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The Billionaire Boss
The Billionaire's Bargain
Alexander Sweeps Into My Life
CHAPTER 2. New York, New York
CHAPTER 3: All Happy Families Are Alike
Chapter 4: The Garden of Eden
Chapter 5: Precious things, easily lost
Chapter 6: A Family Brought To Order
(A Billionaire Steamy Romance Boxed Set)
There had to be something she could do, but what? Rachel Greene looked at her surroundings and sighed. She jumped at the chance to live on her own, and now, well she was in over her head. She had always been the one who wanted out. Out of the family, out of the drama, out of everything, and now she was stuck in a tiny apartment in the worst neighborhood in D.C., with no hope of changing it. She put her head in her hands and sighed. On the computer screen in front of her was her budget for the next six months. No matter which way she plotted and planned, she only had about two months before it all fell apart. She leaned back in her seat, glancing at her reflection in the mirror on her desk.
She wasn’t gorgeous by any means, at least not in her opinion. She was studious and book-wormy, if anything. At least that’s what her brother used to call her. She had long chestnut hair and blue eyes, fringed with long lashes, something her grandmother said was a wonderful asset. She wore glasses most of the time, unless she had some special occasion, then she popped in her contacts. She was thin but still curvy, something else her grandmother said was a good thing. Not that it mattered, at 24 she had been to school most of her life and still, there was nothing to show for it. Sure, she could go home if things got too bad. The problem was, she would rather live in her car first.
She loved her family, there was no denying that. She was the oldest with a younger brother who was 20. He decided to start his adult life much earlier and was married with a 3-year-old daughter, and a baby on the way. He also lived at home with their parents and grandmother, and his wife. When Tim started his new life, Rachel started hers. At first, her mother was sad she was moving out, but it was only a week before they moved the kids into her old room. There was something co-dependent about her family that made her want out. Everything they did, they did as one cohesive unit, no opinions required. Everything was about survival and scraping along, something Rachel was fine doing, but she would just as soon do it alone, without the heavy responsibility of six other people.
She looked back down at the screen. It wasn’t doing much good right now, living her own life. She graduated from the local community college with a degree in Office Management. Somehow, her family talked her into getting student loans along the way so that she could “help out” with the extra money. Now she was in debt, with payments that were ridiculous and despite her efforts, she couldn’t seem to find a job anywhere. If she’d only been able to keep her job at the hospital none of this would be happening! Even thinking about it made her skin crawl. She was good at her job there, always on time, and working harder than most. She wasn’t tooting her own horn so to speak, it simply was the fact of the matter. One would think her dedication to the job would be something to applaud, but in truth it did nothing more but put her in a vulnerable situation where dirty old men could hit on her. Not just any dirty old man either. Dr. Peter Evans was her superior, she would even say that initially she liked him. It wasn’t until he cornered her in a supply room groping at her that she felt disgust more than anything.
He was old enough to be her father yet he claimed that she was giving him mixed signals, which she strongly denied. He begged her not to say anything, and she didn’t. If for any other reason than the fact that his career would be over if she did, and part of her believed he truly though she was into him. Every point he made was true. She came early and stayed late. She always turned in things to him personally. In her mind this was the action of a good employee, not someone looking for a good time from her boss. Either way, she now was very careful about what she did and how. The problem was after she left the hospital, she couldn’t find work anywhere. At first she told herself it would just take a little longer. But now, three weeks later, she was concerned. She leaned back in the chair and bit her thumbnail lost in thought. She didn’t want to wreak havoc on her family, she certainly didn’t want to sleep on a couch while paying for storage. She leaned forward again and jumped into a new job search, hopeful something would happen.
Byron Blakemore was tired and aching. He spent the early morning hours at the gym, hoping to relieve some of the stress he was carrying around, but looking across his desk he felt the familiar tension rise up. Some days he wondered what the hell he was paying these people for at all. He buzzed in Linda, who scurried in, pen and pad in hand.
“ Yes Mr. Blakemore?” She was a small lady. Probably no more than 4’9 and pushing 60. He knew she was struggling more and more to do her job, but he didn’t have the heart to let her go.
“ Linda, can you set up a meeting with Carlisle please? Also, I need something purchased for my mother’s birthday, I thought you might like the task.” He saw her light up and he smiled to himself, Shopping seemed to be a skill most women mastered at, and retained an entire lifetime.
“ Yes, Mr. Blakemore.” She scurried towards his door.
“ Oh Linda, one more thing can you send Alice in HR up for me. We need to discuss something.”
At her nod, he dove back into his paperwork. There was always something that needed his attention, but this was too much. He leaned back once more rethinking the board of directors. There was no fire from any of them to make this business grow. He would be lying if he said he didn’t enjoy the money, he did. He’d grown accustom to a certain kind of lifestyle and he wasn’t about to give it up. He knew he had a reputation of being a stone-faced ass, but he preferred it that way, less drama. The only person who really knew him was his mother. She was a sweet woman and anyone who thought otherwise was a fool. He was worried about her, she was frail now and needed more than just he could provide. He heard the knock at his door.
