When I agreed to be Zach Swift's secretary, I was expecting demanding and high-flying--not seriously gorgeous and generous! I usually don't like working in an office, because of how the accident affected my memory, but with Zach it feels different. And now he's asked me to go on a business trip with him!
Nine-to-five is hard enough for me to hide my feelings, and Zach's bound to guess that I'm not as perfect as he seems to think I am. And he's also mentioned he has a proposal for me. I'm meeting him for dinner--tonight!
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May 08, 2007
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Excerpt from Memo by Jennie Adams
"Are you Zachary Swift?" Lily stood in the doorway of the spacious eighteenth-floor Sydney office, and pushed words up through a throat filled with fear. She hoped she sounded calm and rational, and not worried sick. "I'm Lily Kellaway, owner and manager of Best Secretarial Agency. I'm here in response to your--concerns about my employee."
He could refuse to speak to her. Could have her and her agency blackballed, and end her career just like that. Lily knew it, feared it, but if she wanted any chance to make this situation right she had to sound confident, a woman who could and would make things better.
"I'm Zach Swift, yes, and it's no idle accusation against Rochelle Farrer." He sat at his desk, broad shoulders pressed into a black leather chair, confidence and assurance written in every line of his body.
Sydney's leaden April sky loomed behind him, viewed through a bank of plate-glass windows. Through a long, slim grill above those windows, the sounds of a city that never stopped emphasised his decisive words--vehicles possessing the roads below, the blast and clang of construction, a siren's blare.
Firm, determined sounds, when Lily only wanted to hear his deep voice softening, inviting her in to discuss this problem face to face.
"I don't dispute your accusation." She wished she could disprove it, but, sadly, it was all true. "But it's one that can be addressed.Amends can be made. The situation can be fixed."
"Is that why you're here? To try to fix what happened? There's no turning back the clock." Dark brows drew down. His lean, tanned face revealed his irritation. "I think I made my feelings quite clear when we spoke by phone half an hour ago."
She recalled the shock of that phone call very well. Dismay and embarrassment had robbed her of the ability to reason with him. While she'd still been floundering, he had told her he wanted nothing more to do with her agency, and had hung up.
"You raised certain issues when you phoned."The empty secretary's desk in the reception room at her back mocked her. Her fingers clenched around the notebook held in her left hand, and she prayed that he would listen. "I'd like the chance to address those issues, now that I've had time to assimilate what's happened."
Please, God, she wouldn't forget the speech rehearsed three times on the frantic taxi trip here.
"What's to address? I sacked your employee. I've sacked your agency. End of story."With an irritated growl, he rose and stalked across the thick beige carpet until he stood before her.
Over six feet of annoyed, affronted male, and her agency was responsible for his anger. She quaked. But something else happened, too. Something quick and unexpected when her gaze zeroed in on thick-fringed hazel eyes. A mixture of curiosity and interest flowed through her, locked her breath in her throat. Shock and dismay followed. She couldn't be attracted to him? It must be some sort of nervous reaction, surely?
Yes, that must be it, and just as well, because all other facts aside she was too busy for a relationship with a man right now. Busy. Inadequate. Just look at your relationship with your parents, a silent voice interjected. "All I ask is a few minutes of your time. If you'll hear me out, those minutes will be well invested."
"Will they, Ms Kellaway? You seem very sure of that." Lily adjusted the weight of the tote bag slung over her shoulder, tugged her green skirt into place and smoothed the matching blazer. "I have a solution."