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Plus Size Romance
The Billionaire Boss
The Billionaire's Gift
The Billionaire's Caregiver
The Billionaire's Wish
Second Chance Romance
The Billionaire's Game
15 Bonus Books
The Billionaire Boss
CHAPTER 2. New York, New York
Chapter 4: The Garden of Eden
Chapter 6: A Family Brought To Order
**Thank you so much for reading my books, and as promised, here are your bonus books. I hope you enjoy them!**
The Billionaire's Wish
The Billionaire's Addiction
(A BBW Romance Series)
#1 - The Billionaire Boss
#2 - The Billionaire's Gift
#3 - The Billionaire's Caregiver
#4 - The Billionaire's Wish
#5 - Second Chance Romance
#6 - The Billionaire's Game
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 bookwormy, and very curvy. At least that’s what her friends used to call her. She had long chestnut hair, blue eyes, and long eyelashes, which was 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 well-built and rubenesque, something else her grandmother said was a good thing. Not that it mattered because 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 three 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, 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.
After she was gone, he glanced down at the files on his desk. He knew exactly the right candidate for the new open position. He smiled to himself. He did tell her he would call her directly. She more than likely found another position by now, but the banter would be fun in and of itself. He dialed and she answered on the third ring,
“Hello!” She was noticeably out of breath making him wonder what she had been doing… or better yet, who she was doing it with.
“Miss Greene, how are you?”
“I’m fine, who is this please?” She was obviously moving something around.
“This is Mr. Blakemore… we met last week.” There was a pause before she responded.
“Yes, Mr. Blakemore, how could I forget?” She said it sweetly, but he could detect a hint of sarcasm there. He smiled, he really did enjoy this.
“I was calling you about a position we have open, but if you’re busy…”
“No! No, I’m not busy at all Mr. Blakemore, please, please go on.” He felt it then, the tightness of his slacks. There was something about the way she pleaded with him that made him want her.
“I have an opening, it’s a secretarial position… decent starting pay, benefits, etc. I know you mentioned you were looking.”
“Yes, I am looking. I’d like to come in and discuss it, if that’s ok?” She did her very best to sound nonchalant about the situation.
“Great, let’s shoot for tomorrow 9 am?”
“That sounds fine with me, I don’t think I have anything going on tomorrow at all.” She did her very best to sound as though she may need to check.
She didn’t want to appear desperate. She hung up the phone and sat down in the chair, maybe this was it but then who knew? He seemed to be genuine. She looked around the room at the boxes she was currently packing. As much as she tried to deny it, there was no way she would miss that meeting. She had very little time before she was out on the street. She sorted through her things to find a dress she only wore on special occasions. It was tight and black. Perhaps if she tried really hard it would show, and he would be inclined to ask her to stay. She held it up in front of her and frowned. He had such an effect on her it would be hard to ignore him, but she would do her best. She fired up her computer again rearranging her numbers with her new projected income… yes, it would certainly be a blessing in disguise. She snapped it shut and went back to packing, there was a good chance she would say the wrong thing, he got under her skin and she was quick to snap at him. Something she rarely ever did. He had this uncanny way of bringing out the worst in her. She worked late, managing to eat a heated can of ravioli for dinner along the way.
The next morning came bright and sunny. She smiled as she remembered that today could change her life. She jumped out of bed and ran into the shower. It took her longer than usual to dress and apply some slight makeup before heading downtown. There was a hustle and bustle in the air as she rode along, mindful of the people in the crosswalks and those begging for loose change. This was home and she loved it. She pulled into the parking garage and crossed her fingers that he would validate her parking ticket. She didn’t even have enough money to get out of here if he didn’t. She took a deep breath as the elevator took her to the top floor. When the doors opened, she made her way to the front desk and waited. Soon a short smiling lady who resembled her grandmother came to get her.
