Beyond Temptation

By: Brenda Jackson

Chapter 1

“Mr. Steele, your two o’clock appointment has arrived.”

Morgan Steele’s pulse immediately kicked up a notch with his secretary’s announcement. He inhaled deeply and deliberately cleared his mind of everything except the woman who was about to walk into his office. Helena Spears.

“Give me a few minutes, Linda, before sending her in.”

“Yes, sir.”

After clicking off the line he stood and threw the papers he’d been reading into his briefcase before snapping it shut and inwardly telling himself to relax. Getting Helena to his office had been the first hurdle, and he was determined to make it over the rest. He was smart enough to know that if at first you don’t succeed you try again, and today he was a man with a more defined plan.

Putting his briefcase aside he found himself glancing toward the door, his pulse kicking up another notch as he remembered the night—a little more than a year ago—when he had first seen her as she walked into that charity ball wearing a very sexy fuchsia-colored dress. There had been something about her entrance that had momentarily taken his breath away, left him awestruck, mesmerized. And moments later when he had gazed into the warmth of her cinnamon-brown eyes, he had felt it. It had happened just the way he’d known it would once he found her—the perfect woman he had been holding out for all these years.

The only thing that hadn’t happened as he’d assumed it would was her acceptance. Lena, as she was known to her family and friends, wasn’t seeing things quite his way. She’d tried to explain to him, in a nice way and more than once, that she wasn’t interested in a man-woman relationship of any kind. She liked her life just the way it was and had no intentions of wasting her time indulging in a meaningless affair. Nor, she’d gone further on to add, was she interested in a meaningful one, either. She had been there, done that, and she’d learned a valuable lesson and had no intentions of doing a repeat.

All that was well and good but she wasn’t dealing with any regular man. At thirty-three he could admit to being arrogant, methodical and unwilling to bend in his pursuit of anything. Once he saw something he wanted and made a decision to have it, he refused to give up until he got it.

And the bottom line was that he wanted Lena.

He had wasted enough time and starting today he intended to use a different approach. He glanced toward the door again when he heard the sound of the knob turning. The moment it opened and his “perfect” woman walked in he couldn’t help but release a breath. He felt the sizzle as heat shimmered all through him. She was wearing a periwinkle-color business suit and she looked good in it.

“Lena, please come in,” he said cordially as his gaze floated over the rest of her with an analytical eye. She had just the right amount of makeup on her strikingly attractive medium brown face, which placed emphasis on the honey brown curls that flowed around her shoulders, giving her the appearance of a Queen Latifah look-alike.

She was five feet ten, just the right height for his six-three stature. Her body was stacked, well endowed in all the right places, full breasts, wide child-bearing hips, voluptuous thighs and the most gorgeous pair of shapely legs he’d ever seen on a woman. He’d once overheard a conversation she’d had with his sister-in-law Kylie, who happened to be her best friend, about what she thought was a weight problem. As far as he was concerned, she didn’t have one. When he looked at her, what he saw was a full-figured, thirty-one-year-old attractive and desirable woman who could start anything and everything inside him to stirring. The woman was temptation at its finest; however, when it came to her he was prodded to look beyond temptation and see something a lot more lucrative and worthwhile. Little did she know but he intended to open up a whole new world for the both of them.

“Thank you, Morgan,” she said, closing the door behind her, and breaking into his thoughts. “I’m here for our two o’clock appointment.”

From the sound of things she intended to be all business, and that was okay for now. He would give her this time because in the coming weeks he intended to get his. She would find out soon enough that she had just walked into a “Steele cage” and there was no way out. He had failed at plan A, but he had just put plan B into full motion.

Lena pressed her lips firmly together as she looked across the room at the man leaning against his desk. Morgan Steele.

She thought the same thing now that she did that night she’d first met him. He had to be the most gorgeous human male to grace this planet, which prompted her to put her guard up even more. The last thing she needed in her life was a man, especially one like Morgan. She’d learned her lesson a few years ago that when it came to “pretty boys” and “fine as a dime” men, she had to watch her step.