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Burning with Lust by Ford, Mia (1)

1

Brock

“So does that sound like something you can handle?”

I narrow my eyes at the mousy woman in front of me. Personal assistant jobs often attract this sort of person, someone who’s very precise and takes things very seriously. It’s wonderful, usually, but it’s never worked out for me. The Las Vegas casino scene is fast-paced, often unpredictable, and can be a little wild.

“I . . . I think so.” Her uncertainty speaks volumes. “Yes, I’m sure I can.”

While she nods, I don’t share her confidence, so I plaster on my shit-eating smile and shake her hand. “Okay, well thank you for coming in. I still have some candidates to see, so I will be in touch.”

“Yeah, okay, thank you.”

As she scurries out of my office, I rake my fingers through my dark hair, hoping that someone inspires me soon. Why did Callie have to have a baby and decide to stay home to raise her? I understand, but it’s very annoying. She was great at her job. She understood the business well. I don’t know if I’m going to find that again.

“Jodi Night . . .” I take a glance at the final resume. “I hope you inspire me.”

I stare hard at the door, silently praying for someone mind-blowing to walk through those doors.

“Are you ready for me yet?”

Whoa! Okay, when I asked for someone special, I wasn’t expecting . . . Well, how do I even describe her? Pale, ashy blonde-copper hair, green eyes that pierce my soul, a heart-shaped faced, and painted plump lips which completely dry my mouth out. She’s beyond gorgeous. Like sex on legs.

“Yes, I’m ready for you. Please, come in. Jodi, is it?”

“Yes, that’s right, and I presume you’re Brock Stanton?”

“Ah, you’ve done your research!”

“I have. Plus, anyone who lives in Las Vegas knows your name.”

She isn’t dressed in a typical way for a job interview. She has a fifties-style rockabilly dress on, all black with red stitching. Tattoos peek out the top of the dress, making me intrigued to see more . . .

“So have you always lived in Las Vegas? I feel like I would have seen you around.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that. It’s a big place. But no, I only moved here last year.”

“Dare I ask what brought you to the city of neon lights?”

“The glitz, the glamor . . . Oh, and my friend lives here, and I needed to escape my old life.”

I lean on the table and smile at her. “Sounds interesting.”

“Oh, come off it. I’m not going to give you everything all in one go. You’d have to hire me for that.”

The girl has balls! I love it. It’s very refreshing compared to all the quieter women who have come in here. She isn’t like Cassie, either. She’s got way more sass. I run my eyes up and down her, my heart racing faster. She intrigues me—an exciting enigma. I want to dive in so much deeper.

“Who says you’re the most qualified for the position?”

“Have you read my resume?”

“Don’t you worry about that. I’ve read it. I’m not one of those bosses who leaves all the dirty work to someone else. I need the person who works with me to be the exact right person. It’s a miracle you’ve gotten this far.”

She leans closer to me, her breath tickling my cheeks. A shudder runs up and down my spine.

“So if you do all the dirty work, what will be left for me?”

I smirk, enjoying the blatant flirting. It’s been a long day, and I love it when someone shakes it up a bit.

“The way you’re talking, I’d think you know my reputation.”

“Oh, I do. You’re a playboy who doesn’t settle down.”

“No, not for the wrong woman.”

“I see, so you’re just kissing a lot of frogs to find the right person?”

“Exactly!”

“Have you ever had a serious relationship?”

She’s challenging me, and I love it. I have a feeling that Jodi wants to shock me, so I’m going to be the one to shock her first. “Actually, I was married.”

“You were?” She leans back, immediately creating a distance. “I didn’t know that.”

“No? Well, it isn’t something I broadcast. It ended a long time ago.”

“What happened?”

I half-shrugged at her. “If you want to know that, you’ll have to come and work for me.”

“Well, that’s hardly fair. That’s in your control, isn’t it? Not mine.”

“You sound like you don’t want to give up control.”

“Yeah . . . is that obvious?”

Oh God, now my brain is spinning into overdrive. The temptation to grab her and throw her over the desk, to bury into her, to make us both wild, is almost overwhelming. I have to squeeze my hands by my side just to resist.

“Hmm, that’s intriguing.”

“So what do you think? You think you might want to give me the job?”

I cross my arms over my chest and narrow my eyes at her. “Are you flirting with me to get the job?”

“No way. I know that I’m the best person for the position. I’m hardworking, surprisingly organized, determined, and a quick learner as well. Also, I’m fiery. In case you couldn’t already tell, I can tackle people. I know how forceful this industry can be, and I can handle it. Most people don’t assume that personal assistants need to be strong, but I know. I can do it.”

Okay, so now we’re on to what she can offer the company, and she’s giving me some damn fine answers. I like it. She’s making my decision so much easier for me.

“What did you do before you worked here?”

“Before I came to Vegas, I worked in the stock market.”