“You must be Rachel, come on dear, let me show you around.” She was slightly hunched over and moving at a slow pace and Rachel loved her instantly. “Mr. Blakemore wants to meet with you for lunch, but until then I’m going to show you around a bit. He says he is “promoting” me.” She gave the bunny ears as she explained. “The truth is I am old and need to retire but I would be lost all alone at home, and he knows it. So he is hiring my replacement, with the title of being my assistant.” She gave a chuckle and they moved towards her office.
Although she had been through these rooms before, and back to his private office, she wasn’t prepared for the size of the actual space she would be working in. Directly in front of his double doors was a lounge area, for meetings and to one side a fully stocked guest kitchen, the other entire wall was made for his assistant. She hadn’t expected it to be quite so beautiful, really. She refused to get her hopes up, but she knew it would be difficult. Linda, she learned, was showing her where her desk was, as well as her private office behind it. At her confused look Linda explained.
“Sometimes, Mr. Blakemore has guests come over and they will sit out there in the lounge drinking and talking. Sometimes about the most ridiculous of things, you know how men are. This office in the back is yours for your personal use really, When you can do extra paperwork, etc., away from the hubbub.”
Linda pushed open the door to the office space and Rachel was stunned. It was bigger than her entire apartment and was complete with a small kitchen of its own, a bathroom and a small sitting area. It was decorated in hues of pink and white and had a window of its own also, floor to ceiling but not nearly as wide. The idea of not getting her hopes tossed out the window by now and she spun around to see Linda’s smiling face.
“Wow, it certainly is something Miss Linda isn’t it?” She gave her a smile.
“Yes, it is and you will enjoy it, I can assure you. Come sit down with me.” Linda walked over to the intercom system and buzzed.
“Yes, this is Linda, can you have a switchboard redirect Mr. Blakemore’s calls for the interim. I’ll let you know when I am back. “After a pause, she added.’ Thank you Mary.” She hung up and made her way back to the small sofa in the room. She settled in and Rachel was amused at the say she kicked off her shoes and leaned back to relax.
“I am most certainly getting old, my dear. Now let’s talk turkey. Off of that main kitchen across the way there is another office much like this one but a little smaller. It’s not connected to Mr. Blakemore’s office like this one.” She pointed to a seam in the door that she hadn’t seen before. “I plan on setting up myself over there. I don’t need as much space since I’ll be passing off the bigger things to you. As a matter of fact, I’ve already moved over there and have yet to tell Byron.” She gave her a smile.
“Byron?” Rachel was doing her best to follow along, but it was proving difficult.
“Mr. Blakemore, I used to call him Byron, but… well people thought since we were close he was showing favoritism, which he was, but then I’m old.” She giggled.
Suddenly the seam in the door moved open and he was there. He gave her a once over and then smiled widely at Linda.
“I trust you have shown Rachel around some?” He offered her a hand as she tried to get up from the seat.
“I did, and she and I had an opportunity to chat some. By the way I’ve decided to move into the spare office behind the kitchen.” She held up her hand at him. “Before you even start I did it because it suits me more, and its sound proof to all the man stuff going on in the lobby with your friends. Besides, I am thinking of cutting it down to three days a week and I don’t need this much space.” She said it with such finality he accepted her words without a fight.
Rachel was smiling at Linda and the match up with Byron…err...Mr. Blakemore. The two of them were like family in their banter and reminded her of her own. She watched as he delicately helped her make her way out of the room and she reevaluated her opinion of him. Maybe he wasn’t a total ass after all. She waited for him to come back in and smoothed down her dress subconsciously. When she saw his shadow she stood up. He walked into the room with a smiled. He was in black today, all black and he was dashing as always. She moved her eyes back up and caught him watching her. She felt the blush rush to her face.
“Please, Miss Greene have a seat.” He gestured and she did so waiting. “I hope you like what you see… of the office of course.” He gave her a half smile and she felt her face turning red.
“It’s lovely, very nice actually.” She clasped her hands together in her lap. There was something about him that made her nervous, anxious even. Whatever it was would ultimately create a problem.
