Romantic Shorts presents a fun and oh-so-steamy holiday themed venture into the possibilities of Christmas magic. Kirsten S. Blacketer’s latest is quick, witty, and sparkling with some non-traditional cheer. Her growth as a writer is apparent and being witness to such transformation is one of the greatest rewards of building long-term relationships with Romantic Shorts’ writers. Read on, but beware: the title of this one is bang on!

Welcome. And, enjoy!

Naughty Feels So Nice

by Kirsten S. Blacketer

Joyful Christmas music filters through the speakers overhead and echoes across the now empty forty-fifth floor. I want to rip the speakers out of the wall and stuff them down my boss’ throat. The handsome, insufferable asshole.

If he were any other man on the planet, I would be first in line to climb him like a tree. But I have standards, and sleeping with my boss is a hard limit I have no intention of breaking. I need this job too much to risk it over some sexy fun time with my undeniably attractive boss.

“Hey, Holly, you done?” My coworker and close friend, Melody, bounds toward my desk with her usual perky enthusiasm. “The party’s already started down in the conference room.”

“Yeah, I’m just finishing a few things up for the Grinch…I mean Mr. Rosenfeld.” I smile, but it does nothing to hide the bitterness lacing every word.

Melody smothers her laughter behind her hand. “Oh, come on. He’s not that bad.”

I scoff. “Maybe not to you and the rest of the staff, but I’m the one who deals with his bad moods and overflowing inbox.”

“Okay, maybe he is a bit of a grump but he’s…”

“An asshole?” I grumble under my breath.

“I was going to say gorgeous, with that thick, dark hair and those soulful brown eyes. Oh, and those kissable lips.” She props her hand on her hip.

I laugh-snort. “Yeah, if you like those narcissistic, workaholic types.” I refuse to admit, even to Melody, that Mr. Rosenfeld is undeniably sexy. But it didn’t change the fact that I harbor a strong dislike him and his heavy-handed micromanagement.

“Whatever you say, Sugar.” She leans in conspiratorially. “Admit it, you’d love for him to bend you over that desk…”

“Melody!” I screech glancing over my shoulder at his dark office.

“Fine.” Melody throws her hands up. “Oh, did you see the memo they sent out this morning?” She frowns. “No bonus this year. I was counting on it to pay for my family trip next spring.”

Acid burns in my gut. “Yeah, I saw.” I pull out my paystub from the week before and unfold the letter that accompanied it. “But at least you didn’t take a pay cut.”

“They didn’t!” She snatches the letter from my hand and scans it. Her expression softens with sympathy. “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry. How could they do this at Christmas?”

I take the letter back and tuck it into my desk drawer. “It’s Mr. Rosenfeld. He’s heartless.” Fury boils beneath my skin. “At this rate I’m going to have to put an ad in the paper for a roommate to help cover my costs. Living in the city isn’t worth the financial hassle but the commute is nearly as bad.”

“Well, at least you still have a job.” Melody lowers her voice. “I was talking to Josie down in HR yesterday, and she told me the company cut twenty positions this month alone!”

The news stuns me for a moment, but it doesn’t surprise me. The company took some major hits this year, and trimming personnel is the easiest way to staunch hemorrhaging cash. I mutter a prayer of thanks I wasn’t on that chopping block. I need this job. Which is why I didn’t tell my asshole boss to go stuff himself in a woodchipper when he dropped a pile of paperwork on my desk this afternoon with instructions to have it completed before the party.

“I guess someone up there is looking out for me.” I flip through the last file on my desk and groan. “I need to finish this up. I’ll meet you downstairs.”

“Okay, but you’d better hurry up. I heard they convinced Adam to dress up as Santa.” She winks.

“You mean sexy Adam who works down in marketing?” I shiver at the thought. The man is tall, dark, and irresistible. He’s almost as handsome as Mr. Rosenfeld. I’ve had my eye on him for a while but never had the courage to say anything.

“You think he’ll let us sit on his lap?” Melody bounces up and down.

“Girl, he better. I need something to distract me from the last month of disappointments.” Someone to take my mind off my boss and this unrelenting attraction simmering beneath my skin.

The elevator dings and slides open, and as if summoned with my thoughts, Mr. Rosenfeld steps onto the floor.

“Miss Bradshaw, aren’t you finished yet?” His cool, dark gaze lingers longer than necessary, making my face warm.

