Desiring My Older Neighbor by Lisa Freed

CHAPTER ONE

NATHAN

“Good morning!” The upbeat voice chirps annoyingly loud.

Barely able to suppress a shudder of annoyance, I manage not to glance at the bubbly young woman waving gaily at me. I don’t even need to look to know that is indeed what she is doing. She does it every time we run into each other in the hallway of our apartment building. You would think after I snub her every single time, she would take the hint, but Little Miss Sunshine and Glitter never does.

I adjust my new rose gold cufflinks as I stride toward the elevator, eager to be away from her and on my way to work. The cufflinks are an early gift to myself in celebration of today. Today is the day I make partner. I’ve worked my ass off for over five years for this and today everything I want is about to happen. A smile tugs at my lips, and for once, I allow it to form. It feels odd, and I let it drop.

“You really should smile more,” that light, cheerful voice intones.

Narrowing my eyes, I resist the urge to bare my teeth in a snarl and instead speed up, barely sparing her a look. My feet drag as my misfiring mind processes what she’s wearing. As if pulled in by a tractor beam, I still and my head whips around so I’m outright staring at her.

She’s tiny, that I already had noticed, and she likes glitter, again already noted. But today? Today, it’s like she rolled in glitter and sequins. She’s so bright that I have to squint to read the multi-colored wording on her lavender t-shirt. “Miss Perky.”

For one of the few times in my life, I’m speechless. My mouth opens and closes mutely as my eyes trail over the words and the straining breasts under them. Full and heavy, my hands twitch with the need to reach out and cup them. They are most definitely perky. My teeth press almost painfully down on my lower lip as I mull over if her nipples are small and tightly budded or big and flat, just waiting for a mouth to bring them to life. Either is good as long as I’m the one sucking on them. My tongue positively tingles with the need to taste her skin.

A small giggle pulls my focus off those glorious tits of hers, and my eyes rise to her face. For the first time, I study her features. Absently, my hand comes up to rub at my chest. I haven’t had my morning coffee yet, but I almost swear I’m suffering from some sort of acid reflux as my chest feels tight.

Short curly brown hair bobs around a small face dominated by large brown eyes and a wide, smiling mouth. Her pink lips spread further and move around, showing off pearly white teeth as she says something.

“Huh?” I murmur, coming a step closer and seeing the swirls of green in her eyes. She has hazel eyes, not brown, I determine with a sense of wonder, as if this is the most monumental discovery of all time.

“I said, I have the entire set of these Miss Attitude t-shirts. Gifts from my grandma.” To emphasize her point, she plucks the shirt away from her chest and gestures at the wording, drawing my attention downward once again. Her chest truly is lovely. My gaze roams lower to her waist and the flare of her hips in light colored jeans that hug her body in a way that I’m instantly jealous of.

For a wild moment of complete insanity, I envision my body wrapped snug and tight around hers. I’m not a huge man at just under six feet. My body type runs more toward sinewy long and lean muscles than bulky. Next to her I feel primitively male as something warm and possessive pulses through me. A foreign instinct to draw her closer and keep her from harm.

With a low growl, I yank my eyes from her tempting body that is doing horrible things to my mind. And my body, as my dick is hard and throbbing, confined within my dress slacks.

“Did you know my grandma?” she asks, completely oblivious to the maelstrom of conflicting emotions surging through my body.

I shake my head as I back carefully away from her. This isn’t me. Not at all. I must be coming down with something, I quickly rationalize, backing away from the temptress in glitter. My black loafers slide a bit on the slick tile floors, my arms pinwheeling out from my body as I struggle to maintain my balance.

Her hand reaches for me, her smile turning to a look of concern. “Oh, hey, are you okay?” she asks.

“I’m fine,” I grit out between clenched teeth, deftly avoiding her touch. Not trusting myself to look at her another minute, I spin around and do my best not to run as I make my escape to the pair of elevators down the hall. Slamming my hand on the down button, I keep the other pressed against my chest, my heart hammering against my sweaty palm.

Once I’m safely ensconced in the elevator, I run both hands through my hair, a deep exhale leaving my chest. Whatever just happened, I will not let ruin my day. Nothing can dampen my spirits today.

That’s my mantra as I drive to work. A quick stop to pick up a coffee and Danish and after parking in the lower-level parking garage, I stride confidently through the doors of Baxter, Campton, and Parish. Soon to be Baxter, Campton, Parish, and Benson. Though Baxter, Benson, Campton, and Parish works better. Oh well, the PR company will no doubt handle all that.

Stephanie, the legal assistant I share with two other associates, looks up from her computer, giving me a wide, toothy smile. “Nathan,” she calls out, standing up and smoothing down her tight-fitting black skirt as she follows behind me into my office, a large handful of papers clutched to her chest.

I settle into my chair, taking a sip of coffee and ignoring Stephanie. I really wish she wouldn’t immediately badger me the moment I arrive in the mornings. I notice she doesn’t do that with Tim or Jerry. Unless it’s urgent, she gives them a full hour. Her spicy perfume hits me as she leans over and dumps the papers on my desk. My nose wrinkles as the overpowering smell invades my senses. Trying to breathe through my mouth, I shove away from my desk, putting a small amount of space between us.

Quick as a snake, Stephanie angles into that gap, rocking her hips against the desk as she leans over me, the tops of her breasts peeking out of her drab olive-green silk top. I ignore her display and fold my arms over my chest, staring right into her carefully made-up face. Her features are dainty, classically beautiful with her long neck exposed by the artful upswept of her blonde hair. I suppose she’s attractive enough, but even if I were tempted, I’m not so foolish as to mix business and pleasure. My hand is a far safer bet than some random bit of pussy.

“Anything urgent?” I ask bluntly, narrowing my eyes at her. Stephanie parts her glossy red lips, the tip of her tongue poking out to run along her top lip.

“Nathan, you’re in.” Porter Baxter’s deep voice rings out from the doorway. Stephanie gives me a quick smile before turning her full attention to the founding member of the firm.

“Mr. Baxter, how are you today, sir?” she coos in a voice much higher than her normal speaking voice.

One of Porter’s bushy silver brows arches up as his thin lips pinch at the corners, his version of a smile. He’s well known for his impassive and unflappable façade. I envy him that and hope to emulate his stolid temperament. Inwardly, I cringe. I thought I had been doing admirably until my encounter with my crazy neighbor. Now I’m not quite so certain. The fact that I can close my eyes and envision her beaming, smiling face infuriates me. I don’t have time for distractions, especially not from annoying neighbors.

Belatedly, I realize Porter has said something, and I completely missed it. This isn’t good. Perhaps I really am coming down with something. I eye up my coffee. Did they give me decaf instead of caffeinated? My Danish sits untouched next to the pile of papers Stephanie deposited. Low blood sugar, perhaps? My musings come to a halt as the sound of my door closing with a discreet click brings my mind slamming back to the present, and I find myself alone in my office with Porter.

“Nathan, we need to talk,” he says, gesturing toward the sitting area of the room.