Read To Love a Shifter: A Paranormal Romance Boxed Set Online
Authors: Marian Tee
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Anthologies & Literary Collections, #General, #Short Stories, #Anthologies, #Romance, #Paranormal, #Anthologies & Literature Collections, #Genre Fiction, #New Adult & College, #Demons & Devils, #Werewolves & Shifters, #Romantic Comedy
That the CEO’s office is huge has to be the understatement of the year. My whole house can fit here, and there would still be extra space for a garage – two or three cars, minimum. The place is dimly lit, blinds shielding the room from the fiery glow of the setting sun. The walls are bare and made of black-coated steel, the cerulean carpet muting the sound of my approach. Too bad it can’t do the same for the pounding of my heart.
The ceilings have a weird look and feel to them, and it takes me a while to realize they appear that way because the entire office is soundproofed. My eyes widen. Maybe there really
a pleasure house here somewhere.
A complete set of living room furniture is at the far end of the room. It even has its own liquor bar.
More seconds pass, but I know I can’t keep delaying the inevitable. Unable to stand the silence any longer, I force myself to face the man sitting behind the vast – no, it’s more
than vast – desk in the center of the room.
I manage to swallow back the instinctive gasp that rises from my throat, shocked by the unexpected wave of heat coming off of Domenico Moretti. I don’t see much of the CEO, but what I do see is more than enough for me to know that this guy is
Intensely so – but it’s the first time I find someone so
hot that cold sweat actually starts bathing my skin.
Shick. It sounds like I’m about to cry, which I don’t want to do. I try again, and this time my voice comes out more confident, stronger. “Mr. Moretti? I was informed you wanted to speak with me.”
There’s a chuckle in the dark at first, and then a voice. It’s soft but hard at the same time, with a faint accent, almost like a wolf’s growl. “I want something more than that, I’m afraid, but I suppose this will have to do for starters.”
I’m -- I’m going to pretend there’s no sexual innuendo behind those words.
This guy is Domenico Moretti, after all. Since he’s so used to having beautiful women throw themselves at his feet, why would he even bother hitting on me?
That makes sense, so I relax even as Mr. Moretti suddenly stands up and walks toward me. Why hasn’t the fact that he’s so incredibly tall been mentioned in company newsletters? I mean, they should have at least tried to prepare new employees like me. Warning: CEO Is A 6'4" Unsmiling Giant. Do Not Be Intimidated. He Does Not Bite. Something like that. It should have been a bullet point in the employee manual, at least.
The shadow behind Mr. Moretti makes him look taller, scarier, and – unfortunately – hotter, too. It’s because he looks very mysterious, I suppose. I gulp, but I’m not sure if it’s out of terror or excitement. Maybe a little of both.
“I know you’re wondering why I’ve called for you.”
I bit my lip.
“Do you have something to say, Ms. Wall?”
Shick. What Ed said was true. He really does know my name.
I bit my lip harder. I can’t afford to be tactless since my entire career hinges on my internship here.
Mr. Moretti’s voice turns silky, like a snake that’s about to uncoil and spit poison. “I prefer to deal with honest people, Ms. Wall. I hope you keep that in mind from here on. If you have something to say – please do so.”
Maybe it’s just me, but that
sounds kind of threatening. Aware that what the CEO wishes is basically an intern’s command, I say slowly, “I’m just surprised you actually know my name, Mr. Moretti.”
I feel rather than see his smile, all the way to my toes, which curl in response. I’ve always thought myself frigid. It’s just my luck to find out I’m as susceptible to lust as the rest when my job is on the line.
Mr. Moretti’s voice drops an octave. “You’ll be surprised at what I know about you, Ms. Wall – and how much I want to know more.”
I’m going to pretend – again – that I did not hear anything suggestive in those words.
“You don’t believe me?”
I fidget. Is this the time to be honest again?
“Then what would you say if I tell you that I know you are 21 years old, single, orphaned, adopted by Nanette Wall at age 7, with four foster siblings?"
I need a moment after that to pick my jaw up. It’s just dropped to the floor. But it’s a waste of time because my jaw just crashes back down when he continues, “There’s possibly a new member of your family if you all decide to let your foster mother have her way.”
Oh. My. God.
I have this nasty feeling he even knows I’ve never had sex and that I’ve a half-completed tattoo around my belly. It’s supposed to be a sunburst design, but now it just looks like my belly button’s grown horns. I only lasted two rays long before passing out.
