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Authors: T. C. Anthony

Tags: #Romance

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BOOK: Lust
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I smiled and sweetly replied, “Trust me, I wouldn’t cross
you right now, nor would I dare to say no to drinks after what
you had to listen to this morning.”

We walked arm in arm into work, into a typical day of
running around and business that would clear our heads of any
nonsense. A day of normalcy. Yup, that’s what was needed.

Nothing but work. It’s what I knew best.





“Fifty-eight please,” I politely gestured to the gentleman standing
closest to the elevator keypad. “Thank you.” I smiled after
he had pressed the button for our floor.

“The pleasure is mine, Miss?” The man had a sparkling
smile as he nodded his head, extending his hand, making a request
to one, know my name and, two, touch my hand.

“That’s Mrs. to you, and if you’ll excuse us, we were in the
middle of a business discussion, thank you.” Samantha pulled
me by the arm, protecting me as her own.

I couldn’t help but glare at Samantha, not knowing whether
to smack her for doing that or thank her for looking out for
my heart.

Samantha finally locked my stare; she smiled and said,
“You’re welcome. Now, where are we going for drinks? And
please make sure you are done at five. I don’t want to miss
happy hour specials.”

“You really are the best, you know that, Samantha?”

Samantha smiled with confidence as she nodded at me. “I do
know that but could use some reassurance, and the only way to
reassure me is to make damn sure that you are ready at five p.m.

to get your drink on with me. Oh and by the way, whatever happened
with the piece of ass who caught you at the bar Saturday
night? I’m still somewhat hungover and forgot to get the deets
on him. Did you fuck him? Because you know you were staring
at him like you were ready to take a piece off of him.”

I rolled my eyes at Samantha and turned to walk down the
hall past reception toward my office. “We’ll talk later, missy.”

My office is at the end of a long hallway. The entrance to
the corporate office is equipped with a reception area, complete
with a gorgeous secretary who welcomes guests, full mini bar
and fresh pastries, sitting area, and a wall lined with a ten-foot
glass fish tank filled with exotic fish all designed by the CEO,
Mr. Watson himself. It is a beautiful sight, very welcoming,
and reassuring to those waiting to be seen. Unfortunately it is
like being in the calm before the storm. Most visitors are there
either to be bought and sold or saved from filing bankruptcy.

It is a lucrative business but very cutthroat, and that is what I
love about what I do.

And though I don’t have a corner office like previously
planned, it is a great big office with large floor-to-ceiling windows.

Directly outside the office is the desk of my personal assistant
and best friend.

“Hey, can you do lunch around twelve, or do I have to wait
till five for a little BS time?” Samantha continued to giggle
before we approached the offices; she would never dare to speak
to me in that tone or manner when she was on the clock and
around our colleagues. She respected me and demanded that
others respect me as well. She was more so a guardian and protector
than my personal assistant.

It was rather amusing.

Turning to face Samantha as we approached my office
and Samantha’s desk, my demeanor and presence had shifted.

Samantha’s expression was of admiration in seeing me switch
from friend to boss. It always made Samantha look at me
with awe.

I was good at it; I owned it, and everything around me followed
suit. In boss mode, I addressed Samantha, “Ms. Carlo,
would you please meet me in my office in ten minutes? Bring
with you my updated schedule for today and tomorrow, my
messages, and the new business file. Oh, and could you send
one of the interns for some ibuprofen and coffee, light and
sweet, please. Thank you.”

Walking through the office door, I closed it behind me.

Samantha knew how to balance our relationship, and she was
smart enough to know where to draw the line. Her friendship
had nothing to do with her getting the job as my PA. Samantha
was really amazingly organized, on target, and always got the
job done on time if not ahead of schedule. We were an incredible

I always close the door when I first get into my office in the
morning. Though I dislike giving the impression that there is
something to hide, I just need a few minutes to start my day and
compose myself, finding peace from the window over Park Avenue.

As I compiled the mess that was me, I still stood by the window,
staring at the view fifty-eight stories above the world, when the
phone rang and snapped me out of my moment of R & R.

“Good morning, Pat. How is everything this morning?”

Speaking into the phone, my tone was sweet in answering because
I knew that it was Pat—Mr. Patrick Watson—from the
name display on the caller I.D.

“Morning, Eva. I am going to need you to meet me, Kelly,
and another exec at Black Lounge for drinks this evening. Is
that going to be a problem for you? I need you to be there no
later than seven.”

Pat stopped and waited for me to speak, waiting for acknowledgement
of course, because his statement was just
that. He wasn’t asking me to go; he was telling me to go. Big

“Absolutely,” I responded with little hesitation. We took
existing and prospective clients out for dinners and drinks at
least twice a week, sometimes even more often.

I made sure to add before Pat could speak, “I have an errand
to run at five, but I will definitely be there no later than
seven. Do you need me to bring any files, new account profiles,
or anything of that nature?”

Pat cut me off, which was a bit strange, as his usual endearing
tone was nowhere to be heard on this phone call. “Ah, Eva,
just so you don’t walk into the lion’s den, I should at least tell
you that we are not meeting with clients. There is an executive
that I need you to meet.”

