My First Time with Dad's Billionaire Boss(8)

By: Lia Lee


One thing I’ve learned—aside from the fact that he’s gorgeous and absolutely knows his business—is that he has a dry sense of humor. That’s like my own personal version of Kryptonite. Added to the rest of the package, it’s like some kind of cruel joke that one man ticks every single one of my “oh my God, I want him” checkboxes, and he’s my boss.

The universe has a messed up sense of humor.

I’m at the reception desk, typing up an invoice for a client who purchased two pieces from the gallery, when Nathaniel walks around the desk and stands behind me. I hear him shuffling through some paperwork on the credenza.

“Are you looking for something?”

“There was a printer’s proof of the catalog for the upcoming exhibit that came in yesterday.”

“I put it on your desk, along with the rest of the items that needed your attention from that giant, towering stack of mess. The catalog is on top.”

He gives a little chuff of a laugh. “It wasn’t that bad.”

“There were invoices and letters from two months back,” I tell him, glancing back to see him inspecting the newly-organized credenza. “I purged anything that looked like junk mail, but if I wasn’t sure, I put it on your stack.”

“Our receptionist has been out for nine weeks now,” he tells me.

“Yeah, I figured.”

He gives another small laugh. “This looks a lot better.”

“The drawers were all holding a jumble of garbage. I did not expect to find junk drawers in an upscale gallery.”

He grins, and my stomach does this stupid little flip. I try to ignore it. “So, I threw away some of the stuff,” I continue, “but I consolidated the rest of the little bits and pieces and other stuff into the drawer on the left. The other two drawers are kind of inboxes for you and Roberto so that everything doesn’t end up in a big pile again, and so you don’t have to sort through a bunch of stuff to find something.”

He opens the drawers and starts looking through them. “Are you always this organized?”

“Always.”

He gives me another small smile and nods. “I appreciate this. I spend too much time looking for things, and I hate clutter, but there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Jeannette is a lot better than Roberto and me at keeping up with it. I didn’t fully realize how much we depended on her until she started her maternity leave.”

“Sounds like she deserves a raise when she gets back,” I tease, and he laughs.

“She probably does,” he admits. “Want to come with me and grab a bite? Roberto can hold down the fort for an hour or so. And I feel like saying thank you for getting this place in order.”

“That’s not necessary,” I tell him, and he waves it off.

“Nonetheless. Shall we? I was thinking of that little French bistro at the end of the block, but if you’d prefer something else, we can do that, too.”

I nod, ignoring the fluttery feeling in my stomach. It would be so easy to start to think of this as a date—a date with the most gorgeous man I’ve ever seen—and that would be a really dumb idea.

“I’ll grab my bag, and we can go,” I tell him, and he nods and goes back to looking through the newly-established junk drawer.

I make my way to the small storage room at the back of the gallery and grab my bag, then quickly touch up my lipstick and make sure my hair isn’t sticking up at any weird angles. If I can stop being all “teenage girly” around him, this would be a good chance to convince him to let me do more actual curator-related work. I’d love to shadow either him or Roberto while they work— to get a real feel for how they spend their days—but I don’t want to be annoying. I thought to bring it up with Roberto, but Nathaniel is the one who’s the boss, so I really should ask him instead.

Not a date. Lunch meeting with my boss, who I need a recommendation from once this is all over. Keep your head in the game, I tell myself as I take one more look at my reflection in the small mirror near where we store our coats and other personal items. I give myself a firm nod, then turn and walk toward the front of the gallery. Nathaniel is waiting there, and he gives me a small smile as I approach.

“We’ll be back soon, Roberto. Do you want anything?” Nathaniel asks.

“Nah, I’m good. Have a good lunch,” Roberto says without looking up from whatever it is he’s working on. Nathaniel opens the door and steps aside, waving me forward.

And he’s a gentleman. Of course he is, I think.

We walk side by side down the street, with traffic roaring past us and other pedestrians walking by. We’re not in a hurry, and I’m glad. I steal a glance over at Nathaniel. He’s donned a pair of dark sunglasses, and while I kind of miss being able to see his eyes, I have to admit that he’s one of those men who just seem to look good in everything. I can smell his cologne, and it’s a scent that already seems to have permeated into my soul.