Coming January 29, 2017!!
He was her new beginning; she was his undoing...
When personal trainer Kendra Black saw millionaire Justin Williams walk through her door all she saw was money and a practiced swagger. A man who's used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But Kendra is startled to realize that there is more to Justin than meets the eye, he’s kind and funny and brilliant, and she wants him, desperately. Unable to resist Kendra or her fiery spirit and zest for life, right from the start, Justin pursues her, only her troubled childhood holds her back. She’s been running from love for so long, she doesn’t know how to stop and let it catch up.
Elated when Kendra finally gives into their attraction, Justin jumps in with both feet, only his hectic and demanding life continues to interfere, and Kendra’s past comes creeping back and the two are tested. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionate and physical adventure, Justin discovers Kendra’s secrets and fears while exploring and uncovering his own wild and dark desires.
“Whoa-ho-ho, just take a look at Mr. Mega-Bucks who just pulled into the parking lot. All perfect hair and over-priced sunglasses.”
I glanced up to where Damien was indicating. Sure enough there was a Mr. Mega-Bucks, albeit also a Mr. Super-Sexy Mega-Bucks, stepping out of a gunmetal gray Aston Martin DB9. The slick paint job and clean rims glistening like freshly polished silver in the warm May sunshine.
“Well isn’t he a delectable little piece?” Manuel added, coming up behind me and resting his elbows on the counter, settling his stubbly chin on his interlocked hands. “Who do you think he is?”
“He’s Justin Williams and he’s going to be working with you, Kendra. He’s been referred by his physician and you’re to give him the works,” Lacy said, looking up at me beneath her feathery lashes.
“Lucky girl,” Manuel whined playfully. “I’d certainly like to give him the works!” Then he elbowed me in the ribs before heading to the back to see to his massage client.
I rolled my eyes. Yes, lucky me indeed. I get to work with this pompous ass with more money than brains and better hair than most women I know. Lucky me indeed. I watched as he sauntered towards the front door and opened it, the sun behind his head giving him an almost biblical glow as he removed his sunglasses, tucking them into the neck of his baby-blue polo shirt, and graced the foyer with his presence.
And despite my usual indifference towards someone with more money than brains, because clearly that was the case with this guy, I couldn’t help but feel myself get a tad winded by his looks as he strode towards us. Light brown hair fell just so over his forehead with messy windswept abandon, while eyes, as blue and bright as the Caribbean Ocean, sparkled above youthful rosy cheeks. Boy-ish and innocent Hollywood —not that there is anything innocent about Hollywood and there probably wasn’t anything innocent about this guy either.
But when he smiled at Lacy —Jesus Christ! I just about swallowed my tongue. Big, straight white teeth on that million-dollar grin, to go along with what I can only assume were his millions of dollars. His swagger was practiced and carefree but it also exuded cockiness and confidence, and the heavy sway of the bulge in his khaki shorts said he was well practiced in bringing a woman to her knees and keeping her there —willingly!
“Hi,” he said, all smiles with a coquettish wink at Lacy who was eating it up with both hands, batting her eye lashes and flipping her platinum shoulder-length hair around her head as if there was a giant fan in the corner. “Justin Williams. I’m here for a consult, I was referred by Dr. Ernest.”
I turned my back on them, too embarrassed by the ridiculousness of my co-worker to continue watching and instead busied myself with the file in my hand, straightening papers that didn’t need straightening and reading things I didn’t need to read.
“Yes… yes, Mr. Williams. We’ve uh… we’ve been expecting you.” Lacy’s words fumbled and fell out of her mouth like marbles in a teaspoon. Get it together woman, he’s just another pretty face. “Uh, Kendra…?”
I turned to her, taking great care not to look at the sexy god-like creature standing on the opposite side of the reception desk. “Yeah, wuzzup?” I cringed inwardly at my overly cavalier attitude. I never say ‘wuzzup.’ Nobody says ‘wuzzup’ anymore. It’s been thirty seconds and already this man has me acting like a complete fool.
