The boss: (billionaire romance) (page 4)

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Pouring a glass of wine, she raised it in cheers to herself and the room.

“The bedroom!” She set the glass on the counter and hurried to check it out. Inside was a king size bed and a walk-in closet that was the same size as her room in her parents’ basement. An ensuite bathroom connected to the bedroom equipped with a Jacuzzi bath and a shower that could easily hold four people. Jamie almost grabbed her phone to thank Stephen. Then the oven dinged to say the temperature had reached the selected level and she went to put the pie in the oven. As it heated, she carried her boxes and belongings into the apartment.

She unpacked a few things while eating the delicious steak and potato pie, enjoying another glass of wine, followed by another. It was after midnight before she finally sank down on the luscious soft, but perfectly firm, bed just to close her eyes for a moment.

Chapter 6

Jamie woke up to the shrill ringing of her alarm. She got up in a daze and walked across the room to where she had stashed it in a plastic cup to amplify the sound. After switching it off, she looked around at her boxes to find the one she had marked with an “X” for her work clothes. She found it and was almost finished with her hair when her phone rang. She answered it quickly. “Hello?”

“I need you to bring two medium coffees, one black, one with three cream two sugars to the office. Don’t be late.” The line went dead before she could respond.

Jamie finished getting ready in a hurry, waiting for the GPS app on the phone to load so she could find the nearest coffee shop. She pulled her hair into a tight bun and grabbed her purse, hoping she hadn’t gotten the buttons on her blouse wrong in her hurry.

She walked into the office, juggling opening the door and holding the coffee tray with three coffees. The secretary, Gina Campbell, got up and took the tray from her. “I’ll show you to your desk real quick,” she said. “You got here just in time.”

Jamie’s desk was in a small office beside Alex’s. There was a connecting door between the two offices, as well as a door into the main area.  “Mr. Reid’s planner is in the top right-hand drawer. He’ll want you to sync your phone with his so you’ll know where he is and where you need to be at all times. I can show you around later, but right now you should go and deliver the coffees. He doesn’t like them to get cold.”

“Oh, isn’t one of them for you?” Jamie still hadn’t met any of the employees here, but since Gina worked the front office, she had assumed the coffee was for her.

Gina shook her head. “Girlfriend,” she whispered.

“Oh.” Jamie nodded. “Thanks.”

“They’re in his office now. Knock first.”

Jamie nodded. “Thanks!” She knocked on the connecting door as Gina went back to her desk outside.

“Come in,” Alex said quietly.

She opened the door and stepped inside. Alex sat at his desk while a very beautiful woman sat on top of his desk. She couldn’t have been bigger than a size four. She had perfect red curls spiralling down her back without any hint of fringe. She smiled cordially at Jamie, but Jamie could see the arrogance and general expression of distaste in the rest of her face.

Alex cleared his throat and she turned to look at him, her cheeks warm. “Coffee, sir.”

“The black one is mine,” he said. “The one with cream and sugar is Annette’s. Who’s the third one for?”

“That’s mine... Mr. Reid.” Jamie handed him the black coffee and gave Annette the other. Next time she’d make sure to leave her coffee on her desk. It looked like she was trying to join them.

“You definitely asked forthreecream andtwosugars, right?” Annette asked. “It tastes disgusting with any other combination.”

“Yes,” Jamie said, smiling sweetly.She could be Christine’s best friend.

Annette took a sip and wrinkled her nose. “It’ll do,” she said. “I’d prefer the coffee from Starbucks. Not Java crappy Joes.”

“That’s my fault,” Alex said. “I never specified.” He nodded at Jamie. “Thank you, Ms. Connors. Please put down a lunch meeting at Sinclair’s today at one and tea at The Grind at two fifteen. And remind me when I get back from tea to call Madison Bank to follow up on their offer. Not any earlier, though, because I’ll forget. Oh, and schedule a board meeting for tomorrow at five. Thank you.”

“Did you get all of that?” Annette asked, clearly sarcastic.

