Wow! Hello again lovelies! Sorry it's been so long. It's just I've been very busy of late and this one shot took a while to write. It's the third addition to my "Unprofessionals" collection, and if you're new to this collection, perhaps you'll give the other two a shot once you're finished with this one? I hope you do :) There will be a few notes at the end of this that are very important to all readers - new and old :) So thank you all! And for those of you who voted, this is the pairing that won. Boss/Secretary. I hope you enjoy :) Listen to:

Thank You - Dido

Can't Sleep, Can't Breathe - Digital Daggers

Ivy - I the Mighty

September - Heart In Hand

Let Go - Frou Frou

Enjoy :)

~ Boss ~

"Mr. Block, Sir, your five o'clock has arrived..."

Papers shuffled on the other end of the com as his reply came through, sounding distracted, "Rogers?"

"Yes, Sir."

"How's he dressed?"

My lips quirked with amusement as I leaned closer to the speaker, "As any other average attorney, Sir. Beige suit that's meant to be tasteful...tie too too shiny..."

A quiet chuckle crackled back to me, and I was quick to clench my thighs together, ignoring the warmth that fanned out just beneath my skin.

"So long as he's not wearing black," he said, then sighed. "Thank you, Gwendolyn. Send him in."

"Right away, Sir."

I released the button and leaned back, evaluating the lawyer sitting in the waiting room before me. His pinched features suggested this meeting would be something less than pleasant. "He's ready for you, Mr. Rogers."

As per the usual with lawyers, he was too uptight to thank me, or even nod his head for that matter, and marched straight into Mr. Block's office without another word.

I shook my head, muttering to myself as I went back to filing through the weekly stack of articles for items of interest. One could say I'd been extremely fortunate in bagging this position at the Central Gazette. Even if it'd only been a normal secretarial position, I'd have still been thrilled.

But as current editor and chief, Joshua R. Block had had the power to add a little extra spice to my curriculum.

The many hundreds of journalists in the department were prominently in charge of finding the juicy news and printing it, although Mr. Block appeared to have seen something in me early on. He'd asked me if I wouldn't mind sorting through the "scraps" in my spare time for diamonds in the rough.

Journalists, he said, were liable to miss things.

I'd had to rush to the loo before my squeal of delight could burst out in front of his face, and proceeded to spend the following fifteen minutes pacing across the tile floor with my fists pumping, the most ridiculous of smiles on my face.

Rarely were secretaries given such power.

Currently, I was in the midst of this "side work," licking my thumb as I sorted through a stack of crumpled reports, when the lawyer's voice raised considerably inside the office.

A shouting match ensued, and one would have to be deaf to miss a single piece of the argument within a mile radius.

Joshua Block was being sued.

"This is absolutely outrageous!"

I recognized his silky voice, even in fury.

The lawyer spat something in return, but I didn't catch it, and seconds later he was charging out the door again, muttering under his breath as he attached a small, black Bluetooth around his ear.

He left the building.

Wide eyes were cast across the Gazette's many cubicles as the journalists struggled to get back to work, but my gaze remained glued to the dark, silent entrance to Joshua's office.

He was never this quiet. Usually he was moving around within a moment of his guest's leave, or paging me or typing away on his computer. But no...not this time. Utter silence.

I swallowed hard, clearing my throat and smoothing down my skirt as I got to my feet.


That's what he needed.

Good, hot coffee.

Whispers traveled through the workspace like wildfire as I passed, but the question I heard most frequently was-in more words or less-"Is the company going under?"

Of course. Journalists only care about their own necks.

I, on the other hand, would've happily sunk to the depths of unemployment and debt with Joshua, so long as it meant I got to be around him. Honestly, I would've been happy scrubbing floors or cleaning loos if I got to see his face.

I know.

I sound ridiculous.

Trust me, I've scolded myself one too many times in front of the mirror. I know I'm obsessed. Head over heels. Done for. Whatever you want to call it.

But if you'd met him, I think you'd find it in your heart to sympathize.

Something about Joshua is just...magnetic.

People say he's young for his profession. Too young to have the job. I say that's bollocks. Thirty is far from juvenile. What do they expect these days? Old misers with filthy beards and stomachs hanging over their belts?

Good lord.

They're positively green with envy, because he's got the position and he's doing it right for a change.

Which leads me back to my confusion.

Why in god's name would Joshua be sued?

