The view of the city from her car window was damn near heart breaking. She was always on the road to work at dawn, not only because she was all for getting more time at work, but also because she wanted to watch the view of the city as the light of another day broke into it. The tall buildings still looked mythical as the direction of the light cast them into a shade. Light pink, red and purple splashed across the sky with a faint touch of yellow.
In the past, she would love to stop for a while and take a good look at the sky. Her mind would drift to enjoying the view with an imaginary husband and their children, in front of a big house. Her mind-set had been given a huge whiplash two years ago when her lover had left her standing at the altar, with a miserable bouquet of flowers and a ridiculously silly engagement ring on her finger, in front of three hundred guests.
Her blue eyes shifted to her ring finger unconsciously and she smiled at how long it had taken the imprint of the ring to disappear. Without much care, she looked towards the window again and began to observe the streets as her black Land Rover Range Rover drove her towards her work place.
Predictability was something she hated; she always made sure her chauffeur, a man she had grown to love since she was a child, found new routes to her office so she did not have to go through the same ones every day.
She liked being able to take care of herself. Although her mother supported her independence, she knew her mother would have a field day when she finally brought home a man. Sadly, she doubted that part of her mother’s dream would come true anytime soon.
Her car pulled up in front of Placer del Cuerpo, her pride and joy. The company she had built with her own sweat and blood. Her company provided negligée, lingerie, undergarments and everything else that a woman would need to feel gorgeous and sexy. No doubt that there were few competitors over the years, each with their own strengths but by defeating them, she had raised up her strengths by a prodigious margin.
Her navy blue espadrille wedge heels clicked on the tiled floor as she made her way to the elevator. Her tanned well-rounded calves added an extra plus to her stunning physique, but her black metallic knit long tube skirt hid them well. She had a stripped perfect button down shirt tucked into it and golden belt around her waist to complete to look.
Anyone could clearly see that the self-made billionaire dressed with money. She wore a pearl ear thread earing with a silver bib necklace and a solitaire ring on her right index finger.
When she stepped into her office, she noticed the changes were as she had asked and she loved how stunning it looked. Redecorating had been a good investment. After exchanging greetings with her staff, she motioned for Julia Stewart, her personal assistant to stay while the others left. She sat in her executive chair and nodded, “I see the redecorating went as planned, while I was gone.” She ran her hands over her desk, “What style is this?”
“It is a Lattier A Luxury Executive desk, just like you wanted, Miss Hernández.”
“Perfect. Now back to business. What is on my agenda for today?”
“You have three export shipments to approve, the shareholders’ meeting to attend by two this afternoon. There are also some legal documents Mr. Preston said you needed to sign with relation to the new shops you are building in English town.”
“I heard there is a new company also producing lingerie here in Santa Montes. I want every single bit of information you have on them; I want you to find out how much it would take to get it under my control.”
“It is not a new company, Miss Hernández; it is actually the Clark and Co. Company that has been changed.” Julia placed a file in front of her and continued talking, “Harrison Clark now owns the company because his father died a week ago, while you were on your trip. Since then there had been changes. Name change, methods of production, work hours, new products.”
“All I need to know are in these files?”
“Yes, every single detail. Surprisingly, with the changes, he is raising the earning of the company faster than his father did. I predict that in a short while, you both may be competing for the audience of your clients.”
“I highly doubt that. We removed his father from the game before and we would remove the son as well. No matter how long it would take.”
Julia smiled and placed another file in front of Cassandra, “I think you need to read this before you make that decision Miss.” She rose to her feet and straightened her skirt, “I would go now and bring to you the documents you would need to sign. Please excuse me.”
Cassandra waved her index and middle finger to show that she was free to leave. She waited for the sound of the door clicking shut before she slumped into her chair and opened the file.
Two subway drives and a few blocks away, Harrison Clark was studying the file he had on Cassandra Hernández. There was no doubt in his mind that the woman was one of extreme beauty, her blue eyes and auburn brown hair were only the first features that captured his interest. What really held him was the smile on her cherry red lips.
Many said that she had not smiled publicly for a long while and Harrison felt like that was a capital crime. The woman was a beauty when she really smiled, her face seemed to glow and pink speckled on her cheeks.
She was a mere four years short of his thirty-eight years and she had started her business when she was twenty-six. At that time, he was still chasing skirts around the entire Santa Montes. Still she did not look worn out or tired; she still looked as fresh and energized as when she started.
He did not know the idiot that had found the courage to leave such a woman but he sure as hell felt sorry for the bastard. Cassandra was a woman that to be worshiped and pampered. Whomever he left her for; Harrison doubted the woman could amount to what Cassandra was worth.
