Drawn to Mr. King: Chapter 4

Megan

    still fuming following Phillip’s big reveal meeting. All I’ve heard about is how wonderful it is that we’re going to be working with King Publishing. How it’s such an incredible opportunity. How amazing Jaxon King is, growing such a successful business by himself. I even overheard a male and a female colleague discussing how handsome Jaxon is and what a great shag they think he’d be.

Ugh, no wonder I’ve been nauseous all week. My life has officially turned to shit.

“Megan,” Phil calls from his office doorway, “can I speak with you for a moment?”

God, now what?

“Of course!” I force a smile onto my face as I get out of my seat and walk to his office.

I swear if he’s about to give me another piles campaign to work on, I’m going to quit on the spot.

“Close the door, please, Megan.”

I do as he says, then hover in front of his desk, waiting for him to invite me to take a seat. He doesn’t. No doubt another power trip to show who’s boss.

Shiny-headed idiot.

“Megan. You’ve worked here for four months now, haven’t you?”

“Nine.”

Phil ignores my correction and carries on talking, standing on the other side of his desk with his hands on his hips.

“This is rather unexpected for someone who has been with the company for such a short length of time…”

Nine months. I’ve been here nine frigging months! It’s hardly short.

One hand moves to his neck and fidgets with his tie as he continues. I’m trying to resist the urge to lean over and staple him to his desk by his tie if he so much as utters the words pile, verruca, or wart in my direction.

He clears his throat, his mouth twisted as though he’s swallowed a fly.

“King Publishing has requested that you do the cover illustrations for the White Fire campaign.”

I stand rooted to the spot. I must have misheard him.

“I’m sorry, what?”

Phil doesn’t answer, just looks at me as though he can’t believe it either, the corners of his mouth curled down in a grimace.

That’s at least five books in the series so far and counting. I knew I may be in with a shot of having some of my sketches chosen to be inside the book, but the covers? That’s incredible, that’s…

“Are you sure they want me?” I ask again.

He looks down and re-arranges some paperwork on his desk, his lips still puckered into a frown.

“They were quite insistent. Said they had viewed your portfolio and want you to do it.”

My mouth drops open as I stare at him.

“Of course, it will mean some late nights, and you’ll have to cancel the leave you have coming up,” he continues.

“That’s fine,” I say, letting his words sink in.

They want me. They insisted?

“That’s that, then.” He sits down at his desk and starts typing on his keyboard, effectively dismissing me.

“Thank you,” I say.

Phil gives me a curt nod, and I turn to leave.

“Oh, and Megan?”

I turn back.

If this was all some silly joke of his, I’m going to slap his shiny head.

He clears his throat, not looking at me.

“I need those final haemorrhoid drawings within the hour.”

“Absolutely, I’ll send them over right away.”

I hum a tune all the way back to my desk. Even thoughts of a stranger’s bum lumps can’t wipe the smile off my face.


“Then what happened?” Lydia’s eyes are wide as I recount the earlier events over lunch at our favourite café near the office.

“Then I went back to my desk and freaked the hell out.”

I pick at the bagel I bought for lunch. It’s wholemeal and seeded. Part of my new year health kick.

“Are you going to eat that?” Lydia’s gaze drops to my plate.

“No, I’ve lost my appetite with all this work stuff. I still can’t believe they want me.” I hand the bagel to her, and she grins and takes a large bite. “How do you stay so tiny when you eat like a horse?” I look her up and down.

“Luck, I guess. And sex. Lots of sex. That burns like six hundred calories every half hour, right?”

“You’re asking the wrong person.” I take a sip from my water bottle. “I had sex once last year, remember? Well, three times technically. But all in the same night.”

She licks some cream cheese off her fingertips.

“Like I could forget your wild night with Mr Mysterious. I’m so proud of you, stepping out of your hallmark movie comfort zone and partaking in some random, stranger sex.”

Yeah, stranger.

I don’t know why I didn’t tell Lydia his name. I guess I wanted to keep a part of that night to myself. Until he called anyway. Then I would have told her I was going on a dinner date with him. Only he didn’t call, so I never mentioned it again. Lydia sensed not to ask. And then it was Christmas, and it all got pushed into the past. Back into last year. Where I thought it would stay.

“Maybe he lost your number?” she says as she takes the lid off her chocolate mousse and digs in.

