My First Time with Dad's Billionaire Boss(5)

By: Lia Lee

“What types of administrative tasks?” Poppy asks.

“Answering phones, filing, running errands, coffee and lunch runs for myself and the staff. You’ll also assist with the installation of our upcoming exhibit and see more of the behind-the-scenes work that goes along with launching an exhibit like this one.”

“From what I read online, you have a fairly small staff,” she says, and I’m pleased. My last intern barely knew what we did here.

“Yes, it’s myself and my curator, Roberto. We have your father on staff, of course, two people on maintenance, and my administrative assistant, Jeanette, but she’s currently on maternity leave, so you probably won’t meet her.”

“Good timing for an intern, huh?” she asks with a quirk of her lips, and I laugh.

“It does seem to work out for me, doesn’t it?” She gives a small laugh, and the sound of it makes my gut twist. It’s a soft, almost breathy sound, but I have a feeling that if she were comfortable and relaxed, she’d have one of those great, loud, belly laughs. Another thing I want to make her do.

Why am I like this? I don’t even know this young woman, and I’ve already got a running list of experiences I want to have with her, and not all of them center around what I’d like to do with her in my bed. I need to get my head straight.

“Your father is a good man. I don’t know what I’d do without him,” I tell her. That should do it. Bring her dad into it.

She smiles, but it seems a little strained. “He’ll be happy to hear that. I know he likes working for you. He wouldn’t have even suggested me interning for you if he didn’t.”

“Protective dad, huh?” I ask, and she nods with a smile.

“Sometimes,” she says, and there’s that strained smile again. I wonder if she and Bruce get along as well as he’d led me to believe.

“Can you tell me a bit about your educational background and fields of interest?” I ask, glancing over the resume and transcripts she’s provided, and which I had waiting on my desk for this meeting with her.

She launches into a rundown of her focused areas of study, which, I'm happy to find, match up with some of my own interests. She’s gotten exemplary grades, and she’s already spent some time volunteering in art museums here in NYC, which speaks to her drive and passion for this kind of work.

After she finishes, I nod. “This volunteer work at the Met… was that part of a school assignment?”

She shakes her head. “No. I started volunteering there my junior year of high school. At first, I worked in the museum gift shop and the coat check, but over time, they started trusting me to be a gallery docent, which was a lot of fun.”

“So, this was something you did on your own?” I affirm.

“Yes. All of my friends wondered why in the world I would choose to spend my weekends and school vacations in an art museum,” she says with a laugh, and I like her a little more.

“Well, I don’t see anything weird about that.”.

“Let me guess. You did the same thing,” she says.

“Obviously. They didn’t know what they were missing. Nothing quite like answering the same question about your least favorite piece of art in the gallery for the forty-third time in a day.”

She laughs, then, a real laugh, and I was right—it’s perfect. Loud, clear, and she has a dimple on one cheek when she smiles wide.

I glance down at her paperwork again. I need to get myself together here. This woman is distracting as hell, and I don’t have time to be distracted. Or the desire to be distracted, for that matter. I’d told myself after Danneel died that there would never be another woman who turned me on even half as much as she had. But now… now my carnal instincts are betraying me.

If I didn’t have such a nice view of Poppy’s legs, avoiding distraction might be easier. Her legs are crossed, and the skirt she’s wearing has ridden up her thighs, just a little. So what was a fairly proper, just above knee-length, skirt when she was standing, now gives me a nice view of a smooth, lush expanse of thigh, which only makes me think more about what’s between those thighs.

I take a deep breath, and we spend more time going over her coursework, and she asks a few questions about the gallery.

“Did you always know you wanted your own gallery, or did you want to go into preservation or curation?” she asks.

No one ever asks questions like that. My admiration for Poppy rises a little more every time she speaks, and her personality paired with her beauty is a lethal combination.

“I always knew I wanted a gallery. There’s a certain satisfaction in curating as well, and I did some of that early in my career, but owning a place like this, being able to offer a personal touch to both the artist and my clients… that’s a thrill. And you can’t get more intimate, in terms of art curation, than providing a space like this and getting to experience the art up close, getting to know the artists and help bring their visions to life.”