Book: Tough and Tender (Bad Boy Romance Box Set)

Previous: Chapter Six
Next: Chapter Eight

Chapter Seven


If she had a choice, Kira really didn’t want to show up for work on the Monday following the dinner party. But the last thing she wanted was her boss suspecting anything was wrong. She’d simply die from embarrassment if he guessed what happened that night.

Even now, three days later, she had far from recovered mentally from her unthinkable lapse of judgment and self-control. She still felt traumatized over doing something so irresponsible. It was something she’d never have imagined doing; giving in with total lack of inhibition – and to a near stranger! Kira couldn’t blame Blake. Her lack of experience and utter stupidity had made it so easy for Blake to have his way. In short, she’d messed up big time and she didn’t think she’d ever forgive herself.

“Oh God,” she muttered just then, her fingers slipping from her keyboard. She just kept seeing flashing images...Blake and her, from the desk to the couch...His rock-hard abs gleaming in the moonlight streaming into the study and then the dark passion on his face as he’d driven into her again, and again.

Kira’s temples were throbbing so hard she almost didn’t hear the phone on her desk ringing. Inexplicably, she could do nothing but stare at it for a moment. Something told her it would be Blake and she couldn’t bring herself to pick it up. At last the ringing stopped and she heaved a sigh of relief. Only for it to start up again moments later. Sighing in frustration she grabbed it to her ear.


“Kira. This is Blake,” she heard his deep, cultured voice say and at once her heart tripped over itself. Damn the way he made her feel. Around him she never knew if she was coming or going and just the sound of his voice had her belly in knots. Was she going crazy or just stupid?

“What...what do you want?” Kira asked and then cursed inwardly at the way the words came out no higher than a squeak.

“I want – need to see you. Please,” he said, and a ‘no’ instantly sprang to her lips but he continued before she could voice it. “Just to talk sweetheart, I promise. Could you meet me for lunch today somewhere? Or better still, dinner?”

“No!” Kira said shakily, thrown by his endearment and the stirring tone of his voice especially when he said ‘please’ and made it sound like the most sinfully titillating word ever. Fighting down a shiver of awareness, she finally barked out, “I’m busy. And please don’t call me again.”

With that she replaced the receiver. She was shaking so hard; she couldn’t go on with her work. She actually began to feel a little sick. All weekend she’d felt cheap and tainted by what she’d done and even though she knew she was only being irrational she couldn’t help it. To make matters worse was the fact that she had to show up at work today even when she knew she wasn’t ready to face the outside world yet and certainly wasn’t ready to function at work in any capacity.

Suddenly Kira decided she was done; she had to leave work or she’d erupt into tears in front of everybody.

Trying to conceal her distress, Kira went to her boss’ office and knocked. At his call for her to enter she drew open the door.

“Yes, Kira?” Mr. Carter said kindly when she walked in. There was something in his eyes she didn’t understand at that moment. “What’s the matter; is anything wrong?” he asked in concern when she stayed silent.

“No...not really,” she eventually let out haltingly. “I just came to say I wasn’t feeling too well and I’d...well, I was hoping I could be allowed to go home early. I feel a terrible migraine coming on and I was hoping to be able to head it off before it gets worse.”

“I understand,” Bretton Carter said and she had an uncanny feeling he probably did. But how, she wondered hazily. Her guilty conscience must be playing tricks on her she decided.

“Go on home Kira and try to get some rest. I’ll find someone else to see to whatever needs to be done today. Don’t worry about coming in tomorrow if you’re still not feeling better.”

Kira looked troubled and would have said something, but Bretton added firmly, “Go. It’ll be fine. You need a break and it’s perfectly okay with me.”

Kira drew in a shuddering breath. “Thank you, Mr. Carter.” Quelling the inexplicable need to burst into tears, Kira turned to leave until his gentle tone stopped her at the door.

“And thank you, Kira, for helping out at the party. I apologize that you had to go through the whole thing. Unfortunately it was a disaster, but try to put it behind you, hmm?”

Kira stared back at him for a moment, wondering what disaster he could be referring to. The ruined party, or her deflowering by his son? Once again she couldn’t help but wonder how much he knew or what he’d figured out about what happened. Why did that eat at her as much as everything else?

She felt too tired to probe him though so she nodded and quietly left the office.

Previous: Chapter Six
Next: Chapter Eight