“That was the worst fucking presentation I’ve ever seen.”
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Boardroom Love by Valerie Mann
“That was the worst fucking presentation I’ve ever seen.”
Beth dropped her pen at the CEO’s words and jerked a glance across the huge boardroom table to watch junior executive Jarrod shut down the Power Point program. A red flush crept up his neck and total humiliation etched his features.
“I’m sorry you feel that way, Mr. Fleming,” Jarrod replied, his head never lifting to meet his boss’s.
Beth stared at David Fleming, chairman and president of the company. His haughty, glacial eyes rounded the table, taking in every member of the board before his gaze settled on her. She looked away from the unwanted attention and gathered her notes, pretending not to notice his scrutiny.
“Pitiful ideas like this are why companies around our country are folding,” the chairman’s demanding voice forced all of the board member’s eyes up to meet his. “Every one of our employees enjoyed a profit bonus this year because we don’t do shit like this.” The tip of his Montblanc pen jabbed the tabletop with emphasis before he rounded on Jarrod, “Your presentation sucked ass and compromises further bonuses, not to mention the integrity of this company. If you and your team don’t come up with something that will benefit the company and your co-workers, heads will roll. Starting with yours.”
Jarrod fiddled with the strap on his laptop case and Beth watched his throat work around his nervousness. The poor man was speechless.
Fleming nodded at each member around the polished mahogany table. “Get your asses in gear and show me what you’ve got. I’m giving you twenty-four hours.”
Damn the man. His leadership qualities and get-the-job-done-yesterday work ethic were fantastic, Beth had to admit. While most of the country’s corporations had to answer to their stockholders and their profit margin, she’d always been thankful her own didn’t bow to demanding stockholders. They’d never gone public. Nevertheless, she hated the chairman’s strong arm tactics sometimes, even if they got results. She risked another quick glance at him as she stood up, saw him deep in conversation with the chief financial officer, yanked the huge leather briefcase off the floor and prepared to beat a hasty retreat with the rest of the group.
“Beth,” her boss said, stabbing his index finger in her direction, “stay here. I want to talk to you.”
The CFO brushed past her with a pitying look and snapped the door shut behind him. Beth pulled her bag closer and waited. David tossed the pen on the table, shrugged out of his suit jacket and swiped a frustrated hand over his jaw.
“Jesus, I hate it when people waste my time.”
“Jarrod and his team didn’t think it was a waste of time. They’ve worked hard on this project. It had its merits.”
David leaned against the table beside her and folded his arms across his broad chest.
“You think I was too rough on him.” It wasn’t a question.
“I think you need to learn tact.” She watched the quick flicker of annoyance then humor make the corner of his mouth quirk. He had a beautiful mouth, made for kissing the hell out of a lucky woman. The five o’clock shadow shaded a square jaw and dark, brown eyes glittered giving him a dangerous appeal, in and out of the boardroom. And the bedroom.
Women wanted him, men wanted to be like him.
And damn the man – he knew it.
He didn’t move for a few seconds, simply looked at her. Her heart pounded at the feral gleam in his eye then she froze when his hand reached over and tugged her bag away and set it back on the floor. He leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to the corner of her mouth. When she drew back, he followed her, cupping a hand behind her neck to still her.
“Are you crazy?” she hissed against his mouth, pushing at his hard chest with both hands.
“I don’t think so,” he murmured, nipping at her lower lip. Her head fell back and he stared down at her, obviously enjoying both her discomfort and resistance. He did love a challenge.
“This is so inappropri – oh, God,” she moaned as his hand snaked its way up her thigh and under her skirt. Long fingers pushed past lace and heat then stopped. How could one touch, from a mere mortal man, inflame her so quickly?
“You know what I do think?” he asked in an arrogant tone, flicking the tip of his finger against her core. “You want me.”
“Maybe,” she admitted, praying he’d put a little more pressure into the strokes. She tilted her hips forward in invitation.
“You were watching me during the meeting.” His finger moved up to slide over her clit, back and forth. “I don’t think you were paying any attention at all to Jarrod’s worthless presentation, were you?”
He eased her up on the table and she wrapped her legs around his waist, mindless of the wanton picture they made if anyone walked back into the boardroom. “You were watching me too,” she gasped around the sensations building between her thighs.
He dropped his hand and unbuckled his pants. In a swift, smooth stroke, he sank into her.
They both groaned.
“I never stop watching you,” he ground out, his long, strong thrusts creating a delicious friction. Hard hands gripped her thighs, rocking her, the pleasure and pain increasing her desire.
She pulled his head down and his mouth crashed into hers, their tongues dueling in time with his movements. The flutter of release began to build and she tightened around him.
“Come with me, babe,” he groaned.
The rich sound of his deep voice, the carnal sensations between her legs and the wicked timing of their act undid her. He covered her mouth with his to stifle her shriek as the heart-stopping orgasm raced through her for several seconds. When she managed to open her eyes, David stared down at her with the same satisfied expression she knew she wore.
He grinned, “I’m starving. What’s for dinner?”
“Take-out. You can pick it up when you get Matthew at soccer practice.” She sighed when he kissed her softly. The man still knew how to take her breath away.
“No problem. I’ll see you at home.”