Mia Bella Anna (Book 3, Sweet Lovers Series) – Erotic Romance
Anna Bryant is a beautiful and talented woman who is completely focused on building her interior design company.
Sexy nightclub owner and personal trainer, Cole Turner, owns Twilight Enterprises with his brother. They hired Anna Bryant Designs to design their first club and is ready for her to start the next one.
But that’s not all he’s ready for. Cole wants Anna, despite complications which can arise when mixing business with pleasure. Anna is hesitant at first, but moves forward on her own terms. They enjoy experiencing each other and their relationship develops quickly – perhaps a bit too fast for comfort.
When police move in to investigate Twilight Enterprises, Cole and Anna’s professional and personal affairs pull her and her business under the microscope as well, possibly jeopardizing all she has worked for.
Will Cole be cleared and get Anna back?
Can Anna put their hardships aside to realize they are meant to be together?
[Siren Classic: Erotic Contemporary Romance, HEA]
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This book is dedicated to all the creative people in the world.
Let your vision shine.
MIA BELLA ANNA
Sweet Lovers 3
Copyright © 2015
“Becca? Have you seen the fabric swatches for the Anderson Hotel?” Anna shouted from her office where she was hopping over boxes and piles of stuff. “Ahhh,” she screamed as she tripped and barely caught herself before falling flat on her ass.
Becca rushed in. “Are you okay?”
Anna steadied herself. She was frustrated and kicked the box that nearly did her in. “Yes,” she grumbled. “I think we are outgrowing this office space.”
Anna had moved into the office space nearly three years ago once she decided to hire Becca. The two women went to college together. They had become friends while taking some of the same classes. Becca had worked with a big time firm right out of college and hated all the political aspects of the company. She never wanted to run her own firm claiming running a business wasn’t her forte. Anna appreciated her design ideas, and she was always cool, calm, and organized even under pressure. Becca loved Anna’s vision and her work ethic. Despite the fact that she took a pay cut to work for Anna, she never regretted the change. Becca truly enjoyed working with Anna and the catchy Director of Designs title Anna gave her. The two of them working side by side had been an absolute blessing, particularly on the stressful days.
Becca nodded agreeing with her boss and friend. “The swatches are in the bookcase, second shelf.”
“Right where they are supposed to be.” She smiled at her friend. “What would I do without you?”
“Not sure,” she teased. “You probably wouldn’t have this hotel contract.”
“I wouldn’t be able to handle it on my own, that’s for damn sure. You are amazing. Have I told you that lately?”
“Yes, but you can tell me again.” Becca snickered with a smile.
“We should probably think about hiring someone else to help out around the office.”
Both phone lines started ringing at the same time causing the women to give each other overwhelmed looks.
“And when would we have to time to look for someone?” Becca questioned.
“Point taken. I’ll get one line.”
Becca nodded and ran back to her desk to answer the other one.
Anna grabbed the swatches and finally answered the call on the fourth ring. “Anna Bryant Designs. Anna speaking.” She was scrambling through swatches and barely paying attention to the call.
“When does my favorite interior designer have time for dinner?” a man asked.
Anna stopped what she was doing for a moment to focus on the call. “I’m sorry. Who am I speaking to?” Anna was in full blown work mode. Dinner proposals were the last thing she had time for.
“Cole Turner.” He chuckled. “I guess I didn’t leave a big enough impression on you.”
Anna sat down in her office chair and sighed. “I’m sorry, Cole. Things are crazy busy. I should have recognized your voice. It’s been a while. How have you been?”
“Apology accepted. I am doing well. Business is great, and it sounds like it is going well for you, too.”
“It is. Becca and I really need to find a bigger office space and more help. However, that will take some time, and there are only so many hours in the day.”
“Very true, but you sound overworked.”
Although it was the truth, Anna really couldn’t complain much. She had high goals set for her business. Despite the stress, things were progressing nicely. “We are working on an enormous contract for an elite hotel.”
“That is wonderful! Congratulations, Anna!”
