Alana informed me that I would meet with Naomi this morning to plan out the week for this 5x5 interview NotionX is doing with me as if it’s not something she or Joseph could’ve handled. However, she insisted that I be the one to do this. According to Alana, I don’t seem to ‘vibe’ well with Diane or Eric and she’s been insistent on Naomi conducting the interviews so they turn out as well as the last one. She says Naomi and I appear to have an undeniable chemistry that makes me seem more comfortable — and therefore more likable — while being interviewed.
If only she knew.
Naomi’s eyes go wide when she sees me until she averts her gaze as she approaches to give me a loose handshake before taking a seat across from me at the conference table. She looks down at her iPad and immediately opens up her notes app.
Without making eye contact, she speaks for the first time since entering the room.
“Where is your publicist, Mr. Laurent?”
I can’t help that my nostrils flare and I deeply exhale the frustration building up inside me. She is the one who rejected me and now she can’t even look me in the eyes?
“Look at me, Naomi,” I say, my voice sounding a bit more stern than I initially intended.
I notice her shoulders raise and then relax with a deep breath as she slowly lifts her head to make eye contact with me. But what I see in her eyes isn’t the coldness that I expected. In fact, what I see is a tinge of pain cross her face before blinks several times and her expression turns calm yet attentive, just as anyone’s face would seem in a business meeting.
“Alana said it would be best for me to meet with you one-on-one,” I finally reply to her initial question. “Plus, she has a few other things she’s handling on my behalf. So, shall we get started?”
“R-right,” she gulps and I’m baffled by her demeanor. “I think we should make a list of what you’d like us to highlight each day and what we at NotionX think our readers would be interested in.”
She seems nervous and guarded — similar to how she was on our first date when she had been assuming I wasn’t interested in her beyond sleeping together. I made it clear to her that wasn’t the case, but right now it feels like we’re starting from step one. I’m not sure if I should feel relieved that it no longer appears that she rejected me or annoyed that we’re somehow back to where we began despite all the progress we made in Atlanta.
I’ve decided that I am both.
“Naomi,” I begin. “What happened between us saying goodbye at the airport in Atlanta and me landing here in San Francisco? It’s like something changed.”
She breaks eye contact and looks back down at her iPad as if she’s swiping through notes while she rests her head on the palm of her hand. “That was over a month ago… You still care?”
“What type of question is that?” I respond, not hiding the frustration in my tone. “I made it very clear to you that I care.”
“Mr. Laurent, I think we should focus on our plans for your interview. If you could—“
“We’re not doing this, Naomi,” I cut her off. “Honestly, I didn’t even plan to bring this up while we were meeting today because I thought that you were the one who rejected me. And as much as it hurt, I was going to respect your decision…” I hear her take a sharp breath and notice her eyes go wide. “But now, it seems like it’s something else. So, tell me what happened.”
“Nothing happened,” she mumbles without looking up and the room goes silent for several moments until she speaks again. “I was just giving you an out.”
I’m taken aback by her response. “An out? When did I ever say I wanted an out? If that were the case, why would I have asked about seeing each other, Naomi?”
Her head snaps up and she’s finally looking me in the eyes again. She twists her mouth and it’s clear in her face that she’s trying to figure out her words. “I don’t want to be rude, but I do have another meeting after this, Mr. Laurent. If we could just focus on planning…”
‘I was just giving you an out.’ As I think about her words, I put the pieces together and realize that once again, that this woman is unconvinced of my genuine interest in her and now her guard is up. I could’ve sworn I made it clear enough how much I want her.
“Let me take you on a date tonight, Naomi. There’s this spot I was hoping to take you to before and—“
“Mr. Laurent, I said could we—“
“Why are you so guarded, Naomi?” Admittedly, I normally wouldn’t interrupt her so much, but honestly, I’m pissed about how difficult she seems to be making this all. And I only grow more agitated every single time she calls me ‘Mr. Laurent’ considering we are well past formalities.
