Joanna Davis has and needs to be in control of her business and personal life. She prides herself in being a beautiful, strong, giving and sometimes intimidating woman in and out of business. There was abuse in her past that still haunts her so she has vowed to never give her heart or her control away. She has built a business that solves problems for many people and most in power. When her employees and her life are threatened she has to increase her security measures. Joanna has no family so she has surrounded herself with a few close girlfriends that she would do anything to keep them safe. Joanna’s friends say the Scorpion within her drives her.
When Alexander McCloud of First Security, the best in his field, is thrust into her life the battle of wills begins. He is a devastatingly handsome man with intense brown eyes and body of a God, she can only imagine being beneath him. There’s a magnetic field that pulls Joanna to him and she does not like the loss of control she has when around him. Joanna decides the best course of action is to keep her distance. Alexander has a controlling alpha male personality. He has seen Joanna Davis from afar twice before and even then she took his breath away. When their paths cross in business he believes that fate has brought them together. While trying to keep her safe he vows not rest until he possesses her. Even with the hurt from his past he still has a big heart.
Will Joanna let go of some of that control and allow him into her heart?
“Here he comes, girls,” she says with a wicked grin on her face. Alexander walks up beside me and brushes up against me. I feel the electricity still there. He waves his hand to get the bartender to notice him, although he gets immediate attention. How can he not? The man seems to own the room. He just has that air about him. He orders a drink and turns to us, looking directly at me.
“So what’s the topic of conversation now?” He asks and before I can speak Angel says “You!” as she looks him up and down. “Don’t I know you from somewhere? You look so familiar.” She leans in close. “I, uh, work as a part of, uh, security for the Lennox Complex; I think a lot of people here work on that complex. Do you guys?” he asks, looking at me. I turn away from him, trying not to think about his lips. They look so succulent and kissable.
“Most of us do, but not Angel and Tracy. So how do you know the birthday girl?” Darcy asks. “She and a friend of mine are seeing each other.” He looks over at Rita and raises his glass to her. She winks at him. “So are you seeing anyone?” Angel asks. He looks at me and says, “Not exclusively. What about you?” I look at him and blink a few times.
“Me?” Why the hell is he so focused on me? “No, not exclusively, but I’m not looking either.” Why does he make me nervous? He has that smirk on his face. I want to slap it. “Would you like to dance?” Darcy asks and just as she stands up Angel says, “Is that Richard coming this way?” We all look up and I lean into Darcy and say, “I thought you said he was not coming? That you were meeting him after the party?” She frowns. “Yes, that’s what we agreed upon, but it looks like he had other ideas. This is one of the things I want to talk to you about.”
Richard walks over and gives Darcy a big hug as if to lay claim and I shake my head. He says hi to all of us and then puts his hand out to Alexander and introduces himself. “Well, ladies, I’ve come to snatch up my girl here so we can have some alone time.” She whispers something in his ear and he frowns and tightens his grip on her ever so slightly. I notice because I have been there before. He is starting to piss me off and I don’t know how I’m going to deal with that if Darcy continues to see him. I get a bad vibe when he is around.
“Richard, this is not just pleasure, its business. We have been making some great connections here. I think that’s why Darcy thought you two would meet up after. She thought you would be bored because she would not be able to give you her undivided attention,” I say softly. “I think this will wrap up in the next couple of hours. Stay if you like, but I really need Darcy to do a little more networking. I can’t handle this big crowd on my own. If I’d known Darcy was going to be leaving early I would have had one of my other associates come.”
She gives me that ‘thank you’ smile as I am as delicate with him as possible. He looks at Alexander. “You know how it is. Sometimes I just can’t get my mind off this beautiful woman and need to have her.” He pats Darcy on the ass and kisses her on the cheek. “I’m sorry, baby, you should have told me it was more work than anything. Come on, walk me to the door and I’ll get out of your hair.”
When he is not looking Darcy rolls her eyes. He says his goodbyes to the rest of us and Darcy walks him out. I keep my eyes on them as they walk to the door. Richard is not a stupid man; he would never do anything in a public place. I warned Darcy about him, but she would not listen. I hope nothing has happened already. “He seems a bit neurotic; I just met the guy and can tell he has some extreme mood swings. How long have you guys known him?” Alexander asks.
“I have known of him for about seven months, but I don’t really know him. Darcy has been seeing him for about five of those seven months. She’s a big girl, she can take care of herself, and if not she has me,” I say, smiling. “And who’s going to take care of you?” he asks, leaning just a little closer. “Hey, what are you two chatting about down there?” Angel asks. “The weather,” he replies.
I look at him, trying to figure out his game, and all of a sudden Angel is standing in front of him asking him about that dance. He frowns and says, “Oh, I thought Darcy asked. Here she is.” He takes her hand and heads for the dance floor. I laugh as Angel marches back to her seat next to Tracy. Both of them are frowning at me.
