An Act of Persuasion - By Stephanie Doyle Page 0,1

of his office. “You like him.”

Ben watched as she bent to one of the lower shelves to search for the book she had in mind. The M row was second from the bottom toward the left. It wasn’t like she was being intentionally provocative, he knew that, but it seemed as though her ass was just there dancing in front of his face. She was wearing a pair of yoga pants as she normally did around the house. Yoga was something she was forever trying to talk him into doing.

As if he had any desire to stand on his head.

She claimed it was relaxing and would be good for his mental state. She also believed staying physically active in any way he could while he went through treatment would be beneficial. Truthfully, he thought she was full of it and the only reason she cared for the activity at all was because it gave her the opportunity to wear pajamas all day and still call them active gear.

Whatever the hell that meant.

Even now he could see very clearly the demarcation line of her panties beneath the stretchy material. He had a sudden image of himself standing behind her and putting his hand on her ass and holding her hips while pulling the stretchy material down and away...


He blinked. She’d said something and he hadn’t heard it. Instead he’d been lost in a sexual fantasy involving Anna.

Anna. It was inconceivable. She worked for him. He paid her salary. He had strict rules about any romantic fraternization between employees, let alone employer and employee. To him she was the most off-limits woman on the planet.

Not that he was going to be so self-righteous or so self-deceiving to say he’d never once thought about her sexually in all the time she’d been working for him. Of course he had. He was a man and she was an attractive woman.

There was something wild about her. The way her hair moved and the way she laughed out loud. The way she practically folded her legs into her lap every time she sat on a couch. It was like she had no restraint. And so yes, from time to time, he’d thought about what she might be like in bed. Unrestrained entirely. Unrestrained except by him. On top of her. Inside her.

But his self-imposed mental discipline would never let him think about that for too long. Those thoughts were dangerous. Those thoughts, if allowed to linger, could make a man lose control, which Ben swore he would not let himself do.

This time, however, the thought of ruthlessly shutting down his fantasy the way he’d done all those times in the past didn’t appeal to him. After all, he knew what the next week would bring. The chemo would be stronger, his symptoms more violent. He would feel like shit for weeks, and after that he could suffer an even more debilitating reaction if he contracted GVHD.

If the transplant didn’t work, or the GVHD couldn’t be controlled...there was only death.

Tonight, though, he was still alive.

Ben coughed into his fist to cover his lack of attention. “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“I asked if you wanted me to read this book. Are you okay? You look a little funny.”

“I’m fine.” He walked to the couch and sat. He was wearing loose pajama pants and the flannel robe Anna had purchased for him during his first round of chemotherapy.

He hadn’t had a robe since he was a child. He’d forgotten how comforting the garment could be.

And practical. When he got sick it was easier to lose the robe and vomit over the toilet without worrying about getting splatter on his T-shirt.

Now, however, the robe served as cover for his growing erection. God, he thought. How long had it been since he’d been hard. Really hard. Sex had never been a priority in his life. Nothing ever trumped his work. In his previous life working for the government, opportunities to get laid were few and far between, especially given his rule about not comingling with his coworkers. Most of the other women he knew then were his enemy.

After he left the agency his focus had been about establishing his business, finding a qualified staff and building a reputation as a troubleshooter/consultant of all trades. Finding time to date while he’d been getting the business up and running hadn’t been possible. Then once he had it established and he’d tried to get himself back into the world of women, dating and Copyright 2016 - 2024