‘First Sight’ The Deal Prequel
Where Adam and Bethany’s story began…
We tire of those pleasures we take, but never of those we give…
‘First Sight’ The Deal Prequel
~ * ~
“Okay, smooches buttercup!” chimed my best friend, Lizzy, leaning over the center console with an air kiss to each of my cheeks. “Rock those Toronto executives with our mad designs and killer ad plan and show ‘em how us kickass California girls do it! Knock their socks off, sweets.”
“Will do, partner.” I gave her a cheeky grin and squeezed her hand. “I’ll see you tomorrow night.” I gathered my briefcase, purse and carryon luggage, and popped the passenger door open, ready to embark into the crazy that was Los Angeles International Airport—better known as LAX.
“And while you’re at it…maybe you can rock one of those, too,” she dramatically nudged her head forward, “him, and get yourself out of this slump you’re in.”
I followed Lizzy’s glinting green eyes to the front windshield and out over the hood of her family van, gazing at a black limousine parked in front of us and the gorgeous man who’d unloaded from it, waiting for his chauffeur to collect his travel bags for him. Even from only the side view I had of him, he looked pretty damn impressive: his dark hair, not a tousled strand out of sorts or looking anything but perfect; his skin was beautifully tanned with a classic California glow, giving me the impression he was a local man; his jawline was softly chiseled, and his frame… Wow! …he seemed to be muscular and had the advantage of height; his steely blue suit stretched over his broad shoulders, lending a glorious hint at the muscles that lay beneath, and his suit slacks fit snug on his thick, muscular thighs. He was well-built, and impeccably dressed. His profile was perfect! I only wished I could see his eyes; I imagined they were just as dreamy as the rest of him.
He buttoned his perfectly tailored suit jacket and smoothed his hands over the front of it, straightening it out and assuring his perfection before he made his grand entrance into the busy airport terminal. (It wasn’t necessary; he was pretty well darn near perfect already.) My heart skipped and paused a beat, waiting for the lovely long legs of a beautiful woman to follow him out of the open car door. But, to my surprise, one never followed.
As if willing him to, the man turned with a brief, casual glance our way. Those lips. Holy mother of Christ! The man was hot. Though, I didn’t say as much to Lizzy. No, I said, “Humph! A wealthy, pompous control freak businessman who disarmingly flits from one shattered female heart to the next… No thank you!” I vowed. “He wouldn’t want a girl like me, anyway.” Besides, I’m sworn off men…
Incredulous, Lizzy swung her gaze back to me. “What…smart, strong, successful, and beautiful? No, totally unappealing to men.” She shook her head at me. “That type of man is exactly what you need to shake it up. It’s been two months since you broke it off with dipshit Brian; I’m assuming you’ve been with no one since?”
Ugh! I swung my legs out of the open car door, remembering we were parked in a drop off only zone, curbside. “Gotta go! Thanks for the lift.” Yeah, I’ll be taking a cab home from the airport upon my return. I bent down and looked back at Lizzy, blowing her a goodbye kiss.
To which Lizzy replied, “One night stand, baby!” giggling as I shut the car door and turned my back on her, my high heels at a fast pace into the terminal. Most definitely taking a cab on my return route!
The thought was absurd; I don’t do one night stands. EVER! And now’s not the time to start. I’m a twenty-eight year old woman, not a college co-ed call-me-for-a-good-time party girl. I shook the ridiculous image from my mind and set after locating my boarding gate. I briefly considered stopping into the luxury pre-boarding lounge for a stiff drink or shot…or two or three. But thought better of it—arriving in Toronto plastered would not be ideal. Nor would alerting Homeland Security to my inebriated self and being frisked like a threat or terrorist to the country before being allowed to board… Or worse, being disallowed to board…
As typical, my flight was running late—fog or something over San Francisco. I decided to make a trip to the restroom to freshen up a bit before the nearly five hour long flight, to avoid the need on board, and possibly relieve a little of this anxiety, as well.
