Hardly got any reviews for the last chapter...thinking about speeding this along because my muse isn't be fed. Maybe a chapter or two left if that's the case.

Excuse any errors, no beta.


Part III

Elena blinked her eyes open as the events of last night swam back to the front of her mind. She had to admit that Elijah was an excellent lover, better than she'd ever had for a client, and she really had to tramp down on the feelings threatening to mingle with business. She looked over at his side – when did she start thinking of it as his side – and encountered an empty bed. Upon further inspection, she saw that his credit card was resting on his pillow.

"Wake up, Elena," he called before walking out of the bathroom fully dressed except for his tie lying limp around his neck, "Time to shop."

She groaned and rolled onto her back, staring at the ceiling dully. She didn't want a repeat of what happened before. Pushing aside her insecurities, she sat up when Elijah approached the bed and deftly tied his tie for him. The poor man was hopeless even though he wore suits every day.

"I still don't understand why you only bought one dress," he said, cocking his head and observing her.

She rolled her eyes, "It wasn't as much fun as I thought it was going to be."

"Why not?"

"Well, you know those cold bitches that work in those stores and try to intimidate you?" She asked before deadpanning, "It works."

Elijah bristled at her words, his brow furrowing as he asked, "Was someone rude to you?"

"I had a little problem in one store," she admitted, not daring to tell him that she only had enough nerve to be ridiculed once, "I wasn't dressed right. I don't know…I just don't belong there. Maybe I'll just go back to Bridget. She was nice."

"Elena, you belong wherever you are. I don't care how you were dressed, they were the ones who were wrong, not you." He sighed and sat down next to her on the bed, "People aren't going to respect you unless you respect yourself."

"Will you come with me?"

He glanced down at his watch and she covered it with her hand, her doe eyes pleading, "Please?"


Elijah had taken her to as many shops as her heart desired, ensuring that she had a multitude of dresses, blouses, and slacks as well as jewelry, shoes, and handbags. They had filled up the town car that was taking them everywhere and Elena couldn't help but smile at the fact that all the clothes were now hers.

The sun was starting to set and they were walking along Rodeo Drive. She pursed her lips as they passed the store that had started it all and she gathered her courage.

"One more?" Elijah asked, a small smile tugging at his lips when he noticed she had stopped in front of a boutique.

"Just one," she promised before slinking through the doors. She felt more confident dressed this way. She was wearing a pink dress that was very flattering, but very conservative. Her shoes matched perfectly, as did the handbag she was clutching a little too tightly. She was a ball of nerves and she was wondering why she even bothered to come back.

Her eyes scanned the shop and noticed the saleswoman who was rude to her last time and she felt her confidence leave her in a huff. She was busy with another customer and it gave her time to prepare.

Before she could process what she was doing, she walked up to the pair of women and said, "'Scuse me."

The saleswoman looked up and smiled pleasantly, "Yes?"

"Do you remember me?"

The woman shook her head, "No, I'm sorry, I don't."

"I was in here yesterday," she said, slowly raising her middle finger and watching as recognition bloomed across the woman's face, "Yeah, that's right, it's me. I want you to know something. You made me feel terrible. I wasn't dressed right and you said I didn't belong here. Well, I do. You're the one that was wrong, not me. And I want to tell you something else, I'm never gonna shop here again as long as I live."

She stuck her tongue out at the woman before turning and walking out the door. Chancing a glance behind her, she saw the customer thrusting the dress she had in her arms back at the woman and leaving the store as well.

"I trust you did what you wanted?" Elijah asked as his long legs carried him to catch up with the raging brunette.

Elena nodded curtly, "She got what was comin' to her. And I'm pretty sure she lost out on a sale, too."

"I can have that place closed, if you'd like," he offered as they approached the town car.

She smiled, "Nah, let her wallow in her misery a while longer."

Elijah looked down at his watch and back to her, "I have to go to a meeting. It shouldn't take long. I trust you can take the car back to the hotel? The bellhop will bring your bags up."


"You were right! Kross mortgaged everything he has down to his grandson's college tuition to secure loans from the bank," a short, balding, overweight man said, his eyes gleaming, "And not just any bank, a bank we do business with."

Elijah sighed and sipped his coffee, staring out the window at the city below. He hated coming to these meeting when Stuckey, his partner, was on the warpath to absorb every company he could.

"It goes without saying that your business means a great deal more to them than our friend Kross's," he paused, waiting for Elijah to say something, "All you have to do is make a call."

He didn't want to think about taking over another company when there was a petite brunette waiting for him at his hotel. His business game was off lately.

Stuckey glared at him, "Excuse me for saying this, but what the hell is wrong with you this week? First, you go soft on the pension funds. Now, you're giving him a chance to get away? As of two minutes ago, you are committed to the tune of over fifty million dollars-"

"Come on, Bill, don't talk to me about how much money's involved. It's my money-"

"And some of it's mine," Stuckey snarked, "Elijah, his jugular's exposed. We can take the company and be done with it."

He hesitated. Had he really changed so much in the past few days? What was Elena doing to him? He sighed, "Get the bank on the phone for me."


