Authors: Lara Hunter
The Heir & I
By Lara Hunter
Copyright 2015 by Lara Hunter
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part by any means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is forbidden without the explicit written permission of the author.
All characters depicted in this fictional work are consenting adults, of at least eighteen years of age. Any resemblance to persons living or deceased, particular businesses, events, or exact locations are entirely coincidental.
Table of Contents:
I swear I’d never seen anything more beautiful than the vision of Oliver by candlelight.
Sitting together at a lavishly decorated restaurant table adorned with exquisite linens, shining crystal, and a centerpiece of my favorite red roses, I—Lily Ashton, primo executive assistant at your service—couldn’t help but notice that my handsome dinner date outshone even the ebullience of our candlelit table setting. Oliver Clark always shone as bright as the candlelight with his bronzed skin, wide dark eyes and sculpted face and tonight his tall, muscular form was bedecked to full effect in a dinner suit of sleek black silk.
Of course, in the three years that had elapsed since my first meeting with Oliver, I’d often paused to admire the unbelievable and—when one thought about it—rather annoying flawless physical beauty of this hot young billionaire; yet only five months had passed since we had fallen in love. Why, you may wonder, did it take me so long to make time with this undeniable he babe—to phrase it as crudely and classless as possible.
Well, the answer to this question is as long and complex as the relationship itself. At one point, as it turns out, my boyfriend was once my boss and not, I must say, a very good one.
The spoiled son of ace financier and self-made executive Harry Clark, Oliver was a 28-year-old who had distinguished himself instead as an ace party animal and self-made playboy.
During the two years of my employment at Clark Industries, I found myself constantly having to make excuses for him—both for the benefit of angry clients whose calls he failed to return, and for the endless stream of silicone-laden, bleach blonde ladies, whose calls he returned all too often. That is, when I wasn’t researching and writing his work reports for him.
I wasn’t at all surprised when Harry Clark finally had enough; finally putting down his freshly polished leather-clad foot and insisting that Oliver finally commit himself to their company—and, for that matter, to one stable, reliable woman.
I was incredibly surprised when Oliver magically morphed into the ideal employer and hardworking executive and when he chose me, a 5’5, admittedly curvy brunette who proudly identified as a cute nerd from a working class background, to be his girlfriend.
Oh, it was all a ruse at first. Oliver and I staged a ‘faux mance’ for the benefit of his father; enjoying shopping sprees, movies, dinners at exclusive restaurants, ballet and theatre performances, while all the while continuing to see other people on the side.
Well, I kind of saw one other person; enjoying a light flirtation with a Clark Industries office clerk named Kirk Taylor. Oliver, meanwhile, continued to see A-F of the Bennington, Florida, phonebook; seeming to favor a scatterbrained bimbo named Kelli. Now I, as a devout feminist, am loath to refer to any sister as a scatterbrained bimbo; but, hey, when the stiletto heeled shoe fits…
Finally, though, Oliver woke up and smelled the cappuccino; realizing the treasure that he had in me, in our relationship. And now we were celebrating our five month anniversary at an exclusive Miami resort.
“Dance with me, Lily,” he invited me now, dazzling me with a white-toothed smile as he offered me his hand.
In long, graceful strides Oliver lead me across La Mer restaurant; a resort centerpiece that boasted tables covered in crisp linen, crystalline chandeliers, walls that boasted samples of French Impressionist artwork, and a shimmering mirrored dance floor that sported the presence of a tuxedo-clad jazz band.
“Hey Boys,” Oliver called out to them, sweeping me up in his strong arms as we approached the center of the dance floor. “Do you know ‘At Last’ by Etta James?”
“At Last,” I echoed, trembling in spite of myself as he pulled me flush up against the planes of his hard muscled body. “How did you know, Darling, that song was my all-time favorite ballad?”
Oliver shook his head.
“Actually, Lily, I had no idea that ‘At Last’ was your favorite love song—or mine, for that matter,” he whispered, swaying his trim hips against mine as he swung my body, clad this evening in a sleek, glimmering evening gown of pure azure satin, across the width of the crisp tiled dance floor. “But when I heard it the other day on the radio, all I could think about was you—and us. Before I met you, Lily, I never did think that my life came complete with an ‘at last.’ I never imagined that I’d find such an amazing, brilliant, sexy, beautiful woman—one that would make me forget all the others. A woman that I think I’d truly like to spend the rest of my life with…”
“…As opposed to just the rest of the hour, as was frequently the case with your previous girlfriends,” I interrupted with a grin, adding in a softer, more serious tone, “Well I have to admit, Oliver, that—while I figured that, someday, I would indeed discover my own ‘at last’—I never knew that he would be so handsome, so charming, so funny…so you.”
