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Slow Seduction

By Marie Rochelle



Description

Book Two of The Men of CCD!

From the moment he laid eyes on Jenisha Roman, Clinton Campbell wanted her. He knew he would stop at nothing to make the leggy, dark-skinned beauty his, and nobody - not family, not Jenisha's manipulative boss, not his delusional ex-girlfriend - would interfere.

Jenisha can't help her attraction to the dashing, successful Clinton. He's every bit as handsome as his brother, her best friend's husband. As much as she wants a relationship with Clinton, a dark cloud hangs over them, a tragic secret Jenisha thinks could change everything.

Little does Jenisha know, however, that her secrets aren't half as threatening as the dangerous end her boss is plotting for her...

Elements: BW/WM Romance


Ratings


Excerpt

Chapter One

Jenisha Roman’s gaze roamed over the bent heads of the seventeen children in her second grade class. Her eyes darkened with love at the adorable sight they made working on their weekly Wednesday spelling test. She hoped more of them studied the list words better this time than last week—out of her entire class, only seven children had passed the quiz.

A smile touched the corner of her mouth at the frown on some of their angelic faces. She adored her students like they were her very own children. Each and every day she came to work, something surprising always happened. There was never a dull moment in her classroom and she loved it.

Picking up the red pen from the corner of her desk, she graded the homework she had assigned the day before. From the corner of her eye, she noticed her assistant Becky on the computer working on a new list of words for the following week’s test. Her assistant had been with her for the past fifteen months and she didn’t know what she would’ve done without her. Becky loved working on shapes, colors, and numbers with the children. With an assistant to entertain the little ones, she had more free time to work on her lesson plans and the bigger assignments for the school week.

Sighing, Jenisha glanced back over at the stack of paperwork and grabbed another sheet off the stack. After she finished with it, she tossed the graded assignment with the other papers that needed to be stuffed in backpacks before class was over. She didn’t like hump day. It made her feel rushed to get so much done before Friday so her class didn’t have homework. At this age, she felt children should enjoy their weekend and not worry about finishing up homework for Monday.

Rubbing the corner of her left eye with the back of her hand, she glanced out the open window by her desk. She watched as a light breeze ruffled the tests on her desk, but none fell on the checkered floor.

The humid weather in Los Angeles always caused her naturally curly hair to become extremely dry and fuzzy, so last week she had an appointment with her stylist and had the unmanageable mess straightened. Now, she loved how her hair looked. It was so much easier to manage in the morning.

The soft clicking of the apple shaped clock in the back of the room drew her attention and made her realize the class had less than five minutes to finish up.

“Okay, boys and girls, you have about four minutes left on your test. Make sure you’ve checked your words and written a sentence with each one.” She would have loved to give them an extra five minutes, but she couldn’t because they had a lot more to do before class was over.

“Time’s up. Please pass your papers to the front of the room so I can pick them up.” Getting up from her desk, Jenisha stood in front of the classroom and waited while the students passed their tests toward her.

Taking the stack of quizzes from each child in the front row, she laid them on the desk behind her. “Why don’t you take out your books and start on your homework reading assignment now? If you’ve any questions before class is over, I can answer them for you.”

The sound of backpacks opening and books being tossed on desks followed her as she retook her seat. Stacking the papers into a neat pile, she opened her leather attaché case and stuffed them inside. As she reached across the desk for a notepad, her name came across the intercom behind her.

“Jenisha Roman, please come to the front office,” Principal Mark Kimball’s authoritative voice announced over the intercom.

Why was Principal Kimball calling her to his office?

The fine hairs on the back of her neck stood up and brushed the collar of her new polka dot dress. Jenisha felt her body sizzling with anger. How dare he interrupt her class like this? Even the cool breeze licking across her skin couldn’t keep her anger from boiling to the surface.

Sucking in a couple of quick deep breaths, Jenisha didn’t move from the seat until she knew her nerves were ready to deal with Mark Kimball. She still couldn’t believe he asked her out two weeks ago. She had turned him down instantly.