“SO you will take it, then?” He leaned forward towards her. “The job I mean.” He watched her face intently.
“Don’t I have to be interviewed or anything?” She frowned slightly.
“Miss Greene I think it’s safe to say we have been through the interview already.” He smiled at her and stood quickly, he walked over to her window.
She looked him over, him standing this way gave her a new view of him. His upper body was muscled and tight against the fabric of his suit, his body was sculpted and she knew he would be hard and muscular all over. She shook her head, trying to refocus on the task at hand.
“Then yes, I will.” She stood to go, she hesitated just a moment to see what he would say next.
“We need to talk first, come in my office and shut the door behind you.” He took the long strides to get there and she calmly walked behind him.
She shut the doors behind her and turned to face him. He was less than 6 inches from her. She could feel the warmth of his breath on her check and is eyes were an even deeper shade of blue. Her pulse was racing and she was both thrilled and terrified of what he would do next. She felt his hand tough her waist and the contact made her gasp slightly. He was watching her, waiting for her to move almost animalistic.
“I expect total honesty and realness between us at all times, do you understand? I also will not allow anything that goes on in this office, on any floor to be discussed outside of the office.” He took a step towards her and she backed up.
“What do you mean exactly Mr. Blakemore?” She whispered the words waiting for his response.
“For example, if I have a woman here, it doesn’t leave this office, if I have clients over here… nothing we talk about can be repeated. We often discuss business mergers that could make or break us.”
“I understand.” She swallowed hard. He was so close she could smell his aftershave and she was terrified to look into his face. She knew she would likely fall to the ground if she did the way her knees were shaking.
“Do you? What if I were to tell you that I want to kiss you. Would you feel like that is something you need to share?” He moved so that his lips were hovering just slightly above hers.
“No, not at all.” She smiled at him, a new sense of confidence racing through her. He wanted to sleep with her. He didn’t give one care about anything else. Just knowing it made her relax, she had dealt with co-worker issues like this before.
He watched the light flicker in her eyes and then dim. Something he said killed the kindling he was trying to ignite. He would have to figure that out, one day. “Good.” He let her go and she walked towards the front door.
“Oh, and Miss Greene… I’ll see you in the morning.” He went back to the task at hand and she sprinted from his office.
All men were dogs, she thought. It was as simple as that, everyone she had ever met anyway. So her new boss wanted to have his way with her, big deal. Nine out of ten times it was too much time on their hands and not enough sense to put it all away, and keep it to themselves. Blakemore was a jerk just like the good doctor at the hospital. This time, however, she would call his bluff. She refused to lose her job over it this time and decided that if he did make a move, she would let it go long enough to give him enough rope to hang himself. He more than likely loved the chase the most so she wouldn’t even give him one. She would be ready and willing to entertain his ideas and thoughts, but that’s as far as she would let it go before putting a stop to the whole thing.
Byron sipped at the drink in his hand. What was he thinking, talking to her like that anyway? She looked like she was going to faint, and all he could think about was pushing her back on the desk and tasting her mouth. He always had some self-control and yet when she left, he’d been panting like a teenage school boy watching her leave. What was it that had her under his skin? She was beautiful, but in a nontraditional kind of way. She hadn’t been prancing around the office in anything revealing like Alice typically did. It was her shyness, the way she turned away from him and refused to give in. Just thinking about her leaving and not giving in to him made her so much more challenging. His time with her would come, there was no doubt. She was like a little lamb though, he would have to be gentle with her… if he could only get himself under control.
The rest of the evening went by quickly for her as she prepared for her first day. She left her things packed, just in case. She would play this game with him, but she didn’t want to lose, and she wanted to keep her job. Once she had him under her thumb she would be set, at least for a while. She could maybe get a nicer place. Plus, he did something crazy to her and she wanted to know why. Whatever happened, she would be as prepared as she could be. She moved her things around and put together a few nicer outfits. One day she would be out of this mess. She sighed as she heard the knob on her apartment door turning. Someone was always thinking this was A4. She was getting to a point where she didn’t feel safe anymore. She simply had to get in good with Blakemore, then she could let him go.
