Authors: Ava Joy
Mia James doesn't consider her resume's omission of the last two years of undergrad and her master's degree a lie. It's more like a failure to elaborate.
Too bad her billionaire boss disagrees.
Ex-Army interrogator and Chief Executive Bad Ass of a private military company, Collin Stark needs to know his new junior secretary isn't spying on Stark International. Trust the wrong woman with his heart and someone could wind up dead.
To convince Collin she's only guilty of being overqualified and desperate, Mia must consent to a private interrogation in which he will deploy all his tricks, starting with his favorite game.
Copyright © 2012 by Ava Joy
Sveva font licensed from [email protected] Cover art © [email protected] Use of licensed images is for illustrative purposes only and does not imply the model's endorsement of or participation in any or similar activities contained in this work of fiction. All persons and entities are fictional.
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Spanked by the Billionaire (His to Dominate)
Returning from the mail room with the day's last post, I froze in front of Janice Green's desk. In her late fifties, with a six-year history as the senior executive secretary to the CEO of Stark International, Janice exemplified grace under pressure. Right then, however, she looked like a heavily sedated deer facing an oncoming freight train. Something was wrong, something the building wasn't buzzing about. That meant it was either a very personal problem or still restricted to the CEO's office.
We both reported to Collin Stark, the CEO and sole shareholder of the company he founded a decade ago. Looking at the building's façade and understated logo, few would suspect that the company was responsible for the safety of heads of state the world over or that Stark wasn't above donning tactical gear for a hostage rescue. With so much at stake, he held each employee to the highest standards. Retribution for fucking up came quickly.
Since Janice wasn't loading her personal belongings into a cardboard box with building security watching over her shoulder, the fuck-up had to be me. The new kid on the block, I'd been promoted to working below Janice in the CEO's office a month ago. All total, I had less than half a year in at Stark International and had just that week finally brought my monthly student loan payments current.
I did a quick mental inventory of my projects, searching for anything I might have missed or misdirected. Nothing suggested itself. Janice only entrusted the most menial tasks to me during my training phase. If the quality of my work wasn't at issue, then there was only one thing left.
I started to roll my lips together, a bad habit I have when I'm nervous. My blink rate went up, too, and I could feel a flush heating my cheeks. I swallowed, trying to center my energy while telling myself I had nothing to worry about. For fuck's sake, it's not like I lied on my resume! I didn't make up any jobs, any education or inflate any grades or academic honors. I just left off the fact I had finished my undergraduate degree and master's.
Too bad for me Stark likely would view an omission as deception. He was a man who valued honesty and loyalty above all else. Fail him on one or the other and an arctic fury would be unleashed, his wrath cold, calculated and obliterating.
I went from rolling my lips to chewing at them. I glanced to my right where polished steel doors led into Stark's inner sanctum. "What's wrong?"
Janice offered a little half shake of her head and reached for her purse. She usually worked from seven in the morning until five at night. It was exactly twenty minutes to six. She'd just been going into Stark's office when I went for my last mail run.
She'd been on the secretive side all day. Now I knew why. They had been discussing me.
Standing, Janice shouldered her bag and gave me a tight smile. "Mr. Stark wants to see you in his office."
"Me?" My stomach dropped, threatening to surge back up just as quickly and splatter the contents of a late lunch across Janice's tidy desk top. "Did I do something wrong?"
"Don't make him wait." Her lips pressed tightly together, the smile thinning. "Good luck, dear."
She stepped around her desk and quickly left me to my fate. Still holding the mail, I moved to the double doors, my hand up to knock when I heard the lock disengage. Stark had most of the building wired with security cameras. Only a few rooms, like his inner office, were private. From his desk, he could monitor every camera at Stark International, as well as live feeds from operations around the world.
My stomach did another flip as I pushed against the heavy steel. I stopped just inside the doors. With Stark's attention focused on his computer screen, I had a few seconds to study his expression for clues. Maybe I was over-reacting, letting my fertile imagination run away with me. It could be a late fax or a dropped email, something relatively small for which I could plead for mercy.
His laser-like focus directed at his work, there was no hint of mercy in the way he held himself. If he hadn't just let me into the room, I would have sworn he had no idea I was there. Of course, that was part of his game and he was a master at it. A former military interrogator assigned to special operations, he had carved out a billion dollar company at the tip of a long, sharp knife.
Volumes on military strategies, psychological warfare and interrogation techniques crowded the wall-to-wall bookshelf behind his desk. Cleaning crews weren't allowed in his office. As the junior secretary, that task fell to me, so I knew the title of every book in his office. I had borrowed copies of a few from my neighborhood library and had just finished reading the
Kubark Counterintelligence Manual.
I counted up all the tactics Stark had already employed -- making me wait, letting me squirm in my own skin while I imagined the worst, acting like I didn't exist. We were at Confidence Down/Fear Up. If I hadn't felt sick to my stomach, I would have smiled or laughed. As it was, knowing a little about the techniques only made me worry more.
"Do you like your job, Mia?"
He still hadn't looked up. One finger moved along his touch pad and then he clicked on something. I thought I detected a slight stiffening of his jaw as I delayed answering, but I was a good twenty feet away from him and his face usually looked hard as granite, so I couldn't be sure.
When his gaze cut in my direction, I quickly answered.