As the dramatic opening strings of ‘our song’ surged radiant around us, our slow, romantic dance evolved at once into a passionate, sensual embrace; our undulating bodies clinging together as we stared deep into one another’s eyes.
Our public surroundings dissolved around us as, suddenly and impulsively, my ardent lover seized my lips in a hot, intense kiss; his full, moist mouth devouring mine as our hands and tongues entangled between us.
As the rousing chorus of our favored tune continued to set the motion of our movements, we drowned in an endless, timeless clutch; one that intensified still further as his wandering hands roamed the length of my exposed back; sending exquisite tingles down my spine as I sank contented in his big, strong arms.
“I want you, baby,” Oliver whispered in my ear, pulling me closer still. “I have to have you…”
“…Now,” I completed, not resisting as he again took my hand and lead me toward the door.
Within moments I found myself ensconced in a plush, luxurious Victorian-style suite; one doused from floor to ceiling with shiny gold brocade wallpaper, lustrous lace curtains draped across the surface of the sparkling French doors in the corner, cushiony carpeting of pure snow ivory beneath our feet, and a sprawling ceiling mural of cherubs in flight across the vast expanse of a gem blue sky.
The centerpiece of this dream like suite was a lovely four poster bed bathed in a comforter of rose floral print, and overseen by a white lace canopy.
“You scoundrel,” I winked at my lover, holding my arms open to him. “You remembered that our first real date took place at a Victorian village.”
“I did indeed,” he admitted, adding as he rolled his eyes heavenward, “Only when we finally did the deed, it was back at my apartment—beneath my signature print of Dogs Playing Poker.” He paused here, cupping my flushed cheeks in two tender hands as he added in a softer, more sensual tone, “I figured that, on the grand occasion of our five month anniversary, I’d come up with a new and improved trysting spot.”
“Oliver, at the risk of sounding hopelessly sappy, everything about us is new and improved,” I told him, wrapping my arms around his strong, broad shoulders as I added, “I feel like I can really trust you now. You never as much as look at another woman, and you’re so open and loving with me. You’ve grown so much as a person, Oliver, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
I took in my breath as Oliver most literally swept me off my feet; carrying me to our bed as he whispered in my ear, “I’ll give you a little clue as to what happens next. I, my dear, have every intention of making mad, passionate love to you.”
My breathing paused as an impassioned Oliver buried his head in my neck; nibbling and nipping my skin as he cradled me in his arms.
Lowering my body onto the surface of our billowing luxury bed, he stood for just a moment to strip off his dinner jacket, one shoulder at a time, before slowly unbuttoning the white silk shirt that lie beneath.
I gaped in open admiration at the vision of his corded, muscular chest and flawless washboard abs; sighing outright as he filled my arms with the whole of his muscular perfection.
Pressing his chest tight against mine, Oliver cradled me in his embrace; once again covering my lips with his as his trim, fit hips gyrated against mine in a blatant but playful tease. He kissed me senseless as our limbs entangled and we descended fully to the bed beneath us; our tongues and fingers merging as our thighs locked.
Soon I lost myself in all things Oliver; his perfect body, his gorgeous face, his deep, sonorous voice, his crisp citrus-tinged scent; he made love to me again and again, until finally we collapsed, sated and exhausted, in one another’s arms.
I know we had a rough start.
The thought sprang raw and unbidden to my mind.
All things considered though, I’d say I’m a lucky gal.
The next morning I floated from one dream into another; awakening in the strong, loving arms of my beloved. We kissed and cuddled until I loudly declared that I was hungry and, much to Oliver’s keen disappointment, I was hungry for the complimentary breakfast buffet that awaited us downstairs in the resort dining room.
Soon we sat at a table at the center of a clean-lined, sun-soaked nook; feasting on a hearty meal of syrup-drenched waffles and freshly baked chocolate pastries, along with sparkling goblets filled to the brim with water and orange juice. I delighted as my ardent lover insisted on spoon feeding me every bite of my breakfast; all the while detailing our plans for the day.
“I thought that we’d start out by hitting the beach this morning,” Oliver suggested, motioning out a nearby window at the glorious, sun-drenched tropical day that awaited us outside. “Then this afternoon I could take you shopping at the Bayside Marketplace—they have some beautiful boutiques there, and only the best restaurants. We can do dinner there too.”
“Sounds amazing, baby,” I praised, adding as I squeezed his fingers in mine, “And then, after dinner, we can come back here for a little more—um—R’n’R.”
Oliver arched his eyebrows.
