Authors: Tyffani Clark Kemp
"I will resist you. I will stay faithful to my husband and my morals. Now, please step out of my way. I need to get back to work."
Sebastian peeled himself away from the door, and she watched. Though he was slightly irritated, he found himself to be very turned on. Stepping out of the way, he let Mariss get halfway down the hall before he called, "Your resistance will be your downfall."
Her ankle rolled awkwardly and she caught herself on the wall.
"Are you alright?"
She didn't answer, but continued back into the office. Sebastian didn't miss the slight limp in her step.
"Mr. Boa." Juliet came toward him, but stopped. "Are you ready to go?"
Sebastian joined her, staring into the office for a moment. Mariss refused to look up, though he could see the tension in her back and shoulders.
"Yes. I need to go to the gym."
Mariss Red didn't know how much trouble she was in.
Sebastian spent the rest of the morning in the gym on the treadmill, running off the strange aggression Mariss had left him with. It was more than just
it was an irrational anger, however minimal. It made him want to shout at her to stop being so bloody stubborn and throw her against the wall and have his way with her. At the moment, he wasn't sure either would work.
By six, Sebastian was dressed and ready for dinner. He checked his tie in the mirror and ran his fingers through his hair once. His mobile chirped and he answered, "Sebastian."
"Mr. Boa, your car is waiting for you," Juliet said sweetly.
"Thank you, Jules. I'll be down in a moment."
Sebastian clasped his watch and put his mobile on silent before he walked out the door. He rode the elevator to the ground floor where his car waited for him outside the front door. It was a quick drive to the restaurant.
The husband sipped wine alone at a table.
"Mr. Red." Sebastian offered his hand as he unbuttoned his suit jacket with the other. The husband stood and shook it.
"Good evening, Mr. Boa."
"You can call me Sebastian." He took the offered seat.
"Is this normal?" the husband asked.
"For someone from the club to make contact like this?"
Sebastian shrugged. "It can be, yes. If
a person, or persons, feel
they've made a connection, or feel comfortable or safe with the other, they may make contact."
"I understand you own the club," the husband said.
"So any information is accessible to you."
"I don't go through the security tapes, if that's what you're asking. I only wanted to meet because I enjoyed you and your wife. I felt it would be nice to meet outside the club as people."
The husband nodded and sipped his wine. "I don't share my wife, Sebastian. That was a fantasy she's had for a long time. Obviously, I don't have the right kind of equipment to fulfill it for her."
"She enjoyed it," Sebastian said, sensing where this conversation was going.
"Yes, she did. That's the only reason I've agreed to this. She didn't say it, but I know she wants to try it again."
"I'm glad I could make a good impression."
"Hello, Mr. Boa," a young waitress greeted him. "May I get you some wine?"
"Yes, please," he smiled at her. "You can bring the bottle, as a matter of fact."
Can I get you anything else, Mr. Red? Are we waiting for one more?"
"Yes, my wife. She won't be long."
"I'll be right back with that bottle."
Sebastian knew that he and the husband would never get along. They were very similar in their personality and attitude.
"Whatever happens tonight is completely up to Mariss," the husband continued once the waitress was gone. "Nothing will be forced on her."
Sebastian held the husband's gaze for a long moment. A lesser man would have backed down, but he never looked away, didn't even blink. After what felt like an eternity, Sebastian finally nodded, his respect for the man doubled, even if he didn't care for him.
They shook hands. The two of them had a mutual understanding and it made Sebastian respect Mariss all the more. Unfortunately for her, it also made his craving for her double.
He looked up as Mariss walked into the restaurant. She was dressed in a black sheath dress, perfectly formed to her curvaceous body, and her hair was up in a simple French twist. He looked to her feet, but the red heels from earlier were gone, replaced with silver ones. The only red he could see on her was her full, brilliantly red lips, coated with a gloss that shown in the dim lighting.
There was a happy smile on her face when she saw her husband, but when her eyes caught his, she faltered. Sebastian let his gaze smolder.
Mariss made her way to them slowly, her eyes never leaving his. When she reached them, the husband stood and embraced his wife. He pressed a soft kiss just below her ear and Sebastian watched her eyes flutter for a moment, before they flew open and went straight to him. He smirked to let her know that he'd seen and he'd take full advantage of his new knowledge.
"Mrs. Red." Sebastian stood slowly, pulling himself up straight and tall. He leaned to kiss her cheek and she offered it politely.
"Sebastian," he admonished softly.
Mariss looked up at him, her eyes guarded and cautious. She nodded and took her seat across from the husband.
"Sebastian and I are going to be working together," she said.
Sebastian watched the husband's face.
"He's buying into the company. You get plenty out of it yourself, though, don't you?"
"Well, of course." He watched her over his wine glass. She stared back intently. "I wanted to extend my condolences to you as well, Mr. Red. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your child."
The husband nodded. "Thank you. We appreciate that. Tell me more about this project."
"We met today," Mariss told him, "to discuss a merger and I gave Sebastian a tour of the offices."
The husband smiled. "I bet that was entertaining."
"Quite feminine," Sebastian agreed.
The husband chuckled. Sebastian shook his head. He might have to start calling the man by his name.
Mariss looked from one to the other, rolled her eyes and slouched into her seat. She looked so defeated and tired.
"Are you alright?" The husband asked.
Sebastian watched her fidget with her hands in her lap. She looked lovely. Small diamonds twinkled in her ears and at her throat. With her eyes downcast, she looked so small and vulnerable. Not at all the powerful woman who'd created her own empire.
