But being hired by an eccentric billionaire to assist his estranged son doing " what, I"m not sure " that"s a first. The son clearly doesn"t want or need me, and I"d rather be productive and stay busy than follow someone around like an unwanted pet, waiting for him to throw me a bone.
"Of course you are." His chest puffs and his mouth curves down. I"ve offended him.
"I"m sure there are thousands of personal assistants in New York," I say, eyeing the clock on the wall. I have three more FaceTime interviews lined up after this and a full inbox screaming for my attention. The number thirty-eight waits impatiently in that tiny red circle, taunting me.
"I"ve been told you"re the best." His brows meet.
My ego purrs like a contented kitten on the inside, but I contain myself. "I appreciate that you"re discerning in who you hire, Mr. Welles, but I"m afraid I"ve got a wait list and at this point in my career, I"m being particularly judicious with my commitments."
"One hundred thousand per month," he says.
If I had coffee in my mouth, I"d spit it out right now. That"s over four times my going rate.
He"s lost his damn mind.
I respond with silence, my mind too busy running quick tabulations on what I could do with that kind of money. My student loans" Gone. Down payment on a condo" Boom. A real vacation" Costa Rica, here I come.
"Three hundred," he says. Clearly he mistook my stunned silence for something else.
"Ms. Keane," he cuts me off. "Perhaps I should make myself a little clearer: I"m dying. I don"t have a lot of time left. My son won"t speak to me. I need a middleman. Someone who can help me get through to him."
I was afraid of this "
"I"m so sorry to hear that, Mr. Welles. Forgive me for asking, but if you"re not on speaking terms, how do you know he needs or even wants a concierge"" I ask. In my mind, I imagine myself turning down other jobs, hopping on a plane to New York, and having Calder Welles the Second laugh in my face and refuse my services.
He"d have every right, too.
"That"s for me to worry about, Ms. Keane." His chin juts forward and he straightens his emerald-striped tie. "So what do you say" Three hundred thousand for the month""
"And what if he doesn"t need me for the entirety of the month"" I ask.
"You"ll be paid the same whether you work one day or thirty."
I couldn"t say "no" to that offer if I wanted to.
Licking my lips, I sit a little straighter and pull in a long breath before letting it go.
"All right, Mr. Welles," I say. "I accept your offer."
My track record is perfect, which has contributed to the word-of-mouth, near-overnight success I"ve known the last few years.
I"m a workaholic perfectionist who"s never made a mistake.
But something tells me " that"s all about to change.
"YOUR P1HONE"S GOING OFF." There"s a woman"s voice in my ear followed by the slip of a delicate arm beneath mine. A nose nuzzles against the bend of my neck a moment later, breath warm and soft on the top of my shoulder.
Normally I"m adept at weeding out the sea barnacles, but evidently my gauge was off last night.
"Babe, someone"s calling you …" she whispers into my ear again, and I shudder.
We met last night.
My lips begin to part, the instructions to, "Don"t ever call me that again," on the edge of my tongue, but her hand slides down my chest, and a moment later her long skinny fingers are wrapped around my morning wood. "You want me to silence it for you""
I sense a wicked grin in her soft voice, and while I"m not the biggest fan of reheating leftovers, she has me in a particularly vulnerable position.
"I should get this. I"m expecting an important call," I lie. Her warm hand unpries from my cock and she slinks back to her side of the king-sized bed. In the dark and from the corner of my eye, I watch her pull the sheets against her chest, tucking them under her arms like a makeshift towel.
Oh, now she wants to be shy"
I reach for the phone and flip it over to see who the hell is bothering me at six twenty-one in the morning, but the number flashing on my screen isn"t a number at all.
It"s three words.
DO NOT ANSWER.
The girl in my bed watches me, our eyes catching before her gaze flicks away. She"s curious, I"m sure. Women always are, especially when they"ve tasted hope in the form of sexual attention and multiple orgasms. She"s probably wondering who could possibly be so important that I"d snuff out another round with her perfect, pointed C-cups and Angelina Jolie mouth.
I won"t deny the physical chemistry we shared last night, but she"d be a damn fool to believe she"s any different from any other woman I"ve devoured in my day.