Authors: Danielle Jamesen
Claimed by the Billionaire
Copyright © 201
by Danielle Jamesen. All
rights reserved. No part of this book may be used, reproduced, distributed or
transmitted in any form without the prior written consent of the author.
Disclaimer: This is a
work of fiction. Characters, names, places, incidents and events are either the
products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any similarity
to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
I watched with a
sickening swoop in my stomach as the first pile of dirt went onto my husband’s
coffin. It was though each pile of dirt that fell on the coffin fell on me too
and I was slowly being buried alive. It was all I could do not to break free of
my father’s hold and leap in after him, to be buried with him. But no, I chided
myself, I had my son to think about.
My son. I glanced down
at him now. His ten year old frame was shaking quietly as he cried into my
dress. I played with his chestnut brown hair gingerly with my fingertips. My
poor son. Too old to be told the lie “Daddy is going away for a while” but too
young to understand what death truly meant.
My husband. I would now
be a widow, I assumed. That was the correct term of things. Serena the widow is
what I’d be labeled among social circles who were being kind. Serena the widow
who lost everything, among my family. And Serena with the dead husband and no
money to speak of, among my old enemies.
I glanced at my father.
His skin seemed stretched taunt, bags heavy under his eyes, his suit smelling
of cigarette smoke since he had fallen back into the habit. It was my entire
family who had lost everything, I thought, not just me. My father had lost his
entire empire, my husband had then lost his job at my father’s company and I
had lost my trust fund and my son had lost his college fund.
I tried to pin point
where my father had gone wrong with his business. They had been well off. He
had invested in real estate from a young age, riding the bubble up, up, up and
spending as though that bubble would never pop. I had had the best of
everything as a child and my husband had sold high end properties for my
father. Business estates, home estates, all of it had been theirs to sell and
rent out. I had met my husband at one of my father’s special meetings for the
company and we were head over heels in love soon after. My son I had had first,
when I was twenty, with a shot gun marriage soon to follow. But I had loved my
husband and the eleven years I had with him.
I had turned thirty
when the real estate bubble popped and the national recession hit. Business
stopped. No one was buying and everyone was selling. Neither myself, nor my
father, nor my husband had saved up anything, thinking the good fortune would
last forever. My father had lost everything and had to shut the business down.
My husband had lost everything too and the resulting heart attack from finding
out they were poor was too much for him.
So now here I was, at
my husband’s funeral, with my son clutching to me on one side and my father
clutching me on the other. I stared as the dirt rose on my husband’s coffin. I
knew everything was changing and nothing would be the same again.
I finished taping up
one box while my best friend, Cathy, closed up another. I was moving, needing
to sell the house (for half the price of what it normally would have gotten)
and move into a two bedroom apartment to cut costs down. I exhaled heavily as Cathy
“So, should I tell my
friend you want an interview?”
Cathy had been talking
at length about one of her friends who worked at a high end business in town,
who was now moving and needed to fill her place. I had listened to her describe
the position which basically sounded like a personal assistant position to the
rich owner and how they needed someone ASAP.
“It really doesn’t
sound like my usual thing.”
Cathy waved her hand,
“Listen, it’ll pay better than anything you are planning on looking into.”
“But being someone’s
personal assistant? Aren’t I just running coffee or something?”
“Does it matter? The
money is good, more than you’ll need to pay rent on your new place as well as
take care of anything Greg needs.”
At my son’s name, I
sighed, knowing Cathy was right, “What does this guy do anyway?”
“He’s loaded,” I wished
Cathy would stop talking about how rich this guy was, “He created some…I don’t
know, some app for smart phones or tablets or something? It’s such an early
market right now and he has a huge piece of the pie. His company designs them
as well as controls the business side of it.”
“I don’t know anything
about apps.” I said warily.
Cathy shrugged, “It
doesn’t matter. Like I said, it’s a personal assistant positon.”
I sighed and agreed.
I was instantly having
second thoughts standing outside the building that was featured downtown. The
20 story glass building I had thought always housed various businesses actually
held just the one I was going in for the job interview for. I couldn’t imagine
rent on this building was cheap.
After Cathy had left, I
had Googled the business. Cathy had been wrong on some fronts — the business
wasn’t just an app related one. The owner, Mr. Bradley Gable, created a
processing chip that was used in most smart phones today on top of all the apps
he had created. Mr. Gable was the epitome of rich, having hit billionaire
status. I knew I had only gotten this interview due to Cathy’s friend, because
this had to be a coveted position and my experience was all real estate based.
I took a deep breath
and walked through the double doors. There was a fountain in the lobby, marble
flooring, and a soft lighted waiting room. I was expecting to see the other
applicants there but it was empty. There was a large desk with a prim looking
woman behind it, typing away quickly on her computer. My heels sounded like gun
shots as I timidly walked across the floor towards the desk.
“Uhm, excuse me?” I
said, feeling stupid.
The woman didn’t stop
typing but looked up at me, “Yes?”
“I have an interview,”
I said but the woman didn’t say anything back and I stumbled on, “For a
position with Mr. Gable.”
The woman looked at me
closer, “This is his company.”
I wanted to crawl a
hole and vanish at this point but I kept going, “Yes, I know. It’s for an
“Oh!” The woman said,
as though now everything made sense, “You have to go directly to the top floor.
