Alphas & Millionaires Starter Set

By: Brooke Cumberland

“Mr. Moore, I need to know that woman’s name,” I told my assistant, nodding my head in her direction.

“Yes, sir.” I watched as he walked out of the room, punching keys into his cell.

I keep my distance from her, but I could find her in a crowded room in a heartbeat. She stood out amongst the rest and she didn’t even know it. She stood with grace, casually chatting with the other interns around her.

Wren Fields, a business partner of mine, came to stand next to me. He started talking about some project and how the shareholders were complaining about something—I wasn’t paying attention anymore. I was starring at her from across the room, hoping she tilt her head up just enough to lock eyes with me.

I didn’t even know her name yet, but I was fixated on her. The longer I watched her, the more she reminded me of a young Kate Middleton—classy and elegant, gorgeous and sophisticated. I knew I was being obtuse, but I was rarely wrong about people.

Fighting the urge to walk over there and sweep her away from the crowd, I kept my distance, but just close enough to hear the sweet sound of her laughter again. It made me smile to myself, but when she brought a hand up to brush the strands of hair out of her face when I saw it.

The ring on her left hand.

I was in denial the second I noticed it. She didn’t look like any older than twenty-three, maybe twenty-four. Most interns in the program were not married, and for some reason, I felt like there was no way. Engaged? Perhaps. I was determined to find out.

“Mr. Stagliano?” My assistant spoke from behind me, grabbing my attention. “I have that information you asked me about.” I could see a manila folder under his arm. Her file.

Wren finally took the hint and took off, patting a hand on my shoulder as if we were friends outside of work. We weren’t.

“Let me have it, please.” I reached out and took it from his hand. “Thank you.” Walking away, I opened the file and began searching it over.

“Molly Woods,” I read quietly to myself. “Twenty-three, scholarship applicant, lives in Chicago, graduated high school with honors.” I continued skimming the file, in hopes of finding any information that’d be helpful. As I scanned my eyes lower, I finally found it. At the bottom where it asked for the emergency contact was a man’s name, but it didn’t say spouse, it read roommate.

So perhaps she wasn’t engaged after all.

I allowed my mind to run with reasons she’d be wearing a ring on her ring finger, such as it was a family heirloom, maybe it was the only finger it’d fit her, or she was wearing it as a means of professional, in hopes it’d gain her respect from her peers. Whatever the reason, I had to find out.

After returning the file to my assistant, I walked back in the conference hall and immediately started looking for her again. The orientation mixer was a nice way for the interns to meet each other and get all the information they’d need for that semester.

I watched as she playfully twirled her hair around her finger and sipped on her drink. I noticed a guy walking up to her and my face tightened as I watched him take a seat next to her. She was giving him the cold shoulder, avoiding his eye contact and presence all together . It was obvious he was making her nervous and uncomfortable, but I forced myself to not get involved. Not here.

As the orientation ended, she finished her drink and gathered her things. She waved to her friend and as she walked out the door, I felt a pang of loneliness. I was drawn to her, and I didn’t know why. I’d never experienced anything like it before, and I wasn’t sure how to handle it.

I knew it wasn’t normal to feel like this with someone I hadn’t even met yet. Even if she could end up have the same feelings, it could never turn into anything—at least while she was interning at the Riverside. It’d be breaking so many work policies and ethic codes, but I also knew that deep down I really didn’t care. I would risk it for her.

If she wanted me to.


My mind wondered as I reached for a stainless steel pot on the highest shelf, thinking of all the things I have to do this weekend. I felt cool air from the ceiling vent blow against my cheek and send a shiver down my body. I stood on my tiptoes, reaching higher when an unfamiliar, raspy voice sounds behind me.

“Are you married?”

A harsh shiver tingled down my spine again, making me realize it wasn’t the vent that made my body react in the first place.

I quickly turned around, startled by the misplaced question, and blinked my eyes up to a tall man who screamed power and success.

It was Mr. Stagliano—the Drake Stagliano.

He looked intense, his dark brown eyes matching his tousled light brown hair. His lips curled up in a wicked grin, and I had to blink again just to make sure it really was him standing in front of me.

“No,” I replied in a little more than a whisper, my voice shaky and uneasy.

He jerked his angular jaw toward my left hand, questioning the diamond on my ring finger. I haven’t taken it off since the day Liam proposed four years ago. Even though we’re no longer getting married, I still wore it as a reminder of the love we once shared.

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