Authors: Nina Evans
© 2015 by Nina Evans
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Warning: This book contains detailed depictions of sexual encounters. Reader discretion is advised.
All persons and events are fictional, and any similarities to real places and events are purely coincidental.
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f I had
a nickel for every time my daddy told me I needed to find myself a nice Christian boy, I wouldn’t even have to look for a new job. Don’t get me wrong. My parents are about as good as they come, but being the daughter of a small town, southern preacher doesn’t give a girl much freedom when it comes to her love life. Mama and Daddy want to know every detail of what I do and who I’m with, to the point that it’s beyond frustrating.
Maybe I’m being melodramatic, but sometimes I want to tell them that not everyone is the devil in disguise. And sometimes, you just can’t stop bad things from happening, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Hell, at eighteen years of age, even I know that sometimes you have to get it wrong in order to learn how to do it right.
Anyway, I had a good job up until a few months ago—worked at this really badass clothing store at the mall called Rage. It was pretty overpriced, but I made a killing and got awesome discounts. Proof in point—just check out my closet. It’s full of mini skirts and blouses that you won’t find at any other store.
Most of the employees had to take turns working weekends, except for me. My boss knew about my family’s dedication to religion, so I was pretty much exempt from that rule. If I did work a Sunday, it would be an occasional, late afternoon doing end-of-the-month inventory. But the last few weeks I was there, he started making me work the sales floor on Sunday mornings. When I told him I couldn’t, he demoted me to cashier and I lost my commissions. Then, he had the nerve to put me on the schedule for the following Sunday. Well, I went home in tears, and Daddy made me quit. He went into this whole speech that if I were dating a nice, Christian boy, it wouldn’t be an issue—that a proper young man wouldn’t tolerate that sort of treatment of his girlfriend either. I didn’t know about all that, but I did know one thing: I needed a job and I needed one now.
I had just graduated from high school the week before, so I had three months to save up as much as I could to help pay for my college books. My parents weren’t broke, but they couldn’t afford to pay for everything.
I had come across an ad in the online job postings. I knew I probably didn’t have a chance in hell of getting it, but it seemed like it would be a cool learning experience:
orporate Executive seeks F
/T assistant for office help & occasional household duties. No experience necessary. Need someone dedicated, reliable, and good with kids. Great salary with benefits. Send resume and date available to start.
ood with kids
? That’s me. I’ve worked in the church nursery and taken care of more kids than Mary Poppins herself. Plus my three-year-old nephew comes over all the time. I’m definitely reliable, and I was certainly dedicated to my last job. So I had sent my resume and told the person I could start right away. He called a day later to pre-screen me over the phone. He sounded a little pushy, but he asked me to come in for an interview, and that’s all that mattered to me.
I ended up getting frazzled because I had a hard time finding the place. Of course it would have helped if he had told me not to be on the lookout for an office park. Turns out he had given me his home address, smack dab in the hoity-toity part of town. You know, where the rich folks live and have tennis courts in their back yard with fluffy little froufrou dogs running around, and they don’t go to sleep at night without their eye masks? Yes, that part of town. Little did I know what I was really in for with this job.
I located the address on the mailbox, but the home was completely hidden with all these tall junipers lining the front yard. I started to get a little pissed, suddenly feeling like a black Hazel, soon to be wasting my summer away as some rich family’s nanny.
Executive assistant… good with kids… occasional household duties…Uh-huh, sure…
I felt like an idiot. But I was already there, so I might as well see this interview through to the bitter end. I pressed the little red button on the metal gatepost and waited for a response.
“Audrey?” a man’s voice came through.
“Yes sir.” And then my anger dissipated, as I was oddly relieved that I hadn’t come to the wrong place.
“Come on around to the back.”
The gate opened, and I drove through, getting a good look at the place. My potential place of employment was a gothic style mansion with pointed rooftops and three or four chimneys all around. My breath escaped me as I started to regret my holier-than-thou attitude when I first arrived.
I would nanny an army of kids and a slew of froufrou dogs in this place—all day, any day.
After parking the car, I walked around back and saw a lovely veranda overlooking a swimming pool. I don’t even know what possessed me to call it that. It was nothing more than a covered patio, but when I saw it, I said to myself ‘Oh my God, a veranda!’ I guess deep down I wanted to be a rich snob, too.
James came out as soon as he saw me, bearing a smug smile. He took me in, from side to side and top to bottom. Hey, a girl notices these things, you know?
“Hello, Audrey,” his voice was deep but warm, rich with power and authority. He reached out to shake my hand and I extended mine, simultaneously taking in his long legs, broad shoulders, black hair, and gorgeous, green eyes. He looked as though he were in his thirties. And if he was half as rich as he was handsome, he could retire today and be set for life. I thought, any second now, his wife will come out, maybe set up a stripper pole and do a little routine. Okay, probably not with their kids around. I was betting their entire existence was perfect, though. And I wanted to be a part of it.
Jesus, give me the strength to NOT fuck up this interview, I thought.
“James Stone. Lovely to meet you.”
Good thing he could talk because obviously I was totally speechless.
His eyes wandered down to my breasts, and his stare went further south, visually brushing my caramel legs that were barely covered by my black mini-skirt. I had tried to dress professionally, but maybe I had failed. I started to panic, wondering if I should have went with the pantsuit.
Oh hell, he was just being a typical man. I have been told I make a lot of heads turn with my dark but creamy skin, infectious laugh, and perky C-cups with perpetually hard nipples. And someday, my future husband will have full-on access to all this. Until then, look but don’t touch.
