Authors: KB Winters
Tags: #billionaire romance
A Billionaire Romance
Copyright © 2015 KB Winters
Published By: BookBoyfriends Publishing
Copyright and Disclaimer
This book was a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2015 KB Winters
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of the trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
Allison Rand is a hot little barista struggling to make rent. The sassy firecracker is not afraid to take chances - except when it comes to her heart. She moved from her sleepy small town beginnings, to chase her dreams in the City of Angels.
When her best frappe friend offers her the job of a lifetime, she jumps in - with both feet. Right into the arms of Billionaire Cooper Brighton. He’s tall, handsome, and totally out of her league - or so she thinks.
Billionaire playboy, and CEO of Brighton Industries, Cooper Brighton, was thrown into the business after tragedy strikes. He’s adjusting as fast as he can, but his new position of power leaves him lonely and haunted by his own demons.
Allie and Cooper are both keeping secrets. As they continue to cross paths, will their secrets bring them closer together, or ultimately become the thing that tears them apart?
The Plush Series is intended for a mature audience, 18+ only.
Table of Contents
The day had started with a coffee spill on my new blazer, a run in my pantyhose, and a traffic jam on the freeway. I had been riding on adrenaline and caffeine most of the morning, but by eleven-thirty, I was wondering if I could sneak a margarita on lunch and get away with it. Not exactly the kind of thing I should be thinking on my second day at my new job, but nevertheless, I found myself mentally running through a list of nearby Mexican restaurants.
I jolted upright in my seat at the sound of my name and turned to see my co-worker Bryce standing at the edge of my cubicle wall. I rested my hand on my chest and took a deep breath. “You startled me!”
“Sorry, you were pretty far gone there for a minute. Is everything okay?” His eyebrow creased with concern.
I nodded and tried to collect myself. “Yes, yes, I’m fine. Just had a bit of a rough morning is all.”
I stared down at my shiny new work shoes, feeling a little embarrassed. Bryce had helped get me this job in the first place and was now in charge of training me so the last thing I wanted was for him to think he made a mistake bringing me here. We had actually known each other for a couple of years now. He frequented the coffee shop I used to work at. We had kind of a Cheers thing going on and over time, he started pitching me the idea of coming to work in the design department at his office. So, a few months later I found myself working at Spotlight, one of the most prominent advertisement agencies in Los Angeles.
Eventually, I would be coding for online marketing campaigns and using my nerd brain to help out the tech department, but so far, it had just been a paperwork headache. Back when I got my job at the coffee shop, I think I remember signing two papers. Here, it was a whole different ball game. There was a textbook-sized policies and procedures book to work through, HR paperwork for taxes, and then another stack of papers detailing my job description. My desk was already covered and I hadn’t even started my actual training phase yet.
“It’s all right. I know you’re still working on this.” He gestured at my mess. “But there is a department meeting and I want you to come with me. Rita Blair is the manager of the design team and she asks me to sit on her meetings from time to time so I can give feedback on the ad campaigns and how they work in the digital world.”
Really, anything to give my hand a break from signing papers was a welcome distraction.
“Great. We need to get going, though—Rita is a real stickler for punctuality.”
“Got it!” I stood and started to follow Bryce through the maze of cubicles. He smiled and nodded recognition at a few people as we walked past but he didn’t stop to introduce me to anyone. The hardest thing to get used to with my new position was going to be the lack of human interaction. Sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen all day was going to be quite the departure from my last job as a barista. Working in a coffee shop is people, people, people all day long. Some of whom I wanted to send through the espresso grinder—but for the most part, it was fun to bullshit with random people all day. I had a sinking feeling that life in the cubicle wasteland was going to get really boring, really fast. Unfortunately, while being a Barista was fun, it wasn’t at the top of the list of good paying jobs and with the debt I’d collected thanks to Marx, my asshole ex-boyfriend, I needed this job. And IT came easy to me. It was like I was born with coding running through my veins. Well, that, and a short stint in college which had helped me hone my skills.
We passed a long wall of windows and entered a doorway into a large conference room. There was a buzz of voices as we walked in, but no one stopped their conversations long enough to acknowledge us. Bryce pulled out a chair for me and I sat down, carefully smoothing my skirt underneath me. I nervously tapped my heels under the table as I waited, watching everyone around the room.
