Teaching The Boss

By: Mallory Crowe

A cup of steaming coffee sat on the table in front of the couch that was pressed up against the far wall. Behind the main desk, a wall of windows stretched from floor to ceiling. There was a bathroom and closet space on one side of the massive office and a treadmill with a laptop setup on the other side.

The entire layout was designed to make sure everyone who entered into the room would become instantly aware of the power of Samuel Hunt. April had been with him when HuntCorp was only a two-thousand-square-foot leased office space in New Jersey.

With the capital Sam had from his trust fund and his sixth sense for what companies to invest time and energy into, they’d been able to take over the fifty-second floor of the premier office space that overlooked Central Park.

April took a moment to appreciate the view. Sure, this wasn’t a dream job, but every time she looked out those windows at the beautiful, daunting city, she remembered what Sam had accomplished. What they had accomplished together.

The door creaked behind her, and April twisted around. Her hands reached down to smooth her black pencil skirt and bright blue top.

Sam strode into his domain at a brisk pace and barely glanced at April as he crossed over to his desk.

“Good morning to you, too,” she muttered as she moved aside for him.

He jerked his gaze to her and blinked a few times. “Shit. Sorry, April. I’m still on Paris time and probably got three hours of sleep. How have you been?”

And suddenly the full force of Sam’s ice blue gaze was on her and she couldn’t stop the smile from forming. “Who cares about that? You were in Paris! Tell me everything. Where did you stay? Did you remember any of your French from high school? Did you see the Eiffel Tower? Is it really as pretty as everyone says it is? It always looked a bit too industrial for me, but everyone says how romantic it is.”

Sam let out a laugh and ran a hand over his face. “Whoa. That’s a lot of questions first thing. Umm, the hotel was like any US hotel, so that was okay. I remembered how to say ‘hello’ and ‘where’s the bathroom,’ and I had no time to do any sightseeing. But I do agree with you about the Eiffel Tower.”

“I do have to see it someday. Maybe when I see it all lit up at night with the right guy I’ll change my mind about it.”

“Maybe I should’ve found some time to take Oksana. She’s probably seen it before, though.”

April sighed, trying to imagine what a romantic vacation to Europe would be like. She blinked a few times to clear her thoughts. Any possible trips out of the country were still years away. The monthly payments on her student loans prevented any type of savings account even with the generous raise she’d gotten after the office had moved into the city. “How did she like La Plaque?”

“She said real French food is better, but I enjoyed it. A nice treat to come back to. Were the reservations hard to get?”

April bit her bottom lip. “I called in a favor or two, but nothing drastic. Might’ve given the manager permission to tell the paparazzi where you were eating.” Sam bent down to power up his laptop, and April held her breath and waited to see whether he was angry.

“That was you, huh? Should’ve known. Well, it made Oksana feel important, and, as much as I hate the flashing while I’m eating, there’s no such thing as bad press.”

She sighed in relief. “Well, I’m glad you enjoyed the food at least. You have a packed schedule today, so your only time to sneak in a nap would be at lunch.”

Sam groaned. “Oksana is meeting me here for lunch, so that’s a no-go. I’ll have to power through. Think you can handle me being a grouch all day?”

“I’ve been doing it for six years. I don’t see how one more day is going to make a difference.”

He smiled down at her, and for a moment the entire office seemed to slip away. It was her Sam looking right into her eyes, his grin big enough for his dimples to show.

Feeling herself slip into her old routine, April twisted away and headed to the table by the couch. Damn it. She hadn’t thought about Sam that way in months. Her first two years working with him had been a blur of wistful sighs and daydreams, but she’d long grown up from the wide-eyed eighteen-year-old hired to take phone messages.

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