Ruthless Greek Boss, Secretary Mistress

By: Abby Green

Lucy just blinked stupidly for a moment as numerous things impacted her brain. Primarily the fact that she hadn’t actually considered the fact that of course she’d be expected to go to Athens too, in little over a week from now.

All she could say was, ‘Yes, I do,’ when in actual fact for some reason—even though it had been talked about for weeks—she’d never considered for a moment that she’d be accompanying Aristotle on such a prestigious engagement.

Her lack of foresight mocked her; of course it had to be her, no one else had had access to all the vital and top secret information—information so secret that she’d had to sign a contract the day she’d been hired, forbidding her to divulge any information to anyone. If she committed such an offence it could see her being fired on the spot, and certainly ruined for any future employment within these circles…

The full enormity of the size of this merger and the importance of the man in front of her started to sink in very belatedly. Mortifyingly, Lucy knew that a large part of her distraction had to do with finding herself working for someone who had reached into a secret part of her and shaken her up so much that she had to spend an inordinate amount of time just denying it to herself. Even now, as he still loomed over her, she denied it to herself.

She reassured herself desperately that she was just reacting to Aristotle Levakis’ undeniable charisma, like any other red-blooded human being.

With that in mind she took a sheaf of papers that needed filing off her desk and stood up, clutching them to her chest. It was a blatant attempt to put some distance between them. Aristotle straightened too, and with arms folded surveyed her closely. That treacherous heat pooled within her again, but now she knew what it was she could deflect her own reaction to it.

She hitched up her chin. ‘Was there anything else?’

He shook his head slowly and a lazy smile curved his lips. Lucy felt like clinging onto something.

‘No, that’s all for now.’ He turned to go back to his office, but just when Lucy was about to let out a sigh of relief he turned back. With his forearm resting high on the doorjamb, drawing her eye to his long and hard muscled body, he said, ‘Don’t forget we have that engagement tonight. Be ready to leave at six-thirty. I’ll get dressed in my office; you can use the dressing room.’

He disappeared into his own office then, shutting the door behind him, and Lucy all but sagged onto the floor in a heap. She had forgotten all about the function they were to attend that night. She cursed herself as she sank down heavily into her chair. What was wrong with her? Forgetting the function, not realising she would have to go to Athens…Her brain was turning to mush. And in this job that was not a luxury she could afford.

How could she have forgotten that terse conversation just days ago, when he’d said to her with a grimace on his face, ‘You’re going to have to come to the Black and White Ball with me.’

Lucy’s belly had clenched. She’d expected that she might have to accompany her boss to some functions, but with Aristotle’s extremely healthy social life she hadn’t considered it would become a reality so soon. And did he have to look so reluctant at the prospect?

She’d ignored the ridiculous feeling of hurt and asked hopefully, ‘But surely there must be someone else…’ anyone else ‘…you could call?’

After all, as she’d restrained herself from pointing out, last-minute dates were not something he shied away from. He’d had more than a few since the Honourable Augustine Archer and then the even more Honourable Mirabella Ashton, each one well-documented in the press that gloried in his playboy exploits. And yet the morning after each date he’d appeared taciturn and as irritable as she’d ever seen him.

He’d curtly instructed her to send each night’s delectation a disgustingly expensive bunch of flowers. Lucy had cynically assumed that none of the women were performing well enough to hold his interest and merit a piece of jewellery.

It was then that she’d realised that she hadn’t arranged a date for him in at least a week. The thought had unsettled her more than she’d liked to admit.

He’d looked at her with narrowed eyes. ‘As I am currently partnerless, not that it’s any of your business, I’ve decided that you will accompany me. Do you have a problem with that?’

Feeling sick, Lucy had shaken her head rapidly. She had to stop reacting to this man and provoking him. ‘No. Not at all. I’ll put it in the diary now.’

Lucy came back to the present moment. She was still holding the sheaf of papers clutched to her chest like some kind of shield. She looked at the open diary beside her and there in stark letters was written ’Black and White Ball, Park Lane Hotel. Seven p.m.’ The thought of spending any more time than was absolutely necessary with this man was causing nothing short of sheer panic inside her.