“That’s Tessa Greenwood,” Bryce explained, following my eyes to a tall, thin blonde woman holding court in the corner of the room. There were at least eight people swarmed around her, hanging on her every word. “She’s the head of the women’s fashion division. Hopelessly beautiful, world is her oyster, blah blah.”
“I get the feeling you’re not a fan. Is she a—a
?” I whispered as I watched her smile and chat with the group around her and although she appeared to be friendly, there was a little voice in my head telling me otherwise.
“Depends on who you are,” he answered without hesitation. “If she thinks you can help her, then she’s sweet as grandma’s apple pie, but if you’re in her way…watch out.”
“Noted. What else do I need to know?”
He flicked his gaze to a man standing on the other side of the room from Tessa and her posse. He was tall and very put-together looking. A little
put together looking, if you asked me. I had the sudden urge to run across the room, loosen his collar and mess up his hair a little. “That’s Cameron Nelson. He’s a shark. He’ll probably try to hit on you but trust me, you aren’t interested.”
“No, I’m not,” I said, scoffing under my breath. Nothing about Cameron was my type. Flashy smiles, power suits, and expensive cars weren’t exactly what I was after. In fact, I was on a bit of a dating hiatus since finally escaping the clutches of Marx…I’d decided that it was better to be single and I wasn’t sure when—or if, I would ever change my mind on that policy again.
My eyes continued to sweep the room and I couldn’t help but feel a little out of place. Everyone was so polished and put-together. It’s not that I considered myself to be unattractive, but I also knew I wasn’t exactly in the same category as the majority of these people. I’d had to rack up an already-at-the-limit credit card just to afford enough business attire to get me through the week. It had been a major challenge to find clothes that would fit my needs. For starters, I had to have outfits that would cover all my tattoos. My right arm has a full sleeve, so nothing short-sleeved would work at all. Everything I bought had to work with a blazer. Even that was difficult because a lot of the sleeves were just a little too short and would ride up and show the edges of ink starting on my wrist. Then, once I had selected proper pairings, everything had to be tailored to fit right. Five foot three with kickin’ curves can be tricky to fit in professional attire without wandering into slutty secretary territory. Having to hide the tattoos on top of that had been almost impossible.
I turned back to Bryce. “Let me ask you something else. Does everyone here do modeling on the side or something? I don’t remember that being part of the job description, but seriously…”
Bryce laughed but before he could reply, a stern-looking woman walked into the room. I recognized her from when I’d had my panel interview prior to starting the job, but couldn’t come up with her name as I watched her cross the room and take her place at the head of the long table.
“That’s Rita,” Bryce whispered in my ear. I nodded in response, not daring to make a peep as all conversation ceased at her appearance. In silence, everyone made their way to the table, taking their seats and turning their eager attention to her as she sat at the head of the long table.
I sat back in my chair and marveled at the Stepford-like precision of it all.
“Good morning, everyone. Thank you for your promptness. I know this is a busy week for us all, but we do have some things that need attending to. First of all, we have a new addition to the design IT department that I would like to introduce you all to. Allison Rand.” She gestured to me and I felt everyone’s attention swivel in my direction. There was a polite applause, fake smiles, and a couple of heads nodding in my direction. I smiled back and tried to look friendly in return. “She will be working with Bryce, so she is here with him to observe.”
With that said, the meeting commenced. I felt fish-out-of-water most of the way through and tried to stay busy-looking by writing out my grocery list on the edge of my notebook.
Rita was halfway through her presentation—according to the textbook-sized packet that lay in front of me—when one of the girls I recognized from reception poked her head into the room, waited for permission to enter, and came to whisper something in Rita’s ear. It was strange to watch, like something out of a movie, but Rita’s face instantly flushed and she jumped up from her seat, her heels scuffling on the wood floors as she fled from the room.
“What in the world was that all about?” I asked Bryce.
His brow was wrinkled with concern as he shrugged in reply.
No one seemed to know what to do, unsure of whether to stay and wait for Rita to return or if the meeting was over and we should all go back to work. There was whispering and nervous chatter as everyone consulted on what could possibly be the matter.
They all seemed to get their answer a few moments later when a tall man in a crisp business suit appeared at the edge of the windowed wall. He stalked by, laser-focused on the path in front of him. A young man ran up to meet him and held out an overpriced bottle of water but the man waved him off without even looking at him.
“Oh, shit,” Bryce exhaled.