Aurelia Landon credited her superior poker face ability, inherited from her stone cold bitch of a mother, for saving her from humiliation when she strode into her office Monday morning. Dressed to kill in a severely tailored black suit, paired with the most awesome Prada shoes ever created – black and olive green striped four inch heels, she’d come prepared for the battle she knew lay ahead of her.
Someone was trying to undermine her authority and position at Captivated.
Someone was in for a very big surprise.
Aurelia had worked damned hard to achieve her position as editor-in-chief of the most prestigious fashion magazine in New York City. She had no intention of letting some asshole waltz in on a breeze and take it away from her.
“Good morning, Ms. Landon.”
“Good morning, Mrs. Wellington.” She pulled herself out of her thoughts long enough to aim a polite smile at the receptionist who so valiantly guarded the entrance. The older woman was a fixture in the reception area. No one now working for Captivated could remember anyone else guarding the gate. Mrs. Wellington was as much an institution at the magazine as the family who owned it, the Jennings family. Aurelia’s stunning, mouthy and fiercely executive assistant, Mabel Burke, also enjoyed a similar status.
“Busy morning,” the receptionist observed with a nod back towards Aurelia’s corner office.
On alert, Aurelia let her smile widen before she put on her poker face as she tried to remember if she’d missed something in her schedule. Mrs. Wellington didn’t need to know that her comments mystified her. She’d checked her calendar that morning as she’d done her half hour on the stationary bike, and there was nothing out of the ordinary for the day. An unusual occurrence, but one she welcomed. “Monday mornings always are.”
“Boy, you aren’t kidding,” Mrs. Wellington agreed as Aurelia continued on her way.
Too much activity for a Monday morning centered around Aurelia’s office. People scurried out of her way, however, once her presence was noted. The parting crowd revealed a view she could’ve done without—a tall, lanky man who sported a crop of auburn hair untamable by comb, smack dab in the middle of her office. She stopped in her tracks, felt her face freeze as she watched him from the safety of the hallway.
CEO of Captivated.
Just what Aurelia didn’t need this morning. The only other unwelcome sight would’ve been any member of her family waiting for her. With her father obliterating her voice mail with messages and texts, she was half-surprised to not see him. They didn’t have anything that she would classify as a “father-daughter relationship.” No, what she had with her father was adversarial and painful, and for that reason, she did her best to stay off his radar.
Logan stood, hands clasped behind him, with his back to the glass window that separated her office from the general, cubby-filled office space. He wore a hands-free device on his left ear, and as she opened the glass door to her office, she heard his low voice. She took a moment to take a steadying breath. Her reaction to this man confused her. Aurelia didn’t particularly like him, but that didn’t keep her from finding him sexily appealing. Something she’d never admit.
“…and reschedule all my afternoon meetings. Thank you, Kyle. ‘Lia, why don’t you close your blinds?”
She ground her teeth as she rounded her desk. “Aurelia, please, Mr. Jennings.” Her leather briefcase thumped against the floor when she dropped it. That got her his full attention. A half-amused smile quirked his lips, but the expression in his hazel eyes remained hard. Aurelia took a deep breath to steady herself. Again. He discombobulated her like no other man could, a very irritating trait among many. She closed her fingers over the small remote that operated the vertical blinds over the long interior window that served as wall between her and the rest of the office. One click, and instant privacy was theirs. She didn’t lower the blinds on her door. Too well she knew to do so would send the entire office without into a frenzy of speculation.
“I didn’t realize we had a meeting today, Mr. Jennings.”
“Sorry to inconvenience you, Aurelia. Have a seat.”
With that invitation, he settled in one of the large brown leather armchairs angled to face her mahogany desk. He stared at her over long steepled fingers. After expelling a gusty breath, he spoke. “I was against making you editor-in-chief. A fact of which you’re well aware. No need to answer. There’ll be plenty of time for you to refute me when I’m done. I didn’t believe you had the experience or savvy necessary to take Captivated to the next level. You managed to surprise me. I’ll admit that I found several of your accomplishments in your new position to be very impressive. But I had my reservations about you and now I know why.”
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