But Mr. Moretti isn’t finished.
“I also know what happened earlier between--” Mr. Moretti’s voice turns steely. “--you, Janice Rudely, and William Grant.”
“I’m sorry,” I say miserably minutes later inside Mr. Moretti’s private washroom, which – by the way – looks palatial. It has gold-plated taps, for God’s sake. Doesn’t that scream palatial? Or is it more of a testament to Domenico Moretti having more money than he knows what do with?
“I have a really weak stomach.” I speak without actually looking at him. Under the extremely bright fluorescent pin lights of the washroom, it becomes impeccably clear why he needs to file TROs against supermodels.
If I actually look at him just once, I think he would have to file one against me, too.
“I understand,” Mr. Moretti says smoothly. “The sight of William Grant’s wrinkled dick would have made me throw up as well if I had been a woman.”
The image of Mr. Moretti – who is pretty much manliness personified – throwing up because of offended feminine sensibilities makes me choke back an unexpected giggle.
“Are you all right now?”
I nod, still keeping my gaze trained anywhere except on him.
“Then shall we go back to my office?” Without warning, he places his hand on the small of my back.
I jump away, unnerved at the electrifying jolt that zings through my body at Mr. Moretti’s touch. “What’s wrong?” he asks.
Before I know it, Mr. Moretti spins me around to face him.
I’m so fracked.
Domenico Moretti is beautiful. His hair may be cut ruthlessly short like a soldier’s at the sides, but it doesn’t make a difference to how silky smooth it appears, how just the sight of it begs for a woman’s touch. I want to know how it feels to run my fingers through his hair.
His eyes are impossibly green but dark – like leaves at the height of summer. His face looks as if it had been chiseled by God when He was at his happiest, without the smallest flaw to mar it. High cheekbones, an aristocratic nose, wonderfully naturally red lips, and a prominently strong jaw - perfection, in other words.
Mr. Moretti is wearing a pale blue dress shirt of the finest silk, having discarded his blazer in his office earlier. It’s partially unbuttoned, allowing me more than a glimpse of his smooth brown chest. Even without touching it, I know that it would feel wonderfully hard under my fingers.
But what really makes me breathless, what makes my body go weak, and makes an embarrassing amount of wetness gather between my thighs, is how Mr. Moretti is gazing at me.
He’s looking at me like he wants to devour me, and the sexual tension emanating from him, from me--from
I can’t take my gaze off him.
His nostrils flare. “You smell…”
Was he saying I
“I’m sorry,” I say weakly. “It was really hot this morning on my way to work.” I think I’m going to kill myself after this. I have never been so humiliated in my entire life.
Mr. Moretti looks frustrated and furious. “No, I don’t mean it that way. I meant, I can smell--” He shakes his head and takes a step forward.
I instinctively step backward, mostly because I don’t want him to smell me even more, whatever it is that he smelt.
“I was hoping this would be the case, but I hadn’t dared hope,” he murmurs seemingly to himself.
, I can’t help but think. He has a fetish for
It’s such a turn-off I shake my head at it.
“What is it?” he asks sharply.
“Nothing,” I stammer.
“It doesn’t seem like nothing,” Mr. Moretti says while taking another step forward.
I take another step backward and almost curse when I realize I’ve inadvertently backed myself into a corner – literally. Mr. Moretti closes the distance between us, and with his gorgeous face this close, I forget all about his weird fetish and just focus on keeping from hyperventilating.
God, he’s hot.
God, God, God, he’s hot.
Mr. Moretti bends his head, nuzzling my hair. “You let it down. Why?”
It takes me a while to realize what he’s asking. And what that question means.
“I...couldn’t find my band,” I say, stumbling over the words because I’m so tense I have a hard time stringing words together. I tense even more when he lifts a lock of my hair, and then I feel close to fainting when he brings it to his lips, closing his eyes as if savoring the scent.
“You smell so good.”
Oh. So maybe that was what he was saying a while ago. That I smelled good.
His head moves lower and he nuzzles my neck, inhaling again. “So good,” he says with something like reverence just before inhaling my scent again.
It feels like he’s worshipping me, and just the thought that this man wants me so much makes me moan again. It’s too much. He’s too close, too hot, too everything that my body is arching towards him before I realize what I’m doing.
The sound of my name on his lips seems to work like a key, unlocking the chains of restraint and common sense between us.