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Authors: Sabel Simmons

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“Who
gave him the right to decide which room I stay in?  I am going to stay in my
room and that is the end of it!”

“But
Sammy, Nicolas is correct.  That room is too small for you and was suitable
when you were a child, but this room is airy, has its own balcony and a small
alcove with reading chairs.  You know how you like to read.”  Mary tried her
best to console Samantha.

They
passed his door and he heard the door next to his open and the sliver of light
under the interconnecting door told him she had switched on the light.  He knew
what she would see.  He had the room redecorated and he prayed she would like
it.

Samantha
stopped just inside the door.  Her eyes scanned the room in amazement. 
Everything was new; from the heavy oak sleigh bed to the dressing table with
its three-way split mirrors.  Two plush white arm chairs with a small oak table
in between sat in the alcove giving an inviting and cozy look. A narrow writing
desk with a white chair rounded off the picture.  There was a small lamp, with
a white shade and similar but bigger lamps on the bedside tables, which casted
the room in a soft romantic glow. Thick duck feather duvet and cushions were
covered in pristine white Egyptian cotton covers, complemented by the flowing
white extra-long curtains draping negligently over the floor.  A plush deep
purple carpet covered the floor, accentuated by the same color scatter cushions
on the bed and arm chairs. 

Two
big crystal vases filled with white Casablanca lilies finished the breathtaking
room.  She blinked slowly and released the breath she was holding.

“Who 
…  who redecorated this room?”

“Oh,
Nicolas did.  He did his too, you should see, it complements this one so you
won’t believe. As light, airy and romantic as yours are, just as sunny, warm
and …” Mary swallowed her words at the look on Samantha’s face when her eyes
lit on the interconnecting door.  She pointed towards it, her eyes flashing
fire.

“His
room!  These are the master suites, in the old days build for the husband and
wife with a door in between … do not … Mary do not tell me he is in that
room!”  Mary stuttered and quickly excused herself.  She warned Nicolas!

Samantha
stomped towards the interconnecting door, her hand reaching for the handle. 
Then she hesitated.  He knew very well moving them together in the master
suites would rise her temper and he still did it.  She smiled broadly, dropped
her hand and turned to once again face the room.  It really was a warm inviting
room.  The fact that he used her favorite color purple, as the warmth factor,
warmed her heart. 

She
smiled again, hearing rustling in the room next door.  He was clearly preparing
himself for battle.  Well, he will have a long wait!  She was not giving him
the satisfaction this time!

She
walked into the large walk-in closet and was amazed that all her clothes were
already unpacked and neatly hung and packed away in the huge closet.  Only her
shoes still need to be packed away, but they were stacked to one side and out
of the way.  She opened drawers and doors to familiarize her with where
everything was and pulled out a tiny white stretch top with straps over the
shoulders and even a tinier pair of black shorts.

She
was dead tired after the demands of the week, and only wanted a quick shower
before she fell into bed for some well-deserved sleep.

Nicolas
kicked the sheet off in frustration.  He was so looking forward to a heated
confrontation and had grinned in anticipation when he saw the shadow beneath
the sliver of light below the door, then cursed when after some hesitation it
moved away.  Now, the lights were off.  Clearly she has gone to sleep!

He
got up and went to stand on the balcony, breathing the fresh air deep into his
lungs. The full moon casted everything it kissed with a clear bluish hue.  His
feet carried him over to Samantha’s balcony door.  The door stood open and the
slight breeze gently worried the curtains toward the king sized bed bathed in
the moonlight.

His
breath caught in his throat, his arousal throbbed painfully against his
sleeping shorts, the only thing he was wearing.  The next moment he stood next
to her bed, his eyes feasting on her sensuous body encased in tiny black shorts
and white top.  She was lying on her back, the covers pushed back.  Her one leg
was straight, the other slightly pulled up to the side, her hand resting on her
thigh.  Her other hand was flung on the pillow next to her.  The white top
hugged her rounded breasts and was so short it left half of her stomach open
before the same type shorts hugged her curvy hips.

He
salivated at the sight, tasting her sweetness on his lips, without even
touching her.  He fisted his hands and when she sighed softly before she turned
on her side, stretching and arching her back in the process he swung around and
stormed out.  He gripped the banister on the balcony and drew haggard breaths
to keep from rushing back in and ravishing her.

Maybe
this living together was not such a good idea.  Not for as long as she kept him
out of her bed!

