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Pleasing Mr. Parker: Chapter 24

Maria

hisses as we move along the line in what has become our favorite coffee and lunch place to go to together whenever we get the chance.

“I told you this morning when you came into the spa.” I smile at the cashier as I take out my wallet.

Harley frowns and pushes it away, handing over a bill. “Keep the change,” she tells the cashier.

She ushers me over to our usual table by the window and points at the chair. “Sit.”

I laugh as I place our drinks down on the table and take a seat. Harley sits opposite me and hands me a bagel.

“Thanks.” I take it from her and swap it for her drink.

“You might as well have told me nothing this morning. It was a watered-down PG-rated version.” She fixes her eyes on me as I raise the bagel to my lips.

I roll my eyes and place it back down. She won’t let me eat until I give her more. And knowing how busy my afternoon schedule is, there will be nothing to gain from holding back.

“Okay. What do you want to know?”

“Um, everything!” She waves her hands in the air like I asked the stupidest question in the history of all stupid questions.

“Okay…” I look around the deli. It’s busy, as usual. Everyone is too caught up in their own lives to be interested in me confessing to having sex with the boss.

Incredible, scorching hot, multiple orgasms sex.

“So?” Harley’s eyes light up as she leans over the table and makes herself comfortable.

“So, he asked me to pack an overnight bag. I thought we were going for dinner, and then back to his place. I kind of liked the idea of him being there all night again, you know, after he stayed the night of the gala.”

Harley nods in understanding. Griffin still wants to kill Todd, and Harley comes next in line for people who have him on their hit list.

“So, he picks you up and takes you riding in his huge chopper instead.” Her eyes twinkle and I laugh.

“Something like that.”

She leans closer, her eyes trained on mine. “Come on, Maria. Give me more than that. I only meet married sleazebags when I’m out honeying. I need the details!”

“How’s that going? Have you had many clients?”

“Yes. It’s going great. I’m fab at it. They always cave when I show some tit or ass. Don’t change the subject,” she says quickly, eyeballing me.

“Fine.” I roll my eyes with a smile. “We go in his helicopter—which he flew by the way—thanks for warning me he had a license. I thought I was going to hurl for half the journey.”

Harley laughs as I continue.

“Then we… got close, you know.” I tuck a loose strand of hair behind my ear. “And ate out on the porch. I fell asleep, so he carried me up to bed. Then the next day we went out on his boat, and he took me to a secluded cove that has an amazing cave with a secret miniature beach hidden inside it.”

Warmth spreads low in my stomach. It felt amazing to go away with him, to see him outside of work. Now that we’re back, the shine is still well and truly there. It hasn’t worn off like when you look back and realize it wasn’t actually that good, or you enjoyed it more than they did. That they were just playing along, pretending, or wishing they were there with someone else and not you. The way everything I did with my ex used to feel.

I’ve been fighting it since I arrived in New York, but I can’t deny it any longer. Griffin does something to me. I’ve spent so many years being independent and not letting anyone close again romantically. And I was happy that way. Truly. But since him? Seeing how he not only accepts but applauds and encourages my ambition and passion in work—it has me thinking… maybe business can co-exist alongside pleasure, after all. Maybe it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Not when it’s with the right person. And right now, nothing feels closer to right than Griffin.

“What was the sex like? I bet it was hot. Is he as bossy as he is at work? I bet he likes to be in control. Like a Dom? Ooh, are you a Sub? I mean, just role-wise. I don’t mean wear a collar or anything. Unless you’re into that kind of thing. Are you?”

I look up at Harley wide-eyed and we both burst into giggles.

“Okay. Don’t go into that much detail. He’s still my boss.”

“Mine too.” I sigh as I blow the steam off the top of my latte and take a sip.

So much of this feels right. But why he couldn’t own another hotel? I could have met him in a bar on a night out and not had to work with him. It would make it much simpler if things go wrong.

“He said he was worn out.” Harley winks at me, and my cheeks heat.

“Did he?”

“Yeah. You must have fucked all his energy out of him.”

“I think he was the one who did that to me.” I bite my lip and she zeroes in on it like a bloodhound.

