Billionaire Protector

By: Nikki Chase

The way he asks the question make my heart skip a beat. I feel like I’m an awkward schoolgirl who has just received an invitation from the baddest boy in school; he wants me to skip classes so we can do something naughty together.

I pretend I don’t understand what he’s alluding to. “We’ll set each other’s expectations about me potentially working here?”

“There's no need to negotiate here. You’ve already won. Just tell me what you want, and I’ll make it happen.”

“Really? Aren't you going to ask me how much The Local is paying me?”

“No. I want you here. What would it take to get you to take this job? Name your price.”

Holy hell, is he really saying he’ll pay me whatever I want?

There's only one way to find out.

“Two-hundred thousand dollars a year,” I say, spouting the most outrageous amount I can think of.

That's quite a lot more than twice my pay at The Local. I expect him to balk at the number. Maybe he’ll want to lower it, which is fine by me. I just want to see how much I can get, go as high as he’s willing to go.

“Okay,” he says without hesitation, holding his hand out over the big desk. “Deal.”

My jaw slackens, almost dropping. I stop myself from showing just how surprised I am.

“Deal,” I say, gripping his hand before he has a chance to change his mind.

When we touch, my skin buzzes from the contact. It's the strangest thing; I've never experienced something like this before. I pull my hand away, surprised by whatever transpired between us during the handshake.

“Alejandra will prepare the paperwork,” he says as he leans back in his chair and steeples his hands in front of him. “Sign it tonight, and you can start working tomorrow. I’ll send Anthony to collect your stuff. I can arrange for a whole moving crew to take care of that if you want.”

“Oh, that would be really nice.” I’m getting an awesome new job away from the city and I don’t even have to pack my stuff? Things are going even better than I expected.

“Just another perk of the job,” Seth says.

“Thank you.”

“No problem. Alejandra will show you to your room.” Seth presses a button on one of the gizmos on his big glass desk. “Alejandra, my office, now.”

Seth gives me a smile, but it seems a little forced—his mouth curls up, but his eyes remain sober.

Is he already regretting my outrageous pay? That seems unlikely, considering how eager he was to seal the deal.

Is there some other, more sinister reason for him to be lying to me?

Maybe my mind is just playing tricks on me. I’m sure there’s no reason to worry. He’s just an eccentric rich man, who has more money than he knows what to do with.

I hear the door open behind me. That’s quick.

“Alejandra, show Alice to her room, and tell Anthony to come see me. Thank you.”

I twist in my seat to see Alejandra at the door. I get up and thank Seth before I leave the office. He simply nods.

He seems like a cool boss. I just need to keep things between us professional, and I’ll be fine.



“You sure you don't need any help?” Raphael squints his eyes at me. He sounds concerned, which is touching, really. This is not his problem, after all.

In my world, people don’t give a fuck about anyone other than themselves, or their own families. For people like Raphael and me—who don’t have any family—that means we’re pretty much screwed, unless we form our own alliances.

“Yeah. I won't say I’ve got things one-hundred percent under control, but it's safe enough for the time being,” I say.

“How did you do it?”

“Offered her money,” I say matter-of-factly.

“Of course.”

“She came here on her own, which means she quit her job herself, and she broke her lease herself. Her boss and landlord won't be wondering where she's gone and coming here to sniff around.”

“Good job. I honestly thought this was going to end up with her lying dead in a ditch somewhere.” Raphael shakes his head. “Fuck, man. I told you your weird obsession with this chick was going to be trouble. I’ve been telling you this since we were still in prison.”

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