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All Tied Up

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EVIE

When I whirl in the direction of the voice, I see Alex, the company's CEO — all six-foot-something, dark hair and blazing black eyes — glaring at me from the door that had been closed a few seconds before.

"I-I..."

"Is that the corp comm file on the tire recycling program?" he growls and I nod enthusiastically. "Fucking marketing. They take so long with everything."

Hey! We do not! I want to shout, but he's obviously angry so I stand, frozen to the plush grey carpet.

"Gather those papers and get the coffee on. She'll be here soon."

She? Who? What?

"Uh, sir, I—"

Alex steps closer and his smell washes over me. Yum. I breathe deep a few times, trying to get more of his scent in my nose.

"I told the agency that I didn't want the girls to call me sir." He gives me a once-over, and I detect a suspicious, or possibly skeptical, look on his face.

"Sorry, sir," I look up, then down at my feet. "Sorry, Mr. Jenkins, but I think there's been a mixup."

"Yes. There has been a mixup. Corp Comm has fucked up and the agency obviously sent me a temporary secretary that's borderline mute. Go get the coffee. My grandmother will go ballistic if I don't have something hot and alcoholic waiting for her."

I blink at him stupidly. This is obviously the wicked Alex Jenkins. I feel sorry for his poor granny.

"The coffee's in there." With an arrogant gaze, he points at the door where he'd just emerged, then walks around the front of the desk and sinks into the black leather seat. "And make it strong."

Shaking, I collect the papers and set the file on his desk. I guess there's no harm in making the guy and his grandma coffee, right?

Sabrina would call me obedient for doing something like this, but I think it's just old-fashioned manners. Even if Alex Jenkins is a prick.

The room's actually something of a studio apartment, with a fancy stainless steel coffee maker near a small fridge, a clothing rack with identical dark suit jackets and white shirts, and a cozy-looking gray sofa that's aimed at a flat screen TV.

He must work so hard that he stays here sometimes. I fiddle with the coffee maker. As the machine churns out the fresh-smelling brew, a disconcerting realization comes over me.

He thinks I'm his secretary.

It's kind of funny, really, a man so powerful not knowing his own secretary. But he'd said something about a temp, and with the temper he just exhibited, I suspect that he goes through secretaries quite quickly.

Thank God I'm in a whole different department, away from such wrath. Even though he is impossibly sexy, I'd hate to be around such arrogance for forty hours a week. And he's probably the kind of boss to make his secretary work overtime. Unpaid.

Wait. I'm working overtime. Unpaid. I snort a little.

First I poured the coffee into a mug, then wonder if I should use one of the carafes. Figuring that I'll bring some to him first to get his approval — he seems like the kind of man who wants to approve everything in his orbit — I straighten my spine and walk into the office with the coffee.

He's sitting in the chair, his back to me, when I slightly bend to give him the coffee. When he whirls around, his knees brush my bare legs and I become flustered.

His hand flies up, and knocks the mug out of my grasp.

It splatters all over his white shirt, and my pink cardigan. He curses, loud and vulgar.

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