The Secret (Billionaire Secrets Series, #1)(8)

By: Lexy Timms

It would take more than a dazzling smile to turn her head. Which is why she was willing to keep up the pretense that she had no idea who Simon was. Keeping her personal life and her professional life separate was paramount. That was especially true now that she was a single mom.

“What happened to your previous personal assistant?” she asked. Better to be blunt and get professional issues out in the open.

Simon frowned. Laced his fingers together and let out a deep, disappointed sigh. “He was disloyal.”

“Loyalty is important to you,” she said.

“Isn’t it important to everyone?” he asked.

She bit back the question she really wanted to ask. If loyalty meant so much to him, why had he dumped her out of the blue the summer before he went off to college? Simon had just graduated, but she still had another year of high school. They had agreed to stay together despite the distance. But then, he had broken up with her without warning. Broken her heart. Simon leaving her behind had been her first heartbreak. She wasn’t going to be that vulnerable again. Not ever.

“I suppose it is,” she said tersely.

“Well, you’ve got excellent references,” he said, looking at her reference letters. “I just wonder if you can be loyal to us after working with our rival for so many years.”

“I absolutely can,” she said. “I’m a team player. I’ll do what it takes to help you and Dover succeed. Including at your upcoming speech.” Her pulse quickened. Anxiety had already taken hold, but if she wanted this job she had to put herself out there and come out of her shell.

“We’ll have to conduct a background check,” he murmured.

Panic increased her heart rate. A background check meant he’d figure out that she was lying. He’d know that she was exactly who he thought she was. If she wanted this job, she couldn’t afford be caught in a lie this embarrassing. Heather swallowed hard. “The truth is, I’m the kind of employee who would rather separate their personal life from their professional life.”

“I feel the exact same way.” He stared at her. “It’s not going to be anything invasive. Just a standard check into your conduct at your previous job to make sure it all squares up with your resumé. I’m sure it does, so this is only a formality.”

Her mouth fell open. “So, you’re actually offering me the job? For real?”

Simon nodded. “Yes. For now. I’ll draw up a three-month contract, and if after three months we both want to continue we can set up a more permanent arrangement.”

“Don’t you need time to think about it?” she asked.

“No. When I want something, I get it.” His gaze was still on her, his eyes blazing with some indescribable heat. “My mind’s made up. I want you, Heather.”

Her entire body was tingling. His words and the way he was looking at her sent her heart racing again. The hunger in his eyes had to be her imagination. Nobody ever looked at her the way he was looking at her now. Like he wanted to devour her.

Never in a million years would she have believed the awkward boy she grew up next door to could say so much with his eyes alone. It was just in her head. The divorce was making her so sexually frustrated that she really imagined that her rich, handsome boss might be interested in her. Ridiculous.

“You don’t want to interview the third candidate?” she finally asked.

He shook his head. “Don’t need to. I know what I want.”

Fine. Two could play at that game. “When would you like me to start?”

“Today, if you can. I desperately need someone to start getting caught up and helping ASAP.”

Her eyes widened in disbelief. She had landed a job. Keeping her excitement in check, she said, “I’d love to.”

“Great. I’ll print out a contract.” He started working on his laptop.

As she waited for her new boss to print out her contract, her excitement gave way to renewed panic. Getting a job like this after the past year of being laid off and divorced was more than she could have ever hoped for. But now she had a real problem on her hands.

“I can’t wait to start working with you.”