Confusion filled me, and then a light bulb went on. “Oh,
Pat, please don’t tell me that you are trying to set me up
again. Please say no, because I will tell you right now I’m

“Eva, it’s not a blind date, I promise you. Though I really
do wish it was.”

I had a gnawing feeling in my gut. Something isn’t right, I
thought. Why is he being so shady and secretive?

“Pat, are you all right? Is there something wrong, something
you want to tell me? You are worrying me.”

“Everything will be fine. You will be fine, and please just
don’t be late. Thank you, Eva, for everything.”

And then there was the dial tone. Pat had hung up; he was
hiding something. He had never cut me off or spoken to me
in such an uncertain and shady way. Jumping out of my seat, I
headed for the door, which was still closed. Opening the door
swiftly, Samantha spun around; nervous, she stood up, put her
hands on each of my shoulders, and easily led me back into the
office and closed the door.

“What’s happened? Are you OK? Your parents? Why do
you look like you’ve seen a ghost?”

I just stared at her. She stepped forward, and I felt her
lightly shaking me, trying to snap me out of my daze.

“Eva, answer me, damn it. What the hell is going on? Are
you OK?” Samantha looked like she was going to cry from
sheer concern. I could see the question in her eyes: what had
happened in the last five minutes that would drain the blood
completely from my face?

As she held my hands, I grew cold and shaky. “I…I…I
don’t know what happened. Something happened or is happening,
and I don’t know. He wouldn’t tell me. Why wouldn’t he
tell me? He always tells me everything, and he—”

Edging me back toward the accent chair in the office,
Samantha forced me down to sit and tried to get me to think
rationally again as she tried to understand what was happening.

“Eva, who called you? Who was it? Who has your personal
number? Eva, you’ve got to calm down and tell me what’s going
on. If I know what just happened, I can help you sort it

My stare came back to focus in the room. I seemed to have
suddenly just returned to my body. “Pat…Pat called and asked
me—no, told me to meet him, Kelly, and some other exec at
the lounge tonight at seven for some meeting.”

Samantha looked at me like I had finally lost my mind—
first this morning’s episode and now this. “Eva, I don’t see what
you are freaking out about. You have these meetings more than
twice a week. Did he say anything else, because I don’t—”

“Samantha, stop. I know what you are thinking, and by the
way, just to reassure you, I’m not losing my mind. He sounded
so off, shady, secretive. I asked him if I should bring any paperwork
or new client profile forms, and he said no. He said that
he was going to at least tell me one thing so that I wouldn’t be
walking into the lion’s den: that we were not meeting with a
client but an executive he needed me to meet.”

My face was distorted. I felt my eyebrows and forehead
tighten with anxiety. My eyes burned and swelled with tears of
fear and concern, the frown on my lips was sadder than death,
and I searched my brain for pieces to the puzzle, but there was

“OK, so if it’s not clients…an executive you have to meet—
” Suddenly giggling, Samantha shouted, “Seriously? You are
so much smarter than this. Maybe it’s just an off day for you.

Eva, how do you not see that he’s trying to set you up with a
guy again? You know you are like a daughter to him and he’s

“No, no, you’re wrong.” I shut Samantha down with certainty
in what I was saying. “I thought of that, and he said no.

He wished that was the reason for the meeting, but it wasn’t.

And weirder still, when I asked him if he was OK and if there
was something he wanted to tell me, his only response was that
everything will be OK, that, I will be OK.”

Speechless and taken aback, Samantha didn’t know what to
think or say. She slumped herself into the second accent chair,
contemplating, worried, trying not to show her overreacted
emotions on her face. But, one look and I knew.

“You have the same feeling I do, don’t you?” Samantha
shook her head no, but I didn’t buy it. “You are my best friend.

Don’t lie to me now. Please tell me I’m not losing my mind; do
you think I’m being fired?”

“Nooooo! Are you out of your mind? I was thinking a lot
of things, but that was definitely not one of them! Why would
you think that? Pat adores you, Eva.” Samantha was less frantic
than I was, but she was nervous.

I had to get up and went to stand again by my once magnificent
windows; the sun was beating through the windows and
warming my now freezing body. Closing my eyes briefly, I tried
to gather myself, but there was only one resonating thought in
my mind. There was a very real possibility that I could be losing
all of this; my career, my assistant, my office, and my window
on the world. I could feel the tears starting to drip from
the edge of my eyes, my throat felt tight…no…no…I was not
going to cry, not here, not now.

Turning around to face Samantha, I took a breath that felt
like it could be my last and gave her orders. “Let’s pull our shit
together. I have a meeting in fifteen minutes with the MCA
Corp., and I can’t be frazzled. While I’m gone, I want you to
do some recon with the PA gossip pool. We all know that they
are the first to know when something is going down. And if it’s
something big, there is no doubt they know. Don’t be obvious,
just act indifferent, no matter what the situation is. Sam?”

BOOK: Lust
2.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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