Billionaire's Inheritance Bride(5)

By: Amanda Horton



“I wonder how she would look naked, with that hair hanging freely over her shoulder.”

Ace shrugged the notion away but an idea hurtled through his brain. If it worked, Grandfather Masterson would hand over control of the company and Miranda Benson would be in a better position to keep her daughter.

***

Miranda reported for work the next day and headed straight for Ann Mason’s office. She tossed and turned all night debating if the email had been a bad call. Yesterday she was both panicked and desperate. Today she was just worried about Ann’s reaction. She prayed Ann understood her predicament as she headed directly to the woman’s cubicle.

“Ann, about the email...” Miranda began.

“Miranda,” Ann spoke simultaneously, “I was about to call for you.”

Miranda was relieved. Ann had read the email and seemed okay.

“About the email, I wanted to explain…”

“What email?” Ann asked. “I haven’t gone through my inbox yet. But that’s not why you’re here. I got a call from HQ. You are needed at the penthouse. Look for Sienna, she’ll take care of you.”

“What? Why?” Miranda asked, taken aback. Ann looked at her like she was an idiot. Anyone else would swoon at the chance, but Miranda looked ready to flee.

“I don’t know why. I just follow orders like you do.” Ann retorted.

In less than an hour, Miranda found herself in front of Mastersons’ Conglomerate. The gold, glass and chrome façade, customized with suspended planters, was its own version of subdued affluence. It wasn’t hard to imagine the wealth that poured into its various organizations.

Sienna met her at the lobby and led her to a room that was bigger than her entire office. She sat, feeling like an intruder and regretting turning down the offer of a drink. Her tongue was stuck to the roof of her mouth.

Miranda fidgeted, running a sweaty palm through her hair; her throat burned as she ran a tongue across dry lips. She kept an eye on the door, wallowing in the tension. She could still make a run for it, but then she’d never know why she was summoned in the first place.

The door opened and Miranda gawked. The billionaire CEO and ruler of this empire approached, clutching a manila envelope, his free hand outstretched for a handshake. “Miss Benson, I’m…”

“…Ace Masterson,” Miranda squeaked, taking the outstretched hand. “I know who you are. Technically, you’re my boss.”

“Can I offer you anything before we begin?”

“The girl, err-your secretary, offered me a drink earlier. I’m sorry I declined because I’m nervous being here and feel like peeing. I don’t know why I got summoned. I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong and I’m being cut from the secretarial pool which really sucks. A glass of water would be great.” Miranda blathered.

Ace smiled. She was a bundle of nerves; an effect he had on most women. Who could blame her?

Ace was Hollywood drop-dead gorgeous. His pictures didn’t do him justice. His hair was short in a perfect French crop, complementing the five o’clock shadow on a perfectly squared jaw. He didn’t forget to shave. This was designer stubble at its sexiest. Animal magnetism sluiced from every pore.

“Would you like to use the bathroom before we begin?” he asked kindly.

Miranda jumped at the opportunity and, once alone, chastised her reflection in the mirror. “You’re acting like an idiot.”

Summoning a level of poise that she hardly possessed, Miranda emerged and immediately gulped down a glass of water too quickly, drowning herself in the process. She coughed wildly as Ace handed her a box of tissues.

“I’m sorry…” she apologized, turning crimson.

“Miss Benson…may I call you Miranda? I called you here to offer you a job.” He announced.

“B-b-but I thought I was getting fired,” she stuttered, then “Really?” in voice two octaves higher. How on earth did that happen?

“Yes, really,” he answered lightly, “But I need to know some things about you.”

Miranda nodded effusively as she controlled the urge to whoop. Had she known, she would have prepared a CV. “Please feel free to ask,” she replied, eagerly.

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