“Why are you so guarded? I made it clear to you that I’d like to see you and you were also sure about it when I left Atlanta. And then you suddenly changed and it’s as if the progress that we made during the week I was there never happened.”
Naomi crosses her arms and leans back in her seat. “Nicolas told me about your MO. Whenever you’re in a new city, you find some local ass for some fun and that’s it.”
“Naomi,” I groan. “Ask yourself if that makes any sense. Seriously. If I just wanted to causally sleep with a local, why would I go through the lengths that I went through for you?”
And now her mouth is agape before she closes it, opens again as if she’s about to say something, and then presses her lips back together with a huff. Several more moments pass by and she finally speaks up. “I don’t understand why you’re so adamant about me,” she says softly as she uncrosses her arms and places them on the table. “You have plenty of options, Mr. Laurent.”
“Sebastien,” I correct her. I lean into the table and hold her gaze so she can see that there isn’t the slightest bit of uncertainty in my eyes. “I’ve always had plenty of options, Naomi. And I chose you.”
|||| Naomi Monroe ||||
“…And I chose you.”
I study Mr. Laurent’s face when he says it and the man is not lying.
As if my stomach couldn’t be in any worse condition, even more knots form, but this time, there are butterflies with them. Similarly, my heart flutters, but begins pounding in my ears at the same time with panic. This man is making it impossible for me to try to ignore and hopefully forget my feelings for him and I hate being in a position where I know someone can hurt me.
My eyes drift down to my iPad in front of me to avoid his gaze and I look at the time, realizing I have exactly 15 minutes until my next meeting. It’s with one of the startups in this building, so getting there would only take a minute or two, but I had planned to do some prep ahead of time. I take advantage of that and without looking at Mr. Laurent, I put my things into my purse and stand from my seat.
“Thank you for your time, Mr. Laurent. I don’t want to be rude, but I have another meeting to get to and I don’t want to be late. I’ll be sure to touch base with your publicist—“ Just as I go to open the door, it’s stopped by a hand shutting it and when I turn around, I’m caged between two arms and staring straight into an unusually dark blue pair of eyes.
“Naomi…” One of Mr. Laurent’s hands comes from the wall to hold my face while he maintains his sharp gaze. Suddenly, the man captures me in a kiss so intense that I can barely breathe. The feeling of his lips against mine bring back memories that I’ve spent the past month and a half trying to forget. Once his tongue is in my mouth, my mind goes into a frenzy of desire and I wrap my arms around his neck in a move that comes naturally. If his mouth wasn’t assertive enough, the way he holds my face has him in total control and I’d be lying if I said I doesn’t turn me on.
When he finally breaks the kiss, I’m still slightly in a daze, but have sense enough to remove my arms from around his neck and bring them to my side.
His eyes intent on mine, he parts his lips again to ask: “Now, was that the kiss of a man who doesn’t want you, dear?”
What the hell? Have I ever been kissed like that before? I don’t think I have… Not even Sebas— er Mr. Laurent kissed me like that himself in that week we spent together. For a moment, I thought he was going to bend me over the conference table and to be honest… I’m not sure I’d object.
“Naomi,” he says, his deep voice breaking me out of my thoughts.
“N-no,” I finally choke out. If I had to use a single word to describe that kiss, it would be: desire. And that’s what it felt like — pure desire. I’ve never experienced anything like it. And these new experiences seem to be an ongoing pattern with him.
He’s still holding my face and I see the sides of his lips slightly turn up. “I may not be able to see you blushing, but I feel the warmness of your cheeks, dear. I wonder where else that heat might be rushing to…” Mr. Laurent’s hand slowly travels down from my face.
“I’m a fast learner, Naomi,” he begins, pure lust in his eyes just as his fingers brush along my neck and make their way down the center of my chest. “I learned a lot about you that week in Atlanta. And then I had the privilege of learning even more during that weekend you spent in my hotel room…”
My breathing hitches when undoes the top button of my shirt. But I don’t object, not even when he makes his way to the second and my bust is revealed to him.