“Thank you,” she responded gratefully. She was very proud of the large hotel they had gotten but was already starting to worry about why Cole was calling. He had contracted her to design each of his clubs. She assumed he was calling because he was ready to start the next one. “So what can I help you with Cole?”
“I want to take you out to dinner, so we can start talking about plans for the next club. How does next Friday sound? I will be back in town by then.”
Anna sighed and her shoulders tensed even more than they had been over the past few weeks. How the hell was she going to manage all of this and be out of town?
“I am actually going to be in New York City for my brother’s best friend’s wedding next weekend. Can we make it the following week?”
“I’ll come with you.”
“What?” Anna asked, shocked by his self-invite.
“I’ll come with you to New York City. We can chat on the plane and do some research at some of the clubs while we are there.”
“Cole, this is a family event. My brother and his family will be there and so will my parents. I have known Mike, the groom, since we were little.”
“Perfect. I can’t wait to meet everyone. E-mail me your flight itinerary, and I will book mine. I will have a car pick you up and take you to the airport. See you then, Anna.” Cole hung up the phone.
“What the fuck just happened?” Anna muttered and set the phone down on the receiver.
Becca popped back into the doorway of her office. “Are you talking to yourself again?” She laughed.
“Yes. I do that more when I am stressed, don’t I?”
“Yes, you do. So who was on the phone?”
“Oh, the sexy club owner.” Becca waggled her eyebrows.
Anna glared at her. “He invited himself to Mike and Catherine’s wedding.”
“What?” Becca asked with wide eyes.
“Yes, he did.” Anna shook her head in disbelief.
“That man either has a set of balls on him or he has it bad for you. Although…it wouldn’t be so bad if it was both.” Becca winked at her.
Anna rolled her eyes. She had thought there was some attraction between her and Cole. She went to his martini bar, The Dirty Olive, a number of times to hang out and see if anything would happen between them but nothing ever came of it. They were business associates which had to be her focus. After a while, she accepted it would be nothing more and was fine with it. Until today, when he came steam rolling back in her life in a way that seemed more than work oriented. “He invited me to dinner to talk about the next club, but I told him I was super busy with the hotel and had to go out of town for the wedding. He invited himself. Can you believe it? Who does that?”
“Well, apparently Cole Turner does.”
“Jesus! He said he can’t wait to meet everyone. He actually assumed I was taking him to the wedding as my date! Ugh!” Anna was frustrated and plopped her head onto her desk.
Becca walked into Anna’s office. She moved a stack of sample books from the extra chair and sat down. “Well, look at it this way. You didn’t want to go without a date in the first place.”
Anna picked up her head and slumped back in her chair. “I know. I just wasn’t ready to bring Samuel somewhere overnight, and I certainly wasn’t ready for him to meet my family.”
“Samuel is a dork,” Becca said with conviction. “Now, Cole Turner…he is one fine piece of ass,” she stated as she waggled her eyebrows yet again.
Anna and Becca giggled. God love her. The woman was happily married to her college sweetheart but could definitely appreciate a fine male specimen. Cole was definitely a fine one.
It felt good to take a bit of a breather at work even though they didn’t have the time to do so. They had been putting in twelve hour days lately.
“I just hope this doesn’t backfire.” As much as Anna was sexually attracted to Cole, she was doing business with him, contracted business, for all of his clubs. It was important for her to remain professional. But when he flashed her his grin, her damn panties were wet immediately.
“Look at it this way, you are killing two birds with one stone. You get company with a sexy man and more business.”
Anna sighed. “I guess that is how I should be looking at it. I don’t really have a choice in the matter, do I?”
“Thanks, Becca. You’re a good peep.”
“You are very welcome. And before I forget, Marissa from the hotel called to push back your appointment an hour.” Becca got up from the chair, grabbed some files, and started to walk out of Anna’s office. She stopped at the doorway and turned around. “And Anna”—Anna looked up from her desk—“I want all the details when you get back.”
* * * *
Cole smiled feeling like he was well on his way to getting what he wanted—everything he wanted. He leaned back in his black leather office chair and put his feet up on his mahogany desk. His brother, Trent, walked into his office.
