Excerpt from Asset-Russian Spy

asset book cover

“So… I’m curious…” Meg started as she glanced over at him in the car. “Why were your parents so surprised that you had a date at the gala? Wouldn’t someone like you have women constantly vying for your attention?”

Even though he sensed humor in her voice, his shoulders shrugged noncommittally. “I don’t like to date anymore. I prefer to stay away from the dating scene as much as I possibly can.” That was more information than he really wanted to give her, but if she started to wonder why he decided to not ask her out again, that was why. He wasn’t interested in getting involved with anyone because all it usually led to was a broken heart.

“Ah… I see… Just got out of a bad relationship then?”

Nate shook his head and smiled slightly. “Not really. Maybe a couple years ago. But now I’m just done.”

He didn’t go into detail, he didn’t explain himself, he just let his statement hang in the air in the car with them. Their date was practically over, and on top of that, he felt incredibly deflated by what had happened with Mark. He just wanted tonight to be over with.

Finally, they pulled up to her apartment and he walked her to the bottom of the stairs. “So, I had a great time,” Meg smiled up at him. “Thanks for coming with me. I’m sorry about the whole Mark incident.”

“It’s fine,” he chuckled wryly. “Just expect lots of damage control tomorrow. I’ll see you in the morning.” He was about to walk away when Meg touched his arm briefly.

“Do you want to come up for a second?” Meg asked, immediately putting him on his guard. If she was asking him to go up to her apartment, that was never a good sign, especially when they worked together.

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea. I’ll just see you at work tomorrow.”

Meg rolled her eyes as he started to back away from the front step. “I’ve just been working on something for the campaign. I thought you might want to have a look at it before work tomorrow, especially with all the damage control we have to do.”

Nate’s ears turned red with embarrassment. Why had he been thinking that she had wanted to start something with him? Of course it was only work related, because that’s all they were and that’s all they were ever going to be.

“Oh, sure. That’s fine. Lead the way.” He followed her up a flight up stairs before she took her keys out of her handbag and unlocked the door, leading him inside. Her apartment looked as if it had hardly been lived in. Everything looked perfectly in place, not a single disorganized thing in the vicinity. Either she was hardly ever home or she was a neat freak, and he didn’t know her well enough yet to figure out which one it was.

“This is your place?” Nate asked as he picked a book up off the coffee table in the living room. It was a book on modern art, which made him wonder if Meg was into art. He hadn’t thought her to be the type.

She nodded and flicked on the lamp before turning off the main lights. When he looked at her quizzically, she said, “Oh, it just saves on energy, plus it’s not quite so bright. I think I might be getting a migraine.”

Nate scrunched his nose in distaste. “Those are the worst. Really, I can leave and you can show me what you’ve been working on tomorrow. It’s not like eight hours of a delay will really affect anything.”

“Oh, you’d be surprised,” Meg laughed as she disappeared into the kitchen. “Do you want something to drink? I have water, juice, milk…water.”

He chuckled as he loosened his tie slightly and stared out the glass door that led to the balcony. The city looked so beautiful from up here. “Water’s fine, thank you.”

From where he stood, he could hear Meg filling a couple glasses of water before she came back into the living room and set the glasses on the coffee table. He could just barely make out her reflection in the window before turning his attention back to the city below, the traffic lights, house lights, and car lights all winking into existence.

“I’ve always liked this time of night,” Nate mused. “For me, at least, it’s the best time to think.”

“And what are you thinking about right now?” she asked, slowly approaching him from behind.

He turned to face her and replied, “About work. My other work. After my current project is finished, I want to…” Nate trailed off slowly, confusedly, as Meg gently grabbed a hold of his tie, pulling it through her hands again and again, making the backs of his ears turn red as he gazed back into her bright blue, beautiful eyes. “Umm… You know what? I think I should g—”

Nate was cut off as Meg pulled him abruptly toward her, pressing her lips against his. His eyes widened as he stood there awkwardly, not knowing what to do. He was her boss for goodness sake. This definitely wasn’t appropriate.

Carefully placing his hands on her shoulders, he pushed her away, surprising himself by finding it hard to do so. “I really should get going,” he whispered. “I…uh…have to be at work early.”

“Must you leave so soon?” she whispered back, leaning toward him again and placing small kisses on his neck. He swallowed hard as goosebumps crawled down his spine, and it was becoming harder and harder to remember why he had to leave.

“Yeah…” he said after a few moments, finally finding his brain again. “I don’t think this is very smart.”

Once again, Nate made a move to leave, to escape from there before he was able to do something really stupid, but Meg managed to trap him against the wall, causing his heart rate to pick up deafeningly quick in his rib cage as her knee slid up his thigh, her high-heeled foot wrapping around his leg and revealing a slit in her dress that traveled all the way up her thigh. He let out a shaky breath, doing his best to push away his desire. He was her boss. He was her boss. He was her boss.

But his brain became foggy all over again as her lips traveled along the base of his throat, and all the reasons to push her away flew right out the window along with his rationale. It suddenly became really hot in the room as Meg kissed his lips again and again and again until he couldn’t fight it anymore. Nate gave in and kissed her back, his hands sliding down her sides before wrapping an arm around her waist and pulling her closer, pressing her against him. He explored her lips, letting out a long breath as she unbuttoned his shirt and slid her hands up his chest and tangled her fingers in his hair, setting his whole body on fire.

Nate’s hand traveled up her thigh, reveling in the feeling of her warm, smooth skin against his fingers. Desire for her built up inside of him as the kiss became even deeper, and he wanted to kiss her everywhere. He wanted to find out what was beneath this beautiful silver dress of hers.

He started to reach for the zipper on the back of her dress, but before he could do so, Meg spun him around so he hit the next wall, something falling and smashing to the ground, but they were both too preoccupied to even glance over to see what it was.

Meg’s hands tangled even more into his hair, causing flames of desire to erupt inside of him. But suddenly the kiss ended and Meg pushed Nate out the front door.

She grinned maliciously, her eyes gazing back at him seductively as she pulled him toward her by the tie so their lips were only an inch apart. “Just a little taste,” she whispered as she started backing away and winking at him before closing the door behind her, leaving Nate standing out in the empty hallway by himself wondering what on earth had just happened as he stared dumbfoundedly at the closed door. He knew that they shouldn’t have done that, but it had been one hell of a kiss. Now he just had to figure out how to face her tomorrow morning at work.

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