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Pleasing Mr. Parker: Chapter 1

Maria

my cock. Take all of it.”

The picture of a plane shakes on its hook. Each vibration from the wall sends another ripple through its frame.

Do not fall.

I swear if I’m left clearing up shards of broken glass, then the man-whore next door really will have something to shout about.

There’s muffled female moans, and the sound of skin being struck.

Slap!

“You love my cock, don’t you?” Whimpered sounds reverberate through our interconnecting wall as he groans again. “Tell me how good my cock is, baby girl. Tell me!”

Before his companion has time to answer, the sound of what I assume is his palm connecting with her ass rings out through the wall again, followed by a low growl. I may as well have a bedside seat to the show.

“So, so big!” a female voice pants.

“That’s right, baby. I’m filling you with my giant cock.”

Seriously? This guy? Surely, he can keep it down. He must have figured out he can be heard, groaning at a volume to rival that of a jet engine. Then again, maybe that’s his kink, knowing other people can hear him talk about his cock over and over.

I raise my fist over the wall, ready to bang against the plaster. Not that it would do any good. By the sound of the woman’s increased panting and accompanying words of encouragement, the only banging they will hear is their own. With any luck, they’ll be finished soon.

I abandon my open suitcase and stalk out of the bedroom—letting the door slam shut behind me—and head into the open-plan kitchen and lounge, trying to get as far away as possible from my very own private porn audio show. Two doors and one hallway reduce their liaison to an almost acceptable level. He didn’t even give me a chance to unpack my speaker before he began his vigorous evening activities. I mean, who even has sex like that at nine o’clock on a Sunday?

Not me, that’s for sure.

I grab the TV remote and bring up the first music channel I find, turning the volume right up. My shoulders relax as P!nk starts to play, and I wander over to the window with a smile on my face as I lean against the frame. The twinkling lights of Manhattan spread as far as I can see. This is my home for the next six months. An all-expenses paid apartment in the private residences of The Songbird, New York’s most prestigious hotel, while I manage their newly renovated spa. After that? Who knows? I guess, it depends on how these next six months go.

My cell beeps on the coffee table and warmth blooms in my chest as I read the message.

Nan: I hope you are settling in? Good luck for your first day tomorrow, my love.

I snap a picture of the view from my window and text it back. It’s two in the morning over in the UK, where she lives.

Me: Almost, just some more unpacking to do. What are you doing up so late?

Nan: Had my head stuck in my book. Stayed up late to finish it! Give me a text tomorrow, love, let me know how it goes.

I chuckle softly as I text goodnight. That’s Nan all over, always reading her romance books. Our family was worried when she lost my grandad that she would be lost. But she has gotten herself out and joined a book group, whom she speaks with every day. I swear it’s kept her going. Although, the one downside is that now she’s looking at every new man I meet as the potential new hero of my story. She won’t have it when I tell her real life doesn’t happen like that. And I should know.

My shoulders tense, but I brush the memories away before they can claw to the surface and ruin my night. Now is not the time to dwell on the past. And right now, I’m looking forward to my new future as a spa manager at The Songbird. I wrap my arms around myself and gaze out of the window dreamily. Griffin Parker, the owner, headhunted me personally for the position months ago. He said he had heard about my spa back in Hope Cove, just outside LA. His mother and father visited for their wedding anniversary and raved about it. He wants to bring the same success to The Songbird that I created there.

I built the spa in Hope Cove from scratch. So many extra hours and late nights out with friends missed. But I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I wasn’t just creating an award-winning spa there; I was re-inventing myself. And now I’m about to do it all again. Except this time, I know beyond doubt I can do it.

It’s a dream I would never pass up.

It took months of video meetings and contracts to finalize the plans with The Songbird’s HR team. I don’t want to just be a manager. I want to make the decisions, run it in a way I know will make it dazzle. Make it somewhere all of New York wants to be. The floor plan of the spa alone is triple the size of the one in Hope Cove, plus all the clientele that visit. It’s easily five times busier. I’ll barely have time to think. I agreed to take the position on the condition that they gave me the freedom to run it how I choose.