“Just finishing now, Sir.”

“Miss Harper.” His attention shifts to Melody. “I believe the festivities have already begun.”

“Yes, Sir.” She shoots me an apologetic look and heads for the elevator.

A caustic response burns the tip of my tongue, but I bite it back knowing it will only earn me more work and possibly cost me my position. Instead, I focus on typing the report into the system.

Mr. Rosenfeld hovers over my shoulder for a moment longer than is professional or comfortable. When he finally retreats into his office, I exhale the breath I’d been holding. Asshole.

Within ten minutes, I finish uploading the last numbers into the database and power down my workstation. Thank God because I need a drink. I grab my bag head straight for the elevator hoping to avoid another confrontation with Mr. Rosenfeld.

The doors slide open. Once inside, I turn and reach for the button that takes me to the second floor where the party has already started. Mr. Rosenfeld steps in just as the doors begin to close.

My spine stiffens, and I brace for some harsh criticism of my work or a rude observation of my attire, which he’s maintained over the past year is inappropriate for the workplace. I sniff and avoid eye contact.

When the door seals, I’m hyper aware of the man beside me. The musky scent of his aftershave tickles my nose. His broad shoulders take up too much space in the cramped elevator I’ve shared with ten coworkers on numerous occasions with no issue.

I lick my lips and stare at the numbers as they slowly count down. The descent makes my legs wobble as the car vibrates around us. I try not to think of the empty space beneath the car and how high the forty-fifth floor really is. My heart races, but it’s not a fear of heights or death pushing me off balance. No. It’s Mr. Rosenfeld’s presence.

“You look pale, Miss Bradshaw.” His deep voice echoes in the confined space. “Is everything all right?”

“I’m fine, Sir.” I brace my hand on the wall.

“You don’t look fine.” His words burn with insensitivity.

“Since when do you care.” I turn and level him with a hard stare. Irritation ricochets through me even though I realize I probably won’t have a job on Monday morning. I’m beyond caring at this point. “I’ve been your assistant for the past two years, and this is the first time you’ve ever engaged in small talk. I do everything that’s asked of me and more. Yet never once have you ever inquired after my health or paid me a compliment.” I narrow my gaze. “So, don’t pretend like you suddenly give a shit about me, okay?”

At six foot, he’s a full head taller than me and could easily wrap his hand around my throat and squeeze the life from me. That’s exactly what I imagine he’s considering behind that blank expression as his dark eyes search my face. A muscle ticks in his jaw before he finally turns his attention back to the elevator doors.

A ding announces our arrival as the elevator comes to a smooth stop. Mr. Rosenfeld exits without another word.

I wait until he disappears around the corner before stepping into the hallway. “Shit.”

Over the past year, I’ve imagined a hundred different ways of telling Mr. High-And-Mighty to stick it up his ass, but this was not even remotely what I’d envisioned. I’ll be lucky if he doesn’t fire me before Monday morning. Merry Freaking Christmas.

“Hey, there you are! I was just coming to get you.” Melody offers me one of the two drinks she’s holding. “Mr. Grinch finally let you come have some fun?”

My stomach revolts. “Mel, I screwed up.” I tell her what just happened in the elevator and her face turns the brightest shade of pink I’ve ever seen.

“Oh, my god. Why? Well, I mean, I know why you did it, but Holly, this is serious. You just gave him the ammunition he needs to fire you.”

“I know.” I run my hand over my face. “Damn it.”

She gulps down the rest of her drink. “I’m gonna need another one. Come on.”

The conference room has transformed into a winter wonderland. Decorated trees stand sentry around the room, tinsel and garland decorates every possible surface. There’s a small area for photographs off to the side and a line of tables brimming with finger foods and desserts and drinks. We weave through the tables, grabbing fresh drinks along the way.

We stop near the small photo area. A gingerbread house complete with oversized gumdrops and candy canes. Next to it sits an oversized gilded chair with red padding on the seat surrounded by fake snow.

“Has Santa made his appearance yet?” My fears of Monday and Mr. Rosenfeld fade into the background when I remember what Melody said about Adam dressing up in the red suit.

“Not yet, but I hope he comes out soon. The ladies are getting restless.” Melody points to a growing group of women, some I’ve never even seen before, waiting anxiously on the other side of the chair.

