Banger: An Office Romance, страница 1
The Long Ball
Also By Aria Cole
About the Author
Copyright © 2016 by Aria Cole
Cover Design: Sybil at PopKitty Reviews
Editing: CASSIE COX
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the written permission of the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Created with Vellum
To the good girls and the bad boys who love them.
Meet Tobias Banger...
He's the demanding, dominant, sexy-as-sin CEO of Banger Industries, and he's used to getting what he wants. Every time. He's built a Fortune 500 company from the ground up. The last thing he needs is a pretty woman distracting him from his empire.
Curvy, sassy secretary Ellis Ford isn't just any pretty woman...
Fresh out of college, she's smart, focused, sometimes sarcastic, and trying desperately to contain the wildfire that licks at her insides whenever Mr. Banger calls her name.
One forbidden night while locked in a closet, and the office will never be the same...
The chemistry between Ellis and Tobias sizzles until raw passion ignites in a frenzy of filthy words, frantic lust, and all-consuming basic instinct. He's hell-bent on claiming her. She's too blinded by his charm to see the ghosts haunting his dark eyes. Will one night with Tobias be something she'll live to regret?
Warning: This isn't your grandmother's office romance. Tobias Banger has a filthy mouth and an irresistible charm that drops panties. When he finds the woman he wants, nothing will stop him from taking her. Grab a glass of wine, charge up the Kindle, and prepare to get banged by the boss!
“Look at the way those pants hug his ass. I’ve never seen a man fill out a suit like that,” my closest friend, Victoria, cooed as the CEO of Banger Enterprises—and also our boss—walked ahead of us down the long hallway.
I nodded, agreeing with her assessment wholeheartedly. As Tobias Banger’s personal secretary, I could definitely say that he filled out that suit even better up close.
“I bet he’s hung,” Victoria mused, and the Frappuccino I'd picked up after lunch nearly shot out my nose.
“Oh my God, he could have heard you.” I’d only been on the job for a month. I couldn’t afford to be let go because Victoria couldn’t keep her thoughts to herself.
“Well, I bet it’s true.”
“Afternoon, ladies.” Mr. Banger turned toward us and smiled deeply, making me almost choke on my tongue.
“Mr. Banger.” I nodded.
His eyes caught mine and held them for an extra-long beat. I had no idea what he was trying to say with those whimsical azure eyes of his, but I was pretty sure I could be convinced into doing anything he wanted when he looked at me like that for too long. There was just something about that man’s eyes that made me lose all sense of reason. Beautiful wasn’t even the right word for them; they were intriguing, intense, dominant.
“Having a good week, Mr. Banger?” Victoria peered up at him, her fake eyelashes fluttering like crazy.
I almost asked if she had something in her eye. Almost.
“Great week, Ms. Young. Thanks for asking.” Mr. Banger held the office door open for us.
We stepped in, and Mr. Banger’s hand brushed against my thigh as I passed him. His touch felt like an earthquake convulsing through my body; that small brush of his hand was all it took to send my body into a craze.
In the month that I’d been in this position, I’d nearly talked myself into requesting a transfer at least a half dozen times already. Not because Mr. Banger was unfair in the slightest, but because my body’s reaction to him was. Just being in the same room with him made my heart beat so uncontrollably I had trouble focusing and holding a conversation with him.
“Could I have a word with you, Ms. Ford?” Mr. Banger’s words washed across my skin and sent blazing paths of fire through my veins.
“Of course,” I murmured, unable to even look him in the eye.
When Mr. Banger turned around, Victoria poked me in the shoulder, eyes darting from me to him before she winked at me.
“Don’t you have work to do?” I whispered.
Her smile only deepened before she buzzed down the hallway, headed for her desk.
I followed Mr. Banger past my desk and into his huge office. Glass windows overlooked downtown Chicago, his massive mahogany desk was front and center, and slick leather couches lined the walls. Mr. Banger lived the high life for sure—he never wanted for the finest things. His demands were always met, and boy, was he was demanding.
It had taken me just one day on the job to learn that Mr. Banger had high standards and expected all of his employees to exceed his expectations. He expected perfection, and I understood that. It was the reason Banger Enterprises had risen to a Fortune 500 company in under six years. Tobias Banger was a business mogul. At just under thirty-five, he was one of the youngest men in the country with the highest stock prices on the market.
He was a phenom.
And I was his personal secretary.
“Do you have any plans tonight, Ms. Ford?”
I swallowed the lump in my throat, wondering why in the world he was asking me that. “Um, no…”
He nodded, eyes dragging across my form before he turned to his desk. “I was looking over the numbers you submitted yesterday.” He held up the file folder I’d left on his desk yesterday afternoon as requested. “Something seems off. Can you stay late tonight so we can go over them? I’m sorry for even asking.”