Business meetings were becoming more of a hassle than he'd ever thought they were before. Walking into the penthouse, Elijah realized that the room was dark, save for candlelight. A table had been set up in the middle of the room and was laden with food and wine chilled in a bucket off to the side. A fire was roaring in the fireplace and soft music was playing – he almost smiled to himself.

"Hi," Elena said shyly, standing in the doorway to the bedroom wearing one of the silk robes she had picked up earlier that day. She smiled slightly, "I thought maybe you'd like dinner."

He nodded, "Thank you, I would." He gestured to her outfit, "It looks nice."

She smiled deviously at him, "Wait till you see what I have on underneath."

His interest peaked, "Please."

Elena hesitated briefly before opening her robe and allowing it to fall to the ground. She was completely bare underneath, the candlelight playing off of her olive curves and causing him to nearly drool.

In two long strides, he had her in his arms. His mouth went to her breasts and she wrapped her legs around his lean waist and tangled her fingers in his hair. His large hands cupped her ass as he suckled, loving the taste of her sweet skin.

"What about dinner?" She panted, tugging his hair slightly so he pulled back to look at her.

"Later," he promised, carrying her to the bedroom and tossing her on the bed, "I quite think that I deserve dessert first after the day I've had." He climbed onto the bed and stopped between her legs, throwing her legs over his shoulders as he delicately kissed the soft bud between her legs.

"Oh!" She squeaked, her eyes widening in surprise. She'd only had one other man between her thighs in such a way and, from what she remembered, it was sloppy and awful. That was one of the reasons why she had decided not to try to gain pleasure from her clients; money was money and it was simply a job.

Elijah could sense that she was thinking too much and he delved between her wet folds to bring her more pleasure. His thumbs held her plump lips open as his tongue slithered into her opening and lapped up her delicious wetness. She had a unique taste that instantly had him craving more and, obliging his urges, he secured his mouth against her as his nose bumped her clit expertly. She writhed beneath him until her mouth opened and she screamed his name, shuddering against his mouth as she came down from her high.


"You always been rich?" Elena asked him quietly, raising the washcloth and washing along his broad shoulders.

She had had no energy to complain when he suggested taking a bath, leaving the dinner she had ordered long forgotten. He rested between her legs as she tried to scrub away the stress he had been under before he came back to the penthouse. He had even followed her candlelit ambience and left the lights in the bathroom off.

"No," he answered, leaning back slightly and enjoying her ministrations.

"Seems like it," she said with a shrug, "I guess it's easy to get used to, huh?"

"Easier than learning how to be poor," Elijah quipped, closing his eyes when he hands hit a particularly tense spot, "My father's family was wealthy. When I was young, there were cars and houses, private schools, nannies. But then my father divorced my mother to marry another woman. And he took his money with him."

Elena pursed her lips and urged him, "Keep talkin'. I like hearin'."

He shrugged, "Not much to tell. I went to public school after that, then onto a university on a scholarship. I went to work for an investment firm and within eight years I owned it." He paused, his voice quiet when he continued, "My father was chairman of the board of the third company I ever went after. I swallowed that company and threw out the pieces. One of the pieces was him."

She sighed internally, tracing nonsense patterns on his back as she felt him relax slightly. She laid her head against him, "You still mad at him?"

"He died a long time ago," Elijah answered.

Before she could think of a response, he had turned in her arms and buried his face against her neck. Teeth met soft skin as he grabbed her thighs and pulled them around his waist, his hard cock heavy against her core. With a harsh bite to her neck, he pushed inside her, earning him eight little crescent wounds on his shoulders as her nails dug in.

"Fuck!" She gasped softly, feeling him stretch her tight walls. She had only taken him a few times, but she had been hoping that she would have adjusted by now. She had no other choice but to cling to him as he thrust inside of her repeatedly.

It wasn't about his pleasure any longer; it was about burying the part of him that wanted to show emotions. Elena brought something out in him that he hadn't felt for a long time. Taking it easy on companies was something he never did, but since she came into the picture, he couldn't help but think of the people he'd be putting out of work.

She was thrusting her hips up to meet his, mindless of the water spilling out of the tub, they'd take care of it later. Their coupling was frantic and needy. They both needed some sort of release and they were intent on finding it within each other.

Elijah kept his face against her neck, scared that if he didn't, he would be tempted to finally capture her lips with his own. He sucked and bit the skin of her neck, knowing he'd leave a mark but not particularly caring as her tightness began fluttering around him. Moving his free hand from her hip to her clit, he rubbed frantically, desperately trying to bring her off before he did.

As soon as Elena clenched around his cock, he was lost. Hazily remembering that he hadn't worn a condom, he pulled out of her and grunted as his seed spilled across her stomach and swirled into the water.

She panted heavily, her fingers tangled in his hair as he lay on top of her. She wanted to smack herself for allowing him inside of her without a condom, even though she was on birth control, but she figured that if she did that with client, he'd be the safest bet.

He needed comfort and she did her best to offer him that. She knew what it was like to grow up with only one parent. And, at that moment, she saw that they weren't so different. They each represented what the other could've become and it scared her.


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~Grace