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Authors: Elizabeth Lennox

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Her Gentle Capture

BOOK: Her Gentle Capture
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The Alfieri Saga:

Her Gentle Capture

By Elizabeth Lennox

 

www.ElizabethLennox.com

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Or on Twitter:
www.twitter.com/ElizabethLenno1

 

Copyright 2014

ISBN13: 9781940134628

All rights reserved

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination
or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Any duplication of this material, either electronic or any other format, either currently in use or a future invention, is strictly prohibited unless you have the direct consent of the author.

 

If you download this material in any format, either electronic or other,
on a non-sanctioned site, please be warned that you and the website are in violation of copyright infringement. Financial and punitive damages may be pursued in whichever legal venue is appropriate.

 

Chapter 1

 

Oh, he made her mad! In fact, no one had ever infuriated Adriana so thoroughly!

Shifting uncomfortably in the contoured plastic chair that was too high to easily cross her legs, she resented even his choice in furniture. She didn’t care that he probably hadn’t helped choose it. He never sat down here in the depressingly grey cafeteria so he wouldn’t have any idea how uncomfortable
the chairs are, she thought.

She tossed the unnaturally orange cracker filled with wanna-be peanut butter back onto her paper napkin, dusting her fingers and taking a sip of her diet soda. She was even reduced to lunching on chemicals, she realized. She used to be so healthy, but now? She didn’t have time to go to the grocery store lately. When she came home from the office at night, all
she wanted to do was crawl into bed and recover from the relentless demands of
him
.

Why did he even keep her around? Any report she handed to him was wrong and he spent the next hour telling her how to fix it. Any analysis she submitted wasn’t deep enough or long enough. And when she tried to get help from someone other than him, he snapped at her, telling her that he was the one who wanted
the report and he should be the one to instruct her on how to fix it.

Adriana looked down at her chemical and salt-laden lunch and lost her appetite. She was quietly sitting in a lonely corner of the cafeteria, trying to get a few minutes of peace. Peace from a man she had wished to perdition on more than one occasion. Why couldn’t others see through the charming personality that Mitch Powell
showed to the outside world? She acknowledged that he was astonishingly good looking with that tall, virile physique and the intelligence to back up that look. But they should talk to the people who shivered in their boots whenever those laser blue eyes slashed in their direction during a meeting. She remembered the first time it had happened to her and, even now, she shivered with a strange
sensation that she couldn’t identify, just like she’d done that day.

Her cell phone buzzed and she desperately wanted to ignore the text that had just blinked onto her screen. She knew exactly who had sent it and she didn’t want to see the message. She even turned her phone over so the screen was facing the table instead of staring up at her. While she glared at the inanimate object, deep
down inside, she knew that ignoring the message would only make things worse. She rubbed her forehead, trying to work up the strength to read the message. Taking several deep breaths, she calmed herself down. She could do this, she told herself. She was a strong, capable woman with a good mind and a great attitude. Well, except when it came to
him
.

Shaking her head, she tried to dismiss
the negative feelings and anxiety. This was her job. She couldn’t ignore the text. With shaking hands, she picked up her phone and glanced at the message. “Reports are incomplete. We’ll discuss.”

No “hi” or “hello”. Not even recognition that she’d gotten the rotten personnel reports to him earlier than requested. Just a horrible admonishment that she hadn’t completed them to his satisfaction.

And what was wrong with them anyway? As far as she knew, they were complete and accurate. She’d double checked her numbers before finalizing the information, knowing that the man had a brain that could retain the most minute details. She’d ensured that all of the personnel pages linked together with the financial calculations she’d done for him yesterday and everything was right on target.

She stared at the message while her mind went over the reports, trying to think back, go through the details again. What could possibly be wrong with them? She’d done all the requested charts, pulled up extra data to validate her assumptions and even gone so far as to get competitors’ data so she could show how far ahead his company was compared to the others in the industry.

She tossed
her crackers and diet soda into the trash with a flourish of frustration. She couldn’t even finish her “meal”, as pathetic as it was, because she was too angry and resentful to eat anything now. It didn’t matter that she didn’t want the stuff anyway. It was the principle of the issue!

