The CEO's Secrets
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A powerful CEO will cross paths with a single mother, a "tough nut to crack," as he calls her. She's afraid of getting into a romantic relationship since she was abandoned by her boyfriend. Ever since, whenever a man approaches her, she scares him away with a brusque attitude. That man with sea-green eyes and cinnamon skin who is her new boss will be her downfall. Their worlds are different, filled with lies, secrets, and a love triangle; accompanied by a passionately charged romance, it will lead them to the abyss. Will Katia be able to stay with him after discovering the secret that the stone-faced man holds? Will the CEO be able to reach Katia's heart?
The alarm clock went off and I cursed under my breath, somehow feeling that today would be a lousy day.
Every day I got up early so I could get my son ready for school. Like every morning, I looked at the picture of the man on my bedside table. I missed him and didn't understand why he left.
I picked up the frame that held the photo and stared at it. It had been three years since he had left and I couldn't help but wonder why he had gone.
I put the frame back in its place and got out of bed. I grabbed the garter on the bedside table and pulled my hair back as I headed for the bathroom.
I walked out and two doors down from mine, there was Adrien's door, with dinosaur stickers on it. I walked in that door and stared at the little boy sleeping on dinosaur sheets. I smiled sweetly and walked over to the window opposite the boy's bed to roll it up and see his reaction.
He squeezed his eyelids shut, threw his arm over his eyes, and snoozed.
"Every morning the same thing" I thought tenderly, as I walked over to the bed. I sat on the edge and told him:
"Come on, Adrien, you're going to be late for school"
"I don't want to," he said half asleep.
"Mom has to go to work and you can't stay home alone."
"Aunt Jackie stays with me," he removed his arm from his eyes.
"Aunt Jackie has to work too," I stroked his belly, "Come on, sleepyhead. Dario's daddy is coming for you and you must be ready when he comes. We can't keep him waiting."
My boy opened his eyes lazily.
"Mommy, will you promise me we'll go to the park later?"
"Sure, but first you have to do what Mommy says," I gently tapped him on the nose.
"Hey, Mommy, when is Daddy coming?," he asked me, making me look at him in surprise.
"That's what I'd like to know," I thought.
"Is it that daddy doesn't love us and that's why he left?"
"Where do you get that he doesn't love us? Of course he loves us very much. The only thing is his work... he's very busy.
"But still, Mommy! All my friends' dads are always with them, even though they work too," he pouted.
"Adri, honey. Daddy... he doesn't have his job here, he has it... somewhere else. I'm sure he'll be back soon and he'll never leave our side," I lied, although that's what I wanted to believe.
"Mommy, will you give me a picture of daddy? It's Father's Day soon, but…"
"Sure, I'll give you a picture, but now, let's get dressed, we have to go to school," I said with a smile.
I helped him put on his school uniform and we went downstairs, where we went to the bar in the middle of the kitchen that separated the living room and the kitchen.
I sat my son on one of the stools and walked over to the refrigerator, where I grabbed the milk and butter. As I prepared my son's breakfast, he turned from time to time to see that he hadn't moved. The little boy was playing with a small red racing car.
I couldn't deny that I missed Adrien's father, but I tried to do everything I could to make sure my son lacked for nothing, and thanks to my friends, the burden of raising a child alone was not so heavy, as they helped me.
After dropping my son off with Dario, the father of Adrien's best friend, I drove to the outskirts of the city, praying that there wasn't too much traffic.
On the way to work, I thought about the man who left me three years earlier. I would like him to come back to explain why he had left and hadn't shown any signs of life in all those years.
I had to put that out of my mind if I wanted to get my life together, but I couldn't do it. I was still in love with my son's father.
I parked the car in my spot in the parking lot in front of a huge building. Before I went inside, I took a deep breath, opened the glass door and stepped inside the building.
"Oh, Katia!" The receptionist called out to me and then waved me over. "Listen, listen, I've got some new gossip!
"What's this new thing you have, Deva?," I put my purse on top of the reception desk and started looking at the cards.
"I heard from the Director of Human Resources, that soon the owner of this company will be coming to Oklahoma for a while and what's more, he's young!"
"So what? I'm sure he has a girlfriend and thinks he's the big shot because he owns something. I hate those kinds of people," I took three cards and then showed them to Deva. "I'll take them"
"Katia, please!," she called out to me, as I headed for the elevator. "Why do you judge him without knowing him?
"For the same reason you admire him or expect him to be handsome and young," I turned to the woman at the reception desk. "He's probably older and ugly"
I turned back to the elevator and pressed the button.
"What you should do is find yourself a boyfriend! You've been so surly with men for three years now," Deva said to me, as a man in a suit stood next to me.
