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My CEO Hates Me

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Rhys' Perspective: From the moment Elisa Martoni stepped into his office, billionaire CEO Rhys Murphy was consumed by a dark, brooding hatred. Though the beautiful young woman presented herself as a polished, professional secretary, to Rhys she was nothing more than the enemy - the daughter of the man responsible for destroying Rhys' life. Years ago, Rhys' parents were viciously murdered by Elisa's mafia boss father, an act that left the teenage Rhys shattered and vowing revenge. Now, with Elisa working mere steps away, Rhys is hellbent on making her pay for her family's sins. He will stop at nothing to uncover her deepest secrets and use them to bring about her downfall, no matter the cost to his own heart. Fresh out of college, Elisa Martoni considers herself the luckiest girl in the world when she lands a coveted secretarial position at the prestigious Murphy Enterprises. However, her elation is short-lived as she quickly discovers the real reason behind her new boss' icy demeanor. From the moment they meet, the enigmatic billionaire CEO, Rhys Murphy, treats Elisa with open disdain and cruelty. No matter how hard she strives to prove her worth, Rhys seems determined to undermine and humiliate her at every turn. Elisa is baffled by his hostility, unaware that she is unknowingly at the center of Rhys' decade-long quest for vengeance. As the threats and mind games escalate, Elisa finds herself desperate to uncover the truth behind Rhys' animosity. But the deeper she digs, the more she realizes the secrets of the past may be far more dangerous than she ever imagined. With her heart and her future hanging in the balance, Elisa must decide whether to flee or to trust the very man who seems hell-bent on destroying her.

Chapter 1

Elisa

My heels clicked sharply across the marble floors of the Murphy Enterprises lobby, echoing in the vast space. I breathed deeply, willing my nerves to settle. This was just another interview, I told myself, even though I was about to meet one of the most powerful billionaire CEO's in the city.

It has been three months since I graduated college. I have done six interviews so far, none of these companies have replied to me yet, I needed this job. Badly.

No big deal, Elisa. But despite repeating it like a mantra, my heart pounded against my ribs as I stepped into the executive elevator destined for his top floor office.

When I entered Rhys Murphy’s immaculate office, my gaze immediately collided with piercing steel gray eyes that made me freeze unexpectedly.

The most handsome man I have ever seen stood before me.None of the press photos did justice to how imposing he was in real life. I watched, transfixed, as his stormy gray eyes assessed me. Shock? Curiosity? Or even...recognition?

Before I could decipher it, I stepped forward with a confident smile. “Mr. Murphy, it's a pleasure to meet you. I’m Elisa Mart, here to interview for—”

"I know very well who you are, Miss Mart," Rhys interrupted, “ I saw your c.v.”

I faltered slightly but tried not to reveal my unease. I brightly launched into my polished qualifications. But Rhys barely glanced at my resume as I talked, his penetrating eyes locked on my face, scrutinizing and assessing. My speech occasionally faltered under his intense focus. What exactly was he searching for? Why did I feel completely bare before him, as if he could read my innermost thoughts?

When I finally finished talking, an uneasy silence descended over the vast office. The deafening ticking clock was the only sound. After an eternity, Rhys straightened in his imposing leather chair and uttered the fateful words:

"The job is yours. I expect to see you here at 8 am sharp tomorrow."

Rhys pov

I watched, stone-faced, as Elisa Mart turned and exited my office, though her image remained seared into my consciousness.

Her real name is Elisabetta Martoni, though, not Elisa Mart. She changed it before she went to university.

The moment I laid eyes on Angelo Martoni’s precious daughter I knew she was his greatest weakness. My fist curled involuntarily as I remembered the smug Italian mobster who got away with stealing my childhood and killed my parents when I was just 16 years old.

What was his daughter doing in my office? Surely a toy in her ruthless dad plan to fuck me up now that I am a billionaire. He couldn’t kill me when I was young but now he has all the time in the world since he disappeared from the surface of the earth almost ten years ago.

I vowed bloody revenge no matter the cost or time. Now, fate delivered into my hands the perfect instrument for finally enacting it after a decade—Martoni’s only child, Elisa.

I searched her face intently for resemblance to her villainous father or signs she shared his deceitful nature. But instead of cunning, I was taken aback to find...sweetness. Politeness. Nerves, even. Surely it must be an act? My teeth ground together. Like father, like daughter.

Whatever manipulations Elisa Mart was playing, I would not fall victim even if she was really, really beautiful with her long dark hair, brown eyes and a face to die for.

The woman was fucking sexy. In other circumstances, she would be moaning under me, bending over my office desk, pleading for her next orgasm.

Soon she would plead with me for something else.

She would beg me for mercy.

I considered all afternoon if hiring her was too risky. As much as my instincts for self-preservation warned she could be dangerous, my thirst for vengeance urged closer proximity.

When I announced Elisa was hired, her answering smile of relief sparked an unfamiliar twinge in my chest.

I pushed it roughly away.

Angelo Martoni didn’t deserve someone so seemingly good-natured as his offspring. But then, villains’ spawn could never be fully innocent, could they? No, Elisa Martoni would meet the same fate I planned for her wretched family.