She counted to ten, trying to calm her racing nerves and quiet her trembling knees. Unfortunately, the
first time through didn’t help, so she did it again, counting to twenty this time, taking deep breaths. She’d learned this technique early on while working with Mitch Powell. She refused to let him know how nervous he always made her feel, because he might like that and Adriana was against giving Mitch Powell any sort of pleasure.

When she once again felt a bit more in control, she buttoned
her suit jacket, stood up straighter, firmed her resolve and then almost stomped to the elevator. She’d show him finished! She’d just quit! She’d get out of this stupid company and…what? Her steps faltered as she stepped into the elevator. She hesitated to press the button that would make the car go up to the top floor, worried about her next step. Quit her job? What would she do next? Go
crying to daddy and ask him to give her a job in one of his companies? Admit that the horrible and obnoxious Mitch Powell had won?

Never!

She pushed the button and, while waiting for the elevator to take her to the top floor, paced back and forth, taking more deep breaths. She could do this! She could get it right and smugly rub his nose in her reports’ perfection.

She might be learning
a great deal by working for this man, but that didn’t mean she had to like him. He had pathetic, adoring fans wherever else he went, she definitely didn’t need to be part of the insipid crowd. They were a groveling, ignorant throng that didn’t know the despicable man beneath the…she hesitated because she didn’t feel like complimenting him right now, but he truly was handsome. She’d give him
the strong features, the hard jawline. And those blue eyes could be warm. Not when he was looking at her, but he had moments.

Okay, and he was tall and well-built. That was an inescapable fact. Powerfully well-built, unfortunately. She’d harshly admonished herself for staring at his impressively broad shoulders on several occasions lately. She also had to give him credit for working out.
The other men in the office generally had varying levels of belly flab. Not on Mitch Powell! She suspected the man worked out like a demon. He had to in order to keep that level of fitness.

Some might even call him “buff”. Not her! But some might.

Then again, Lucifer was reportedly a very beautiful angel and look where he lives now! She stifled a chuckle at this thought.

At least it was
quiet over here in her silent, peaceful little corner of his empire. Sitting down behind her desk, she pulled up the reports in question, skimming through the information to try and figure out what might be missing. She’d been so careful, she couldn’t imagine what she might have done wrong. As she looked through the charts and graphs, she shook her head, confused. It was all there! What could
he possibly think was missing?

She felt his presence before she heard the voice. There was just something about the man that made the air around him vibrate with energy.

“Where have you been?” the deep, irritated voice demanded, stepping into her tiny, grey office. He barely even looked up from the file folder he was reading. Just a simple flash of those cold, crystal blue eyes towards her,
then back to business.

Adriana jerked as soon as she heard his voice and almost fell off of her chair. The tall, muscular man standing in her workspace should not be here! He was the CEO of Powell Enterprises! He’d never come to her office before. She’d received many…many calls from him demanding that she hurry down to his office. But he’d never deigned to come to hers. It was such a deviation
from what she was used to that it took her a moment to catch her breath.

“Sir!” she stammered out, trying to stop herself before she actually toppled off of her chair onto the floor.

Mitch looked down at the woman who had been invading his dreams and driving him crazy with her non-interest. She was so incredibly beautiful. She reminded him of a classical Greek goddess with those lovely,
brown eyes and her soft, blond hair that seemed to shimmer in the hazy sunlight streaming through her office window.

Damn, he wanted to touch her hair, to see if it was made of silk or satin. Hair just wasn’t supposed to look that glowing unless one was on a Hollywood movie set or in a shampoo commercial.

Forcing his mind back to business was difficult when she looked up at him like that.
He wanted to kiss her. To make love to her and feel her soft, pink lips….

Mentally, he shook his head, trying to concentrate. “Where were you?” he demanded again, this time a bit too harshly since his hands were itching to pull her into his arms and run his fingertips over her skin.

Adriana had no idea what had happened over the past thirty seconds that had put him into an even worse mood,
but his very presence in her office meant he must be pretty frustrated. He stared down at her from his enormous height like she was some sort of bug he wanted to step on.

