They call him the puppet master.
They say he"s dirty, dark and dangerous.
And they"re right.
He"s everything they say he is, and more.
So much more.
Alexander Henley has no idea I exist. No idea whatsoever how much I want him.
But that"s all about to change.
Because if there"s one thing I know about the puppet master, it"s that he pays well to pull women"s strings.
And I"m going to be his next purchase.Books by Author:Jade West books
I guess it was desperation that compelled me to stalk a man as powerful as Alexander Henley.
That"s what losing your parents in a late-night hit and run when you"re barely eighteen does for you. It makes you desperate.
Not for the college life that trickles down the drain in the aftermath. And not for the stars you were reaching for in your dreams of becoming a criminal lawyer one day. Not even for a let-up in the despair that losing your whole world plunges you into " that soul-crushing pain at knowing you"ll never ever see them again.
It makes you desperate to get your shit together for the baby you"re now responsible for. The little boy that is now your everything.
That"s why I took the cleaning position at Henley Grosvenor Legal in the first place, to provide for my baby brother.
And that"s why I"m here now, in a suite at Delaney"s Spa Resort, with twenty-five grand stuffed in my handbag, and Alexander Henley"s beautiful cock in my ass"
I guess I"d better start from the beginning.
Three months earlier
I"m late. I"m late. I"m fucking late.
Tube strike. Fucking typical on day one of my new job.
My reflection looks horrible as I race through the mirrored glass entrance. I"d hoped that cleaning for a firm as prestigious as Henley Grosvenor would have meant something a little more stylish than the scratchy baseball cap and hairnet they mailed out to me. More stylish than the green and white striped sack of crap apron I have to wear over a blouse and starchy polyester skirt, too. But beggars can"t be choosers.
"Cleaning induction," I tell the pristine receptionist. I pull the crumpled instructions from my pocket as I catch my breath, and she glares at the dishevelled state of me. She thinks I"m shit. It"s written all over her face.
"Fifth floor," she tells me. "You"re late."
Like my burning cheeks don"t make it clear I"m aware of that.
It feels like a walk of shame, pacing through marble pillars in such a shitty uniform. A badge of minimum wage nobody amongst the tailored suits.
I pick up pace as I see the elevator is already open, rushing through the plush seating area as my heart pounds in my chest. It"s packed already, rammed full of legal staff with their morning papers and Starbucks, and so many of them are staring at me, so many of them see me coming and make no move whatsoever to hold the doors.
My heart stutters in recognition, breath hitching as he puts out a hand and stops the doors for me.
I clatter in and ease myself tight into the corner, and I want to say thanks so bad, but I don"t. I can"t.
He doesn"t meet my eyes, or even really glance in my direction. The doors close and he stares straight ahead as the woman at his side talks him through his morning schedule. Her voice is nasal and whiny, and she over pronounces her words. Misterrr Cal-der, ten-aaay-emmm. Drunk dri-ving. I press the button for floor five, one of the only levels not illuminated. Figures. And then I look at him, trying not to make it obvious.
Alexander James Henley. Jnr.
The man I"ve been dreaming about for four years straight.
It must be hard having Jnr. after your name your whole life, but I guess that"s what happens when you take over an empire from your larger-than-life, legal legend of a father.
He looks just like I remember, and he smells like it too. Woody, like embers. Spicy, like oriental incense.
Black suit, white shirt, black tie. His hair is the same, as dark as his suit. His eyes, too, only now he"s got the tiniest lines around the corners. They suit him.
He isn"t smiling, not even a bit. His perfect jaw looks so stern and serious, his skin flawless apart from the tiny birthmark he has on his right cheek.
My fantasies of a sizzling moment of recognition shrivel and die. He doesn"t remember me, and why would he" I was just a dumb kid when he bummed me a cigarette outside my school gates. He saw hundreds of kids that day, a sea of us packed into the school hall to witness his motivational speech about the legal profession. Corporations in the Community, they called it. Some government scheme or other.
I"d been late that morning, just as I"m late today. Too late to catch morning registration, so I"d stopped outside to roll myself a sneaky cigarette before facing the music. My tin was empty apart from the dregs. Dust and a couple of meagre tobacco flakes, barely enough to make even the skinniest roll-up, and there he"d been, propped against the wall in his tailored suit, lighting up a cigarette of his own before he went inside.
He"d watched me struggle with my excuse for a roll-up, and then he"d held out his cigarette packet.