“I knew it!” Harley drops her voice. “He’s good, isn’t he? Like stupid, porn-star sized dick and knows how to use it good. I mean, he must be. It can’t just be his face and billions in the bank that women are attracted to. The amount that call the office for him, using some stupid business ruse to try to snare a lunch meeting with him, you would not believe.” Harley leans back and crosses her arms. “I think I should put it in my job description. Horny bitch blocker.”

“Really?” The latte is bitter on my tongue suddenly. I grab a sugar packet from the table and stir it in.

Harley watches me, her lips curling in amusement. “You don’t need to worry, Maria. None of them get anywhere. And ever since you started at The Songbird, I haven’t even seen him go on a date with another woman. And that’s saying something. I couldn’t keep up with them all before.”

“I’m not worried.” I sip my latte again and wince. It still tastes off. Maybe they’ve made it differently today.

Harley reaches over and grabs it, taking a sip and licking her lips as she pushes it back to me. “Delicious. You know what that means?”

“I’m getting sick because my taste buds are off? I don’t know.” I look at her.

“It means you’ve got it bad. And I don’t blame you. He’s a good guy beneath the grumpy boss-hole exterior. Plus, he’s totally only had eyes for you since like forever, so you don’t need to concern yourself with all those other women. He never saw them more than a few times each. Maybe Gwen. But that was different. They worked together, until you know, she left after stealing all the secret formulations. Although it wasn’t proved, she’s still suspect number one.” Harley chews on her lip, her eyes darting to me. “I talk fast on caffeine, okay? It’s a problem and I’m handling it.” She takes a huge sip from her cup. “Starting tomorrow.”

I smile and push my cup away as sourness well and truly sets in. I can’t be jealous of him being with other women before I even moved here and began whatever it is I’m beginning with him. A relationship? An arrangement? I don’t even know what to call it. I’m being ridiculous thinking about his hands on other women’s skin, his lips whispering in their ears, him calling them his.

Completely ridiculous.

“Come on, eat up. I’ve got to head back in five.” Harley motions to my untouched lunch.

“Oh, yes, of course,” I reply absentmindedly as I pick the bagel up and bite into it.

Nothing. I taste nothing.

Actually, that’s a lie.

What does jealousy taste like?


“Oh, my God! It’s divine.” Will runs his hand along the cream leather piping, leaning down and inhaling. “It even smells all luxurious.”

I shake my head with a smile as he carefully wraps the Louis Vuitton overnight bag back in its tissue paper and places it inside the bag that was waiting for me when I got back from lunch. The note left with it said,

Sweetheart, you’ll be needing this. G.

What does that mean? That he wants to take me to the beach house again? He sees us having nights away together?

I haven’t seen Griffin since we landed last night. I headed back to my apartment as I promised to call my nana. And I needed a little breathing room. I had an incredible time, seeing him away from work, looser and happier, was wonderful. But the closer we flew back to the city, the more his business mask slipped firmly back into place. I love that side of him, too. The driven, brilliant man who runs his own empire. But I needed some time to get my head around the previous forty-eight hours and what had happened. The gala, Todd, Griffin staying the night, full of concern for me. Then flying us away and me feeling like I’m living that part of a romantic movie together where everything is perfect. I’m not used to it.

That isn’t my life.

That wasn’t my life.

Until him.

The more time I spend with him, the deeper he sinks into me. The further he penetrates. We are so similar in some ways. And so different in others.

My ex and my dad, and the mistakes they made have made me wary. Made me put a shield around my heart. They were both selfish, weak men. And their deceit cut deep. So deep.

Griffin is nothing like them. He’s generous, and brilliant, and he respects me and my work. I don’t want to keep away from him. However, I’m not sure I could survive a man like Griffin Parker if he took a knife to my heart.

I chat with Will while the spa team finish up for the day and start leaving, one by one, until it’s just the two of us left.

“You coming? I can carry this beauty for you?” Will grins, eyeing up my gift. Either he’s been talking to Harley, or everyone in this hotel really does know everyone else’s business, because he hasn’t even asked who it’s from.

“Not yet. I need to finish up some things first.”

“Okay, gorgeous. I’ll see you tomorrow. Have a fun evening packing and unpacking your new overnight bag.” He grins at me as I look at him. “That’s what I would do the night I took that work of art home.”

I laugh as I wave at him.

I work for another hour, not realizing how late it’s gotten, until the spa phone rings, making me jump.

“Hello?”

“How’s your afternoon been, Sweetheart?”