I hope Richard does not cause any problems for Darcy; she needs to keep her mind on the job now more than ever. Our caseload is a bit heavy and she is working on one of the most important ones we have right now. I need her mind and heart in the game. This political party I took on plays hardball, especially when things don’t go the way they want them to go. Not that I’m intimidated, I just don’t need the hassle. We have to make their particular problem have a good outcome. I know Darcy can do it, but she has to be one hundred percent in it.
Alexander walks her to the dance floor with his hand at the small of her back. They actually look good together. They dance slow and easy with Darcy chatting away. He throws his head back laughing at something she has said. Why am I watching him? That man is irritating. The song is over and he leads Darcy back to her seat, nods with a smile on his face, turns and walks away. I ask her if they talked at all and if so about what. She puts a big smile on her face.
“You!” she says, and I keep my face as expressionless as possible. “Why were you talking about me and what did you tell him?” She looks at Angel and Tracy and says, “Let’s go to the powder room.” We get up and she lets the girls know where we are going and that we’ll be right back. As we are walking she takes my arm, smiling. She is walking at a leisurely pace and I want to speed walk to the ladies room. Once we are inside I turn on her.
“OK, spill it,” I say. “Oh, come on, Joanna, it was nothing. He just wanted to know if you were seeing someone and if so, was it serious. He said it seemed like we were good friends and if anyone would know it would be me. He asked which building at the Lennox we worked in and I told him.” “Darcy!” I cut her off. “Why would you tell him where we work? If anything you should have been talking to him about yourself. You need to dump Richard and find another toy. I tried to warn you about him and I really don’t like what I see.” I really want to pull him into a corner and threaten him. She opens the bathroom door and checks the stalls to make sure we are the only ones there other than the attendant.
“We will talk about all that tomorrow, and he is obviously into you and not me, so there was no point in me even trying. He is so hot, aren’t you at least a little bit interested?” “I have enough on my plate as it is, I don’t have time for a new relationship.” I come out of the stall and wash my hands, checking my makeup in the mirror, not that I wear much. A little lipstick and a little eye shadow is all I ever wear. I’m just getting ready to go into my purse for the lipstick and she gasps and puts her hand over her mouth.
“What?” I say in a panic. “I left Rita’s present on the bar. I have to run over and get it before Tracy decides to take it and give it to Rita like it’s from her.” She turns and walks out the door. I look at the attendant and shrug my shoulders and turn back to the mirror. I tip the attendant and leave, placing my lipstick back in my purse, and bump right into what seems like a brick wall. I stumble back, feeling strong hands on my shoulders, and look up. It’s Alexander, of course.
“Sorry, I didn’t notice you there.” “Well, it’s usually hard to miss me. Maybe you should be more careful and watch where you’re going. You never know what—or—who you might run into.” His eyes are piercing through me. He has that same smirk again. I frown. “Look, I said I’m sorry, now if you will excuse me.” I move to the right of him and he slides to the left. I move to my left and he moves to his right, keeping us face to face. We are in a long, dimly lit corridor. I look up at him and he just stares at me. I can’t seem to take my eyes off his lips once again so I step back again, needing space.
“What’s your problem? Are you going to block my way the rest of the night?” He smiles with a sparkle in his eyes. “I will move when you tell me why you think all men are assholes.” I open my eyes wide in shock. “It’s none of your business. I don’t have to explain myself to you or anyone else for that matter. I don’t have time for this bullshit. Move out of my way.” I put my hand up to his chest, trying to push him away, and he does not budge. “I will scream this place down if you don’t move out of my way!” I don’t know why, but he makes me so angry. I never lose my cool. I have not lost my cool in at least six years and here I am yelling at a total stranger.
He grabs me by the arm, pulls me up against his hard body, pushing me against the wall, and kisses me. It takes me by surprise. I gasp and he sticks his tongue in my mouth, licking and sucking. I push on him for a while, not responding to his kiss, and then for some reason I wrap my arms around his neck, stand on my tiptoes and deepen the kiss. It is a possessive, demanding kiss. Shit, he is a great kisser. I knew he would be. And our lips are perfect together. What the hell is wrong with me? I have not done this kind of thing in a long time. When I was a lot younger I did not care who I played around with as long as there was an attraction there, but that was a long time ago.
I could just eat him alive. The feel of him is arousing, stimulating, and inflaming. He grinds his body against me and his erection rubs my stomach. My panties get wet and I grind into him, wanting a little bit more. He bites my bottom lip then licks his way down to my neck and sucks. Then he pinches my nipples through the fabric of my top and my panties get wetter. I pull away, trying to catch my breath. He is panting too. What the hell is wrong with me? I never behave this way anymore. I slide along the wall away from him and walk away while he gathers himself. When I get back to the bar Darcy is looking at me with a curious look on her face.
“What took you so long?” she asks, frowning. “It’s a long story, I’ll tell you about it tomorrow,” I say with a frown on my face. She puts her hand on my shoulder. “Is everything all right?” “Fine. Let’s have another drink.” We drink and talk more, Darcy insists we make the rounds and I just really don’t want to run in to him again. Thank God I don’t see him the rest of the night. We all sing Happy Birthday to Rita and I’m ready to go. I lean over to Darcy and let her know.
