Roman Satisfying Her Darkest Fantasies chapitre Chapitre 10

Derrick gripped the back of his neck as he poured another cup of coffee and glanced at the remnants of his and Sandra’s earlier breakfast. In a kitchen that had never entertained another woman. Certainly not breakfast after a sleepover.

He liked her stamp in his home and in his space. Liked the remembrance of her walking into his kitchen wearing his shirt, and those sleepy, beautiful eyes.

He hadn’t wanted to let her go. Not after finally making a move to make her his. But it was the right thing to do.

You had to let her go to see if she’d come back to you.

He shook his head at the absurdity of his thoughts. It wasn’t like him to spout hokey psychological shit, and he wasn’t one of those who indulged in philosophical crap “like if you love someone, set them free.”

He was more of a “if you love them, then never let them go” person. And yet he hadn’t kept her. He’d driven her home and had very civilly informed her that they’d be seeing one another soon. And then he’d kissed her. Not as he’d wanted to. She’d looked too fragile, too close to unraveling at the seams, and so it had been one of comfort and reassurance. Not one of a man consumed with passion for the woman he was holding.

He looked up when his cell rang, and he remembered he had an important call today. He cursed, because his mind was not on business. Bringing in a new partner, while necessary, wasn’t ideal at the moment. He’d wanted to ease Sandra into it, and then everything had changed. Would this put a barrier between them at a time when she was finally seeing him as more than a friend?

He picked up the phone and strode into his office, his mind quickly shifting gears to the task ahead. He had to put Sandra out of his mind, at least until he squared away this particular matter. And then? He was pulling a full-court press. He missed Clement too, but his best friend was gone. His business partner was gone. It was time to start thinking about his own best interests instead of pushing them down, as he’d done for the last six years.

He and Clement had founded a successful consulting business. Corporations called on them when they needed or wanted to downsize and cut costs. Most of their contracts came from the many oil companies in the Houston area, but they also did consulting work for other large corporations and even a few smaller ones.

Clement’s natural affinity for people and Derrick’s analytical mind had been a very successful combination. The two had worked in tandem, Clement on the front lines, wining and dining potential customers, Derrick on the back end, doing the analysis, drawing up the proposals that Clement would later present.

Only now Derrick had been forced to be both the front line and the back end. By bringing James Brown on, Derrick would effectively take over Clement’s responsibilities and push himself to the forefront while James would handle the behind-the-scenes details.

“Derrick Chase,” he said, when he entered the confines of his home office.

He closed the door behind him and then went to his desk to open his laptop as James gave his greeting.

“I’m glad you called,” Derrick said. “We have a lot to discuss. Did you have time to look over the documents I couriered over?”

James Brown was someone Derrick had met through business a few years earlier. He and Clement had dealings with him, and Derrick respected the other man. Thought he’d be perfect as a partner when he and Clement looked to expand. That was all before Clement’s death.

Derrick had set aside their plans and focused on keeping the business afloat because he’d wanted to make damn sure Sandra and Sophia were both provided for. Sophia was a damn good office manager, but losing Clement had put a strain on her. Derrick had wanted her to take a break from work. Take a few weeks off to deal with the grief and shock over her brother’s death, but she’d insisted on coming in to work. She’d needed the outlet, something to occupy her time, but Derrick knew it was a temporary bandage. He wasn’t sure if she had ever truly dealt with that grief or accepted Clement’s death.

Neither Sandra nor Sophia would likely take well to Derrick replacing Clement, but perhaps Sandra would be more accepting than Sophia since Sophia was the one who would have to work with someone other than Derrick and her brother.

The two men spoke of their ideas, James adding several of his own that Derrick found appealing. They’d met several times already but all that was left was for James to formally accept and the two businesses to merge.

What was once Barkley and Chase would now become Chase and Associates. Leaving room for further expansion down the road if he and James so chose that route.

James wasn’t an arrogant man who insisted his name be plastered or that he receive credit. Derrick wouldn’t have minded giving the man his due, but he was content to leave Derrick’s name at the forefront and work more behind the scenes.

Where before, Clement had been the front man and Derrick had worked out the kinks, troubleshot and worked the back end, now Derrick would take his place, leaving James to do more of the legwork.

He hadn’t planned it as a way to be able to give Sandra more of his time and not be so wrapped up in his work. After all he hadn’t had any clue that he would be making a move this quickly. But the timing was perfect, because if he had his way, work would take more of a backseat to his relationship with Sandra now that he finally had her precisely where he wanted her.

The men spoke several more minutes, confirming what Derrick already knew. That James would be joining him. All that was left was for him to come on board and for Derrick to announce it.

“There’s one thing, James,” Derrick said at the end of their conversation.

“I’m listening.”

“I need time—a few days—before we make this public. I want to tell Sandra and Sophia myself.”

There was a pause. “Are they resistant to my presence?”

Derrick could hear the wariness in the other man’s voice. The hint of irritation that Derrick would approach a business decision allowing emotion to rule. But Derrick wasn’t heartless.




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