“Are you free to take Mr. Williams into the back for his consult and orientation?”
“Sure. Mr. Williams, if you’ll follow me please.” I gave a vague and disinterested smile to Mr. Williams, motioning for him to follow me. He gave another flashy grin and wink to Lacy, which sent her into a fit of giggles and snickers like a moon-struck schoolgirl, her hair in a completely unnecessary tailspin around her bobble-head.
We traveled down the hallway in silence but the fact that I couldn’t see him didn’t mean I wasn’t fully aware of the eyeball-size holes he was boring into my ass —the man was an incorrigible pig.
“In here. Have a seat and we’ll get started.” I gestured, holding the door open to the office I shared with other personal trainers on staff.
The room was empty, Damien, Cheryl and Tim were all out with clients, and with that emptiness I felt a sudden awareness of this man and his big, I’m guessing six-foot-three, two-hundred-pound body being only inches from mine as he crossed the threshold. And of course he smelled magnificent, a heavenly mixture of aftershave, coconuts and soap.
His eyes traveled up and down my body in slow appraisal and, although I had clothes on, the way he was looking at me I could have been wearing nothing at all. Instinctively I squirmed under his gaze as I propped open the door and walked around the desk to take my seat.
“So, Mr. Williams, let’s start off with you telling me a little bit about yourself and why Dr. Ernest referred you to our facility.”
I opened his file and scanned it briefly, slowly lifting my head to meet his gaze; it was penetrating. His head was slightly cocked to one side and a bemused half-smile danced across his lips. I raised my eyebrows slightly to prompt a response and show him that, contrary to popular belief, he didn’t have the same effect on all women and that I wasn’t about to lose my shit or my cool simply because he’d smiled at me and undressed me with his eyes, all the way down to my toe-ring.
He leaned back in the chair and crossed his left leg over his right, resting the ankle on the knee, took a deep breath and then exhaled loudly. I didn’t move, fidget or respond. I just waited.
“Well, what can I say? I’m a workaholic who eats shit, doesn’t exercise, barely sleeps and takes prescription drugs to stay awake. Some of these drugs are not exactly ‘legal’.” He uses air quotes. “In Canada… And according to my doctor, all this caused me to have a heart attack a few weeks ago… albeit a mild one.”
A faint buzzing sound permeated the sudden silence in the room. Immediately he put his foot down on the floor and leaned forward. Pulling his phone out of his back pocket, he slid his thumb over the touch screen and then it was as though I didn’t exist, that we weren’t in the middle of a serious conversation and that I wasn’t sitting across from him, four feet away.
I watched as he continued to fiddle on his phone, his face in a pent up scrunch, lines that I hadn’t noticed before etched deep on his otherwise youthful face. Suddenly the phone buzzed again and he held a finger up to me indicating silence or that he needed a minute, either way it was rude as hell.
“Williams!” He snapped into the receiver. “I don’t care right now John, just liquidate and pull out. I don’t need the hassle right now. Pay them fucking over-time for all I care, double-time if we have to, it’ll still be a savings in the long run. Just get it all out of there… good… Call me when it’s done.” And without a farewell he did the less-than-dramatic red-button press and hung up on ‘John’.
“Sorry about that.” He looked up at me and shrugged sheepishly, adding a wink to his grin to try and soften the blow. “Business.”
“Mr. Williams, we have a strict ‘no phone’ policy in the facility. For future reference you are to turn your phone off or onto silent mode and either leave it in your locker in the men’s change room or check it at reception with Lacy.”
His eyebrows shot up in surprise and that same quirky smirk played across his full pouty lips. “Is that so? Well, I am never without my phone… but I’m up for the challenge. Would you like it now?” he asked as he put it on the desk and mimed sliding to across to me.
“We won’t be in here long. You can hand it off to Lacy when we pass reception.”
“Very well… I, uh… I get the feeling… Miss…?”
“Kendra, Kendra Black,” I snapped, eyeing him up and questioning where this was going.
