Fade - Book cover

Fade

Haley Ladawn

2: Naked Attraction

ELLIOT

It was time to see what this girl was made of.

As I stood up and began to strip, I watched her stare, her cheeks flushed, her mouth agape, and reveled in the reaction I had on her.

Women always reacted this way to me.

When you’re 100% man, what can they do but salivate at the mouth, and beg for a taste?

I flexed my strained muscles.

Having a gym space installed in my office was the best decision I’d ever made.

How was a man supposed to run his business if he kept on having to take time out to get down to the gym?

Of course, the other University Presidents I’d met over the years were mostly pipsqueaks and dweebs.

They weren’t running more than one business at once.

They knew nothing of danger…of crime…of death.

Unlike yours truly. In my line of work, intimidation was half the battle, and a man always needs to be at his ripped best.

It comes with the territory.

The redhead stood there, staring as I moved toward her. She had a nice rack, but I wanted to see what else I was working with.

As I moved closer, I took in every one of her curves, appreciating the view. I couldn’t wait to see what she could do with them.

“Mr…Mr. Santoro?” she stuttered like an idiot. “What’s going on?”

I loved when they played coy.

She was about to find exactly what was going on.

“Cat got your tongue?” I asked, smirking.

I looked forward to seeing how she responded next.

The game was just beginning.

LILY

Clearly, this was not going to be a normal interview.

I had come to Elliot Santoro’s office with a million questions.

What was this internship exactly?

How much would I be paid—I was low on cash and could seriously use some—and were benefits included?

Most importantly, why had I been invited to interview without even applying?

But at the sight of him stripping, all my questions disappeared. I was too shocked and, if I’m being honest, impressed to formulate a coherent idea.

Mr. Santoro was a beast.

He had muscles in places I didn’t know you could have muscles, and his whole body was covered in a light sheen from the workout he’d been doing.

He pulled his top up and over his mountainous shoulders, and I felt my heart skip a beat.

I tried to focus on making a good impression for the interview that was about to happen—if that even was happening.

But, seriously, when a man like that begins to strip in front of you, it’s hard to keep your mind straight!

The sheer size of the man was frightening. I tried not to make it obvious that I'd been staring and glanced around his office.

It was clear, business was only a small part of the room I was in.

The rest was built for pleasure.

To one side there was a shiny new gym, complete with a state-of-the-art treadmill and weights equipment. To the other, leather armchairs, a billiards table, and a mahogany-topped bar.

How on earth does this guy make his money?

“Miss?” His thick Italian accent caressed my ears, reminding me he had completely dismissed the fact I had a name.

I turned back to Mr. Santoro and felt the temperature in the room rise up a notch. Whereas a second earlier he had just been topless, now, he was down to only his briefs.

Calvin Kleins. Good taste.

The fabric hugged his perfectly formed thighs and glutes. I pretended not to notice his mouth-watering bulge.

"Yes, Mr. Santoro?" I replied, trying to appear as calm, cool, and collected as possible.

His figure may have been inviting, but his demeanor was anything but. Everything behind his eyes was sinister and cold.

“I’m a little sweaty and need to freshen up. Stand by the shower so we may begin.”

“You mean…the interview is going to happen while you’re…?”

Before I could say another word, he dropped the Calvin Kleins down to his ankles.

I overpowered my innermost urges and kept my eyes above the danger line.

He turned around and stepped into a small glass shower in the corner of the gym area.

The steam, thankfully, obscured his manhood.

“Must I repeat myself? Come closer,” he ordered.

This was beyond unprofessional. If I was being honest, I knew this was a lawsuit waiting to happen.

How a man of power like Elliot Santoro thought he could get away with this kind of behavior in these modern times…it was mind-blowing.

Still.

I wasn’t leaving.

Surely, that said something about him or me or the world we lived in. I wasn't sure. But I knew I needed the money and I had a high tolerance for fuckery.

The dominant male kind or otherwise.

I could put up with a little old-fashioned power play. But I was going to stand my ground.

“I feel more comfortable standing here, Mr. Santoro,” I said. “Would you mind telling me what exactly this internship is? What will be expected of me?”

