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Getting Personal

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I smile patiently at Mrs. Jenkins.

She's wearing some sort of gold lamé dress and high black boots, which seems odd for a business meeting. Her lips are pink, her hair is black, and everything about her sparkles. Not in a bad way, but in a rich lady-bling kind of way.

This night is getting stranger by the second.

Why had I negotiated with Alex like that? Especially after we stared each other down. That moment was the most disconcertingly hot sixty seconds I'd ever experienced in my life.

The way his eyes looked before his grandmother walked in made my body feel like it was on fire from the inside out. My heart still hasn't recovered. I scratch my wrist and press my fingers to the underside, where the vein is. Just as I thought. My blood is racing.

What I just did was so out of character. But I have the distinct feeling that he thought I should stay and pretend to be his secretary for free, and that irks me. He has all the money in the world and wanted to take advantage of my time.

Time I could be spending with my sister before she goes away to camp, then to college.

I start to chew on a thumbnail, worrying about whether Sabrina is burning our apartment down or having friends over and cracking open a case of beer. Panic begins to set in, and I lower my hand, knowing it's rude.

"Humid night, isn't it?" Might as well make small talk.

"A real bitch out there." Mrs. Jenkins says this so cheerfully and casually that I laugh. I like this woman already.

She leans toward me. "I know you're not his secretary. He always hires ugly ones. You don't have to pretend or sneak around. I know all about my grandson. And that's why I'm not going to give him what he wants."

I rub my lips together. "What does he want?"

"He hasn't told you? He wants my title as CEO, and I won't give it to him until I think he's demonstrated that he's grown up. He can't just get everything he wants because he's a man and snaps his fingers."

I stare at her with wide eyes. Is this entire family insane? Maybe this is how rich people do things. I hadn't grown up with money; my parents were soldily middle class in a small town an hour outside of Atlanta. We were the perfect American family, at least until they died. Certainly no one that I was related to would act like Alex and his grandmother.

They're eccentric, rich Southerners. That's it.

Mrs. Jenkins pats my knee, and I see that her nails are done in bright pink hue. She's got to be at least eighty. This is a woman who has no fucks left to give.

"Now, you seem like a nice girl. A huge improvement on those other tramps he's been with. They just want him for his money. You seem a lot classier." She winks. "If he was serious about a girl like you, I might change my mind about him taking everything over."

"Uh, thank you?" I croak.

Just then, Alex stalks into the room, holding a mug. He sets it in front of his grandmother then sits behind the desk. It's awfully formal for a guy and his granny.

That might be the only formality, I realize. Alex and his grandmother begin an instant verbal volley about the company's new initiative for recycling tires. She has some very strong views that probably won't win her any awards with the Sierra Club. I'm relieved when I hear Alex saying that recycling and being a more environmentally friendly company is important to him.

For the next hour, I try to keep up and take notes. Alex and his grandmother are quite animated, talking about business one minute, and his parents the next. I gather that his father used to have something to do with the tire business, but all he wants is to travel. Mrs. Jenkins also brings up Alex' sister, who apparently had a baby recently.

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by TamaraLush
Alex Jenkins, ex-motorcyclist and heir to billions, fakes his engagem...
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