Something wasn’t right about him. When she looked into his amber colored eyes, they were like bottomless pits—totally void of emotion. He hadn’t spoken a word to her since then, so it must be very important for him to call her. Whatever it was, she would deal with it and move on. The less time she spent alone with him, the better off she was.

Jenisha stood up from her chair and pulled down the hem of her skirt. She didn’t want to give Principal Kimball any ideas. Walking over to the computer center at the back of the room, she leaned down close to Becky’s ear and whispered, “Do you think you can watch the class for me while I go to the office?”

“Sure, I’ll watch them. You go ahead and see what Mark wants.” Becky saved the file she was working in and got up from the work station.

“Thanks,” Jenisha said then left the room.

****

Strolling down the long empty hallway, she listened as her new heels clicked against the checkered title. The sound echoed across the lockers and for some reason she thought the walk seemed longer than usual. She wondered why Principal Kimball wanted to see her so late in the afternoon. Hopefully, this wasn’t another attempt to ask her out again. She didn’t know how many times she could tell him no in a nice way.

Jenisha shook her head. No, she wasn’t going to allow any negative thoughts to enter her mind. She got her point across loud and clear the last time Mark cornered her in the staff lounge. He wasn’t about to go down the same road again with her. However, whatever he wanted from her she would handle it head-on without any fear. Most of the teachers in the school were scared of Principal Kimball because of his quick temper, but she wasn’t. The first time he yelled at her, she would make sure it was the last time.

As she continued down the hallway, her dress brushed her long legs. She hated her legs since the sixth grade, but other people constantly told her how amazing they were. She wanted to scream at them that having long legs wasn’t exciting. When she was younger, all the guys she wanted to date were shorter than her and they never wanted a date a girl taller than them.

No. Her forty-two inch legs had been a pain until she decided to do something about them. So, instead of hating them for the rest of her life, she started working out to make them look the way she wanted. It took almost a full year, but she finally she had legs she was proud of.

Slowing down her fast pace, Jenisha paused inside the empty hallway and tried to calm her nerves. She hated the man on the other side with such a deep passion. Her stomach started doing a nosedive at the thought of being alone and behind a closed door with him. Pulling her dress closer to her body, she dreaded the thought of his cold, clammy hands anywhere on her.

Jenisha sighed as her hand grasped the cold, metal doorknob. The only thing colder was Mark’s heart. She shoved the door open and flinched as a gust of air hit her in the face. Her body broke out in goose bumps as she walked into the room and slammed the door shut.

She glanced around the office very quickly, nervous a cocky Mark would appear at any minute. But, thankfully, he was nowhere in sight. However, she knew that he was probably in his office waiting for her. Taking long confident steps, she walked until she encountered his secretary’s desk, which was located in the very back of the room between the water cooler and the bathroom. It was almost like someone made the space especially for Robin. What was that old saying? Out of sight? Out of mind?

Robin Carter wouldn’t acknowledge her first. The woman couldn’t stand the sight of her and she didn’t know why. The first day Robin started working for Mark, she made it a point of antagonizing her any free chance she had, which was usually on a daily basis.

“Good morning, Robin,” she exclaimed, drawing the younger woman’s attention to her.

Robin’s indigo eyes shot up from the magazine and glared at her. “Well, it’s about time you got here,” she spat as she brushing a lock of her shiny black hair over her thin shoulders.

“They have been waiting almost fifteen minutes on you.” She glanced at Principal’s Kimball closed door, then back at her.

They were waiting for her? “Do you know who’s in there with Principal Kimball?” She knew it was best not to piss Robin off with too many questions.

“If I did know, do you really think I would tell you?” Robin snapped, rolling her eyes. She picked up her discarded magazine and finished reading her article.

Jenisha couldn’t believe how Robin got pissed over one simple question. The girl was becoming a pain in her side. Easing away from the desk, she went over and knocked on Principal’s Kimball door. She didn’t have time for round two with Robin when she hadn’t started round one with Mark.

“Come in, Jenisha,” Principal Kimball yelled from the other side.

Turning the door handle, she walked inside Mark’s sanctuary. As the door closed softly, the smell of too much Old Spice cologne and Old English furniture polish tinkled her nose. Rubbing her index finger across her nose, Jenisha fought back a sneeze as she moved to stand in front of his desk.