“Miss Black, I get the feeling you don’t like me very much. Is that correct? Have I done something to offend you?” His head cocked to the side again as he leaned forward, clasping his hands and resting them on the desk.
I sighed heavily and leaned back in my own seat gauging him warily. “I don’t know you Mr. Williams—”
“Justin, please call me Justin.” Humour and mischief danced in his eyes.
“Justin, fine, I don’t know you at all… Justin, but I will tell you this. I have zero, zero tolerance for recreational drug use or abuse of prescribed pharmaceuticals. If I find out you’re using again I will drop you as a client faster than you can blink, are we clear? This is a centre of rehabilitation for the body and mind. People come here after they have had surgery, a heart attack like you, a stroke or other kinds of serious trauma or injury. But we are not a rehab facility for addicts. Got it? Secondly, I don’t know who you are, or, better yet, who you think you are, but don’t think you can charm me like you charmed Lacy. I’m not impressed by money or power. You’re the client and I’m your trainer, and the sooner you realize and accept that the better this relationship will be.”
I caught my reflection in the sunglasses he’d hooked in the top of his shirt. I looked pissed off. Why was I so pissed off? I needed to cut the guy some slack. I didn’t know him and he’d just had a heart attack. I berated myself for my earlier bitchiness and corrected my scowl. I could still maintain professionalism and also be nice. I was a nice person.
I watched him as he processed my comments, his eyebrows dancing up and down on his tanned forehead while his lips twisted into a tiny pout. It was a cute look for him, I must admit, but I couldn’t let myself get distracted. Nice didn’t have to mean flirty either.
“Well, Miss Black, I assure you I’m clean and plan to be for the foreseeable future, so you don’t have to worry about that. And as far as the charming goes… well it’s up to you to be strong enough to resist my charms. I’m just being me.” A satisfied and wry little smirk caught on his mouth.
I huffed a laugh and then reached for my pen. “Very well, Mister… Justin, if you don’t mind, I’m going to ask you a series of questions so I can get a better idea of your lifestyle, to understand how we can best help you here. Is that alright? I see you completed our online in-depth new client form, thank you, that saves us some time.”
“Ask away lady, I’m an open book.” He leaned back and crossed his ankle on to his knee again.
“Alright, well it says here that you are thirty-four, is that correct?”
“How often would you say you exercise per week and what does that exercise consist of?”
“I don’t work out. At all.”
“Oh, okay.” I scribbled a big line through the section concerning workout routine.
“And your diet. What does a typical day’s diet look like for you?”
“Six cups of coffee, two in the morning, four spread out over the rest of the day, a microwave breakfast burrito if I remember to eat breakfast, a burger, or a slice or two of pizza for lunch and probably the same for dinner or maybe a steak if I have to go out for dinner with clients. And I love potato chips. I usually eat at least a bag a day while at work in my office, salt-and-vinegar or all-dressed, those are my faves. Sometimes I don’t have time for lunch so I just down a bag of chips before a meeting. And then I finish the night off with a six-pack of beer or two or three doubles of scotch, usually.”
“Wow, I’m surprised you’re not four hundred pounds.”
“A fast metabolism runs in my family.”
I tapped my pen against the desk. “Yes, well, just because you’re not over-weight doesn’t mean you’re healthy. Now tell me about your personal life. What do you do to relax and have fun?”
“I don’t. I work. All. The. Time. I socialize for work purposes, drinks with clients or potential clients, golf to schmooze. I have friends but besides James I barely see them, we’re all too busy.”
“Is James your… uh, partner?”
“No,” he said flatly. Purposefully not giving me any inclination into his sexual orientation. Though by the way he flirted with Lacy and had been blatantly raking his eyes up and down my body I’d bet he was as heterosexual as they come.
“Romantic relationship status?”
“How do you relieve stress?”
“Sex. Or copious amounts of masturbation.”
I looked up at him from beneath my lashes, determined to look professional and let him know that his comment, although meant to startle me, hadn’t fazed me in the least.
