Inside her door, Faith placed a hand on Brandon’s chest. “I don’t know how to thank you for such a beautiful day and night. I had a wonderful time.”
“It was my pleasure.” The word pleasure conjured up vivid and sensual memories of last night. Her expression changed and she dropped her head. Brandon lifted her chin. “What is it, baby?”
“As much as I enjoy being with you, I don’t think we should continue to see each other. We know this thing isn’t leading anywhere and it makes no sense to…” She trailed off. “And there’s something—”
“I realize you’re going home soon, but you don’t believe that any more than I do. We can take this relationship anywhere we want. And I want to take it as far as it goes.” Brandon cut her off when she started to protest. “Just think about it. We can talk later this week.” He captured her mouth in a slow, drugging kiss, wanting to show her why it did make sense for them to continue seeing each other. He slid an arm around her waist, pulled her closer and deepened the kiss. She moaned and slipped her hands beneath his shirt and trailed them down his back. It was his turn to moan. On the brink of losing control, Brandon tore his mouth away and rested his forehead against hers, breathing harshly. He closed his eyes and tried to calm himself. He was two seconds from stripping her naked and going for one more round. “Just think about it and we can talk this week,” he said again. He kissed her once more and left while he still could.
Brandon went home and cleaned up the kitchen and bedroom. As he gathered up the rose petals and candles, and stripped the sheets off the massage table, he recalled Faith’s passionate cries and the heat of her surrounding him as he thrust in and out of her. He braced his hands on the table and bowed his head. There was no way he could go without seeing her.
He tried to catch up on some work he had brought home, but gave up after two hours. He thought about calling Khalil, but changed his mind. In his present state of mind, if his brother made one teasing remark, Brandon would end up being banned from his parents’ house. He couldn’t chance that happening because he enjoyed being around his family, and he loved his mama’s cooking. Instead he went shopping, then took care of a few minor things around the house. But nothing calmed the restlessness he felt. The night was worse. He tossed and turned for hours, then fell asleep for an hour only to be awakened by a dream so erotic it made him call out Faith’s name.
The next morning, Brandon dragged himself out of bed to go to work. He had been looking forward to the start of this new workweek and beginning the transition with his father. But with less than three hours of sleep, it would take a double shot of caffeine to get him going.
He made it to the office by seven and stopped in the first floor café for coffee before taking the elevator up to his floor. Most of the employees didn’t start arriving until seven thirty, but he liked coming in earlier while it was still quiet to get a jump on the day.
“Good morning, Mrs. Collins,” he said to his administrative assistant. Fifty-something-year-old Gladys Collins had been a fixture in the company since he was a kid and knew as much about the company as Brandon. Over the years, his father had tried offering her various management positions, but she’d turned them down each time, saying she liked her job just fine.
“Morning, Brandon. Here are your messages.” Mrs. Collins handed him a small stack.
Brandon skimmed them. Most were from suppliers on the East Coast. “Thank you.” He opened the door to his inner office and closed it behind him. He tossed the messages on the desk and booted up his computer and sipped his coffee. Fifteen minutes later, with the caffeine pumping through his blood, he felt revived and ready to tackle the training document he’d been working on for his replacement. He had a hard time because his thoughts kept drifting to Faith and his growing feelings.
After two hours of barely making progress, Brandon decided that he needed to talk to someone. He told his assistant he’d be back and sought out his brother-in-law. He knocked on the partially open door of the office Justin used when he came. “Hey, Justin. Got a minute?”