The Tycoon's Secret Affair

By: Maya Banks

She clutched her briefcase to her and stared out the window to the waves crashing in the distance. The sea lost some of its romance in the daylight. It was still beautiful and striking, but at night under the flicker of torches and the glow of the moon, it took on a life of its own.

Her mouth twisted ruefully. She was still thinking of her dark-eyed lover. He was hard to forget, and she knew she’d be thinking of him for a long time to come.

Behind her the door opened, and an older woman stuck her head out and smiled at Jewel. “Miss Henley, Mr. Anetakis will see you now.”

Jewel pasted a bright smile on her face and marched in behind the woman. Across the room Mr. Anetakis stood with his back to them, a cell phone stuck to his ear. When he heard them come in, he turned and Jewel halted. Her mouth flew open, and her eyes widened in shock.

To his credit, Mr. Anetakis merely raised an eyebrow in recognition, and then he closed his phone and nodded to the other lady.

“You can leave us now, Margery. Miss Henley and I have a lot to discuss.”

Jewel swallowed nervously as Margery quietly left the room and shut the door behind her. Her fingers curled around her briefcase, and she held it almost like a shield as Mr. Anetakis stared holes through her. God, how this must look.

“You have to know I had no idea who you were,” she said in a shaky voice before he could speak.

“Indeed,” he said calmly. “I could see the shock when I turned around. Still, it makes things a bit awkward, wouldn’t you say?”

“There’s no reason things should be awkward,” she said crisply. She moved forward, holding an outstretched hand. “Hello, Mr. Anetakis. I’m Jewel Henley, your new assistant. I trust we’ll work well together.”

His lips twisted into a sardonic smile. Before he could reply, his phone rang again.

“Excuse me, Miss Henley,” he said in a cool voice. Then he picked up his cell phone.

He wasn’t speaking English, but it was obvious the phone call wasn’t to his liking. He frowned and then outright scowled. He barked a few words into the receiver before muttering something unintelligible and snapping it closed.

“My apologies. There is something I must attend to at once. You can see Margery in her office, and she’ll get you…set up.”

Jewel nodded as he strode out the door. As soon as the door shut, all her breath left her in a whoosh that left her sagging. Of all the rotten luck. And to think she’d hoped they’d run into each other again so they could have a repeat performance.

On wobbly knees she went to find Margery and then prayed that she’d get through the next four weeks without losing her composure.

Piers got out of the helicopter and strode toward the car waiting to pick him up. As they drove toward the airport where his private jet awaited, he snapped open his phone and placed the call that he’d been deliberating over since he left his office.

His human resources manager for the island hotel picked up on the second ring.

“What can I do for you, Mr. Anetakis?” he asked once Piers had identified himself.

“Jewel Henley,” he bit out.

“Your new assistant?”

“Get rid of her.”

“Pardon? Is there a problem?”

“Just get rid of her. I want her gone by the time I return.” He took a deep breath. “Transfer her, promote her or pay her for the entirety of her contract, but get rid of her. She can’t work under me. I have a strict policy about personal involvement with my employees, and let’s just say she and I have history.”

He waited for a moment and when he didn’t hear anything, he said, “hello?” He cursed. The connection had been cut. Oh well, he didn’t require a response. He just wanted action.

Even if he hadn’t already been extremely distrustful of situations that seemed too coincidental, his brother’s assistant had sold valuable company plans to their competitor. After that debacle, they’d all assumed very strict requirements for the people working closest to them. They could ill afford another Roslyn.

Still, his chest tightened as the car stopped outside his plane, and he got out to board. He wasn’t so much in denial that he could refute that the night had been more than just a casual one-night stand. Which was all the more reason to cut ties now. He wouldn’t give up any power, no matter how subtle, to a woman ever again.

Jewel sat in Margery’s chair behind her desk filling out a mountain of paperwork while Margery puttered around in the background making phone calls and grumbling at the printer when it didn’t spit out the appropriate documents.

She’d spent the morning on pins and needles, waiting for Piers to return so they could at least try and air things out and get it behind them. The old saying about an elephant in the room was appropriate, only Jewel felt like there was an entire herd.

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