I wracked my brain for anything especially controversial that we'd printed in the last month as I brewed a fresh pot of coffee in the break room. Nothing came to mind. It'd been a slow few weeks, to be honest. Nothing too exciting.

The pot beeped, I grabbed a mug, burned my fingers on the too-hot liquid - normal, everyday occurrences.

But something in my gut told me that when I walked into Mr. Block's office this day, it would be anything but normal.

Smoothing down my skirt once more, I clutched the steaming mug in a vise grip, drew a steady breath, then made a beeline from the break room to his office. I'd learned to take careful, even steps whenever I was around him. I'd known that since day one...the same day I tripped over myself on the way into his office for the first time.

A smashing entrance, I assure you.

By now, however, I'd had loads of practice. I stepped quietly into the dark space, turning to gently shut the door behind me, and allowed my eyes to adjust. He'd drawn the shades over the windows and then neglected to light his desk lamp.

But I could see his hunched silhouette seated in his chair, fingers knotted together over his eyes.

"Mr. Block," I sighed, moving to light the lamp and then setting the mug in front of him on the mahogany. "I believe you need this."

The lamp had bathed the office in a dim, warm glow, giving the room a cozy feeling I was getting all too used to.

Unspeakable things could easily occur in such an atmosphere...

For several seconds, Joshua seemed not to acknowledge my presence, but then slowly his hand stretched out, closing over the mug and dragging it towards him.

"I heard..." I murmured carefully, and his broad shoulders tensed.

"Heard what?"

"The law suit." I took the liberty of filling the seat in front of his desk. "I'm sure there's something we can do."

With a deep breath, he dropped his hands, gazing up at me with those irresistible, milky brown eyes. Then he sighed again and pinched the bridge of his nose. "It's not a law suit, Gwendolyn."

Gwendolyn. Gwendolyn.

He never called me Gwen and I could never discern why.

"What do you mean?" I asked quietly.

"It's not a law suit," he repeated. "It's my wife."

It felt like the world had dropped out from beneath me. My stomach twisted and my face blanched and I had to clench my teeth to keep my jaw from dropping.



What wife!?

There was no bloody wedding ring! No marital pictures on his desk!

What? Wife?!

It figures, though, that if I'd just waited and listened before choking on air, I would've heard him clarify, "Ex-wife."

Really, I'm only lucky he hadn't seen my expression.

The acid in my bloodstream calmed, and slowly, I relaxed back into my seat. "Your ex-wife," I echoed, smoothing down my skirt for the millionth time. I decided I'd act like I'd known it all along. "Right. And she's...suing you?"

He made eye contact again, shaking his head mutely. His next words were hoarse. "Not for money. Fuck, I would gladly give her money."

And had everything not been so surreal, I might've been shocked to hear him swear.

As it was, I felt myself growing tense all over again. Whatever this was, it was clearly horrible...and above all, I felt extremely selfish. Because for the most part I was only worried this whole...this whole picturesque world I'd worked for would be compromised.

"What for, then?" I whispered.

He'd squeezed his eyes shut again, but cracked one to look at me. "My son," he croaked.


Shall we simply say that the sensations of earlier were repeated tenfold?

Yes, I think that nicely sums it up.

Only this time, he caught the full force of my gawking. He shrugged gently - defeatedly - before dropping his head back into his hands.

And after several minutes of struggling to get a hold of myself, I managed to clear my throat awkwardly. "I...I didn't know you had a son."

"I do," he said, voice muffled into his palms. "Michael."

I had to clear my throat again. "How old is he?"


Mentally, I calculated it. He would've had him when he was twenty-three or twenty-four. That was so young to be a father...

And yet the idea that he'd been married bothered me more than the prospect of his son.

"Your ex..." I said. "She's taking him from you?"

Joshua spun his chair around abruptly, putting his back to me as he threw himself to his feet and approached the window. The bluish evening could be seen through the blinds.

"I don't know why," he murmured, playing with one of the strings. "I don't know. For years she wants nothing to do with him, and now suddenly she wants full custody."

Somewhere in the far recesses of my mind, it occurred to me that he wouldn't be discussing this with someone he didn't trust - but the small burst of joy I felt was swallowed up by the seriousness of the situation.

"Mr. Block..."

He shot me a pointed look over his shoulder.

"Joshua," I corrected myself. "I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be allowed to keep him. There's no evidence against your abilities as a father."

