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The CEO's Secret Obsession

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Allira The last thing I expected that day was to get the message from my husband that he was leaving me and that our children were now mine. He waited until the moment we were on the plane to go on our family holiday to message me and say he wasn't coming and had left me. I thought I had overcome the shock during the holiday, but when I returned home with our kids a week later, I realised none of my cards worked. He had sold everything and run with the money, even my own businesses. I found myself living in the worst place possible, but I had no choice. I had nothing, my bank was overdrawn by my ex-husband, so all I had was the money in my purse. Nikolai Allira had always caught my attention. I didn't know why she worked for me, she had her own businesses, ones I know she built herself. For the last three years, however, she focused on working for me. She turned from a family holiday and told me her name was now Miss Embry. I laughed. How did a family holiday end in a divorce? I was stunned weeks later when I showed up where she was living, the place was the worst, but the main problem was the man who made me aware that Allira was his, and not in a good way. He looked crazed, so I did the only thing I could. I broke her door to prove it wasn't safe and insisted she and her children move in with me. Maybe I made a mistake by doing that?

Working Hell

Allira

It must have been at least twenty minutes of me standing here while he ignored me. I sigh louder, and he glances at me before returning to his papers.

“Did you want something, Mrs Alderton?” He looks at me smugly.

He knows I do. I already asked, and he said to wait while he finished that bit of work.

“I requested to leave early last week, and you said to ask this week. I did, and you said to ask the morning of. Which I did this morning, to be told to ask when I needed to leave, and I did, twenty minutes ago!” My frustration rises as he smiles at me.

“Are you late, Mrs Alderton?” he asks.

“Yes.” How wouldn’t I be? I was meant to be there by now.

“So why the need to leave? You’re already late. Continue with your work. Next time, ask me earlier, and we may solve it before you need to leave.”

His words infuriated me. “Mr Valentine, I had asked in time. I just said I asked multiple times over the past week.” I try to stop myself from screaming at him.

“Did you?” He tilts his head.

“Forget it, it doesn’t matter now.” I turn to leave.

“Mrs Alderton, why did you need to leave again?” He looks at me, amused.

“For my daughter’s game, it was the final one of the season,” I reply, trying not to scream at him and call him a dick.

“Oh, that was today?” He smiles, and I turn and walk out. Taking out my phone, I hit the message.

I can’t make it. He wouldn’t let me leave. Wish her luck from me, please x

Why would he do this again? He does it often and then plays dumb like he has no idea. Sitting, I work and watch as he moves around the offices as if he owns the place.

He does. My eyes roll at my own thoughts. I’m unsure how long it has been before he stops at my desk.

“How is the contract coming along for the Waylarfe company?”

What? I stare at him in confusion. “What contract, Mr Valentine? I don’t handle the contracts. That’s your secretary’s job.” I remind him.

“You mean, Miss Westlund,” he asks, and I swear he’s playing dumb.

“Yes, your secretary,” I remind him.

“Oh, she’s fired. That job is now yours.” He smiles and waits for me to speak.

Mine? That job is mine? I glance around the room and look at others.

“It takes a strong woman to stand there and not shout Mrs Alderton when you feel as if you’re being pushed. Miss Westlund failed at that, and I hope that you can succeed in it.”

I don’t understand. “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what you mean?” What the hell does he mean by that?

“My secretary, Mrs Alderton, needs to be able to keep calm. They will attend meetings and dinners with me. Not all my clients are polite, but my personal assistant must be able to hold her tongue, and you can,” he explains.

Is this a joke? “I’m not trained to be your secretary, Mr Valentine. I have no idea about the job,” I reply, feeling like this is a trap.

“Do you not want the job, a higher paying job?” He looks at me.

“That depends. I have my holiday booked. Can I still go on it, or will this new job make me have to stay here?” I ask, waiting for him to speak.

“You can keep your week of holiday, Mrs Alderton. Miss Westlund has a week left of her stay.” He smiles at me and waits.

“Then I will accept the new position.” He nods and goes to turn. I’ve not finished. “But...” I say and watch him stop. “If you try to turn around and tell me that I’m needed in on that week off, I will decline to take the promotion and still go on my holiday with my family,” I say without looking away from him.

“You negotiate hard, Mrs Alderton, but I will agree.” He smiles and walks away.

What the hell just happened? I want to laugh; part of me wants to believe this is a joke, but even he wouldn’t joke about a promotion. The extra money will help; it means I can take more out of my bank to keep on me rather than it being transferred quickly.

Sitting, I continue with my usual work, but my mind is always on what just happened and the fact I am not trained to do what his secretary does.

So then what? How does he plan to train me before she leaves if I am not even here? After emailing through the last part of the work I usually do, I begin to pack away to leave.

I glance towards his office. I just need to get this over and done with it. Standing, I walk to his office and knock. I hear him call out, saying I can enter.

As I walk in, he peers at me, confused.

“How can I help you, Mrs Alderton?” He sits back in his chair, waiting.

“About this promotion,” I say, considering my words. I don’t need to work; I have my own businesses, but things around them are complicated.

“You are going to try to negotiate; I will give you ten per cent more than Miss Westlund was paid.” He smiles, and I stare.

“Thank you, but I need to ensure...” His hand raises.

“I understand. You have a family. I promise I will not call, message, or email you on Sundays.”

Wait, no. I try not to laugh. “That’s not what I want,” I say.

“Okay, so you work the usual hours my personal assistant would, Monday through Friday. You can work until 1 on Saturday, and then I will leave you alone until Monday. That is more than Miss Westlund had off.”

What? “Stop! I just wanted to know if this will work, considering I am not trained for the position or here until after Miss Weslund leaves,” I remind him.

“Oh, well, I can train you while you work, so about that early finish on Saturday?” he says, smiling.

“Oh no, Mr Valentine, you already agreed. I don’t work after 1 on Saturdays, and I don’t work Sundays either.” Maybe he should have let me speak before just assuming.

“How about you keep the extra pay rise I said at the start but work all day Saturday?” He smiles at me, waiting. “We’re negotiating, Mrs Alderton, just like in business.”

“I will agree to that, thank you.” I work Saturdays anyway, so it makes no difference.

“Thank you, Mrs Alderton, enjoy your holiday, see you in a week.”

I nod at him and leave. I wasn’t expecting that. Today just threw me off track entirely.

Alone

Allira

The kids sit quietly, and I have the phone in my hand, waiting for updates.

Hitting messages, I type one out.

It’s getting late, Jerry; where are you?

I smile across at the kids. Why is he so late? He messaged me, saying he would meet me on the plane and was nearly here. That was half an hour ago.

“Where’s daddy?” Noah looks at me.

“He will be here soon, darling; he’s late.” I watch as the air hostess pulls the door closed. No!

I take out my phone and try ringing, but he doesn’t answer.

They are closing the door. Where are you?

So much for a family holiday when he isn’t here. Sitting, I wait, and a moment later, my phone vibrates. The air hostess talks us through things, but I glance at the phone.

Enjoy the holiday. It’s over.

What? My eyes widened at his message.

Not funny, Jerry! The kids are waiting for you.

I

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