“I don’t blame them.” The warmth of the alcohol wraps around me. “One last hurrah.”

“What are you talking about?”

“After that fiasco in the elevator with Mr. Rosenfeld, I’m as good as fired.” I shrug, knowing it’s too late to care at this point.

“You don’t know that. Maybe you should just bring him a peace offering on Monday morning and apologize.” Melody frowns. “I’m sure he’ll understand.”

The look of steely determination on Mr. Rosenfeld’s face is permanently burned into my mind. “I highly doubt that. He looked ready to fire me on the spot.” Why didn’t he? I shake my head. It doesn’t matter. “Anyway, my mind is made up. I’m making a move on Adam.” I refuse to even examine how convoluted that sounds since I can’t seem to stop thinking about Mr. Rosenfeld.

The doors swing open and a handful of people dressed in elf costumes mingle with the crowd. Behind them, Santa follows with a huge sack slung over his shoulder. The crowd cheers over the Christmas carols, and everyone gravitates to the man in red.

“You’re positive that’s Adam, right?” I turn to Melody before downing the rest of the alcohol in my glass.

“One hundred percent.” She grins. “I saw him trying on the suit last week.”

I gape at her. “You were spying on him?”

“No!” Her cheeks turn pink. “His office door was open a smidge, and I just happened to catch a quick glimpse of him in the suit.”

“Stalker.” I nudge her with my elbow. “Did you see him naked by any chance?”

“Holly!” She shoves me. “Unlike you, I have some standards.”

“Liar. I’ve seen you ogling men at the gym.”

“Whatever. I’m just glad they convinced Adam to do it.”

“Why?” I scrunch up my nose. “So, everyone gets a chance to grope him.”

“That’s exactly what you’re planning to do, isn’t it?” Melody grabs my empty glass. “I’ll grab us some more. Why don’t you get in line?”

Why the hell not. I linger toward the end of the line until Melody joins me, and together we wait our turns watching Santa entertain the neverending line of women as they take their turn on his lap. Jealousy curls in the pit of my stomach seeing their hands on him.

When there’s only one woman ahead of us in line, I nudge Melody forward. “You go first.”

“Fine, but don’t be jealous if he picks me.” She blows a kiss in my direction.

Melody takes her turn and perches delicately on his lap. Normally, Adam is tall and broad, handsome and charming. In the suit, he looks much bigger and most of his face is obscured by the fluffy white beard and full white head of curls. He laughs when Melody speaks. Nervous energy twists in my gut. I thought I was scared facing down Mr. Rosenfeld in the elevator, but this is completely different.

She presses a kiss to Santa’s cheek and slides off his lap. I catch the small thumbs up signal she gives me as I step closer.

Santa turns his attention to me. He raises a white gloved hand and crooks his finger that clearly means: You. Here. Now. My knees tremble as I take a step toward him. There’s not enough alcohol in the whole state to bolster my courage. His attention remains focused solely on me.

Just as I reach the chair, I stumble over the rumpled carpet and tumble directly into his lap. He catches me effortlessly and pulls me against him.

“Might want to slow down.” Santa Adam’s voice rocks through me. He deepens it on purpose and adds a chuckle on the end.

I relax against him, the soft material of the red suit brushes against my skin. Heat roils off his body and the familiar scent of aftershave mingles with the musty fabric. I shift my weight, and he tenses beneath me. No Santa in the world is this solid. Adam has been hiding a lot of secrets beneath his three-piece suits, that’s for sure.

“Have you been a good girl, Holly?” His chocolate-smooth baritone makes me shiver.

Memories of the elevator flash through my mind. “No.” I confess honestly, allowing the wicked part of me to take control. If this is my last chance, I’m going to take it. “I’ve been a very naughty girl this year.”

“Well, then.” His gloved hand rests boldly on my knee. “Then I guess you’re not getting what you want for Christmas.” He leans a bit closer melding our heat together. “What do you want?” His voice drips with innuendo.

A million wicked thoughts flood me at once, making my body weep and pulse with need. His mouth hovers close, and I can barely make out those full lips hidden beneath the fake beard. His dark eyes sparkle with amusement. I want nothing more than to slip my hand beneath his red jacket and down the front of his pants, wanting the hard, silky length of him in my fist.

