Teaching The Boss

By: Mallory Crowe

There had been one too many girlfriends and drunken nights over the years for her infatuation to continue. He’d never shown a hint of interest in her, and she wasn’t about to spend the rest of her life pining over a man who was so obviously not into her.

Still, sometimes old habits died hard, and she supposed the two weeks away was enough for her body to forget that her mind was over him.

In an effort to get back to her normal, more professional self, she picked up Sam’s coffee and her yellow legal pad and made her way back to his desk. He was sitting now and she was able to keep the desk between them as she read through her notes.

“Marie from sales had her baby last week. I had flowers and a gift basket sent to her.”

Sam nodded. “Nothing makes me happier than taking credit for your thoughtfulness.”

“I try.” She grinned.

“Are the Bs on that list of yours?” he asked.

“Burkey and Booth do want to see you. I penciled them in for three p.m. Figured that would give you enough time to organize everything and talk to the auditors.”

He pulled his phone out of his leather bag and scrolled through a few screens. “It looks like three is good. How is the audit going?”

“Slowly but surely. Gavin is about to pull out all his hair, but he says the accounting department is under control. He’s hoping you make all this worth it.”

Sam rolled his eyes. “Please. With the stock comp he’s going to get after all these audits are over, he’s gonna be laughing all the way to the bank. The last valuation report I got said share price would triple in the first day after going public if we can pull this off.”

Public. It was what Sam had been working toward ever since he’d started purchasing and consolidating the various plants that made up HuntCorp.

“I can’t believe we’re so close,” she murmured. In some ways, the past six years had gone by in a blur, but in others they were the longest years of her life. When she’d first started working for Sam, she hadn’t known a thing about public or private companies.

She’d taken two art classes at the community college and came to terms with the fact that she didn’t have an artistic bone in her body. She could appreciate it well enough, but in terms of having an eye for painting or photography, she was lost.

After she’d seen her first gallery opening and finally realized the art world wasn’t for her, she’d ended up sharing a cab back to Jersey with the handsome and charismatic Sam. All it took was one conversation with him to make her trade one crazy career for another.

“Planning out your vacation already?” Sam leaned back in his chair and cradled the warm mug of coffee.

April snorted. “Vacation? Right. I have to work on paying off some of these school bills first.” Even with her generous salary, she could barely afford her small studio apartment. And, even though she’d only taken three classes a semester, once she’d transferred to NYU, the student loans had piled up.

“Come on. You have to have something planned to celebrate.”

She thought about the depressingly low balance in her savings account. Talking money with a billionaire was never good for her self-esteem. “What are you planning?”

“I have a few ideas I’m tossing around. Oksana mentioned this private island off the coast of the Bahamas that she did a photo shoot on once. It might be nice to get stranded on a deserted island for a week or two.”

April sighed. Maybe asking him about his plans was a bad idea. Now all she wanted to do was go back to her desk and daydream about being on the beach.

She fumbled with her yellow note pad, trying to remember where she’d left off on her list. “I know you said not to mention this, but your father called seven times while you were gone.”

She held her breath as she waited for his reaction. He’d made it crystal-clear that he wanted nothing to do with Donald Hunt, but after the third message she’d taken, April decided it was worth mentioning.

Sam stiffened. “Did he say what he wanted?”

“I asked, but he said he’d only speak to you. Do you want the number he gave me to reach him at?” April was officially one of the few elite members of New York City who had Donald Hunt’s phone number. Or maybe the phone number of his assistant. Really, she didn’t know how calling a billionaire worked.

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