Five hot brothers who are about to meet five equally hot partners.
Michael McKenzie, CEO of McKenzie Holdings, has a bad habit of putting work before all else—until a chance encounter in an elevator changes his outlook.
It’s Lily Redmond’s first day in the office and she doesn’t know whether to be shocked or delighted that her new boss is the sexy business man who she met on the way into work.
Michael and Lily deserve a happily ever after, but is that ever going to be possible with David, Lily’s boyfriend, wanting forgiveness, or will Michael fight for what he considers his—Lily?
I was lying on the bed naked while ignoring the twinge of disappointment as I listen to David shuffling around the bathroom. No doubt he was in there getting cleaned up after our session of sex – at least, that’s what I’d call it. Sex with David over the past five months had involved a couple of open mouth kisses, a few licks and nibbles to my breasts, a finger inside me for a brief moment before he would push home – sweat and groans covering my neck. Within seconds of entering me, he would shudder and release into the condom. I would lie there, panting fake sighs into his ear as I ached to feel something, anything, besides dissatisfaction. Every time, I’d feel that way and all I really wanted to do was curl up on my side and cry.
David and I had been together since high school; some seven years. We were both seventeen when he moved to my town and within a week of him starting school, we were inseparable.
He was my first kiss, my first date, my first lover. Sighing, I turned over and stared at the photos of our life together on the nightstand. We lived together while we attended the same college and then moved to the same city after graduation. We even worked for the same company, up until two weeks ago, when I lost my job, along with two hundred other employees. David still worked there and for the past week, he’d been making comments about my unemployed status as though it was my fault I no longer had a job.
Secretly, I’d been looking for another job because I’d started to want something else. I’d actually felt relief when the company let me go. For the first time in a long time I was free, and there was nothing David could say about it. Or at least that’s what I thought.
David on the other hand, thought differently. My life had a constant soundtrack playing of how it was my fault. David told me on nearly a daily basis that if I hadn’t been ‘gathering wool’ during the department meetings, the boss wouldn’t have noticed and I wouldn’t have made the ‘let go’ list.
Ugh. I glared at the photograph of us at the company retreat five months ago. That was when I’d noticed a change in him. When our sex life had turned into a one-man-sprint. Up until then, we had what I’d call a ‘normal’ sex life. Not always full of passion, but there was always mutual enjoyment.
Well, I could honestly say I hadn’t had an orgasm since then, and I really didn’t think David gave a damn. Not only had that started to piss me off – I also found it upsetting. We were still together years after all our friends told us we wouldn’t last, but I was beginning to think that perhaps they were right.
David was my lifeline, the only family I had since my parents died in the car crash five years ago. I had no siblings to see me through it and I’d clung to David even more than I had before. He was my security blanket. I came to this conclusion after I’d talked with a shrink for three years after their death – without David’s knowledge.
The faucet in the bathroom turned off, which warned me David would be out soon. I glanced at the clock, and knew now would be the best time to tell him I was due to start a new job in the offices of McKenzie Holdings. I hadn’t told anyone about this job, simply because I wanted something that was mine and mine alone, at least for a while. With how David had been lately, he would probably have had a great deal to say about it, not to mention the fact that the company belonged to Michael, Sebastian, Ruben, Lucien and Ramon McKenzie. Sebastian McKenzie was always in the paper with one starlet or another. Michael, the second oldest, was only ever in the paper when the company was mentioned and there was never a photograph. Ruben and Lucien made the paper, but not as often as their brother Sebastian.
I’d never met the brothers, a Mr. Roberts had interviewed me for the position and I’d liked him instantly. I smiled as I thought about him; his grey hair, slight paunch and smiling eyes had reminded me of my grandfather who past away when I was about eleven years old. I’d signed the contract then and there and I was to be Mr. Robert’s assistant, which, I had to say, I really looked forward to.
I quickly glanced toward the clock and groaned. I really needed to get out of bed, shower and dress, but David was hogging the bathroom. I would just have to rush after he’d left for work. I certainly didn’t want to share.
The bathroom door started to open, so I quickly covered myself with the quilt and pretended to still be asleep. Having a conversation with him was the last thing I wanted to do.
