Impossible to resist bos.., p.1
Impossible (to Resist) Boss: Billionaire Romance, page 1
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Other Novels by Arabella Quinn
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Impossible (to Resist) Boss
by Arabella Quinn
Impossible to Resist Boss
Copyright © 2017 by Arabella Quinn
All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This book is 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, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.
This novel is dedicated to my dear friend, Becca. Without her support, this novel would have never happened. Here’s to kitties and roosters!
I hated him. I hated his dumb rules and his dismissive tone. I hated how sex appeal oozed from his very pores. I especially hated how smugly confident he was that I’d jump at his every beck and call. And today, I think I hated him even a little bit more than usual.
Six long years of dedicated service to Kaine Industries and this is how I was treated?
I muttered curses under my breath as I watched my boss return to his office after he’d curtly informed me that I’d need to come into work again this coming Saturday morning. For the third weekend in a row. I fumed silently for several seconds before I clicked open the word document, innocently labeled ‘Bradley Contract’, that always remained visible at the bottom of my screen. I needed my fix.
Dear Mr. Kaine:
I do not regret to inform you that I am resigning from Kaine Industries as your executive administrative assistant. As I am sure that you are aware, (because, of course, you know everything), you are the most insufferable man that I’ve ever had the displeasure to work for.
I find you to be an arrogant jackass and a bully. You have little to no redeeming qualities. You are the most pig-headed, smug, rude, pompous, over-critical, controlling and inflexible micro-manager ever to live on this planet.
You could not pay me enough money to remain as your administrative assistant. I take tremendous joy in telling you that today will be my last day of employment. I quit.
I smiled to myself as I read the letter. I knew the words by heart, but seeing them written out always made me feel better. I chewed softly on my lower lip as I thought about a new revision; this resignation letter was a work in progress. I was constantly perfecting it and today was no exception. I added ‘inconsiderate’ to the long list of negative traits and then re-read my masterpiece, frowning. No it wasn’t quite right yet… I deleted the word ‘planet’ and added ‘universe’ in its place. …ever to live in this universe. Yes, that sounded much better.
Satisfied with my adjustments, I closed the document. One day, Jason Kaine was going to push me too far and I was going to print it off. Then, I would march right into his office, not bothering even to knock on his door, and toss the letter unceremoniously onto his desk. I would relish watching the look of smug superiority wiped clean off his face. He would offer me more money, maybe more vacation time, anything to keep me, because he knew that I was the best damn secretary to ever work for him. I would hold strong though. I wouldn’t be treated like garbage. He would act contrite, maybe even beg me to stay, but I wouldn’t back down. I had my principles.
I slowly sank back to reality. My resignation would remain a fantasy- one I had been harboring for the entire five months that I’d been working for Mr. Kaine. The initial rush of intrigue I had felt when I had first been contacted by Jason Kaine, Today’s Gossip’s 2016 Sexiest Man Alive and Power Player’s Bachelor of the Year, had quickly dissipated the moment he had started barking orders at me. The gossip around the water cooler had been accurate; the impossibly sexy man was even more impossible to work for.
Even though I had never met him, I had been employed at his company for six long years, working my way up to executive assistant the old-fashioned way, by earning it through hard work and sheer determination. Resignation wasn’t an option; it would be utterly foolish to burn any bridges now. While my performance reviews had been stellar in every department that I had worked for in the past six years, just one negative word from Mr. Kaine could easily render me unemployable.
Besides, my current salary and benefits were very generous. It was just bad luck that Jason Kaine was a notoriously demanding boss who went through administrative assistants as fast as fire burned through dry kindling. A small handful of his victims had managed to be transferred to other parts of the company instead of being outright fired. That was the best that I could hope for at this point.
“Lilliana!” Mr. Kaine’s shout snapped me out of my bitter musings. “Where are the Wilson files?”
My brows crossed with vexation. Even his tone of voice could bring out the worst in me.
I stood up and grabbed the Wilson files from my desk. Mr. Kaine had said that he needed them completed by Wednesday, which was still two days away. Luckily, I had already finished them.
I entered his office, or as I privately called it ‘the devil’s den’, Wilson files in hand. As usual, he didn’t notice my presence. I placed the files on his desk and stood waiting, silently willing him to acknowledge me. The least he could do was thank me for getting the work done ahead of time. Would it kill him to admit I did a good job from time to time?
