Authors: Alice Bright
Dreaming of the Billionaire
Falling in love isn't in the cards for 27-year-old Violet Nielson.
Her career as a webmaster at a local college is just taking off, her mom recently died, oh, and her little sister just found out she's 8 weeks pregnant.
With everything life seems to be throwing her way, Violet doesn't have time to worry about dating or finding true love.
So when billionaire Sean Moormead walks into her life, his advances are the last thing that she - and everyone else - expects.
Copyright © 2014 by Alice Bright
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
The paperwork is piling up on my desk, my phone keeps ringing off the hook, and all I can think about is the fact that my little sister is eight weeks pregnant.
My little sister.
She doesn’t seem old enough to be pregnant, but at 22, she seems like more of an adult than I am. She has it all together: she’s debt-free with a stable relationship, she owns her own car, and she’s in the process of buying a house.
Now she’s having a baby.
And the only thing I’m having is lunch.
And the fat girl inside of me is counting down the minutes until I can chow down on the turkey-and-cheese sandwiches that are going to be served during today’s luncheon.
It’s going to have to wait, though, because this stack of design changes has to be addressed right away. From minor email address modifications to typos on the website, my new job as the webmaster at Southvale Community College keeps me busy from the time I arrive until the time I leave.
Any notions I had of this job allowing me “down time” have long been forgotten.
I don't mind, though. It's exactly what I want to be doing. I get to live with my favorite person in the world, I get to enjoy a regular work schedule, and I don't have to put up with too much political garbage from my superiors.
Emphasis on the not
There’s a knock at my door accompanied by someone clearing their throat. I turn to see Timothy Shoemaker, my boss, peeking in the doorway.
“What’s up, Tim?” I ask him, trying to look as busy as I feel. The last thing I want to do is give him the idea that I’m somehow not working as hard as I could be.
He probably suspects that I’m daydreaming about lunch.
I don’t need to affirm his suspicions.
“The donor lunch is in half an hour. Just wanted to remind you.”
“Thanks for the heads-up. Don’t worry. I won’t be late.”
He gives me a quick once-over.
“It’s a professional lunch. Did you bring something to change into?”
I glance down at my jeans and “
Did you try turning it off and then back on again?”
t-shirt. Got it.
“Yeah,” I tell him, nodding toward the dress I have hanging in the corner. “I’ll be ready. Don’t worry.” When the college organized the formal lunch as a thank-you to our generous donors, I had already been notified several times from several different departments that I needed to dress up. While most of the I.T. department wears jeans and t-shirts, it’s somehow
really, really, really
important to everyone that I, out of everyone, look dressed up.
“Thanks,” Tim flashes me a smile before disappearing. He's going to make sure that everyone else is also dressed appropriately, at least that's what I tell myself. Shoving my paperwork to the side of my desk, I stand up and grab my dress and makeup bag. Time to make myself look pretty.
I make my way down the narrow hallway. While the college is rapidly growing and expanding its buildings, the design team hasn’t quite gotten around to my department yet. The group of tech geeks is still somehow lodged in the basement of the administration building, which is fine, but isolated. Today, though, I don’t mind. I have the entire downstairs bathroom to myself to dress and primp and polish myself before the luncheon.
I close the door to the ladies restroom and don’t bother going into a stall. No one is going to come in here. I work with an office full of guys and the only women who wander down to the I.T. department are students who get lost on the first day of classes.
It’s October, so I have nothing to worry about.
I’m convinced that no other female has been down here since August.
The dress I’m wearing to the luncheon is knee-length and black with white roses all over it. I pair it with an amazing pair of high heels. Then I reapply my makeup and smile at myself in the mirror. My black-and-blue streaked hair reveals that I’m not as much of a lady as I’m pretending to be, but I don’t mind.
I don’t think most people do, either.
While my boss isn’t entirely pleased with my choice of hair color, he lets it go because I’m good at what I do. I’d venture to say I’m the best in town, but it’s a small town, so that’s not really a brag as much as it is a sad reality.
I finish scoping myself out in the mirror and head back to my office to count down the minutes until lunch. Tim knocks on my door and peeks in, smiling his approval of my choice of dress.
“I’m heading upstairs with Nathan,” he tells me. “See you in a few minutes.”
“I’ll be there as soon as I finish this up,” I nod toward my computer, where I have a spreadsheet open.
“Don’t be too long.”
And then he’s gone.
With a sigh, I glance back at my stack of paperwork. There’s a lot to do today. I’m looking forward to the luncheon simply because it’s a catered meal and means I don’t have to eat instant ramen in the break room again.
looking forward to is the fact that I have to smile and meet people and suck up to the donors during the luncheon instead of doing what I was hired to do: design websites.
The president of the college speaks about the importance of our college’s donors. He shares how much of an impact their financial contributions make at Southvale. One of the football players gives a small speech, as does one of the honor students.