Samantha
felt exhilarated.  She was riding one of the prized stallions on the ranch, and
just like her, he was up for an exciting run.  Her hair streaming behind her,
she laughed gaily as the wind twirled around her and she urged Stargazer to an
even greater speed with a slight press of her heel to his side.

They
neared the encampment around the house with a waist high white fence running
along the border.  She could feel Stargazer’s muscles tighten in anticipation
and knew he wanted to jump the fence.  Without slowing they flew over the fence
and her thrilling shout were echoed by his soft whinny and swishing of his long
tail.

She
pulled slowly on the bridle, he reduced his speed and by the time they went
around the stables, he was cantering, lifting his feet high. She leaned forward
praising him in his ear, softly stroking his neck.  The young stable boy
approached them and waited for her to slid off Stargazer’s back and hand him
the bridle.

“Thank
you, Billy.  That was absolutely amazing!  He is a fantastic horse, so lively
and energetic!” 

Billy
smiled at her and then his eyes went as round as saucers.  Before she could
turn around to see what frightened him, she was grabbed and hauled around so
hard she would have fallen flat on her face if Nicolas did not heave her
upright.  His hands were like steel bands around her arms and his eyes gleamed
angrily at her.

“Are
you totally out of your bloody mind?  Do you have no sense at all woman? You
could have broken your neck!”

She
looked at him in amazement, not comprehending the reason for his anger. 
“Nicolas, calm down.  Whatever are you ranting about?”

“What
am … what am I … HARGH!” 

Her
eyes widened at his frustrated scream and then her teeth rattled when he shook
her to stress his anger.

“Nicolas! 
Stop it!  What the devil is the matter with you?” 

His
hands tightened around her arms, his eyes closed and he took deep breaths to
calm down.  When his eyes opened, the stormy anger still lurked in their
depths, but he seemed to be calmer.

“How
many times have you been on Stargazer’s back?”  The question gritted through
clenched lips.

“What
a silly question, Nicolas.  You know as well as I do I only arrived last night
and he was only bought two years ago, so … ooohh!”  Realization hit her as the
words left her mouth. 

“You
are upset because I was riding him so fast?  You really don’t have to worry,
I’ve been on ho …”

“That
is not the only thing I am upset about, Samantha!  You jumped that fence at
neck breaking speed!  The chances of surviving a fall with a jump at that
speed, is next to nothing!  Have you absolutely no sense at all?”

His
anger increased with every word he spoke, so that the last were gritted out
through lips so tight it was a wonder any sound left it at all.  Yet, it
sounded like loud symbols as he flung the words at her.  She realized that from
his perspective it must have looked pretty bad, but he clearly had no idea what
a gifted rider she was.  She lifted her hands and placed then on his chest,
feeling the hard muscles jerk beneath her touch, his breathing haggard.

“Please,
don’t be mad.  I have been riding horses even before I could walk.  I will
never jump a fence if I did not have absolute confidence in the horse’s ability
to clear it.  Stargazer is absolutely fantastic!  I can see why Dad paid so
much money for him!  I could feel his power thrilling between my legs.  He was
so ready for that ju … Nicolas!”

All
the talk of thrilling power between her legs and being so ready was too much
for Nicolas and he roughly pulled her tight against him, his arms snaking
around her to pull her hips flush against his; his fully aroused body hard,
ready and thrilling against hers.  She flushed and glared at him.

“You
are … Nicolas, stop that this instant!” 

But
she could not hold back the moan from escaping her lips when he roughly moved
her body in circles against his arousal, causing it to swell even harder and
bigger against her soft curves.  His aroused growl echoed hers, and he hid his
face in her neck, softly nibbling at the vein pulsing erratically. Then he
whispered hotly in her ear.

“This
is a fair warning, Samantha.  The next time you do anything irresponsible or
dangerous, I will see it as an invitation to your bed.”  She pushed him roughly
away from her, glaring at him.

“Nicolas,
I am not a child to be - a, admonished - b, given ultimatums - c, your
responsibility and e, require your permission to do anything I put my mind to!”
She stomped her foot at the same time as she ticked the points she made off on
her fingers. 

Nicolas
stood watching her tantrum, his expressionless face a sign of his serious
deliberation with the situation.

“Add
to that willfulness, cheekiness and disrespect.”