“Rest and relaxation?” he asked.
I shook my head.
“Romance and rabble rousing,” I corrected him immediately, and with a sly, teasing wink.
“Ah, sounds wonderful,” he purred, leaning forward to grace my cheek with a soft, warm kiss. “I must tell you, however, that I did have one additional activity planned for this evening. A little side trip, if you like, to see a performance of ‘Carmen,’ as presented by the premiere dancers of the Miami City Ballet.”
I said nothing, instead I just surged forward to kiss the lips of my smiling companion; wrapping my arms around his shoulders as I whispered, “You devil, you know how I love the ballet. And as much as I look forward to seeing ‘Carmen,’ live onstage for the first time, I really wish—as unforgivably sappy and ridiculous as this sounds—that we could just pause this moment, right here and now.” I paused here, adding with an awkward chuckle, “I guess I’m just not accustomed to things going so well in my life—to having everything so… so perfect.”
I took in my breath as a laughing Oliver seized my lips in an adoring kiss; lingering just briefly as his full, soft lips rubbed and massaged my own.
“Get used to it, Darling,” he whispered against my lips, adding as he stared deep into my eyes, “I realize, Lily, that you and I got off to a rocky start. But I promise that from here on out, you’ll never again have to concern yourself about me. You can trust me and depend on my devotion—every day and for the rest of our lives.”
“I know that, Sweetheart,” I answered immediately, searing his lips with a loving kiss. “I do trust you, and I absolutely love you, ever so much…”
Our dreamy, romantic dirge was disrupted by the sound of a deep, masculine voice; one that belonged to the young blond waiter that had served us that morning.
Sitting upright in his seat, Oliver cleared his throat loudly and graced our visitor with a charming, wide-toothed smile.
“Yes my good man,” he nodded in the direction of the crisply dressed waiter. “If you could just bring us our bill…”
“Mr. Clark,” the server repeated, adding as he motioned toward the front of the restaurant, “You have a phone call from someone at Clark Industries. It sounded pretty important.”
“I hope there’s nothing wrong back home,” I murmured, clutching my lover’s hand in mine.
“Oh, I’m sure it’s nothing,” he assured me, raising my hand to his lips for a brief kiss before rising from the table. “You know my father’s idea of an office emergency. I probably just forgot to file a report, call an uber rich client, sharpen a pencil, something else that—in the mind of anyone that’s not Harry Clark—is not exactly earth shattering. So while I take his call and put out the fire, whatever it may be, why don’t you head out to the beach? I’ll meet you there in an hour or so.”
A half hour later I found myself immersed in a dream of a tropical paradise; witnessing firsthand the incredible nature borne radiance of Miami Beach.
Dressed in a sleek ebony one piece that accentuated my voluptuous curves, I carried my rainbow-patterned, terrycloth towel to a remote stretch of beach; reclining back in its comforting confines as I lounged on my back.
Staring up in silent wonder at the brilliance of the Miami sky, I marveled at a lovely, stimulating kaleidoscope of golden sun and gem blue sky; a vision enhanced still further by the soaring flight of ivory-hued seagulls and the emerald-leaved majesty of towering palms.
Sitting upward just long enough to open the small coral beach bag we’d brought with us for the trip, I withdrew a translucent flask of fresh bottled water and a pearl pink squeeze bottle filled to the rim with creamy, coconut-scented sunblock.
Pouring a hearty sampling of the thick, rich lotion into the palm of my hand, I rubbed the soft, slick substance in generous strokes down the skin of my arms and legs and also across my chest and back; imagining that it was Oliver that rubbed and massaged every exposed inch of my curvy, sweat-lined body, setting my being afire with his magical touch.
Laying once again back onto the surface of my plush, luxurious beach towel, I savored the vision of crashing waves as they sparkled in the light of the overhead sun; their waters tempting me with their easy flow and their crystal clear liquid texture.
Maybe when Oliver gets here, we can go for a swim
, I mused, closing my eyes as the song of the gulls lulled me into a pleasant trance.
For now, though, I think I might grab a little nap. Heaven knows I’m going to need plenty of energy for the rest of the day—not to mention for the night ahead.
And with that excessively pleasant thought, I drifted off into a peaceful slumber.
I awoke with a start some time later, in what felt like a bed of fire. I bolted upright as my being was seized with a myriad of striking and confusing emotions.
Heat. Hunger. And most of all, loneliness.
OK, so the heat I understand. I’m right square in the middle of that nature made dry sauna known as Miami Beach.
I groaned, standing to my feet as I struggled to get my bearings.
Why, though, would I feel so blasted hungry so soon after breakfast? And where is Oliver?
