Stately Pleasures by Lucy Felthouse
Alice Brown has just landed her dream job. Property manager at Davenport Manor, a British stately home. It’s only a nine-month contract to cover maternity leave, but it’s the boost up the career ladder she so desperately needs.
Unfortunately, things don’t get off to the best start, when Alice finds her boss, Jeremy Davenport, in a compromising position. Far from being embarrassed by what’s happened, Jeremy turns things around on Alice and makes her out to be the one in the wrong. So when he and his best friend and head of security, Ethan Hayes, then throw an ultimatum at her, she’s so stunned and confused that she goes along with their indecent proposal.
When the dust settles and Alice has time to think about things, though, she realises that perhaps it isn’t such a bad thing. There are worse things she could be doing to advance her career, after all.
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Alice took a deep breath, in through her nose and out through her mouth. Repeated the process once more. Then, realising she could sit there all day doing it and not feel any calmer, she forced herself to step out of the car and close and lock the door.
She bent to peer into the wing mirror of the vehicle and checked her hair and make-up. Satisfied, she straightened, then turned on her heel and walked quickly across the driveway to the great house before her nerve failed her.
Davenport Manor was currently open for visitors, so she walked in through the front door and was met by a smiling elderly lady.
‘Can I help you?’ the woman asked kindly.
‘Yes, please.’ Alice twisted her hands together nervously. ‘I’m here to see Mr Davenport. I’m here for an interview for the property manager’s role.’
‘Yes, of course,’ the woman replied, ‘that’s today, isn’t it? Follow me; I’ll take you to Mr Davenport’s office. But just hang on one second.’
She ducked through the doorway into the next room and spoke with her colleague. Alice guessed she was letting her co-worker know she’d be gone for a few minutes. A few seconds later, she was back. ‘OK, follow me, Miss …’
‘Brown,’ Alice said, then fell in behind the other woman as she led her to Mr Davenport’s office, and the interview that could change her life for ever. It was hardly surprising that she was shaking like a leaf.
Alice quickly felt lost as their journey took several twists and turns along dim corridors – their blinds drawn to protect paintings, tapestries, and furniture from the sunlight – and up a flight of stairs. She had a few seconds to worry about finding her way if she was lucky enough to get the job, then, suddenly, her guide stopped outside a door and turned around.
‘Here you go, Miss Brown. Mr Davenport’s office. Good luck with your interview.’
Alice smiled and thanked the elderly woman, then smoothed down her skirt, which also conveniently helped wipe the nervous sweat off her hands. She stood up straight, gave herself a mental pep talk about being more than qualified for the role, and knocked on the door.
Alice knew that voice could only belong to Jeremy Davenport. The posh accent, and the fact he’d said “enter” instead of “come in”, screamed money and an upper-class upbringing. Alice was suddenly nervous of her broad Midlands accent and lowly background, despite the fact she’d worked her backside off to get into a decent university in order to gain a Bachelor of Arts degree and then a Master’s degree. No matter what she sounded like, or what her past was, she had all the skills necessary to do the job she was about to be interviewed for.
Suddenly, she realised that she’d left rather a long pause before opening the door, and she turned the handle before the occupants of the room thought they were about to interview some kind of simpleton who couldn’t follow a simple instruction.
Fixing a polite – but hopefully not inane – smile onto her face, Alice stepped into Jeremy Davenport’s office. Her first thought – which certainly did nothing to help her nerves – was good God, he’s hot.
Jeremy sat behind a desk, with a heavily pregnant woman sitting beside it. Alice barely noticed the woman. All she saw was him. A man with cropped dark brown hair, hazel/green eyes, a jawline you could cut bread with, and lips that looked capable of doing incredibly wicked, sexual things to a woman. Or a man. Alice had no idea what his sexuality was, but she found herself hoping he liked women.
She chastised herself. Even if he did like women, he wouldn’t go for someone like her. A Plain Jane, with mousy brown shoulder-length hair, blue eyes, average height and above average weight. Alice had always known she’d never be a supermodel, so she’d worked extra hard academically, and here she was. About to be interviewed for her dream job.
Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over eighty publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9