I inhale deeply and lean close, whispering in his ear. “Meet me in the empty office on the forty-fifth floor in fifteen minutes and I’ll show you.”

Desire burns bright and hot in his brown eyes. Before I make a fool of myself in front of the whole company, I slide off his lap and straighten my skirt before walking away. My knees shake. Did I really just do that? Oh, my god. What the hell is wrong with me?

Melody grabs my wrist. “What happened?” She’s practically bouncing. “What’d you say?”

“I told him to meet me in the empty office on my floor in fifteen minutes.” I press my hand to my thundering heart.

Her eyes widen. “You did it.” She squeals. “Do you think he’ll show?”

“I have no idea. I mean, he looked like he was interested, but I don’t know.” Angry bees swarm my stomach. “Maybe this was a bad idea.”

“Too late now, girl.” Melody pulls me through the crowd and out into the hallway. “Go freshen up and get upstairs.”

I grab her hand. “What if he doesn’t show? I just made a fool of myself in there.”  

“No, you took a chance.” She shoves me toward the elevator. “Now, make me proud.”

On the ride up to my floor, I replay the exchange with Santa Adam over and over in my head. Since I won’t be an employee here come Monday, I might as well enjoy this one last defiant act.

After freshening up in the bathroom, I face myself in the mirror. “You can do this.” I ignore the last moment hesitation nagging at my conscience.

Haunting strains of Christmas music fill the hallway even though I’m the only person on the floor. I open the empty office and slip inside the dark room, latching the door behind me. When I turn, I’m nestled against a warm, soft suit and surrounded by a familiar, intoxicating scent.

“You kept me waiting, naughty girl.”

My heart beats wild and relentless against my ribs. I lick my lips and seek out his face in the dark room, but it lies shrouded in shadows. His warm hands wrap around my upper arms holding me steady.

“I didn’t think you’d come.” Heat builds between us. I tangle my fingers in the fake beard and pull.

The firm press of his hand on my arm stops me. “Why wouldn’t I?”

“I didn’t think you were interested in me.” Even through the dark, I can feel his gaze raking over my face.

“I would have made my interest known sooner, but one should never mix business with pleasure.” He leans close and the fake beard tickles my face while his voice tarnishes the last of my reservations. “But since you’ve admitted to being bad this year, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”

“Oh, Adam.” I lean into him wanting every wicked temptation he offers.  

He stiffens, and the stillness overwhelms me with confusion. His fingers bite into my flesh and I wince at the pressure. When he releases me and steps back, I sway and brace myself against the door.

“You should go.” His command pierces my elation.

“Wait? What?” I stare at his shadowed figure at a complete loss for words. What just happened?

“Go.”

“Wh-?”

“This never happened.”

I blink twice before the words register in my mind. Angry, I lash out and my fist connects with his jaw. Pain ricochets through my knuckles and up my arm. The satisfaction of seeing him stumble from the force of the blow soothes my ego and numbs the pain.

“Fuck you.” I storm from the office and head directly for the restroom. Fury courses through me. I can’t leave, not yet, not feeling like my whole world has imploded. Inside the women’s room, I collapse against the door. Shit. Shit. How could so much go wrong on such a joyous holiday? I want to beat my head against the wall. First, I verbally berate my boss and threaten my job security, then I proposition a coworker only to be firmly rejected. What else could possibly go wrong?

Angry tears spill and I let them. How could I have been such an idiot? My only saving grace is the long weekend where I can drown my sorrows with take-out, wine, and Netflix before preparing a letter of resignation to hand in on Monday morning. After such a disaster, I don’t think I can work in this building ever again.

I splash water on my face and attempt to hide the red blotches of embarrassment marring my cheeks. Heaven forbid anyone see me leaving the party looking like a hot mess. Not like it matters. Come Monday, I’ll no longer be employed with the company. With a resigned sigh, I slip out of the restroom and return to my desk where I left my coat.

When I round the corner, I stop cold. Mr. Rosenfeld’s office shines like a beacon. What is he doing here? I straighten my skirt and tip toe across the floor hoping to avoid another disastrous confrontation with my soon-to-be-former boss.

Where is my coat? I swear it was hanging on the rack beside my desk. I search through the handful of garments and pull away with a frown. Where the hell is it?

The intercom on my desk comes to life. “Miss Bradshaw, come into my office.”

Oh, sweet merciful heavens. I stare up at the ceiling. Why do you hate me, God?