“Hey, dickhead. What’s with the smug face?” Trent asked as he sat down in the extra chair. The two brothers were always ragging on each other.
“I’ll be out of town next weekend.”
“Cole, you will just be getting back into town and then leaving again? What the fuck, man? I need you here to help with the bar.”
“It is business, Trent. Don’t fucking cry about it.”
“Where are you going?”
“New York City with Anna Bryant.”
“Our interior designer?” Trent leaned back in the chair trying to wash away the stress of his brother’s intentions.
“Yes, the one and only.” Cole smirked, thinking about how he managed to pull off a weekend getaway with her.
“Jesus, Cole. I told you not to mix business with pleasure.”
“It will be business.” Cole put his feet down and leaned forward on his desk.
“Somehow I don’t believe you. You have had it bad for her for a while now. What gives?”
“The door of opportunity was cracked open, dear brother, and I just knocked it the fuck down.”
Trent rolled his eyes at his brother and threw the files down on Cole’s desk. “Here are the quotes from the contractors on gutting out the new location.”
Cole looked through all the quotes trying to assess each one carefully, but his mind kept wandering back to the sexy, petite brunette he would be spending next weekend with. For months he tried to ignore his attraction to her because of work, and he was failing miserably. Every time he saw or was with another woman, images of Anna popped into his head. He was done fighting his urges. It was time to get her right where he wanted her. Naked and in his bed.
Anna called Mike and her family to let them know that she was indeed bringing a guest to the wedding. She focused on the fact that Cole was a business associate. She neglected to tell them he had invited himself. She didn’t want them to think he was rude right off the bat. They were actually excited for her, especially her sister-in-law, Alayna. Part of her wondered if her family was starting to lose hope in her dating abilities.
“I’m so excited for you, Anna, but what about Samuel?” Alayna asked.
“I wasn’t ready to bring him.” She groaned. “I don’t even know if I even liked him.”
“When I met Cole last Thanksgiving, I knew you two had the hots for each other. It took him this long to call you?”
“I saw him a few times at the martini bar but that was it. Nothing happened. He never called. I moved on. Well, sort of, with Samuel, who is as boring as watching grass grow. Have I ever mentioned that?”
“No. Last time you compared him to watching paint dry.” Alayna laughed. “I don’t know what this all means, Anna. Maybe Cole is ready to explore things with you. As long as you and Samuel aren’t exclusive, I say go for it.”
“We aren’t. I wouldn’t even say we are dating. We just go out to dinner every once in a while for the company. Boring company, but company.”
“Just relax and have fun this weekend. I’ll be around if you need me.”
“Thanks. See you later in the Big Apple.”
Anna finished packing her bags and her doorbell rang. “Coming,” she yelled. She slipped on her wedge heels and took a quick look in the mirror. She decided on a black sundress for the trip. She kept her straight brown hair down and left her makeup looking light and natural.
She opened the door, and Cole was standing there looking hotter than hell in his black dress pants and red golf shirt which stretched across his delicious muscles. The tattoos on his arms screamed bad boy even though she knew his business side was just as pleasing. Damn him. The attraction was still there—and strong. Just seeing him again made her body fill up with all kinds of desires. She shook her head. Despite her body screaming at her, her head was on a level playing field. She was still pissed at how he invited himself.
“Caramel Macchiato,” he said with a sexy grin.
“You remembered, Mr. Turner. Thank you.” Anna took the Starbucks addiction from his hand and sipped it. Delicious. “This still doesn’t excuse you from inviting yourself this weekend.” Anna glared at him.
Cole leaned forward and kissed Anna’s cheek. Lingering a bit, he whispered, “I promise you, Anna, it will be worth it.”
Anna took a step back. “Yes, I am sure we will get a lot of ideas and planning done for the new club,” she clarified rather curtly. She grabbed her bags, and Cole took them from her. She locked the door, and they headed out.
