The Irish Prince (The Billionaire Dynasties)(8)

By: Virginia Nelson

How had he never noticed the delicate dance of freckles across her nose before? Her eyes, something he never paid much attention to previously, were a warm chocolate brown. She was close enough that he smelled a teasing bit of her perfume—something musky with hints of vanilla—and his pulse sped in a way that it shouldn’t.

Not for his assistant.

But he only said, “I get that. Thank you. I just don’t know how to connect with her yet, and I think it will be easier if I have someone familiar…” The word wasn’t quite right, but he shook his head. “With us. She likes you. I like you. Thank you for agreeing to come. When we get back, you can interview a couple of candidates, train one up, and I’ll release you from employment without further argument. I’ll get you a copy of the email when I send it to Margo with all the travel plans, okay?”

She gnawed her bottom lip, and his eyes traced over that tempting bit of flesh. If she were any other woman, he might kiss her to further coerce her to agree. But she was Chelsea, smart and savvy, and that kind of nonsense wouldn’t work with her.

Not to mention how quickly she’d storm to HR to report him for harassment.

He released her arm and leaned on the door, putting him in closer proximity to that tantalizing perfume she was wearing. It reminded him of candy—something delicious and decadent that would melt in his mouth as he devoured it.

“I’ll keep an eye out for the email, but I’ll need the day before we leave off work for packing and preparing to be gone. I’ll bring my laptop, so I can work remote while we’re gone and—”

“No,” he interrupted. That fire—that teasing sense of something below the calm waters of her gaze—erupted again in her expression. Some perverse part of him longed to frustrate her further, just to see if it would ignite into a full-blown conflagration. But he continued, “You can take the time off work. Consider it paid vacation, but it won’t subtract from the days you have accumulated so far this year. Sound fair?”

She shrugged, and this close, she nearly brushed his chest with her arm. “Fine.” She put her hand on the door handle and added, “I’m taking a long lunch. I’ll be back later.”

With that, she left his office and closed the door gently behind her.

He didn’t know what he’d do without her. She kept so much of his life sane, was an integral part of his company. Yet, for a second, he kind of wished she wasn’t his assistant. How interesting would it be to get to know her as a woman rather than as an employee? She was fascinating.

Then again, he was probably just seeking a distraction, any distraction, from the situation with Waverley and Margo, so better not to go down that path.

Better to do what he always did—focus on work. Plan how to best control the situation and make it all go in his favor.

For some reason, the thrill of finessing a situation escaped him, though. He chalked it up to lack of sleep and went back to his desk to get some things done before Chelsea returned from her lunch.

Chapter Four


The racks of brightly colored clothes should’ve been a distraction, but all Chelsea could think about was the fact that, in a few short hours, she’d be sleeping under the same roof as Aiden Kelley, her boss at Kelley Enterprises.

And one of the most notorious billionaires in the country, if not the world. The man was sex on legs, yet she was supposed to “consider it a severance vacation”—per his orders—and enjoy a trip with him and his daughter. Life really didn’t get more surreal than what she faced right that second.

And the worst part? She couldn’t even tell anyone it was happening. If the media got wind of this trip, their every step would be dogged by photographers. Not a big deal for her, but she guessed neither Margo Welles nor Aiden would want pictures of their daughter splattered over the headlines. Especially since Margo had apparently managed to keep the girl pretty hidden for this long… Aiden couldn’t afford for her to become the focus of the paparazzi on his first visit.

So Chelsea couldn’t say a word. Even if it was killing her and the only thing she wanted to do was spill all of it to her best friend Kimmie. Then she could ask her what she would do, how she would handle it, and maybe get some advice. Any advice, really, at this point would be welcome.

Kimmie held up a cute flowered tank top. “How about this?”

Although she loved it, the pattern was too much. She considered herself a simple woman, wearing mostly muted colors, and technically this was a work trip. A weird work trip, and her last, but still…a work trip no less.