With a deep breath, I knock on Mr. Rosenfeld’s door.

“It’s open.”

As I step into the room, I make a conscious effort not to make eye contact with the man who summoned me.

“Close the door.”

I do as he asks and turn, keeping my gaze fixed on the floor. When his feet appear in my vision, I squeeze my eyes shut and pray for serenity.

“Miss Bradshaw.”

“Yes, Sir.” I exhale and lift my gaze to meet his. Those fathomless eyes root me to the spot, and all thought dissipates into the night. He’s discarded his suit jacket. The white dress shirt underneath pulls tight as he crosses his arms and leans against the edge of his desk. His normally perfect hair lays disheveled across his forehead.

Before this moment, I never truly allowed myself to admire how striking he is. Since I’m about to finally meet the end of my employment, I may as well wring what little enjoyment I can out of the moment. Hate him as I do, I cannot deny his physical allure.

“Did you forget something?” His baritone pulls me from my thoughts.

“No.” I shake my head, terrified he can read my mind and uncover exactly why I’m on this floor and not at the party. Then I remember my coat. “I mean, yes. My coat.”

He gestures to the couch on his right. “That coat?”

I spy my warm wool coat lying across the arm of the couch. “Ah, why’s it in here?” I move to grab it when he speaks again.

“Leave it.” He pushes off the desk and steps between me and the couch.

I take an involuntary step back and my backside hits the door. “I wanted to apologize, Sir. About earlier. In the elevator. I was stressed and tired and…” I shrug in defeat. “It was unprofessional and unacceptable. I’ll pack my things.”

He chuckles and the sound shoots longing straight to the darkest corners of my soul. “If I wanted to fire you, I would have done so already, Miss Bradshaw.”

“Wait? You’re not going to fire me.”

“Not for speaking your mind off the clock, no.” He leans closer. “I appreciate your candor. It’s one of the reasons I fought to keep your position.”

“I don’t understand.” The implication of his words sinks into my thick skull and I gape at him waiting for confirmation.

“The board decided to cut staffing, including your position. I told them no.”

“Why?” I swallow the lump of emotion in my throat. “You don’t even like me.”

His eyes sparkle, almost boyishly, when he smiles. “I would have made my interest known sooner, but one should never mix business with pleasure.”

Where have I heard…oh, my god.

It wasn’t Adam in that suit, it was Mr. Rosenfeld. My hand shoots for the door handle just as his palm slams down on the door beside my shoulder.

“I underestimated you, Miss Bradshaw.” His voice pours over me like hot caramel over ice cream and I melt against the door. “First the elevator, then your invitation to a stranger.”

“Adam was supposed to be wearing that suit tonight, not you.” I choke out unable to meet his gaze.

“Mr. Davis backed out at the last minute. Family emergency. I offered to take his place.” He hooks his finger under my chin and tips my gaze up until our eyes lock. “I thought you recognized me when you curled up on my lap and told me how naughty you’d been this year.” He brushes his thumb across my jaw.

“Oh, god.” I squeeze my eyes shut. What I wouldn’t give to dissolve into a million pieces of dust and float away. Embarrassment seizes me by the throat and tightens her grip when my body responds acutely to his touch. “Mr. Rosenfeld, please. I had no idea.” Loss fills me when he drops his hand and steps back.

“It seems most of the females on my staff are quite taken with Mr. Davis, if their Christmas wish list is anything to go by.” He arches his brow. “But I never expected it from you, Miss Bradshaw, offering yourself to a complete stranger. I’m disappointed.”

Frustration, desire, and betrayal simmer in the pit of my stomach, churning and souring. My hands tremble and tears prick at my eyes.

“Fire me then. Do it.” The force of my words surprises me. Determined, I press on. “I’m tired of busting my ass for someone who doesn’t appreciate me. And I won’t apologize for wanting to have sex with someone I find attractive.”

His jaw clenches. “You admit to wanting to have sex with your coworker at a company function?”

I draw back stunned by his question. “Don’t twist my words.”

“How did that work out for you then, Miss Bradshaw?” His lips curl in a sardonic smile. “When you set out to seduce someone, I recommend verifying their identity first.”

I strike before I realize my mistake. He deftly catches my wrist in his hand before it connects with his face. His grip tightens.

“You’ve already hit me once tonight, Miss Bradshaw.”