My hands bracing me on a section of the sink counter, I leaned over one of the bathroom sinks, staring at my reflection in the mirror, the thought of a one night stand rolling around in my head… Could I do it? A one night stand? If it were a man like Mr. Devastatingly Gorgeous from the limo…? Hmm. My body tingled head to toe, a delicious shiver traveling down my spine, sparking my inner parts alive and sending a delightful warmth passing through me—
I was abruptly shaken out of my reverie, “Now boarding flight AC790 to Toronto Pearson International Airport,” coming over the PA system and echoing throughout the oversized restroom. Good God, what had Lizzy done to me? I shook the dreamy thoughts from my head. I’m traveling on business! And just like that, I snapped my focus back to the mission at hand—blowing the minds of the CEO and board of executives for The Grand International Concierge Hotel and Suites chain with our kickass design and advertising plan, smearing my competition and landing the account—as I darted off toward my flight.
As I approached my first class seat and settled my slim, five foot ten frame in, I was pleased to see the seat beside me was empty. What are the chances I’d be seated alone for the duration of the flight? I wondered briefly as we were alerted to fasten our seatbelts. I did as asked and buckled up, just as Mr. Gorgeous Limousine Man, all cool and calm, swept up to the seat beside me. Jesus, the man smelled good—a mix of fresh, clean, spicy, masculine, oozing sex appeal, man. Intoxicating man!
I held my breath and turned my pale blue gaze to the window. This was going to be a very long flight seated beside Mr. Smell Good Drop Dead Gorgeous, intoxicating me and seducing me with his sexy man mojo.
He hoisted his carryon up with one hand and slipped it into the overhead compartment. I felt his height hovering beside me. Holy cow he was tall. At least six foot five. I was suddenly smacked with a vision of those sexy, long, muscular legs wrapped around me… horizontally… pressed against me… between me… beneath me… Oh my, Lizzy and her damn suggestion of a one night stand.
Mr. Gorgeous oozed his yummy self into the seat beside me, setting his laptop case on the floor between the toes of his fancy, Italian shoes and sliding it under the chair in front of him, just as I had mine. His seatbelt was then buckled, ready for takeoff.
I darted my eyes back to the window, pretending to have not noticed him—or the long, thick fingers that had just caressed his seatbelt while buckling it, never before more envious of an inanimate object in my life—acting completely unaffected and uninterested.
“Hello,” came the sexiest voice I’d ever heard, smooth and deep, seeming to speak directly to a bundle of secret places within me. Heavens. I slowly turned back, giving him a glance.
The word ‘breathtaking’ came to mind.
Had I ever seen a breathtaking man before?
Certainly not one such as him. The word was created for him… Had been inspired by him.
He hit me with a million dollar smile, all big, brilliant and bright white. Damn if it wasn’t swoon worthy. Then he stunned me with his gaze, drawn there as his smile reached at the corners, crinkling just the slightest. I found myself looking into the most mesmerizing pale blue-green eyes I’d ever seen, absolutely striking in contrast to his dark hair. Bedroom eyes, that’s what they were. Another damn swoon worthy feature.
I was captivated right away, and under his spell. His hand politely came toward me, “Adam Blaire.” I was speechless as he took my hand in his and placed a light kiss on the back, his thumb lightly stroking my fingers. Those blue-green bedroom eyes looked up at me through thick dark lashes, “And you are?”
“Ah…uh, um—” And now I was a blubbering idiot, fool, tongue all tied up. Holy hell. He hit me with the smile again. And what the heck was that, with his touch? It felt like sparks striking out against my palm and zinging through me. Like a thrilling bolt of lightning, rousingly nestling smack-dab between my legs.
Damn, what’d he say his name was again?
He let go of my hand and I tucked it into my side, under my other arm, subtly wiping the sweat from my palm. Then I closed my eyes and tried to find my center…or at least summon my wits to return. Jeez. And what the hell, sweaty palms? What was I, sixteen?
I felt the force of the pressure in the cabin upon take off, our plane readily ascending into the sky. I let out a large breath of air, and quickly took in another. Phew. That seemed to help. Feeling more myself, I pushed out with the next breath, “Bethany…” Well, that was something; at least I remembered my own name.
