dreams tonight. I don’t know what you ever saw in that prick, John.”
“Me neither,” Gracie whispered and turned away, her champagne forgotten.
Has John really told my secrets to a room full of strangers? God, he must have for the bartender to know my most intimate desires.
Gracie stumbled through the room in a daze, ignoring the stares filled with lust and the occasional hand that grabbed her ass or her tits. A gentleman blocked her path, and she felt another close in behind her so she was sandwiched in between the two. Her eyes were filled with anger as she stared down the man in front of her.
“Get out of my way,” she spat.
“Ooh, you’re fiery. I like that,” he said. There was alcohol on his breath and his eyes were glazed. “Why don’t you come along with me and my friend to our room? I bet the two of us can put that feistiness to good use.”
Gracie felt the second man move up closer behind her until he was pressing his erection into the small of her back. The man in front of her slipped his hand inside her jacket and pinched her nipple hard enough to make her gasp.
“Let me make myself very clear, gentleman,” Gracie said, speaking loudly so the other curious onlookers could hear what she had to say. “John Johnson is a liar. This is his feeble attempt at revenge because I told all the people at my office that he’s impotent. Which he really is, by the way. I tried and tried and tried to get that little thing to work, but it didn’t help. What’s a girl to do but to move on to a man that has working parts? Not to mention that you’re all probably going to want to find a different bank, because when I’m through suing John Johnson, I’m going to own SureTrust National Bank. So I am going to ask you one more time to get out of my way before things gets ugly.”
The man behind her moved away quickly and the crowd mumbled their displeasure at the lack of excitement, but the man in front of her wasn’t sure if she was bluffing. He finally decided she was speaking the truth and backed out of her way. “Fuck it,” he said on his way back to the bar. “I can get pussy anywhere.”
“I’m sure you can,” Gracie said to no one in particular. She noticed Mitchell Caldwell standing next to the wall by himself. He gave her a nod of approval and a quick smile, but Gracie was too mortified to keep up eye contact. She’d just been imagining it was him fucking her to a mind-blowing orgasm and somehow she’d turned into the laughing stock of the whole party.
Gracie McGuire had one goal: To find John Johnson and get an explanation. If what the bartender and her other admirers had said was true, than murder was much too good for the man. She found him a few feet in front of Mitchell, drinking whiskey like it was water and holding court over a group of fascinated people. It wasn’t the burning of her ears that notified her that she was the topic of conversation. She could hear her name coming from John’s lips as clearly as if he was holding a microphone to his mouth.
The crowd parted like the Red Sea as Gracie approached him. He was glassy-eyed and red faced from too much alcohol, and the ramifications of what he was doing were slow to take hold. “Gracie, my girl, we were jusss talkin’ bout ya,” he slurred. “You damned near fucked me to death thissss afternoooon.” He laughed at himself and nearly toppled over, catching himself on the arm of one of his cronies.
A few of the people around them snickered into their drinks and a few others gave Gracie pitying looks.
“Gosh, that’s not how I remember it John. You might be careful with the drink, I’ve learned from experience that too much can make your dick go limp. Permanently. I honestly didn’t mean to fuck you to near death this afternoon. I was just trying to get it to do something other than lie there. Honest,” she said with a guileless smile.
This caused a chorus of raucous laughter that would be ringing in John Johnson’s ears for a long time. He wasn’t the type of man who liked to be laughed at. He liked to call the shots, and he liked to be the one to give the insults. His already flushed face turned crimson with anger and his fists bunched at his sides.
“You bitch!” he screamed.
“Careful what you say, John. You’ve done a lot of damage tonight. For someone who’s so worried about his career, you seemed pretty comfortable pissing it away tonight. You’re a drunk, but that’s no excuse for what you did to me tonight. What was done or said in the privacy of our bedroom should have stayed there.”
Gracie had gotten his attention when she’d mentioned him pissing his career away. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “I’ve worked a long time to make my bank one of the best in the state.”
“I’m going to handle this like an adult. I’m sure that’s pretty foreign to you,” she said. “And just for the record, John, a normal man wouldn’t be sickened by my fantasies. A normal man would treat me like a queen and be rewarded with the most amazing sex of his life until we both grew too old to care. No wonder our sex life was so boring.”
Gracie turned to walk away, prepared to make an exit while having the last word, but it didn’t work out that way.
“We had a boring sex life because I’ve been fucking my secretary across my desk every day. I didn’t have a lot left in me when I got home to you. I’ll do anything for the business, even screw every female client I have if it brings in more money.”
Gracie, along with every other person in the room, was speechless. She walked up to John with a determined stride and a don’t mess with me chip on her shoulder, pulled back her fist and punched him in the nose. Her hand hurt like hell, but seeing the spurt of blood across his white shirt was well worth the pain.