The soft knock on the door caused his head to snap up and the sight of his beautiful girlfriend smiling at him from the door greeted him. Josephine was a stunner through and through. She had returned to Santa Montes with him after they pronounced his father dead. There was little time to spend with her during all his business activities but she always graced him with her presence at the same time every day.
He rose to his feet and wrapped his arm around her lean waist, “How is the most sensual woman in all of Santa Montes?”
She gave him a full smile and played with his hair, “Feeling like the most handsome man in Santa Montes, is not giving her the kisses she deserves at this particular moment.”
He returned her smile, pulled her close to him; he grinned against her lips, and chastised her, “You really should not fall in love with my kisses because breaking up would be hard.”
“It may be you that falls in love with my kisses, darling.”
He leaned in to kiss her when an unknown blonde-haired woman walked into his office, in a hurry. When she realized what was going on, the poor woman spun on her heels, wide-eyed and breathless, and dashed out of the office, closing the door soundly behind her.
“Well we have officially scared the poor woman my dear. Now let’s not put her absence to waste.”
He pressed his lips against her own as she smiled. She sighed and walked him back to seat on his chair while she planted her lush bottom on his lap. Their lips twisted as she tried to get him out of his suit, a task that took no less than ten seconds. He broke their kiss and placed soft kisses on her neck and exposed shoulders, his hands cupped her pert bottom. Little did he know that she had set her eyes on the profile of Cassandra Hernández.
Josephine growled and pushed at him until he released her. “You bastard! Why do you have this woman’s picture on your desktop?” her weary eyes roamed his desk and spotted all the files he had carelessly left lying around. She picked them up with shaking hands and turned her furious eyes to him, “Why do you have all this?”
He stood and plucked the files from her hand, “No reason to get upset, she is just a competitor and coming into the business means that I have to know about everyone before I go challenge with them. No need diving in blind with a company that is almost on its knees.”
Josephine scoffed and he frowned before he drew out three other files of notable contest and laid then out for her. Her only action was to shake her head, disappointed marring her face as she snatched her purse and threw the strap over her shoulders.
“I knew what I got into dating you because you are well known around women but I still think you are not taking this seriously. D-don’t dare tell me I am overreacting, you know how I feel when you do things like this.”
It shocked him, she acted as if she walked in on him making out with the woman but she was on a piece of paper, printed. “I am very committed to this relationship, believe it or not, she is a competitor and not my side chick so get your head out of the green cloud and come down to earth for a second.”
Her eyes widened the strap dropped from her shoulder and she shoved the purse into the seat, beat a path to him and slapped him across the face. His jaw ticked but he kept him temper down, he handled situations like this one with care. He knew the terms of their relationship, little things got to her and his job, as her boyfriend was to see through them, she was a sensible woman when her jealousy was not involved.
“I am down to earth and thinking with all my senses so don’t dare come to me with you crap because you can’t expect me to take any of it. I-I” her voice cracked and she waved her hands round his office. “I have noticed you know, since you father died, I noticed the changes. All of them. The distance between us is now miles long and the only one working at it is me!”
The distance between them was small so he closed the space between them and grabbed her shoulder, he wanted to shake her. “I am not replacing you with anyone and there is no number of miles sitting in front of us, I do care for you. I don’t want you to blow this out of proportion.”
She sent her arms between his and pushed them out, over her shoulders and then he dropped them to his side. A finger went up to massage her forehead and she slapped her hand over her wrist.
“I don’t think you know how insecure I am about the women that move around you. You notice them… I don’t believe that you don’t. They are ridiculously gorgeous and if you are not taking this relationship seriously then one of them can sweep you away. I don’t know about you but I’ll watch where I walk before I fall.”
He didn’t get the chance to speak as she dropped down for her purse and turned towards the door. With her hips swinging in her wake, she pulled open the door and snapped at the first person she laid eyes on. The poor woman walked in shaking as she watched him from the door. His eyes turned to the picture on his desktop and he frowned at it.
Josephine had a point in her insane argument, he had been admiring the beauty of the Ice Queen before she walked in. in all honesty, there was nothing not to admire about the woman. She seemed to enjoy being on top and looked completely sunning. Josephine had obvious beauty as well, her figure and shape filled out very dress she wore, and there was nothing to be jealous about. Women like Cassandra had a way of taming other women when they came into the room, no matter how gorgeous they were.
For years, his mom had nagged him about settling with one woman and months before he and Josephine started their relationship, he vowed to give being a one-woman man a try. It was successful, Josephine meant a lot to him and from his point of view he grew to care for her every day but Josephine was carelessly jealous. That was the one thing he couldn’t get her to let go of.
“You are already causing trouble for me Cassandra Hernández.”