"She's smarter than that," he said quietly. "A bitch...but smarter than that. She's gone and gotten remarried...and that provides a so-called 'healthy family environment.'"

My brow furrowed as I processed it. "But I don't see how that will matter. Any case she presents in the court will clearly be seen as a play for money."

Joshua whipped around, confusion ridden across his face. "Money?

"Yes. Of course."

", no. She's taking Michael to spite me. She didn't want to end the marriage in the first place."

I pursed my lips.

"What makes you say money?" he asked.

"Well, you're a rich man, aren't you? I'm sure you have a trust fund set up for your son."

His dark eyebrows scrunched together. "Yes - yes, but he doesn't get it until he turns eighteen."

I gave him a look. "Did your wife know about this?"

The realization hit his eyes first, slowly darkening with anger, and then his hands clenched into white-knuckled fists and his jaw tightened. "Son of bitch..."

I offered to stay late that evening. My experience with legal affairs (having wanted to be a lawyer at one point in my life) proved to be an invaluable advantage to him.

He gave me the files his wife's attorney had left with him, and for several hours, we pored over them at his desk, ignoring time as it ticked by. The sky outside darkened, and soon enough, only the orange light of his desk lamp lit the room.

Everyone else had gone home.

I sat beside him, our chairs squeezed together, red pen in hand as I circled all the holes in her case. He continued to cuss as things were revealed, more on account of his own naivete than his ex-wife's blows below the belt.

She wanted custody of his son, to raise him as her own, in hopes that the day his trust fund was delivered, he'd grant some of the overly generous amount to her.

Joshua told me it was something like five million dollars.

I thought it might be an understatement.

But it was somewhere around the time we were finishing up the plans for his case that he started to massage his head again.

I put down my pen, turning slightly to face him. "Joshua..." I murmured gently. "You're going to keep your son. I promise."

He glanced sideways at me, and for the first time that day, I allowed myself to truly drink in the sight of him, as I usually did.

His chocolate brown hair was mussed up around his head from running his hands through it too many times, sticking up at strange and yet somehow still attractive angles. His eyes were tired and somber, but still flooded with the brilliance that had drawn me to him in the first place. And even though his long, slender form was slouched in his chair, I could still see the sensual lines of his shoulders...the lovely curve of his strong back.

And his lips...

I badly wanted to kiss those pale, soft looking lips.

"Thank you, Gwendolyn," he whispered, a sad, half-smile gracing his handsome face.

I don't know.

There was something about the way he was looking at me - the expression in his eyes...


Something that caused a hot bolt of electricity to course through my body, and I found myself jolting to my feet and blurting something about getting more coffee before I dashed from the office, leaving a confused Joshua Block in my wake.

I stayed at the coffee pot for far too long, staring at the glass as it filled with the dark brown liquid of corporate survival.

Joshua would never be mine.

Could never be mine.

Even without all the added history I'd learned about today, the office relationship would've been prohibited. It was unprofessional...and all my coworkers would sneer and whisper about us.

But, damn, if there wasn't a part of me that wanted to say, "Fuck all!" and go for it.

You can't.

You can't.

He's going through a hard time.

You can't.

You absolutely can't.

Had I only known it wasn't really my choice anymore. It was clearly out of my hands...

Because when I returned to the office, two steaming mugs of fresh coffee hooked around my fingers, he wasn't sitting at his desk.

He was just standing there. Waiting for me.

And as I paused in the doorway, he said something that couldn't be taken back.

He said, in the softest voice possible, eyes slightly downcast, "Really, Gwendolyn, you don't know how beautiful you are."

My stomach flip-flopped and my heart soared, but somehow I managed to keep hold of the coffee.

He's not thinking straight.

He's going through a hard time.

You can't.

"Mr. Block-" I stammered, "I...I don't know what to sa-"

But I couldn't finish because he'd plucked the mugs from my hands, depositing them on his desk, and promptly pulled me against him.

My god.

Oh my god.

What on Earth...

"What are you doing?" I whispered, the words barely audible. He didn't answer me...but I suppose he didn't have to. He was leaning in, head bowing and lips approaching at a rate I could hardly handle.

And I knew that if he kissed me, I wouldn't be able to stop.

I knew that, and it was the only thing keeping me from giving in and becoming a living form of jelly in his arms. By god, I had to fight, though. It seemed it took all the strength in the world to flatten my palm against his chest and pry myself away.