“ Yes, come in.” It was Alice.
She walked into the room and pushed the door shut quietly locking it, before she walked over to his desk. She gave him a smile and he stood up, buttoning his jacket as he went. He walked towards her and tucked an arm around her waist, pulling her to him in a crushing kiss. She was the kind of tension relief he needed. He nibbled at her neck.
“ I’m glad you’re here today Alice, I’d hate to have to write you up for being absent again.” He growled into her neck as she tilted back her head, enjoying his every move.
“ You know very well why I was late on Monday, Mr. Blakemore.” She moved to pull off her top and he gingerly kissed the tops of her breasts when his phone rang. He decided to ignore it and continue on until they were both naked.
She moved with precision as she worked her way down his body. There was something nice about how she took charge, not making him work for it. It was a mutual understanding the two of them shared. Both needing something, and eager to help the other. Even now as she moved her mouth down his body he relaxed. He always enjoyed the talent she had at making things happen quickly and today was no different. He stopped her, pulling her up the length of him and moving to lay her on the desk. She smiled up at him greedily licking her lips as he pushed into her, filling her and owning her in that moment. It was over quickly, both finding a need fulfilled and both happy with the arrangement. Alice, after all, had a husband she didn’t love, who consistently cheated on her with numerous woman in the building. He was actually working in accounting upstairs, clueless to the fact that his wife had not only found out his secrets, but was taking some pleasure out of life herself. It was how they started up, he told her about her husband. Not intentionally, but in passing, not knowing she was his wife at first. When she demanded to know more he showed her the footage caught on surveillance. Normally not talked to with any sort of demanding tone she amused him, and so the affair began.
Neither of them had any thoughts about it leading to anything. She was far too uncaring about the world, or the business. She amused him and met his needs sexually, but nothing more. Never having one serious conversation together before it was clear this was a temporary thing for them both. She was something to play with and he made sure she enjoyed it. He watched her button and fix her blouse in an effort to appear normal once more. Even that made him smile, he knew she would be reliving it for hours.
She turned to look at him. “Linda said you need me.” All business now she sat across from him waiting to hear what he needed her to do.
“ Yes, I need you to look into finding someone for me, for my mother actually. She is independent enough, but I worry for her. Someone not necessarily a nurse who wants to do everything for her, more of a companion.”
“ I can look into a few places, sure.” She stood to leave. “When do you want them?”
“ Let’ shoot for next week, set up some interviews, I want to have a direct hand in finding the right person.” He gave her a smile as he went back to work. “Have a good day Alice.” He watched a smile cross her face and her exit.
A week later, Rachel found herself in the lobby of the Blakemore. She was surprised, she actually had been one of the people called in to interview for a position she wasn’t even remotely qualified for. Blakemore was a large corporation and one she was always reading about or hearing on the news. She looked down at her hands nervously, she could only hope she wouldn’t get thrown out right away. Why would someone looking for a companion be interviewing at Blakemore? Whatever the reason she was happy to be there. She looked around her at the other people waiting. Some in scrubs some in designer jackets. She pulled on her skirt, self-conscious about herself more now than before. It was obvious she didn’t fit in, but this was her only chance to stay put, in her own place. Somehow. she was going to march into the office and explain why they needed her here at Blakemore. It was a long shot, she knew it, but it was the only hand she had.
After a grueling hour. she was finally next. The cute little blond who was directing everyone seemed to enjoy working here. She made her way over to look down at Rachel and she felt herself being judged, not something she ever enjoyed.
“ You must be Miss Greene?” At her nod. she told her to come along and follow her.
She made her way down a long corridor and finally to an office separated from the rest of the building. It was in a half moon shaped and separated by double doors which went from the secretarial area to what must be his office. She was escorted to the door where the blond pushed them open and allowed her to walk inside.
“ Mr. Blakemore will be right back. so just have a seat, please.” The blond left, closing one of the doors behind her, leaving Rachel to look around the room.
At first. she made an effort to sit down, but as she looked at the city below she couldn’t help but walk over to the windows. There were only two walls in the entire office, both of those attached to the double doors facing inward. The rest of the office was in a half circle facing the city and the walls were floor to ceiling windows looking out. From where she stood it almost felt like flying. It was beautiful, she always loved the city, and although living as close as a child in Virginia she rarely made it to D.C. to see the sights. Once she went to a field trip with school and she was overwhelmed by the history, as well as the things you could see in the museums. Even now she smiled as she got as close to the edge of the window as possible and looked down.