A pair of tan male slacks caught her peripheral vision, but she didn’t pay much attention. Yet, the outline of his body did seem very familiar. However, she wanted to escape Principal Kimball’s office as quickly as possible. That alone made her not want to give the man another thought. “You wanted to see me, sir?”

****

Mark Kimball tapped his fingers on his freshly polished desktop. He couldn’t take his eyes off how the fitted dress hugged Jenisha’s curves. He hated how his body always responded to the silky sound of Jenisha’s sweet voice. He wanted her with a crazed passion, but she looked at him like he was something she found on the bottom of her expensive, three inch high heels. “You’re the president of ‘Expand Our School’ committee, aren’t you?”

“Yes, I’m the president and I’ve waited weeks to hear back from the architect,” Jenisha replied. “Have you finally heard something?”

“As a matter of fact, I have.” Mark answered, still hating the way her voice made his body surge with excitement. “Our new architect/contractor is sitting right behind you. I’m surprised you didn’t notice him when you walked in.” He pointed to the chair behind her.

“Jenisha Roman, I would like for you to meet Clinton Campbell.” Mark made the introduction brief but formal. “Clinton Campbell, please meet the president of ‘Expand Our School’ committee, Jenisha Roman.”

****

Turning around slowly, Jenisha’s eyes widened from shock. She couldn’t believe Clinton was barely five feet behind her. His tall body looked very relaxed in the dark leather chair. Her heart fluttered in her ribcage and she felt thrown off by his expected appearance, and the pure joy she felt at seeing him after so many months almost made her gasp.

She thought she would never lay eyes on his handsome face again after her brief meeting with him at True’s house back in Montana. Her mouth opened and closed several times, but she couldn’t get any words past her dry throat and lips.

“It’s very nice to meet you, Miss Roman,” Clinton extended his hand.

Damn! His voice was still as warm and inviting as she remembered. That voice had tormented her so many times when she was alone in her bed at night. The cold air blowing from the air conditioner around them couldn’t cool her body down.

Shaking herself out of the trance Clinton had just seduced her with, Jenisha eased her hand into his larger, warmer one. “Nice to meet you too, Mr. Campbell.”

Clinton’s cologne stirred her senses, making her think about steamy days and nights filled with him in her huge canopy bed. Embarrassed by her wicked thoughts, she quickly dropped his hand. Tossing him one last quick glance as he sat down, she spun back to face Mark.

Mark smiled at the disbelief on her face. “Jenisha, Mr. Campbell has agreed to work on the designs and construction for the additions at a cheaper price than the other two designers located here in Los Angeles. So, of course, I had no choice but to hire him on the spot.”

“Are you sure Mr. Campbell is the right choice?”

“Is there a problem with us working together, Miss Roman?” his voice taunted as he stood.

“No, I’m just surprised you would come all this way to work on a small project like this one,” Jenisha answered. “I know you probably have more important clients than us.”

Clinton smiled. “I see you’ve heard of Campbell Design and Construction. Please, let’s not be so formal. Call me Clinton since we’re going to spend so much time together.”

She wasn’t going to let Clinton trick her into admitting she already knew him. Principal Kimball didn’t need another thing to use against her. “Mr. Campbe… Clinton, I researched all the best design firms in the country and yours was in the top ten. I wanted you, but I didn’t think Principal Kimball would actually contact you.”

She mentally kicked herself for her accidental slip of her tongue. She had to get out of there before she did something to embarrass herself.

****

Clinton folded his arms across his chest so he wouldn’t yank Jenisha into his arms and kiss her senseless. She looked so damn delicious in that long, black, polka dot dress. From the way the fabric cupped her high, firm breasts, he wondered if she was even wearing a bra. He didn’t like the thought of her being braless with Principal Kimball not ten feet in front of them.

He had missed the hell out of her and almost would have taken her cold façade seriously, but her trembling hand gave away far too much. She’d missed him. He was certain of it. This was going to be best the job of his life. Jenisha wasn’t going to know what hit her.

When it came to something he wanted, he was like his brother Hayward. He went after it with everything he had. Right now he wanted Jenisha and he would have her.