My heart flies into my throat at the sound of his voice. The second call in one day.

“It’s been great. I got a gift.” I look over at the beautiful gift bag.

“Did you?” He sounds amused.

“You didn’t need to do that, Griff.” I lean my hip against the counter as I talk to him.

I bet he’s sitting at his desk, running his hand over his tie. He does it whenever he’s thinking.

“I wanted to.”

“Well, it’s beautiful. Thank you.”

“Don’t say thank you.”

“Why not?”

“Show me instead.”

I pause, heat pooling in my cheeks. If I don’t cut him off now, then I will spend the night with him in any way he chooses he wants me. But saying no isn’t even an option I’ll consider. Just the sound of his voice has my entire body aching to be close to him again.

“I’m locking up now.”

“Perfect.”

“Why is that so perfect?” I bite my lip as his deep chuckle sends goosebumps scattering along my spine.

“Because now you can show me your gratitude instead.” His reply is confident.

He knows he has me.

“I—”

“You’ll wait for me downstairs, Maria. I’ve got plans for us tonight.”

Five minutes later, Griffin strides through the spa entrance and straight over to me, his determined eyes locked on mine. His lips twitch into a ghost of a smile before they crash down onto mine, and his hands wrap around the back of my neck.

“Fuck, Sweetheart. I’ve waited all night and all day to see you and kiss you again. Are you trying to torture me?”

He strokes his thumbs along my jaw as he kisses me again, sliding his tongue between my parted lips. I sink into him, pulling him closer as I put my arms around his waist and my hands against his back. His muscles ripple beneath my fingers and he growls against my lips as he tugs at the band in my hair, which stays firmly in place.

“What did I tell you?”

“We’re not doing anything on my counter, Griff,” I pant between kisses, “so I don’t need my hair down.”

He grumbles, his chest vibrating, and then presses his tongue back inside my mouth, kissing me in the way I’ve been thinking about non-stop since we landed last night.

This man is dangerous. But like all things dangerous, he sends a thrill running through my body that makes me feel more alive, more present, than anything else in the world.

I didn’t realize quite how much I craved seeing him again today until this moment.

“Spend the night at my apartment with me, Maria. I’ve thought about you all fucking day.”

He tilts my head back so his blue eyes can gaze into mine.

“Okay.” I smile. “I guess I should give my new bag its first outing.”

He smiles, his eyes softening, giving me a glimpse of beach house Griffin, as he presses another kiss to my lips. “Great idea.”

He carries my bag for me as I lock up and we head out to the main entrance. Earl sees us, tipping his hat in greeting.

“Beautiful evening.”

“It is.” Griffin’s eyes dart to mine.

“And Dandy seems to be playing ball.” Earl looks up above where the white and gray pigeon stares down at us from a ledge.

“Who’s Dandy?” Griffin follows his gaze, a scowl covering his handsome face. “Don’t tell me you named the bird, Earl.”

Earl looks at me. “Ms. Taylor did. I think it suits her.”

“Suits it,” Griffin says. “You can’t know it’s a girl. It’s a fucking pest, is what it is.”

I press my lips together, fighting the fluttering sensation in my gut as Griffin’s eyes scan my face.

“You named the troublemaker Dandy?”

“It’s a nice name. I thought you might appreciate it.”

He narrows his eyes at me as Earl pipes up, “The seed was a brilliant idea.”

Griffin whips his widening eyes to Earl. “You’re feeding it?”

Earl and I exchange a smile as Griffin rakes a hand back through his hair.

“Fuck’s sake. Why the fuck would you do that? That little asshole’s shit is literally costing me thousands in carpet cleaning!”

“Was.” Earl holds up a finger. “Ms. Taylor suggested feeding her seed around the corner down the alley. She’s started spending more time there now she’s come to expect it. The carpet hasn’t even needed the usual extra clean today.” Earl sweeps his arm over the immaculate sidewalk carpet proudly.

I lay a hand on Griffin’s arm.

“It makes business sense. This way you’re spending a fraction of the amount on seed instead. And the carpet looks better than ever.”

He looks at me, a glint in his eyes, which I can’t read. “You’re still feeding the flying rats.”

“Everyone’s a winner, Sweetheart,” I sing sweetly as he narrows his eyes at me.

My heart is pounding in my chest.

He will make me pay for this later.