“ Be careful, if you do that too long it can make you sick.” She jumped back the voice scaring her.
She spun around and saw him there. He was dressed impeccably, as if the suit was molded to him. He was tall, and his face was defined by a strong jawline and the sharp planes of his face. His hair was jet blacked and slightly longer on top, but brushed back off of his forehead. Despite all of this it was his eyes that held her the longest. They were a deep blue, and piercing. It felt as though he was looking into her soul.
“ I’m so sorry, its just such a beautiful view.” She smiled at him and gave her a one over. He moved to sit behind his desk and she scrambled to sit back in her chair. She watched how he moved with grace and she felt nervous now about being here under false pretenses. She took a deep breath and swallowed.
“ I see you have a degree in Office Management? Is that right Miss Greene?” He looked at her, there was something slightly amusing in his tone and she cleared her throat.
“ Ye... yes I do. To be honest, I was thinking the ad may have been a misprint or something?” She shrugged slightly. “When I saw the company name. I thought it would be a good idea to come in, and see if perhaps it… ah well to see if it was… a misprint.” She looked away and blushed. She was rambling like an idiot.
“ So, you decided to come to this job interview for a position you aren't qualified for because you assumed someone was inept at posting the ad? I’m not sure if insulting the business is such a good start, Miss Greene.”
“ Oh no, that’s not it at all, I simply wanted to come in and… will see.” His voice was rising now and she felt the heat rushing to her face. This guy was obviously an ass, and rude to boot. She felt his eyes on her again looking her over.
“ Tell me, Miss Greene what are you good at?” He leaned back in his chair slightly, obviously enjoying the game they were playing.
She gulped. “As you mentioned, I have a degree in Office Management. I am also good at being organized, being on time and I am a stickler for having a very determined personality.”
“ Very determined? Well then, that’s something we have in common.” He smiled as he leaned forward. “Unfortunately, the ad was correct, I am looking for a caregiver for my mother. That being said, I appreciate the time you took to come in, and I have enjoyed our discussion.” He stood, buttoning his jacket.
“ Well, thank you Mr.….?” She shook the hand he held out to her.
“ Blakemore.” He held her hand just a second longer than normal and she moved to make her way to the door. “Miss Greene…” he called out to her.
“ If anything opens up I’ll call you myself.” He gave her a flash of a smiled before he sat down dismissing her.
She shut the door behind her with a slight slam. She could still feel the heat in her cheeks and she was frustrated. What a jerk, it was the only thing she could come up with off the top of her head. More importantly, what the hell was wrong with her, she usually could handle herself with some self-control and he had gotten under the skin. He would call her directly? As if somehow she should feel special. As much as she wanted to scream her frustration about the charismatic billionaire, Blakemore, she really just wanted to cry. It took a lot to bring her spirits down, and she was nearing her breaking point. She climbed into her car and sighed. At least she tried. Now, she would make the trip into Virginia for lunch with her mother, who would drill her for information about her life, or lack thereof.
Byron sighed. Finding someone who would suit his mother was proving to be a difficult challenge. Three days later and still he looked down at the stack of resumes on his desk and started sorting them one by one. Near the end he found Rachel Greene and he smiled. She was fire and ice that one. She was beautiful too, but he had a sneaking suspicion she didn’t know it. She walked into his office and with a simplistic beauty looked out over the city and even then he wanted her. There was a part of him that was attracted to her innocence, the simple joy that crossed her face in those moments. Then, as the conversation began, he knew the precise moment when he frustrated her and made her angry. The crystal clear blue eyes shot daggers at him across the desk. She amused him, and excited him. He put her into the “no” pile and went on. Soon he narrowed it down to three people, all capable and seemingly nice. His mother could choose who she liked best. He buzzed Linda.
She came in with a smile and he noticed she was walking a little slower than she had that morning. He really should find her an assistant of some kind. He may very well be an ass to most, but he had a soft spot for Linda and knew her paycheck was important to her.
“ Linda, I know you’re busy. I wanted to ask you something, your opinion really.” He walked over and sat on the corner of his desk. Linda smiled at him and sat down in the chair across from him.
“ Yes Mr. Blakemore what is it, I’m happy to help however I can.” She gave him a big smile and reminded him so much of his own mother he patted her arm.
“ I am thinking of promoting you, to something more detailed. The problem is you will have to spend less time working with me and more time doing paperwork and such.”
“ Oh Mr. Blakemore, I know you let me stay because you’re so sweet. I couldn’t possibly get a promotion.” She waved a hand at him.
“ On the contrary Linda, you would be doing me a great service being in charge of some important clients. Helping me with meetings and the like. Plus, it comes with an assistant.” He glanced down and removed an imaginary something from his pant leg.
“ I've never had an assistant before." She gave him a wide smile. “Whatever you think is best Mr. Blakemore.” She made her way back out to her desk.