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by Nicole L Pierce
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: Destroyed by a relationship gone sour, Cori is not ready for another relationship or is she? When Cori Mallory blows off the sexy hunk that comes up to her at a Pub, she never expected to end up applying for a job where he owned the company. Once they get to know each other, they develop a strong attraction. So, why won't Adam make love to her? What is he hiding and once she finds out can she handle the truth?
eBook Publisher: Red Rose Publishing, 2007 2007-08-23
eBookwise Release Date: September 2007
26 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [270 KB]
Reading time: 178-250 min.
Cori watched as Adrienne leaned on the counter and bantered with a couple of older men in business suits. She always seemed in flirt mode. Of course, she derived large tips from making over-the-hill men feel attractive, and felt no shame using her charms or her body to elicit extra money.
Cori coughed to get her attention and Adrienne lifted her head. Immediately, she broke into a huge grin. She turned back to the men, made excuses, and then rushed over to where Cori was sitting. "What are you doing here?" she asked in an upbeat voice. "Joe let you leave early? Doesn't sound like Mr. Tyrant. It's only four o'clock. Hey, you want a drink on the house?"
Cori suddenly felt weary, beyond weary, and her entire body sagged. "Thanks. I'll take a very strong drink."
"What do you want?"
Adrienne left and returned, setting a glass before her. Cori gulped the amber liquid down almost in one swig. It tasted strong and bitter, burning her throat, but she didn't care. Her head reeled ... she didn't drink often. The tipsy feeling had already begun, and she wasn't finished yet. Adrienne's smile faded. She leaned an elbow on the counter in front of her.
"What's wrong, hon?"
Cori almost broke into fresh tears as she told her; her voice bitter as the words tumbled out, one on top of the other.
Adrienne's lips thinned. "Bastard! I told you I didn't like him."
Cori used all her strength to stay under control. "Congratulations on being right."
"Aw, I didn't mean to sound self-righteous." She patted Cori's hand. "Is there anything I can do to help?"
Cori felt her lips turning slightly upwards. Adrienne sometimes seemed like the caring, strong, mother that she'd never had. Then she thought of Jarrod and once more, her smile faded away, "You can find me a job. Just kidding." She groaned and shook her head. "Truthfully, the job is a bigger problem than finding out Joe is a complete liar and loser. The landlord is already threatening to evict me because I'm behind a month's rent. Not like jobs are abundant these days."
Adrienne nodded. "Yeah. I know what you mean. So much competition." She settled her gaze on Cori, who felt her gut clenching.
"I've only worked in a factory, Adrienne. Dumb me, but I believed Joe the Jerk's promise that he'd promote me to Supervisor, and it wasn't because I was sleeping with him either. He always put me in charge. I deserved that promotion."
"I'm going to try for a better job though. Course that's easier said than done these days."
Adrienne patted her hand. "Honey, you can get a job tomorrow, or tonight. You have assets other women only dream about. Use them if you must." She winked. "Do you think I got this job because of my winning personality?" She dropped her voice. "Matt was rock hard when he hired me. Men are powerless to their sexual urges. As long as I satisfy Matt, my job status is secure. You may have to do the same, Cuz. If your boss is hot, it can even be fun."
Cori knew her cousin well and her eyes hit the ceiling. "I slept with a boss and look how that turned out. I'm not about to fuck a man to get a job." She shook her head. "No way is any man using me again. Not happening."
Adrienne's sharp eyes set on hers. "It's the fastest and best way to get hired in a tight job market, girl." She leaned forward, elbow on the counter again. "You'd be doing the using, not the other way around."
"I don't want to use anyone. Plus, Joe ... it turned out so wrong. I loved him, and I stupidly thought he loved me back, that we had a future." A lump clogged her throat.
Adrienne kept her palm over Cori's hand. "You got emotionally involved. That did you in. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there. Do what you have to do to feed and house your little brother, even if you have to use some man to get a job."
Cori shut her eyes, unable to respond.
A customer called out to Adrienne. "I'll be back in a few," Adrienne said with a wink. "It'll work out. You'll see." She brushed her hand over her large tits hidden by a green sweater and winked at her.
"Use what you have, Cori."
Cori sipped her drink, her hand still trembling. Adrienne would never be a Woman's Libber. Well, she couldn't do the things that Adrienne could but she still had to find a job, pronto. She needed to give her brother and herself a secure life. Instead of renting an apartment in a high crime area of Chicago, she wanted to own a house in a safe neighborhood, instead of barely surviving paycheck to paycheck. She wanted some room to breathe. Taking another sip from her glass, she thought about Joe's betrayal and wanted to fling her drink across the room. A shadow fell over her and a strange awareness assailed her, as if a predator had entered her tent during a campout. She took another drink, bracing herself for trouble.
"What's wrong?" A pleasant male voice spoke to her. "You look like a Pit Bull when he's ready to strike."
Cori set her glass down hard. It almost spilled as she looked up at the man standing over her. Shit, he was tall! Tall enough to make her feel small and weak, and she didn't like the way his aqua eyes penetrated right through her. She recognized that predatory stare and had no use for it today. Maybe never again.
"A Pit Bull bares his teeth, the way you just did, when he senses danger." He sounded good-natured and, if Joe hadn't just destroyed her world, she may have tolerated him. After all, she had to admit she found him attractive in a very disturbing way.
"What's your name?" he asked.
"I'd rather not tell you."
Yet she couldn't help appraising him. He was undeniably hot and sexy. Dark and delicious, she thought, younger than Joe, maybe late twenties or early thirties. He had well-defined bones in a strong face and a swarthy complexion. Thick, unruly deep chocolate hair curled around his ears. Alluring eyes of aqua-blue danced with animation. A classically chiseled nose and wide, sensual lips softened what may have been too-harsh features. A thin scar that began behind his ear and ended mid-cheek made him more attractive, rather than less. Boyishness and sexuality radiated from his powerful, made-for-sports-and-sex frame. She bet women spoiled him in a sickening way. Probably stripped for him. Well, not her. Not now. Not after Joe.
"You look like a Nicole. Or a Julia. Am I close?"
She turned away, feeling uneasy under his hot stare. New tears threatened to spring to her eyes so she took a sip of her drink. She so wouldn't cry.
"You look as if you could use some cheering up."
He had a low but friendly voice, quite a contrast from Joe's loud New York accent.
"I don't need cheering up from you."
He sat on the stool beside her. Apparently, its former occupant had left. Even seated, this man seemed all-encompassing and powerful. His magnetism sucked her in.
"I'm told I'm easy to talk to." He caressed her with his sensual voice. "Want to leave this noisy, smoky place and talk in my car?"
She spat her drink into her glass and laughed without mirth. "You probably don't hear this much, but I'm not interested in you. I especially don't want to sleep with you." She felt hot fingers grabbing her chin, forcing her to face him. Her skin tingled as her eyes collided with his. Startled, she couldn't move.
"I didn't say anything about sleeping with me. You did. Is that a subconscious wish?"