The morning came and she was set to leave. She found the keys to her car and easily went out to go. In the mornings in her complex no one was awake until noon, so she was fairly safe. The evenings were something altogether different. One of her friends often told her to buy a gun, but she was absolutely against the idea. She made her way downtown and found HR, and the leggy blonde who had directed her to Blakemore’s office a couple of weeks ago.
“SO Miss Greene, you must have left quite the impression on Blakemore.” She looked her over and then shrugged. “Fill out all of this stuff, then you can go upstairs.”
There was obviously something about this situation that pushed blondie in a bad direction. Whatever it was had nothing to do with her, but still she felt like she had disliked her immediately. She made her way through the mountain of paperwork and was finally finished around lunchtime. She made her way to her new office and only managed to get lost once, which was something of a personal accomplishment. She unloaded her things in the back office and made her way up front. Linda was nowhere to be found so she waited. Finally, he came in.
“Linda is out sick, come sit with me today. I can have you take some notes.” He moved towards his office and she followed closely behind.
He turned and shed his jacket off and she watched his movements from hooded lashes. This was going to be harder than she thought. He rolled up his sleeves and finally sat down. He gathered up some paperwork and handed it to her, not really looking at her at all and she realized she may have been completely off in her assumption of what he wanted. She frowned, her plan would never work if she didn’t at least attract him at all. She went over the paperwork in hand as he started going through the merger of two small companies that was on the horizon and she listened closely, learning the lingo about how he did things. Finally an hour later he seemed to relax some.
“Sorry, I tend to get overzealous when I’m talking shop.” He gave her a lazy smile, which she returned and batted her eyelashes at him.
He felt something deep down, jump at her actions. She was openly flirting with him, a leap from yesterday’s declaration. Perhaps she’s had a change of heart, or she was playing with him. He smiled as he thought about it. Surely she knew better than to even try, he would have her naked and on all fours in an hour if he wanted too, but she didn’t know him like that yet. He decided to test the water.
“DO you have a boyfriend, Rachel?” She watched his eyes moving over her as he talked. She took a deep breath in.
“No, do you?” She gave him a half smile and he chuckled.
“No, nor do I have a wife or a girlfriend. DO you have someone… close, someone who meets your needs?” He heard her gulp and inwardly he knew he had scored the first point.
“No, there is nothing I can’t do better and more efficiently myself.” She stared at him hard and saw his easy smile slip slightly. “What about you Mr. Blakemore?”
“Yes.” He gritted the words out. She had planted the image of herself naked and alone and it was burned into his brain. She blushed at his response, some part of her expected him to lie.
“I see, she licked her lips slightly, suddenly feeling out of control of the conversation.
“Yes, I have someone, and yes, I think I could do it more efficiently.” He watched her waiting for a reaction.
“I suppose that remains to be seen, doesn’t it.” She stood ready to make her way back out to her office. She knew he was there before she felt his hand on her arm spinning her around. He pressed her up against the wall of the office and leaned into her. She felt his mouth crush into hers in one fell swoop. It was a demanding kiss, pressing and pushing. His hands moved against her back, pulling her closer and moving upwards until his hands were in her hair cupping her head. He moved her mouth against his, nibbling and kissing until he was recklessly kissing her deeper again. Finally, they stopped and were both panting.
“I know this game Rachel, trust me, you won’t win sweetheart.” He whispered it in her earlobe nipping at the earlobe. She pushed him off and straightened her clothes.
“Perhaps, I guess that too remains to be seen. You certainly have a lot to live up to Blakemore.”