“I can skip Jackson tonight and we can just go back to my place and talk if you want. You know you don’t have to meet up with Richard if you don’t want to.” I’m sure she can see the concern in my face. She puts on her brave face like I don’t know what she is doing. For some reason she has not figured out by now that I can read her like a book. I know when she really needs special alone time with me and when she just needs a friend to talk to.
“No, it’s fine. I have been thinking about breaking up with him for a while now and I think tonight is the night. It did kind of shock me when he showed up tonight after we had agreed we would meet up later. You were right, he is a bit controlling, and I don’t mean the way you are. You keep strict control over your life, not try to run others’—except for business, of course, but controlling my personal life? I can’t have that. I’m going to talk to him about it and see where we go from here. I do like him and I didn’t want to have to kick him to the curb, but if this does not stop that’s what I’m going to have to do.” I smile at her, knowing she is undecided. I squeeze her hand.
“Whatever you decide, you know I’m here for you. Let’s go say goodbye to Rita and get you home.” We turn to Angel and Tracy and give air kisses and say our goodbyes. Just like Tracy, she says, “Why is it that when you two are parting you say ‘Smooches’, but with us it’s just the regular air kiss and move on? Darcy is no better than we are. Why do you treat her like she’s so special?” Here we go. I raise my voice, I’m so over her.
“That’s where you are wrong, Tracy, she is definitely more special than you are and one of these days that smart mouth of yours is—” “Tracy, it’s just something we have done for years with each other. You know it’s our own special thing. Nothing against you or anyone else.” Darcy cuts me off, not wanting an argument. I smile and turn to walk away, trying to keep my temper at bay. When I hear Tracy say ‘Smooches’, I cringe. Damn, she pisses me off.
We drop Darcy off and I tell her to call me if she needs me. We always wait until she gets inside and as I’m sitting there my mind drifts back to Alexander; it felt so good having him hold me. His kiss was unbelievable, but what is he up to? He seemed to stumble when Angel was questioning him about his work. Did he not want her to know or is it just a part-time job for him? I know the economy is bad right now so people have to take what they can get, but that can’t be it. He is always there in the warm months so maybe he’s a seasonal employee.
Well, it doesn’t matter. I need a man with a career not a job. I know I’m not even twenty-eight and that’s considered young to own my own business, but when most men find out what my bank account looks like they get intimidated. I really don’t care what a man makes just as long as he is in a career he loves and not just bouncing from job to job.
“Ms. Davis?” Charles pulls me out of my thoughts. “Where to, Ms. Davis?” I’m quiet for a moment. I really wanted to go over to Jackson’s tonight, but I can’t get Alexander out of my head. “Take me home, Charles.” I call Jackson and cancel. He is not happy with me, but he will get over it.
Charles Quincy has been with me for a long time. He was my security at the law firm I worked for as a consultant. He has been protecting me for eight years now. He is a former mercenary in the Marines. He is a handsome man, six feet two inches tall; he still wears that buzz cut—it shows off his ocean-blue eyes and olive skin tone. He’s built like a Mack truck. He used to intimidate me just looking at him. Always looked like he was brooding about something. I guess I would call him my friend—he knows me better than most and accepts all my secrets without judging. He and I have a push-pull relationship. He pushes me to bend to his rules to keep me safe and I pull him in the direction I want him to go in so I can have as much freedom as I can. I cannot afford to be afraid of being in the city alone without him by my side.
We have only had one major incident and he handled it perfectly. We have put in other measures to keep me safe from pissed-off people who did not like the outcome of a particular situation that I helped their adversary get the upper hand with. I offered him twice what he was making to come and work for me. We wrote his contract together. I thought he should have some input in things since most of his life would revolve around me. I know my life is in his hands.
I purchased him an apartment in the building I live in. He was in agreement because it was more convenient. He was not happy with the size, said he would have been fine with something smaller, but I said he might want to have a family one day. He just grunted and frowned. I have him under contract for ten years, of course with an easy get-out clause. So far the last four have been great and we have had only a few incidents. That’s one of the reasons not many people know that I am the owner of the firm.
O. Dovey Gray is a writers’ writer. Writing what people really want to say has been a passion of hers for over 20 years. Coming from a close knit family with generations of strong women, there was no doubt that she would follow the footsteps of those who came before her.
Her inspiration is to empower women to do what they want to do as best as they can. She has used writing as therapy and creates works that keep you guessing what will happen next as if you are the character in search of direction.
O. Dovey Gray “journals life”, the words that people want to write, say, and think out loud, she puts them down on paper for all to see. She is fearless, opinionated that’s not afraid to tell you the truth, not to hurt but to help. How you take it depends on if you like the truth or not.
She loves spicy foods, the color red, and hot tea. Simple peeks like these into a woman’s life can tell you a lot. She can stand the heat, she is powerful in action, and simply not having ice won’t keep her from enjoying her favorite beverage.