Peeping through my eyelashes, I watched David fasten his watch onto his wrist, and put his wallet into the inside pocket of his suit jacket. He then collected his keys from the nightstand without even glancing my way before he walked out of the bedroom. I held my breath and watched the bedroom door as I listened to him shuffle down the hallway, detesting every noise that he made. A few minutes later, I heard the front door to the apartment open then close and the lock slip into place. No goodbye from the door, no quick kiss to the forehead. It was as though I’d stopped existing the moment he’d slid his body from mine.
I was slowly coming to the conclusion that our relationship was over. Tears stung my eyes at the thought. Part of me just wanted to lie in bed all day and cry, another part of me felt relief that I was ready to take the steps to end it. The only problem I had was, if – or should I say when – I left, I didn’t have anywhere to go or enough money to pay a deposit on another apartment. I was going to have to save every dollar I could from now on and bide my time.
With a sigh, I pushed the quilt from me and climbed out of bed. Stretching out my sore muscles, I walked into the bathroom, grimacing at the mess he’d made in the sink. I rinsed the sink out while staring at my pale complexion through the mirror above. Usually my skin tone was more olive because of my dark hair, but not today. I brushed my teeth before I slipped into the scorching shower and scrubbed David’s touch from my skin.
With a towel wrapped around me and my hair still wet, dripping down my back, I stood and looked into my closet, not sure what I should wear. Did I go for the professional look? Or the professional hot chick look? I decided to go for in between. The professional girl who could become a sultry vixen at night. I smiled to myself as I took my navy blue suit from the hanger, then placed it on the bed while I hunted around for the white blouse I liked to wear with it. Spotting it hiding in the back of the closet, I pulled it out and placed it on the bed with my other clothes. I quickly dressed in my white lace underwear – wearing sexy underwear under my suits always made me feel more confident.
I fastened the blouse and pulled up the skirt, which was fitted to my curvy shape and came to rest a couple of inches above my knees. Not too short to be indecent for the office and not too long to make me look older than my twenty-four years.
Another root around in my closet and I found the blue matching heels, which made my legs look longer than they were. I stood back appraising myself in the mirror – I looked hot, especially with my hair pinned up in disarray on my head. David used to think it made me look sexy. Not these days.
Taking a deep breath, I shook my head of unpleasant thoughts and walked out of the apartment and to my new job.
Gripping my cell in one hand, I realized I was gritting my teeth as my temper gradually rose. Sebastian would be deliberately ignoring my attempts to contact him because he’d be thinking with a different part of his anatomy.
Since I’d returned home, I’d been trying to get hold of my brother – for two days. Oh, I knew he was safe. I also knew he was having a ball with a woman he’d picked up in the hotel bar during the conference in San Diego.
The woman had been giving me the eye until she’d spotted Sebastian. Was I bothered? No. My brothers loved nothing better than to have a dig at me for keeping my private life just what it was…private.
No, I wasn’t a monk, although for the past couple of years I had been. I didn’t advertise what I got up to because the minute I was seen with anyone the press would have a field day. The last time the press took a photograph of me with a woman was six years ago, and the woman in the photograph had been my wife, Viv, just before she died.
I tossed my cell onto the breakfast bar while I walked through the kitchen to hunt for a bagel. My brothers had tried to fix me up with a chef once – like that would ever happen – in an attempt to get me to eat better. It hadn’t worked out well since I loved my private space and no one was allowed inside – unless invited.
Finding a bagel in the breadbox, I sliced and popped it into the toaster. Pouring a coffee, I crossed my ankles and leaned against the cabinets. The day was going to be busy. I had a meeting at eleven and countless other things to do. Thankfully my new assistant would arrive first thing.
Dale Roberts had assured me that my new assistant, who I’d yet to meet, would be perfect and not let me down. Lily Redmond. She had no idea her new position was as my assistant. Dale had interviewed her for me; intentionally giving her the impression the position was with him. At least that way, I’d get someone who knew how to use a computer instead of how to apply polish to her nails.
Every time I interviewed anyone, the interview had a habit of going downhill fast as the young woman in question seemed more interested in me and my brothers than the actual job, which was damn frustrating.
Dale had done a background check on Lily. Had checked the reference she’d given from her previous employer. From what he could see, she had been let go due to company downsizing. Only it didn’t add up. Her resume was spotless, her reference even more so. If you look at her past work history, she shouldn’t have been let go, especially when her boyfriend was retained.
