For as long as Nina Kingston has known Elijah Heyward, they’ve competed across the boardroom table. He may be sexy as sin, but she won’t let get in the way of her successful career.
When works sends them together to a client’s location, she knows it’s going to be a long weekend with her irritating yet attractive coworker. To make matters worse, a storm knocks out the electricity and plunges the small cabin into a den of glowing firelight and palpable lust. Will Nina’s self-control last the night, or will she finally give into Elijah and her own desperate desires?
|A Winter Want by Gemma Snow|
|“You’re fucking joking.” Nina Kingston looked at her boss and longtime friend, Madison Harrison, before adding, less confidently than before, “You are joking, aren’t you?”
Madison’s expression remained steady, and she shook her head, a small smile playing across her lips.
This did not bode well for Nina’s weekend.
“I need you both there,” Madison explained patiently, looking utterly unfazed by Nina’s miserable expression. “Unless you’d prefer to forfeit your candidacy for the campaign, I suggest you pack your winter boots.”
Nina didn’t grumble despite how much she wanted to. She was a top creative director in a top advertising firm in New York City. She could handle this.
As though the thought of “handling this” had somehow created the physical presence of the problem, Elijah Heyward walked straight into Madison’s office without knocking.
Nina had been in professional competition with Elijah for more than three years. Equals in rank at Mechum and Mechum, they were known to steal campaigns, turn clients, and do just about whatever possible to fuck the other over. Nina rarely felt guilty about it. Advertising was a dog-eat-dog world, and she hadn’t gotten this far by being nice. Plus, Elijah had always made it easy to dislike him. He was powerful, smug, and arrogant. Coupled with his unfortunately attractive looks, Nina thought petulantly, he was the walking, talking, textbook definition of male ego.
Of course, it didn’t help that she frequently found herself staring at his firm ass in those finely pressed, perfectly tailored charcoal slacks or watching the broad stretch of his shoulders from across the room. He was tall, so much taller than her. He had a chiseled jaw, usually with the perfect amount of stubble, and the kind of arms one could tell were strong, even through his button-down shirts and suit jackets. He was also a jackass, and just because she found him to be a good-looking jackass—something he couldn’t know in a million years—it did not change the fact that Nina had no desire to spend the next three days in some cramped motel with him in the middle of bumfuck nowhere.
“What are we not fucking joking about?” Elijah asked drolly, looking at Madison and then lazily scanning the papers in his hand, as though he had far better places to be than his boss’ office.
His very presence goaded Nina. She’d just have to steal this campaign too.
“I’m sending you two on a trip,” Madison said.
Elijah’s head actually moved in surprise.
So he is capable of human emotions after all, Nina thought. This would be an interesting conversation.
“And why on earth would you do that?” he asked.
Madison raised an eyebrow and looked pointedly at Nina. “You two are both after the new Rellington campaign, yes?” she asked.
Rellington was an exclusive resort and spa complex opening at the top of a mountain in upstate New York. The package included nearly all logos, fonts, designs, and advertising, down to the decorative foils on the chocolates they placed under guests’ pillows. It would be an enormous job, and both Nina and Elijah were well enough qualified. The decision process would come partially from Madison and partially from the uppers at Rellington once they had seen proposals from several contestants.
Watching the expression on Elijah’s chiseled, stubborn face now, Nina knew she had to win because there was no way in hell and damnation she was going to let him beat her.
“The Rellington plot has been finalized,” Madison continued. “I think it would reflect very well upon Mechum if you two made a pilgrimage to see the area and views before starting on your proposals.”
Elijah didn’t say anything.
Nina looked towards him with some curiosity. Usually, it was rough going to get him to stop talking. Rendering him speechless was a rather remarkable feat.
Madison shifted some books around on her desk and clapped her hands together. Her rings sparkled in the early afternoon light, and the expression on her face was far too happy, in Nina’s opinion.
“So it’s settled,” Madison said, giving a Nina grin that she had no intention of acknowledging. “Clarissa will shore up the details, and I’ll see you both back here on Tuesday.” She pointed toward the door and turned back to her computer.
Nina was halfway to her escape when her friend added a cheery note.
“Don’t forget to dress warm. You’ll be staying in a cabin together.”