She put down the papers and picked up the phone to make a call to the home where her mother was resident. She asked them to pass on the message that she wouldn’t be able to visit that evening.

The matron on the other end said gently, ‘I’ll pass on the message, Lucy love, but you do know that it won’t make any difference, don’t you?’

Lucy felt very alone all of a sudden. She swallowed back the ever-present guilt, pain and grief, and nodded even though the other woman couldn’t see her. Her voice was thick with emotion. ‘I know…but I’d appreciate it all the same, if you don’t mind.’

Lucy could hear Aristotle moving around in his own office as she changed in the dressing room. This was a formal event, so she had to wear a long dress, and the one she looked at now in the mirror was perfectly respectable—if completely boring. It was black, which meant it was slimming, and it had a high neck which covered her breasts adequately. Anything that did that was fine with her. And anyway, she told herself stoutly, she wasn’t dressing to impress, she was dressing to accompany her boss in a work capacity.

She left her hair up and put on some make-up: mascara and a little blusher. Then, slipping her feet into a pair of plain black high heels, she picked up her weekend bag stuffed with her work clothes and took a deep breath before walking out, feeling ridiculously nervous and hating herself for it.

That breath hitched in her throat and her brain stopped functioning when she saw Aristotle emerge from his own office, resplendent in a traditional tuxedo. The black made him look even darker, and very dangerous. Lucy fought back the wave of awareness, her hands gripping her bag.

He looked up from adjusting his cufflinks then, and the snowy perfection of his shirt made the green of his eyes pop out. He ran quick eyes over Lucy, making her squirm inwardly before quirking a brow and saying mockingly, ‘Well, if you’re trying to fade into the background it’s already working.’

Lucy swallowed past a dry throat. ‘I’m your assistant, not your date.’

More’s the pity, Aristotle surprised himself with thinking as he took her in, just a few feet away. Although not in that dress. It was basically a sack: a black sack covering her from neck to toe. It might as well have been a burkha for all he could see of her body, and he knew with a hunger that had been growing day by day and minute by minute that he very much wanted to see her body showcased in something much more revealing and tight. Like that skirt which had assumed mythic proportions in his fantasies. He beat back an intense surge of desire, in spite of the awful dress, and noted the hectic flush on her cheeks, the wary glitter of her eyes.

She was intriguing him more and more—not only with her luscious curves, but in the way she reacted to him, his spikily quick responses. Every expression was an open book as it crossed her face. She wasn’t afraid of him, and that was heady in itself. That she didn’t approve of him was glaringly obvious, and it was a novel sensation to have that from a woman.

Aristotle was looking at her far too assessingly. Lucy’s belly quivered in response and she told herself sternly that she wasn’t responding to him; she was just responding to the charisma of the man.

But then he strolled towards her nonchalantly and she had to fight the urge to turn tail and run. He walked around her as if inspecting a horse, and she turned around, unable to bear the thought of him looking at her too-large bottom. She cursed her genes again and felt acutely self-conscious. Why couldn’t she be a slim, petite little thing like her mother?

Her voice was high and defensive. ‘Is there something wrong? This dress fits perfectly well. It’s not too tight, if that’s what you’re afraid of.’ She wouldn’t be making that mistake again.

Aristotle’s eyes flicked to hers. They glittered with something dark and indefinable.

‘The dress is fine. For an old lady.’

Lucy sucked in a shocked breath. She’d spent a small fortune from her allowance on this dress. But before she could say anything he was gesturing to her head.

‘It’s too late to do anything about the dress, but leave down your hair. You look like you’re going to work.’

His normally accentless voice had lapsed into something unmistakably Greek, and it resonated within Lucy. Her mind blanked and her hand went up instinctively in a protective gesture. Her hair was part of her armour, she suddenly realised. No way could she take it down. She might as well just strip off the dress and stand in front of him in her underwear. Treacherous heat licked through her again, making a mockery of her attempts to rationalise it. She shook her head dumbly.

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