Desire #2

By: Carrie Cox


JUST AFTER SUNRISE, I hopped around the dorm room with one shoe on. Dammit. Where was my other pump?

I crouched beside the bed and spotted it at the back near the wall. How the hell had it gotten there? I wriggled forward and extracted the shoe from its hiding place. Then I sat back on my heels and took a deep breath, so much had happened in the last few hours my head was spinning.

This time yesterday, I was finishing up an art restoration project, worrying about the fact I had no new work lined up, and today I was off to London with the gorgeous Benjamin Easton.

I stood up and slipped on my other shoe, grinning goofily at my good fortune. Maybe I had finally used up my quota of bad luck. I sure hoped so.

I looked down at my suitcase and ran through my mental checklist. Even though there was no one else in the room, I flushed when my eyes rested on the black lace underwear I’d packed.

My stomach churned with nerves. I sat down on the floor next to my case and began to zip it up. I’d said I would go, so I couldn’t back out now. Besides, it would be safer in London.

I shivered, remembering how, a few months ago, I’d had to pack up in the middle of the night and leave my old life in Miami behind. If it hadn’t been for my old friend from college getting me the job on the Easton estate, I don’t know what I would have done. I’d probably be working in a fast-food joint, flipping burgers by now.

I looked at my watch. Dammit. I was going to be late.

I quickly gave my room a last once over, checking the drawers and the wardrobes to make sure I hadn’t left anything behind. I tried to ignore the butterflies in my stomach. I was off on a new adventure, and I’d be safe in London. Perhaps I might even find more work over there. I could stay awhile, wait until things cooled down.

I hauled my case out of the dorm room and down the corridor and found Frank the warden sitting in his little cubby office. I handed him my key, said goodbye, then headed out to the parking lot to wait for Benjamin Easton.

I still had a couple of minutes to spare, so I perched on top of my case to wait. I tilted my head back and enjoyed the feeling of the early morning sun on my face. I’d only been in Newport, Rhode Island for a couple of weeks, but that was enough to know I loved it. I could smell the Atlantic Ocean and the briar roses growing in the college gardens. Maybe I would come back here one day on vacation.

I heard the crunch of tires over gravel and quickly stood up as the dark limousine rolled towards me.

The chauffeur pulled up in front of me then got out of the car to help with my luggage. I felt a shiver of embarrassment as he put my tatty old green suitcase next to Benjamin’s black leather one.

The chauffeur opened the limousine door for me, and I climbed inside. My breath caught as I saw Benjamin. Would I ever get used to that handsome face?

“Hello,” I said as I sank back into the plush leather seat.

“Hello, Kate. Would you like a drink?” He gestured to the cabinet in front of us. “We picked up coffee on the way.”

“Thanks,” I said and reached for one of the steaming, paper containers.

“I have some work to do.” He nodded at the iPad resting on his lap. “I hope you don’t mind.”

“Uh, no, of course not.”

As the limousine pulled away, I turned to gaze out of the window. I was not really sure what I’d expected. I felt a little lost as the sights of Newport flashed past.

I slanted a glance at his profile. Benjamin really was unbelievably hot. His dark hair and tanned skin was a perfect combination. He was dressed more casually today, in jeans and a cashmere sweater, but not quite as casually as the first time I’d seen him and mistaken him for the gardener. I blushed at the memory.

He seemed quite unaware of my presence, working away, while I took the chance to study him. His jaw tensed as he read whatever document he was scrolling through on his iPad, and a small furrow appeared between his eyebrows.

I was surprised when the limousine stopped and the chauffeur got out of the car. Benjamin didn’t offer an explanation, so I sat with my hands linked in my lap, waiting to see what the hold-up was. A minute later I was shocked to see the passenger door open and Colin Easton enter the limousine.

Colin smiled as if he’d been expecting me. I tried to hide my shock. Benjamin hadn’t mentioned his cousin would be joining us on this trip. Not that I minded. Colin had been very kind to me over the past few days, but I didn’t know how much Colin knew about my relationship with Benjamin. If you could call a couple of days hot sex a relationship.

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