Authors: Cynthia Dane
Tags: #Billionaire Romance
“Gee, thanks. I’d take the compliment, but you basically said I look like someone you want to tie-up. ‘Cause that’s not creepy.”
“I don’t intend to disturb you. I understand if this isn’t something you’re interested in. But consider this. Not only will you receive the salary and benefits of being my
assistant, but you would also receive an outstanding bonus at the end of your initial contract.”
“Wait, wait. Back up. You’re asking me to prostitute myself to you,” This was too much. Jasmine picked up her purse and had every intention of stalking out of there. That was until Ethan calmly said the rest of his proposal.
“Prostitution? No, Miss Bliss. What I propose is a business arrangement that is highly in your favor. On the surface you’ll be my personal assistant, and on those books you will receive everything due to you in that position. This includes glowing recommendations should you look for employment elsewhere in the future. Trust me, my recommendation carries enormous weight around town.”
“You don’t say.”
“But the other aspect of this relationship… yes, it is sexual. You would become my submissive for the amount of time stated in the contract. This would mean doing whatever I asked of you – within reason, of course – that may or may not be sexual.”
“Wow. You really know how to pitch this, don’t you?”
“At the end of your contract, assuming you have filled all of the terms, you will receive a bonus of about one million dollars. Tax free, because it will be my gift to you.”
For the second time since entering that room, Jasmine started looking for a camera, mic, or anything else proving that this was a prank. It had to be. Either that or she was still dreaming. Jasmine pinched herself. Nope. That hurt.
“One million. As in one million George Washington bills.”
“Yes. Puts a new spin on things, doesn’t it?”
“Wow. So I could be a high-priced prostitute. My dreams are finally coming true.”
“Really? Not even that entices you? That’s a first.”
“Oh, I’m sure it is! I bet all the women you proposition to be your contracted submissive hooker fall over themselves to start sucking your cock!” Jasmine got up, snatched her purse off the floor, and barely took the two seconds necessary to smooth out her coat. “Excuse me, Mr. Cole. I don’t know what in the world made you think it’s okay to treat women you just met like this, but I will have you know that it’s neither acceptable nor flattering. I don’t care if you offer me two million dollars…”
“Fine. Two million.”
Jasmine snapped her mouth shut.
Say what now?
Was this man offering her two million dollars to sleep with him for a few months? What in the world!
Ethan picked up his pen and began scratching something down on a piece of paper he snatched from a folder. He was not perturbed that someone as lowly as Jasmine was giving him an earful about whatever it was she went on about.
I don’t know, feminism maybe?
She wished she was knowledgeable enough about such things to tell Ethan Cole all about them right now.
“Before you make your final decision,” Ethan began, handing Jasmine the piece of paper, “I would implore you to think it over for a few days. Here. Take this. It’s my phone number. Contact me if you change your mind. Besides, I wouldn’t have you sign any contract with me until we had a bit of a trial. Have to make sure we’re compatible. But if you want more information about it, call me here. I’ll give you a week before I start earnestly looking for someone else.”
Jasmine wasn’t going to take that paper. She was going to storm out of Ethan Cole’s office, hell-bent on destroying his reputation by taking this bull to the media and letting them have a field day over it. Not that anyone would probably believe her.
Surely a tabloid would pick it up.
Selling that story should hold her over until she could get paid by another temp job…
“Oh, and don’t forget that you signed that NDA, Miss Bliss. Speak of this to anyone, and you will be hearing from my lawyer. I
know. Not only would you be kissing my offer goodbye, but I would also be seeing you in a courtroom.”
Jasmine snatched the paper and crumpled it up in her hand. It was worth it just to see the mild shock on his otherwise contained demeanor. “A courtroom would be the only way I would ever let myself see you again, Mr. Cole.” She turned about-face and marched toward the office door. “You’d have to subpoena my ass to get me in the same room as you again. Goodbye! I hope you and your money rot off with your dick.” Jasmine stepped outside the office, slammed the door behind her, and quite enjoyed the strange faces she received from everyone in the office.
What a day!
She could not get to the elevator fast enough.
After a day like that, the only way Jasmine was going to relax was if she got buzzed and watched a movie with Juan and his sister Selena.
She supplied the beer and they brought the movies. Together they took over her ratty couch and made fun of ridiculous superhero exploits as if they could save the world any better. Blackbeard yowled every time someone refused to pet him, feed him, or give him their beer.
“Foul creatures. You can’t even share, yet you get after me for licking my own ass?”
He had a crush on Selena, however, and often took over her lap with his gigantic, stocky body and mounds of hair that the young woman declared felt softer than her own.
Naturally Jasmine didn’t care about any of this. She also didn’t care about the movie, as funny as it was to watch through tipsy eyes. No, she was too caught up in the shit Ethan Cole put her through earlier that day.
“Didn’t get a job offer yet, huh?” Juan asked, already on his second beer. “I ask because you seem pretty pissed about something.”
Jasmine rolled her eyes and pretended that the label on her beer bottle was too fascinating to pull away from. “Maybe,” she mumbled. “Actually, that’s a lie. I did get a job offer. But I turned it down because it was super shitty.”
“Oh? What did they want you to do, scrub toilets? Sheesh, if it’s good enough for most people these days…”
I dunno. Is scrubbing his toilet part of what he wants in a submissive?
Jasmine shuddered. The whole ordeal was preposterous on so many levels. She often couldn’t believe that it had really happened.
Richest man in the area wants me to be his sex-slave. For two-million dollars!
She wanted to tell the siblings about it. Oh, did she ever. She wanted to rant about Ethan’s stupid face and his stupid office, and she wanted to tell them about his absurd proposal.
For two-million dollars!