As they walked to the car, Cole felt a little defeated. She didn’t seem as impressed with him as she was the last time they had seen each other. He thought by bringing Anna her favorite Starbucks drink and kissing her on the cheek would have done a little something. Ignite some sparks, perhaps. She was either determined to keep this all business or doing a hell of a job hiding the sexual tension he thought was there—the tension he was certain they both felt or used to feel. Maybe she really was pissed at him for inviting himself. Cole sighed and tried to shake those thoughts from his head. He may have his work cut out for him after all. His grim look turned into a wicked smile when he watched her gorgeous ass as she ducked into the car. Oh, he was definitely up for the challenge, in more ways than one.
* * * *
After discussing plans for the club the entire flight, they arrived at LaGuardia airport. Anna took careful notes about all the things Cole and his brother, Trent, did not want. It was a start, but Anna still didn’t know exactly what they did want. She didn’t think Cole and Trent actually knew what they wanted either. She hoped seeing some of the clubs around New York City would help. She had done a little research before they left but was relying on the hotel employees and other New York City residents to point her in the right direction of the hottest night spots.
The car arrived at the hotel. Anna looked out the window and noticed they were at the Ritz Carlton near Battery Park.
“Cole, this is not my hotel.”
“I know. I took the liberty to upgrade us.” He smiled with confidence.
Anna turned in her seat to face him. Weeks of stress had built to great levels. Now she was really angry and wanted to slap him. She took a deep breath. “Business aside, right now,” she said through clenched teeth.
Cole nodded. His smile quickly faded.
“Damn it, Cole! I was staying at a hotel with my family. I don’t get to see my brother and his family all that often. They live in Indiana, not in Chicago, not to mention our work schedules and the kids being in school. I wanted to be at the hotel with them.” Anna put her elbows on her knees and settled her face in her hands. This was absolutely ridiculous.
“I’m sorry, Anna. I’ll fix this right now.” Cole pulled out his phone and called the other hotel. There was only one room left. He was thankful it was a two bedroom suite. Anna would have ripped him a new asshole if there was only a single room left. He called the Ritz to cancel his reservations and cringed at the cancellation fee. He deserved it. Every wasted dollar. He was so focused on getting Anna alone and pampering her with luxury, he had forgotten the point of this trip. He gave the driver the other hotel’s address. “I’m sorry, Anna. I really am.”
“Look, the point of this trip is to spend time with my family and to see Mike and Catherine get married. Mike is like family to me. So please, let’s use my free time for business and the rest is for me to spend time with them. You can choose to come with me or not.”
Cole nodded in agreement feeling crushed, yet again. He realized he was going about all of this the wrong way with Anna. The problem was he didn’t know where to start. Most of the women he dated liked the way he did things. He was the one to take control and keep control. Then again, they weren’t serious relationships either. He couldn’t seem to please Anna, yet he really wanted to impress her. Was there more to this? Or was it just another challenge for him?
They arrived at the hotel and Cole checked in.
“Only one room?” Anna questioned as she tapped her fingernails on the counter.
“It is a two-bedroom suite. It was the only thing available. You will have your own space. I promise I won’t bother you.”
Anna rolled her eyes getting more and more pissed by the moment. What she needed was a nice long soak in the tub with a glass, or perhaps a bottle, of wine to ease some stress. She grabbed her bags and headed toward the elevator. Cole moved cautiously behind her.
They arrived at the suite. Anna rolled her stuff directly into the main bedroom. “If you care to join everyone, we are having an early dinner at four o’clock.” She went straight for the bathroom, locking the door behind her.
Cole sighed and ran his hand through his hair. He dialed his brother.
“Trent, I need your help.”
“Aren’t you in New York?”
“Yes, which is why I need your help. I am totally fucking things up.”
“Dammit, Cole! I told you not to mix business with pleasure,” Trent grumbled. “We need Anna to do this work. She is the best damn designer around.”
“I know, I know. She will. I need to make things better with her. I just don’t know how. She’s pissed I invited myself and about the change in hotels.”
“Of course she is dude. Have you even thought about considering her feelings in this whole damn thing?”