Joshua sucked in a sharp breath, as if the sense had literally just flown back into him, and swiftly turned around, facing the wall. "I'm so sorry, Gwendolyn," he said quietly. "I've kept you too long. Go home. Get some rest. Thank you for your help."

Each statement sounded like he was running on automatic. Fake. Rehearsed. Abnormal. And I couldn't help but wonder if, by saving us just now, I'd destroyed something valuable. Something very, very valuable.

As quickly as the whole catastrophe had unfurled, I fled from the office, wordless and breathless, unable to believe any of it. My keys jingled in my shaking hand as I tried to start my car, and eventually I just gave up and spent the fifteen minutes on the curb trying to hail a cab.

I needed to get home. I needed to sort this out. Needed to clear my head.

It was as if the moment I'd been waiting for for months had done nothing more than - to put it like an American - freak me out. I'd thought I would've given anything for Joshua to kiss me, and now I found I wasn't ready by half.

God, to think what would've happened if he had kissed me? A nightmare! A bloody nerve-shattering, heart-bursting, blush-inducing nightmare!

I knew what I needed.

I needed my fake fireplace and Frank Sinatra and a glass of red wine. That would surely sort it all out...

I returned to work the next morning filled with the strangest sort of dread. Not the common sort - the kind of dread that makes you sick to your stomach. Rather, it was a hot form of nervous anticipation bleeding through my veins, making me fear Joshua Block more than I think I ever had in my career.

I purposely avoided so much as a glance toward his office as I settled into my desk, beginning my usual morning routine. Check messages. Send out notices. File. File. File again. And perhaps it was the fact that this seemed so very normal that had me on the edge of my seat. Literally.

My knees were bouncing, heels pattering on the floor at rhythmic intervals, fingers typing in a strange, jittery fashion. I had to face it. My composure was utterly gone.

And then it happened.

The moment I'd been expecting and, with equal fervor, fearing all morning.

He was paging me on the com.

The quiet beep and pulsing red light on the phone in front of me was so different from usual. Whereas before I'd been in love with that sound - in love with the idea that I'd be hearing his velvet voice in only a few seconds - it had mutated into a dark, intrusive sound that shattered any last shred of calm within me.

With a trembling finger - really, Gwendolyn, you're being ridiculous - I accepted his call, and there was a brief but significant pause on the other line. And then,


I was wrong. So completely, irrevocably, absolutely wrong. I'd thought - stupidly, of course - that yesterday's incident would've left some sort of permanent unease within me. That the sound of his voice would no longer turn my blood to vanilla.

And I was so, so, so very wrong.

The effect was the opposite, and tenfold.

I didn't just melt. I caught fire.

Now I had an image to accompany that voice. An image of those flawless lips leaning toward me, those deadly eyes fixed on mine with an expression I could only dream about before.

And I was already cursing myself for letting that gorgeous opportunity fly out the window.

How could I've been so stupid?

Joshua cleared his throat - my god, even that was a beautiful sound - and I came quickly to my senses.

"Y-Yes, Mr. Block?"

"Could you come in here for a second?"

"Of...course. Yes, of course."

I rose on unsteady legs, focusing all of my attention on my footwork as I entered his office. The scene of the crime.

No crime, I had to remind myself, albeit grudgingly. Nothing happened.

Joshua was at his desk, scanning some document on his laptop, his posture official as it usually was, eyes unfaltering as they met mine.

"Morning, Gwendolyn," he said, his voice relaxed and without so much as a hint of apprehension. "Please accept my apologies for yesterday." And without skipping a beat, (or giving me a chance to reply) he launched off into a discussion about the Gazette that I had absolutely no interest in.

I'd been correct about one thing.

That valuable was certainly destroyed.

I knew the game had changed. And it became increasingly obvious as the day progressed that I was going to have to fight to get back what we'd had before. Every time I spoke with Joshua, his responses were cold - and not with anger, which I would've preferred. Anything would've been better than the lifeless disregard I was receiving now.

The real question, however, was...well, if I actually wanted things to go back to the way they were.

Did I want that? The happy friendship of before? Calm smiles and polite words?


No, I didn't.

I wanted heat and ecstasy and sweat. I wanted torn blouses and smudged lipstick. Ruffled hair and crooked ties. Papers discarded on office floors and creaking desk legs. I wanted those flaming eyes on me always, and with the exact burn I'd only caught a glimpse of. Fuck friendship.