But Jasmine didn’t dare. Mostly because she also didn’t doubt for one second that Ethan Cole really would sick his super lawyer on her and sue her for every last dime she had at the bottom of her purse. Not that she had anything.
Maybe I can give him my student loans.
He would pay them off with a wave of his hand.
There was one way, however, she could bring it up without voiding the NDA.
“Some guy did ask me out on a date, however.” Ethan had done more than that, but Jasmine would segue into it. “Real jerk. Sad thing was that he was totally gorgeous and if he weren’t a jerk I may have taken him up on it.”
“Hit on at a job interview? Wasn’t one of your interviewers, was it?”
Jasmine became tight-lipped for the second time that day.
Do I tell them?
Would that break part of the NDA? “No,” she decided to lie. “Some other guy who works there.”
Selena leaned forward from where she sat on the other side of her brother. “He’s gorgeous, you say? Even so, you did the right thing. That’s so inappropriate to hit on a woman when she’s trying to recover from a terrible job interview.”
The only thing Jasmine could say to that was a glare meant for Selena’s subconscious. “I didn’t say it was terrible. Just that I’m not likely to be working there anytime soon.”
“Tough times for all of us.” Juan sat his empty beer bottle on the coffee table made of crates and corkboard. “At least you’re getting interviews. My cousin has sent in fifty résumés around town and not a single call back. I hear that’s normal these days.”
Please don’t remind me.
It wasn’t usual for Jasmine to get call backs either. No one wanted to talk to her. No one wanted to give her money for services.
Except that Ethan Cole guy…
Every time she thought of it, Jasmine went through three stages: excitement that she was offered such a prestigious position that would look fantastic on her résumé, shock that she was then propositioned for something like
and then disgust for herself and the man who did it.
Why would Ethan Cole want her like that? What was it about her that set his sights on
by chance that morning? There were half a hundred women milling around the atrium when he passed through. Yet something had called his attention to Jasmine Bliss, a woman of modest appearance and mediocre talent.
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
It was a problem Jasmine had sometimes, especially when she looked at the state of her adult life so far. Only three years out of college and her résumé looked like she went into a career buffet and sampled a bit of everything before realizing she was either allergic or not into Salmonella.
In truth, I’m stuck in temp hell.
A hell she really wanted to escape, but had no idea how.
Jackson-Cole was her first chance in many months to get out of her paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. It didn’t help that she had over forty thousand dollars in student loans breathing down her neck, or that dietary restrictions meant buying food she could barely afford, or that…
I need a job so badly.
A steady one, where she knew how much she was getting every month –
Thirty bucks an hour! –
and even had insurance so she could go to the doctor for the first time in a year.
“You guys know anyone with a sugar daddy?”
Both Juan and Selena eased away from her on the couch. “Sugar daddy?” Selena asked. “You mean like some old rich guy paying your bills while you go out with him?”
“That’s what it usually means, yeah.”
“No. No we can’t say we know anyone,” Juan said.
“Speak for yourself! Back in high school I had this friend who had a sugar daddy. Guy was a real creep. Only met him once, but I was so skeeved out I refused to be around him ever again. It was clear that he was using her for sex. But she wasn’t complaining because he bought her all sorts of nice stuff and paid for her first year of college. I don’t talk to her anymore though. No idea what happened.”
“That’s intense.” Juan folded his arms behind his head. His legs spread out and took up most of the room, forcing Selena and Jasmine to shuffle to the farther ends.
“Seems like it would be more work than it’s worth finding some rich guy to pay for your crap. Getting a regular job would be easier.”
“You might be surprised,” Jasmine mumbled. “I mean, you’d be surprised how forward some men can be.”
The movie and beer night came to an end shortly after that. Selena picked up her brother and took him out into the cold, loud night where sirens continued to go off and an angry dog barked loud enough to send Blackbeard hissing under the couch. The only thing Jasmine could see was her cat’s giant, poufy black tail swishing against the moldy linoleum.
“What in the world am I going to do?” Jasmine knew it was a hopeless question to ask the cosmos. And by the cosmos she meant the image of Neil deGrasse Tyson, who popped up on her TV as soon as she shut off the movie.
Too bad I can’t just peace off of Earth.
No, not by some terrible end. Jasmine wanted to get on a spaceship and go out into the universe, where she had a good reason to be single and jobless.
I’m exploring space for the good of mankind. No need for a boyfriend or a job out there!
The loneliness would probably destroy her, but it was better than sitting in this craphole of an apartment and… damn, who would feed the cat?
“What do you think?” Blackbeard was now on her lap, purring and oozing himself all over the end of the couch. Jasmine patted him on the rump before glancing at the end table and seeing the wadded up paper Ethan Cole gave her earlier.
She had meant to throw it out. In fact she thought that she had thrown it out somewhere in the office. But when she came home she realized it was still stuck in her fist, and instead of tossing it into the nearest trash can Jasmine left it on her end table.
That was a bad idea.
Now she stared at it, as if she were Superman and this piece of paper radiated Kryptonite.
If I call him, I can make a million dollars. Two million dollars.
It was almost tempting.
Jasmine was in a dangerous place. For all she knew, this still was a prank of some sort. Still, as she stared at the number, written in Ethan Cole’s meticulous handwriting, she couldn’t help but think of the man who offered her the proposition of a lifetime. Handsome. Astute.
He was the full package as far as ultimate fantasies were concerned.
I still can’t believe it.
He was also arrogant, demanding, and God knew what else. In the span of fifteen minutes, Jasmine had seen so many sides to Ethan that it seemed impossible to look beyond any of them. Why would she want to work for a man who thought he could buy women based on his sexual whims? Let alone date one!
Would I be a prostitute? An escort? A sugar baby?