The food Cole ordered is ready, waiting with a little card letting me know what to take. There’s also a…blowtorch?
“Ever used one of those before?” An older man in a chef uniform is looking at me skeptically.
“Nope,” I say, “and I have no idea what it’s for.”
He nods. “One of the things mister Andrews ordered was crème brûlée.” He points to a bunch of little cups filled with custard. “It’s more entertaining for the guests if you torch the top in front of them.” He picks up the torch and flicks it on, showing me the bright blue flame. “Just run it lightly over the top until the whole thing is a medium brown. You’ll be fine.”
“Sure,” I say. “Sounds easy enough.” I’m sure I don’t sound convincing. But I have no idea who these clients are. If they’re important, I want to make sure they have a good impression, so more entertaining it is. I grab the tray of food and head back across the club, sticking to the edge and dodging dancers as needed.
There seems to be a rather heated discussion happening as I enter the blue room—on the clients’ side—but they stop talking as soon as I enter the room. I get the feeling I should have knocked, but it’s too late now.
Cole chimes in to cover the awkwardness in the air. “I took the liberty of ordering us some appetizers and desserts. Andrea?”
I bring the tray over to a larger table, a higher bar that’s holding almost everyone’s drinks. I place the tray down, and lay out the desserts. God, I hope I don’t set everything on fire. I glance over at Cole, and I see the moment he registers the change in my appearance. His eyes stroke up and down my body visibly, and his mouth curls up in what must be the sexiest smirk I’ve ever seen. I’m concerned that the minute I light up this blowtorch that we’re all going to explode.
The clients and Cole’s partners are speaking, commenting on the food, but I can’t hear them. I’m distracted by the way Cole’s eyes are on me, by the way he shifts in his seat, making it clear what he’s trying to hide. I glance up from using the torch to see the light of it reflected in his eyes, and it only makes them burn brighter. Everyone’s heard that expression about feeling like they were the only people in the room, and every time someone said anything like that, I thought that they were lying.
I manage to crown the tops of all the desserts without catching my clothes on fire, and I get a little round of applause as I turn off the flame with a flourish.
“Well done,” Cole says, and I’m glad it’s dark enough that he won’t see the way my body heats up, blushing because of his praise.
I distribute the small desserts to everyone, and one of the clients catches my arm as I put it in front of him. “I agree, well done,” he says. One strong pull, and I’m in his lap. His hand is around my waist, fingers stroking against my skin, pulling me down onto what is obviously an erection. “I can think of other things that could be well done.” He snickers, voice crawling across me like slime.
There’s no air in the room. I don’t think I’m breathing, and I can’t move. I hear someone clearing his throat, and I see Cole stand. “This club is a haven for people to explore who they are, and you are welcome to do so. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of willing people downstairs who would want to join you. However, my employees are off limits. That is not a service they provide, and if you put your hands on Andrea again, or any of my other employees, you will not be welcome here. Am I understood?”
The man, still nameless, loosens his grip and I scramble off his lap, putting distance between us. “I understand,” he says, but he’s smirking.
Cole looks at me, and I can tell he’s checking to see if I’m all right. But now that he’s said that employees are off limits, he can’t show me any kind of favor. “That will be all, Andrea. Thank you. I’m sure Rosie could use your help downstairs.”
I nod, heading for the door, and I feel his eyes on me the entire way, and in the hallway it feels like I take my first real breath in minutes. What the hell was I thinking? Cole Andrews owns this club. Even aside from the fact that I want him to strip me down and kiss every inch of skin, do I really want to be the girl who sleeps with the boss on the first day?