How (Not) To Be Seduced By Billionaires (Books 1-3)(10)

By: Marian Tee

I am not going to look for Constantijin Kastein.

It was a mantra I repeated in my mind continuously when I made my way to the 34/F reception area of the executive offices of Kastein Inc. The girl behind the front desk, Megan, smiled at me warmly. She looked young and bubbly, but she, too, was dressed in black, and it was proof that I had made the right decision to shop for an all-black corporate wardrobe. In this office, any other color could probably get me tagged as Al-Qaeda or something equally horrible and to be avoided at all costs.

“Ms. Everleigh?”

“That’s me. Is Ms. Charli in already?”

“Yes. She’ll appreciate that you’re early. Let me take you to her now.” Megan escorted me to the very same conference room that I had the highest-lowest point in my life. I was already blushing the moment I entered the room, the same sense of shame attacking me when I recalled the older woman’s look of shock upon seeing me in her boss’s arms.

God. The memory made me feel like a slut.

Constantijin was nowhere in sight – not that I was looking or anything. Only one woman was inside the room, and boy, did she look scary! She made Vogue’s Anna Wintour look positively warm.

She stood up the moment I entered, looking svelte in her black buttoned up polo, which was worn over a black-and-white striped turtleneck and paired with a leather-belted mini and black stockings.

The overall impact was phenomenal.

Wow was all I could think.

“Hello, Yanna. My name is Charli – without an E – and you will be reporting to me.” Her voice was very, very cultured, with the slightest hint of a French accent.

She was terrifying. I was tempted to run away, but only the prospect of working in my dream job kept me in place. I shook her hand gingerly and winced at the tiny tremble in my voice as I said, “Hello, Ms. Charli. I’d just like you to know how excited I am to work for you and the company.”

“Just Charli, ma belle.”

I nodded dumbly and gratefully took the seat she indicated with a wave of her well-manicured hand.

“Now, you know what Kastein company is?”

“Yes.” I recited what I learned from the Web, which was pretty much everything since I had a photographic memory. “It’s one of the fastest growing companies in Europe and North America. It specializes in real estate and entertainment. Mr. Erik Kastein concentrates on real estate while his son Constantijin Kastein concentrates on turning books and mangas into blockbuster movies and TV series.” I didn’t want to sound like I was trying to impress her or anything, even though I really was. I just wanted to make sure she knew I wasn’t taking this interview lightly.

“That’s right. Magnifique,” she murmured with a beautiful smile. “Now, we’ve hired you to be our marketing specialist.”

I blinked. “I thought you were just looking for a researcher.”

“True,” Charli replied. “But your research will be both textual and on-field. The thing is, we’re not really interested about where you’ve graduated, what your degree is, or even where you worked previously.”

I straightened at her words, now even more confused.

“What we were really interested about was your ability to meet business talents with your main passion. And that’s reading, no?”

It took me a while to adjust to her French, umm, verbal peculiarities. She said ‘no’, but what she really meant was ‘yes’…yes?

I finally nodded. “Err, yes, I love to read.”

Her face remained unsmiling as she asked, “But you can’t write to save your life, no?”

The way Charli said it made me wince, but it was true. “Yes.”

“And that’s why we need you. We are not interested in hiring writers. They are often biased and egoistical, often unable to appreciate anyone else’s writing over theirs. But you - you know how to judge books and writing without being a writer yourself and that’s why we need you.”

“I see.” But I didn’t.

“This is what you’d call a dream job, ma belle.”

I jerked in my seat at her words.

The words sounded eerie, more like a curse than a blessing.

Charli leaned close. “Your main job is to know and if you could, predict, what the trend in the market is right now regarding these materials. You need to look for projects worthy of international viewership. You have a blog, no?”

The sudden switch of subjects made my head whirl a bit but I nodded again.

“And you review works, there, no?”

“Yes.” Did she Google me too? How did she know so much about me?

“So I want you to do the same here, but only this time, you get heard.” She leaned back on her chair and looked at me with her naturally green and incredibly sharp eyes. “You will take the job, no?”

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