And if I wanted that...well...

I was going to have to up my ante. Big time.

Oh. My. God.

I cannot believe I'm doing this.

Those two phrases cycled through my head in no particular order all the way through the lobby, up the elevator and into the office. I was so nervous my palms were sweating, and my palms do not sweat.

What will your coworkers think?

Well...bollocks, I could answer that one myself. I knew exactly what they'd think.




"Yeah, well, shut your mouths," I muttered under my breath, nearly tripping as my ankle buckled atop one of the ridiculous, cherry-red pumps. I was quick to slide into my chair, hoping no one in the office had gotten a good look at me.

The target of this was Joshua, and Joshua alone.

And he wasn't in yet.

Of course.

Of all days to come in late, he had to choose this one.

I decided to use the extra time to give myself another once-over. Snatching my snap mirror from my purse, I rolled my chair back behind the filing cabinets so no one else would see.

Face: Smokey eyes, rouged cheeks (not a lot, but just enough), fire engine red lipstick.


Hair: Curls in place, dark and silky, teased, plush, ready.


Body: Practically transparent white blouse, top four buttons undone, at least one size too small, peek of red lace Victoria's Secret lingerie. Skirt too short, pencil, hugging thighs, charcoal black, legs waxed - shiny, lethal red pumps, 5 1/2 inches.


I snapped the mirror shut, rolling back into place at my desk, and shut my eyes.

Yes, my body was ready...but was my head?

Guess I'd find out.

Joshua strode in at a quarter past nine - the latest he'd ever arrived - looking only slightly flustered. But, I suppose, for Joshua that was plenty. He heaved a sigh as he entered the office, only to practically choke on it at the sight of me.

And despite the fact that my heart had practically dropped out of my chest, I presented him with the most seductive little grin I could muster.

A muscle in his jaw worked overtime as he attempted to speak, finally managing to croak out, "G-Gwendolyn...Gwendolyn...hello. I-uh-I...sorry I'm late. I-meeting. I had a meeting with my attorney."

My grin spread, crooking slightly to the left, and I batted my lashes in a polite, but massively inappropriate, fashion.

Joshua made a mad dash for his office.

Well, my brain squeaked, that went smashingly.

I couldn't tell if I was being sarcastic or not.

Around four o'clock, I finally came up with a reason to talk to him. I was going to present him with our weekly sales report, which I'd neglected to display yesterday. And if I had any luck, he wouldn't hear a word of it.

Clearing my throat and smoothing down my skirt - it was practically a belt - I tucked the reports under my arm, rapped quietly on the door once, and then strode in.

By the look on his face, Joshua seemed to have forgotten about my appearance. But now, with me standing up, it appeared to hit him again tenfold.

"Sorry to interrupt, Mr. Block, but I forgot to give you the sales report yesterday. If you aren't busy, I could present it now," and I punctuated it with a small bevel of my hips.

His jaw dropped.

Just barely, but it did.

"So..." I said after a long silence, smiling, "are you?"

He blinked, giving his head a little shake, "Am I...what?"

"Busy? Or shall I come back later?"

When he hesitated again, I grinned, thinking I could let him stew in this a while. "Right, then, I'll return in an hour or too," and I did a small twirl, heading for the door.

"What - n-wait. Gwendolyn, wait...wait..." He stumbled out of his chair, striding swiftly around the desk to snatch my arm before I left. "Gwendolyn," he said again with more intensity, forcing me to look at him.

"Yes, Mr. Block?" I asked, voice oozing with faux-innocence.

He lost his words again, but only for a moment before he blinked and said, "Come here. Shut the door."

I fought to hide my Devil's grin.


Exactly what I'd hoped for. wasn't. Because the moment I closed the door - noticing that the blinds were already drawn - he released me, crossing his arms over his lean chest.

"Gwendolyn," he repeated, but this time in what could only have been his fatherly discipline voice. "What are you doing?"

I stumbled - shellshocked, but only for a moment - then replied, "I'm...reading you the sales re-"

"Gwendolyn." His nostrils flared. "What do you take me for?"

At this, I bristled, taking a step back. All the nervous energy and happy butterflies of before were beginning to die a painful death, and I found myself inching back towards the door.

"Don't walk away from me," he growled the second I turned my back. My god...I'd never heard him growl before.