“A bit of this, a bit of that,” he said, scrubbing himself. “It’s mostly secretarial in nature. About serving me. Personally.”

I had an idea what he meant by serving him personally.

And no way was I signing up for that.

I might only be nineteen, with no skill set other than a great voice I never used anymore, but I was not about to be some President’s plaything.

No matter how good looking this man might be, I was not about to give in to my lustful urges and forsake my dignity. Especially given the fact I was still a virgin.

I had saved myself for Connor. And now that he was dead and gone, I didn’t know who I was saving it for.

But I knew one thing–the man who looked like he might’ve been responsible, at least according to my dreams, would not be the one.

He turned off the showerhead, and an eerie silence filled the room.

“So?” he finally said, as he wiped the face off the glass, revealing his steely eyes staring right into mine. “Are you interested?”

It also cleared a direct line of sight to his nether regions. I managed to look away just in time.

But even in the periphery of my vision, I could see what the man was packing.

That is one hell of an instrument.

I swallowed, feeling perspiration start to prickle at my scalp.

“I, uh, I would need to know more first,” I stammered. “The salary. The benefits.”

“There are plenty of benefits…”

Elliot Santoro moved out from behind the shower cubicle, beads of water running from his hair down his chest, past his glistening stomach, and dripping onto the floor.

“And plenty of money if you perform your services well,” he continued, causing the beat of my heart to quicken.

Now, I knew for certain: he expected me to be some sort of sexual servant. This wasn’t an interview. This was a come-on. And the strangest one I’d ever experienced.

“I’m not that kind of girl,” I said, clenching my fists.

“We’ll see about that,” he said, smirking. “Maybe there is more to you than meets the eye.”

“I doubt there is anything more to you,” I retorted, sounding braver than I felt. “Easy to trap a girl in your fancy office and force her to do what you want, isn’t it?”

His eyes flashed with venom as the veins on his throat and forehead bulged. Clearly, he wasn’t used to women speaking to him that way.

But just like that, it was gone. He swallowed his rage and let out a faint chuckle.

“Force is a funny word,” he said. “People often mistake it with applying pressure. You are more than welcome to walk out right now. You could have five minutes ago. But you stayed. Why?”

He had a point. I froze as he wrapped a towel around his waist and sat down in his office chair, examining me closely.

“I was waiting for the interview to begin,” I said, feeling stupid.

“It began the moment you stepped through that door. But you knew that already, didn’t you?”

He continued to look me up and down like I was parked on a used car lot. I glared back, not even vaguely in the mood to be ogled like a piece of meat.

I finally broke the man’s hypnotic spell and grounded myself.

“Thank you for your time, Mr. Santoro,” I gritted out through my teeth. “But I don’t think this is the right fit. For either of us.”

With that, I turned and made my way over to the door. No matter how good this job might be, nothing would make it worth having to work for a man like this.

A man who was all man, sure, but one with zero decency.

My hand brushed the door handle as I felt him move. For a man of his enormous frame, he made barely any sound. He must have been incredibly fast and light on his feet.

But I felt him.

The air around us moved as he moved, as his expensive liquor-and-cigar scent…even after a shower…filled my nostrils.

He didn’t lay a finger on me, but stood close enough to feel his breath on the back of my neck.

I knew all that separated us were my clothes and his towel. It was exhilarating and terrifying at once.

“You give up so easily,” he growled. “Don’t you know, working for me requires stamina?”

“I just said—”

“Look at me, Fiorella.”

Fiorella. That word. Why did it sound so familiar? Why did it sound ~so good~ coming off his tongue as he stood directly behind me?

His bulge gently pressing up against my ass, making me want to roll my eyes back and moan and…

Stop it, Lily, I ordered myself. ~Get it together.~

I slowly turned to stare into his gleaming eyes. “I know you are afraid to say it. To even admit to yourself. But you want this job. You want to be corrupted. To see what it’s like to work for the devil. Don’t you?”

The man was magnetic, irresistible, bringing me to the brink of Hell itself…and, fuck, did I want to give in to him.

But how far was I willing to fall?

He grabbed my chin and brought his lips near mine. “Well?” he asked, only an inch away. “Are you going to stop me?”

Could I stop him?

Could I stop myself?

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