“You don’t how much it pleases me to know that you researched my firm. I’m anxious to begin working together. I can tell from looking at you it’s going to be a pleasure.”

Jenisha shot him a cool stare. “I’m sure it’ll be an experience neither one of us will soon forget.” She gave him a once over and then focused her attention back to Principal Kimball.

“If you don’t need me anymore, I need to get back to my classroom.”

“If we’re finished here, I’d like to walk Jenisha back to her classroom. It would give her a chance to fill me in on the project details.” Clinton’s rich voice interrupted.

“Oh, there’s really no need for that. I’m sure Clinton has more important things to do than to walk with me,” she cut in.

“I disagree totally, Miss Roman,” Mark chimed in. “I think the time alone will give the two of you a chance to get better acquainted. It might be a good idea if you gave him your phone number and address, too.”

Clinton could barely keep the grin off his face. Shit, why didn’t he think of that first? He sobered quickly when Jenisha flung him another cold glare. Damn, where in the hell was her sense of humor?

“Is that really necessary?” she asked.

Principal Kimball stared at him first him then directed his attention back to Jenisha. Clinton didn’t like the lustful way Mark’s gaze traveled over Jenisha’s body before he looked into her eyes. From the way Jenisha seemed to squirm, she didn’t appreciate the lingering look, either.

Was there something going on between the two of them that he needed to know about? He spotted a wedding ring on the other man’s hand when he was talking to him earlier. Or was it one-sided? Had Jenisha shut down Principal’s Kimball’s advances and he didn’t know how to take no for an answer?

Clinton kept all his thoughts to himself. He would have enough time later on to figure out what was going between the sexy woman next to him and her boss.

“Miss Roman, you wanted this project to happen for over a year now. It’s your baby. It’s only fair that Mr. Campbell has a way to contact you in case of an emergency,” Mark snapped.

Clinton narrowed his eyes at Mark. Now wait one damn minute. He didn’t have to belittle Jenisha like that in front of him. Where in the hell were this guy’s manners?

“It’s all right if Jenisha doesn’t want me to have the personal information yet. I can talk to her here at the school anytime I need to know anything.”

“No, I don’t mind giving you the information,” Jenisha cut in. “I’ll write it down for you as soon as we get back to my classroom.”

“Well, I’m glad that’s all settled,” Mark commented, picking a pen off his desk. “Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have another appointment.”

Clinton knew when he was being dismissed. “Thanks again for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me.” Mark only nodded at him before writing something down on the legal pad in front of him.

“After you, Miss Roman.” He looked at Jenisha and gestured toward the office door.

“All right,” Jenisha sighed. She turned away from him and headed toward the door.

Following behind her, his eyes were drawn to the snug fit of the dress pressed against her tight butt. Shit, he couldn’t get over how sexy Jenisha was. He might have a hard time, but he was going to win her over while he was in town.

“Here, let me get that for you.”

Reached past Jenisha he pushed the door open with the palm of his hand. Clinton flinched when the hairs on his wrist skimmed across the silkiness of Jenisha’s bare skin. Casting a glance down, he saw the wide-eyed expression that crossed Jenisha’s face. He knew without asking that she had felt the same sensations race through her body.

Leaning closer to her ear, he whispered, “Sorry about that, Jenisha.”

Clinton watched as Jenisha slowly moved her face and brought her full mouth within kissing distance of his. He stamped down his need to kiss her right then and there. She was sending him a passionate challenge that was hard to resist. However, he didn’t want their first kiss to be in front of her boss.

“Don’t worry about it,” she said, going out the door in front of him.

He placed his hand in the small of Jenisha’s back and escorted her from the office. She tossed him a stunned look over her shoulder but didn’t say anything.

Waiting until they were further down the hall, Jenisha jerked away from his touch in the empty hallway. “What are you doing here? Did you just take this job to torment me?” Her russet colored eyes glared up at him.

Frowning, he reached out and pulled a lock of straightened hair between his fingers. “I like your curls better,” he complained. “They are so much sexier on you.”

He had to fight his overwhelming need to be close to her. Something about Jenisha soothed him making a happiness fill a void that had been empty for years. It was a definite turn-on being this close to her. What would she do if he kissed those plump lips of hers? Well, there was only one way to find out.