“Maybe he just wanted sex.” I sigh, staring out the window. A couple across the street are gazing at each other. She stands on her toes to press a kiss on her companion’s lips. I lean my chin into my hands as I watch them in envy.

There’s no way he lost my number. Even if he did, he could have found me. He knew my name and where I worked. I told him.

Oh, God, I told him where I worked.

Is it too naïve to believe it’s a coincidence that King Publishing chose Articulate to work on White Fire? I mean, it must be. Surely contracts like that take months to prepare. It’s only been five weeks since the hotel re-opening night. Plus, why would he choose the company where his one-night stand works if he wanted to avoid me after that night? It makes no sense.

“At least he gave you decent material to think back to when you’re using your vibrator,” Lydia continues, opening a packet of nuts and offering one to me.

I shake my head. I can’t even stand my morning coffee this week, let alone a wasabi-coated peanut. Lydia’s mouth drops open.

“You do have a vibrator, don’t you?”

My silence, teamed with a shoulder shrug, tells her all she needs to know, and she looks at me with wide eyes.

“Megan! We need to rectify this immediately.”

“No, we don’t.” I giggle, taking in her expression, which has now turned to one of horror. “Come on. We better head back. Lunch is almost over.”

She links her arm through mine on the walk back to the office and talks me through her collection of six vibrators. Ranking them from one to ten for their efficiency. I’m grateful. At least it gives my brain a rest from flicking between thoughts of Jaxon King and ideas for White Fire cover designs.

There’s a whirl of activity when we get back to the office.

The entire team is rushing about, gathering up sketchpads and notebooks and heading towards the conference room.

“What’s going on?” Lydia asks one of the graphics guys.

“Last-minute meeting with KP,” he pants, his face red and flustered as he juggles his laptop and mug of coffee. I catch a whiff as he passes, and my stomach heaves.

“It’s not that bad, Meg. You don’t need to throw up. They’re probably going to tell the rest of the team that you’re doing the covers. This is your moment!” Lydia’s voice rises in excitement.

“Yeah,” I choke out, one hand on my chest as my mouth waters.

Please, not now. Hold it in.

I take a deep breath as someone bustles past, knocking into my arm.

“Come on, Megan. Can’t be late for your first meeting as head illustrator. Wouldn’t leave a good impression, would it?” Phil snaps, rather than apologising for bumping into me.

If I wasn’t working so hard to hold on to the contents of my stomach, I’d glare at the back of his head as he rushes off. But it’s taking all my concentration to keep myself together as I feel cold beads of sweat pricking at the skin around my hairline.

“You go ahead. Save me a seat,” I say to Lydia as I cover my mouth with my hand.

She opens her mouth to say something, but I push her in the boardroom’s direction, and after hesitating for a second, she goes inside.

I can feel the lump sitting in my chest. This is ridiculous. I was nervous before the hotel launch when hundreds of people were going to see my artwork. But I didn’t feel half as sick as I do now. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever felt sick with nerves like this before.

I glance around, panicking as another lurch rolls in my stomach. The hallway down to the ladies calls to me like a beacon, but I won’t make it.

Oh hell, here it comes.

I grab a rubbish bin from under a desk and throw up into it, immediately groaning in relief as the wave of nausea passes.

“Is that how you treat all company property?”

“Huh?” I lift my head up and look straight into the face of Jaxon King. His mouth is set in a firm line.

“Here.” He holds out a steel grey monogrammed handkerchief. My eyes drop over his broad, suited chest as I swallow.

I stare at it, offered between his long, strong fingers, and realise it matches his tie perfectly.

I raise my eyes to his face. His eyebrows are pinched together, a deep frown line between them replacing the laughter lines I remember being around his eyes.

I reach out and take the handkerchief. As I bring it to my face, its scent instantly transports me back five weeks. Masculine, seductive… mouth-watering. And not in the I’m-just-about-to-throw-up way.

“Thanks.” I wipe under my eyes and then pat my lips.

His eyes follow every movement I make, and his jaw tenses, his mouth still in the same firm, unsmiling line as before, as he clears his throat.

“Take your time. I’ll see you inside,” his deep voice growls, and then he’s gone.

What the hell?

Who does that? Looks, what I can only describe as pissed off because someone is obviously unwell. Maybe he’s such a workaholic that the thought of me missing just a minute of one meeting has him looking like steam is about to come out of his ears.

If I didn’t already know it, now I’m convinced.

Jaxon King isn’t just a pig; He’s an unfeeling, moody one.

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