“Have a good evening, Earl,” Griffin says, placing his hand on my lower back.

I wave goodbye and Griffin steers me around the corner to the residence’s entrance, his hand never leaving my body. When we reach the elevators, we step inside one and he scans his key card and presses the button. His jaw is set, his eyes dark. He says nothing.

Maybe taking on the bird problem with Earl myself was a mistake.

The doors slide open as the elevator chimes, and we walk out into a plush carpeted entryway.

“We can fetch your things later,” Griffin grunts. “Right now, I need you in my apartment.”

He scans his card again, opening the ornate double doors in front of us, and guides me in.

Maybe he wants to show me around first before I get my overnight things.

“This is beautiful.” I barely have time to finish my sentence, my eyes taking in the incredible open-plan penthouse with views over Central Park, before two strong arms spin me and slam on either side of the wall next to my head, caging me in between them.

“Do you do it on fucking purpose?” His voice is a low whisper.

“I—” My breath catches in my throat as I look up into his blazing eyes. I struggle to speak as my mouth goes dry.

“I said, do you do it on fucking purpose?” he rasps, leaning closer to me so his breath mixes with mine.

The warmth of it hits my lips, making them part.

I don’t understand. Why does he look so pissed?

“It’s just seed,” I whisper, licking my lips instinctively as he leans even closer.

“You think that’s what bothers me?” He chuckles softly, the sound making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

“It’s not?” I breathe.

He’s standing so close that every time I take a breath in, my chest rises and my breasts brush the front of his shirt.

Touch, retreat, touch, retreat, touch.

“No, Sweetheart,” he growls, making me shudder as he removes one hand from the wall and uses it to hold mine and guide it to his pants. “What bothers me is how fucking crazy you make me when you show me just how smart you are.”

He holds my hand against his unmistakable erection, which is hot beneath my palm. I wrap my fingers around it, drawing a sharp hiss from his lips. I love that I affect him as much as he affects me.

Keeping my eyes on his, I reach up and pull my hair loose from the band, giving him a small smile.

His gaze darkens and he sucks his bottom lip in between his teeth as he takes one strand from near my face and twirls it slowly around his fingers.

“Do you want to know what’s happening tonight?”

“What?” My eyes are on his lips as my breasts graze his chest again with my breath.

“I’m fucking you bare.” He says each word slowly, so slowly that just the sound of them alone slipping over his tongue has my pulse coursing blood between my legs.

A deep, consuming rhythm, just for him.

All for him.

“Griff—”

“Tell me you don’t want it, Maria.”

He moves quickly, pushing my dress up around my waist and tearing my already wet panties down my thighs until they drop to my ankles. His lips claim my mouth with a searing fire as he rips open his belt buckle and pushes his clothes down, pressing me into the wall.

“We can’t yet, it’s—”

“We’re both clean, Maria. And you’re on birth control. You had a medical report from when you accepted the job.”

My mind spins as his lips pepper kisses along my jawline.

I had to have a full medical before accepting the job. And Griffin’s seen it?

“That’s supposed to be private,” I pant as his fingers find my clit and apply the lightest pressure. I grab hold of the back of his hand, relishing his skin against mine as he locks eyes with me.

“I would never disrespect your privacy. I haven’t read it.”

My mouth drops open as his fingers curl against me.

Fuck, it feels so good.

“Then how?”

He watches me as I shiver from his touch.

“I know nothing came up because you would have stopped me by now. And I saw your pill packet at the beach house.” He groans deep in his chest as he dips his fingers lower, and they get covered in slick wetness. “Accept it, Sweetheart. You. Are. Mine. And you belong to me in every sense of the word.” His lips graze mine, and I struggle to breathe steadily as he whispers against them. “I will have you any way I want. And you’ll beg me for more.”

He’s right. Of course he is. He’s always right.

My body’s been bonded to his since the first time he touched me. Like an unbreakable contract written in blood. Mine and his.

“What about you?” I roll my hips, rubbing my clit against his palm, my chest shuddering with each delicious pulse of arousal exploding inside me.

“What about me?” He slides two fingers inside me and we both gasp as my body accepts them greedily.

“How can you know you’re clean?” My eyes roll back in my head as he swirls his fingers inside me, and I fight off the unwanted images of him with all the other women before me that Harley mentioned.

He dusts the side of my face with the knuckles of his free hand.

