No Strings__ - By Janelle Denison
“DON’T LOOK NOW, but Aiden just walked in.” That statement was followed up with a long, lingering sigh of adoration.
Waiting in line to order her morning coffee, Chloe Reiss smiled at her coworker Holly, who was standing in front of her, facing the line of people behind them. Her friend had a dreamy, wistful look on her face, one that was common among most of the women who set eyes on Aiden Landry, and especially for the ones who worked with him at Perry & Associates. The man was gorgeous, sexy and charming—a lethal combination any female with a healthy libido was quick to appreciate.
Including Chloe. Because she’d never be able to touch that, looking was all she had the luxury of doing. She and Aiden worked for the same ad agency and had been required to sign a strict “no dating coworkers” agreement as part of their employment as advertising executives. She understood the need for such a rule, especially in a career where creativity, drive and focus was key. Dating was a huge distraction, and more times than not, it ended in a messy breakup that made working together difficult and awkward, if not impossible.
But Chloe had to admit that the firm’s policy was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because it kept her from doing something incredibly foolish—like giving in to the heated attraction between her and Aiden and doing all kinds of wicked things with him. A curse, because it kept her from experiencing what she was certain would be the most phenomenal sex she’d ever had. As it was, a little harmless flirtation would be all that they’d ever indulge in, but there were definitely times she wished she could straddle the line between business and pleasure with Aiden.
She and Holly took a step forward in the line, and Chloe casually glanced over her shoulder. Piercing blue eyes met hers, as if Aiden had been waiting for her to turn around. The slow, purely male smile easing up the corner of his mouth gave her a jolt of instantaneous awareness, stronger than any shot of caffeine ever could. In return, she waggled her fingers at him in a playful morning greeting before returning her attention to Holly.
“Coffee is on me this morning,” Chloe said as they stepped up to the barista. The day was off to a fine start.
Holly asked for a Chai tea, and Chloe ordered a skinny vanilla latte for herself and a cappuccino with one packet of sugar for Aiden. Two years of them working together as account executives for Perry & Associates had given her some insight into the man’s vices. She knew how he liked his morning java, and because coworkers often met up after hours at the Executive Bar located on the ground floor of the high rise where they worked, she also knew his alcoholic beverage of choice was Glenlivit Scotch neat.
After paying for the drinks, she and Holly picked up their orders at the other end of the counter.
“Thanks for the tea,” Holly said, and shifted anxiously on her feet. “I hate to bolt on you, but I have a marketing report that’s due on Leland’s desk first thing this morning. You know he’ll start bellowing if it’s not in his chubby little hands at eight o’clock sharp.”
Chloe grinned at Holly’s apt description of her marketing supervisor. “Go ahead. I’ll talk to you later.”
Holly took off for the bank of elevators located in the lobby outside of the coffee shop, and Chloe headed toward Aiden, two cups of brew in her hands. Still waiting in line, he watched her approach, a dark, curious brow raised as she neared. The man was model gorgeous, with chiseled features and a sensual mouth. His pitch-black hair, cut into a neat, short style, combined with those devastatingly sapphire blue eyes, was one helluva potent combination that never failed to make her a little breathless when all that hotness was directed at her—as it was right now.
In Chloe’s estimation, Aiden was total male perfection, and then some. Tall, lean and built like a Greek God, he wore the expensive cut of his tailored suit with flawless ease and effortless sophistication. The times he took off his jacket, usually by the end of the workday, was always an added visual treat for Chloe, because those crisp white dress shirts he favored showcased his broad shoulders and hinted at the athletically honed body beneath. And when he rolled up the sleeves and exposed