I Need You Now, page 1part #2 of Need Series Series
I Need You Now—Need #2
Copyright 2015 by Cynthia P. O’Neill. All rights reserved.
First Print Edition: May 2015
Formatting: Champagne Formats
Cover Photo:Eric Battershell Photography
Cover Model:Ryan Van Dyke
Cover Designer:Randy Potvin of RP Designs
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to locales, events, business establishments, or actual persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.
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Table of Contents
I Need You Here—Need # 3
About the Author
I Need You Always
A Learning Series
Learning to Trust
Learning to Let Go
Learning to Love Again
I Need You Now—Need # 2
The songs can be found out on Spotify:
“Break Free” by Ariana Grande
“Problem” by Ariana Grande and Izzy Azalea
“Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj
“Open Your Heart” by Europe
“Something I Need” by One Republic
“Need You Tonight” by INXS
“Love You Like A Love Song” by Selena Gomez
“Me and My Broken Heart” by Rixton
“The Heart Wants What It Wants” by Selena Gomez
“Alone Together” by Fall Out Boy
“It Was Always You” by Maroon 5
“Sugar” by Maroon 5
“Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum
To the most incredible man a woman could ever hope to dream of, my husband Craig. You inspire my world and are the love of my whole existence. Thank you for believing in me!
I’d also like to dedicate this book to a remarkable photographer who has encouraged me to keep moving forward with my dreams and whose pictures inspire my latest set of stories. Thanks Eric!
I WAS GLAD TO be back in the hotel room, having finished my last assignment. I hated the Seattle weather, always dreary and raining, but the assignment was good. I got to work with a fellow dominant who knew what he wanted to accomplish, already had a list of suspected skimmers in his company, and had all the information I needed ready and waiting for me when I arrived.
He hadn’t liked my need to fly home, mid-assignment, but after telling him it was my sister’s wedding, he extended his private jet to take me back to Orlando. I’d enjoyed spending time with the reclusive billionaire and his wife and adorable children. It was nice to just shoot the bull with a temporary boss instead of always saying, “Yes, sir. No, sir,” as I had to with my other assignments. I was a dominant, not a damn submissive, and he got that. He’d read me easily from day one and we got along.
His skimmer turned out to be an employee going through some rough medical times. I was surprised he didn’t press charges, but instead helped out his family and let him off with a warning.
I’d already given my notice to my employer. This would be my last assignment with them. I was tired of traveling. He’d offered me a position with his company to work with his computer team to help create software that could alert companies quicker when skimming or hacking occurred. The offer was intriguing, but I wanted to live closer to my sister, get to know my future niece or nephew, and find the woman who’s held me captive in my dreams.
I wasn’t looking for a connection, only a hook-up for some release that night, after my sister’s graduation. I was so pissed about her ex-boyfriend that I needed to blow off some steam, and to me, there was no way better than a good fuck.
I’d gone to Dane’s parents’ club, The Shanty, and found one of the owner’s, Kent, to help talk me through my frustrations before I decided to prowl the scene. It was good having a friend as a psychiatrist.
A Greek goddess passed my line of sight. She had platinum blonde hair, a light tan, and wore a black lace mask to hide some of her face, and red “come hither” lipstick. Her short black leather dress and “fuck me” stiletto red pumps caught my eye. I watched as her ass sashayed up to the bar.
I could tell the hair wasn’t hers just by the way it moved. She was incognito, much like myself. I’d pulled a cowboy hat from the props room, along with a Lone Ranger mask. It seemed to be a popular fantasy among women to be ridden hard by a cowboy and I definitely aimed to please.
I memory of that night consumed me as I leaned back against the bed and slowly drifted off to sleep, recalling my conversation with “Vixen” playing through my dreams. “Hello cowboy? Care to tame a wild—”
I startled when my cell phone rang. “Hello?”
“Hey, Nate. Did I wake you?” It was Dane’s voice.
I instantly panicked. “Is Marissa okay?”
“She’s fine. We’re actually enjoying our honeymoon. But we can’t seem to get away from finding new items to offer up to our buyers. I know we’re not supposed to be working, but try telling your sister that.”
“That’s cool. If she’s fine, then why are you calling?” I knew something was up with Dane because he never called unless there was a reason.
“My family needs your assistance. Remember how we’d talked about someone screwing around with the numbers in some of our sales reports?”
“Yeah. We talked about it in the hospital. Are there more problems?”
I could hear Dane take a deep breath, which wasn’t good. “Whoever’s doing this is trying to implicate a couple of people. One is our new accounting manager. We can assure you they’re not guilty. The other is your sister.”