So I forced myself to face him...and took the side of the only emotion I felt was safe. "Forgive me...I thought you'd appreciate it."

Total and utter surrender.

But the sadness was also overwhelming. The sense of rejection and...foolishness. A lone tear streaked down my cheek, and with it likely a line of dark make-up. I gasped, whirling around and attempting to leave yet again.

The last thing I wanted was for him to see me cry.

Well...technically, the last thing I wanted was to cry over him. But I'd take what I could get.


It was just a whisper now, and before I could reach the doorknob his smooth, long fingers were dwarfing mine, curling them into a unified fist and tugged me backwards. It was the first time I noticed - with no small measure of horror - the full-length mirror on the door's back.

And it was like a slap in the face.

Seeing the failed image of a vixen in tears, shadowed over by an Adonis with the most degrading look of sympathy in his eyes.

"Don't look at me like that," I snapped immediately, hand flying up to wipe the tear away and spreading a large gash of black along with it.

God, I couldn't believe how quickly my stupid idea had become a kamikaze.

But Joshua didn't stop looking at me...and he didn't let me go.

"Look at yourself," he said gently. "Look at this." Unexpectedly, he reached down to pluck at the thin material of my pencil skirt. "This isn't you," he said, giving my hand an all-too-comforting squeeze. "This isn't my brilliant, little secretary. I can't see her in that reflection, Gwendolyn. Why would you do this?"

I swallowed convulsively, desperately trying to fight back more tears. But "Because..." was all I managed before the dam broke and it all came flooding out. I practically sobbed, shaking in his gentle hold as the words came out in sporadic, little whimpers. "I - you - scared - didn't - want - to lose - thought - was over - "

"Woah...woah, woah, woah...shh...shh.." he said softly, voice deep and cozy even when I didn't want it to be. "Hey, hey, slow down. It's alright. Shh..."

God, I was terrified of what I'd look like now.

"Hold still, alright...and breathe, Gwendolyn, doll...just breathe..."

Doll, a meek voice echoed at the back of my head, serving as a violent reminder that, were the circumstances different, this would've overjoyed me.

Joshua stepped away for a moment, the warmth of his hand and body leaving mine, only to return a moment later with a Kleenex. It was wet with the water from the water dispenser in the corner of the office, and for a second I was confused.

But then he reached a strong arm around me, his other hand having taken mine again, and swiped the warm, wet cloth down my cheek.

I watched this happen in the mirror. Watched the smeared eyeliner and eyeshadow wipe away gradually with his gentle brushes.

It took several minutes and several more Kleenex to get the rest of the eye make-up off, but when it was gone, Joshua flashed me a faint, sweet smile in the mirror. "There," he breathed. "See? Now I can see your beautiful eyes."

Said eyes fell shut - whether in sadness or in embarrassment, I wasn't sure.

But apparently Joshua wasn't done. After a second, he tilted my chin up, and I noticed yet another damp Kleenex in his hand.

This time he took the remnants of the rouge, knuckles brushing my skin every few moments in a way that was both tantalizing and torturous.

And then, at last, he'd arrived at my lips.

I felt and saw his body inch closer, pressing in deftly from behind, and his warmth began to flood over me in waves. A flutter surged through my veins - one I tried to ignore.

"You don't need the lipstick," he told me, voice, if possible, becoming deeper. He dropped the cloth in the waste bin, though, and my breath hitched when he used the callused pad of his thumb to swipe the red from my lips. "Besides..." he continued, "I've always thought that girls who wear lipstick have no intention of being kissed...because they don't seem to worry about it smearing."

His knuckles brushed my chin in another deft caress, and this time I knew why my eyes fluttered closed.

"Do you intend to be kissed, Gwendolyn?" he whispered in my ear. I swallowed thickly, head leaning back against his shoulder of its own accord.

But I couldn't answer. The words just wouldn't come.

"Tell me..." he coaxed softly. "Answer me, Gwendolyn. Do you want me to kiss you? Like this?" He nipped at my earlobe, then took it gently into his mouth and suckled. I couldn't restrain my gasp.

God, his breath was so warm...and his mouth was so wet.

I couldn't believe this was happening.

"Gwendolyn..." he whispered, sinful lips now beginning to glide down the side of my throat. "Hmm...?" And then his hand cupped my chin and he tilted my face towards him, breaking away from my neck to pause, his lips mere centimeters from my own.