The coffee tasted bitter as I watched the red coils in the toaster. Something didn’t add up and that was the reason why I’d asked a friend of a friend who worked at the company to dig deep, and see what he could find out as to why she was really let go. Something smelled off, and I would bet my last dollar it had something to do with the boyfriend.
My bagel popped up from the toaster, and I decided to have some cream cheese on it for a change instead of my usual butter. With the cheese spread on the top, I took a seat in the breakfast nook just off the kitchen, which I favored due to the amazing view of the garden and the mountains beyond.
On the odd occasion I’d sit here and wish I had a woman to share this with – not often – but occasionally. Ever since Viv died, I’d been alone. She’d died on her way to the meeting with our divorce lawyers, by which time all the love I’d once felt for her, if that’s what it was, had died. We’d been married three years, and in those three years I’d lost count of how many men she’d been with. I probably only knew about half of them. She’d completely soured my perception on relationships, making me a skeptic. Being alone you couldn’t get hurt, but sometimes it sucked.
It had taken a long time to believe that she was the one with the problem, not me. I owed that revelation to my brothers after they knocked some sense into me. Literally.
With breakfast finished, I quickly washed and dried the few pots, collected my keys and headed out front to be greeted by my driver, George. I actually loved to drive, or rather I loved to sit astride my Harley and just let her rip. Unfortunately, the office was no place for my Harley and it drove me crazy driving in to the city with all the traffic, and trying to find parking. Instead George drove me to the office, left me there and parked up at a hotel close by where he spent the day inside drinking coffee, flirting with Janet, one of the receptionists, and awaited my call for a ride. He also took advantage of the free wifi and hooked his laptop up.
“Morning, George,” I said in greeting.
“Morning, Mr. McKenzie.”
Once I’d climbed into the car, I sat back and tried to relax. Normally, I would read the newspaper on my way into the city, but Sebastian was across the front page, so I decided to pass. I had no objection to my brothers sewing their wild oats, but having Sebastian in the news every time he did pissed me off.
I’d been so lost in my own thoughts for the past twenty minutes that when I looked out of the window; George had already pulled up outside the McKenzie building. “I’ll see you later, George,” I said warmly as I opened the door. “Have a good day,” I told him as I climbed out of the car.
He blushed slightly and nodded in reply. I resisted the urge to chuckle. Despite being a cool professional, Janet always had him hot under the collar. After the first week, I’d refused to allow him to climb in and out of the car every time I needed the door opened.
It had taken a while to get used to being driven around, but I wasn’t lazy enough to have the door opened for me. I watched him pull away, doing a U-turn to head to the hotel. How the hell he never caused an accident with that move, I’d never know.
As I walked into the lobby, John, the security guard, looked up and nodded in my direction, his crisp uniform, always spotless, and his radio on his hip. I carried on through to the elevators. John was fussing over a woman at the front desk, which caused me to do a double take. She was what Sebastian would call a ‘babe’ with her long legs, tight fitting skirt matching an equally fitted jacket over firm breasts. The heels she was wearing caused her to stand in a slightly provocative manner. Her dark hair tumbled around her neck from a loose bun pinned to the top of her head.
I swallowed at the sight of her and shook my head. She’s just another girl trying to get the attention of the McKenzie brothers. I carried on and as I waited for the elevator, I turned and watched the woman from the front desk walk toward me with her head down. She had no idea I was standing there watching her.
When the doors opened, I stepped inside and held them open for the mystery lady. Her scent floated toward me as she got closer and my cock went rigid immediately. Shit, that was not good. I’d never had such a quick reaction to a woman’s scent before.
She looked up and when her blue eyes met mine, they visibly widened. She stopped mid-step and just gazed up at me. I was reluctant, but I managed to drag my eyes away from her penetrating stare. “Your carriage awaits,” I told her rather roughly.
Hell, I felt as though I’d been hit over the head. I watched her closely and noticed how her throat moved when she gulped then took a deep breath. Her jaw tightened and she stepped into the elevator with me. Did I affect her as much as she affected me?
I felt damn uncomfortable. My cock throbbed and I wanted to believe it was from lack of use and not because of the sexy woman who stood beside me.
Yeah, keep telling yourself that.