As soon as the elevator doors closed behind her slender form, I slammed my fist down on my desk. Damn the unexpected attack of nerves she gave me. I would not let her derail my resolve like that again. The time had come to finish this dark chapter...using Miss Elisa Martoni as the perfect bait to lure the demons of my past out into the open once more.

Several days later

Elisa

The first week at my new administrative secretary job passed smoothly. I arrived early each morning, organized schedules, typed reports, and assisted executives with polite professionalism.

I only caught occasional glimpses of Rhys Murphy giving orders, his formidable presence parting seas of employees who scrambled to meet his demands. Though feared, he wasn’t cruel, even patient with those who made mistakes...except when it came to me.

His steely eyes scanned past me those few times we passed, his handsome face unreadable. But I sensed the simmering dislike of our strained first interview still lingered beneath his cool façade.

When Rhys’ head secretary, Marta, took a sick day during my second week, she asked me to bring him his 10 am coffee.

I knocked at his door softly. “Mr. Murphy? I have your coffee.”

Silence answered, so I creaked open the heavy door, assuming the office was empty. I tiptoed forward to place the cup on his imposing desk, but froze at his sudden deep voice.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?”

I whirled in surprise to see Rhys filling the doorway, his tall frame exuding authority. My confidence vanished as his stormy eyes narrowed, assessing me with that penetrating glare I remembered from our interview.

My hands shook under his scrutiny, causing the cup to slip from my fingers, splashing steaming liquid across both our shoes.

“Damn it all!” Rhys bit out angrily.

“Oh god, I’m so very sorry!” I sputtered in mortification, cheeks burning.

Rhys’ lip curled derisively as he stepped back from the seeping puddle.

“Is such incompetence what I should expect from you, Miss Mart?”

His smooth voice held an extra note of vitriol on my surname that embarrassed tears pricked my eyes.

I stammered that I wasn’t normally so clumsy while blinking back those betraying drops. Rhys noticed unfortunately, his gaze narrowing further.

With sharp impatience, he waved for me to go.

“Just see that you clean yourself and this mess immediately.”

I fled his presence utterly humiliated, wondering if I could endure working two doors down from someone who so clearly despised me.

Rhys

I had just hung up with my private investigator, Paul, irritated he still hadn't uncovered anything suspicious regarding Elisa Martoni after nearly two weeks.

According to Paul’s extensive digging, she possessed no criminal connections, no concerning communications, not even recent contact with her nefarious father. Her life contained nothing except school, work, and a few close friends. Everything indicated Elisa was...disconcertingly normal.

I refused to accept it. Surely there must be dark secrets or ulterior motives hidden beneath that sweet surface? Why, out of the thousands of companies present in town, did she choose to apply here?

I resolved to continue the extensive search into her past until I exposed her true nature.

Just then I heard a hesitant knock followed by Elisa’s lilting voice outside my office.

“Mr. Murphy? I have your coffee...”

I remained perfectly still, curious what she was doing here unannounced. As she entered without waiting for a reply, I watched unseen from the interior door frame as Elisa crossed cautiously to my desk, movements stiff and nervous.

I observed her unnoticed, seeking any suspicious behavior. But she simply leaned forward to place the cup down gingerly before jumping at my sudden question.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?”

Elisa whirled rapidly, startled by my imposing presence as I stepped into view. I detected a gratifying flash of anxiety in her brown eyes before she attempted to explain her presence.

As we talked, I scrutinized her face, seeking deceit in her rapid excuses. But besides flustered nerves, she seemed transparent. Innocent, even.

Until hot liquid splashed over her prim blouse and onto my shoes, shattering that illusion. I stepped back swiftly, biting out a curse. Damn clumsy, foolish girl!

Except...was that a hiss of pain I detected beneath her mortified apologies? Against my will, my anger softened slightly realizing some of the scalding coffee likely burned her fair skin.

But refusing to let down my guard, I covered my momentary concern with sharp criticism, warning her to never repeat such incompetence. Because mark my words, behind that innocent façade Elisa Martoni was surely hiding something sinister. And I wouldn't rest until I uncovered the dark truth about my new secretary and the secrets she held.

Chapter 2

Elisa

Staying late organizing files, I overheard Rhys’ angry voice carrying from his cracked office door:

“I don’t care what it takes, I want more information.”

I paused, concerned by his unusual frustration.

“There must be something useful you've neglected to mention,” he continued tensely. “Keep pressing until you find what she's up to.”

My eyes widened. She? Was Mr. Murphy investigating a woman unrelated to work? It seemed strangely personal.

“I intend to know the full truth about her, her friends, her family, who she’s fucking,” Rhys insisted, tone bordering a threat. “My patience is running very thin.”

I lingered, uncertain, shaken by the conversation. What possible justification could someone as successful as Rhys have for such invasive stalking? As I agonized, Marta bustled past asking me to bring Rhys dinner in her place because she was late. Still uneasy, I nodded distractedly.

Minutes later I stood outside his door, ne

Heroes

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