While he had her distracted, Clinton snaked his arm around Jenisha’s waist and crushed her against his chest. “I came here to make you fall in love with me, because I know I fell in love with you the moment I saw you standing in True’s living room.”

Glancing around the hallway, he made sure they were still alone and planted his lips over her cherry-red lipstick. He poured all the loneliness he felt into their first kiss. He wanted to wipe every other man from her memory. Jenisha was his, and he wasn’t about to share her with Mark Kimball or any other man at Bryant Elementary.

****

Clinton’s talented mouth moved over hers, devouring every common sense in her mind. Jenisha struggled to get away from him. She was at work and needed to set an example. She couldn’t let him take control of her mind and body like this; it just wasn’t right.

She heard a moan coming from somewhere, but she knew it couldn’t be her. She didn’t moan for a man she barely knew in the middle of the hallway. Jenisha felt Clinton’s mouth move to take several quick nibbles at the side of her neck, leaving her mouth burning with fire. Standing on tiptoes, she moved her head to give him better access to her neck.

Lifting his mouth from her neck, Clinton brushed a gentle kiss across her forehead. “I knew you would taste good,” he whispered as he moved away from her.

She stepped back and tried to regain her composure. Biting her lips, she looked away from the direct stare of his eyes. She could feel the heat of his gaze on the side of her face, but she refused to look at him.

What was it about this man that made her act this away? He blew her mind with one innocent kiss in a matter of seconds. What could he do if she fully trusted him?

Turning away from Clinton, Jenisha headed for her classroom and shoved his earth-shattering kiss to the back of her mind. She would have plenty of time to think about it tonight while she was alone in bed.

Shoving his hands into his pants, Clinton followed behind Jenisha. He smiled at her retreating and plotted how soon he could steal another kiss from her. He wasn’t satisfied with a short trip to paradise. He wanted a round trip ticket when it came to Jenisha.

****

Easing from behind the row of lockers, Robin watched Clinton walk behind Jenisha toward her classroom. She crumpled up the note she had for him and tossed it in trashcan. “I hate that bitch!” she growled underneath her breath.

There was no way in hell she would allow Jenisha to have someone as affluent and gorgeous as Clinton Campbell. She already hated her for so being so damn beautiful and classy all the time. She couldn’t remember a time Jenisha looked bad at work. Robin bet that Jenisha never had a second hand outfit on her perfect body. She was too much of a spoiled princess for that.

For the past couple of months, she had tried to think of different of ways to get back at Jenisha. Now, after seeing her reaction to Clinton, she finally had a plan. After she was finished with her, Jenisha would no longer walk around with a superior attitude of hers. Tossing them one more malicious smile, Robin raced back to the office.

****

Pausing by some lockers a few doors down from her classroom, Jenisha confronted Clinton about what happened. “We need to talk about that kiss. You can’t get me in a lip lock like that again.”

His kiss had made her knees weak, and there was no way in hell she was going to let him find that out. Better to keep him at arm’s length. It really worried her that he might be the man she had been waiting for her entire life. Damn, it has already been so hard fighting the attention she had for him with hundreds of miles separating them. How in the hell was she supposed to resist him now? He was going to be in the same town with her for months.

“You’re here to work on the school and nothing else. We aren’t in a relationship and we never will be in one,” she finished her eyes alive with fire. “Do you understand me?”

Instead of answering her question, Clinton reclaimed her lips, crushing her shocked body back to him. Unlike the first kiss that was passionate and a little on the wild side, this kiss was slow and thoughtful. He was taking his time with her like he wanted her to learn the shape and taste of his mouth.

He traced the outline of her lips with the very tip of his tongue. Slipping his tongue inside her mouth, Clinton licked her mouth until a soft moan escaped between her lips. He explored her smooth teeth, bringing another deep moan from somewhere deep inside her traitorous body. Somewhere during all this wonderful kissing, she had lost sense of her surroundings, but Clinton hadn’t. Grasping her arms tenderly in his hands, he pushed his aroused body away from hers.

