Josef smiled as Lucky walked into his office, although he missed not a beat in his telephone negotiation. She was one of the favorites, one of the few who could breeze by the security guards and the even fiercer secretaries right into his office. Only the final secretary would dream of hindering one of the favorites, and that only if Mr. Kostan was already enjoying female company. The instructions were quite explicit.

For her part, Lucky was always in admiration of the way he could acknowledge her, make it quite clear from the weight and heat of his gaze that he was intimately aware of her presence, even as another part of him, the businessman, continued to operate under full control and apparent concentration. "And I told you," he was saying, "to ditch the South African bonds. I don't care if apartheid ended. Human rights legislation is not my concern. Profit is my concern." She wasn't listening to his words on the phone. They could've been in Arabic, or Mandarin, for all she cared. There was too much else to claim her attention as she walked across the office.

He was pacing restlessly as he often did, avoiding the bars of afternoon sun that slanted into the office area through the big windows. He moved, Lucky thought, like a caged lion, and his clothing today enhanced the image. He'd shed his jacket, and his broad shoulders moved smoothly under a crisp cotton cream and tan striped shirt, the tan perfectly matched by his suspenders, trousers, and silk tie. Lucky watched him, for a moment, then he paused in his tracks and raised one arm, beckoning her nearer. "Well, we can do a conference call with my associates in Kuala Lumpar, but I can already tell you what they'll say. They'll say what I want them to say."

Lucky was smiling like a cat in cream herself as she stepped up in front of him and laid both hands on his chest to steady herself as she went up on tiptoe to kiss his cool cheek. She was rewarded with a smile completely at variance with the tone of his conversation, and the gentle pressure of his free hand running down her back. "Of course I'm eco-friendly. Kostan Industries has a vested interest in seeing that this planet remains habitable for as long as possible."

If he saw an impish light in her eyes, he either dismissed it or welcomed it, but his hand stayed in light motion on her back. "When I say long range, I mean long range. Unequivocally." Sliding her hands together under his tie, Lucky unbuttoned several buttons of his shirt, delighted to find no undershirt. She nuzzled her face against the pale skin of his chest, the smooth silk of his tan tie brushing sweetly again her cheek.

"Ahem. Yes, of course I'm interested in a legitimate proposal." Josef blinked twice, missing part of a sentence in a momentary distraction and covering it with a short cough. Meanwhile, Lucky was moving her hands outward, spreading the unbuttoned shirt to expose more of his skin. The suspenders provided something of an impediment, but she found she rather enjoyed the feel of her hands held snug against his chest by the elastic.

After breathing warmly against his skin several times, she licked her lips to moisten them, and placed them carefully on the center line of his chest, parted just enough to allow the tip of her tongue to flick out. Josef kept talking, but his hand on Lucky's back stroked a little more urgently. "What you seem to fail to understand is that the government of Venezuela has a significant interest in keeping me happy."

She began to move her head to her left, kissing lightly, touching her tongue to his skin, listening to the crackle of the cotton shirt as it shifted, the cream and tan stripes folding together. Listening to the rumble of his voice as he spoke, his chest rising and falling with breaths that betrayed a rising excitement in his blood. Then she moved back the other direction, the kisses deepening in intensity as she neared his undead heart. "Global means global. Malaysia is not going to risk interfering with Japanese interests in the market."

Josef was wont to, as he termed it, seal the deal with his exclusive freshies by biting them over the heart, leaving a mark there for all time of his ownership. Now Lucky paused her lips in the same site, biting delicately on him at his favored spot, knowing any mark she tried to leave on him would vanish instantly.

But this was not some futile exercise on her part. She pushed again at his shirt and moved her mouth slightly down to capture his left nipple carefully between her teeth, even as her left hand caressed the suddenly crinkled skin of his right nipple.

"And I'm telling you one last time that the Australians are not in bed with the Kuwaitis on this one, and they never were." He swallowed, hard, and Lucky knew she had his complete attention when his hand found the back of her head, cradling and encouraging her as she suckled at his breast.

"Right," Josef said. "That is my final statement on this matter for now. Send your proposal to my offices….yes, by Thursday." He paused. "I can't discuss that further at this time. I have other—pressing—matters to attend to. Goodbye."

Even with his heightened senses, the vampire never heard the phone hit the floor.