“Apparently, I haven’t,” he said, swallowing his pride and admitting his wrongdoings.
“Well, stop thinking with your dick for a while and romance her.”
“What? Like with flowers and shit?”
“Wow, bro. You really don’t have a fucking clue. Flowers and shit, as you put it, would probably be a good start. Find common grounds with her, other than work.”
“Common grounds? Right. I can do that. I think. How do you know so much about this?”
“You think being married to Sienna is about being all alpha male all the time? Hell, no. Show her you care, bro. Good luck.” Trent chuckled. “I have a feeling you are going to need it.” Trent hung up the phone.
Cole immediately called the front desk and ordered a bottle of wine to be rushed to their suite. He also ordered some flowers to be delivered as soon as possible. It was amazing what money could get you if you were willing to toss it around a bit.
He heard her start the bath water and nervously paced while waiting for room service to knock at the door. A few minutes later, he heard the knock. He retrieved the wine and glasses and tipped the gentlemen.
He was thankful the bath water was still running. He walked into her room just as Anna walked out in a white, fluffy hotel robe.
“Ahh,” she screamed.
“Sorry. I—” Cole stuttered and couldn’t complete his thought as he gazed at her natural beauty. Even in an oversized robe, she looked beautiful.
“Cole, what are you doing in here?” she snapped at him and made sure her robe was closed tightly.
“I got you a bottle of wine. I thought you would enjoy it while taking a bath.”
Anna tried to stay pissed at him, but the left side of her lips slightly curved up. She snatched the bottle and a glass. “Thank you. That was very…thoughtful,” she said and walked back into the bathroom, closing the door behind her.
Cole smiled hoping he was starting to break the ice with her and make up for his dick-thinking stupidity.
Anna settled in the tub with a relaxing sigh. She sipped the merlot, savoring each taste as she worked to finish the glass. Delicious. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes, finally starting to feel a little of the weight lifting off her shoulders. The merlot was definitely helping.
Then she heard a knock at the door and grumbled, “Yes, Cole?” she asked, a bit annoyed at the interruption.
“Do you need anything?” he asked through the door.
“No, I am completely capable of taking a bath all by myself.”
Cole leaned his head against the door. Dammit, he wanted to be in there with her. There was just a door, unfortunately a locked door, separating him from what he wanted. “I know, Anna. I just wanted to know if you wanted me to order you something to eat.”
Anna realized Cole was really trying to be nice, and she was being a complete bitch. Some of the things he had done did piss her off, but perhaps she was being too harsh. The stress she was under over the past few weeks, hell, months really, was not helping.
“Thank you,” she said genuinely. “I’m good. Feel free to order something for yourself, if you want. I will be out soon.”
“Okay.” Cole walked back to the living area and ordered a fresh fruit platter and a cheese and cracker tray. It was a good choice to have around if they wanted to snack over the next couple of days.
Anna began to drain the tub. She dried off and put the hotel robe back on. She looked in the mirror as she applied her makeup and contemplated the weekend.
There was definitely sexual electricity between the two of them. She pushed it away as much as she could to focus on her job as the Twilight Enterprises’ interior designer. Anna Bryant Designs needed this commercial contract to get more businesses to hire her company and it worked. The hotel they landed was a huge deal.
She dried her hair, choosing a quick updo, and thought about Cole. What was the worst thing that could happen if she just went for it with him? They had a contract. It would be miserable for a while if things didn’t work out, but it could be amazing. She took a deep breath. She hadn’t had amazing in a really long time.
She threw on her coral colored cocktail dress and silver pumps and checked herself in the mirror one last time. She walked out of the bathroom and found her room full of flowers. Roses, tulips, wild flowers—all sorts of flowers. She beamed from the inside out. Decision made. She was going to go for it. She had to. She would rather live with her mistakes than with regret.
Anna walked out of her bedroom and found Cole putting some food on the table.
“I just thought you might want a little snack,” he said as he placed some flatware down on the table. He looked up at her, and the sight before him made his breath hitch. “You look beautiful.” She always looked beautiful to Cole even when she was running around in her pantsuit with her hair up in a loose bun as she instructed all the contractors on what they needed to do. The dress she had on made her look even more stunning.