Jamie reviewed what Alex had said in her mind and then nodded. “Yes, thank you. Enjoy your coffee.” She turned and hurried to her desk.Enjoy your coffee? Weird? Lame? Unprofessional?It was hard for her to tell. There was always an air of professionalism in the places she had worked before but it wasn’t as formal as it was here. Then again, she had been the receptionist for a small town lawyer in a Midwest town of three hundred people while paying for college, and then worked for a three-star hotel before working as the secretary of Stephen’s father in a small advertising company for local businesses. Even the advertising company had been very laid-back because they were working with small business owners that didn’t need to be impressed.

This was an entirely different atmosphere.And I don’t even know what exactly they do here!She was sure that either Alex owned the company, or his family did. It was called Reid Enterprises after all. She glanced down at her flower-printed blouse and black slacks. She needed to go shopping. Alex’s girlfriend was a rail, Gina was a tall rake... What is it with skinny people?Jamie pushed the thought aside. She had a job to do and no way was she going to lose that amazing apartment.

Jamie sat down at the desk to write everything into his planner and made a mental note to always have the voice memo app on her cell phone running whenever he asked something of her.

Gina knocked on her opened door and stepped in. “I can give you the tour now, if you have a moment.”

“I think I do,” Jamie said.

Gina smiled. “It may seem scary at first, but Mr. Reid will go easy on you for the first few days while you’re settling in.”

Easy? Great.She wasn’t sure she wanted to see him when he was tough. “Just out of curiosity, what did his last personal assistant have trouble with? I just want to be a little more prepared when the kid gloves go off.”

Gina looked surprised. “You didn’t know? He’s never had a personal assistant before. He’s always managed everything himself.”

“Really?”

“Yes. I think he’s only noticing the strain of it now. To be honest, I don’t think he’s realized his business has tripled within the last three years, and he doesn’t see why he can’t handle everything by himself anymore.”

So Alex definitely owned the business. And ruled it with an iron fist, apparently.

Jamie’s cell phone began ringing on her desk where she’d set it. The sound of the music from the wicked witch of the west began playing in the room. It was Christine. 

“Go ahead, take it,” Gina said. “Just this once, though. Usually Mr. Reid prohibits all personal calls.”

“So sorry. It won’t happen again.” Jamie grabbed her phone and pressed it against her ear. “Hello?”

“Hey, Jamie, where did you put the catering menu?” Christine asked.

“You never gave me the catering menu. You said you and Stephen wanted to work it out yourself.”Because you didn’t want me to get hungry and binge-eat after seeing all of the gourmet foods on the menu.

“Oh, that’s right. What about the honeymoon brochures?”

“I’m at work. Can I call you back?”

“It’ll take you two seconds to answer. Less if you stop arguing.”

Jamie sighed and stared up at the high ceiling. “Bedroom desk, left drawer. I have to go.”

“You got a job?” Christine’s voice rose an octave “What the h—”

Jamie ended the call and quickly turned the phone on silent. “Sorry about that,” she said to Gina. “My sister’s getting married and is freaking out.”

“Been there. Done that. Twice, actually.” Gina smiled. “But seriously, make sure Mr. Reid doesn’t catch you taking personal calls. He’s very strict about following the rules and working with the utmost efficiency.”

Jamie nodded. She could understand that. The hard part would be trying to get her sister, who had never worked a day in her life, to understand that.

Gina took her around several floors of the building. Everyone she met was polite but distant. They all were very busy so Gina and Jamie did their best not to disturb them.

The last stop was at the base of the building. A workout gym took up the entire basement, lined with different equipment as well as two locker-rooms, a pool, and a sauna. It was the scariest thing yet. Jamie didn’t do gyms. She spent her life trying to hide away from working out in public. Now she had the excuse of being too busy to use it.

“Well, that’s about it.” Gina smiled. “Me and some of the others meet at the bar across the street for drinks on Wednesdays. It’s to get through hump day.” Gina laughed. “You’re welcome to join us.”

Jamie smiled. “Sounds like fun.” She pulled her phone out of her pocket to check the time. There were five missed calls from Christine and two missed calls from Alex. Her heart skipped a beat as she realized how much trouble she could be in. “I have to get back to my office. Alex—Mr. Reid’s been trying to get a hold of me.”

Gina nodded. “Let’s go. We can take the stairs, it’ll be quicker.”