I could feel the anger rising inside me as I slammed my fist down into the bed, making it squeak. “Why can’t she just be left alone in peace? Is it that bastard, Tom, trying to pull some kind of shit from jail?”
“No. He’s actually in the hospital right now. Someone tried to kill him and they may have succeeded. So he’s not a problem.”
I shook my head, trying to figure out why someone would want to
Dane laughed. “No. None of them would be bright enough to carry on such an elaborate scheme. Whoever this is has to be internal, we just can’t figure out whom. We’ve checked for hacking and there are no signs of anyone getting into our systems externally.”
My mind quickly went through my standard questioning. “Do you have a list of suspects? Can you get access to the hard copies of the information that’s affected?”
“We’re not sure who could be doing this, though we do have a couple of names. They haven’t been exactly nice toward the new account manager or Marissa.”
He paused for a moment, listening to Marissa say something in the background. “Your sister just reminded me that even the hard copies we scan into the system have been tampered with. The scenario looks like she’s pulling sales from our associates and padding her own figures so that we’ll both get better compensations for the quarter. As for the accounting department, it’s making our manager look like a fool. Once they sign off on the figures, the numbers suddenly change and the manager is questioned. It looks like they’re failing at their job.”
I raised my voice a bit. “I hope you’re not calling my sister a thief or you and I will have issues.”
Dane was quick to respond. “Nate, I love your sister and trust her with all my heart. She’s the one who pointed out the initial discrepancies, but since we’ve been gone, more have followed, which alerted my father. Whoever’s doing this doesn’t realize the people they’re messing with are family members. My sales team usually gets bonuses based on their performance each quarter. Marissa and I are exempt, because we get a flat salary and that’s it. It’s our goal to lead the department and reward the employees for their efforts, not take from them. So the person doing this has no clue how our system works or that they’ve just pissed off the wrong people.”
I breathed a little easier, knowing my sis wasn’t a suspect. “So what do you want me to do?”
“My father will send a plane for you in a couple days. He wants you to come into the company undercover and fill in as a temp in our accounting department. He’ll pay you what your current company used to charge, as well as set you up in my old condo, so you don’t have to worry about looking for a new place to live while you work for us.
“Dad has your number and will provide you all the details. When the job’s done, we can help you find work or assist you in opening an office of your own. Can you help us?”
“Your family and my sister need vindication. I’d be happy to do this for free. That’s what family is for,” I offered.
“Thanks, Nate, but we’ll pay you for your time. I need to go. Your sister is calling me to dinner.”
I was happy to hear my sister was fine, but hated that someone still had it in for her. This just got personal and I hope the individual was ready to pay for crossing the line.
I’d planned on finding a new place, realizing I was growing up and needed to be away from the party scene my roommates seemed to be stuck in. Not having to worry about things would free me up to spend my time seeking out the Vixen in my dreams.
I’d already been back to Orlando, searching for her in the club any chance I had. I’d never been into emotional hookups, but with her, we seemed to connect on a level that brought out intense desires in me. I’d never experienced a euphoric release in my life, but I’ve been floating ever since that night.
Her captivating aroma of strawberries and champagne was etched in my mind. I’d almost thought I’d found her when I was standing up with Dane at his and Marissa’s wedding. The scent blew across the pool area, where the guests had been seated.
I glanced over the crowds to try to determine where it had come from while watching my sister walk down the aisle. I was disappointed to find a young woman in a power suit, hair tied tight in a bun, with sunglasses on, shift in her seat. Her facial structure seemed familiar, and she was cute, but the way she carried herself was too dominant for my tastes.
Out of curiosity, I tried to find her after the wedding, but she’d left in a rush.
Now, I was in a hurry to get home and possibly to my future.
I muttered to myself, as I began to pack. “I need you, Vixen. I need you NOW!”
MY BLOOD BEGAN TO boil. Who the hell kept messing with my figures? I just couldn’t understand it. I’d signed off on the final reports as being correct, before sending them to my uncle Alexander for final approval, then suddenly the figures would change and there were mistakes everywhere. I was ready to pick up my laptop and hurl it across the room. I just hope my family had something in place to catch whoever’s doing this and quick.
I’d been reluctant to take on the account manager’s position, but my uncle Alexander, the partial owner and CEO of our family’s company, insisted I was the right one for the job. Mr. Wilson had decided to retire after 40 years of service to Prescott International. He’d started sending some of his work my way, since I was the assistant manager, about six months prior. I’d thought he was just off loading some of his work until another manager could be found. I had no clue that he and my uncle had conspired for me to take over.