“Delighted to meet you, Bethany.” His lips curled into an amused grin. “Not a fan of flying, I take it?”
Oh God, it had nothing to do with the flying, but I wasn’t about to tell him that. It was better that he thought I was a nervous flyer. So I just gave him a weak smile.
I was relieved when the plane leveled off and I saw our cabin attendant flittering about.
A drink, that’s what I needed—not that sitting beside this man for the next few hours wouldn’t be intoxicating enough. Mercy. He should come with a warning label. ~ Danger! Hazardous to the heart and senses of all women, and possibly men, sensible or otherwise. Likely to cause extreme levels of inebriation. ~
I should have had that drink-slash-shot in the pre-boarding lounge after all…screw Homeland Security.
Get a grip Bethany. The man has trouble written all over him—the delicious kind of trouble—and you’re sworn off men. Likely for good!
His unbelievable eyes locked on mine. “What has you traveling today, Bethany? Meeting up with your boyfriend, perhaps?”
Ah, clever man. Hinting around the boyfriend topic. “No. Business.”
“And you left your boyfriend behind,” he pushed, “fervently awaiting your return?”
Okay; now he was just annoying me. Whether or not I had a boyfriend was none of his concern. And was altogether too forward, seeing as he’d only just sat down beside me.
He leaned in a little closer, intoxicating me further, and huskily murmured, “If you were mine, I’d never send you off alone. In fact…I’d never let you out of my sight.”
Why did just the thought do unspeakable things to me?
“What about you, Mr. Wealthy Limo Man?”
His brows furrowed. “How’d you know I arrived in a limousine?”
“Lucky guess… You looked the type.”
“Oh?” He pulled back. “And what type is that, exactly?”
I cocked my head to one side with a knowing expression. “A convenient business trip; break from the wife and kids?”
He choked and coughed in combination with a sputtery chuckle. “Bite your tongue, sweetheart!
I giggled. “Okay. So no kids yet? Just a trophy wife?” This guy was kind of fun.
He looked a little amused, by the crooked grin toying at one corner of his mouth. “You’ve got me pegged all wrong, beautiful.”
“Oh, how so?” I played along, trying not to get swept up in the fact that he’d called me beautiful, and seemed to be flirting with me. Me!
“No kids, no trophy wife, and no girlfriend.” He dipped down and quickly snatched his laptop from under the seat in front of him, and then straightened up in his seat, turning the full wattage of his smile and power of his gaze on me. Wow. “Other than a high school girlfriend that I ended things with in law school, I’ve never even come close…” he paused, “to, eh, locking it down, so to speak. I’m a divorce attorney. I’ve yet to see one that has worked out; whether it marriage, or a relationship.”
“Hmm. So you’re a wealthy playboy?”
“Back to you; boyfriend? I see no ring, so no lucky man’s claimed you as his wife?”
Claimed me? “If you must know, I’m recently sworn off men.”
Incredulous, he said, “Why would you do such a thing? Clearly, men must fall at your feet and worship the very ground you walk on. You hold all the cards, honey. You could demand anything you want, and us poor men would submit willingly to a woman such as yourself.”
Ha! Someone forgot to give that memo to my ex. “Yes, so much so that my last boyfriend sought out someone else.” Cheating snake in the grass bastard.
“An idiot, that one.”
That brought a faint smile to my face. The man was not only gorgeous and yummy smelling, he was charming as well… Disarmingly so.
“Was it serious?”
“Lived together.” I squirmed in my seat. This was not a topic I wanted to revisit. Lizzy’s reminder in the car was enough. I unconsciously worried one side of my lower lip, crossing and uncrossing my legs.
“He didn’t deserve you.”
How could he tell? Though true. Too bad I didn’t realize that in the first place. I had a bizarre knack for always picking the wrong men.
“Hence why I’m sworn off men; I don’t need the distraction or the headache.” Nor the heartache, for that matter.
