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Executive Decision

Executive Decision by Holley TrentContemporary romance short story

Published May 2012 by Musa Publishing

Setting: Edenton, North Carolina

Heat level: Spicy (contains adult language and a scene of graphic sensuality)

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Secretary Ellen works in a headhunting office that handles most of its business by phone. When one job candidate, a marine engineer named Christian, drives to Edenton to assess the firm’s legitimacy, he recognizes Ellen from something she thought was well in her past. When the sexual magnetism between Ellen and Christian boils over on the waterfront, they attempt a tryst that leaves them both feeling unsatisfied.

Christian sees Ellen as the mermaid of his fantasies and wants to build on their chance encounter, but does Ellen want to be caught in his net or will she swim off to get her satisfaction elsewhere?


He turned in his seat, watching as I organized, and I suddenly became very conscious of the fact that the tops of my stockings and my garter clips were exposed through the slits at my ridden-up skirt sides. “Bottled water? Something stronger?”

“Water is fine.”

I opened everything and set it out along with some china and utensils Carl had me schlep over from his kitchen. I would be schlepping them right back after Christian left and probably washing them.

“Okay?” I asked after giving him a supply of napkins.

“Yes, thank you.”

I scurried as calmly as I could to get away from him because the longer I stayed in his field of gravity the more I wanted to do something stupid. Like lick him.

I pulled my seat up as close as I could to my desk, hiding behind my computer screen and propping my headset back on my head. While Christian ate, more interested in roast beef than in my awkwardness at the moment, I pulled up his info sheet in our database and skimmed it. My phone beeped and I remembered I’d put Jason on hold all that time ago.

“Shit, I’m sorry, Jason,” I whispered, plucking the call back up. “I forgot you were there.”

“That’s all right,” he said, crunching loudly on whatever it was he had been eating while I left him dangling. “I’d rather be on hold than to pick more calls. Besides, you’re easy.”

“Um, thanks?”

“You got it.” He walked me through a series of things I needed to do to the server on my end, having me go into the closet to jiggle this or that or to restart things. Christian had finished his lunch and was watching the spectacle with rapt attention. I had to keep going back to the phone to have Jason explain what things looked like as my headset cord didn’t reach far enough to take him with me. I didn’t like having Christian at my back, but didn’t see where I had any choice besides putting Jason on speaker. Jason knew I was server-inept. I didn’t really want to broadcast that fact to in-office candidates.

Finally, the laser printer started spitting out the stack of test pages we’d been trying to send through for the past day and I let out a hearty “Halleluiah.”

“That’s why you keep us on retainer,” Jason said smugly.

I hung up on him and went back to my file-ogling just as Carl emerged from his hidey-hole. “Christian!” he said with more animation than I’d ever heard from him. “Sorry to keep you waiting. Come on into my office so we don’t disturb Ellen’s work.”

“No need to apologize. The view has been nice,” Christian said, pushing against the table to stand and glancing in my direction. I sat up straighter and cleared my throat. I’m nothing if not confident, but right then I was feeling pretty “nothing.”