My nervousness got away from me, and a clumsy question tumbled out. "Why don't you call me Gwen?" I breathed, trembling. "Always Gwendolyn, never Gwen."

It took a moment for the question to seep in, I could tell, but then his chocolate eyes filled with a lazy amusement, eyelids drooping sensually. "Gwen is too short of a word for you. Gwendolyn...mmm..."

Oh, that sounded like...well, I didn't even want to think about it, for fear of dampening my knickers beyond repair.

"Gwendolyn is much better. Three syllables. Nine letters. And trust does far more titillating things to the tongue."

I stifled a gasp, forced to clench my thighs together after all. Every word he spoke buzzed against my lips. God, I wanted to kiss him. So badly it ached.

"You never call me Josh," he added a moment later, an afterthought.

"I..." my voice was hardly audible, "I see your point."

A deep, smoldering chuckle was his response, and then a thick silence stewed for at least another minute, containing just our eyes, locked.

"Answer my question, Gwendolyn," he said finally, and I shivered at his tone. "Are you going to let me kiss you? My patience is wearing thin..."

Let him?

When had it become letting him?

"Gwendolyn..." he practically purred.

Oh, fuck it.

"Yes-" I gasped out. "God, yes!"

And I only caught a glimpse of a smirk before silk met my lips. Pure, smooth, blissful silk. Like I was being kissed by a ghost.

Butterflies erupted in my stomach. God, he was being so marvelously gentle and tender and sweet. I could hardly breathe. His mouth brushed mine in a series of barely-there nips, teasing and tempting all at once. I felt gooseflesh rise everywhere, a millionth shiver running up my spine.

And then he broke away.

I whimpered audibly, mouth searching for his as a frown marred my features. He chuckled again, wickedly.

"I'll come back," he assured me, then resumed his measurably stronger, wetter kisses along the slope of my throat, and I couldn't help but watch the sensuous act in the mirror.

Fuck, but I loved how tall he he loomed behind me, massive by comparison, broad shoulders just begging to be clutched. In the reflection, I saw his hands glide up from their hold on my waist, and his fingers began to toy with the top button of my blouse.

Yes, yes, yes - please!

I moaned as his mouth found my pulse point, to which he gave a long, luxurious suck.

And the words fell right out. A gasp - a plea - a sigh...

"Make love to me."

Releasing a hot breath against my newly moistened skin, he pulled away, turning his eyes to the mirror and meeting mine. And his gaze held so much much longing, I could hardly believe it.

He exhaled deeply once more, one hand sliding back down to my waist and clutching at my hip, the other still tangled around the clasp of my blouse. And then he glanced - rather desperately - towards the blind-covered window that overlooked the workspace. The shadows of his coworkers...could be seen passing by. Several were probably leaving for the day, but there was a high chance that many still remained.

Joshua released another breath, this one broken and shuddering. "I'm your boss," he said quietly, deep baritone breaking the tense silence.

I shut my eyes, biting down on my tongue. It stung to be reminded of the truth. Of the greatest and final barrier keeping us apart.

"I know," I confirmed weakly, all the tension draining from my body as I went rather limp in his hold, no longer participating in our little game of cat and mouse. However, in response he seemed to clutch me more tightly - something I didn't understand.

"You're right, Joshua," I said at last. "We must stop before this gets out of hand." And I pulled away, carefully extricating myself from his gentle grasp. "I apologize," I whispered, turning to him and beginning to do up the top buttons of my blouse. "This is my fault. I should never've...behaved in such a way."

But even as I said the words, I felt as if they were slowly ripping apart my insides. Now I'd tasted the fire. Sampled his brand of ecstasy. And my mind was recognizing it as heroin, desperately trying to save me from its addictive clutches, while my heart cried out for more.

I had to go.

"Have a good evening, Mr. Block. And...thank you..." I murmured, once again forced to fight tears in front of him. I saw the muscles in his jaw work furiously as I backed away, hand discovering the door handle behind me.

But I was halfway out the door when he found his voice again.

"Twice, Gwendolyn?" he asked, voice sharp - demanding. Angrier than I'd probably ever heard it before.

Wincing, I turned, desperate to leave and desperate to stay all at once, one foot on the safe carpet of the outer reception area, the other on the dangerous temptation of his office floor.

"You're going to walk away from me twice?" he growled.

My breath hitched.