Breathing deeply, he asked, “Baby, are you okay?” Using his fingers, he brushed her soft hair away from her face and stared at her.

Jenisha sucked in a deep breath and blinked hard. The pounding in her ears along with her racing pulse was real. She wasn’t at home having another Clinton fantasy in her big lonely bed. “Yes, I’m fine,” she stammered when she finally regained her speaking voice.

“Sexy, don’t over analyze this kiss or the one a few minutes ago. It was a kiss between old friends, not a marriage proposal.” He ran his knuckles along her jaw. Was there anything about this man that didn’t turn her on?

“Unless you want it to be,” Clinton teased, breaking the tension that surrounded them.

“Sure, it was just a kiss between old friends,” she whispered, still dazed from the kiss. She wiped the side of her mouth with two fingers and prayed no one had seen her foolish behavior in the hallway.

“Good. Now which classroom is yours?” He looked down the hallway at two closed doors. Clinton needed some kind of distraction to get his mind off his mouth making love to Jenisha’s again. A third time might not be the charm for him.

Hurriedly, she moved away from Clinton before his grin made her body and mind betray her again. As she waked down the hall, she felt his presence behind her so warm and strong. The anger from forty-five minutes ago evaporated from her body as she neared her classroom. Before they went in, she needed to set a few things straight with him. Placing her hand over her heart, she willed it to slow down.

“This is my classroom,” she smiled, nodding toward the door.

“Well, let’s go in so I can see you in action.” Clinton reached for the handle, but she stopped him by easing in front of it.

“Wait, we can’t go in there yet,” she said, holding Clinton at bay. “Do I look okay? There isn’t anything out of place, is there? I can’t go back inside with my clothes and hair all messed up.” She didn’t want her class to see her any differently than it usually did.

Clinton’s gaze traveled from the top of Jenisha’s silky, smooth, brownish-black hair, down her perky breasts and narrow waist, taking in her hips with the long, lithe thighs that he was counting the days until he got to touch. She looked incredible. “You look gorgeous.”

Believing him, she pushed the door, and Clinton noticed the light came that came into Jenisha’s eyes when she looked at her students.

“The class thought you were never coming back,” Becky told her the second she stepped through the door.

“I’m sorry, everyone, but I had to make a quick trip to the principal’s office.”

“Are you in trouble, Miss Roman?” a dark-haired little boy asked from the back row. “Is he going to call your parents?”

Jenisha laughed at Christopher Falk. He was the most inquisitive little boy, and she didn’t mind answering any of his questions. But before she could reply, Clinton answered for her.

“No, Miss Roman was called to the principal’s office to meet me.”

Clinton’s deep voice sounded even sexier in her small classroom. Jenisha enjoyed watching him interact with her students. He handled their questions and comments like a pro.

“Who are you?” The class asked in unison.

“My name is Clinton Campbell,” he said “I’m going to be working on remodeling your school.”

She noticed how her class studied him intensely without breaking their stare. She could tell it was making Clinton a little uncomfortable. He wasn’t used to being around this many small children at one time.

“Are you going to date our teacher?” Christopher questioned from the back of the classroom. “I think she’s really pretty and needs to go out on a date.”

“Christopher, will you stop asking so many questions? Mr. Campbell isn’t here to date me,” Jenisha said, giving Clinton a quick look. She didn’t need him to get any ideas that their relationship would involve anything but business.

“Christopher, I would love to date your teacher, but every time I ask her out she turns me down.” Clinton caught her eye and winked.

Coughing, Jenisha moved closer to Clinton. Holding her hand in front of her mouth, she whispered, “Stop it.”

****

Becky stood to the side and watched the scene take place, shocked beyond words. She couldn’t believe how ruffled Jenisha was by Clinton. She had never seen Jenisha thrown off by anything, not even when Principal Kimball made an unexpected visit to their classroom two weeks ago.

But Clinton had her friend dazed and confused with just a few flirtatious words. After class was over she definitely needed to find out what was going on between the two of them. Noticing Jenisha needed a break from her too inquisitive class, she finally spoke up. “Class, let’s clear off our desks and we can go to the gym for a few minutes.”