“You’re the only woman I’ve ever wanted to fuck bare. There’s something real between us. I know you feel it. I’m not fucking around with you, Maria.” He flexes his fingers inside me, causing a rush of wetness to meet them as I stifle the moan in my throat. “You’re who I want. Only you. I can’t fucking think straight when you’re near me.”

His eyes bore into mine, making everything else in the room disappear.

Intense should be re-written in the dictionary to say ‘Griffin Parker’.

I can’t tear my eyes away from his and the way he’s looking at me like I’m the only woman he’s ever seen. Ever cared about.

“I—”

He presses his fingers to my lips. “I got tested before we went away. The results came back today. They’re on the counter if you want to see.”

He slides his fingers out of me and takes a step back.

I grab his tie, pulling him back to me so I can dust my lips over his.

“I believe you,” I murmur.

He gives me a wicked smile and then traces his tongue along the inside of my lips. I lean in for a kiss, but he moves away.

“No more reasons, then?”

I shake my head, blood coursing through my veins, my pulse rocketing.

“No.”

“So I can fuck this pretty cunt bare, like I’ve been dreaming of doing since I first tasted it.”

His words are strained, as though he’s holding himself back. Him fighting to control himself because of me steals my final reserve and I pull him closer.

“Yes.”

He bites his bottom lip and lifts one of my legs, holding the back of my thigh.

“You’re mine,” he grits out, his eyes dropping to where the head of his broad cock is pressing against my skin.

I gasp as he nudges forward and I stretch around the smooth tip of him.

“Yours. Only yours.”

“Fuck, Sweetheart,” he hisses, pressing my leg back toward the wall so I’m spread open for him. “Fuck.”

He snaps his eyes up to meet mine and the heat in them sears into me as he drives forward, pinning me to the wall as he fills me completely.

“Griff,” I gasp, my mouth dropping open as he groans and juts his chin forward.

“Mine,” he murmurs, “you’re so fucking wet and tight, and you’re mine.”

We stay like that for a second, staring at each other, me wrapped tightly around him, him shaking as he digs his fingertips into my flesh, sweat beading along his hairline in anticipation. His balls press against my skin as every thick inch of him claims me.

I’ve never wanted to be owned before.

Not like this.

But he’s right about what he said before.

He can have me any way he wants me.

And I will beg for more.

No doubt about it. Griffin Parker owns my body, and what’s more… I want him to. I want to give him everything. Because looking back into his crystal blue eyes now, our bodies pressed as tightly together as they can be, his breath mixing with my own, I know…

This man is going to mean everything to me.

And more.

“Give me everything,” I whisper.

His pupils dilate at my consent. He looks between my eyes, then presses a gentle kiss to my forehead.

“Good girl,” he breathes.

When his eyes meet mine again, they’re dark with lust.

I suck in a breath. And hold it. Waiting.

He watches me as he pulls back, smiling as he slams into me, forcing my back to climb up the wall. I cry out in pleasure as he sets a steady, unrelenting pace. Fucking me hard and deep, his brow pulled into a look of deep concentration as his gaze drops and he watches where his body disappears inside mine.

“My good girl,” he growls, forcing my leg higher and driving deeper.

I surrender completely to him, gasping and panting as he drives into me over and over. I come hard for him, twice, before the perfect moment he loses control, cursing and squeezing his eyes shut as he spills deep inside me, filling me with everything he has.

Owning me.

Claiming me.

Like there was ever any danger of me being anyone else’s ever again.

I welcome his wet heat inside me, tears pricking at my eyes as he pushes as deep inside me as he possibly can.

It’s still not enough.

“I’m making you mine forever, Sweetheart,” he pants, his orgasm subsiding as he opens his eyes again.

His breathing is labored as he rests his forehead against mine and holds the back of my neck with his other hand. His intoxicating blue eyes fix on to mine and he smiles at me, one side of his perfect mouth curling, until a sinful flash of perfect white teeth show.

He looks like sex.

If earth-shattering, orgasmic sex was packaged up in one body. Then it would be him. Griffin-mind-and-body-commanding-Parker.

And I’m his follower. The one who comes to worship at his feet.

If I ever thought I could escape this man once he had his sights on me, then I was so undeniably mistaken.

I was his the moment he decided he wanted me.

I never stood a chance.


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