I turned to see Trav’s assistant, a petite blonde with electric-blue framed glasses, standing at the doorway to the club. “What is it, Brooke?”
“Travis wants to see you in his office.” She gave me a sympathetic smile, like she knew her boss was full of shit, then shrugged.
With a deep, cleansing breath, I nodded, then turned back to the construction. This was a damned disaster, and Travis could wait. I went to my office first, to call Cameron Taylor — owner of the magazine — to let her know about the problem. I knew she’d be pissed, and wanted to let her know as soon as possible, but wasn’t able to get an answer. After several messages, I realized I was just putting off the inevitable.
I collected my phone, tablet, and other belongings from my desk, suspecting that I wouldn’t be calling this office my own any longer, and headed down to Trav’s office. On the way there, I steeled myself. I had done nothing wrong, and no matter how much he tried, I wouldn’t let Travis get anything close to an over-the-top reaction from me.
Brooke wasn’t at her normal post outside the office, so I simply walked in, expecting to see Travis waiting at his desk.
Instead… there was Aram.
He smiled when he looked up and saw me, and a now-familiar arousal prickled my skin. I swallowed hard, remembering the last time — hell, every time I’d shared space with him. Since the day we met — the day before, actually — I’d been plagued by what I could only describe as hallucinations, always featuring him as the co-star of some vivid sexual fantasy. Since breaking up with Travis, they gotten even worse… if I could call them bad at all. Because those… bouts of delirium… were good.
So, so good that it made it incredibly hard to look this man in the face without those fantasies coming to mind. I couldn’t even be near him without imagining his hands on me, and inside of me, touching and teasing me until I reached the pinnacle of ecstasy and passed out.
Then started over again.
“Ara—Mr. Duncan. I was expecting Travis. He… summoned me.”
Aram nodded as he stood from his seated position on the corner of Trav’s desk. “Yeah… about that. I sent Travis on a few errands to clear his head. He needed a time out.”
“A time out?”
“Yes. That’s what you do when kids misbehave, you know?” He lifted a hand, beckoning me closer, and of course I obliged. The door swung firmly shut behind me, and I jumped a little as it clicked in the frame. Aram smirked as he approached me, filling my nostrils with his prevailing scent of citrus and cedar. “Why are you so on edge, Khalida? What do you think is gonna happen?”
“Well, I came down here expecting to get fired, so…”
“That’s not about to happen. Don’t worry about that.”
“Don’t worry about that.” He touched my bare arm, letting his fingers drift over my skin.
That’s not the only thing I’m worried about.
“So tell me what else,” Aram said, the heat from his body scorching through the thin fabric of my skirt and blouse as he stood behind me. I trembled as his hands first touched high on my thighs, then moved up until he was gripping my waist.
“This is another fantasy.” I spoke the words aloud, hoping they would give me some type of leverage in reality. “It’s not really happening.”
“Oh, it’s happening, Beautiful.” Aram chuckled against my ear, then gently nipped it between his teeth. “And… another implies that it was ever a fantasy.”
“It has to be.” I bit my lip as he pulled my hips back, pressing his erection against me. “My private thoughts. My dreams. Your eyes in the window, the—“
“Shower, the hallway, that day in the conference room, that time on the roof of your building, and let’s not forget the produce fridge at the grocery store. I really thought you might crawl out of your skin.”
Panic gripped my chest, stifled quickly by arousal as Aram pressed his lips to the back of my neck.
Those times… they can’t be real. It’s not possible.
“Oh, but it is. You gonna deny the memory of me inside you, Khalida? The soreness between your legs, hickies on your neck… do you want me to show you the scratch marks you’ve left on my back. They feel pretty damn real to me.”
I shook my head, turning in his arms to face him. “But you’re never there after. You disappear, or you’re across the room, and my clothes are back on like nothing happened.”
He shrugged. “Time manipulation is nothing for an immortal, Khalida.”