“I learned that when I trail my tongue along here…” He traces lightly with his fingers the exposed skin just above my bra. “You squeeze your thighs together. And when I kiss you here…” His hand returns to the center of my chest. “You arch your back in anticipation that my lips may move lower…”
I don’t realize it until I feel the cool air against my bare skin that he has completely unbuttoned my shirt at this point. His hand continues to run down my body until he reaches the waist band of my pants and toys with it. “I learned that when I whisper in your ear how good it feels to be inside you, it causes your walls to clench around me, only making the sensation more euphoric… The more descriptive, the better,” he adds with a knowing smirk.
“But there’s still so much to learn about this body of yours, dear.” He licks his lips as his eyes rake over my form. “You see, I’m curious about how much your body trembles when it’s teased to the point of begging for even the slightest bit of relief…”
My mouth has been agape this whole time and I finally close it to gulp. My eyes are wide and my body is on fire as I feel his hand make its way back up to my now exposed torso and he teases the underlining of my bra.
“… And I wonder,” he continues. “How loud you can get when you’re finally relieved of that pent up desire and hit with wave… after wave… after wave of pleasure.” He kisses each cheek and my forehead to punctuate each point. “It’s a sound I imagine is even more intoxicating than those small whimpers you make whenever I touch you here.” He slips his hand up my bra and his finger lightly brushes against my nipple.
And just as he knew I would, I whimper at the slight move. That’s when he smashes his lips against mine just as he did moments ago and this time with the added sensation of my bud between his fingers, I’m pretty sure I’m on the verge of ruin. At this point, I’ve accepted that it is impossible for me to resist this man.
The kiss ends too soon for me when he pulls away to study my face before a satisfied smirk comes to his and he removes his hand from my bra to once again toy with my waistband. “Tell me, Naomi. If I were to touch you right now, would you be wet for me?”
The answer is yes, but I can’t tell him that, so I hold my lips together tightly. A sharp breath crosses through my nose when he slips his hand into my pants and my body refuses to reject him despite logic telling me that this is not an appropriate setting for this.
“Perhaps I should check for myself…” He makes a direct path to my core, eases a single finger inside of me, and begins moving it. More whimpers escape my lips until they turn into light moans that I try to bite back when he removes his finger from the inside me to rub my clit.
Again, logic tells me to push him away, but my body refuses to listen. Just when I know my moans are going to become more audible, Mr. Laurent’s lips are against mine moving hungrily as his fingers pick up pace.
I feel myself approaching my release and just as I’m about to get there… he stops.
He pulls away from me and my eyes flutter open to see him remove his hand from my pants with a sneer.
“Wh-what?” I breathe, and it seems to be the only thing I can get out. I watch him in disbelief as he sucks my essence off his fingers.
“Now…” He buttons up my shirt while I continue to gawk at him. “Your meeting is soon and I know you don’t want to be late…” In a slick move, Mr. Laurent then pulls my phone from the front of my purse and begins typing in it. “I assume you’ve deleted my number, so I’m putting it back in here one last time. The ball is in your court, Naomi. If you want to see me, you know how to contact me.”
I’m still speechless and I know I probably look like a dumbass right now with my jaw dropped. He pecks me on the cheek and opens the door beside me.
Just when it seems he is leaving, he pauses and leans in toward me to whisper in my ear. “Oh, and one last thing… If you call me ‘Mr. Laurent’ again, I’ll have you over my knee.”
Immediately, I choke at his words and he walks out the door casually as if he didn’t just set my body on fire and then leave me with whatever the equivalent of blue balls is for people with vaginas.
I stand still for several more moments until my phone chimes to notify me of my meeting and I’m broken out of my thoughts. Taking a deep breath, trying to ignore the pool between my legs and my unmet release, I straighten myself up and walk out the door.
What the hell is up with Mr. Sebastien Laurent?
A/N: Thank you for reading!