She moved into her office, shutting the door firmly and locking it from her side. She made her way to the desk with shaky legs and practically fell into the seat. This was not at all going the way she had planned. She was going to be firm and alluring and yet here she was a shaky mess, having five minutes ago been ready to throw herself at him. She leaned forward, her head in her hands. She had certainly put herself in a unique situation this time. The rest of the day went quickly. She spent the remainder of the afternoon navigating the computer software system. She finally left as it was nearing 6. He’s made no effort to bother her the rest of the day and she eventually relaxed. She pulled up to her apartment and sighed. This was the peak time for bad things around here. She saw a group of people, mostly men gathered around the step of her building. With careful and calculated steps she maneuvered around them, despite the calls and innuendos thrown at her. She slammed the door shut behind her and she cried. Life had to get better. She would be up the rest of the night, listening for someone to come to her door as they promised to do.
The first week went by smoothly, they would run into each other on occasion and there would always be something looming between them. He didn’t try to kiss her again, but he was clear in telling her he wanted to. More than once he would have her come to his office and work with him on something and she knew he was watching her, testing her. With every remark he made to prove a point she would counter with one of her own setting him off into another flurry of tension. It was becoming an overwhelmingly charged game of cat and mouse with them.
The next morning was a Friday and she was happy to get out of her place. She was dragging and she did her very best to make herself look alive once she arrived. Linda fussed over her and immediately showed her how to use the email server and set up the new voicemail. They enjoyed much of the morning together and she took notes on everything. She didn’t want to give him any excuse to let her go. He finally found them at lunch and offered to take them both out which Linda happily agreed to. She could find no excuse to say no and she felt a shot of heat course through her as he put his hand on the small of her back helping her into the car. Lunch was a fun affair. The place they went was so overpriced, she found it almost difficult to order anything at all. Once the food arrived, she fell in love with it and understood why he came there as often as he mentioned in the car. After Linda decided to go home since she was still not "100%." She watched as he helped her to her car and they watched her leave the garage.
“Get back in the car, I want to show you something.” He slid back into the seat and she followed suit.
She frowned as they took off, she never even considered telling him no… or asking where they were going. She simply did as he asked. She made a mental note to be leery of that next time. She knew there would be a nest time, they both enjoyed the game too much, and she wanted the security of being with someone who could protect her. She was in a financial mess and afraid to go home at night. He needed to learn that you cannot simply take what you want without giving back. The car pulled up to a golden building, it looked like a restaurant or a hotel but she wasn’t sure. He gave his key to the valet and took her hand as he moved gracefully through the building.
“Mr. Blakemore, where are we going?” She asked him quietly.
“Just be patient… you will like it.” He smiled at her and she felt that same sense of excitement he always brought out in her.
They took the elevator and kept going until they reached the top. He moved out of the elevator and pulled her behind him until they stopped in front of a door. He slid the key in it and it opened, he held it, allowing her to go inside. The walls were silk and in shades of gold. The farthest wall away was glass looking down and out over the city, even higher than his building did. In front of the wall was a bed, huge and waiting. She spun around to look at him. She saw him smirk and shut and lock the door behind him. She crossed her arms and waited.
“Exactly what are we doing here, Blakemore?” She took a step back as he moved towards her.
“I don’t play this game with you Rachel, you want me as much as I want you, and you’ve told me in more ways than one. Today I’m going to make love to you, thoroughly on that bed.” He spoke every word softly and dangerously as he walked towards her. She felt her hands shaking as he moved in closer.
He moved her hair back off of her shoulders and kissed the side of her exposed neck. “I know a part of you wants to make up some excuse of why we can’t do this, or why it’s wrong. I also know there is a part of you who wants it and needs it.” He moved his hand in her hair winding it in his fist as he moved his lips over hers.
There was something frantic about their actions as they undressed each other. She couldn’t form the words to tell him to stop, she was far too gone now. She felt the air rush over her exposed skin as she crawled slowly into the bed and on her back waiting for him. He waited, watching her. Naked she was even more beautiful, her skin had a healthy glow and she was curvy right down to her thighs. She was perfectly shaped for him and he wanted her more than he ever remembered wanting anyone. He made his way over to the bed. She was taking shallow breaths as he kissed her from head to toe, stopping to drink his fill of her flesh along the way. He left no inch of skin untouched by his hands and mouth.