"All men are the same," I said without looking at my friend, "they just want what they want.
"Thank you for my part, miss," the man suddenly spoke, startling me.
I put my hand on my chest in shock, but I didn't answer him. I twisted my mouth and turned my head away from the man.
I sighed, before the elevator doors opened.
Without further delay, I stepped into the elevator, as the melody of my cell phone began to play. I started to reach for it, careful not to drop my cards on the floor, but that didn't happen.
When he saw them, the man bent down and picked them up. Finding the phone, I took the call, tossing my hair to the right side, to put it to my ear, and said, as I grabbed the cards from the man's hand:
"Tell me, Jackie"
"Tonight it's your turn to make dinner. Don't forget that Carolina wants…."
"I know, Pizza Hut, but you can order that while I'm still at work and when I get there, I'll pay for it"
"Do you have to stay late today?"
"Yes... Ah, Jackie. Can you take Adrien to the park later in the afternoon? It's just that until I saw what my boss is getting today, I didn't realize it was going to be a long day..." I begged.
"Sure, I don't mind. I'll be done by lunchtime today, when I have to pick him up from school"
"No, today he's going to Dario's for lunch. You have to pick him up at five," I pushed the button that would take me to the thirtieth floor and looked back at the steel doors as they closed.
"Don't worry about that. Carolina and I will take care of it," said my friend with a little laugh.
"As every day..." Perhaps it was noticed that I said it in a hurry.
"It's not your fault that Oscar is a bastard and left you alone with Adri. Well... even if he's not his biological father, he should have behaved like a man and not abandoned you like he did...
"Jackie... not now, please. It's not the right time... Besides I'm at my job," I said with a hint of sadness. Besides, you promised me we wouldn't talk about it again.
"All right, all right. I won't bring it up anymore, but if you keep waiting for me to come back, it's because you're very stupid," she said with a serious tone.
"I am, but you know that, don't you? It's nothing new," I pushed my hair back from my left ear. "Pick Adrien up, please. I'll go when I'm done, and leave me some pizza!
"Yes, yes. Have a nice day," my friend wished me in a happier voice.
I hung up the phone feeling sad. I knew my friends just wanted to see me happy again, but I refused to forget Oscar. He had helped me a lot when...
My skin crawled as I remembered what happened to me five years ago, when I got pregnant with my son.
At that moment, I became aware of the presence of the man I had met at the reception of the company I worked for. I shook my head, looked away and started to look at the whatsapp messages he was receiving from my friends, whom I hadn't seen for a long time.
Since I moved to Oklahoma with Oscar because of the pregnancy, I hadn't been back to my hometown. I couldn't see my parents after that, but since he had left, I was planning to go back to see my family so they could meet little Adrien.
I felt a little uncomfortable having this man hiding his eyes under a pair of sunglasses, with his hands clasped together in front of his body and showing a half-smile that showed he was self-confident.
I pulled up the sleeves of the gray jacket I was wearing over my black shirt and rolled up my sleeves, revealing a tattoo in the shape of a butterfly on my right wrist.
The man in the suit looked toward the doors again and commented:
"Thank you," I said, looking sideways at him.
"When did you get it?"
"When I was nineteen. I was a freshman in college and I had a few months left, I think two, when I got it done... Now it's faded but when I have some time, I'll go and get it re-done, so it'll be better," I answered, as I looked at the drawing on my skin.
"I'm sure that when he did it, he was thinking of someone special," the man moved his shoulders a little.
"No. At that time I wasn't thinking of anyone..." I almost mumbled.
He looked at me out of the corner of his eye, as he had surely noticed a hint of sadness in that last sentence and was surprised to see the look of sadness I was showing at that moment.
Without waiting or thinking about it, the elevator stopped on the fifteenth floor.
I started to hit the button for the thirtieth floor so that it would continue its journey to its destination, but that did not happen.
It still stopped.
"It can't be," I thought, panicking.
The man seemed to be unaffected by the fact that I tried to make the elevator stop. Without further ado, I began to hit the steel doors with the palm of my hand, the one without the letters, while saying:
"We're here! Somebody help us, please!"
"It's only twenty to nine. I don't think there are many people here yet," he said calmly.
"I know! But I can't stay locked in an elevator... especially not with a man!" I shouted nervously.
That comment made the man turn his face towards me, but I kept banging on the steel doors and shouting. He was surprised, I could see it in his eyes as I stared at him through the lenses.
As the minutes passed, my nervousness grew more and more. I dropped with one hand on my chest because I was starting to feel palpitations, heart pounding and also heart rate acceleration.
"The last time I was locked in the elevator with a man... was when..." I
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