Authors: Fiona Wells
Rendezvous in the Clouds
© 2014 Fiona Wells
The first time I saw Nick Hunter, I knew what I would tell our future children. “Kids, I fell in love with your father before he even turned around.”
There was something about just the way that he stood, staring out the floor-to-ceiling window of his fancy Park Avenue corner office that sent a bolt of recognition through me like lightning before we were even introduced. It would not have surprised me in the least if he had looked over his shoulder and said, “Oh, it's you, at last.” That's certainly how I felt.
And that's totally not what happened.
Nick, meet your assistant, Sarah Carter,” the head of HR said as she led me into the room to meet my boss, the new owner and CEO of MGV, Marksmen Global Ventures.
“Hello, Mr. Hunter,” my voice was suddenly high and tight in my throat as I held out my hand for him to shake. He slowly turned and it was all I could do to not say out loud, “Dammmnnn.”
It wasn’t just because he was gorgeous or that the suit he wore looked expensive enough to pay off all of my student loans. It was the raw, animalistic sensuality he exuded, like a panther waiting patiently in a tree for his next meal. All the girls in the office had been twittering about his arrival for a month. They said he was given the title of Manhattan’s Most Eligible Bachelor in one of those gossip rags they loved to pass around on their lunch breaks.
“Yeah, so can anyone who has a good enough publicist,” I sniffed. I have a rep for being the office smartass. Not exactly unearned, I guess. But now, looking at him, it was easy to see why Nick Hunter was chosen out of all the billionaire playboys and Masters of the Universe who run this town.
He towered over me. Well, anyone does as I’m only 5’4”, but he was over six feet of sleek, hard muscle. His jawline looked like it was carved from marble and his eyes were a startling mix of colors, combining the dusky charcoal of smoke that lingers closest to the flame and the lighter, sensual blue haze that hangs in the air from a cigarette.
His hair was long for a corporate guy. Thick, glossy curls of bittersweet chocolate grazed his collar, making him look more like a brooding poet or a rock star than an American billionaire venture capitalist. I flushed as an appraising look traveled across his face when he took my hand, as if he already knew what I looked like naked. The logical part of my brain tacked up a ‘Gone Fishing’ sign and closed down as I stared at the perfect specimen of red-blooded masculinity before me.
“Hello, Sarah. Call me Nick, please,” he was just being polite, but his deep velvety rumble of a voice thrilled me. Hell, he could have insulted my mother and I would have shivered with delight. His gaze locked with mine. Slowly, he released my hand. My palm tingled from his touch.
I realized I was holding my breath and took an involuntarily deep and audible gulp of air that sounded as loud in the quiet room as a sonic boom. Flames of embarrassment licked my cheeks as I tried to cover by clearing my throat. Still, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from his face.
Just being next to him made me feel like it was the first day of summer vacation, my first moment of sexual awakening (seeing a poster at thirteen of Michael Hutchence of INXS on my older sister’s wall) and jumping out of an airplane without a parachute all at the same time.
“Okay…Nick. Thank you. I look forward to working for you,” I managed to say without further humiliation.
“Well, Jenny here,” he said, indicating the grandmotherly human resources lady next to me whose face flushed with pleasure from his attention, “said you’re the best admin assistant, even though you’ve been with the company, what, a year?”
“A year and a half, sir. I mean, Nick.”
He smiled. His eyes gleamed and I melted like an ice cream cone in August.
“I believe in promoting from within the company, Sarah. That’s why I wanted our most highly rated assistant, whether he or she had experience with support at the executive level or not.”
He pointed casually to two large chairs upholstered in the softest buttery brown leather across from his mahogany desk. Jenny and I quickly crossed the room to sit. He strode around us and lowered his tall frame into his chair, casually tipping it back so that the sun from the window behind him created a golden halo around his curls.
“Again, thank you. I love working for you, I mean MGV,” I tried not to roll my eyes at the sound of my butt-smooching gush. His slow grin lit up his face like it was Christmas all over the world.
“That’s good to hear. I know your old boss will miss you, but hopefully this new position will pay you enough to keep you around.” Okay, now he was just messing with my head.
Moving up to executive assistant from plain old administrative work and not just to support a mid-level manager but the head of the freaking corporation meant I could take care of my mom now, help my sister out
pay my bills while maybe even managing to have a bit of fun because hey, I’m only twenty-seven for cripes sakes. I could actually save money too and no longer have to scrounge in the sofa cushions for subway fare. I wouldn’t have to choose between a trip to the dentist and new shoes for work.
Don’t get me wrong; it was going to be an absolute dream going into work every day for such a hot, sexy boss, but even more than that, this new job assisting Nick Hunter was going to change my life
help my family.
“I don’t think you could pry me away, Nick,” I said. My voice came out unexpectedly husky and direct. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jenny stare at me. My new boss’s eyes met mine. He looked at me as if he was studying me in a different light.
“I’m impressed with your level of dedication, Sarah. Well, let’s make this meeting short and sweet so you can get to work right away, shall we?”
Nick Hunter was a man of his word. The meeting whizzed by, but I was able to keep up by gluing my eyes to my smartphone to take his notes. Otherwise, I’d get so caught up in his mesmerizing gaze that I would forget my own name. I was lucky he was able to make any time for me at all before I started working for him.
Basically my job would be to run his schedule, arrange his travel, manage his social commitments and be the gatekeeper who determined who was worth the time of one of the most wealthy and successful financial titans in the U.S., who also just
to be one of the busiest and most in-demand people in the world. No pressure.