A cab swerves across every lane of traffic to pick up a fare. New York is a different world. Everything is fast-paced compared to home. Not that Hope Cove was my home. But it is the closest thing to feel like one in a long time. My fingertips tingle as excitement bubbles in my chest. I am here. I am actually here. I can even see Central Park peeking around the corner of the building.

It’s perfect.

The sound of female giggling floats in from outside, and despite myself, I walk over and peer through the spyhole. A woman in a tight black dress has her back to me as she flicks her long, blonde hair over her shoulder and giggles again. Her male companion is obscured from view, standing inside the apartment. The only glimpse I get of him is his hand, and the gold class ring on his pinkie finger as he reaches out and cups the blonde’s ass. She murmurs something that sounds like encouragement, and he chuckles darkly, squeezing it.

Finally. Now I might get some peace to unpack and run through my plans for tomorrow. It’s my first day, and also my first meeting with the spa product suppliers. I can’t wait to meet them and get started. I’ve already got some new ideas for the products I want to introduce. I’ve researched everything I can about the hotel and current treatments the spa offers. The hotel is the most coveted place to stay in Manhattan. Award winning restaurants, unrivaled views over Central Park, luxury rooms that are constantly named as having the most comfortable beds in the world.

There’s a year-long waiting list for a night in its top penthouse suite. The British royal family has even stayed there. The price for one night is a closely guarded secret. But judging by what I’ve been encouraged to set treatment prices at in the spa, I would say it’s one of those where, if you have to ask, then you can’t afford it.

I’m about to turn away when a second woman emerges from next door. She is all long blonde hair and tight dress, too. She and the first woman look so alike they could be twins.

I almost roll my eyes but stop myself. So what if they are all having great, hot, and dirty sex on a Sunday evening? Just because it’s been months since I had any. Scratch that. I have never had sex like what just went on next door. I don’t even mean the threesome. Just the passionate, earth shattering, toe-curling, shout out loud fucking that these three have just had.

I’m envious.

I can’t even pretend that I’m merely annoyed that I had to be a non-consenting witness to their antics. I’m envious that someone is getting great sex around here. And despite being excited, I’m also nervous about tomorrow. I need what those two women just had—a good fucking that clears my mind and stops me from being able to think straight, even if only for an hour.

I go back into the living room and sink down onto the large sofa. This apartment is beautiful, all soft white furnishings and deep cream carpets. It’s the perfect sanctuary, apart from my noisy neighbor.

I press my fingertips to my temples and rub in small circles.

This isn’t like me. I’m calm, level-headed and someone who knows what I’m doing at work. I can run a successful spa with my eyes shut; been doing it long enough; building up my own business, making it a success. Proving people wrong. But I’ve never worked for Griffin Parker. He’s the most prominent hotelier in New York. Rumor has it he either likes you or he doesn’t. At only thirty-three years old, he’s already on Forbes’ rich list. I doubt he got to where he is without being ruthless. I don’t think anyone would want to be on the wrong side of Mr. Parker.

I remember our first meeting months ago. How his handshake was firm, and that his eyes lingered on mine a little longer than was professionally acceptable as he told me how pleased he was to meet me in person. The way his short, dark hair is a direct contrast to his crystal blue eyes—eyes that burned into me throughout our meeting.

He was polite, sure. And his passion for The Songbird shone through when he spoke—in his voice, his eyes, his entire demeanor. It was something I really admired, and one reason I knew I had to take the position. But as far as liking me? I am still on the fence. I think what I’ve achieved impressed him. Yet there was something he was holding back. Something in his eyes I couldn’t place.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. When I am at work, that’s it. I’m focused. Nothing can distract me. No one will ruin this for me. I’m stronger than that. I’ve proven it. Time and time again. It’s harder for women to succeed in business, and I’m not about to jeopardize this chance for anything or anyone.

If there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that you never mix business with pleasure.

Not unless you want to get burned.

And my scars have only just healed.


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