Maxwell Stone sat at his desk looking at the mountain of paperwork that he has to complete before his big presentation. It seems like all he has been doing was working lately, not the time for fun anymore not since Jace’s death. Closing his eyes, Max tried to hold back his tears that threaten to fall down his cheeks. It had been two years, and he could not stop the deep hurt he felt whenever he thought about his dead lover. To Max, it seemed like it was yesterday that Jace had died. Jace was and still be his everything, Max knew that he would never find another man to love him completely the way Jace did.
Jace was on his way to pick up a gift for his parent's fiftieth wedding anniversary when a truck veered over to his side of the road hitting him head on killing him instantly. Apparently, the truck driver fell asleep at the wheel only to wake up after he felt his truck his Jace’s car. The truck driver was also badly hurt but had just enough energy to call the paramedics. He later died later at the hospital from internal bleeding. At the time, of the accident, Max was at home setting the scene for a surprise romantic evening. Max smiled remembering that day so vividly. He had an excellent day at work and wanted to share his success with his partner.
The night Jace died a large part of Max died right along with him. There were times Mac wanted to crawl into the coffin and be buried with Jace. Max closed himself from everyone; he stopped associating with the friends he and Jace once shared. Max hated seeing the pity looks in their eyes. For a short time, Max blamed Jace’s parents even though deep down he knew it was not their fault. When Max could not see through his loss to realize that he was not the only one hurting.
Max sighed and scowled at the paperwork that littered his desk. The mountain seemed to grow like weeds no matter how many hours he’d spent in his office. Throwing down his pen, it bounced off his desk and onto the floor, he could not find the energy to pick it up. Max stared off into space realizing that he would not be able to do anything today. Reaching over Max slammed down his laptop and decided to make it an early day. He got up from his desk walked over to the bathroom on the other side of his office and turned on the light. Max was surprised to see the face looking back at him, did not recognize himself.
He had dark circles around his eyes even with his blue eyes looked dull, and he had bags under them from lack of sleep. His hair was disheveled as if he hadn’t combed it in a week. However, he could do nothing about it. It was the dreaded curse of being a Stone. No matter what he used in his hair it never seems to do what he wants it to do. His mother’s hair was the same.
Turning on the faucet, he ran the water as cold as he could get it before splashing it on his face hoping that will help him to look at least human for a few minutes. Running his wet hands through his hair, he was not sure what he was trying to accomplish; Max frowned when it seemed as if his hair looked worse than before.
Maybe I should just cut it off, he mused. Maybe I should call my barber? Max turned off the faucet and dried his hands as he walked out of the bathroom in time for the phone to his desk to rang. Max picked it up without looking at the caller id; he knew who it was.
“Yes Sammy,” it was his assistant telling him that his two o’clock appointment was here.
“There is a Mr. Markus Wolfe is here to see you.”
“Shit,” He sighed and flopped down heavily in the chair behind his desk. “I forgot about that. I was thinking about leaving for the day. I guess it’s too late for him to reschedule.”
“Trust me, boss, you don’t want to reschedule this one,” Sammy told him. He can hear her smacking her lips.
Max shook his head, “Have Mr. Wolfe wait in the conference room while I get Sammy, have him wait in the conference room while I prepare the things I need.”
Damn it! I forgot that Markus Wolf was coming in to see him today.
Max was an event planner and owned a small firm with only four agents, but one of the best and profitable in the city. After Jace had died Max had quit his job, sold the home they bought together and moved to a small town where no one knew of his pain or what he lost. He took some of the insurance money that Jace left him and opened his own business. Max figured if he could not have fun in his personal life, why not put a smile on other’s faces instead.
Making sure that his clothes looked at least decent Max opened his office door and walked out of his office stopping at Sammy’s desk to get a feel for his new client. He had never spoken to their new client. Usually, he would let one of the other associates handle new clientele while he worked with their more seasoned ones. However, it seems Mr. Wolfe asked for him specifically.
