The Irish Prince (The Billionaire Dynasties)(7)

By: Virginia Nelson


Waverley smiled at her, placing the coffee cup carefully on Chelsea’s desk and only sloshing a little onto the shining, ass print-free mahogany. “Pepperoni.”



Aiden

Once Margo picked up Waverley, promising to bring her back on Friday with her bags packed for the trip and to call him for details in the meantime, Aiden tried to turn the day back to business as usual.

Then again, with Chelsea glaring at him, it was really hard to pretend nothing unusual had happened. He sat behind his desk, she was seated on the other side, and he carefully kept the laptop open between them to block her view of his face.

Not that it worked, but he was trying.

“Okay, regarding the Landon project…did we get the numbers back on that from Greg, or are we still waiting?” He was pleased at his tone—normal, businesslike, completely modulated. He could handle this. He handled everything else.

And to think, his biggest problem only days ago was that he was bored with how easy life had become. He’d trade his left nut to go back to bored, compared to the chaos in his mind at this point.

“Greg got us the numbers, and I have them in front of me. In one click, I can email them to you, and we can both go over them. But if you think for one second we’re not going to talk about me quitting before we get to work, you have got another thing coming, buddy.” Chelsea’s normally calm features weren’t calm at all.

If anything, she looked passionate. Filled with fire. Hell, if he were honest, she looked kind of hot, all pissed off like that.

Then again, his assistant never really lost her cool normally. She might get frustrated with him, but regardless of his shenanigans, she maintained a mostly calm demeanor. She’d never worn anything except for the same kind of suit, just in different colors, in all the years he’d known her. Did she own a pair of jeans? Did she have a pair of fuzzy slippers? What was the woman like when she wasn’t at work?

Why was he wondering about all of that now? Oh, yeah, because she said she was quitting. All the mysteries about her that he’d never really wondered about before might never be solved. To top matters off, he’d convinced her to go on a trip with him and his daughter that crossed the country. Well, he’d find out about the jeans, he was pretty sure.

“Are you ignoring me?” she asked.

“No, I’m pulling up the numbers from the ad campaign, because we do have a lot of work to get done today. All personal things need to be set aside, especially if we’re going to be out of the office for more than a week.” He tapped on his keyboard, but he wasn’t writing anything. He was just hitting the home row keys repeatedly, hoping to fool her.

“More than a week?” she squeaked. “I figured we would fly out there, maybe stay the weekend, and be back here for work on Monday. Yeah, we really need to talk about this so I can know what you have planned before you tote me across the country.”

He snapped his laptop closed. Okay, she was presenting a challenge, but he would win back control of the situation. “Chelsea, you will be paid well for doing this for me. If you insist, I will even agree to letting you leave your position early with full pay. That’s one week of service as my assistant, or my nanny, or whatever you want to call it. And then you’re done. I get that it is above and beyond the call of duty; however, I will make it worth your while. Don’t stress it. We’ll drive there. I’ll get to know my kid. You can play with rocks with her or whatever. This isn’t a big deal.”

She slapped her tablet onto the desk and, surprisingly, the screen didn’t shatter at the force of the impact. Without a word, she spun on her heel to head for the door.

He was up before he really thought through the implications of running after her, but he managed to snag her arm before she could make it out the door. It struck him that he’d never actually touched his assistant before. Well, he was sure they’d shaken hands at some point when he’d hired her, but he never touched her since then. The feel of her arm in his hand sent sparks up to his wrist. This was Chelsea.

The woman he spent more time with than anyone else in his life, either personal or business. She was as close to a friend as he actually had, even if their relationship was strictly that of an employee and employer. Surely, she’d understand.

Then again, if someone had asked him yesterday if she wasn’t satisfied with her job, he would’ve said they’d be together until she retired. Showed how much he knew…

“Look, I should’ve said that differently. I’m sorry.”

He meant the words and wasn’t entirely surprised when she tilted her head back to look at him. “This isn’t my job. It never has been, and it certainly isn’t now that I’m gone in two weeks. I’m doing it for you and Waverley.”