As the doors begin to slide shut, a well-spoken English voice calls out, “Would you hold the lift, please?”
She longs to let whoever’s outside wait for the next car but that would make her no better than the rude Italian downstairs. Saskia stabs at the button and the doors halt in their progress.
“Thank you so much.” A man steps into the elevator. Tall, with eyes the colour of bitter chocolate and brown hair that falls in sleek wings over his temples. His lips are curved in a smile that catapults her back to the heart of her filthy fantasy. Is it her imagination, or does his cologne carry a top note of sandalwood, warm and seductive?
“You’re welcome,” she says.
Their eyes meet again and Saskia fights the urge to turn away from that enquiring gaze. Heat has risen to her cheeks and this metal box suddenly seems entirely too small to contain both of them comfortably. She pictures him pushing her up against the wall, pulling open the top buttons of her blouse so he can rain kisses on the upper curves of her breasts.
With an effort, she remembers her manners. “Which floor do you need?”
“The lobby, please.” He glances at the screen of his phone then screws up his face, as if he’s somehow received a wrong answer. “I say, you don’t happen to know if there’s a decent coffee shop around here, do you? Only I could murder a cappuccino.”
Saskia shakes her head. “Nothing that I’d be able to recommend, I’m afraid. If I need coffee, we have an excellent staff canteen on the premises.” She smiles. “One of the perks of the job.”
“Never mind. I reckon I’ll just go back to my hotel, then.” He shrugs. “Sorry, it’s just that I was scheduled to have a meeting with someone in the budget department here and it’s been postponed ’til tomorrow morning.”
She glances at the ever-changing display, realising they’ve somehow travelled past her floor without her noticing. “Where are you staying?”
“Just off the Grand-Place.”
Her face lights up. “Ah, now I do know a good café there. You have to be careful in that area. There are so many tourist traps it’s easy to spend far more than you should on an indifferent cup of coffee.”
“Well, I don’t know Brussels at all. This is my first trip over here, and I’m on my own. You don’t fancy acting as a guide, do you?”
Tell him you’d love to but you can’t. He might be the hottest man you’ve met in ages, but it’s the middle of the afternoon. You have so much work piled up on your desk, and Celine’s still waiting for the transcription of that meeting…
“Of course. I need to get my bag, though.”
“Sure. I’ll meet you down in the lobby. My name’s Dominic, by the way.”
She offers him her hand. He holds it a moment longer than is socially acceptable, but she makes no move to pull away. It feels as though they’ve completed some circuit, pressing one wire to another, and electricity zings through her. Her lips part and she gazes at him, wondering if he’s had the same reaction.
“Okay.” Saskia breaks the contact with some reluctance as the car comes to a halt. “I’d better get out here; go back up to my office.”
Dominic nods. “See you shortly.”
She stands waiting for the next elevator, unable to believe what she’s just agreed to. Her attendance record is exemplary, with hardly a day off sick since she joined the organisation three years ago. Is she really thinking of leaving early for no other reason than that she wants to hang out with suave, sexy Dominic?
You keep saying you want adventure in your life. You can’t run away the first time it presents itself.