“Oh, that’s still a very male-dominated world.”

“Exactly, and I handled myself very well.”

“I can imagine.”

“Then, since I’ve been here, I’ve been doing bits and pieces. I’ve worked the blackjack table, I’ve been in an office environment, and I’ve even done some modeling.”

“Yes, I can see that. So what’s brought you here to me?”

“Well, this is the most successful casino on the strip, you’re a very powerful man, and also, I want the job.”

“That’s a good answer.”

“Thank you.” She gives me a look, sensing that I need more. “Look, Brock, I’m going to level with you. I need this job, and I will work my ass off for you. I can’t keep living in my friend’s spare room forever while I flit from job to job. I need a steady position, and I need my own place. I’m never going back to New York, so I need to start a life here.”

I nod slowly, drinking all of that in. “Okay, you know what, I want you to be my personal assistant. Even before you said that to me, I wanted it to be you.”

“You did?” Her eyes light up, but then she rearranges her expression. “Don’t you need to see everyone?”

“I have seen everyone. I want it to be you.”

She breathes out a sigh of relief. “Oh, thank you so much. You don’t know what this means to me. When do you want me to start?”

“I want you to start right now, but I don’t think that’s practical. What about Monday morning?”

“Yeah, sounds great.” She rises from her chair, giving me a glimpse of her supple, sexy legs. “Thank you.”

I reach my hand out and shake hers, immediately feeling a bolt of electricity race through my arm. She jolts back as if she can feel it too, which only makes it a lot more fun. Working with her is going to be something else.

“I look forward to it.”

I watch her sashay away as if she’s on the catwalk, stripping my breath away as she goes. Maybe I should have asked her out on a date rather than giving her a job. This is going to be seriously dangerous, but it’s fun. Jodi Night is the one who’s inspired me, and I’m pretty sure I’ve made the right decision in the end.

“Knock, knock.”

I smile to myself, knowing who it is. “Come in, Josh. I know you’ve been hanging around all day, not doing your work. My casino is probably in chaos downstairs, but don’t you worry about it.”

“Hey, don’t be like that.” He leans his cheeky face around the door, making me laugh. “I’m a kick-ass manager. You wouldn’t have me working for you if not.”

“True, true. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that I’ve replaced Callie.”

“You have? Already?”

“Yep. Someone came in, and she was perfect.”

“Oh yeah? What’s she like?”

“She’s got a strong work ethic, a good resume, and the right personality.”

“She must have. I don’t think I’ve ever known you hire someone on the spot. Is she hot?”

I narrow my eyes at him. “You’re married. Don’t you forget that.”

“I’m not married. I just have a girlfriend. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want there to be hot women walking about the place. Anyway, I’m really wondering if that’s the reason you hired her.”

“No way. I’m not like that. I don’t ever mix business with pleasure.”

But those words feel empty as they roll off my tongue. Jodi is trouble. She makes me want to break all the rules. She changes everything.

“Oh, so she is hot then. That should be exciting. But if she’s good at her job, then don’t drive her away.”

“You don’t have a high opinion of me, do you?”

“You know I do. I’ve just seen your striking good looks get you in trouble before.”

“Hmm, yeah, I suppose you’re right. But I’m pushing thirty now. Maybe there will come a time when I want to settle down.”

“Your biological clock ticking?”

“Ha ha, very funny.”

“So that’s a yes then. How old is the new personal assistant?”

“Not that it matters, because it isn’t going to happen—”

“But?”

“She’s twenty-five.”

“Ooh, that’s pretty perfect.”

I roll my eyes and chuckle. “It isn’t perfect. She’s an employee, nothing more. Get your mind out the gutter, you old perv. Don’t try living vicariously through me because you won’t be able to keep up.”

“I’ll be the judge of that.”

“Let’s have a drink, shall we? Then we should take a walk around the casino so I can see if it’s still standing.”

“You say that like you don’t just want to take a walk around to admire how far you’ve come. The rags to riches story.”

“It was just a set of good investments.”

Some decisions made on a whim after my marriage fell apart, when she cheated on me with a rich older guy I believe she might still be with now, which resulted in me really improving my life and my mom’s life. Perfect. Of course, my father got nothing, but that’s because he’s living in Europe somewhere with one of the girls in my high school classes.

That was a fun graduation ceremony, to say the least. Finding my father with a cheerleader. In hindsight, maybe that’s why I got hitched in such a rush.

“As if you don’t love it. You have every right to stroll around proud as punch. That’s exactly what you should be doing.”

“Oh, alright then. Let’s do it. Let’s get some whiskey and admire me and my achievements. Sounds like fun.”

But I know I won’t be able to get Jodi off my mind, probably not all weekend. She’s only been gone for a short while, and I miss her already. Her spark is dangerous—it could ignite a fire that spreads rapidly. There’s no telling where this is going to end, but I’m excited to find out.