The Secret (Billionaire Secrets Series, #1)(3)

By: Lexy Timms

A knock on his office door made him lift his head. “Come in.”

Linda poked her head it. “It was Xander, wasn’t it?”

“Close the door,” Simon instructed.

She did as she was told and walked over to him. Placing a hand on his shoulder, she exhaled loudly. “You did the right thing.”

“Did I?” He grimaced, feeling the twinge of one of his famous headaches coming on. “I know it had to be done, but it felt damn awful.”

“Now you know what it feels like,” she murmured.

“Part of me wanted to slug him. The other part wanted to shake him and ask why. I just can’t believe it,” Simon said. “Xander has been a loyal employee for years.”

“How long has he been giving out company secrets?”

Simon shrugged. “I’ve got a lawyer on the case now who is digging into it. I hope to hell it hasn’t been from the beginning.” He sighed, feeling older than he should. “I’m sure the police will come down hard on him soon enough.”

“How’re you feeling?” Linda asked. “Want to take the morning off? How about the whole day?”

Truth was, if he had time to do irritating things like process emotions he would have to admit that the discovery was devastating. And he wasn’t exactly friends with Xander. Simon didn’t have time for friends. Didn’t have time for relationships in general.

Sure, there were a few women here and there, but he liked being a bachelor just fine. There wasn’t enough room in his head or his life for anything other than running Dover, Inc. Besides, if he hadn’t met the woman he was supposed to settle down with by now, he figured it was never going to happen.

His temples throbbed. The headache was coming on fast. Simon shot to his feet. Discovering that Xander had been disloyal was one hell of a blow, but he had to put it behind him. Push forward. Find a replacement for his personal assistant. Someone he could trust. How the hell was he going to that? And fast? “I don’t have time to slow down. My big speech at the inter-company conference is next week and I’ve just lost my PA.”

“Are you ready to hire somebody?” Linda asked.

“I need to, but how am I going to get someone on such short notice? Someone qualified and trustworthy. Before the news hits the press on who was responsible.”

Lindo grinned knowingly.

Actually, kind of smugly. Simon knew that look. She was up to something. “What?”

Her grin expanded into a smile. “I’m interviewing candidates for my own personal assistant. Remember how we discussed that I now need someone since the company’s grown? I’ve gone through about thirty applicants and narrowed it down to three. Of all days, and scheduled times, I have them today,” Linda replied. “Interview my three candidates and pick one of them. I can choose from the other two.”

“Sounds a bit too convenient if you ask me.”

She laughed. “You don’t have to interview them. I’d rather pick first, but since you’re in a bit of a rut...”

“I’ll interview them. But I can’t promise you anything. Chances are—”

“Chances are, one of them might just work for you,” she interrupted.

Simon sighed. It was going to be one hell of a long day. “Thanks, Linda. I appreciate it.” Thanking anyone this profusely was rare for him. Linda was a bit of a mother figure for him, though he would never admit such a thing out loud. She was the closest thing he had to a friend, and he had probably scared the hell out of her earlier. “I’m sorry I had to be so hard on you. You understand, don’t you? I can’t play favorites.”

Linda waved her hand dismissively. “Water under the bridge. It’s time to get back to work. I’ll email you the list of the PA candidates and send the first one in to be interviewed within the hour.”

“Great. Thanks again.”

She ducked out of the room, and within minutes Simon checked his email for Linda’s message. He scanned the list of names, his eyes falling on one.

Heather Hall. He had no idea who that was, but the name Heather always stirred something in him. Reminded him of a girl back in high school. Simon had thought of her often. Just fleeting memories of good times. He was grateful she’d been the one person during his childhood who had seen something in him that he didn’t even know he had.