I jerk my arm from his grip. “You deserved it.”

He rubs his jaw before grabbing my coat and offering it. “Goodnight, Miss Bradshaw.”

Relieved, I grab my coat and clutch it to my chest. When I turn to open the door, my conscience twists in my chest demanding more than an easy escape.

“No.” I spin and face him, tossing my coat aside. “You can’t dismiss me with a wave of your hand. Why didn’t you tell me who you were? Why did you just push me away?”

“I wasn’t who you wanted.” He shrugs. “It wouldn’t have been ethical to take advantage of your mistake.”

I scoff. “I think we’re way beyond ethics now.”

He rakes his hand through his hair and closes the distance between us in two strides. His arms cage me against the wall, his breath hot against my skin. “Way beyond ethics, huh? Fine. If you’d have known it was me in that room, would you have offered me what you so readily offered Mr. Davis?”

“I…uh, I…” My mind blanks and my body short circuits.

“It’s a simple question, Miss Bradshaw.” His gaze drops to my mouth repeatedly.

“I don’t know.” Every breath comes in short bursts. He overwhelms me with his words, his presence, the piercing look of desperation in his eyes.

“Let me simplify this for you then.” He licks his lips, drawing his teeth across the fullness of his lower lip. “I went into that room aching for you. I was willing to throw professional decorum aside. Do you know why?”

My head shakes of its own volition since my tongue refuses to cooperate. His sacred confession holds me captive as effectively as the hunger in his eyes.

“I’ve wanted to taste you from the moment you took the position as my assistant.” His voice cracks with tension. “At first your neat little pencil skirts and silken blouses burrowed beneath my skin. Then your attention to detail and prompt responses. By the time you were able to navigate my wishes without me hovering over your shoulder, I couldn’t risk losing you. Not for a single bite of forbidden fruit, no matter how sweet and tempting. You’re too valuable to this company…to me.”

My heart skips three beats. “Mr. Rosenfeld.”

“I think we’re beyond formalities at this point.” His whisper caresses my cheek. “Call me Nick.”

“Nick.” I bite back a moan when I taste his name on my tongue. “We shouldn’t do this.”

He pulls back. “You’re right.”

I should be relieved when he puts space between us, but instead shame and frustration consume me in a dark cloud. A battle unleashes within me demanding I choose a side. I want to scream.

“Does this change our working relationship? The whole misunderstanding with you dressed as Santa?”

“No.” Nick exhales and loosens his tie. “It may be best to forget tonight’s events entirely.” His expression faulters, and I catch a glimpse of the weary man beneath the handsome, stern businessman.

“All I wanted was for you to acknowledge my hard work and dedication.” I cannot believe the words slip from my tongue. I forge ahead committed to the insanity coursing through me.

He scoffs. “I shouldn’t have to say it, but if you need that affirmation, take it.” 

I draw closer and take his tie in my hand sliding the silk between my fingers. “Do you really think I’ll be able to forget so easily? The strength of your body under that red suit. That forbidden confession.”

“Holly, don’t tease me.”

“If you can promise this won’t affect our working relationship, then I’ll answer your question honestly.”

“I can’t guarantee anything, but I can promise to keep our time on the clock professional.”

I slowly unravel his tie from the knot. “And when the rumors start?”

“We’ll deal with it when it comes.” He grips my wrists. “Tell me the truth.” His heated gaze bores into me.

I revel in the power I wield and lean close. “Yes. I would’ve given myself to you. Because I’ve always wanted you.”

Once the words leave my lips, Nick pulls me against him and covers my mouth with his. The kiss drags me underwater, weightless and free. I wrap my arms around his neck and taste him. Dark chocolate and peppermint mixed with the spice of whiskey and pure Nick.

His hand frames my face and our tongues dance as he deepens the kiss. Heat sparks and flickers between us, igniting that dormant attraction with a burst of flame. We stumble together until he collapses on the couch, pulling me down across his lap.

His lips capture mine again while his fingers slide along my stockings until they disappear beneath my skirt. He toys with the garters on my thighs.

“You’re killing me.” He shifts my skirt up around my hips, and I straddle his lap. His hands slide over my inner thighs branding me in their wake. He snaps one garter and I gasp at the sting as it hums through my body.