“So, what’s he like?” He asks Sammy.
Sammy has been Max’s assistant since the day he opened, J.S. Party Planners. From the moment they met, Jace and Sammy clicked. She held him while he cried telling her about the love of his life. And he held her hand the day and weeks after she divorce went through. Sammy was his best friend and cringed thinking about not having her by his side.
“I will say this much, the Goddess smiled down on that when they made that man.” Sammy is a practicing Wiccan it’s something that Max does not understand, but he respects her beliefs on the matter.
Max rolled his eyes at the dreamy look on Sammy’s face. With and around clients she is always professional, so he did not have to worry about her coming onto one their clients. Max leafed through the paperwork in his hand.
“Is there anything else I need to know as in work wise?”
Sammy sighed, “You really need to get out this funk you’ve been in for the past couple of days.” She tells him handing a file. “That’s the write up I forgot to give you on what the client wants.”
Taking the small report, Max scanned it nodding his head. It was their routine for anytime Max or one of the other associates had to meet with a new client. The administrative assistances will have a little sit down with and figure out the basics of what they are looking for before they meet with an associate. Reading the markup that Mr. Wolfe is requesting does not seem that hard to accomplish but will take time to complete.
“I haven't been in a funk, thank you very much.” He tells her walking away from her desk.
“I’ll believe those words one day,” Sammy yells after him.
Max ignores her. It was true, and Sammy was the only one that knew the real him. She knew him better than anyone in the office. But he refuses to prove her right in this instant. Max knows that he can appear standoffish to the other associates, but he feared getting close or intimate with anyone. He felt cursed since Jace died as if anyone else besides Sammy would die leaving him alone. Max will never admit that he was tired of going home to a lonely house and an empty bed.
Then why the hell were you so eager to get the hell out of the office so damn early.
He walks into the conference room and almost swallowed his tongue seeing one of the most handsome, drop-dead, and gorgeous man he has ever seen. Not even Jace was this good looking. The man who he could only suspect was Markus Wolfe, was leaning against the far window, with one leg crossed over the other. His head was resting back against the window as if he was thinking hard about something.
Mr. Wolfe wearing is a navy-blue suit paired with a black shirt and a black tie. Max could be wrong because of the way he was leaning against the wall, but he appeared about 6’6”, two inches taller than Max’s 6’4”. Mr. Wolfe had shoulder length blond hair perfectly pulled back from his face, showing his strong and masculine jawline. Max could not stop admiring the way his suit seemed to fit him as if it was custom made for him.
Max wanted to get a better look at the man and walked into the conference room and cleared his throat. Mr. Wolfe snapped his head in Max’s direction. His breath was caught in his throat when he was connected with greenest eyes he had seen before in his life. Max could have sworn for a quick second they changed to another color, but before he could register the color is was green again. Max knew he was unprofessional staring at his client, but he could not help himself. Markus Wolfe was the most good-looking man he had ever seen. The way the other man was staring at him it felt as if he was staring deep into the depths of Max’s soul.
His face was the most beautiful thing that Max has ever seen he was captivated not only by his eyes but by his nose and his lips so perfect it seems to Max they were being begged to be kissed. As if on impulse Max to a set to actually do that before the papers he was holding in his hands fell on the floor in the conference room and brought him back to his sense.
He bent down to pick them up, and it gave him a way to save face in front of the client he was suddenly taken in with. A strong hand with well-manicured fingers picked up one of the fallen papers but touched his hand instead.
“Oh, I’m sorry I was just trying to help you.”
Max was stunned for a minute because the voice of the man was so melodious it sent chills down his spine.
Clearing his throat again, “It’s fine today is just one of those days for me.”
“Would you rather I reschedule you’re not looking so good, and I must admit I’m not in the mood to discuss business at the moment.”
Max wanted to ask what he in the mood was to discuss but thought better of it instead he stood reached his hand out and introduced himself.