“Yep. Oh and I like to read comic books.”
“Okay then. And how about your relationship with your family?
He lifted one shoulder. “Meh, it’s alright. I mean it’s not strained. I love my parents and my brother and sister, but we’re not what I would call ‘close’. I’ve got a good relationship with my dad but he lives in Hawaii. My mum, step-dad and half-sibs live in Montreal.”
“And have you taken the leave of absence from work your doctor advised?
I tilted my head and lifted an eyebrow. “Why not?”
“Too busy. I’ll do everything else he’s making me do but I’m not leaving work.”
I decided to ignore this as it was ultimately going to get me nowhere and chose to move on. “Okay. So I see here that Dr. Ernest has recommended you take up yoga for stress and that I set up a fitness routine for you, something that you can manage and fit into your life so that it is maintainable once we’re through, and that I also set you up with a nutrition plan to help change your diet. After all, changing your body for weight-loss or fitness is thirty percent exercise and seventy percent what you put in your mouth. Are you okay with all of this?”
He lifted one shoulder arrogantly. “Yeah, sure. I mean I don’t want to have another jammer and die.”
“No of course not. I don’t want you to have another jammer either. So I think today what we’ll do is do a fitness assessment, get your body mass index, body fat content, your body age. I already have the blood work that the hospital sent over so that’s good. And then I think we’ll do a yoga session for the last hour to de-stress so we finish on a high note. Did you bring other clothes?”
“Well, I think we’ll be able to find you something here.”
“Here,” I said, throwing him a pair of basketball shorts and a loose, white t-shirt. “These should suffice for today.” I grabbed two yoga mats off the rack and led Justin down the hallway towards the studio while pointing to the men’s room on the left. “You can change in there if you want to. I’ll set up in here.”
“Ah, I should be okay.”
Following me into the yoga studio he removed his shorts down to his, Incredible Hulk boxers, and kicked off his running shoes and socks. Then he pulled his shirt off over his head, while I busied myself laying out the mats and tying my long and frustratingly thick dark, red hair back into a ponytail, securing the whispies with a thin black headband I keep wrapped around my wrist. I tried to not to watch him in the giant floor to ceiling wall mirrors but it was difficult, especially since he was watching me. Our eyes locked for just a second, then that smirk was on his face again. I rolled my eyes and kicked my flip-flops to the side, while unzipping my white hoodie.
He had a nice body considering how little he took care of it. I studied his arms and torso, looking to see where I could add definition and toning. We’d definitely have to lift some heavy weights to build up his delts, traps and pecs, they were virtually non-existent, but he had nice toned legs and from what I could see a taught little ass.
“You’re going to put me in an early grave with those sexy yoga pants and hot-pink top Miss Black. Are you trying to give your clients a heart attack? Or in my case another heart attack?”
I rolled my eyes again and ignored his come-on. “Alright let’s begin with some deep breathing. Stand in the centre of your mat, feet together facing the mirror, hands in prayer position in front of your heart.”
I watched him walk over, his big masculine feet with a light dusting of hair on the tops and toes making small imprints on the cobalt blue mat. Big feet, big… My mind wandered for a second and his eyes caught me staring, which of course earned me another large playful grin, but despite all that he followed my orders and we managed to make it through a full hour of yoga. His flexibility was paltry at best and his sense of balance laughable, but I had to give the man credit, he tried every position without a grimace and didn’t roll his eyes or ask to stop. And every time he lost his balance he’d get right back up and attempt it again.
“So, will this work for you then?” I asked as I handed him the proposed schedule that Lacy had printed out. It had us seeing each other five days a week for two hours a day, four hours on Mondays so as to allow time to set up his meal plan for the week.
“Yes, uh, I think this should work. Sooooo, I guess I will see you on Monday then. Thank you, Miss Black.”