“Will there be anything else, Mr. Kaine?” I asked rather pointedly.
He didn’t even look up. “Get Billings on the phone.”
Turning on my heel, I stalked out of the office feeling like I’d lost another round. After I got him set up with his phone call, I checked up on my e-mails. There was nothing that needed my attention. I poked around my desk, but it was no use – I knew I was all caught up on my to-do list.
I wasn’t getting enough work to do; the projects my boss gave me only took up half my time. Most of his day-to-day tasks were handled by a pool of secretaries; as long as I managed their workload smoothly, everything ran like a well-oiled machine. I had hinted that I could handle more responsibility to Mr. Kaine, and he had mumbled something about trusting me with some important matters, but the extra work had never materialized.
Normally, I wouldn’t complain too much about a light workload, but in Mr. Kaine’s office, it left me mind-numbingly bored. There wasn’t much else to do, because Mr. Kaine had a lot of strict rules for his immediate staff, rules that had gotten plenty of people into hot water and ultimately fired.
On my first day of work for him, when he lectured me about his expectations, my mouth must have hung open in astonishment. His crazy list of rules went something like this:
-Arrive before him and leave after him unless specifically told otherwise. (Little did I know the insane hours he worked, including many weekends!)
-Be available at my workstation at all times.
-No loitering with other employees.
-Ask before heading to lunch in case he might need something first.
-No eating at the desk.
-Absolutely no personal phone calls. Unless it’s a dire emergency, of course.
- No personal use of the internet. (This will be monitored by the IT department).
He made it clear that he checked up on all this, too. I had no doubt about it either, after hearing tidbits of gossip about former casualties who had all been fired, some after only mere hours on the job.
I suffered for weeks staring at my computer screen in agonizing boredom before I found a solution. It was a slow afternoon at work and I knew Mr. Kaine would be out of the office for the rest of the day. My fingers itched at the keyboard of my laptop, desperately wanting to surf the web, but I knew just one infraction could get me fired. It had been rumored that one of Mr. Kaine’s secretaries had even been fired for checking emails on her personal cell phone during work hours. I had no idea if that was even possible to track, but I didn’t want to chance it. So far, I had been relegated to playing an addictive puzzle game on my cell, which was most definitely starting to lose its luster.
That day during the down time, I was digging in my purse for my cellphone to play the game, when I felt a paperback book at the bottom. It was a romance novel that I had just started the day before while I was in the waiting room at the dentist’s office. That afternoon at work, I finished the book while Mr. Kaine was at his meeting.
That was the beginning of my secret indulgence. I made sure I only read if all my work had been completed to the high level of my own satisfaction. Only then, did I give myself permission to furtively read during work hours.
At first, I only read if Mr. Kaine wasn’t present. Frustratingly, some days he never stepped foot outside his office. He attended teleconferences, made phone calls, met with subordinates and worked on projects all from the devil’s den, usually with the door wide open. He would spend grueling hours working while I was expected to remain present and on call. With not enough work to keep me busy.
So naturally, when I began to get more comfortable with his routine and his habits, I started reading to relieve the extreme boredom even while he was in his office. At first, I tucked my paperbacks into rigid 3-ring binders, just in case I got caught off guard, the incriminating covers on my romances wouldn’t be exposed.
Just recently, the perfect idea presented itself to me. Mr. Kaine had handed me a slip of paper and asked me to check if a certain book was available at the local bookstore. It was a present for his nephew and he needed it for the next day. According to Mr. Kaine, the book was a masterpiece and just what his nephew needed.
I was overjoyed to get out of the office and stretch my legs, especially on such a gorgeous day. I peeked at the slip of paper on my way to the store, but I didn’t recognize the book. It was called Small Steps Will Take You Miles… Start Today! The store clerk recognized the book right away and led me to the self-help section. He quickly scooped a hardcover book off the shelf and handed it to me. Almost as an afterthought, he then grabbed the paperback version that sat next to it, mentioning that this used copy was also available.
I examined the used copy and realized that Mr. Kaine would never want to give this copy, with its slightly shabby cover and creased spine, as a gift even at such a great markdown. I was about to re-shelve the used copy when I stopped myself. The book was fairly cheap and I was curious to know more about this book since Mr. Kaine thought so highly of it. I brought both copies of the book to the register and paid for the used copy with my own money.