The loud sound of seventeen individual chairs being shoved underneath the small desks echoed in the classroom. After the chairs were out of the way, the children raced to the door to see who would be the first one in line.

“Everyone needs to calm down or we won’t go anywhere,” Becky warned. The class quickly folded their hand behind them and didn’t make a sound as Becky went past them. She opened the door shuffling the second graders into the hallway. Pausing in the doorway, she glanced back at Jenisha and smiled when they eyes connected.

Looking at her, Jenisha mouthed the words thank you.

Becky smiled. “Don’t worry about it. We’ll be back in about thirty minutes.” She went out the door, closing it behind her.

****

Resting her lower back on the desk’s edge, Jenisha folded her arms under her breasts and stared at the man who was ruining her well-organized life by his unexpected appearance. This wasn’t going to do at all.

“Why did you tell my class that?” she asked. “Now for the rest of the year they’re going to ask me about our date. Do you know there are some things you don’t discuss with a group of second graders?”

Pushing her body away from the massive redwood desk, Jenisha stormed around it. “You know we aren’t dating, so why say we are?” She unlocked and pushed open the two windows in the back of the room so fresh air could fill the room. “I don’t want you lying to them.”

“Are you finished?” he chuckled. “I didn’t want to interrupt your rant.”

She narrowed her eyes at him and frowned. “You aren’t funny.”

“Don’t do that. You’ll mess up your gorgeous face.”

Jenisha shook her head at Clinton. How could she stay mad at him when he made everything into a compliment or joke? “You don’t take anything I say seriously, do you?”

Clinton eased around the desk and stood in front of her. The musky scent of his cologne that radiated from his body filled her mind with so many fantasies of things to come. “When are you going to realize that I’m attracted to the whole Jenisha package? There isn’t one thing I don’t find stimulating about you.”

He brushed the back of his hand across her cheek, sending tiny currents through her lonely body. “You have so much more going on than any other woman I’ve dated. I love your outspoken ways. You don’t say things to please me or inflate my ego and that turns me on.”

Moving his hand down her face, he raised her chin with the tip of his blunt finger. “For me, that is more of a turn-on than a sexy piece of lingerie.”

“Oh really?” Jenisha smirked. Now, why didn’t she believe him?

“Okay, maybe I overdid it with that one,” Clinton laughed. “But the gorgeous smile on your face was worth it.” Clinton stroked one finger down the side of her neck. A tingling sensation started in the middle of her stomach and worked its way to every nerve ending inside her body. She loved how his strong fingers evoked that feeling in her body.

“If I promise not to push you while I’m here, will you at least think about going out on several dates with me?”

Jenisha wanted to refuse Clinton’s offer with everything inside of her. It wouldn’t do either of them any good if they mixed business with pleasure. One of them would end up hurt in the end, and it wouldn’t be Clinton. She opened her mouth to say “no,” but changed her mind after his eyes captured hers. They pleaded with her to give him a chance. Besides, when was the last time she let herself go and truly enjoyed herself with a man?

“All right. I think we could go out on a couple of dates.” Jenisha could give him that much.

Grasping her by the elbow, Clinton pulled her across the floor until their bodies touched. “I want more than two dates with you while I’m here.”

She laid her hands against Clinton’s chest to shove him away, but her thoughts filtered back to the first day she’d met him. He didn’t take no for an answer back then either. “You’re persistent, aren’t you?”

Clinton cocked an eyebrow at her. “What red-blooded man isn’t when it comes to something he wants?”

She couldn’t help but smile at his answer. Easing away from him, she moved around her desk. Tearing off the top sheet from the Betty Boop stationery, she wrote down her personal information and handed it to him.

“What’s with the Betty Boop stationery?” He grinned, waving it under her nose.

Jenisha shrugged. “I’ve loved her since I was a little girl.”

Clinton folded the piece of paper and then shoved it into the front pants pocket. “When would be the best time for me to come over so we can discuss what Principal Kimball told me the committee wanted done?”

Jenisha wanted to spend every free moment she had with Clinton, but she knew that wasn’t possible. Instead of confessing her thoughts, Jenisha found another distraction by looking down at her desk calendar and noticed school wouldn’t be in session for the next two weeks because of Spring Break. “Tomorrow at ten o’clock is fine with me. I usually get up around eight o’clock to work out.”