“I’m Maxwell Stone, but I go by Max.” He was not sure why he revealed that information, Max tried to remain professional.
The client took and shook his hand.
“Markus Wolf but you can call me Mark.” It seemed like neither wanted to let go of each other’s hand as they looked into each other’s eyes. They were getting lost in each other forgetting their surroundings or the purpose why Markus was there. Max felt as he was being bewitched or beguiled by this man by just looking in his eyes he was finding it hard to tear his hands and his eyes away from Mark.
Who is this man and why can’t I step away from him?
Max moved closer to Markus not realizing what was happening to his body. Max lifted his chin as if getting ready to kiss Markus when a ringing noise sounded in the room. Max ignored it he was still found it hard to let go or even look away from Markus.
The ringing went on until Mark said, “Umm…that’s my phone, I’m going to need that hand back for a few seconds.”
Finally realizing where he was and how he was acting, Max blushed and instantly, released Markus' hand and stepped back. He was about to apologize but was silenced when Markus answered his cell phone. Max walked over to the other side of the room giving Markus some privacy and also taking the time to get himself back under control. Max could not understand what the fuck just happened. Not more than a few minutes ago he could not stop thinking about Jace, and now he was holding himself back from throwing himself at his new client. Things were not making sense.
Max wasn’t paying attention Markus, he was too caught up in his thoughts. Max studied the other man while he spoke on the phone, the easy smile on his lips did something to Max. Markus looked up at Max as if realizing where he was then cut his conversation short. Max fidgeted for a few seconds, then walked over to the conference table straightening the papers. Max wanted to ignore the attraction he his feeling for his new client was not happening.
Maybe I need to get out and fuck someone, even for one night. Living the life of a monk is not working for me.
“Sorry about that” Markus said referring to the phone call getting Max’s attention. “It seems my seven-year-old daughter is having some difficulties on her first day in a new school and wants me to pick her up. She was homeschooled since she was able to talk, her mother and I decided this year she would attend a private school.”
Max deflated, fuck he’s married. Way to go Max.
“That’s ok we really didn’t get started,” Max said hoping that his voice did not convey his disappointment that Markus was married. “I hope that she is ok adjusting to new things sometimes can be a stressful time especially for kids” A sensual smile crossed Markus’ lips at the concern that Max was showing for his daughter.
“She will be fine, Jessica is used to having her own way, she is very spoiled all thanks to her mother and me,” Markus assured Max as he walked closer to the conference table and sat in one chairs. “So, let’s get this meeting started I’m very eager to hear your suggestions.”
Taking his cue Max got started he pulled out his notes and motioned for Marcus to sit down so they could get to work.
“What can I do for you”? Max asked.
“Well the Wolf Corporation has been involved in many charities over the years and what I need your company is an ad that will showcase all of the accomplishments that my corporation has done. There will also be a gala that would raise more money for each charity. And awards will be given to those that have dedicated their lives to helping other. I want also want the gala to be open to the public.”
Max was amazed at what this man was trying to do, he was the owner of a very wealthy company and yet he looked so young as Markus was talking Max’s brain went into shut down all he could concentrate on were his lips and how kissable they were. Get your mind on work Max he chided himself, this guy is way out of your league and besides the love of your life has come and gone, Jace.
As if realizing something was wrong Markus stop talking and just looked at Max.
“Are you ok?” Markus asked.
“Yes, please excuse me, I was just trying to think of a concept of how we could put together exactly what you were asking for. When exactly would you like to do this?”
“Three months from now, if that is too short of time let me know and we can change the time frame.”
Max has organized events in a shorter time period. “No three month’s is perfect.”
“Wonderful!” Markus exclaimed.
Copyright © 2016 Giovanna Reaves
After losing the love of his life in a fatal car crash, Max closed his heart off from love. The only thing he cares about is keeping his lover's memory alive through his small company. Until one afternoon Markus Wolfe, walks into his office breaking through his heart, giving him a second chance at love.