Trust (Billionaire Secrets Series, #4)

By: Lexy Timms

Billionaire Secrets Series, Volume 4

Chapter 1

For the first time in his adult life, Simon Diesel was free. A free agent with no obligations. No shareholders or investors breathing down his neck. No board members shooting down his ideas.

So why the hell was he walking back into the Dover Inc. building on a Monday morning when he’d rather be having an early-morning phone call with the woman he loved?

Why indeed.

He pressed the elevator button in irritation, impatient to get this morning over with. Taking his private elevator up to the thirty-seventh-floor conference room was probably presumptuous, considering he was no longer Dover’s CEO, but the reason was simple. The private elevator was faster. One of the rare perks he’d allowed himself to enjoy once in a while. Except for the one time he tried to get on the regular elevator with Heather. He grinned. It was worth the slow ride then. He cleared his throat and any emotion from his face as the car dinged to indicated he’d arrived at the correct floor.

When the shiny doors slid open, he stepped out and made his way to the conference room. Simon stepped inside and found that the board had already gathered. The board members all turned to stare at him, their gazes filled with anxiety. Some of the department heads, like company media relations officer Linda Schaffer, were also present. They looked even more anxious.

His eyes scanned the room. Frowning, he asked, “Where’s Heather?”

“Right here.” Her soothing voice came from behind him.

He turned around to face her and she hurried into the board room.

“Good morning everyone.” She paused when her gaze fell on him and a blush stole up her cheeks. “Simon.”

His heart started to pound at the sight of her. “Good morning, Heather.” He probably sounded like a smitten fool, but he didn’t care if the board was present. Let them see. Let them see how much he loved her. How much he was ready to sacrifice for her.

Heather took a seat beside Linda, forgoing her chance to sit next to him. Clearly, she wanted to keep things professional despite the craziness of the past week.

And what a week it had been. Everett Eastman, one of Dover’s senior board members, had been arrested last week in this very room. The arrest had sent shockwaves through the tech industry and the resulting panic had roiled the stock market. Dover stock had taken a serious hit, and while Simon was deeply sympathetic for all of Dover’s staff they were no longer his responsibility.

The world might still be talking about Everett’s arrest, but all he had been focused on was his relationship with Heather. After he had stepped down as CEO, so he would be free to pursue a relationship with her, Simon hadn’t actually been able to see her.

The arrest and the subsequent media storm had forced them to avoid being seen together in public, so they had relied on video conferencing and phone calls to stay in touch. For Simon that wasn’t enough, and seeing her now was making his pulse race like nothing ever had before.

Simon took his usual seat at the head of the table. He probably didn’t have the right to sit there now that he was no longer CEO, but it was a habit he couldn’t seem to break. At least, not yet.

“Thank you for coming, Simon,” Agnes Morton said from her seat beside him.

He gave her a grim nod. “You’re welcome.”

It looked like the board had made Agnes their unofficial spokeswoman, which made sense considering how many years she had put into Dover. She was just as respected as Everett had been, though she had been nothing like Everett. Her style had been to work behind the scenes, keep her cards close to the vest. Nobody could accuse Agnes of trying to hog the spotlight the way Everett had.

Agnes cleared her throat and reached for the glass of water in front of her. After taking a sip she said, “These past few days haven’t been easy for Dover. So I appreciate every single one of you coming in this morning.”

“These short-notice meetings seem to have become something of a habit.” Simon stole a glance at Heather, his heart hammering as their eyes met. At first, he thought she was going to avert her gaze, but she didn’t. There was a warmth in her eyes that reminded him that he had agreed to endure this meeting for her.