Authors: Jodi Cooper
Romance: The Billionaire’s Demands
Romance: The Billionaire’s Demands
Copyright © 2015
Published by Run Free Publishing
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Other titles by Jodi Cooper:
Hired for the Billionaire’s Pleasure
The Billionaire Games
The Exclusive Club
The Billionaire’s Mansion
Return to the Billionaire’s Mansion
Interviewing the Billionaire
The Billionaire Actor
The Billionaire’s Assistant
The Secret Billionaire
Bad Boy Biker
The Billionaire Boss
The Billionaire’s Holiday Mansion
The Billionaire’s Wish
Romance: The Billionaire’s Demands
“We need the plates now!”
“You can stuff the plates up your hole,” I mumbled under my breath.
I was under enough pressure as it was. As an assistant chef in one of America’s finest restaurants, pressure was something I expected. But I didn’t expect to be shouted at daily, spat at weekly, and have physical breakdowns monthly.
I became a chef because I love the artistic side of creating a magical dish. It is one thing to make a product that blows away someone’s taste buds, but to be able to present it on the plate like artwork is another skill altogether. I think the artistic presentation of a dish is my strength.
“I need the order now!” the head chef yelled.
I don’t think Picasso ever worked under this sort of time pressure.
I served up one plate of dessert fast but delicately. Dessert was always my best work.
“Good.” The head chef smiled with a creepy grin. “This is good.
will enjoy this.”
“That’s going out to
,” Anne, one of the other chefs, whispered over my shoulder.
I raised my eyebrows. I had no idea who “he” was, nor did I care. Being in L.A. meant that self-important celebrities dined at our restaurant all the time. The photographers and reporters at the back door were the most annoying, especially when trying to get home from work.
“You don’t know, do you?” Anne asked.
I shrugged my shoulders in response.
“Bradley Clifford?” she questioned me.
“Nope. Never heard of him.”
Anne shook her head at my ignorance. “You shouldn’t live in L.A. You should live in some little hick town where everyone waves to each other down the street.”
“Celebrity watching just doesn’t interest me, Anne. It never has.”
“This one should. Single billionaire. Dashing, suave, charming, and the body of a footballer. Have I got your attention now?”
A single billionaire… they don’t exist, do they? What was wrong with him if he couldn’t find a date, much less a lady to marry?
Or maybe he was a playboy and loved the single life?
Many filthy rich men had a million or a billion green reasons not to marry a woman who might later divorce him and take with her a part of his earnings. What man wouldn’t want every pretty woman they could possibly have around just to feed their endless male ego?
I peered out the kitchen as my dessert was delivered to the billionaire at the table in the corner. I expected him to have company, and I was surprised to see an empty chair next to him.
His suit looked perfectly fitted around his broad shoulders. Even though he was sitting down, it was clear that he was a tall man. His slow, considered movements were full of confidence and swagger.
“He could have been a model,” I said to Anne as I walked back into the kitchen.
“You should go out and talk to him.”
“Ha!” I laughed out loud. “And what would I have to say to a billionaire?”
“Hello would be a start.” Anne smiled cheekily.
I felt a little embarrassed as I looked down at my own waitress smock with food stains on the front. I wished they had let us wear something much nicer to work. My long brunette hair kept falling into my face, despite my numerous attempts to tie it back. My brown eyes looked dull and muddy most days, instead of sparkly and beautiful like those of models in the magazines.
Out the side window of the kitchen, I noticed there was a long, shiny limousine parked next to the restaurant. The driver was a beefy man who was reading a newspaper behind the steering wheel while he waited patiently for his passenger. All of the taxis and buses were trying to maneuver around the large limousine, and its size was nearly causing a traffic jam.
It must be nice to be privileged enough to hold up all of the traffic.
“Maybe the size of the car was indicating that he was trying to compensate for something else he was lacking?” I mentioned to Anne.
“I doubt it. His reputation is, um…”
She held her hands out to indicate a large size.
“There are no secrets in this city,” I mumbled.
The kitchen door swung open with intimidating force.
All the kitchen staff’s eyes shifted to the door.
“Who made this dessert?”
It was more of a demand than a question.
The handsome man standing at the door was the same man that I was staring only moments before. When he was sitting down, it was clear that he was tall and strong, but now that he was standing in the doorway, he looked even bigger. There was an aura about him as he stood at the kitchen entrance in his perfect suit, waiting for a response.
His firm and blunt demeanor made it unclear whether he was happy or angry.
“May I help you, sir?” the head chef finally responded to the billionaire.
“Who made my dessert?”
Bradley Clifford came close to the head chef, looking down on him and invading his personal space.
Terry is the head chef and he’s responsible for everything that happens in the kitchen. He should be the one taking responsibility for the food – good or bad.
Terry bullies and belittles us at every opportunity but now that he’s about to stick up for me against this harsh billionaire, I guess I can cut him some more slack.
“She made it!”
He pointed his finger straight at me.
Thanks, head chef.
Glad to know that you have my back.
Bradley Clifford walked towards me and my heart skipped a beat. He was definitely handsome.
Insanely handsome, in fact.
He was probably the most handsome man I had ever laid eyes on.
I noticed that he was checking out my figure, including my breasts and curvy backside. His eyes danced down my body, and then back up again.
I knew that I was pretty on a good day, but I felt frumpy and worn out today in these clothes.