Shaking my head from side to side to clear it of its confused haze, I stepped into the shimmering sands of my sun-soaked stretch of beach; making my way in the direction of a rainbow-striped snack cart that occupied a far patch of sand.
Forcing a faint smile for the tall, tanned blonde that sold sweets and light meals at the cart (without managing to eat a single one of them, or so it would seem from the appearance of her annoyingly slender form) I opened my mouth will the full intention of asking if her name was likely to appear anywhere in the pages of my boyfriend’s long discarded (or so I dearly hoped) little black book.
No worries though, I was good. Instead I just requested a hot dog with everything on it, as well as the current time of day.
Staring down at the surface of her crystal blue sports watch, the latter day Baywatch babe squinted with confusion as she studied its face.
Well either the sun is in her eyes,
I mused in silence.
Or she just never did learn to tell time. Looking like that, she probably doesn’t need a whole lot of practical skills.
“1 p.m.,” she said finally, dragging her gaze from the surface of her watch to gather the ingredients of my steamy wet hot dog.
“Are you sure?” I gasped out, shaking my head from side to side as I processed this information.
“Yep,” she replied, looking slightly annoyed as she layered my hot dog with copious supplements of ketchup, relish and chives.
Moving at this point in a bewildered haze, I offered the attendant my five dollar bill and took my hot dog in a shaky grasp.
“Keep the change,” I told her as I turned away.
“Thanks!” she beamed, brightening considerably. “Did you want any iced tea to wash down that dog—or maybe you want to chase it with a Popsicle or ice cream bar?”
I shook my head.
“Thanks all the same,” I said over my shoulder, adding with an uneasy shrug, “At this point, though, all I really want is answers.”
Gobbling down my hot dog as I ran fast down the sands, I arrived soon at the edge of my beach blanket; bending to collect my water and lotion and toss them into my beach bag. Finally I folded my beach blanket under one arm and grabbed my bag with my free hand; racing up the length of the bronze sanded beach as my mind swirled with a furious pool of nagging unanswered quandaries.
Where was Oliver? And how did I manage to sleep half the day away?
Soon I found myself at the door of the Beausoleil Resort; a three-foot tall structure of ivory sandstone graced with statuesque arches and stained glass windows.
Ignoring this spectacle of architectural beauty that kisses the shores of Miami, I hurried inward to a lobby lined with polished cherry wood furniture and rich royal blue carpeting; its sandstone walls lined with various examples of multi-colored art deco paintings and portraits.
Marching up to a corner reception desk with purposeful steps, I encountered yet another thin, statuesque blonde standing behind the counter.
Those thin, statuesque blondes seem to be in short supply around here. I wonder if this in some way accounts for Oliver’s disappearance today,
I thought to myself, adding aloud, “Ma’am, have you seen Mr. Oliver Clark lately?”
Immediately the clerk nodded, reaching as she did beneath the front desk to retrieve a piece of scarlet-tinted stationery that she thrust into my grasp.
“He checked out three hours ago,” she informed me, adding as she gestured toward the note, “But he left that note behind for you.”
My gaze remained peeled on her sculpted, tanned face as I considered these truly unbelievable words. Finally I asked, “What do you mean, he checked out? Does he need me to meet him at the airport? Maybe you should call me a cab…”
“He’s already gone,” the clerk insisted, voicing her words more slowly this time. “He got a phone call down here at the desk, then promptly went up to his—to your—room. He came back down about a half hour later with his packed bags in his hands and asked for us to call him a cab to the airport. All of your possessions are still in the room, and your room is paid up through the end of the week. In addition, Mr. Clark has left your ballet tickets at the desk—along with an envelope of cash that you can use to buy food, toiletries, souvenirs, and anything else you need for the duration of your stay.”
I shook my head.
“All I’ll be needing from you is my own cab to the airport,” I insisted, planting my hands on my hips. “Which you need to call now.”
Affirming my words with a sharp, brisk nod, I unfolded my mysterious message and read the words with disbelieving eyes.
“My dearest Lily,”
the note read.
“That phone call turned out to be a bit more serious than we originally thought, and I’ve been called back home. I’ll explain later; for now, though, please don’t concern yourself with my worries. Enjoy the rest of your time in Miami. I’ll talk to you soon. Much love, Oliver.”
“How soon?” The words sprang unbidden to my mind as I crinkled the note in my hands. “And what was so blasted important that he had to leave me behind?”
“Ma’am?” My troubled meditation was disrupted by the sound of an official feminine voice; one that emanated from behind the front counter. “Would you still like me to call you a cab?”