His to Cherish His to Cherish (Titans Quarter #3) - Sierra Cartwright

Chapter 1

“Which floor?”

“Twelve, thanks.” Emma exhaled her relief. The gentleman in the elevator had patiently held the door open while she hurried across the lobby of the New Orleans office building. She’d been at lunch too long—the quarterly gathering with her college girlfriends had been too scandalous and delicious to leave. As the waiter had brought a second glass of wine for each of them, they’d shared stories of their sex lives—the thrills and droughts—and now she was in danger of running late for a meeting with a client.

The man pushed the button for the twelfth floor and then fifteen—presumably his—as the compartment closed.

“How’s the book?”

“Umm. This?” Self-consciously she moved the bestselling paperback behind her. “I just borrowed it from a friend.” Borrowed it? Pried it from Kathleen’s unwilling fingers was more like it. Everywhere Emma went, people were talking about the novel, and after some of her friends’ confessions over lunch, Emma had been desperate to read it. Though she had a couple of friends who were into BDSM, she knew little about it. What she did know intrigued her. But where would she find a man into that kind of kink? Her last boyfriend, Aaron, had called her a freak when she’d bought a couple of scarves and asked him to tie her up with them. Later, she found out that was only the beginning of their problems.

“Do you know anything about the novel?”

She took a second look at the man next to her. He was taller than her, by at least a couple of inches, and that said something. In heels, she wasn’t used to looking up at many people.

He appeared to be in his mid-thirties, and his thick dark hair had a hint of gray at the temples, which added to his dangerous and distinguished good looks.

Even though she knew she was staring, she couldn’t look away. His eyes were a startling shade of green, dark and intense. She had an odd, feminine sense that he saw through her tough exterior into her innermost secrets.

“So, do you?”

Stalling for time, she pretended to misunderstand. “Do I what?”

“Do you know anything about the book?”

He captured her gaze. Instinct told her to look away, but she couldn’t. Unnerved, she tightened her grip on her purse strap. “It’s hard not to. It’s being talked about everywhere.” Realizing she was in danger of babbling, something she did not do, she changed the direction of the conversation. “Have you read it?”

“I haven’t read it, no. There’s no need.”

“No need?”

His scent seemed to brand the air—something crisp and outdoorsy, a stamp of primal male power and intrigue.

He reached inside his suit jacket.

Emma made a decent living as a financial adviser, and she recognized quality. The suit that had been exquisitely tailored to fit his toned body cost at least a month of her salary.

“I live the lifestyle.”

“The lifestyle? Meaning?” A bell dinged, indicating that she’d reached her floor.

“I’m a Dominant.” He extracted his wallet, then offered her his business card. “Look me up if you’re curious.”

Without looking at it, she accepted his offering and tucked it into her purse.

The doors slid open. As if hypnotized, she remained rooted in place.

Because she hadn’t moved, he reached out to press a button to prevent the car from closing. As he did, a wink of gold flashed from his cufflink. What kind of man still wore those to work?

“I look forward to hearing from you. Ms.…?”

Automatically, maybe foolishly, she provided it. “Monroe. Emma Monroe.”

He smiled, and something warm passed through her. “Very soon.” This man, tall and broad, had an air of easy command, as if he was accustomed to issuing orders and having others obey. She had an insane urge to treat him with respect he’d yet to earn. Her entire body warmed beneath his attention.

He stepped aside, and she exited the elevator. Wondering what had happened, Emma just stood there.

“Oh my Lord! You were on the elevator with Philip Dettmer? Hello…? Earth to Emma…”

She looked at Lori, the firm’s receptionist. Lori had been with Larson Financial almost as long as Emma had been. “That was Philip Dettmer?” Though it was fruitless, she looked over her shoulder.

“Yeah. The one. The only.” Lori sighed. “The unbearably sexy.”

Emma knew his name—who in Louisiana didn’t? He was legendary when it came to buying businesses, whether or not they wanted to be bought. He owned stakes in the local football team and was rumored to be a billionaire. From his air of confidence, she certainly believed it. Of course she