Having just dropped out of law school due to running out of tuition, it had been a while since I had any fun. I was definitely overdue.
“May I ask what your name is?” he directed me to respond, finally catching my brown eyes with his green ones.
He tried in vain to look down for my nametag, but I realized that it was missing from my chef uniform.
His body definitely had an intimidating aura about it.
He waited for me to respond. The whole kitchen was waiting for me to respond.
“Jasmine,” I blurted out finally.
That sounded bad.
Not my smoothest moment.
“My name is Jasmine,” I said in a more polite tone of voice.
I looked around at the other kitchen staff in a vain attempt to figure out how to behave, but none of them were paying any attention to me fumbling horribly in front of this man. They were all too busy staring at him.
Even the men were staring at him.
I wiped some jelly off my hand that had been there since I made the last dessert, and thrust it in his direction.
I didn’t know if it was proper to shake a billionaire’s hand, but I guessed maybe it was.
“Nice to meet you, Jasmine. My name is Bradley.”
He flashed me a winning smile, the one I imagine that he uses in order to get all the girls or to win over his clients.
They probably fall down around his feet and swoon madly for him, I guess.
“You certainly are very pretty for a dessert chef.” His smile widened, and I could feel my cheeks flush under his gaze.
Oh brother. This guy sure was a smooth talker if ever I’d seen one.
I tried to smile back at him. “Oh… um. Aren’t dessert chefs supposed to be pretty?”
“I haven’t met that many dessert chefs, Jasmine.” My heart jumped when he used my name. “But if they are all as pretty as you, then I have been moving in all the wrong circles.”
I sensed that he was trying to say more, but he closed his mouth again just as fast as he had opened it.
“What is your favorite dish, if you could have anything on earth?”
Strange question. I bit my lip, furrowed my eyebrows, and thought deeply about the question for a moment.
I leaned closer to hi
. “Don’t tell my boss this, but I would have to say Chinese takeout from Chan’s. Sweet and sour chicken. Not that the food isn’t good here or anything…”
I felt a little strange suggesting a competitor’s dish, but it was an honest answer.
At first, I thought he was flirting with me a little.
But then I shook it off.
After all, a billionaire must surely be taken already. I searched his hand for a tan line where one might have been on his ring finger, but I saw no trace. I did notice that he had nice hands, though.
In fact, the billionaire had quite a lot of things going on for him in the looks department. I realized I had been staring at him when another patron opened the door and startled me back into reality.
He smiled arrogantly at me.
“Thank you for the dessert. It is delicious. Magical.”
I smiled back, and he turned around and exited through the door that he had thrown open only moments before.
It was only when he had exited the door that I began to breathe again.
“Somebody’s got a crush on you!” Anne teased as the kitchen began to return to normal.
“Hardly.” I chuckled. “Look at him. I mean, the guy is a player, Anne. I don’t know what has all of you so excited.”
I rolled my eyes at her and picked up the dessert for table six.
They want the banana dish.
I hate making that piece of dessert. There are so many different parts that it is very easy to get wrong. It isn’t even our best-tasting dessert.
I briefly peeked back out the kitchen door to watch Bradley leave. His limousine driver held the door open for him, and then the two of them were off.
I wondered what it would be like to show up in a limousine for all of my important business meetings. What a great life it must be to never have to worry about money, or in my case, a lack thereof.
Although this was the best restaurant in L.A., it doesn’t pay well. But if you can survive a year here, you will be highly sought after in your next job and can demand whatever price you see reasonable.
It’s almost an apprenticeship.
“Rumor is that he had his plans on getting married within the next year.” Anne caught me staring.
“Oh… Well, that’s good for him and his fiancée. I should give him congratulations when he comes in next time.”
I was a little disappointed at the news.
She was one lucky girl.
“Who’s he engaged to?”
“That’s the best part!” Brianna chimed in. “No one! He plans to meet and marry by the end of this year!”
She was far too bubbly today. Nineteen-year-olds shouldn’t have four coffees before they came to work.
“It’s almost a dream come true!” she continued. “Imagine being that rich!”
Sure, I could imagine being rich.
I saw it on reality television.
I couldn’t help but giggle at her naivety that this man would possibly even fall for a chef in this restaurant, much less any other commoner.
Surely billionaires would seek out other wealthy women, or at least seek out the daughter of some famous business tycoon.
“His brother did the same thing in 2004, Jasmine… He married a gal who was working under him as a maid! Do you believe it? Some lowly maid suddenly swept off her feet by a handsome billionaire! What an amazing love story!” Anne was either trying to convince me of her story, or she was trying to convince herself that it was a possibility the billionaire would meet someone in our very restaurant.
I didn’t buy it.
He must have his own circle of friends to choose a lady from.
Mind you, he dined alone tonight.
That was a bit odd.
This restaurant is the place to be seen in L.A. It’s strange that you would come here without a date.
That makes a very public statement.
Maybe they were right.
“Surely he would be able to pick a girl from one of his parties,” I responded.
“Oh no,” Brianna almost sang in return. “He has been much too involved in his business to meet many girls. All the girls he knows are bimbos. And that’s not his sort.”
“And how do you know his sort?”
“Don’t you read anything?!”
The girls laughed together. That was something that I still haven’t gotten used to about L.A. – this culture of spying on everyone.
“And, dare I ask, what is his sort?”
“Funny, witty, intelligent, pretty… come to think of it, I just described you.” Anne smiled.