“Nicolas,
you are ridicu …”

“This
is not a negotiation, Samantha, nor will I repeat the warning. Do anything to
oppose me, and it will be an invitation!”

“You
are being totally ridiculous!  If this is going to be how you act, I am moving
out!”

“And
that will be your first irresponsible act, hence invitation …”

“Oh
for goodness sake!”  Samatha stomped her foot again.  Nicolas gripped her by
her arms and bend down so they were eye to eye, his eyes glowing and his voice
steely soft.

“You
seem hell bend to aim in the wrong direction.  I won’t allow you to, not
again!  If you can’t look after yourself … I will and direct you where you need
to be.”

“Directly
into your bed, I suppose!  Dream on, Nicolas Forrester, that day will come when
hell freezes over!”

His
smile was instantaneous.  “Willfullness …” He took her hand and pulled her with
him towards the house.  “I really did not expect you to be so eager!”

Samatha
struggled and dug her heels into the ground.  “Wait, wait Nicolas, STOP!”

He
stopped so quickly she bumped straight into him and grabbed a handful of his
shirt, to keep him in front of her, the front of her body pressed tight against
his back.

“You
can’t just throw out these … these rules and … and ultimatums,” she gagged over
the words, “one moment and the next just … just expect me to … to … I need some
time to … to …”

“I
will give you the rest of the day to digest my warning.  Not to try and come up
with some feeble negotiation.  I am not interested.  From seven this evening,
your respite is over and no further warning will be issued.”

“And
I suppose whenever you decide I have broken your … decrepit rules I have no
recourse to defend myself?”  He turned to her slowly, deliberately brushing
against her breasts with his arm, smiling when he heard her breath catch.

“Oh,
I am not unreasonable, Samantha.   I am willing to debate, only to a certain
extent, mind you, any willfulness, cheekiness and disrespect. Anything
irresponsible and dangerous however will be an invitation for immediate
action.”

 

Chapter Eight
 

Samantha
woke up with a heavy heart on Sunday.  Trust Nicolas to wait until she was on
her way to bed to inform her, he invited her mother and sister to lunch the
following day.  Not asked her if it suited her that he invited them, informed
her they were invited.

She
huffed and fell unto her back, listlessly staring out the open balcony door
towards the green open planes stretching over the mountains on the horizon. 
This was such a tranquil place; the perfect place to be after a hard day in the
hustle and bustle of city life.  She sat up and stretched, then smiled broadly.

Nicolas
invited them, so therefore he could entertain them.  Sharing the property did
not mean they were meshed together all the time, and she could come and go as
she pleased.  Her decision made, she jumped up and hummed merrily while taking
a shower.

She
greeted Mary warmly and smiled at Nicolas already seated at the breakfast table
on the outside patio.

“Ahh
… this is fantastic, Mary.  I am so hungry I could eat a horse!”  Mary laughed
and patted her on the arm.

“Heaven
alone knows where you put all the food you eat and stay so slim!  Your sister
and mother only nibble on their food and are forever on diet!”

“Healthy
metabolism, Mary!  And a good thing too, I do love to eat!”  So saying she
grabbed a plate and dished up quickly before taking a seat on the opposite side
of the table from Nicolas.  She glanced at him from beneath her eye lashes only
to realize he was watching her broodingly.  She smiled at him and then promptly
started eating.

“You
seem to be in mighty high spirits this morning?”   She swallowed first and took
a sip of her coffee before lifting her gaze to his, a small smile playing on
her mouth.

“Why
shouldn’t I be?  It is a lovely summers day, the birds are singing, the sun is
shining … what more can one ask for?”  He grunted at her reply and speared food
into his mouth, his eyes glued broodingly on her and she smiled inwardly. 

“Oh,
Mary before I forget.  The denim I wore yesterday is torn, but please do not
throw it away!  I will wear it when I ride.  I have taken out a suit I would
like to wear tomorrow, if Clara can perhaps press it for me early tomorrow
morning?”

“Of
course, dearie.  Perhaps just remind me later this afternoon again.”

“That’s
just it.  I am leaving directly after breakfast and might only return after you
have gone to bed.  I’ll send you a text message though.”  Mary nodded and
gathering some of the dishes went into the house.

“Leaving
where?  I told you last night your mother and sister is coming to lunch.”  Her
innocent eyes met his blazing ones.

“You
should have asked me before you invited them, Nicolas, then I would have told
you I already had other plans.”   His gaze shimmered.