Jamie bit her tongue from arguing that the elevator would be quicker for her.

Alex looked less than happy when Jamie came up, out of breath and her face flushed. “Why didn’t you answer my calls?” he asked.

“My phone was off so my sister couldn’t call me during work hours.”

“Why would she call you when she knows that you’re working?”

Jamie simply handed him the phone. He looked at the screen with the missed phone call notifications and swore quietly. He pulled out his wallet and handed her a credit card. “Get yourself a business phone at the end of the day. I need you to accompany me to my meeting this morning and to take notes.”

“Yes, sir,” Jamie said as she tried finger brushing the stray hairs that had escaped her bun away. “When’s the meeting?”

“Right now.” He frowned and checked his watch. “Grab your tablet.”

“Tablet?” She turned to find a brand new tablet with detachable keyboard on her desk.

“They’re easier to travel with than a computer.” Alex handed her a folder. “Keep this available. When I ask for a paper, hand it to me.”

“Yes, sir.” She slipped the folder in the small Kate Spade tablet holder and followed Alex out the door.

––––––––

Jamie didn’t have another moment to think for the rest of the day. Every time she finished a task, Alex had six more for her. When she wasn’t attending meetings, typing up reports or filling out paperwork, she had to consult with Gina about Alex’s schedule. Appointments came from Alex and also through Gina. It was clear that Alex was a much wanted man. Jamie couldn’t see how Alex kept up with it. She definitely didn’t see howshewas going to keep up with it all.

She and Alex stayed later than everyone else. He wanted to go over the next day’s schedule with her. And give her clothes to drop off at the dry cleaners. By the time Jamie headed home, she was exhausted. And hungry. Even though Alex had bought takeout for himself and offered to get some for her, she declined. She had read somewhere that eating less at night and more in the morning would make you lose weight faster, and figured it would be for the best. She was beginning to regret it now, though. Food sounded damn good.

She stopped at a phone kiosk to pick up an Apple phone similar to the one she’d seen Alex using today. She ran his credit card to pay and wondered if the clerk would require her to have proof for it. If he did, she wouldn’t have the energy to argue with him. Luckily he didn’t. He even helped her add the contacts from the tablet to her phone. When he suggested adding her personal phone she shook her head. No way! She didn’t need her sister calling forty times a day. She didn’t have time for it.

She drove back to the large mansion house, still not sure what it fully looked like in the day and used the gate pass Alex had given her early in the day to open the gate. She pulled into the same spot she’d parked in last night and wondered if Alex and his girlfriend were somewhere in the house.

She opened her car door to find Alex rounding the corner of the house. He spotted her before she could hide. “Good evening, Ms. Connors,” he said, smiling.

“What’re you doing here?” she blurted out.Damn it, Jamie. Don’t be rude! It’s his bloody house!

Alex just looked amused, which made Jamie even more embarrassed. “I live here,” he said. He smirked. “I actually own the house here, too.”

She stood there, too embarrassed to respond. Of course he lived here.

Alex continued when he realized she didn’t know what to say. “You must be tired, Ms. Connors,” he said. “Let me walk you to your apartment.”

“No, I’m fine, really, Mr. Reid,” she said. “You don’t have to walk me.”

“I insist,” he said. “You’re exhausted and besides, you only moved in yesterday. I assume the apartment is satisfactory for you?”

“It’s fine.”Fine?She crushed the heel of her hand against her forehead. “It’s fantastic. Sorry. I haven’t had much time to unpack.” She kept her eyes to the ground wishing Murray were there instead of Alex. She felt awkward and shy. This was his house and she was living on the main floor, overlooking the pool. That’s where he’d been. She realized his hair was wet and the t-shirt and shorts he wore were dripping. She licked her lips and shot a glance out of the corner of her eye. Dressed in a suit or casual, the man had an air about him. Hot, hot—Focus, Jamie, focus!

She never did like seeing her bosses out of work, even in meetings as innocent as this. She had read too many of Christine’s collection of trashy romances growing up to ever feel comfortable with it.

Alex didn’t seem to notice though. “When’s your sister’s wedding?”

“Why?”

He smiled. “I have to make sure you have that week off.”

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