I nodded instantly, not even considering the fact that I’d promised Victoria and a few friends I’d go out to dinner with them tonight. They would understand anyway. “Of course.”
“Good. I know you have a talent with numbers, but if accounting finds an error we could have caught, that means more headaches than I want.”
“Sure, Mr. Banger.” I snapped into work mode, shaking off my body’s reaction to him. I needed this job. I couldn’t let myself get drunk on his magnetic energy. “Is there anything else you need?”
His eyes flicked up my body, one hand pushing across the dark stubble at his jawline. God, I wanted to lick it. I wondered what the hard expanse of his chest would feel like under my palms. His lips…
“That’s all for now, Ms. Ford. Thank you.” He smiled politely, if a little distractedly, while he held the door open for me.
I nodded, sucking in a deep breath as I passed him and catching a whiff of his spicy, heady cologne. I’d never smelled anyone quite like him in my life, and it only made my t
“Call if you need anything,” I said before stepping out into my small office and hearing his door shut behind me. I sucked in another cool breath that cleared my head.
I hoped I hadn’t gotten those numbers wrong. The perfectionist in me wanted to run back through them again even though I did it twice yesterday. I plopped into my chair, pulling my phone from my bag, and shot off a quick text to Victoria that I’d have to cancel dinner.
But we’re celebrating your birthday! she replied.
I groaned. I hated making a big deal out of my birthday, and Victoria had practically had to beg me to go out for a few drinks to celebrate. I liked being at home on the couch, cuddled up in my pajamas with my sweet kitty cat.
Sorry, Mr. Banger needs me tonight. I texted back.
Ohh… maybe your birthday will have a happy ending after all. ;)
A smile turned up my lips just as Mr. Banger’s door opened and the topic of conversation himself came out.
I slammed my phone on the desk and shot up. “Hi, sorry, I was just canceling plans tonight. Do you need something?”
Mr. Banger paused, his eyes burning up the space between us before he parted his impossibly full lips. “I thought you said you didn’t have plans tonight. I hate to make you cancel—”
“No, no, it’s all right. Victoria—I mean, Ms. Young—wanted to celebrate my birthday, but I’d much rather be here with you.” The words fell out of my mouth in a tumble.
One thick slash of eyebrow arched before he said, “It’s your birthday?”
I hadn’t meant to reveal that. “Yes, but—”
“Then we should celebrate. You should have mentioned it when I asked.” One long arm stretched between us, and he swiped his thumb across my temple, pushing aside a lock of dark hair.
My heart thrummed with his touch, but just as soon as it was there, it was gone again. An irrational sense of loss radiated through me.
“It’s all right. I don’t like to make a fuss on my birthday. I’d rather just forget it, to tell you the truth.” I twisted my hands together, feeling wildly self-conscious under his penetrating stare.
“Forget it? The day of your birth is definitely worth celebrating.” His mouth twisted up in a one-cornered smile that nearly twisted my panties with its devilishness.
I had no reply for him. My lips pressed together as I considered the meaning behind his words.
“I’ve got to run over to accounting, but plan on our meeting later. We’ll go over the numbers and this birthday business.” His eyes twinkled before he walked away, sucking the air out of my lungs as he went.
How could he be so impossibly sexy? How did any of the women in this office get anything done with him around?
I’d never been the kind of woman who fawned over a man. My focus on getting through college and finding a job had overwhelmed all else. I’d actually interned in this building during my last semester of college, but when I was offered a full-time position, never had I expected to be made the personal secretary of the owner of the company himself.
I sighed, plopped back in my chair, and pulled up Mr. Banger’s daily planner, synced to my computer to keep us both abreast of meetings and other things that came up. He had a surprisingly slow week, though we’d planned it this way since he’d only just returned from a business trip to Tokyo last week. He’d been working like crazy to land a new account, so when he succeeded, he’d vowed not to work so many late hours and weekends. Because of that, we hadn't spent much time together, but apparently that was about to change.
Apparently I was celebrating my birthday with my sex-on-a-stick boss.
I shuffled the papers on my desk, glancing at my Rolex to find it just after five. Ellis would be in here any minute, that sweet little simper telling me she was available for whatever I needed.
What I needed was to sink inside her and fuck her until I couldn’t think straight. Maybe then I could focus and get some work done.
Hiring Ellis had been a blessing and a curse.