"Yes, Mr. Stark."
He looked away, his attention re-focusing on his work. "Then put the mail down and stand in the corner."
Was he fucking serious? Stand in the corner like a little kid caught sneaking a slice of cake or refusing to do homework? I was twenty-six years old, not six! My grip on the mail tightened, my cheeks heating as I slowly moved from worried to angry.
He looked at me again, the dark blue eyes like burnished steel, their thin edges slicing at my skin. "I don't like liars, Mia. Do it now or security will help you pack your things."
I looked around the room, not sure if I was contemplating obeying him or stalling.
"The table by the couch will do."
Shit. I closed my eyes, realizing I had been looking for someplace to put the mail, lying to myself that there was no way in hell I would actually obey.
I put the mail down and walked to the only corner that didn't have any furniture near it. As my fingers touched the cool surface of the wall, I heard the lock on his office door engage. I winced but managed to hold any sound deep inside me.
I heard the mechanical slide of the heavy drapes being shut. As with the building's cameras and the drapes, he could control the lamps in the room from his desk. They went off one by one until the light in the room was no better than twilight, everything shades of grey.
I waited in that near darkness for what seemed at least fifteen minutes, the room completely silent except for my breathing. Whatever work he had been doing, he stopped. Whether he watched me or not, I felt like he did. My shoulders twitched, my hips and thighs flexed. I had on heels and a tight skirt. Every small movement of my body seemed magnified.
I wanted to swear and I wanted to cry. He had me right where he wanted me. The discomfort inflicted on me was by my own choice. That made it all the worse. Even if he had locked the doors, I chose to stand in the corner in a dark room filled with silence. Another play straight from Kubark's manual.
At last I heard the creak of his chair and the slide of a drawer. My whole body tightened. My hands, which I had placed palms flat against the wall, curled into fists and I started to shake. Five more minutes passed before I heard another sound.
His footsteps seemed magnified as he approached me. I felt his chest against my back, the sudden heat making me realize my skin had grown cold.
"Don't jump, Mia."
I hadn't moved and the command confused me until his hands came up around my head and a folded band of fabric brushed against my face. I drew a sharp breath in as the blindfold tightened and his fingers worked to tie a knot. His hips pressed against my backside, my bottom molding around a hard center bulge that made my knees weak.
"You left something off your resume, didn't you?"
His hands dropped to wrap around my hips. When he spoke again, I could tell his mouth was right next to my ear, his breath curling warm against my flesh. "A master's degree in data analytics and you take a job in the secretarial pool of a security company?"
I rested my head against the wall, the earlier tremble back and infecting my whole body. Stark circled one arm around my waist, his palm flat against my stomach to contain or control me. His other hand gripped my hip a little tighter as he cinched me to him.
"Who are you really working for?"
"You." I released the word with a sob as I realized my panties were slowly soaking through. He had me face forward in a corner, blindfolded, my job on the line and I was wet, so turned on that the muscles deep inside my cunt had started to flex and roll. This wasn't right, wasn't anything like me.
His palm slid lower down my stomach, coming to a stop just above my mound. I arched slightly, my ass pressing more insistently against his groin, but my arousal was wasted on Stark. His calm voice and continued interrogation proved this was nothing more than business.
"You lied, Mia. Spies and moles lie. You're not just working for me."
"Please." I couldn't stop the wiggle of my ass and I wasn't sure what I was pleading for -- my job or his touch. "I'm telling the truth. I left it off because I couldn't get hired anywhere. I had no money left…"
"You had six months to come clean, a whole month in this office." His voice hardened and he crushed me tightly against his body. "You sat in front of me and smiled, saying more education was on your agenda when I commented on your having only an associate's degree. You lied to my face and smiled, all lovely and innocent."
My flesh felt like it was on fire, shame heating my skin. I had rehearsed my interview answers for hours in front of the mirror, practiced finding a fixed point on Stark's face close enough to his eyes without actually having to stare into his all-knowing gaze and now I was going to pay for it. I'd be fired, but only after he had humiliated me to his satisfaction, ensuring that I was nothing more than a loser who couldn't get a job without lying and not some kind of corporate or foreign agent.
"Please." I squirmed, trying simultaneously to move away from him and press closer to his body. I knew he intended to flip my buttons, but only to terrify me into admitting everything. Instead, he was flipping every damn switch I had. Shame, fear and, more than anything, arousal coursed through me. "I needed the job, need to keep it. I've done well, too--"
It was the first time I'd heard Stark curse and I almost missed the change of tone in his voice. It had softened just the slightest fraction. Clearing his throat, he let go of me.
"Maybe you are telling the truth, Mia."
I nodded then remembered the room was almost unlit and the shadows around me had to be thick. "I am. Please let me explain it better."
I waited through another long minute of silence while he thought it over. When he responded, it wasn't what I expected.
"Drop your skirt."
I drew my hands close to my chest in refusal, my breathing speeding up. Aroused as I had been, I didn't want what he was suggesting, or what I thought he was suggesting. At least I didn't think I wanted it, despite the heat spreading low across my stomach.
"You have a very short timeframe in which to save your job, Mia." His hands found mine, his fingers wrapping around my wrists to drag them down by my hips. "I have to know I can trust you, have to bring you to a point where you're incapable of lying."
He released my hands. "Take off your skirt or leave."