“So, that’s it,” he said, finally. I nodded, staring at the lengthy list of crucial tasks I would be expected to accomplish each day. Feeling his eyes on me, I glanced up. Whenever I’m stressed my brows knit together so that it looks like I have one giant eyebrow across my forehead. I tried to relax my face, but it probably looked like I had Tourette’s.
He leaned his elbows on the table and clasped his hands together. “Sarah, I have full faith in you.” I swallowed and shook my head. “Thank you. It’ll be fine. I’ll get started on your calendar right away.”
“Great,” he said, rising to his feet. Jenny and I hurriedly stood as well. “Listen, there’s more we can go over, but I have a meeting to run to now. Sarah, why don’t you schedule lunch for us tomorrow and we can talk then?”
“Lunch…together?” I said.
“Yes,” he said, straightening his tie in the mirror, his back to me. “Unless you have other plans?”
Jenny discreetly turned her gaze away from me, as I stammered, “No that would be absolutely fine, sir. Nick. Lunch! Yes.”
I knew I was rambling. My words dripped out of my mouth like a leaky faucet, which I couldn’t shut off. He turned to face me and grinned.
“Fine. I’ll be out of the office for the rest of the day. I’ll have my driver take us to Daniel for lunch tomorrow at noon.”
“Daniel? Your new boss is taking you to Daniel tomorrow, Sarah?” my mother had her hands to her face. She peered over her reading glasses with a shocked look, as though I had just told her I’d won the lottery.
“Yeah, I don’t even know what that is. I thought it was like the name of his personal chef or something,” I said as I set out plates for dinner. Mom clucked her tongue and shook her head.”
“Darling,” she said, her voice high with excitement. “It’s the fanciest restaurant in
Well,” I replied, carrying the pan of leftover meatloaf to the table. “He is uber rich. It makes sense that he eats at expensive places.” I was doing my best to sound casual, but really I was dying inside. After her second heart attack, my mom had to quit her waitress job and take it easy. I didn’t want her to get too worked up about Nick Hunter taking me to lunch, even if I was ready to dance across every rooftop in Brooklyn about it.
“Sweetheart, I read about your boss and saw him on TV. He’s gorgeous!” I smiled as I dropped a dollop of mashed potatoes on her plate.
“He is a good looking guy,” I said, inwardly rolling my eyes at my understatement of the century. “Mom, come and eat.” She shuffled to the table and sat with a heavy groan.
“Is it your ankles?” I said. She patted my hand. “I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. I just want to hear more about Mr. Hunter. He’s single!”
“Mom, I’m not sleeping with my boss, okay? The most important thing about this promotion is that we can live better and you can see the doctor more often.”
My mother widened her eyes. “Who said anything about you sleeping with him? I just think he would be crazy not to fall in love with a brilliant, beautiful girl like you!”
I smiled and squeezed her hand. “Thanks, mom, I appreciate it. I think he’s got his pick of super models and starlets to choose from for company, though.” She chuckled warmly and picked up her fork.
“Nobody’s too good for my baby,” she said. I looked down at my plate. I knew my mom wasn’t trying to give me false hope; even the thought of Nick Hunter going for an ordinary girl like me was absurd. His idea of a date was taking the Oscar winner for best actress to the Vanity Fair after-party, or sailing to the Riviera for the weekend on his own yacht.
My weekend fun time was filling up the inflatable pool in the backyard and inviting my friends over for pizza and beer because it was cheaper than going out. But who knows? They say money can’t buy happiness and I’ve had some really great times with my pals, splashing our feet in the water as we sang with the radio and…oh, who am I kidding. Nick Hunter would rather drop dead first than hang out in a Brooklyn backyard drinking domestic beer. He was as far out of my reach as the sun.
“I think you should wear your green dress,” she said, after chewing and swallowing. “It shows off your legs.”
She giggled and shrugged. “Couldn’t hurt.” I shook my head but laughed right along with her. It would be foolish of me to dress up all sexy for a meeting with my boss, just as it was stupid to harbor any kind of crush on him. But he did give me a look twice that made my heart race and the elastic on my panties loosen. It was wishful thinking though. That was probably the stare he shot to all ladies from eighteen to eighty, part of the Nick Hunter charm offensive. I had to straighten up and think right.
To lose my heart would be a shame, but to lose this job would be the worst thing imaginable.
Of course I was late for my first day working for Nick Hunter. Mercury was in retrograde all over the place and, it seemed, especially for me. My alarm didn’t go off, the subways were delayed and it wasn’t till I finally got to work that I saw the toothpaste dribble on the front of my new blouse. At least my boss hadn’t arrived yet.
I settled behind my desk outside Nick’s office and took a deep breath just as my smart phone buzzed. It was a message from him.
Change of plans. Last minute meeting. Driver will still pick you up at appointed time. Nick.
What did that mean? I was expected to have lunch by myself? I texted back,
will do, no problem!
I had no earthly idea what I was agreeing to.
The morning was hectic, with a million calls and requests from people clamoring for even five minutes of Nick Hunter’s time. He was already booked through 2015 and no one who I spoke to was on what Nick called the bump list. That was the name for a group of thirty people in the world who could bump anyone else off the schedule to meet with him. Presidents, former presidents, heads of state, Warren Buffett and no one else; not movie stars or any other celebrity a normal person would give their eye teeth to meet.