“I wondered how you got a body like that,” Clinton praised, eyeing her legs.

“Goodbye, Clinton,” she laughed, waving her finger at the door. She never remembered laughing this much with any other man from her past.

Clinton strolled over to the closed door. “I hope we can discuss more than just work next week, gorgeous.” He opened the door and walked out without looking back.

****

With his mind filled with thoughts about Jenisha, Clinton didn’t see the woman coming toward him with the sneaky look on her face. He ran straight into her before he knew what had happened.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Robin. I didn’t see you in front of me,” he apologized, grabbing her by the arms so she wouldn’t fall backwards. Looking down into her face, he noticed her resemblance to the dark-haired prosecutor from the television show The Practice.

“Don’t worry about it,” she retorted, smiling up at him.

“Well, I’m glad you’re okay,” Clinton said. He moved around her and continued on down the hallway.

“Shit,” Robin cursed to herself, staring at Clinton’s back in the distance. “I wanted to get him into a conversation, but he didn’t let me.”

Steamed that her plan didn’t work, Robin stormed back toward the office. She had to think of another way to get Clinton away from Jenisha. Opening the office door with a jerk, she stomped over to the desk and flung her body down into the plush chair.

“Damn it! I can’t stand that bitch. She always has everything I want,” Robin snapped, kicking her desk.

“What in the hell is wrong with you now?” Mark screamed, coming out his office door. His jaw was clenched so tight that a muscle was popped out at the side.

“I can’t stand Jenisha. Why can’t you just fire her?” Robin whined, spinning around in the chair so she could see Mark’s face. Grabbing a lock of her hair, she twisted it around her finger.

Tilting her head to the side, she flashed him her best crestfallen look and whispered, “Please, Daddy.”

Mark stormed the short distance to her desk and slammed his hand down on the cluttered space. He pressed her forehead against hers so she could feel his breath of her face.

“Have you lost your mind?” he barked. “She’s the best teacher I have here and the staff loves her. You’re the only person who voices a negative opinion about her.”

Biting her lip, Robin tried to keep eye contact with Mark, but his unblinking stare scared the hell out of her. She pushed her chair back away from his body. “But I want her gone. Why can you do that for me? I’ve never asked you for anything until now. I saw how you looked at them when they left your office. You don’t want Clinton with Jenisha, either.”

Mark bit back a nasty remark. “I don’t care about Clinton Campbell or who he seems interested in,” he spat, nostrils flaring. “What I do care about is how many times I’ve I told you not to call me ‘Daddy’ at work.”

He looked around the empty office, making sure they were still alone. “No one else knows we’re related and I want to keep it that way, do you understand?” Reaching out, he wrapped his fingers around her upper arm, making sure his nails pinched her skin.

Robin flinched under her father’s hard grip. Tugging at her arm, she whispered, “Why is it such a big secret anyway? What would it hurt for your wife to find out about the affair you had with my mom?”

Yanking her completely out of the chair by her arm, Mark shoved her against the wall behind her desk. “If I hear one word about me being your father from anyone here you’ll regret it, do you understand me?” he snapped and then flung her away from him.

Wincing, Robin rubbed her bruised arm. “I won’t say a word,” she promised. God, why does he hate me so much?

“Now, I have to leave for a very important meeting that I’m already late for because of you. So, you need to make sure the office is locked before you head home.” Her father went back into his office and grabbed his attaché case and left without a word.

Robin brushed at the hot tears pouring down her face as she watched her father race from the office without even saying goodbye to her. It tore at her heart to know her last natural living parent didn’t want her. From a very young age she knew she didn’t belong with the family that had raised her. They were good, loving people, but her mother and father looked nothing like her.

One night over dinner when she was around eight years old, she had asked them was she adopted and they told her no. Believing them, she let it go then years later she found out the truth.

Waiting until she was sure Mark was out of ear shot, Robin muttered, “I’m going to deal with the Jenisha myself and make you so proud of me. Then you won’t have to treat me like a stray dog you found on your doorstep.”