A Beauty Uncovered(10)By: Andrea Laurence
Brody turned on his heel, ready to return to his office and lick his wounds, when he heard her voice call out to him again.
“Mr. Eden?” she asked.
“Yes?” He stopped and turned back to her.
Sam rounded her desk and approached him. His body tensed involuntarily as she came closer. She reached up to the scarred side of his face, causing his lungs to seize in his chest. What was she doing?
“Your shirt…” Her voice drifted off.
He felt her fingertips gently brush the puckered skin along his neck before straightening his shirt collar. It must’ve flipped up when he took his suit coat off earlier. The innocent touch sent a jolt of heat through his body. It was so simple, so unplanned, and yet it was the first time a woman had touched his scars.
His foster mother had often kissed and patted his cheek, and nurses had applied medicine and bandages after various reconstructive procedures, but this was different. As a shiver ran down his spine, it felt different, as well.
Without thinking, he brought his hand up to grasp hers. Sam gasped softly at his sudden movement, but she didn’t pull away when his scarred fingers wrapped around her own. He was glad. He wasn’t ready to let go. The pleasurable surge that ran up his arm from her touch was electric. His every nerve lit up with awareness, and he was pretty certain she felt it, too. Her dark brown eyes were wide as she looked at him, her moist lips parted seductively and begging for his kiss.
He slowly drew her hand down, his eyes locked on hers. Sam swallowed hard and let her arm fall to her side when he finally let her go. “Much better,” she said, gesturing to his collar with a nervous smile. She held up the flash drive in her other hand. “I’ll get this printed for you, sir.”
“Call me Brody,” he said, finding his voice when the air finally moved in his lungs again. He might still be her boss, but suddenly he didn’t want any formalities between them. He wanted her to say his name. He wanted to reach out and touch her again. But he wouldn’t.
Sam looked away to glance down at the pink and crystal watch on her delicate wrist. Brody couldn’t help but notice how every detail about her was so…sparkly. Her watch was simply the latest piece. The large cocktail ring on her right hand made her earrings look demure. The stitching on her silk blouse reflected the light as did the glitter that seemed to be embedded in her pink eye shadow. Her heels had a pattern of sequins and stones across the toe shaped like a daisy. Even the buttons on her sweater looked like dime-sized diamonds.
He wasn’t used to that. His sister, Julianne, was feminine, but she was also raised in a house full of boys. She could hold her own and very rarely, if ever, sparkled. Most of the time, she was actually covered in sculpting mud from her pottery.
“You’re going to be late for your executive meeting, Brody.”
His name coming from her lips sounded wonderful to his ears, but he couldn’t dwell on it. He looked down at his own watch, which was expensive, painstakingly accurate, but not at all flashy. She was right. He reluctantly took the file out from under his arm and held it up as he backed away. “Thanks.”
Returning to the safety of his office, he closed the door and flopped his back against the solid wood. He took his first deep breath in five minutes, the scent of her perfume in his lungs. It made his head swim, the blood rushing from his extremities to fuel his desire with a restless ache he’d grown accustomed to over the years.
No woman, sparkly or otherwise, had ever deliberately touched his scars like that. With every fiber of his being, he wanted her to do it again.
The house was empty. It always was when Brody came home. At least as far as people were concerned. He hung his overcoat on the hook by the garage entrance, tossed his laptop bag onto the kitchen table and whistled loudly.
His answer came in the form of excited clicks of toenails on the hardwood floor and thumps down the stairs. A few moments later, a large golden retriever rounded the corner and bounded straight for him. Brody braced himself as the dog stood up onto her hind legs and placed her paws on his chest. Normally she met him at the door, so she must’ve been sound asleep on her giant beanbag pillow upstairs.
He leaned down to let her lick him and scratched gently behind her ears. “Hey there, Chris. Did you have a good day with Peggy?”
The dog jumped down and danced around his feet, her tail wagging enthusiastically. Chris was a very happy dog and a great companion for Brody. It was impossible for him to sulk with her around. His foster sister, Julianne, had gotten the puppy for him as a birthday present three years ago. She decided that he needed a hot blonde in his life, so he named her after sexy pop singer Christina Aguilera as a joke.