He looked at me as if expecting me to speak. Maybe he wanted me to say something, but I had no idea what that would be. His mention of dark shadows didn’t deter me at all, and maybe he expected it would. But the sad thing was, his admittance of having the shadows was not all that different than the things I had to deal with in my life. I could have been the starring actress in his movie since I had played that part many a time.

“This job, Tessa, is not an ordinary job at all. You will not get to clock in and clock out. There are no breaks, no holiday pay, and no HR department to run to when you feel you’re being mistreated. I’m an asshole. I’m a perfectionist. I like things my way, and only my way. If things are not done the way that I expect, I can be harsh and unforgiving. And I’m not going to be much company since I will be focused on my book and only my book. We will spend a lot of time at the cabin, and then when we leave there, we’ll reassess your duties and what I will need from you.”


Swallowing against the lump in the back of my throat, I prayed my words wouldn’t come out as a squeak. “I understand this job isn’t going to be like a normal nine to five. I understand I have to live on location, Mr. Anderson. I completely understand what I’m getting myself into, and I want it.” All of his talk of rules and strict expectations did little to deter me. I had had some of the shittiest bosses anyone could imagine. No way could Mr. Anderson be any worse than them, and at least with this job, I didn’t have to go home to a pile of bills and an eviction notice staring back at me.

He paused with skepticism washed all over his face. “So you have no experience in this type of work. Yet, you want this job simply because it’s going to be in the mountains?”

“Right,” I said as I decided I better try to fight for this if I really wanted the job. Which I did. Otherwise, I was going to blow any opportunity I had. “I mean, not just because it’s in the mountains, but because it’s different from everything else I have ever done before. I understand that I don’t have any experience in this, but I can assure you that I’m a quick learner and a hard worker. I’m loyal, dedicated, and there isn’t anything I won’t do that is needed of me. I’m not a diva or high maintenance, and I know how to keep my head down and my mouth shut.” I took a deep breath, and paused to try to read him, which was completely impossible since he only stared at me with zero emotion. “I will give everything I have to making sure I provide all the duties you require.”

“I’m finding it hard to believe that you would want a job where you’re expected to pick up and move to a place out in the middle of nowhere. With a man you know nothing about other than the fact that I just told you that I’m a strict asshole. How do you know you would like it? Are you prepared for the fact that there is no one around? There will be no way to easily go into town, no real days off, and your only company will be a good book or Mother Nature since I’ll be locked away in my office writing for the majority of the time,” Price informed.

“Well, I don’t know that I’ll like it. But does anyone know if they will truly like a job when they interview for one? All I do know is that I’ve worked some lousy jobs in the past, and they barely kept me fed, let alone housed.” I ran my palms along the fabric of my skirt, trying my best not to fidget anymore, or put my fingernail in my mouth and start nibbling away, which was always a bad habit of mine. “I believe that I would enjoy being… being your assistant. I won’t lie and say the idea of picking up and moving doesn’t gives me butterflies in my stomach.” My face had to be bright red because the heat radiating from it had grown so powerful that my ears actually felt hot. “And I have never had housing provided before with any of my past work.” I glanced around with longing. “I also have never lived in a house before. It shames me to admit to that, but maybe it will help explain why everything about the ad appealed to me. If I got this job, I would have a chance to live a completely different life. A life that has only been a fantasy for me. Working for an author and caring for a house… well, that sounds like heaven. It’s something I have never had a chance to experience, and if I were given the opportunity to do this, I would not let you down. I assure you.”

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