The CEO's Persistent Love
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Amanda Lemaiyan is an heiress with a problem: when she gets back from a short vacation after breaking off her engagement to her cheating ex, she realises that the strange man she slept with at the resort is the new CEO of her company. The problem? He is the replacement of her ex, who used her to rise the ranks of her family's conglomerate. She knows what to do—forget she ever slept with the man and not give him a chance to play her like her ex did. But will her plan work when she can't help recalling how good it felt being in his arms? Especially when he seems hell-bent on getting her back into his bed... Can she give in to the temptation when she risks losing her place in her family's conglomerate if she's caught in another scandal with another CEO?
"Amanda, you look amazing."
Amanda Lemaiyan smiled at her beaming best friend and shrugged. "What can I say, Cara knows how to work her magic."
Cara was her assistant. Amanda hired her three years ago to help at the company. The girl later proved to be useful in multiple aspects, including helping her show up to all occasions looking the part.
Tyra Okello approached and air-kissed her cheeks. "All eyes will be on you, dear."
Definitely, Amanda thought. However, she wasn't sure her gorgeous dress, diamond jewellery, and flawless makeup would be the main reason for the attention.
It was a month after she broke her engagement to Samuel Ocen. Tongues were still wagging. This was going to be her first public appearance since the scandal ensued.
Everybody thought she was devastated after the break-up. Of course, she was. The asshole used her to gain favour with her father and rise to the CEO position of Lemaiyan Fits. Amanda was fortunate to discover his plan a week before their wedding.
Finding out that a two-year relationship was built on a lie would break anyone.
Her heart still ached, but she would be damned if she appeared pitiful in public. If anyone was feeling sorry for her, they'd be surprised.
"You look gorgeous too," Amanda complimented her friend when she stepped back. While Amanda donned a flowing red gown with a side-slit, Tyra had opted for a black mid-length dress.
Tyra hooked their arms together and led the way to the awaiting limousine. "Come on, let's go make an entrance they'll never forget."
Amanda chuckled as the driver held the door open and they settled inside.
"Have you seen him, by the way?" Tyra asked a few seconds later after the car left the compound.
"The new CEO. He's insanely gorgeous. I get wet just looking at him."
"You say that about every hot guy you come across," Amanda accused.
"Trust me, it's different this time. He has these intense grey eyes that seemed to be staring right into my soul when I looked into them-"
"You've met him already?"
"Once. I was at the company and he came in coming through the entrance of the building. Believe me, everybody in the vicinity went still and stared." Tyra shook her body as if hit by a shudder. "He's going to have a hard time fighting off the female attention, I tell you."
"Nah, I don't think he'll mind that," Amanda mumbled.
"Do you want to see a picture of him?" Tyra offered. "I think it's best to prepare yourself so you don't get caught drooling when you see him later on."
"No thanks," Amanda turned her down. "There's only one reason I'm attending this party, and it's not to make eyes at the new CEO."
"Nobody said you can't do both," Tyra grumbled.
Amanda was attending the new CEO's welcome party to make a statement. She'd walk into the place with her head held high, a smile on her face. She knew that everybody was waiting to see whether she'd make an appearance.
She'd be damned if she gave them the idea that she was tucked in her apartment alone, afraid to attend an event that was potentially triggering for her.
She couldn't hide in the shadows forever. It was time to get back to her life. There wasn't a better time to make a grand entrance than that night.
"I don't care who he is," Amanda said, "as long as he knows how to do his job well."
"I doubt you'll be that detached once you see him," Tyra claimed. "He's your exact type."
"No thanks, I'm steering off my father's employees for the next hundred years."
Tyra sighed. "Not everyone is going to be an asshole, you know."
Amanda pressed a finger to her temple. After being friends with Tyra for many years, she was used to her being insensitive to situations. After what happened with Samuel, she’d thought the woman would think twice before trying to insinuate that Amanda gets entangled with the new CEO.
She chose the easy way out. "I know."
There was silence for a few seconds. Then Tyra said, "When you came back, I noticed that the pack of condoms I slipped into your suitcase was gone."
Amanda turned to her friend. "What?"
"Before you left for the resort, I snuck some condoms in your bag. I didn't find them yesterday when you came back."
Amanda looked away as heat rose on her cheeks. "You did? I never saw them. I must have dropped the packet at the cabin I was staying in."
"Really? Sure you didn't have some mind-blowing sex with some hunk you met at the resort?"
To get away from the chaos following her break-up, Amanda had taken a trip to a mountain resort. Her plan had been to spend two weeks enjoying the serene scenery and healing from the pain in her heart. She ended up spending the first week entangled in the arms of a man she met the first day, having the rebound sex her therapist warned about.
Rebound or not, it was the best sex she had in years. It was such a shame she'd never see the guy again. But it didn't matter. It was for the best. While she threw caution to the wind for those few days, she needed time to heal and move on. Until then, it was wise to stay away from sexual and romantic entanglements.
Thinking about the man—Lucas Erikson, as he had introduced himself—made her feel warm inside. God, why had she not met him years before, in place of her ex-fiancé?
"What's that smile?" Tyra's voice interrupted her trip down memory lane.
"What smile?" Amanda asked, ridding her face of any traces of said expression.
