Alphas & Millionaires Starter Set

By: Brooke Cumberland

“Welcome, Miss Woods. Glad to see you’re finally joining us today,” Mr. Cooper scolded, looking annoyed. I was fifteen minutes late and as much as I tried to sneak into the kitchen, I was busted.

“I apologize, Mr. Cooper. It won’t happen again.”

“Are you all right?” Blakely turned around with a concerned look.

“Yeah, just ran late. I lost my wallet,” I pouted.

“I saw Mr. Stagliano leaving the tavern right after you left. Looked as if he were up to something,” Blakely mentioned, changing the subject as we gathered in our groups for another cooking project. Today we were focusing on bases and soups.

“Really?” I asked, pretending I hadn’t noticed. I didn’t know if mentioning him to her was a big deal or not. I figured she would hound me and ask a million questions. I didn’t need to be distracted today since I was already late for class.

“Okay, so let’s start with the vegetable minestrone and tomato lavender base,” Brad proposed. We chatted for the next several hours getting our soups and bases prepared. Interning was grunt work. We had to do all the crappy jobs that the chefs didn’t feel like doing. We have to learn anyway, but I was ready to move on to more challenging tasks, start entrees, and gourmet meals. I hoped to run my own kitchen someday. Maybe my own restaurant.

Before Liam and I found out we were expecting, I worked at a local restaurant in town where I cooked, and Liam bussed. We were trying to save money to move into our own place. I would pretend that I was the executive chef and present the food in a special way with garnishes and drizzles on the plates. After having that job, I knew that was what I wanted to do. Cooking gave me a sense of accomplishment that I needed after my parents’ divorce. While they were tied up in who got what, I felt invisible most of the time.

“I’m just going to place this in the freezer, guys. Be right back,” I announced, my hands full.

I shuffled some containers around to make room in the freezer and once I was finished, aimed for the door, but noticed something shiny out of the corner of my eye.

No fucking way.

There, placed on a rack next to containers of condiments, was my Coach wallet with a note neatly folded on top.

You left this in the cab last night. Figured you would need it. However, if you want the remainder of the contents you must meet me for dinner first. Pick you up at 8pm tomorrow night. —D.S.

Are you fucking kidding me? He was holding my credit cards hostage. Un-fucking-believable. What nerve.

I grabbed my wallet and rushed out of the freezer, racing right past my group. I figured now was as good a time as any to take a break and head right to Mr. Stagliano’s office myself.

Yeah, and demand my stuff back!

…Or maybe, I just want to see that sexy smile again.

No, definitely to yell at him for how rude he is.

I took the elevator up to his office and stalked to his receptionist’s office. “I need to speak with Mr. Stagliano, Drake Stagliano, please,” I insisted.

I was determined to get my belongings back. However, I suddenly felt very nervous to see him again.

“Do you have an appointment, Miss?” his receptionist queried, surprised by my authority.

“Molly Woods,” I filled in for her. “No, I don’t, but Drake, I mean, Mr. Stagliano, has something of mine, and I want it back,” I fumed, keeping my stance. She didn’t glance up at me as she turned to her phone and dialed. After a moment, she hung up and escorted me into Drake’s office.

“He’ll be right in, Miss Woods.” The receptionist motioned for me to take a seat at his desk as she shut the door. His office was the size of my entire apartment. It looked like the ideal bachelor pad, although, I was sure he didn’t live here. It seemed ridiculous that an office should be so stunning. Televisions, chairs, couches, mini bar…

I jumped as the door opened, startled out of my wandering thoughts. Drake walked in with a huge grin on his face, displaying his perfect, white teeth. I stared at him for a moment before I realized I needed to be pissed off.

Am I pissed off? Yes! Yes, you are, dammit!

“Miss Woods, what a surprise!” He smiled as he walked toward me. His smirk totally read that, in fact, he was not surprised at all. He was wearing a black three-piece suit with a silver vest and tie. Damn, he looks good. He came around to his desk, sitting down nonchalantly, as if he had no idea why I would be there. Dammit, why must he be so dreamy?

“Molly,” I reminded, hoping he’d finally get the hint. “Mr. Stagliano,” I continued, “It appears you have something of mine. I want it back.” He was still smirking at me as if something was funny.

“Miss Woods.” He turned his chair , looking directly into my eyes. “I mean, Molly,” he corrected. “I will graciously give you whatever you want, but not until tomorrow night. 8 p.m.”

“And if I don’t go?”

He shrugged as if he didn’t believe my hesitation. “I guess you go without.”


“Fine.” I caved, sneering at him. I crossed my arms over my chest. “What should I wear?”

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