What is your name?” She finally stopped typing and picked up the phone on her
The woman hit three numbers
on the key pad, paused and then spoke, “Serena Warden will be coming up to the
top floor for her interview,” Another pause, “Yes, thank you,” She hung up and
looked back at me, “You can take the elevator to the top floor, miss.”
The woman nodded at me
and then looked back down at her computer, resuming her rapid fire pace. I took
this as the conversation was now over and I walked towards the elevator,
feeling more and more nervous. There was no music on the elevator and it felt a
bit jarring to me. My thoughts swirled together — why was I so nervous? Mostly
because my job interviews basically were zero, having worked for my father for
so long. And to work for someone so rich while I was now poor…
The elevator doors
opened soundlessly and I stepped into a small waiting room. Now this was filled
with applicants, finely dressed woman in designer clothing. I looked down at my
own clothes, which was designer(Chanel), but about three seasons old due to my
financial situation. I was sure these woman could tell that in a heartbeat —
And why were only woman
here anyway? Was this the 1950s, where only woman could be “personal
assistants”? I hoped Mr. Gable wasn’t looking for something more than that. I
tried to stand taller and went over to the woman behind the desk.
“Hi, I’m Serena Warden
The woman waved her
hand, “Yes, yes, Cathy’s friend. Have a seat over there.” And she pointed to a
I walked over to the
couch and stood awkwardly near it. The woman were all chatting and I realized
they all must have known each other from the inner circles. It dawned on me
that I would not get this job. I had only gotten the interview due to Cathy,
probably begging for it. I felt grateful for Cathy looking out for me and
trying to get me such a great position but I wished it had been something more
in my element…or dare say, closer to the bottom?
The crowd petered out
slowly. Cathy’s friend, Janine, was doing the interviews. She spent roughly 30
minutes with each girl and each girl left, confidently strolling out and
smiling at the waiting girls as though she knew none of them would get hired.
By the time I was called, I had worked myself up into a frenzied mess, trying
to tell myself that this didn’t matter. I’d get it over with and then tell
Cathy to please keep her eyes open for something that wasn’t so out of my
I walked into the
office of Mr. Gable. It was the size of my new apartment, I noted, with a
sleek, massive desk in the middle, windows all along the back that over looked
the city, and what looked to be like a living room on one side with a large,
flat screen TV. On the other side was a kitchen. It was as though he lived
here! I saw another room near the back and could only imagine what was in there
too — a bedroom? Janine walked over to the living room and sat down on the
leather couch, a clip board in front of her, her Mylar red nails shining from
the sun coming in. Her black hair was pulled up in a tight bun, making her
features look severe. Janine started talking in a clipped, matter of fact voice
about what the company did, which I already knew, and what Mr. Gable was
“I organized all his
meetings,” She was saying, “I went through all his e-mails, replied to the ones
that weren’t important, sent him the ones that would. I handled all his calls,
relaying the important ones to him. You are a filter. You make sure nothing
that does not need to get to him gets to him. You take care of any media phone
calls and requests. You organize any events he has to go to. You are the point
person. No one gets to Mr. Gable without you authorizing it.”
I nodded and said,
“Okay.” My voice sounded flat and lifeless.
Janine paused, as if
noting that it sounded so, eyed me and kept going, “This is an important
position, Mrs. Warden.”
I nodded again, “Yes, it
Janine looked at me again,
“Do you have any questions?”
“No…I don’t think so.”
Janine stood up, “That
will be all I think.”
That will be all? It
could not be all! I hadn’t even been in here for five minutes! I thought of
walking past the girls after everyone else had been in here for at least thirty
minutes and felt desperate.
“I, uhm —“I started,
“Janine, is that any
way to cut off an interview with someone as interesting as Mrs. Warden? She and
her family were the kings of real estate.” A voice said suddenly.
Janine and I both
turned our heads as a man came out of the room in the back. I recognized him
from Google — it was Mr. Gable himself. He was wearing a tailored suit that fit
him perfectly, his handsome features looking a bit sleepy, his tie undone and
his brown hair a little messy. He did not look as professional as I had seen on
the internet but my stomach swooped a little bit. He was even more handsome in
“Mr. Gable?” Janine
He walked over to them and
held his hand out to me, “You don’t recognize her? Her family owed every house
and building in this city.”
As if on auto-play, I
shook his hand firmly and said to him, “Use to, Mr. Gable. Not so much
He smiled, his perfect
white teeth almost blinding me, “Your father sold me my first house over ten
I was surprised,
“Truly?” I said.
“Truly. I will never
“I don’t want to be
hired because my father sold you a house ten years ago. I don’t want to be
hired out of pity.”
I knew I had surprised
Janine, who looked as though she had been slapped, and Mr. Gable, who now had a
bemused expression on his face, but I had surprised myself too. I had been out
right rude at this point but brutally honest. I couldn’t stand the pitying way
he was looking at me, as though he knew everything I’d had gone through and
felt sorry for me. I didn’t want to see that look every day if he hired me.
His smile only
brightened and he said, “Of course.”
I picked up my purse,
“You were showing me the way out, Janine, I believe? I can find it myself,
And I nodded at Janine,
and again at Mr. Gable and walked my way out of his office, knowing I had blown
the interview and wondering where I would look for work next.