That night I tried to read Small Steps. It was awful. It was dull. There were no cute anecdotes or jokes to illustrate the author’s points. Advice was dispensed like the nastiest medicine. I couldn’t even get through the first chapter. I snorted with disgust as I threw down the book, wondering how on earth Mr. Kaine had ever gotten through such painful drivel let alone proclaimed it wonderful. I felt terribly sorry for his nephew.
I came up with the plan while I was staring at the offending copy of Small Steps innocently sitting next to one of the romance novels on my coffee table. The books were roughly the same size. I very carefully removed the outer cover from the Small Steps paperback and placed it over The Virgin Bride. Voila! My seedy romance novels now had the perfect cover in case I ever got busted reading in the office.
I thoroughly enjoyed just about any type of romance novel, but currently I was on a pirate binge, reading any bodice ripper that included naughty pirates that I could get my hands on. My latest find was a paperback that I had picked up at a garage sale for 25 cents. It was called A Pirate’s Embrace. The cover alone reeled me in – a roguish, shirtless pirate with dark windswept hair and requisite eye patch, embracing the innocent heroine whose ample virtues spilled generously from her silky gown.
With Mr. Kaine completely absorbed with his phone call to Billings, I pulled A Pirate’s Embrace, camouflaged with the Small Steps cover, out of my purse and eagerly sank back into the steamy story. It didn’t matter that the heroine, a tiny wisp of a thing, an innocent who found herself at the captain’s mercy, was nothing like me. I quickly rushed over her physical description, because I always imagined myself as the heroine of the books I read.
And ever since I began to work for Jason Kaine, it was humiliating to admit that he always seemed to worm his way into the lead role of hero. In the past, I had always prided myself on not falling for the latest celebrity crush.
Of course, I had known that Jason Kaine was stunningly attractive, but before I worked for him, it hadn’t affected me one bit. I laughed with ridicule at the women in the company when they chattered about a brief glimpse of the CEO, gossiped about his good looks, his net worth or speculated about his personal life. I was not interested in the least bit by Jason Kaine.
But then I started working for him. Seeing him everyday. In the flesh. The more I noticed his striking good looks or his muscular physique, the more I hated myself for it. I even started having fantasies about him, which made me even more annoyed with myself. And with him.
His physical appearance bothered me even more than his draconian rules. Now that I was arranging his schedule and media appearances, I grew more and more interested in his public events. I began following his activities like a stalker. I had never watched an interview with him on television before. Now, I watched them all. He was a media darling. Jason Kaine was constantly asked to be on speaking panels and to appear on cable and business news channel segments. He’d even appeared on a late night comed
Jason Kaine was handsome and articulate. I had to turn down more requests on his behalf than I accepted. He was practically a celebrity in his own right. Women panted over him, even the cool as cucumber business news anchors. There was constant chatter of relationships with super models linked to him in the gossip rags, complete with pictures, of course.
Despite my strange fixation with my boss, he annoyed me like no other. I wished he were more like the swoon-worthy romance heroes in my novels. Physically, he was certainly hot enough, but his prickly personality left a lot to be desired. If everyone knew the Jason Kaine I knew, they would stop drooling over the jerk.
I pulled my head out of A Pirate’s Embrace for a moment and listened intently. Mr. Kaine was still engrossed with his phone call. I smiled with relief. I couldn’t put the book down now! The wicked pirate was just teaching the innocent waif the very lustful nature of his ways.
Jason Kaine slammed down the phone with frustration. Billings’ shoddy work had almost cost him a very lucrative contract – a contract that he desperately needed. As it stood now, the whole deal was on thin ice. He’d barely been able to dig himself out of the hole with Tom Greystone using the information that Lilliana had researched for him. If the Wilson files hadn’t been completed when he’d talked to Greystone, the whole deal would have collapsed.
He had miscalculated when he had given Lilliana the deadline for the assignment. Luckily, she’d been just as thorough and efficient as usual and finished the work early. He had the overwhelming urge to run over to her desk and thank her profusely for the great job she was doing. She was becoming an invaluable asset to him and he wanted to encourage her excellent work.
But if he went soft on her, would she let up on her hard work and end up disappointing him like all the others? He’d found it incredibly frustrating and virtually impossible to find a decent administrative assistant, let alone someone who could actually anticipate what he needed. He’d had so many different secretaries over the years; he couldn’t even remember their names anymore. He paid a very generous salary and only hired applicants with impeccable resumes and glowing references.
by Arabella Quinn / Romance have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes