Teaching The Boss

By: Mallory Crowe

Sam sighed and looked out the window at the city below him. “What do you want me to do about it? I’m not going to cancel and I’m not going to make April wear clothes two sizes too big.”

“Then get rid of her.”

Sam whipped around. “Are you out of your mind?” he shouted. Realizing how loud he was, he lowered his voice. “I’m not firing anybody because you feel threatened.”

Oksana raised a perfectly tweezed brow. “I’m not threatened. I’m telling you the way it is. She’s supposed to be your subordinate. Even if we were just friends, I should still have more of a say than your secretary.”

“She’s not a secretary,” he bit out. “She’s an administrative assistant.”

“This is exactly what I’m talking about. You let your administrative assistant get you this upset? That’s not good business, Samuel. You need to focus on succeeding, and sometimes that means getting rid of distractions.”

“You don’t consider yourself a distraction?” He half expected, and at this point wanted, Oksana to get pissed, but she didn’t appear bothered.

“You and I are having fun. Both of our careers are at turning points. Yours is winding up and mine is winding down. We both need the publicity, and if we happen to enjoy making love, then that’s a bonus. You coming with me to an A-list event will get you much more attention than whatever April put on your calendar. Now tell me I’m wrong.”

He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. He took a deep breath before he attempted to speak again. “I’m not going to your launch party.”

She pressed her lips tightly together and nodded. “I see how it is. Will you at least get rid of her?”

“No,” he said flatly. “And I suggest you don’t mention firing her again.” He mentally calculated how long she’d be in the States for. He’d imagined he’d be spending what little free time they had in bed, not listening to her tell him what was best for his own damn business. But on the other hand, she had a point. The more publicity he got in the next few months, good press to be precise, the better his initial public offer would go. He needed to make the IPO work, and Oksana could help him. Simple as that. He just thought he’d enjoy the ride more.

“I’m not saying you have to kick her out on the streets. Give her a severance package or put her in some corner of the office you never have to see her again. Either way, she’s a problem, and it’s not like you to leave problems so close to you.”

Sam let her words sink in. He would get more exposure at her launch party, and his notoriety in the tabloids was one thing he had going for him. Giving a big check to kids in need might be page five news, but him kissing a supermodel would be front page. It was a sad fact, but true. And he hadn’t even considered that when April was talking to him.

Maybe Oksana had a point. Normally he’d look at every side of an argument, but April had him wrapped around her finger within seconds. A well-manicured finger attached to a curvy body, skirt and blouse designed to make her look like a walking wet dream. How had he not seen any of this?

“Transferring her would be better for her career,” he croaked out. How could he possibly replace his perfectly efficient and easygoing April? Oksana’s words swirled in his mind. Soon enough, he wouldn’t have a choice in the matter. April would be graduating soon. If he didn’t move her up in the company, she’d be gone in a heartbeat. If he was proactive about it, there was a chance he could keep her with HuntCorp. She’d need a new job once she graduated anyway. He blinked a few times to clear his jumbled thoughts. What the hell would he do without April at his side every day?

“It’s for the best,” assured Oksana. “Now, are you ready for lunch?”

There was the Oksana he knew. Brush off the emotional and get right back to living life the way she wanted, on her terms. He was just used to her terms agreeing with his.

He might’ve snapped if she’d even looked the slightest bit smug. He didn’t want some pissing contest between her and April. In truth, there was no question. April had been his rock over the past six years. But Oksana didn’t act like she’d won some imaginary victory. She looked exactly like a pretty woman who was ready to go to lunch. As though nothing had happened.

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