Nikki Carmichael is confused. Her head’s telling her one thing while her heart is sending another message.
She believed her first husband, Sky, was her Prince Charming. They got married expecting to live their happily ever after, but the happiness dwindled right along with their checking account. Their divorce legally ended the marriage, but not the love and uncontrollable desire between them.
Then she meets Jeff. He's hotter than an August day in Florida, and can offer her everything she’s always thought she wanted.
Jeff is committed to his life as a bachelor, but his high-powered nature has finally brought him to a crossroads. He's face-to-face with a quandary; his decisions will affect his professional and personal life forever.
Nikki’s tenacious efforts to live a dream life, while still keeping her heart shielded, are coupled with wrestling an ongoing dilemma – her heart still belongs to Sky.
But Nikki isn't the only one who’s twisted by desire.
By Monday afternoon, after an entire weekend of mulling over intriguing thoughts of Jeff, happy hour on Friday, and the card, I was wrestling with the idea of biting the bullet and calling him. The butterflies in my stomach had me so amped up. I was a bundle of nerves, and I barely got any work done all day. I sat holding his business card in one hand and my cellphone in the other, staring at his name and the numbers, drawn into the essence of the mysterious card owner.
“Just call him already,” Georgia’s voice called over my shoulder.
“You’ve been pulling that card out of your purse and putting it back for hours. Just call him.”
“I need to talk to you.”
“C’mon, let’s take a quick walk.”
I dropped my phone into my purse and closed the bottom drawer, pushed my chair back from the desk and stood, then rounded my desk. We walked side by side down the hallway in silence until we reached the empty break area.
“So what’s up?” Georgia said.
“I just wanted to bounce something off of you; tell me what you think.” I looked down at my hand, still holding the card tight. “After you left Friday night, Connor, the shorter of those two guys from the restaurant came over with Jeff, and he introduced himself to me.” I raised my eyes back to meet hers.
“That’s kind of forward, but whatever; it’s all good, right?”
“Yeah, that part was fine. Jeff, the taller, gorgeous one, walked over, but he didn’t introduce himself. I introduced myself to him.” With my eyebrows furrowed and shoulders hunched, I continued, “I practically threw myself at him.” My head turned toward the raised hand holding the card. “And Jeff didn’t give me this card. Connor gave it to me just before I left.”
“Introducing yourself isn’t a crime, Nikki; you’ll be okay. That’s kind of weird with the card, though. Maybe he’s shy. Does it say what he does?”
“No, it only has the company logo, his name, and phone number. It’s weird. He’s weird, and his card is weird. That’s what’s been eating at me all weekend and today. Is he even interested? Why is Connor handing out his business cards for him? What if I call and he doesn’t even remember me?”
We walked back to our department, Georgia wished me luck, and I smiled my thanks before lowering myself into my seat at my desk. I set the card down on the desk in front of me, and, with my two index fingers, slid it up toward my monitor, then back to the edge of the desk. Inhaling deeply, I pulled open the bottom drawer of the desk that had my purse in it, reached in like it was a grab bag, and pulled out my phone. Inhaling, I leaned my head back, and closed my eyes briefly before lifting my head, exhaling, and opening my eyes. With resolve, I began pressing the numbers as they were listed on the card.
As the phone rang, my stomach churned like a man on a motorcycle was driving figure eights and popping wheelies in there. My heart raced, and my palms were damp. My fingernails tapped with rapid speed on the desktop as I waited. I would only allow four rings before hanging up. It was answered on the third ring by a pleasant-sounding woman, “Good afternoon; Jeffrey Carrington’s office.”
“Hello, may I speak with Jeff Carrington, please,” I said.
“May I ask who’s calling, please?”
“This is Nikki Carmichael.”
“Do you have an account with us, Ms. Carmichael?”
“No ma’am, this isn’t business related.” Fuck, I’m being screened. Maybe I’m not important enough to talk to him.
“Mr. Carrington is on another call at the moment, may I transfer you to his voicemail so you can leave a message?”
“Yes, please. Thank you.” What the hell am I doing? This is crazy. I should hang up before his machine picks up …
“Hi Jeff, you may not remember me. It’s Nikki; we met briefly Friday night. Connor gave me your card. If you have time, you can call me back on my cellphone.” I left my phone number. It was on him now to either call me back or not.
I pressed end on the call, and a surge of regret washed over my body. I couldn’t help but question if I should’ve even made the call in the first place. Why was I throwing myself at this guy? I picked up the card, slid it back into the outside pocket of my purse, and zipped it in.The message was on voicemail now, and I couldn’t take it back no matter how much I regretted making it. All I could do now was hope his voicemail malfunctioned.
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Jaded by Desire, the sequel to Twisted by Desire is due to release March 28th. Follow Desiree A. Cox's Site for all the latest information.
I married my high school sweetheart not long after high school graduation then moved to the Philadelphia area – I’m in Delaware now. I’ve been happily married for over twenty-five years. I'm the mother of two sons and a daughter.
I work full-time in addition to writing. I also read several genres, mostly erotica, and provide reviews (as many as I can muster) on my blog.
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