Bride for the Billionaire Silver Fox – Kate Tilney

GENEVIEVE The phone on my desk rings. Line 1 lights up and my heart skips a beat. It’s my boss. It’s not unusual to have a reaction when your boss calls. I’ve talked to other personal assistants. They all say they feel something every time they see their boss’s name pop up on their phone or in their email. Of course, their response is more like a jolt of panic. Like when you’re on one of those rides that shoots you high up in the air before it suddenly drops you and you’re in a free fall. I never feel like I’m plummeting to my death when Rafael—I mean Mr. Rodrigo—calls. It’s more like butterflies in my belly with the occasional tingling in my lady parts. If you saw my boss, you’d understand. If you heard how deep his voice gets when he says my name, you’d be on the same page. If you caught a whiff of his spicy musk or felt the warmth of his hand as it envelops yours, your panties would get wet too. After working here for a year, you’d think I’d be over this little crush, but I’m not.


And it is just a crush. A completely one-sided one. Rafael—Mr. Rodrigo—is way too professional to so much as flirt with an employee, let alone bend her over his desk and make her his. I squeeze my thighs together. I’d better be careful. Any more thoughts like that, and I’ll have to take a personal day to take care of a particularly personal matter with the help of my battery-operated boyfriend. On one hand, I appreciate his professionalism. It’s part of what I most like about him. Plus, there’s no way to really have a level relationship with someone when they sign your paycheck. But then there’s the other hand. The one that gets a little shaky every time he calls or says my name. The one that would like to explore the muscles you can just detect through his tailored suits and button-up shirts. Taking a deep breath in a failed attempt to settle those butterflies inside of me, I pick up the phone. “Good morning, Mr.

Rodrigo.” “Ms. DeSanto.” His low voice flows over me like that first warm jet of water when you get into a hot tub. “Could you please join me in my office?” My heart leaps. “Certainly. I’ll be right in.” Rising to my feet, I quickly check my makeup using the camera on the phone. My dark red lipstick is still in place and smudge-free, even though I had a second cup of coffee this morning. Thank goodness for long-lasting lipstick. Then, I shift it lower to see how my outfit looks. This dress is a little more form-fitting than what I’d usually wear. I’ve always carried extra weight around my hips and thighs, not to mention my muffin top. But, the last time my sister and I went shopping, she encouraged me to embrace my curves. The first few days in my new clothes, I felt like my body was way too on display.

Now, I feel more confident in these outfits—and in my own skin. Smoothing down a couple of creases in the dress, I stand straight, pull my shoulders back and stride toward my boss’s office. When I open the door, he glances up from his desk and motions me forward. The phone is pressed against his ear and he motions me forward with his free hand. As usual, his silver hair is impeccably trimmed and slicked back. There’s a scattering of silver along his jaw, too. It’s enough to make him look both distinguished yet sexy. “That’s an affirmative,” he says into the phone. “Are we on the same page as Tokyo?” While he waits for an answer, I take the opportunity to study him more closely. His suit coat clings to his broad shoulders, and he’s wearing one of my favorite ties. It’s a silver tie with a darker silver thread woven through it, giving it a rich glimmer in the mid-morning light. Though he keeps his desk mostly spartan, he has his thin laptop open next to a white espresso cup. Though fetching coffee usually falls under the jurisdiction of the assistant, Mr. Rodrigo makes his own with a machine tucked away behind a panel wall. That’s actually one of the coolest features of his office.

With his voice command, or by entering a code that only he and I have access to, the panel behind his desk opens up to reveal a fully stocked alcohol and coffee bar. And when I say fully stocked, I mean fully stocked. There’s every kind of top-shelf liquor and mixers for every taste. He has a selection of imported beers along with some of the best wines made in France and Italy. He’s every inch a billionaire. Yet, even though everything about him seems to scream that, he doesn’t act spoiled. He’s one of the most self-sufficient people I’ve ever met. He’s hard-working and has high standards. I suppose that’s how he made himself into a billionaire. But he’s also generous. Though he has great expectations from his staff, he pays everyone well. When I’d received my offer letter, my jaw had practically hit the ground. That’s a big part of why I’ve stayed working as his assistant. Though it’s always been my dream to one day build an enterprise of my own, it’s hard to walk away from such a good paycheck and benefits. It doesn’t hurt that my boss is so easy on the eyes as well.

“Understood,” he says, drawing my attention back to the present. “Make the arrangements.” Hanging up the phone, and without dropping a beat, he asks me, “Where do we stand with the Sapphire Project?” “The project manager sent a report this morning.” I reach into the folder I carried in with me and slide it across the desk to him. “We are on time and on budget.” “Good. How about the Hanover Project?” I give him an update on that and a handful of other projects, which only takes a couple of minutes. After working together as long as we have, we can speak in shorthand. “That pretty much covers up all of the loose ends,” I say, closing my now empty folder. “The plane will be ready to take you to the gala in Vegas at five.” “That’s right, the gala.” He adjusts his tie, and his hazel eyes meet mine, specs of gold glittering in the light. “Do you have any plans this evening?” My heart hitches. In the years we’ve been working together, this is maybe the first time he’s asked me about something in my personal life. Is he okay? No, I’m probably reading into that too much.

He’s probably just being nice. He did just give a keynote at a conference on building a professional legacy. Maybe one of the other speakers gave a program on the importance of water cooler talk with your employees. “I don’t have anything too special planned,” I say. “How would you like to come to Vegas with me?” My eyes widen. “You want me to go?” “I have a second ticket, it’d be a shame for it to be unused.” I shake my head, even as my heart pounds faster. “I wouldn’t know what to wear.” “You don’t need to worry about that. I’ll take care of it.” He arches an eyebrow. “So, what do you say?” This feels like the start of a dream. Or, if it goes badly, a nightmare. But there’s no reason it would go wrong. In a way, this could be a huge opportunity.

Maybe he’s testing me to see if I’m ready to be promoted. Though, I’m not sure I want to be promoted. I’m pretty happy where I am. With him. I’m getting ahead of myself. Tonight is a gala. Nothing more. “Okay.” I flash him a shaky smile. “I’d love to go.” Because, really, what’s the worst thing that could happen?

.

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Updated: 15 September 2021 — 03:11

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