Finally, he moved to push into her and he lost all sense of control. She fit him like a glove and it was almost painful for her. He moved slowly, gradually moving more and more until with one final push he was buried deep. He looked at her then and started moving slowly, she arched up to meet his every thrust her fingers gripping his back, her legs wrapped around his hips pulling him forwards, and deeper still. She was lost in a haze of color, feeling his moving, his touch and his mouth. She lost control of everything and dug her nails into him as she felt the explosion inside her begin to climb higher and higher until it exploded into fragmented pieces in her mind. She opened her eyes as she did it and called his name which in turn pushed him forward as well and he followed close behind. He lay there still pressed into her for a few moments until finally they moved to untangle and he found his place behind her.
No one spoke for fear of shattering the fantasy world they were both in together. She couldn’t feel any sense of victory in what happened, she had no control over any of it. She was simply there, and chose to do it. Her plans to make him want her or need her somehow until he had real feelings, ones that would make him want to protect her and help her. Now, he didn’t even have to buy the cow before he took what he wanted. She had never experienced anything like this before, but she knew the game was over. Her plan had failed because she was weak. Now she would never get him to notice her for anything other than this. It occurred to her that she obviously felt something more for him for it to affect her this way. She turned to move away from him, but he simply said “no” and pulled her back in close to him. She knew she would not likely find herself in this situation again and she nestled in to enjoy it for now.
Byron was lost in thought. There was something special about her, something that meant more to him than just sex. Perhaps it was the game, or the way little things made her light up. She was different, and he liked it. He knew he had won the game they were playing, but he felt no happiness in that. She tried to move away and he had stopped her. He wasn’t ready yet, to face whatever happened between them. She felt good like this, in his arms. He couldn’t remember ever being with a woman that he wanted to hold after sex, someone who wasn’t simply there to use or be used for a natural bodily function. There was never an emotional tie to the physical act and he didn’t want to start now. She needed it more than he, and he would give her that. They both napped, sleeping deeply, having been equally satisfied and content. She was the first to stir and when she noticed the clock she started to panic. She jumped up and started throwing on clothes, and he watched her.
“Was it all really that bad, that you have to run?” He gave her a half smile which she failed to respond to. He knew something wasn’t right. “Rachel… are you ok.”
“What... oh yes, I’m fine, I just have to get home quickly… very quickly.” She was still in her panties and bra and he was enjoying the show she gave him. It wasn’t long before she finally dressed the rest of the way. He stood and slid into his boxers. He watched her looking for her keys.
“Rachel... stop… your car isn't even here, calm down.” He put a hand on each shoulder to calm her. He moved the hair out of her face and she looked up at him. He was standing there his bare chest, smooth under her touch and she relaxed. “Stay here with me tonight. It's already 8:30, we can have dinner and… eventually sleep.” He gave her a wide smile and she smiled back.
“I don’t want to be that girl… who stays too long.” She screwed up her face, and he laughed.
“You’re not that girl, we are just having an extended Friday afternoon that’s all, nothing more.”
He watched her visible slump back onto the bed. “Why do you have to get home so fast anyway?”
She swallowed, thinking of the best response. “I just like to be in before it gets too dark that’s all.” She smiled at him.
He frowned, he knew there was something more there, but it wasn’t any of his business so he decided to let it go. He picked up the phone and ordered room service and she smiled as she looked out over the city. No matter what happened, this would be a night she would never forget.