I sit and watch, trying to pay attention to the routine, but it all seems trite and superficial.
I should be grateful, I realize. It’s because of our campus donors that the college has the means to do things like hire a webmaster and improve the tech on campus. I don’t feel that way, though. I feel like the routine of sucking up to people I don’t even know means I’m not at my desk, which is where I should be.
I bite into my sandwich.
It’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten.
I try not to stare at the people surrounding me. I recognize most of the faces. Nearly all of the staff and faculty members are present, along with some of the most popular and best-loved students. Then there are the donors, the ones we’re honoring today, who are all sitting up front.
They all look just as bored as I feel.
I finish my sandwich while a couple of choir members start to sing a song and quietly excuse myself from the table. I grab a cookie from the dessert table and slip out into the hallway as quietly as I can. Once I’m alone, I heave a sigh of relief.
“Not having fun?” A voice startles me. I almost drop my cookie.
I look up and see one of the donors standing there, smiling at me.
“Oh, it’s not that, I just…” I look at my cookie. I’m obviously caught red-handed. “I just wanted some fresh air.” I finally blurt out, trying not to notice how tall, dark, and handsome he seems to be, unlike the rest of the donors who are mostly old, old, and older.
He laughs heartily at my obvious lie and smiles. “It’s okay, these luncheons aren’t really my thing, either. I’m just here because my dad couldn’t make it.”
He holds out his hand for me to shake. “I’m Sean Moormead,” he tells me.
I don't hesitate before grabbing his perfectly manicured hand. My own fingernails are littered with peeling black polish and silver stars I pained less than a week ago. I don't bother feeling embarrassed about them, especially not compared to this guy. He's probably never even cut his own nails, let alone tried to pain them.
“Violet Nielson," I tell him with a firm shake and a bright smile. I can't help but wondering what this guy's story is. Sure, he's a donor, but that doesn't say much. Is he a single donor? Is he a super-married donor? Is he someone who is looking for a little action? 'Cause judging by the way sparks are tingly around us, I could definitely make that happen.
“What do you do here, Violet Nielson?” He asks me, dropping my hand. I try not to sigh as he returns it to his side. His eye contact is perfect. For a moment, I wonder why he's not lingering on the way my dress clings to my natural D-cups.
“I’m the webmaster,” I tell him, trying not to worry about it. There's no way this guy can't be attracted to me. He's smiling at me, for one. He struck up the conversation with me. And, oh yeah, I look amazing.
“Ah, so you’re the genius behind the new social media pages for the school?”
Suddenly, all thoughts of my appearance vanish into thin air as he brings up something that's critically important to me: the pages I've spent months working on. He’s seen them?
I look at him quizzically, mostly because I don't think anyone really notices how much effort and work I pour into creating matching, coordinated, and regularly updated social media platforms for the campus.
“You’ve seen them?” I ask aloud.
“I have,” he tells me. “I was very impressed by them.”
I feel myself blush from the tips of my toes to the ends of my bright-blue hair. I bite my lip, forgetting for a second about the cookie in my hand or about my recent bout of donor-luncheon boredom. Sean is one of the most handsome men I’ve ever laid eyes on. “Handsome” doesn’t seem like a strong enough word. His green eyes are positively piercing me as I oogle him.
Oh, the things I could do to him.
“What made you decide to check out our pages?” I ask him, trying not to wonder how big his dick is or whether he knows how to use it. This isn't the time or place, I remind myself. Sean is obviously a businessman of some sort. I don’t recognize his last name, but that doesn’t mean anything. Most of our donors are businesses and companies. While there are certainly alumni present at the luncheon, there are also a lot of company reps.
“My father is usually the one who comes to these things, but he couldn’t make it. He had a last minute conflict, so he asked me to step in. I didn’t know much about Southvale, so I thought I’d do a little bit of research before I came out.” He flashes me a smile again, “Wouldn’t want to embarrass myself while I’m here.”
“And did you find anything in your time researching that interested you?” I ask, feeling my knees buckle at that smile. It’s been way too long since I was around a guy this hot. Nothing against my tech-support colleagues, but they’re called nerds for a reason.
“I found out that the webmaster is a lot hotter than most of the I.T. personnel I’m used to dealing with.” He winks at me as he heads back toward the double doors that lead into the banquet hall. “I’d better get back before I’m missed,” he tells me. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Nielson.”
“Mr. Moormead,” I nod.
“Sean,” he tells me.
He heads back inside and I can’t do anything but stare at the half-eaten cookie in my hand. I feel my heart racing as I try to get over the feelings that are burning up inside of me.
There’s too much to deal with in my life right now. The last thing that I need to do is start crushing on a guy I’ll never see again. I mentally tell myself not to obsess. After the banquet, I will
Google or Facebook this guy. I won’t look him up on Twitter. I won’t try to find out if he’s single.
I’ll just let it go.
Sometimes a meeting is just a meeting.
But sometimes it’s so much more.