I wish now that I’d passed on the position because it’s been nothing but trouble from day one. The new assistant manager, Rachel Evans, didn’t really want her position and only agreed to it for a short time, since she was pregnant. Now she was on maternity leave and considering staying home to be a full-time mom. No one was qualified to fill her shoes and help me out.
One of the other women, Karen Carlson, often vocalized how she should’ve been the one to get offered the managerial position, since she’d been with the company for more years than me. She was very accusatory that I’d slept my way into the position, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I was only 25 and Mr. Wilson was in his 60’s—sorry, but, eww! She had a knack for numbers, but she’d only worked the accounting department for the past year, having transferred in from Dane’s sales team. She’d grown tired of traveling and wanted something that would keep her in the office. Plus, she seemed to lust after Dane, taking any excuse to cross paths with him, despite his attention being solely on Marissa. It must be nice having someone totally devoted to you.
Then there was Cameron Heath, a handsome, yet arrogant bastard. He’d been in charge of the internship program Prescott International ran with the local university. I’d never liked the man, he creeped me out with the way he looked at women with total disregard.
While he was manager, few if any women were able to get hired on as full-time employees. It was the men who’d received the job offers and within a year, most of them had left for other opportunities, not being able to cut the workload we handled here. Thankfully, the current heads of the departments hired fairly and offered the positions up to the most qualified candidate, no matter their sex.
I went through the internship program and hated every minute I had to deal with him. He held no qualms in telling me I’d never get hired here because, as he put it, “Women don’t do well in this environment. It’s too fast paced for you to keep up with us men.” Talk about a male chauvinist pig!
I guess it was good being the CEO’s niece. I knew I’d get hired and had a position already in place for me. I just wasn’t going to tell him who I was. But I sure as hell told my Uncle Alexander how rude he was.
My uncle and my father discussed what to do with him when he purposely faulted Marissa. He was talented in so many areas of the company that they hated to just toss him out. That’s why he’d been placed in charge of the interns initially, because he had a general understanding of each department and how they worked.
It wasn’t until one of the interns, I think her name was Robin, decided to pitch a hissy in my uncle’s office that the nature in which Cameron treated women was revealed as being even more hostile than when I’d gone through the program. Apparently he’d allowed one of the interns, Conner, to steal ideas—Marissa’s ideas—and did nothing about it, except
Cameron’s mouth and attitude should’ve been enough to get him fired, but my uncle Alexander wasn’t one to cause a scene. He believed in second chances for people and as a result, I got saddled with the blow hard in my department. I could instantly tell he didn’t want to work for someone slightly younger than him, and especially not a woman.
The pressure of this position was starting to get to me. I’m not a leader by nature. I could manage it in a pinch, but it just isn’t me. You’d think I should be, given that most of our extended family seemed to exhibit some form of dominance both in the business world and in the bedroom. The only exceptions to the rule were my cousin Gabriella, her husband Jackson, and then me. They could assume either role, known as a switch, but I noticed Gabi was more submissive toward Jackson and he was more dominant toward her. It was rare to see the roles reversed.
As for myself, I’d been a submissive for years. I tried to fight the notion and force myself into a dominant role, but I loved the feeling of being controlled and cherished by a Dom. I tried going to my uncle and aunt’s sex club on the nights they weren’t there and hiding my identity. I was anonymous, but I could test out my secret desires to submit to a Dom.
When I’d been thrust into this new job, I had instant conflict among my team. Cameron was quick to push every button, seeing whether he could walk all over me, while Karen just seemed to bitch about everything. I’d decided then that I needed to test my dominant side and become the bitch of a manager I needed to be to gain the upper hand. So I decided to take on a Domme persona at the club and asked one to teach me how to control others and guide them. At that point, I didn’t have to hide myself from the club, because that’s what my family expected me to be, a Domme.
The lessons from Mistress Sheila were helpful. To be taken seriously, I dressed the part, wearing power suits and extremely high heels during the day to let people know, “Don’t fuck with me!” I had to put on a mask and play the part every day. I seemed to gain the respect of Karen and Cameron seemed to back off for a while. I guess it helped not allowing either of them to stand while I talked to them at their desks.
Other author's books:
- I Need You NowLoving You (Remembrance Series, Book 2)Jonas's Redemption: A Standalone Romantic Suspense (Titan Security Book 2)I Need You AlwaysLearning to Move Forward: Novella #3.5I Need You TooLearning to Trust
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