The next day he took her to her car. She finally climbed into her bed at home at 1 in the afternoon. Part of her wanted to be happy and content with what she had been through. Another part of her wanted to cry. If she were being honest with herself, she had just been part of the most elegant and elaborate booty call ever. She should feel bad about that, but amidst all of the lovemaking they talked about life, and family. He shared his vision and hopes for the future and she, given him some version of hers. Monday she would go back to work and pretend none of it ever happened. For now she could pretend. She fell into a deep sleep, recovering from the sleep she missed the night before.
Byron was having a similar discussion with himself, he followed her home trying to see what had made her want to get back there so badly the night before. He looked up at the apartment building she entered and swore to himself. She lived here? He frowned as he looked over the streets and the neighborhood. He felt something about her situation, he wanted to get her out of here and way from the people who loitered the area. This entire block was notorious for crime and violence. He knew it was too soon to storm in there and drag her back out and into his car. He made the trek home lost in thought. He finally made his way into his penthouse, still concerned about her. What was wrong with him? He had always enjoyed his bachelor life, the solitude was a strength for him. He hated people around all of the time, except for his mother. Now, she was in his head and offering her opinions about everything. On top of that he was worried about her, he didn’t like that feeling, that connection it could only be dangerous. This whole thing was supposed to be about sex, even that went beyond what could be labeled as normal. She was both giver and taker and it had been the best experience of his life to date. He had a lot to think about and she made up most of it. He decided to do a little digging and find out more about her. It was probably crossing a line, but it would give him some piece of mind.
Monday came and the two of them went to work with very different missions in mind. She was determined to put the whole thing behind her and work hard. She was able to pay rent this month and could continue on that way, but if she moved to her parents house for a few months she could find something nicer, better, and less scary. She needed this to work, she had no other choices. She spent Sunday moving boxes into storage near her parents’ house and all that was left were a few things she would need to survive for the next couple of weeks. She made her way to her desk and started logging into various sites. It was Linda’s idea to start the day off that way. She glanced at his door, but made no move to bother him.
Byron was angry, and insulted. She used him. He could argue that he had used her too, but somewhere down deep he felt like he really connected to her. He made his way into the office passing her desk without saying a word. It would be hard to exist like this, her working for him. But if he fired her, she could stir up one hell of a lawsuit. He ran his hands through his hair, she was more than broke. She was in debt up to her ears and he even found where she tried to take out a number of loans but been denied. The final straw was finding an email where she detailed finding a solution to her problem, it was a note to herself really, but she had been looking for a solution. He would be damned if it would be him. He rubbed his eyes. He could feel a headache coming on, he would have to face her sooner or later. He buzzed her in. She came in professionally and sat across from him waiting for him to say something. He didn’t even look up at her for the longest time. Finally, he did. She looked different somehow, she wore contacts today and let her silky hair flow down her shoulders just aching him to touch it. He shook his head.
“Miss Greene, there are some new events on the horizon for the company and there is a good chance you will be moving to a different department. I wanted to be the first to tell you, so that there was no confusion.” He watched her eyes shooting at him like daggers as she crossed her arms over her chest.
“Really now, how convenient.” She was angry and hurt, but mostly hurt. He used her and was now casting her off to a different department.
“It’s completely out of my hands.” He gave her a hard look.
“I bet it is. I can’t believe I trusted you.” She stood up and stomped her way back into her office.
She slammed the door shut behind her. It was just as well. Then she wouldn’t have to deal with him all day, which would suit her just fine. Still, it hurt. Her plan to seduce him and make her life easier had been more like something she told herself to make being with him easier. She never stood a chance of telling him no. She was really to blame for the whole situation. She went in that room, she stayed the night… she opened up to him. She looked around the desk. This would never work, not really. She put her head in her hands just as she heard him storm in.
“I can’t believe you would say anything to me about trust, Miss Greene.” His eyes were staring down at her hard.
“What are you talking about Blakemore, I was there… you led me to that room.” She felt the tears welling up but she refused to let them fall.
“Oh no sweetheart, I take responsibility for that one. I’m talking about your plan, to “snare a good man” to help you with all of your problems. You’re in debt up to your eyeballs.” He was seething and she stood to defend herself.