“Audrey Braxton, nice to meet you as well, Mr. Stone.”
“James. Let’s go have a seat, shall we?” He nodded towards a table under the veranda. A glass pitcher sat sweating in the heat, filled to the rim with iced tea and a couple slices of lemon. When he turned to lead the way, I noticed that the top button of my blouse had come undone. No wonder he’d been checking out the goods. My cleavage was poking out for the whole world to see. I swore under my breath and re-buttoned my blouse.
I could already see myself working there. And by ‘working’ I mean fun-filled summer days by the poolside, listening to music and playing with the kids, drinking sweet tea and lemonade, wearing my new bikini and working on my tan, and taking in every last drop of freedom before hitting the books again in August. No sir. You would not have to twist my arm to take this job.
“You have a lovely home, James,” I said, trying to sound pleasant and light, but also letting him know I definitely approved of what I saw.
“Thank you, Audrey. If you get the job, you’ll be spending most of your time here, with occasional errands and trips to the main office.” James draped his arm over the crest of the seat. His eyes wandered down to my chest again, and while I should have felt self-conscious, he didn’t seem to have that effect on me. His dark strands shimmered in the sunlight, and I found myself mesmerized by his commanding presence.
I nodded my head. “Not a bad place to spend most of your time.”
James seemed to be the one speechless at that point, with his hard stare burning a hole right through me.
“So what exactly are you looking for help with, James? You have kids I assume?”
James lifted his brow and crossed his legs. “Not exactly. I just put that in the ad because I prefer working with a female. But you can’t exactly say that without people getting all up in arms. To be honest, I’ll need your help with a lot of things. My wife and I… well, she’s staying with her parents, probably for a very long time, but I don’t know for sure yet. Trying to maintain the home while working sixty hours a week has me drowning.”
No kids and an absent wife. Sounded like there might be trouble in paradise, but I couldn’t really be sure. Maybe one of his in-laws was sick, and she was taking care of them.
“Yes, I can imagine you’ve been very busy,” I responded, letting my gaze wander back to the pool. I wondered if my dreams of lounging around with a couple of little tykes were coming to an abrupt halt.
James and I talked for about thirty minutes, and he explained that he needed to get his office organized so that he could spend more time working from home. He ran an advertising firm, and his goal was to basically have a right-hand man—or woman—to take care of anything from filing to cleaning.
“With my wife gone, I’m going to need someone who will do what I ask, when I ask, and won’t balk at anything I say.” James shifted in his seat before continuing, and I could see a visible bulge pushing through his pants. I thought it was a little odd, but I dismissed it sensing that he really wanted to get through the interview just like I did.
“I’ll be honest. I can be a little hard-core, and I don’t want to have to deal with someone leaving here in a huff because I asked too much of them or I hurt their feelings. Some days I might only want you around for two hours. Others, I may need you for twelve. I might ask you to do something simple like get me a cup of coffee and I may snap at you if you forget to pick up my dry cleaning. But, I also take very good care of my employees. I give gifts and bonuses, and you’ll have weekends all to yourself. I’ll also allow you to swim in the pool on your break and even when you’re off duty if you wish. As long as you clean up after yourself, you can also consider any food in the house yours. I have more than enough. So there are a lot of perks to working for me. My last girl just couldn’t hack the demands, so I want to be sure you know what you’re in for it all before you agree to anything.”
Wow. What could a girl say to that? He sounded like a hard ass, but at least he was being honest. After coming home in tears from my last boss, I seriously wasn’t sure I was cut out for doing the job. But then again, there was the swimming pool, free food, bonuses… how could I pass that up? The only thing left to negotiate was the pay.
“As far as pay,” James said, reading my mind, “whatever you were making at your last job, I’ll double it.”
My eyes popped. There was nothing left to negotiate. “Are you offering me the job, James?”
He leaned forward on the table, looking a little cocky and stealing another glance at my cleavage. I didn’t care. I could take him on if he got fresh with me. Wouldn’t be the first time.
“Yes. I am.” He said, matter of fact.
I flashed him one of my world-famous smiles. “When do you want me to start?”
’m telling you
, Daddy,” I said, grinning like a giddy schoolgirl as I stood in the doorway to my father’s office. “This man has more money than God.”
Daddy flashed one of his no-nonsense looks. He didn’t approve of me making blasphemous comments. His words, not mine. I was just trying to prove a point.
“I’m sorry, Daddy, but seriously. Double my last salary! I’ll bet I can save up enough money to pay for two year’s worth of books.”
Now let me get one thing straight before you go thinking that I’m some kind of book nerd. First of all, I have plans. Big plans. I’m going to get my associate’s degree in legal studies, then hit law school once my family can afford it. Right now, my parents are trying to get caught up on some bills, so a four-year university is out of the question, and Daddy doesn’t want me taking out any loans. Anything I can do to ease their financial burden not only helps them but it also helps my future.
Daddy pulled his glasses down.
“I’m very proud of you sweetheart. I really am. But I don’t want you to worry about your education. Your mother and I will make sure you can go to school. Do not let the devil pull you into his vice-like grip, especially when the devil is a white man in a business suit. The Lord always provides.”
I almost rolled my eyes, but instead walked over to the desk and gave my dad a quick peck on the cheek. I wasn’t going to argue. I just wanted to get to my closet and select my outfit for the next day. James had told me to dress professionally in case we stopped by his office downtown, and he also said to bring my bikini if I wanted to swim. Things definitely seemed to be starting out on the right foot. He probably had plans to work my butt off and figured I’d enjoy the water afterwards.
Who was I to argue with that?