On His Terms ~ Chapter 1

Chapter One

Rian Hartford had been called many things, with the more pleasing ones being charming, wealthy, charismatic, and attractive. For only being thirty-seven he was one of the wealthiest men in America. But to be at the top like that meant a man had to have a certain amount of bitterness in his life, and Rian had that tenfold.

Sorcha Case knew just about everything there was to know about Mr. Hartford, and not because she was his secretary. His reputation was what scandals were made of, but he couldn’t care less about what others thought. He did what he wanted, when he wanted, and how he liked. He was a cocky bastard for sure. After working for the man for the last six months, she had learned his daily routine, his love interests, or lack thereof, and his moods. The latter was more of his cool exterior, arrogant persona, and displeasure with anything that he didn’t think suited his needs. But then again when a man such as he ran a multi-billionaire dollar company, had several smaller entrepreneur businesses on the side, and had a slew of eligible socialites clawing to get into his bed, maybe he had to be a bastard to get through it all.

He played the part well, that was for sure. Being pleasant when the time called for it was what he did best, and even though Sorcha had this hatred for a part of him, she also admired the side of Rian

Hartford that didn’t take shit from anyone. More times than not she tried to look past the domineering and hardened exterior, but he wore it like a second skin. Surely the devil could take on many forms, because she could have sworn the man in the expensively tailored suits came from straight from hell.

But despite all of that, despite all of the internal monologues she recited to herself when it came to him, Sorcha had this sick desire for her boss. She wanted him in the worst kind of way, but she was able to keep that lust in check, because showing it would be a weakness. Sorcha was sure as hell not going to be another notch on his bedpost, because when Rian had his fun he discarded the women like they bored him.

Sorcha heard the elevator ding and knew Rian was right on time. She glanced at the clock, saw that it was exactly seven in the morning, and gritted her teeth as she slowly rose to greet him. She had made sure all of his appointments were in order, because he’d come right toward her, not speak to her besides a crisp “Hello”, and take his portfolio. Sorcha had been here since six A.M., and had already done more things in that hour than most people did in half a day.

The elevator slid open, and she grabbed the portfolio with all of Mr. Hartford’s appointments for the day perfectly labeled and divided up, and turned to face him. He stood in

the center of that metal, yet elegant box. His head was downcast, his focus on the smartphone he held in his hand. Without looking up he moved out of the evaluator, his black cashmere Burberry duster moving around his knees as he came closer. Already she smelled his No.1 Clive Christian cologne, and damn her body for warming and tingling to the scent.

“Miss Case,” Rian said in his deeply masculine, yet cold as ice, voice. He stopped at her desk, his focus still on that damn phone, and his other hand holding his two thousand dollar black briefcase.

“Your appointments for the day, sir.”

He slipped his phone in the inner pocket of his jacket and looked at her with his blue eyes that were just as cold and arrogant as the rest of him. He might be intelligent, might be wealthy, but his attitude turned her off like nothing else in this world. With his gaze locked on her she felt this chill move over her, like she was bared to him. It was annoyance and arousal all wrapped into one, and she hated herself for wanting him as much as she did. Before she could give him the rundown of his day, he grabbed the folder, looked down at it, and turned to head through the massive steel and oak double doors to his office.


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