He extended his hand and I shook it, our eyes locking again, a small squeeze of his fingers sending a jolt of awareness to my very core. When our hands separated he offered me a very genuine and surprisingly small smile before nodding at Lacy and turning to leave, placing his sunglasses back in front of his eyes.
I turned around to see Alexa as she walked up behind me. And without thinking I immediately grabbed her by the neck and planted a kiss on her lips. She was surprised at first but didn’t pull away. Instead, she deepened the kiss as her hand grazed my hip affectionately. When we came up for air from our more-than-a-peck lip lock I noticed Justin standing just outside the open door, his sunglasses pushed down on to the bridge of his nose, mouth open in surprise like an octopus, staring at Lex and I. Smiling, I pulled her closer and captured her mouth with mine again, sliding my hand around to cup her perky butt.
“Do you want to go out tonight?” Lex asked as she turned into the liquor store parking lot.
I loved looking at her. She was absolutely stunning; her tanned almost muted copper skin glowed vibrant and youthful, while wild, jet black hair fell in thick voluminous waves down her back, and big, soulful, dark brown eyes held a wisdom far beyond her years. We’re not what you would call a ‘couple’, we’re best friends and roommates who also happen to occasionally sleep together and have threesomes when we feel like it. She’s my safe place, my rock, my family. And when I find a guy I’d like to sleep with Lex is always there too, making sure nothing bad happens.
I climbed out her sleek little red Miata. “I don’t know. Do you want to?” My own Jeep was in the shop so Lex, who’s the head pastry chef at a cute little bakery and is usually off work by three, had come to pick me up.
“Well I just got a text from Chad saying that a bunch of them are going out to The Fig for dinner and they want to go dancing at that hot new night club up the street afterwards. Want to do that?”
“Yeah, could be fun.”
“So how was work?”
We walked into the liquor store and immediately male heads and a few female ones turned and took in the vision that is Lex; all big breasts, rocking ass, long legs and curves that won’t quit. And the worst and best thing about her is that she’s the most down-to-earth and least vain person I’ve ever met. Truthfully, she has no idea how gorgeous she is.
“It was pretty good. I have a new client. He’s handsome as hell, super rich and is a serious playboy. He can’t help but hit on anything and everything that walks. I practically caught him delivering pick-up lines to a lamppost until he realized it wasn’t just a really thin woman.”
“Dear god, is he stupid too?” she asked with a throaty laugh, picking up a bottle of red wine to read the back label.
I shook my head. “No actually, I don’t think he is. I thought that he might be. You know, a rich boy spending all of Daddy’s money without a care or concern in the world. But I actually think he’s self-made and pretty smart. He’s an investment banker who owns a bunch of buildings and a few clubs and restaurants in town as well. But he’s one of those guys that just can’t turn it off. You know? He’s just always on, always joking around, but at the same time he’s attached to his phone like it’s another appendage. He answered it three times during our session and was constantly texting and checking his emails even after I asked him to give his phone to the front desk. I can’t figure him out.”
“So is that why you sucked my face off when I picked you up?” she asked, giving me the side-eye as she scrutinized the wall of beer.
I managed a rueful smile. “I just needed to send him the message that I wasn’t interested. Thanks by the way.”
She shrugged. “Anytime. How about vodka? Hey, let’s get some Galliano and orange juice and make Harvey Wallbangers!”
“Yeah sure, whatever...” I trailed off, my thumb wedged sideways between my teeth as I wandered aimlessly up and down the aisles. “I just can’t figure this guy out. You know? He doesn’t work out, eats shit and has no stress release besides sex… what’s his deal?”
“You also can’t stop thinking about him. Or talking about him. Maybe his other stress release is humor? Should we grab some beer?” She tucked the bottle of Galliano under her arm and wandered back over to the microbrew section.
“What?” I chased after her. “I’m not thinking about him, or his stupid hair or stupid blue eyes…” She gave me a wry look. “But you make a good point about him being constantly on.”
She rolled her eyes at me. “Come on, let’s go pay for our booty and head home to change. I want to wear my new dress but I need you to help me accessorize.”