The Carrero Series (1-3)
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Emma Anderson has everything in her life worked out. She has her perfect job in a Manhattan empire allowing her to live a quiet and organised safe existence. A necessity to her, after a childhood filled with bad memories, abuse, and a mother who was less than useless.But, with it comes a problem, one that could derail everything she thought she needed in her life. Her promotion sends her straight into the close employment of young, gorgeous, playboy billionaire, Jacob Carrero with his formidable reputation for being a player. Stuck as his right-hand man, every waking moment of every single day, she realises he is exactly the type of person who could drive her crazy, and not in a good way. Like chalk and cheese, he is everything she's not. Compulsive, confident, laid back, dominant and fun, with a seriously laid back attitude to casual sex and dating. Jake is the only one with an ability to steamroll over her manicured ice maiden exterior, who is not phased by the closed in demeanour and cool manners, but as much as she wants to, letting him in is another thing entirely. A past that made her man wary and no desire to ever let one close enough to hurt her again, Jacob Carrero has his work cut out. He is not someone who takes NO for an answer and will have to learn how to break through if he wants more than the mask she shows the world. Jake needs to show her that even some one like him can change when that one girl that matters breaks through. Love-able sexy characters and deep emotional topics.
I smooth my hands down my pencil skirt and gray tailored jacket before touching up my dark lipstick in the hall mirror with a look of resignation. My eyes scan and check my tawny hair is neat and sleek in its high bun, and I scrutinize my reflection again to make sure it’s precise. Sighing once more, I take a steadying breath trying to ready myself, pushing down the gnawing ache of anxiety and nerves deep inside my gut.
I look as good as I know I’m capable of, and I’m mildly satisfied with what I see before me: a cool, efficient image of cold poise and gray tailoring that exudes authority, with no hint of the turmoil of emotion inside me. I narrow my eyes to look for any flaws in my immaculate armor, any stray hairs, specks of dust, or creased fabric, and find none.
I’ve never been a lover of my own reflection with my young appearance, cool blue eyes, and pouting lips, but nothing is out of place, and I look right for my new role as personal assistant to my very high-profile boss. I look professional and capable on the outside, which I guess is what matters, calm and uncompromising with every detail in place and clothes flawlessly neat. I have always been good at shielding the truth about how I feel inside.
I slide on my stilettos with a slow careful motion, keeping my balance with one hand on the wall. Hearing the movement in the room behind me, I check the mirror in response.
“Morning, Ems. God, you look professional as always.” Sarah stifles a yawn as she wanders from her room and rubs her eyes with the back of her fist childishly as I watch her in the reflection behind me. It’s unusual for her to be up this early on her day off; Sarah’s never been a lover of mornings for as long as I’ve known her.
She’s wearing her baggy pink housecoat, and her messy, short, bleached blonde hair is sticking up at all angles from her head, casually loveable as always. I am warmed with affection for that bundle of happy energy. Her bright blue eyes are heavy with early morning fatigue, and she’s watching me closely with a silly smile on her face. A little too closely for my liking.
“Good morning, Sarah,” I smile lightly, trying to ignore the way she’s looking at me, and straighten up to stand tall. I turn, lifting my briefcase from the floor in front of me, and head forward into our open plan apartment. I’m ever conscious of my grace and mannerisms under scrutiny, even in front of her, and I push out the sense of tightness from my nerves today, swallowing down the listlessness, trying extremely hard to curb the swirling of my stomach.
“Remember, you need to be here for ten o’clock … the boiler repair,” I remind her as she shuffles along behind me to the living room area, trying to distract her from the open gawking she seems to be doing. Running through my schedule in my head like a mental checklist gives me something else to think about besides my uneasiness today.
“I know. I know! You left me a memo on the fridge remember?” she giggles childishly and throws me a patient look, raising a brow with an almost indulgent expression. She looks much younger than her age and sometimes I forget we went to school together. I’m more like her guardian than her roommate nowadays, but maybe I always was, if I am being honest. I sigh again, pushing down the tight knot of apprehension growing inside, and give her a small smile of bravado.
“Don’t forget.” I sound stern, but she doesn’t react; she’s used to my serious tone and my endless organization of our lives. She knows this is the way I do things; my need to be in control and have everything just so makes me feel more capable.
“I won’t. I swear. I’m not working until tonight, so I’m going to stick around and chillax … watch some back-to-back Netflix.” She moves lazily through the bright white and gray kitchen to my side and begins making herself a coffee. With another sleepy bright smile, she lifts the mug I washed earlier this morning from the rack for herself. I watch her casual, confident movements around the space, her domain when she’s at home, and it gives me a sense of calm.
Sarah was always good at making me feel a little saner when I needed it, never aware of how I drew from that uncomplicated relaxed manner of hers when I had to ground myself.
“I’m going to work.” I walk steadily into the small hall by the side of the bar which juts out into the lounge and lift the few open letters from the counter I’ve yet to deal with today. I know that I’m lingering and acting indecisively compared to my usual efficient routine. Normally I’d already be walking to the subway station, despite being early.
“Oh, here,” Sarah says, sliding a white envelope out from behind the toaster and holding it out expectantly for me to take, a blank look on her face. “Before I forget … I know you’ve probably already taken care of them, as usual.” Her sparkling eyes flash at me with affectionate amusement.
“What is it?” I look at the long envelope, taking it from her slowly with careful fingers, eyeing it up with a frown, seeing no writing on the front.
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