Yet, I could have sworn that Sebastian Adams was checking me out, and that he liked what he saw. His eyes swept over my body as though he was imagining what I looked like naked…but it wasn’t in a sleazy way, so much as a look of possessiveness. Entitlement. I guess men like him can pretty much have whoever they want.
As soon as I get to work, Adrian calls me into his office.
“How was it? Have you got anything?” Not even a hello. Honestly, I hate working for this guy.
“It’s been one morning Adrian,” I remind him. “Give me a chance.”
He snorts derisively.
“This is your last chance, and you’ve got two weeks. Or you will be a maid for real.”
I want to remind him that it’s not my fault our last story tanked, that he was the one who went with bad sources. But it’s a conversation we’ve had numerous times in the last month and it’s one that has proven to get me nowhere but further in his bad books. I want this job. I want to be the one who finds out something juicy about the notoriously tight-lipped CEO, who never gives interviews and appears to have no private life whatsoever.
Yet all I’ve got so far is that he seems to be quite friendly to his staff.
“He seems like a nice guy,” I say to Adrian with a sigh. “I can’t dig up dirt that isn’t there…but if it’s there, then I’ll find it.”
“It’s always there,” Adrian snaps. “Everyone has their secrets. Find his.”
He looks me up and down appraisingly.
“You’re not a bad looking girl Rose,” he says grudgingly, as though it hurts him to pay me a compliment. “Seduce him.”
My mouth falls open. “What?”
He leans back in his chair and nods smugly, clearly pleased with himself for the idea.
“Yes, that would be a scoop wouldn’t it? The big CEO turns out to be a sexual harasser…and of his lowest paid staff too.”
“My seducing him is hardly him being a harasser,” I point out. Adrian shrugs, and I have a sinking feeling. That’s exactly how he would spin it, and there will always be plenty of people ready to believe it.
I shake my head. “I’m not doing that. Not only would it ruin his reputation for no good reason, but you’re basically suggesting I make myself into a honey trap. Are you an editor or a pimp?”
Adrian jumps up, glaring at me, and I know I’ve gone too far. Me and my big mouth.
“Get out of my office!” he yells. I turn to flee, and he shouts after me. “Remember this is your last chance!”
I’m shaking as I close the door behind me and make my way to my desk. Next to me Sally, our Fashion Editor, smiles sympathetically.
“Adrian after you again?”
I nod, slumping in my chair.
“It’s because he knows you’re good,” Sally whispers conspiratorially. “He’s jealous. He’s always wanted to be a reporter you know, not an editor, but he never made it. He only got this job because his daddy is rich and pulled a few strings. If it helps.”
I smile, but it doesn’t help, not really. Adrian currently has the power to end my career before it has even begun. I would cut my losses and try another paper, but because I got the blame for last month’s terrible feature, I’ll be lucky to get anything decent.
This is my dream. I can’t let him ruin it. One good story and I can get a better position elsewhere and I’ll never have to worry about Adrian again. I don’t owe Sebastian Adams any loyalty. I don’t even know him.
It would hardly be a trial to get close to him that way. I feel hot just at the thought of the way his eyes travelled over my body and then gazed into my eyes. No, it wouldn’t be a trial at all.
Except…it’s hardly the way I imagined my first time. I grew up with the idea that sex was something to be shared with your life partner, and I’ve found that hard to shake off. As a result, I’ve never met a man I’ve really wanted to give myself too…until now.
I know there’s no way I can go through with Adrian’s idea. I’m just going to have to find some dirt instead…with a man so secretive, there has to be something.
I get on with putting the gossip column together, but all day long I’m distracted. I keep thinking about the morning and seeing Sebastian again.
I’m at the office at six am sharp, waiting for her. I’m a known workaholic, but this is early even for me. I have a huge black coffee in my hands and I’m wondering if I’ve put too much aftershave on. I spent twenty minutes choosing a shirt…twenty minutes. Most of my shirts look the same anyway.