Today brings you the third installment of my FREE read, In the Public Eye. Over the course of the next several weeks, I will be sharing pages of this sexy read!
Ria Phillips Fox married the Chicago’s Richest Bachelor, Garrison Fox believing that he was the man of her dreams. Soon she resents feeling like nothing more than arm candy.
Garrison Fox isn’t a man who deals well with being left in his bed alone and he has no intention of staying in the predicament Ria’s left him in. Even if it means playing dirty. After all, there’s more way than to catch a fox.
In The Public Eye
A Crave Short Read
Copyright © 2016 by Samara King.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.
PO BOX 8401
Publisher’s Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Locales and public names are sometimes used for atmospheric purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses, companies, events, institutions, or locales is completely coincidental.
Chapter One (continued)
She couldn’t imagine Wilhelmina not being around. The woman was a dynamo. Her stomach clenched against the need to bolt from the conference room.
“Please let me introduce Mr. Garrison Fox.” Willie turned to him, smiling. “As many of you know, Garrison comes from a background of publishing and media entertainment. He has graciously agreed to step into my shoes as editor in chief and is now the proud owner of Core as well.”
Ria’s eyes met Garrison’s in that instant. Her mouth hung wide open, while her counterparts offered congratulations to their new boss.
Her boss! Surprise, shock and anger splintered through her body at once.
“I’m looking forward to working with all of you and continuing the journey that has secured Core its place amongst the leading women’s publications in the industry,” Garrison stated smoothly.
It wasn’t until most of the room had stopped and congratulated Garrison and left the conference room that Ria managed to walk over to Wilhelmina. “I’m sorry to see you go.” Yes, and how could you do this to me? Selling out to a Fox. She’d known that her husband’s money and business ties ran deep, but this took the cake.
“Thank you, Ria. However, I’m sure you’re used to working with Garrison.” Wilhelmina’s eyes sparkled. “I’ll leave you two alone.” The older woman trotted out of the room, exiting with what seemed like the speed of light.
Ria felt her throat constrict as the man in question shook the last of the employees’ hands and turned that unwavering, controlled gaze her way. A nerve in his jaw twitched. She was certain his anger could not match her own, even now; he would not respect her wishes.
“You look—” His gaze swept over her and then focused back on her face. “—beautiful.”
“Thank you.” Ria shook her head. “But what I’m trying to figure out is why you’re here in New York?”
Garrison stepped closer. His body heat swirled around her like a cocoon. “I think that’s obvious.”
“I’ve come to take back what’s mine.”
His eyes burned into hers.
“I’m not your property, Garrison. You can’t just buy me like some piece of real estate.”
His gaze roamed over her slowly, a sensual smile on his handsome face. “Baby, there’s no comparison there.”
Ria gritted her teeth. They’d had never had a problem between the sheets; it was what happened afterwards that left her feeling displaced. He had no clue how it felt to be tossed into a world that left little room for individuality. She wasn’t used to having to keep up with the Joneses. And even the Joneses would have trouble keeping pace with one member of the Fox family.
Would he ever understand?
One look from him caused heat to rise within Ria. She’d never physically reacted to a man as much as she did with Garrison. His voice was methodical and in rhythm with the pounding of her heart.
She stared at him incredulously, and her lips trembled. “What do you want from me, Garrison? We both know this will never work. We’re…too different.”
“Tell me something I haven’t heard before.”
“Your family hates me.”
“They do not.”
She rolled her eyes skyward. “I suppose that’s why your mother introduced me as your reality-star wife.”
Garrison met the hard look on her face. “You know I don’t excuse my mother for what she does.”
“But I should be willing to, right?” She shrugged. “After all, we’re talking about the great Fox family.”
“Why should I? It’s the truth—you know it, and so do I. It’s time for you to stop denying it.” She stepped back from him, finding his nearness dizzying. Her body responded swiftly, ready and willing to spread her legs and give him what his eyes demanded.
“It’s time to face reality. You and I could never make this marriage work.” She caught the flash of anger in those mysterious eyes of his and knew she was crossing a line few ever managed with Garrison.
He stepped closer, erasing the miniscule space between them. “I don’t believe you.”
Garrison leaned downward, never taking his eyes off of hers. The warmth of his breath sent spirals of longing through Ria’s body. This man was her undoing, and she wasn’t sure when she would be able to escape from under his spell.
“Prove it. Prove that you don’t care anything about me. About our marriage.”
She tilted her chin. “Case in point. Everything is a game to you, Garrison.” She pointed her finger at him. “Listen up: I have nothing to prove to you or your family, you got that? The sooner you accept that, the better we’ll both be.”
If Ria ever stood a chance, he would have to know that she wasn’t affected by him. That their marriage was as big a farce as how it’d started. Why that knowledge wedged a knife in heart, Ria wasn’t sure. She was old enough to know that fairy tales didn’t exist. But on a deeper level, there was a piece of her that wanted to believe, wanted to belong to Garrison.
“Then kiss me.”
Ria jolted upward. “What?”
“If you feel nothing, what’s the harm in a little kiss?”
“Game over, Fox.”
“But I’m willing to play any way I can. You should know that about me by now. What do you have to lose?”
“A kiss won’t sway my decision, Garrison.”
“Of course,” he said, then grinned and leaned into her.
She shuddered but kept her hands at her sides, though they ached to pull him into her arms. “This is manipulation.”
“At its finest,” he countered, wrapping both his arms around her. His eyes seared into hers.
Tune in next week, there will be more to come! ~ Samara