She’d consistently reviewed the highest in our intern program, and when my other secretary had taken an indefinite leave of absence to help her husband, I’d known instantly Ellis would take her place. I knew that ideally I should have hired a secretary with experience, but I wanted someone smart and driven. I wanted more than someone to organize my life. I wanted someone who could work beside me with fresh ideas and the know-how. So I decided to pull from the interns and make this position much more than one an administrative assistant could fill.
I wished I had seen a picture of her before hiring her.
Not that I wouldn’t have hired her. On paper she was a dream candidate, but in person, she was so blindingly beautiful that I had trouble concentrating on a damn thing other than her. I had never in my life seen a woman that was so engaging. Had she just been beautiful I would have been fine, but her intelligence, natural kindness, and the depth of her compassion drew me to her.
I stood from my chair and turned to look out over the city, sun splitting through the buildings as far as the eye could see. I was on top of the world up here. My reputation for cold, hard business preceded me, but my life felt empty. All this success around me, and yet something had always felt missing. The truth was, I had devoted my life to my business. I spent every waking hour running over market figures and brainstorming new concepts. I’d never even thought twice about getting to know a woman better—until now.
A light tap, tap sounded on my heavy door.
“Come in!” I grunted, probably a little too forcefully. Ellis walked in, eyes on my face instantly. “Sit down.” I sounded harsh, much harsher than I intended, but she undid me and it was terrifying. I was an asshole.
She sat in the chair facing my desk, one long leg crossing over the other and forcing her pencil skirt higher up her thighs. Ellis always dressed appropriately, but the way her clothing hugged her soft curves made my palms itch to touch her.
“Did you have a good day, sir?”
Ellis’s words shot a lightning bolt of fire straight into my balls. I pushed a hand through my hair. This shit between us, whatever it was, was about to explode. I couldn't think straight, and I had seen the way her eyes settled on mine when I entered a room, as if we were pulled together by a magnetic charge.
“Great day, thanks, Ms. Ford.”
“You can call me Ellis.” A soft smile pulled her lips.
I nodded. I’d wanted to call her that for a long time. Whatever was between us felt personal, as if we’d known each other for much longer than we actually had. I’d never felt an instant sexual connection before, but with Ellis, I was like a caveman fighting his instincts to take, brand, and devour.
“Ellis,” I hummed, her name rolling like honey off my lips. I knew what else I wanted on my lips. “I had a look at the Gelman account. Can you confirm that total you had down?”
I wanted to get business out of the way. Ever since I’d found out that it was the dazzling Ms. Ford’s birthday, an idea had been circulating in my head. She’d said she didn’t like surprises, but she was owed one. I’d checked in often while I was away and knew she’d worked above and beyond what was required of her position, always consistently performing well, so she deserved a night off to celebrate her. I knew I wanted to.
She slid her laptop onto my desk, and her little painted fingertips went to work. I waited patiently, hovering over her shoulder and inhaling the sweet lemon-and-lavender scent that seemed to waft off her. She was like a delicious dessert I wanted to unwrap and savor bite by bite.
“Here it is.” She hovered the mouse over the total.
I compared the number on my sheet then smirked.
“That’s the problem. We only billed Gelman $275,000. Sorry if I didn’t update you. I gave him a break for the first project. That was a stiff negotiation—I thought I’d lost him for a minute—but we’ll make the money back on t
“You ready for that birthday celebration?”
Ellis’s eyes widened a she peered up at me, her lips in the shape of a perfect little O that I wanted to cover with my mouth. “I didn’t think you’d really—”
“I mean everything I say. I figured you knew that by now.” I pulled my suit jacket off the back of my chair and tossed it over one shoulder. “Should we get out of here?”
“But… I haven’t even changed or anything…”
I looked her up and down. The way the tailored shirt tucked into her nipped-in waist, the curve of those hips beneath that snug pencil skirt, made me want to run my hands up her thighs and bury my face between her silky legs.
“You look perfect.” I placed a hand at the small of her back and felt a shiver run up the base of her spine.
“T-thank you.” Ellis lifted her purse over her shoulder when we stepped out of my office, the buttons on her shirt pulling taut and playing peekaboo with a white lacy bra.
Dear God, it was a wonder I hadn’t thrown myself from the forty-fifth-story window yet.
She was the smartest, sweetest, sexiest woman I’d ever seen, and I felt honored to even treat her to a birthday dinner at my favorite restaurant.
I didn’t know where this thing between us was heading—alarm bells about office romances were ringing at full volume in my head—but I was sick of ignoring whatever was pulsing between us.
I’d do anything to get her out of my head so I could focus on business again.
But then again, I didn’t really want her gone. I was too intrigued by her. Too challenged by her. Too turned on.
Ellis Ford was a mystery I wanted to get to the bottom of.