“What a shame,” Adam tisked, shaking his head. He set his large hand on the top of my bare thigh, just above my knee. Whoa! “Maybe I can persuade you otherwise.” His glittering eyes intently gazed into mine, seeking permission before he presumptuously moved his hand any further.
As far as I knew, I gave no indication of consent—ambivalent and stunned as I was—but Adam must have seen a flicker of something, because his hand began ascending on a delicious trail up the inside of my bare thigh, his smooth hand slowly gliding along my skin and creeping up under my skirt.
Holy cow! My breath halted in my chest, Adam’s eyes never leaving mine.
His other hand gently tugged the inside of my knee, encouraging my legs to part.
Oh. My. God. This was really happening. Here. Now. In an air cabin of people. And I was letting it happen; allowing this intimate moment to play out with this complete stranger.
Oddly enough, Adam didn’t feel like a complete stranger, exactly. He compelled a trust in him that I couldn’t deny. Nor did I want to. In some way, I needed this, needed to let it play out. Trust what Adam was giving. And he knew it.
Lizzy’s words suddenly rang out in my head, “That type of man is exactly what you need to shake it up.” As much as I didn’t want to admit it, it seemed she was right… And this was certainly shaking it up in a very bold and brazen way. Shaking in unfamiliar territory. Forbidden territory! And my need for it was strong.
I worked my bottom lip between my teeth as I slid my hand toward him, feeling my way under his laptop and settling between his legs, on his obvious excitement. My frisky fingers gripped around him, but were instantly warned off with the stern shake of his head.
My eyebrows pushed together in frustration, not a bit happy that he was not going to let me reciprocate the gesture of pleasure. I submissively slipped my hand back to the armrest between us, matching the grip my other hand had on the armrest at my other side.
I felt his fingertips whisper against the flesh at the uppermost inside part of my thigh, nearly ready to explode from the heat of his touch so dangerously close, and I grinned internally, waiting for him to realize the naughty little surprise that awaited him.
“Mmmm,” I softly moaned, in the same moment a low groan escaped from deep within Adam’s chest, and there it was—
“Oh, Bethany…Sweetheart…” His face split with a devilish, sexy grin, watching my expression as his body pressed into mine and he did a little shifting of his laptop, shielding view in the close proximity of that cabin before his sinfully wicked fingers explored my pantieless pleasure point; the tip of one finger slipping inside and curling in deep, where my body ached to feel his touch, two more quickly following while his thumb gently pressed and swirled on just the right spot. Uhh! I threw my head back against the headrest, my body already trembling. Oh hell, I was going to scream out my pleasure, uncontrollably. I bit my lip harder, hoping to hold back my cry.
But suddenly, all concern faded away, Adam’s magic fingers inducing a binding peak of pleasure, rapidly cumulating low in my belly and tugging at my center: the slipping, the thrusting, the swirling of those glorious, sinfully wicked fingers… I couldn’t take it any longer. What the hell was he doing to me; never had I felt such need, such carnal desire? My entire body tensed, my lower half arching into his hand, the slight turbulence adding to my pleasure. A whimper spontaneously escaped between my parted lips, and Adam’s mouth at once pressed hard on mine, my release ripping through me like never before, over and over, trembling, quivering, such utter pleasure, as his tongue plunged in, tangling deep with mine and swallowing my cry of pleasure.
Adam’s movements slowed, aware of the heightened sensitivity of my delicate, aroused flesh, those magic fingertips gently pressing against the residual throbbing, inducing every last wave of breathtaking pleasure.
Oh. My. Heavens.
Adam’s kiss softened, one hand reaching to cup the back of my jaw as he sensuously sucked and drew my lower lip into his mouth, encouraging the throbbing below to persist that much longer, sucking in rhythm.
I clasped a hand at the back of Adam’s neck, holding him to me.
Mercy, the man knew what he was doing.
Our location suddenly whirled into thought, and the reality that I was melted into a pool of sensual bliss in my seat. Where the hell had that flight attendant been all this time? I felt like I’d been lost with Adam for hours, oblivious to her frequently passing by.
“Still sworn off men?” came throatily from Adam.
Oh my. That thought couldn’t be further from my mind at the moment…