Any Way You Want Me - By Jamie Sobrato
FOR TEN YEARS he had been watching her.
The watching had started out as a niggling fascination with her beauty and notoriety, a game to see if he could keep up with her life, her whereabouts. But later she’d haunted his dreams to the point that he’d tried to put her out of his head.
He’d tried, but the game was addictive.
Now he wanted more. He wanted her. Not just to satisfy the physical desires—though that need could not be denied—but also for her skills. She could give him the access he needed to the information he wanted—highly valuable information that would be his ticket out of the rat race and in to a place in the Caymens.
She was a worthy opponent, and she would be a worthy partner.
There had been rules for the game he’d played with himself. He could look but he could not touch. He could have her only in his fantasies, where she remained delicious and perfect, unsullied by disappointing reality. And for ten years that had been enough.
But this was his game, and now he would change the rules.
THE NEW GUY in the office was a serious distraction.
How was a girl supposed to concentrate when there was a six-foot-tall specimen of male perfection strutting around, on his way to the copy machine, the fax machine, the coffee maker—always on his way somewhere, and always passing by Yasmine Talbot’s desk.
As he walked by just now, his ocean-and-evergreen scent wafting over her, Yasmine’s fingers halted on the keyboard, and when he was well past her desk, she turned to watch. Two days ago, she’d nearly fallen out of her chair watching.
He knew the effect he was having on her, and he probably reveled in his power. From the moment they’d first laid eyes on each other last week when he’d emerged from the new-employee training session and stood across the room from her, blinking under the fluorescent lights, they’d begun a silent office flirtation that had gotten progressively bolder by the day. Now it bordered on the ridiculous that they’d yet to even say hello to each other, even in an office as big as Virtual Active’s. Were they just going to exchange hot-and-heavy glances forever?
Yasmine was both amused and embarrassed by the animal-mating-dance quality their relationship had assumed. She imagined them starring in their own Discovery Channel documentary—Mating Habits of the Common Office Drone. He fluffed his feathers, strutted to and fro, made searing eye contact. Essentially he was staking his claim. But Yasmine didn’t want to be claimed. Nor did she want to star in any mating-ritual documentaries in the midst of her workplace. And yet she couldn’t deny how mesmerized she was by him. It was as if she’d been biologically programmed to want him.
This guy, with his windswept hair and his perfect ass, was the stuff heroes on the covers of romance novels were made of. Put him in a billowing white shirt unbuttoned to reveal his chest, with a beautiful damsel draped on one arm, and he’d look right at home. But put him in the middle of the mundane offices of Virtual Active, Inc. and he was likely to spawn his own interactive sex game, Virtual Alpha Male. And don’t think that, as the only female programmer at the sex software company, she hadn’t seriously considered it.
In fact, she realized, as she glanced at the file full of notes on her latest software project, Sexcapade, a night with a guy like him probably was just what she needed to kick-start her creativity. So far, she’d been uninspired, and the project was going badly.
But her attraction to the new guy was slightly bizarre. She didn’t do beefed-up, all-American-surfer-boy types. She was completely immune to the charms of calendar hunks with too-perfect hair. Yet here she was, her girl parts getting all tingly every time this guy who was prettier than she was strolled by. It had to be the lack of available attractive men in her life.
Her type of guy was darker, more brooding, prone to motorcycles and leather. True, she had a bad-boy fixation—particularly if they were the unattainable, strictly fantasy type. But the way she figured, bad boys and bad girls went hand in hand. Yasmine might have turned pretending to be good into an art form, but in her heart lurked a rebel.
The new guy disappeared into the break room, and Yasmine tried to turn her attention back to her work. But her mind kept wandering.
One other problem with him—he looked as