"I'll go," Sebastian said. Mariss' eyes snapped up to his. "I can take a hint. Thank you for the drink," he said to the husband and dropped some bills on the table. "I'll pay for the bottle. Please, enjoy it." He stood and held his hand out to Mariss. "No need to stand, Mrs. Red. I look forward to meeting with you next weekend."
She stared at him, slack-jawed. In truth, he wanted her more than ever before. Sebastian made it out the door and sent a text for his car to be brought around.
He turned at her voice. "I'm going, Red. You don't need to see me off."
"I was going to tell you to come back inside."
"You don't want me here."
"No, that's not true. I don't want to want you here." She chuckled. "I don't want you to be friends with my husband."
Sebastian raised an eyebrow. "Oh?" That could either be good or bad.
"He's a good man, though a bit intense. With your feelings for me, or whatever you want to call it, you don't deserve to be his friend, and he doesn't deserve to be hurt as you try to take me from him. I won't allow that."
Her love for her husband was overwhelming.
I respect that."
Mariss nodded as his car pulled up.
"Will you stay for dinner?"
"I will, if that's what you want." Sebastian kept his face unreadable. He didn't want her making a decision because he'd influenced it, but he needed her to say yes. If she said yes, he didn't think he'd ever let her go.
"Yes, I want you to stay for dinner."
Inwardly, Sebastian sighed. On the outside, he leaned down to the car window, and when it rolled down he said, "I'll be staying for dinner after all." The driver nodded and pulled away.
Sebastian followed Mariss back inside and took his seat.
"That's a lovely dress, Mrs. Red," he told her.
Her eyes widened.
After all that, just call me by my fucking name."
Sebastian grinned, watched her breathing catch, and sipped his wine. The waitress had brought the bottle while they were outside.
He'd never said that to anyone but his mother. He took a bigger gulp of his wine.
Mariss' eyes danced with suppressed laughter.
"Are you ready to order?" The waitress was back. She kept eyeing him like he was supposed to remember her.
They all placed their orders. Sebastian kept it as professional as he could until she left.
"Have you slept with her?" Mariss asked.
Sebastian raised an eyebrow. "She certainly acts like I did,
she?" He glanced behind him. The way her hips moved. He probably had.
Mariss shook her head.
They commenced with small talk. There were a few jokes made, a few scrunched faces. Nothing uncomfortable, but nothing meaningful either. When his salad was placed before him, Sebastian dug in.
"What's your favorite sex position?" Mariss asked.
Hunched over his plate, a forkful of lettuce in his mouth, Sebastian looked across the table at her stone-straight face. He cast a glance to the husband, but he was looking confusedly at Mariss.
Sebastian chewed slowly and swallowed.
He dabbed at his mouth with his napkin. "While you ride your husband making those lovely sounds."
Mariss' eyes popped out of her face and her jaw dropped.
He shrugged. "You asked."
Mariss' right eye twitched. "When did you want to reschedule the London shoot?" she attempted to change the subject.
Sebastian felt the husband's eyes on him, but he didn't look away from her. "What about tomorrow? Since I'm in town, we might as well. I'll contact my agency and see what we can work out."
I don't have anything pressing tomorrow.
Just a few new acquisitions to look through."
"Good. It's settled then."
Mariss took out her cell phone. "I'll let Brit know so she can have someone in early to set up."
"What's your favorite sex position?"
"Whatever position he wants me in at the moment tends to be the best I've ever had so far." Mariss smirked at her husband.
She gave him a haughty smile.
"Do you understand what we're doing here?" he asked.
"Not really," she replied. "I didn't even know you were coming to dinner until I got here."
He liked her honesty. "Your husband and I have an agreement."
"Sebastian is going to come back to the hotel with us after dinner. I've agreed to a…rendition of the night at the club. If that's what you want."
Mariss stared at her husband. When she looked to Sebastian, her face flushed and her eyes darted between them. "You're serious?"
"Yes," the husband replied.
"And you agreed to this?"
The husband nodded.
"Only if you agree.
Nothing will happen if you don't want it."
"And if I say no? You'll take no for an answer?"
She'd directed the question at him, but the husband answered.
"He doesn't have a choice. If you say no, I say no and that's the end of it."
"But you do want it." Sebastian sat back in his chair and crossed his arms. He let the full weight of his gaze fall on her and she started to squirm. "If you say you don't want it, you'll be lying."
"It doesn't matter." The anger had faded. She couldn't even look at
her attraction for him was so strong. "If I say no that's the end of it." There was an edge to her voice that told him she would say no just to spite him.
"I would never do anything you don't want. Haven't I told you that? I may be many things, but I don't force myself on women."
"Oh no?" she sneered.
"I make myself and my intentions known. I may be driven, but I am not forceful."
Mariss lifted an eyebrow. In her eyes, he could see her yearning. She'd enjoyed herself that night at the club. He couldn't tell if that was what frightened her, or if it was her attraction to him. What he knew was how much she cared for her husband.
"One more chance," he blurted. "If you don't enjoy yourself tonight, then I'll take my losses and we'll be no worse for wear."
That frightened her. He saw it in the slight dilating of her pupils and the way her pulse fluttered visibly at her throat.
"You'll find I am very accessible," he said.
Mariss scoffed. "Yes, I see that."
He rolled his eyes, ready to shake her. "If you'll just listen to what I'm saying rather than assuming what you believe I'm going to say, you might actually hear something, Mariss."
To his surprise, a smile blossomed across her face and she started to laugh. "Yeah, okay. I hear you.
Point to you, Sebastian.
I'll give you one more chance. We'll see how tonight goes."