I slowly unbutton my blouse and slide it from my shoulders. He snatches it from my hands and tosses it into a forgotten pile of silk on the floor. His gaze drifts over my bare shoulders down to the delicate vee of my lace bra. He takes a nipple in his mouth and pulls. I bury my hands in his hair and moan.

“I’ve dreamed about this.” He worships my body and the sensations push me higher into blissful abandon.

“Seducing me in your office?” I gasp when he nips my shoulder.

“Yes.” He draws back and rests his hands on my hips.

I reach between us and pull his shirt free from his pants before unfastening his belt and slipping it free. When I slide my hand into his trousers and grip his cock, he groans. Once he’s free, I admire the length of him.

He struggles with my underwear, but I rest my hand on his.

“They tie at the sides.” I lean forward and tug on his ear with my teeth. “You have to unwrap me like a present.”

Nick scowls at me. “Do you always wear provocative underwear to work?”

“Guess you’ll have to find out.” I tease as he pulls the bows and drags the lace free.

“Later, I’m going to bend you over that desk and spank you for teasing me.” He slides his finger across my swollen pussy and licks it clean. “But right now, I can’t wait.”

“Protection?”

He shifts his weight to pull something from his pocket. A condom.

“Do you always carry prophylactics at work?” I tease.

“Ever since you started working here.” He grins and it’s the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you smile.” I take the condom and rip it open.

He snatches it from my hand and rolls it on. “Consider it your Christmas present.”

“Merry Christmas to me.” I fit myself to him and slowly take him deep. He fills me perfectly and I gasp at the sensations he unleashes with such an elemental connection.

“Holy shit.” Nick leans his head against mine and grips my hips to keep me steady. After a few deep breaths, he meets my gaze and holds it. “Merry fucking Christmas.”

I dig my nails into his shoulders and rock against him. He tightens his hold and moves beneath me. We find a rhythm together, taking and giving, until we’re both slick with sweat and panting.

When Nick presses his fingers against my clit, I spin out of control toward the inevitable climax just out of reach. He guides me, driving hard and fast, and I shake, bracing my hands on his shoulders, as it hits me. I moan his name and cling to him while the pleasure rolls through me like fireworks bursting in the night sky.

He quickens his pace and his climax follows a moment later, leaving us half-clothed and clinging to each other in the chaotic sexual aftermath. His heartbeat echoes my own, and we sit silent for a moment until our breathing slows.

After taking a moment to disentangle ourselves and clean up, I curl up in his lap, contented as a kitten.

“Merry Christmas.” I press a kiss to his nose.

He kisses me thoroughly. “Best Christmas ever.”

“And here I thought you were a Grinch.”

“You know I heard you and Miss Harper today.” He pulls a look of mock disappointment.

My face heats. “You did. How much did you hear?”

“Everything.” He smirks. “I guess you really did want your asshole boss to bend you over his desk.”

I hide my face in his chest. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry.” He kisses my forehead. “I was an asshole.”

“Wait, you came up the elevator while Melody and me were talking.” I study his face.

“I was around the corner and stopped when I heard you. After that tidbit, I backtracked and took the stairs down a flight.” He winks.

“Nope, I take it back. You are an asshole.” I shove him away and try to sit up.

He drags me back against him and holds me tight, nuzzling my neck. “Would an asshole boss fight the board to keep his favorite assistant?”

I go still beneath his touch. “What do you mean?”

“They wanted to cut your position. I convinced them you were worth keeping.”

“How?”

“Your record speaks for itself, but they were only worried about the financial consequences. So, I convinced them to give you a small pay cut and deduct the rest from my pay in exchange for a guarantee they wouldn’t cut your position.”

I twist in his lap and stare at him. “They were going to fire me?”

“Yes.”

“You took a pay cut for me?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

His gaze softens and he brushes a lock of hair behind my ear. “Because without you by my side, I can’t function properly. We make a great team. If I can’t have you…” He shrugs.

“Were you ever going to tell me?” I drown in his soulful eyes.

“Honestly. Probably not.” He laughs. “I never intended to tell you how I felt about you either, and we see how well that turned out.”

My heart swells. “It turned out pretty fantastic.”

“What about Adam?”

“What about him?” I grin. “I got what I really wanted. That’s all that matters, Mr. Rosenfeld.”

“You really have been a naughty girl, Miss Bradshaw. Now about that spanking.”

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