Chrissy did not need or want to be the babysitter for a forty-something billionaire. “You can do that, but sadly you’ll find out that I’m quite sane in this matter.”
Jessica huffed. “I’m not sure about that.”
“Don’t you have some calls to make to some nice mental health professionals?”
Jessica stuck her tongue out and flounced out of her office. Chrissy shook her head. Her assistant was a nice girl from a good family. She had no idea what a man like James Pearson would do to a minion. And half mil a year or not, Chrissy would most definitely be a minion.
Her office phone rang from Jessica’s extension.
“Mr. Grayson is on line one for you,” Jessica said stiffly.
“Thank you, Jessica.”
What now? After that disaster of an interview, she was sure that Charles wouldn’t be calling her again. How could Pearson not tell him how carelessly she had treated his client?
“Chrissy,” Charles said enthusiastically. “How’re you doing?”
“I’m fine,” she said cautiously.
“Wonderful, wonderful. I’ve got to tell you that you impressed Mr. Pearson very much. Very much indeed. He asked when you'd be able to start.”
“You can’t be serious,” she said. “He also told you that I said I wasn’t interested, right?”
“Of course he did. Very clever bargaining ploy. He’s authorized me to offer you a salary of $650,0000. Who am I kidding? He’s going $750,000, tops. I’ll just tell him you drove a hard bargain.”
“Charles, get those ridiculous dollar signs out of your eyes. I really don’t want to work with the man.”
“Don’t be silly. Of course you do. Holding out isn’t going to get you more cash. But I might be able to get you a private jet.”
“Charles!” Chrissy protested.
“Yes. A private jet is an extremely good idea.”
“For whom? You? Charles, what will it take for me to get through to you? I don’t want this job.”
“Think about it over the weekend. After your present bosses give you their ridiculously weak offer, call me.”
Charles clicked off, and Chrissy dropped the handset into its cradle none too gently. Of course, the headhunter saw dollar signs. The commission on a $750,000 job would be hefty amount of money. And it wasn’t surprising that he, like James Pearson, wasn’t going to take no for an answer.
Her line rang again. “Your mother’s on line one for you.”
Chrissy sighed and clicked on the call. “Hi, Mom. How are you?”
“Well. I’m just reminding you of that little party you’re supposed to go to tomorrow night to meet the Rocco man.”
“I haven’t forgotten, Mom.”
“Good. Because it’s a point of family honor that you show, remember that.”
Oh, for heaven’s sake, Chrissy thought. “Don’t worry, Mom. Honor will be satisfied.”
“Do you have something to wear? Feminine, not like your work clothes?”
Chrissy banged her head on her desk several times before she answered.
* * *
Saturday morning blazed bright through her bedroom window. Chrissy woke with a sense of anticipation wrapped around her. She drew her knees to her chest, excitement filling her chest.
But not for the party her mother was so excited about.
The meeting with Mr. Walker and her boss was today. She hoped the job offer had a good-sized promotion, because she wanted a legit excuse to bow out of Pearson’s offer.
“I’m so sorry, Mr. Pearson,” she wanted to say, “but my current company is offering a sizable promotion, and it plays to my skill set exactly. I wish you luck in finding a new assistant.”
Because, she thought, that bastard’s going to need it.
Mistress of his life, indeed.
A knock sounded on her bedroom door and her sister walked in, not waiting for Chrissy’s response. “Hey, you up?” She paused. “You’re decent, right?”
“When did that ever stop you?” Chrissy wondered what her sister would say if a guy was in her bed. A man like Saks.
“Hah,” Gloria said, flouncing toward the bed with a garment bag slung over her shoulder.
“What’s that?” Chrissy asked with suspicion.
“Mom’s latest creation for you.”
“Oh no,” Chrissy groaned.
“Yeah, she worried you didn’t have something feminine enough to meet the Rocco man.”
“Please no,” she moaned.
“Stop sounding like you’re in pain. It’s quite pretty, actually.” Gloria drew the dress out of bag and hooked it on Chrissy’s closet door.
Chrissy blinked and rubbed her eyes. Okay. It was pretty. The top was a navy scalloped lace overlaying a fitted cream bodice, and the flared skirt was cream with a lace print that matched the lace on the bodice. But it was wholly inappropriate for a party at a dive bar like the Red Bull. She was planning on wearing a cardigan and her jeans. “You know I can’t wear that at the Red Bull.”
“I know it. But I had to deliver it, otherwise she wouldn’t start working on my wedding dress.”
“Wait? Did Marcus ask you?”