“When
did these OTHER plans materialize?

“On
Monday already.  The ProcMerge group arranged a team building day and invited
me along.”   Which was not an altogether lie; they did arrange a team building
day, but only in a month’s time.  Nicolas, however, did not need to know that!

Nicolas
fumed inside.  She was trying his patience with her friendly disposition,
taunting him more likely!  But, he was a patient man, somewhere in the near
future she would slip, and he would have her in his bed!

“It
will be easy for me to check, you know.”   Up went her perfectly shaped black
eyebrow, her eyes smiling into his.

“Are
you implicating that I am a lying, Nicolas?  Shame on you! That really hurts.” 
His eyes bored into her smiling ones.  She was really pushing his resolve.

“And
what would my staff think if someone had to phone and ask where I was over the
weekend?  They would probably think you are a spy or something.  I would be
careful if I were you.”

“Samantha,
I was not born yesterday.  And somehow, I know you are lying, so be warned, if
I do find out the truth, it will be …”

“Wait! 
Let me guess!  Seen as an invitation?”  She wiped her mouth slowly, watching
the anger simmer in his eyes.  She threw the napkin on the table, rose and with
her hands on the table, leaned slowly towards him.

“If
you are so sexually frustrated, Nicolas, why don’t you go and find a willing
partner somewhere?  Even Elaine would be too delighted to accommodate you!” 
She kicked her chair back and swung towards the door.  Before she got there,
Nicolas seized her by the arm, obliging her to stop.

He
spun her towards him, his eyes caressing over her face and his hands slowly
stroked up and down her arms.  Goosebumps budded all over her body and the heat
of arousal swamped low in her groin.

“Oh,
I am sexually frustrated, alright, but by you, only you.  No one else will be
able to quench the fire you lit with the look you ignited in me at your
father’s graveside.”   She flinched and he slowly pulled her towards him until
not even air separated their bodies.

“And
every look you have given me since, every kiss you so passionately returned,
have stoked it even higher and higher.  No, my darling, you will finish what
you started!”

“I
did no such thing!  I told you to le …”

Nicolas
simply lowered his head the fraction that separated his lips from hers and
silenced her with his closing over hers.  His tongue slipped past her lips to
urgently taste and caress hers, sipping deeply from her lips and leaving her no
recourse but to sigh into him and return the kiss.

His
arms folded around her, pulling her tight against his hardness.  His arousal
pressed into her softness, testament to the effect she had on him.  His hands
roamed over her back and settled on her round bottom to lift and press her hard
against him, groaning at the pleasure that slivered down his spine from the
contact.

Samantha
pulled her mouth away from his and pushed against his chest, her eyes wearily
meeting his.  His eyes were shadowed with desire.

“Nicolas,
this has to stop!  I … I’m not …”

“You’re
not what?  You will not claim you don’t want me too.  Your body and your
responses impart a different story.  I am man enough to admit that no other
woman has ever had such an exhilarating effect on me as you do every time I
touch you.  I for one am not going to let something this highly rousing pass me
by.  And I won’t allow you to either!”

“I
am not going to be another notch on your bedpost, Nicolas!  Find another
floozy!  I am not interested in a fling!”  She struggled and he allowed her to
pull away from him, but his hand on her arm kept her close.  The frown on his
face and the harshness in his voice was a clear indication of his annoyance.

“Who
said anything about a fling?”  Samantha’s heart missed a beat.

“What
else then?” 

His
gaze turned brooding, but before he could respond, Mary came bustling back to
clear the breakfast dishes.  Samantha jerked out of his grip and walked away.

“I
am not sure what time I will be back.”

“This
conversation is not over, Samantha!  Samantha, come back here!”

But
she kept going, the emotions coursing through her, too much for her to face him
and continue the discussion.

Nicolas
gave another long drawn out sigh.  Whatever compelled him to let Shona talk him
into inviting Elaine and her to lunch?  He should have known Samantha would
find a way to not be here when they arrived.  She had stayed out of her
sibling’s way, since the day the testament was read and now he had to sit and
entertain them the whole day, whilst all he could think off was the
conversation they had in the morning.

“Nicolas,
you have to come!  It is the social event of the year and it would not be the
same if the CEO of Global did not attend,” wailed Elaine next to him, snatching
him from his musing and he sighed again.

“I’ll
chat to Samantha and let you know.”

