"Sex is absolutely off the table."
So this was Dax Girard's hiring policy. Well, it might not be conventional--but then again, all admin-assist-wannabe Zoe Bravo wanted was a job. And her prospective boss, Dax Girard, was so gorgeous that he'd clearly had to beat them off with a stick before. So she calmly agreed to the mogul's terms--even throwing in a fake fiance for good measure! A strictly hands-off policy was fine with her....
But was it fine with him? Because the more no-strings-attached Dax swore he was as immune to Zoe as he was to your average beautiful woman, the more he started envisioning a future that had her in it. And, in nine months, a little someone else, as well.
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October 31, 2010
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Excerpt from Expecting the Boss's Baby by Christine Rimmer
"Can I lay it right out for you?" Dax Girard asked.
Sitting across his wide black desk from him, Zoe Bravo answered earnestly, "Yes, of course. Please do." She did want this job. She wanted it bad. She had things to prove--to herself and to her family.
He arched a straight dark eyebrow. "You're really pretty."
Oh, please. Was he going to hit on her? Right here, during the interview? Euuu.
He wasn't finished. "And if I were to meet you under other circumstances, I would be only too happy to have sex with you. But I need good staff, above all. So I have a house rule. You work for me, that's all you do with me."
Zoe stifled a burst of inappropriate laugher and sat up straighter in the chair. Somehow, she managed to reply with a straight face, "Seriously, it's not a problem. I've known you for what, two minutes?"
Had that sounded sarcastic? Maybe a little.
But he had just told her he wouldn't sleep with her--when she hadn't even asked him to. He deserved a dose of attitude.
If he noticed the edge to her tone, he let it pass. "I think your mother is a wonderful woman."
"She certainly is." Zoe's mom, Aleta Randall Bravo, was from an old San Antonio family. Aleta knew everyone, including the great adventurer and magazine publisher Dax Girard. It was her mom who had recommended her to Dax for this job, which meant Dax would most likely want to give Zoe a chance. People generally tried to please her mom. And not only because of the social connection thing either. There was something about Aleta that made you like her--and want her to like you.
He said, "And you seem...bright. I have a good feeling about you. I want to make this work."
"Great," Zoe answered, trying to sound positive and upbeat. "I do, too."
"But I just need to have this clear with you, straight from the gate. Sex is absolutely off the table."
She didn't groan--but she really, really wanted to. Enough about sex already. How many times did she have to promise not to put a move on him?
Okay, yeah. He was hot--in that rich-guy, lean, preppy way. He looked like he played a lot of tennis. He probably jogged with his shirt off and gave all the women he wasn't going to have sex with a thrill.
And she'd heard the stories about him, about how women found him irresistible. But not Zoe. She wanted a job, not a hot date. "I promise you, Dax. I'll manage to control myself. Somehow."
A long pause ensued. Zoe tried to look calm and competent and unconcerned while he stared at her steadily, his sexy, deep brown eyes narrowed. Probing. Apparently, he found it impossible to believe that she wouldn't try and jump his bones at the earliest opportunity.
But then, at last, he dipped his handsome head of thick, wavy sable hair to study her r?sum? again. "Let's see here. You were on the campus papers at two colleges. You type ninety words a minute, you know Microsoft Office."
"Backward and forward, yes."
"You've been to UT, Stanford and Brandeis, I see, majoring in Journalism and English."
"So I know how magazine publishing works. Also, my spelling and punctuation skills are solid. I know my grammar." What else could she say? Not too much about college. Yes, she'd attended the best schools. Too bad she'd never actually graduated from any of them. She was bright and she learned fast. But she'd always been...easily distracted, eager for the next life experience.