"Mr. Block-"

His hand seized my wrist, loose but forceful, and before I knew it I'd been swung back inside, hearing the sound of the door slamming shut.

This time, he locked it.

And in the next instant, he was crowding me up against the mirror, making me press my palms against the glass instinctively. I gasped, staring into my own eyes as I listened to the sound of his belt buckle coming undone.

"Joshua-" I whimpered, stunned.

"Look at me," he said, voice soft as he pressed in from behind, a distinct hardness making itself known against me through his trousers. "Gwendolyn, look at me - please."

I did as he bade, our eyes magnetizing together once more.

"Keep looking at me," he commanded, nodding firmly and yet contradicting himself with the tender expression in his gaze. And then his hands took to my waist, beginning to raise the material of my thin, pencil skirt.

My heart must've stopped.

At least for a split second.

And I watched my throat work furiously to swallow. His warm - too warm, scalding - hand caressed my skin as it was revealed to him, all the while his gaze never dropping away. Never giving me a respite from the intensity.

When my skirt was trapped above the swell of my hips, my red lace lingerie revealed, Joshua's smoldering palms eclipsed me, gliding up my torso with all the sensuality and heat his sweet, chaste kiss had lacked.

And as his fingers teased the buttons of my blouse once more, his lips found my ear...and he began to whisper to me.

"Gwendolyn?" His hot breath tickled, sending tingles down the side of my neck.

"Yes...?" I breathed.

"Is this what you want?"


I didn't even hesitate.

And then I watched and felt his mouth spread into a grin against the shell of my ear. "Good."

In the next instant, he undid the top six buttons and swept the lapels apart, revealing my vixen-esque brassiere. He cupped my hidden breasts instantly, gathering them up until they spilled from his hands, and I threw my head back with a quiet moan.

"You're lovely," he murmured, nuzzling my neck and squeezing. My nipples hardened, aching and straining against the fabric.

"Please, Joshua," I begged, instantly shocked by my own forwardness. He, on the other hand, did not appear so surprised.

Placing a moist, open-mouthed kiss against my throat and suckling for a moment, he then broke away to meet my eyes again. "Spread your legs a little, doll."

This time, my heart did stop.

He took me slowly...with gentle thrusts that were enhanced by the fact that I couldn't see anything. Anything other than the sway of his body in the mirror as it ground up against mine, and the burning lust in his eyes...

I gasped and moaned, keening as he took me higher and higher - stretching me towards that ecstasy. That oblivion of bliss. And only a small part of my brain was still conscious of the fact that I was making love with my employer.

It certainly did nothing to stop me.

When at last he brought me, crying out into the palm of his hand as he tried to keep our liaison a secret, it was with a passion I had never yet experienced. Groundbreaking. Life changing. I shook and spasmed against him, quivering as he thrust and thrust and thrust...his completion arriving just as the final aftershocks of mine were fading away.

And the sound he made...that gorgeous, husky groan in my ear.

Well, I knew it was something I would cherish forever.

But the beauty...the true beauty of the way he made love to me...had everything to do with his tender, compassionate care for me in the afters. He re-buttoned my shirt with reverence, brushing his knuckles against my over sensitive skin all the while, and dragged down my skirt until it was righted. Gathering my thick hair in hand, he gently maneuvered it to disguise the numerous love bruises he'd left behind, twining a few curls around his fingers as he went.

And he kissed me again. On the temple. On the nose and cheek. And then eventually on the lips, allowing me to truly taste him for the first time.

I was in love with him, I was sure.

Because I didn't feel ashamed. I didn't feel unprofessional. I didn't feel used.

I felt warm.

Warm and safe and surrounded by a tenderness I'd forgotten could ever exist.

Joshua walked me home that night, our fingers interlocked. He kissed me on my doorstep, the way I'd always fantasized about a boy doing when I was in school, and saw me safely in.

"Gwendolyn," he said just before I closed the door, his hands resting in the pockets of his slacks in the classic, at ease fashion. "You really are lovely."

Idly...I wondered...

How many times would I let this man take my breath away?

Thank you so much for reading! Here are my few notes:

- The photo montage of Joshua & Gwendolyn will be up on my profile shortly :)

- Reviews are much appreciated!

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- And thank you thank you thank you once again for being such marvelous readers! I love you all! Cheers! :)

Some of the material in these works may prove to be offensive to several parties. These works are fictional, and any similarities that occur are purely coincidental.