Shona’s
gaze honed in on Nicolas and a small smile played on her lips, while Elaine
stuttered indignantly, “What does Samantha have to do with you coming to the
event?”

 He
barely glanced at her.  “As the COO of the company she will have to be there as
well, I would imagine, and as we live together …”

“You
don’t live together, you only share the house!”

“We
will most probably go there together,” he continued as if she had not
interrupted him.

“So,
where is my dear sister?”

He
looked at her, frowning at the cold, hateful expression in her eyes. A mocking
grin formed on his lips.  “Do you really want an answer to that question?  I
would have thought you realized she would leave the moment she heard you were
coming.”

Elaine
snorted and Shona gripped her hands on her lap. Her eyes rose to Nicolas.

“I
had … hoped she would be here. How is she?  Is she coping? Have all the board
members accepted her?

“She
is more than fine, and those old coots are already eating out of her hands. 
You probably don’t even know this, but she is now managing the ProcMerge
Southern Hemisphere division from here; The Company she is a partner in.  All
the work seems to energize her.”

“Then
she takes more after her father than he could ever have hoped for. Does that
mean she is back permanently?”  Hope was evident in Shona’s soft voice.

“It
seems so. All her things were delivered here.”

Elaine
was livid.  If they did not stop singing her praises, she was going to scream. 
She was hardly back and all they could talk about was Samantha, Samantha,
Samantha!

“Well,
let us hope her string of lovers is not going to walk holes in your carpets.”

“Elaine! 
That was uncalled for.”

“Was
it Mother?  We were all witness to how she … enjoyed men and that she was not
very particular in the choosing either!”

Nicolas
growled and wanted to strangle her.  “That is enough.  If you have nothing good
to say about your sister, rather keep quiet.  I for one do not wish to be
reminded of that day.”

“Oh
please!  Don’t tell me she has you wrapped around her little finger as well? 
You were there Nicolas, you saw her, the satiated rapture of what she just did
on her face!  And she had no regrets, no matter how much it destroyed us.  Why
would it bother you?”

“Because
when I look at her, I see only what she has become and what she could be for …”
he hesitated and frowned at Elaine.  “How do you know what she looked like when
we found her?  It was only Alexander and I.”

She
paled and stuttered, “Dad … must have told me.”  Nicolas looked at her so
sharply she squirmed under his direct stare.

“Somehow
I doubt it very much that your father would have noticed that much, he was too
angry.  I also find it very hard to believe that he ever told anybody about how
we found her.”

Both
Shona and Nicolas now stared at her, awaiting an explanation, but she huffed
and nearly shouted at them, “I am not the slut who destroyed our family!  Why
am I the one under crossfire?”

Nicolas
pinned her down with an icy glare, his voice hard as steel.  “Call her a slut
one more time, and I will not be responsible for my actions.  Is that clear
Elaine?”

She
nodded angrily, whereby Nicolas ignored her flatly thereafter, and was glad
when they left not long afterwards.

Somehow
Elaine seemed to be very knowledgeable on what occurred the night of
Samantha’s’ twenty first birthday.  He would place his head on a block that the
knowledge did not come from Alexander.  One way or the other, he was going to
find out the truth.

Samantha
spend the day at her office at ProcMerge finalizing some planning and
strategies Charles and her discussed earlier in the week.  When her phone rang
she wearily glanced at it, expecting to see Nicolas’s name flash at her, but it
was Charles and she smiled.  She actually missed him.  They were a good team
and worked well together, but he was also a good friend.

“Hi,
Big C!  I did not expect to hear from you so soon.”  His short laugh sounded
warm and rich in her ear.

“Hi
Sam.  Just thought to catch up before your week starts.  I realize you are
quite busy having to deal with two jobs,  so perhaps we should make a definite
Skype meeting weekly whereby we can catch up?”

“I
agree.  I have decided to spend every Tuesday and Thursday at ProcMerge, I just
need to discuss it with Nicolas.  How did the negotiations with Plasticor go?

They
chatted for another thirty minutes finalizing decisions on their strategy and
agreeing on their Skype meeting time, which Samantha scheduled in their
calendars immediately.  She incorporated some of the changes they discussed and
by the time she was finished, her stomach growled loudly.  With a start she
realized that it was already after six, and the last time she ate was at
breakfast.

She
packed up, neatened her desk and by the time she drove out of the parking
garage it was already nearly seven.  Hopefully there were some leftovers from
lunch at home, she was starving!

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