Anna looked at the spread on the small dinette table. Her mouth watered and her belly growled. “Thank you, and thank you for the beautiful flowers.” She put some food on her plate and ate a few bites. It hit the spot. “Mmmm. I’m hungrier than I thought I was.”
Cole found himself staring at the way her mouth moved as she ate. Fuck! He wanted her so bad his dick twitched. He wanted to know how those lips felt wrapped around his cock as she sucked him dry.
She got up and moved toward him. She gently kissed him on the cheek. Even with her heels on, he still had a few inches on her. Anna pushed on Cole’s chest backing him up against the counter of the kitchenette. His heart began to race. He never had this kind of reaction to a woman before.
She gazed into his ocean blue eyes. “Tell me, Cole Turner, what are your intentions with me this weekend?” she asked seductively but with definite demand in her tone.
Cole swallowed noticeably hard. His cock was stiffening by the nanosecond. Anna’s pissed off demeanor turned a bit dominating was turning him on. It was something he couldn’t exactly understand, and he sure as hell wasn’t used to it. Most of the women he dated were more of a pushover. They were fun as hell but never challenged him. They never kept him on his toes. Anna was a completely different story. But if it got her where he wanted her, he was game no matter how they got there.
“You know my intentions, Anna. You’ve had to have known them for quite some time.”
She softly pushed up against his body. “What took you so long?” she asked with a mix of sincerity and impatience in her voice.
“The mixing of business and pleasure.”
“Uh-huh. And yet, we are still doing business together, correct? We do have a contract that says so.” Anna was now certain she wanted this, especially since Cole was making an effort to make amends and consider her feelings. However, it would have to be on her terms which meant Cole would have to start respecting her more and not try to take over everything like a damn tyrant. There was no way in hell Anna would let that happen. She would lose respect for herself, not to mention as a designer in the industry. “What changed your mind?”
Cole put his hands on her waist and pulled her closer, feeling her body up against his now rock hard cock. He wanted to sink himself deep inside her and get lost in her green eyes. “I am tired of fighting my conscience. I go after what I want, Miss Bryant, and you are what I want.”
His lips sealed hers with a hungry kiss—a kiss that was long overdue.
She cupped Cole’s face as his tongue swept in her mouth. He kissed her like a starving predator with so much authority her sex ached. Anna dragged her hands over his scruff and sought to know how it would feel in between her legs.
The moment was interrupted by the alarm on Anna’s phone. She broke the kiss causing Cole to growl with disappointment.
“We need to leave in ten minutes.”
Cole’s astonished face made Anna snicker. “Seriously?”
“Yes, seriously. We can’t be late. Remember what this weekend is about, Cole,” she reminded.
“I remember, just not all of me wants to remember.” Cole walked toward his room and adjusted his hard dick which was straining against his pants. “I need a few moments, and I need to change.”
Anna laughed as she watched his tight, sexy ass walk away.
Cole closed the door to his bedroom and got undressed. He walked into the bathroom and glanced into the mirror. He washed his face and messed with his hair. His erection was still rock hard. He cursed under his breath realizing he was either going to have a hard-on throughout the evening, or he had to relieve himself. He was about to meet Anna’s family. It had to be the latter.
He wrapped his hand around his cock and slowly began stroking himself. He closed his eyes and could only see Anna. She looked so fucking hot in that dress. It lusciously hugged her curves. What he would have given to lift her dress up and take her from behind as she held onto the kitchen counter. The feeling of her body pressed up against his almost made him come on the spot. He wanted to feel her naked underneath him.
His strokes quickened.
He wanted to feel what it was like to be buried deep inside her while he sucked on her succulent tits, their bodies sticky with sweat and sweet cum from all the physical exertion and satisfaction they had experienced.
Cole whispered her name and grunted as he ejaculated into his hands.
He took a few deep breaths. It’s going to be a long weekend, he thought to himself.