The Billionaire's Hotline

By: Cara Nelson
Men of the Capital Series – Book 1

Chapter 1


“Wait—you want me to be a pimp?” Miss Hollingford demanded.

“Certainly not. What gave you that impression?” Jasper Cates said, appalled. Everything about the hiring process had been appalling so far.

“The ad said ‘social secretary’ and I thought it sounded quaint, like you were gonna be Cary Grant or something. But from what you’re telling me, you want to hire me to get you women. That’s a pimp.”

Jasper Cates narrowly avoided rolling his eyes at her theatrics. This was why he ordinarily left the interviews to his HR department. Considering the sensitivity of this position and the fact that he would work closely with his social secretary, he had cleared a block of time in his busy schedule to review the applicants himself. Clearly, this was a mistake.

“Ms. Hollingford, obviously the Cates Corporation did not advertise for a procuress in the field of human trafficking. The job description requires a certain subtlety that I feel is not a good fit for your skill set. Thank you for your time.” He rose to shake her hand dismissively.

“Explain it to me,” she said, remaining obstinately seated. “Describe the difference between what you’re asking me to do and what a pimp does.”

“The women will not receive financial compensation. You will not be permitted to wear leather vests and copious gold jewelry to the office, as it is unprofessional.” She snorted, and Jasper thought there might be hope for her yet. He took a photo from his file.

“This is what I’m looking for.”

“Cameron Diaz? I know you have billions, but I’m thinking she’ll say no and maybe sue you for harassment.” Her eyebrows shot up. No wonder her fiancé tried to stop her from applying to this company—the CEO had a reputation for being ruthless and a little…off-center to say the least.

“Not the actress herself, obviously. She’s much too old. It is a general physical type—blond, tan, athletic with great legs and a happy temper. You or your chosen agent will distribute disposable phones to women fitting this description with the understanding that they will come to a meeting set up by text message.”

“My job is to find your fetishistic blondes and set up booty calls for you,” she deadpanned.

“The rendezvous will be at a restaurant or bar, where I will determine through interaction if she is suitable.”

“Is there a talent competition?”

“Are you being deliberately obtuse?” he said, exasperated.


“Are you capable of civility?”

“Yes. When warranted.”

“Good. Because despite your attitude, you are the only candidate for this job I’m willing to consider.”

“You don’t even like me. And I’m not overly fond of your phone scam.”

“It isn’t necessary that I like you. I’ve made a successful career out of following my gut, and my instinct is that you’re trustworthy. You’re also the only applicant who didn’t come here to audition for the lead in Cinderella. The previous three seemed to think that revealing an unprofessional amount of cleavage would get them a diamond ring and my American Express card.”

“Are you looking for a wife?”

“No. I’m looking for a lover, a long-term relationship with a beautiful, presentable, intelligent woman. My time is too valuable to spend in clubs weeding through the masses to find one or two potential mates. That’s where you come in. Go to coffee shops and gyms and pass out phones to anyone who seems likely. These are the rules: Age range twenty-one to thirty. Blonde. Athletic. No one who’s married. No one with kids. No one who seems dumb. No gold-diggers.”

“Do I administer a personality probe? Will the MMPI be sufficient?” Miss Hollingford glared slightly but she was taking notes.

“Just a DNA swab and a background check.” He smirked, and when she laughed, he knew he’d hire her. She was just the sort of no-nonsense woman he would have wished for in a sister. That made her the perfect matchmaker for his needs.

“I ain’t looking for a Cinderella story. I already got my man.” She flashed a modest engagement ring. “And persnickety rich boys aren’t my scene.” She grinned at his startled expression and felt oddly maternal toward him. He was a persnickety rich boy who needed someone to look after him.

“Shannon, my assistant, will give you some petty cash for the phones and certain incidental expenses and set you up with my calendar so you can get started. It’s within the budget to hire someone else to give out the phones, which I’ll leave to your discretion. Your other duties will include sending gifts and flowers to business associates at times. Until this project is underway, you can help Shannon out and familiarize yourself with the computer system.” He signed off on the hiring form and dispatched her to HR to complete paperwork.

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