Tyra narrowed her eyes at her. "You know, since you came back yesterday, you've had this glow to you."
"I did go away to freshen up, remember?"
"Nah, it's more than that. Don't bother lying, Amanda. Come on, spill. You hooked up at the resort, right?"
Tyra gaped. "Oh my God, you naughty girl. You finally heeded my advice!"
While her therapist was advising against rebound sex and relationships, Tyra didn't think the sex was a bad idea. She had argued it would make her feel better and forget her lying and cheating ex-fiancé fast.
Amanda finally allowed herself to smile. "I couldn't help myself. He was too hot."
"That's the spirit, girl!" Tyra cheered. "You used up the entire packet. Must have been tons of sex."
Well, of course, given they kept at it until Lucas left a week later…
Before she could satisfy Tyra's curiosity, her cell phone beeped in her bag. Taking it out, she saw an incoming call from Cara, her assistant.
"I have bad news."
Amanda tensed. "What is it?"
"Rebecca is coming to the party."
Amanda relaxed for a second, relieved that it had nothing to do with her ex. Then it hit. "Rebecca? You told me she wasn't coming."
"That's what she said when we sent the invite. She's coming with Keith."
"Are you joking with me, Cara?"
"No. I just found out a few minutes ago. I thought I should give you a heads up."
Amanda sighed into the phone. "Okay, thanks."
She hung up and placed her phone back into her bag.
"What's wrong?" Tyra asked in concern.
"Rebecca is coming to the party. With Keith."
Tyra cursed softly. "I thought she couldn't make it."
Amanda groaned. It was never a good day to come across her older sister. "Same."
Rebecca was probably attending the party to gloat and say a few mean things.
But Amanda was used to dealing with her. No matter how nasty she was, she always managed to escape her clutches without losing her sanity.
What Amanda wasn't used to dealing with was when Rebecca's husband, Keith, was beside her.
Keith, Amanda's first love. The man she gave her virginity to at nineteen.
Then he went abroad to study at the same University with Rebecca.
When the two came back, they were engaged.
Amanda's night was no longer looking as bright as she wanted it to be.
When Amanda and Tyra walked into the ballroom, all eyes turned to them. People parted ways, and a murmur rose. Amanda fought the urge to roll her eyes. You'd think they'd be less obvious about their staring and gossiping.
She was happy to have Tyra by her side. She wasn't sure anyone would have gathered enough courage to approach her.
"Amanda, dear, you look wonderful." Her father, Charles Lemaiyan, appeared, as if he had been watching the entryway for her arrival.
She smiled at him. "Hello, Dad."
Tyra exchanged greetings with Mr Lemaiyan and excused herself.
"You look much better," her father commented. But then, a frown appeared on his brow. "You shouldn't have rushed your vacation. I have everything under control here."
Amanda placed a hand on his arm. He had always been so concerned about her. Compared to her older siblings, he definitely doted on her more. "Dad, you know I'm a workaholic. Staying away from work would have made me more stressed out. A short vacation was all I needed. I'm good now."
Her father's brown eyes scrutinized her. "You better stay good because if you don't, I'll fire you myself."
She chuckled. "I know you would. I'll take care of myself, Papa. Don't worry."
Lemaiyan Group was the majority shareholder of Lemaiyan Fits. As the chairman and major shareholder of the conglomerate, her father maintained control over the company.
"Let me introduce you to the new CEO," he said, leading her through the room. "I poached him from the most successful fashion startup to come out of New York in a decade."
"Stop bragging, Dad. You've told me that a hundred times already over the phone."
He chuckled. "Have I?"
Charles led her towards a cluster of suits, mostly executives from the company.
Amanda surveyed the group as they approached, trying to catch sight of a new face. Her heart missed a beat when her eyes landed on a familiar head of hair. For a moment, it reminded her of Lucas. But that was ridiculous. She must have been so into him those seven days they spent rolling in bed to have a mental image of the back of his head glued to her mind.
She momentarily gazed at the ceiling and inhaled deeply. It was time to push the man out of her mind.
Her father finally came to a stop. Her eyes adjusted to the group in front of them. They were now paying attention to the chairman.
"Gentlemen," the Chairman nodded at them in greeting. Amanda smiled and acknowledged them as they returned her father's greeting.
Then her father turned her to the man of the hour. Amanda's jaw fell to the floor along with her smile.
"Amanda, this is Lucas Erikson, the new CEO of Lemaiyan Fits. Lucas, this is Amanda, my youngest daughter. She's the reason Lemaiyan Fits exists today."
Amanda started, her father's voice finally bringing her back to the present.
She wasn't dreaming.
Lucas Erikson, the man she fucked for an entire week at the resort, was standing before her. And, apparently, he was the new CEO of the company.
Those grey eyes pierced into her. A smile appeared on his lips. He stuck his hand out.
"Good evening. It's nice to meet you, Amanda."
Amanda's eyes flitted from his outstretched hand to his face. Was this a joke?
Aware of her father's worried look and the observing executives around them, she forced a smile onto her face. She accepted his hand. There was nothing ladylike about her squeeze. "Hello, nice to meet you."
Her father beamed at the successful introduction. "Lucas formerly worked at—"
"Dad?" she interrupted, her fiery eyes locked on Lucas's. "Do you mind if I have a private word wit
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