Where had she been? She’d been working her butt off for him since six o’clock this morning without a break. Brutally suppressing her anger as well as the other unidentifiable and strange sensations running through her mind
and body, she focused only on the issue of the reports.

“Um…I went to lunch, sir,” she replied, trying to take a deep breath and calm her rising temper. But her office was too small and his spicy, male scent filled her nostrils, making her head swim and her heart start pounding a crazy beat. Good grief, she was twenty-four years old! She shouldn’t react this way when a man stepped into her
domain. Especially one as rude and obnoxious as Mitch Powell.

“Did you finish your meal?” he asked, his voice only slightly less dictatorial.

She swallowed painfully when those eyes moved down her figure and she shook her head. “I threw it away when I got your text. I’m trying to figure out what is missing now, sir.”

He crossed his arms over his massive chest, those blue eyes looking down
at her as if he could see right into her head. Could he know how much he irritated her? Or how nervous he made her feel? Surely she could hide some of the crazy emotions he generated within her, couldn’t she? Adriana didn’t want to be transparent, but this man understood the way people thought, almost like he could read their minds. He seemed to know what they were thinking even before they
thought it. Which was probably one of the reasons he was so brilliant at business.

She was being silly, she told herself. He couldn’t know what she was thinking or feeling. He probably didn’t respect her because she was always “sirring” him, but what was a woman to do? The man was a horrible boss, intimidating as all get out and never said a simple, kind word to anyone. At least not that
she’d heard so far. Of course, she’d only been working here for a year and had only been in this position for the past two months. So it was possible that he had said something nice to someone at some point in his life. She simply hadn’t been a witness to such an outrageous act yet, so she doubted the possibility. Until evidence is shown…her father had always told her.

Mitch looked around,
his eyes taking in the cramped space that barely allowed for a desk and a filing cabinet. “Why the hell is your office so small?” he asked suddenly, looking around at the grey walls, the tiny window with the grey blinds that looked out onto the bleak exterior wall of the next building. “And why don’t you have any pictures of your family? Are you an only child?”

She let out a bark of laughter
at the question and shook her head. Her four brothers would love to hear someone ask that kind of a question. They would immediately swoop in and make their presence known. “Hardly,” she admitted, then realized who she was talking to and that he probably didn’t actually care if she had any siblings. Refusing to look down and be intimidated by the dark look in those blue eyes, she raised her
chin defiantly. “I don’t have any pictures here because I haven’t had much time yet.”

He wasn’t relenting on the issue. “But you’ve been here for months. There’s been plenty of time.” He tucked the reports he’d been reading under his arm and glared at her, trying to figure out what was going on in this woman’s life. She was fascinating. And he couldn’t decipher what she was thinking. He
saw her porcelain cheeks turn slightly pink but her dark blue eyes were closed off to him right now.

Adriana rubbed her forehead, trying to figure out why he even cared. “Yes, sir. I’ll get pictures in here as soon as possible. But let me work on this report first. I’ll try and figure out what is wrong with it and get it back to you as soon as possible.”

He was silent for so long, she looked
up from her computer. He was staring at her with an odd look in his eyes and she swallowed painfully, wondering if her words had been impertinent. But why did he care if she had pictures or not? And why was he asking about her office location and its size? He had to know about her office. He’d assigned it to her! She’d just thought it was yet another way for the man to show her the difference
in his position within the company versus hers. But she didn’t need a tiny, cramped office space to know that. It was painfully obvious.

He nodded as if mentally coming to some sort of conclusion that he wasn’t going to share. And then he said the words that she’d been dreading ever since he’d walked in. The words he said every time she had to re-do a report for him. “Bring your computer
to my office. We’ll work on it together,” he told her. With that, he walked out, leaving her with her mouth hanging open and confusion in her eyes.

“Work together again?” she whispered. “Oh no!”

His head popped back into her office. “And get maintenance to move your office closer to mine. I don’t like you being this far away from me. I’ll need you closer when we start doing additional
projects together.”

Her mouth quickly snapped shut but the amusement in his eyes told her he’d heard exactly what she’d just whispered. Cripes!

BOOK: Her Gentle Capture
5.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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