“SO what, who cares if I am in debt, why is that your problem and how is it any of your business. Oh wait… you can’t believe you had sex with someone who’s not rich like you, is that it?” She felt as though someone kicked her in the stomach, she was humiliated.
He grabbed her arm and pulled her to him. “I don’t care if I found you penniless on the street in rags, I would have still seen you, still made love to you” he let her go “still wanted you.” He sighed running a hand through his hair. “My issue is not that you're poor Rachel, it’s that you set a goal in mind. O,ne to catch me, and make me fix all your problems.”
She stared at him a moment before the realization of what he’d done became apparent.
“What did you do Blakemore?” her eyes were on fire as she looked him over. “Did you do research on me or something? What was it a background check…. Credit check? I’m sure the list goes on and on doesn’t it.” She waited. “Not going to admit to it, I guess, what makes you think I wanted or needed you to rescue me, Mr. Blakemore?” She stood with her arms crossed over her chest.
He had the decency to look guilty before he told her. “I read your emails, I needed to know more about you.”
She blushed, humiliated.
“You tell me the truth now Rachel, was that your plan all along? Suck me in and use me to feel safe, to be secure?”
She took a deep breath before she answered. “I wrote that as a note to myself, yes at first when you said those things to me the first day I was here, I did. I thought I’d beat you at your own game.” She faced the window as she spoke, letting the tears fall now. “I thought, somehow I would show you I can be just like you. But I didn’t, the minute I was in that room with you I lost the game. We both knew it and I accepted it. I cared about you, you can’t just use someone you care about, it doesn’t work that way.” She wiped at her face and spun back around to face him. “But it is clear that you play dirty too, researching me like I’m one of your corporate mergers or something. Like I’m not real, and here, you don’t trust anyone or anything and one day it will leave you cold and alone.” She grabbed her purse and jacket. “Obviously this won’t work, I’m sorry if you felt used… but then that’s exactly how I feel too.” She left quickly making her way to the elevator and then to her car.
She sat in the garage for a moment, letting it all sink in. Just a few short hours ago, she had been on cloud nine, developed something real. She was going to take back her life, she had new feelings for someone and job security. Now, it was all gone, all at once. At least it was early, she could go home and be depressed alone. She made her way to the apartment amazed at the transformation. The days were so peaceful, the nights were right out of a horror novel. She fell into her bed and finally let go. Her body wracked with sobs as she cried out her pain, her loss and for Blakemore.
Byron tried to work, he focused his thoughts solely on the project at hand, yet he realized he reread started the same page about 6 times. He pushed the papers away from him and sighed. The entire situation with Rachel was a mess. He knew she was sincere, she had started out with a plan, but once they were in that room, she let it go and chose him in that moment. He regretted it now, demanding an explanation and hurting her. She had been crying by the window, he wanted to pull her close, but he couldn’t move. Nothing in his life had been like this and he wasn’t sure how to act. On top of all that he was out an assistant, again. He called down to HR and asked Alice to come up. He was still lost in thought when she opened the door. She sashayed into the room and made her way over to him, running her hands down his chest. He suddenly realized what she was doing and stopped her hands.
“Not today Alice, I need a new assistant. Can you start making some calls please?” He looked up at her and they knew it was done. Looking at her now he felt nothing, no excitement.
“So the little bookworm fled the scene did she? Fine, I'll hire you a new assistant.” She started to leave.
“Alice.” She stopped but didn’t turn around. “This between us… its done.” She turned and gave him a smile.
“I knew that the minute you hired her yourself Byron, I just had to try.” She left the room.
He frowned. It seemed as though everyone knew him better that he knew himself. He had work to do, but he couldn’t think straight. Fortunately, he had a few meetings at least that would take his mind off of her. She was right, it was better this way. They couldn’t work together, not when every time he saw her he wanted to touch her. He glanced up at the clock and made his way to the conference hall.