Alphas & Millionaires Starter Set

By: Brooke Cumberland

“A cocktail dress will suffice,” he answered sternly. “8 p.m. Don’t keep me waiting.” He rose from his chair to usher me to the door.

I failed to stand up when he did because I was shocked at his blunt, bossy words. Instead of ushering me out the door, he sat casually on the corner of his desk staring at me.

“Why dinner?”

“You stated we didn’t know each other, Molly. I want to change that,” he said, again looking directly into my eyes.

“All right then, Mr. Stagliano.” I gave in. “Guess I’ll see you tomorrow night then.” We both stood up, intending to walk toward the door. Drake gently placed his hand around my waist, guiding me through the door. The bottom of my shirt crept up slightly from his hand. I trembled as his warm hand met my bare skin.

“Until tomorrow night, Molly,” he whispered into my ear as I was leaving. I shivered as his lips brushed close to me and I could feel his warm breath against my neck.


“So who’s the lucky guy?” Michael grinned as he watched me get dressed.

“I’d rather not say,” I replied, ashamed.

“Oh my God…” He enunciated each word out slowly. “Don’t tell me…Drake?” Michael inched closer to examine my dress. I rolled my eyes at him and he definitely knew. “Drake. Drake Stagliano?”

“Yes. He’s making me have dinner with him in order to retrieve the contents of my wallet. Bastard,” I replied as I put on my heels and grabbed some earrings. If I was going to be forced to eat dinner with this man, he may as well be tortured by looking at me, knowing he can’t have me.

“Genius.” He laughed. “He must have it bad.” He raised his brows at me. Too bad I wasn’t looking for anything. Not even something casual. Or was I? Perhaps I have just told myself enough times over the years that I’ve started to believe it.

“Yeah, well, it’s the first and last time. I need to focus on passing my internship, graduating, and getting a job,” I retorted, grabbing my coat and purse. 7:50 p.m. He’ll be here any minute now. Shit.

“Here let me help,” Michael said, taking my coat. He pecked me on the cheek and slapped my ass. “Go get ’em, girl!”

My anxiety took over as I rode the elevator down to the lobby, fidgeting with my keys until I saw a limo pull up outside my building. Shit, a limo? I watched as the driver came around and opened the door for Drake. He re-buttoned his suit and walked to the entrance. I stood there waiting, both dreading and anxious to go through with this date.

“Molly? I was planning to fetch you at your apartment,” Drake said as he approached me, never taking his eyes off me.

Damn, those eyes were captivating.

“Well, then I guess I saved you a trip, Mr. Stagliano.” I grinned, knowing exactly what he meant. This is not a date. I do not need to be ‘fetched.’

“Such a delight.” He smirked, opening his arm up for me. “And please, you can call me Drake.”

I could hear his amusement in the whole situation. I would’ve never agreed to dinner had he not held my things captive. He escorted me to the limo while his driver opened the door for us. I got in and immediately went to the far side, hoping to keep a safe distance between us.

“Would you like some champagne?”

I shouldn’t be drinking around him, but what the hell. “Yes, please. “Where are we going?”

“My place,” he said firmly, letting me know it was not an open discussion. He turned away to fill my glass. “I have something special set up for you.” He smiled as he turned to look back at me. Great. Something special? I felt like I had missed the memo. And why did this require a cocktail dress?

We arrived at his River North Penthouse and although the limo ride wasn’t completely awkward, the whole situation was a little bizarre. I hadn’t been on a date in years, but taking me to his place right away? That seemed weird. His home wasn’t anything like I expected. Drake is intimidating and powerful, but his home felt warm and comfortable. He offered me a tour after taking my coat, and I was too curious not to accept the offer.

Wow, this man did have a warm side.

He showed me through the foyer into the sleek, elegant kitchen. It was definitely suitable for a one-person home and was not what I had expected. It was large, yet it had a warm, inviting feeling to it. The refrigerator blended in with the shiny, red cabinets with thin, silver handles. It was definitely top-notch. I was almost afraid to touch anything. The dark lower cabinets blended well with the cherry wood flooring and the center island. There was a small, white breakfast bar with four white, contemporary chairs. I was especially jealous of the double ovens in the middle of the red cabinets.

This was definitely a kitchen I would die to have.

Drake watched my expression as I took in the phenomenal view. He knew this kitchen would excite the chef intern in me.

“This is beautiful,” I remarked as I caught him watching me, waiting for me to say something. More like breathtaking.

Just like him.

“I knew you’d appreciate it.” He smiled as he took my hand to continue the tour. An open floor plan went directly from the kitchen to the dining area to the living room. It was warm, inviting, and elegant. The gray walls blended well from room to room, allowing the Chicago view in through the windows. I noticed a large painting by the living room table that accented the room perfectly.

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