Desiree was a queen in Elijah’s eyes. The short Mexican woman was everything he dreamed of. She was small but she was still feisty. The small beauty had dreams and she was going to achieve them all with her head held high. Complaining was one thing she wouldn’t do, no matter how hard she was hurting. It’s what Elijah admired most about her.
After a long day of work, Desiree came home to cook for her man. The only flaw he could see was her little shopping addiction. That was nothing for Elijah. As long as she continued to love him unconditionally then he would do anything for her. He would give her the world even if it meant working to the bone. The woman was his heart, his true soul mate.
That was until the position of taking over Henderson Inc was compromised. His younger brother had come back to take over the head potion he once passed on. His brother-Christen wanted nothing more than to chase his dream of being a doctor. But when he got word that someone on the inside was giving competitors inside information, Christen had taken a break to fulfill his father’s wish. Leaking information was a threat to Henderson’s name. A threat that could potentially ruin the Henderson name.
The fight for the head position took a toll on Desiree. She became uncertain about Elijah’s future and she was lost. She needed a man that could provide when she couldn’t. Although she was an independent woman, she yearned for a man that could lead her household. To her luck, she found a decent sized building, nearly 3,000 miles away, to start her business. Once she received word that Elijah was going to step down from the CEO position, she slowly began to pull away from the relationship.
Elijah stood and watched the woman he loved for the past three years pack her bags without remorse. He loved her. His family loved her. So what was the problem? The last few years of memories flooded his mind until he realized what was going on.
“Who are you leaving me for?” Elijah questioned the woman.
“I’m not leaving you for anyone. I just can’t do this anymore.”
“Then, Is it because I’m thinking about stepping down from the company?” Elijah grabbed her arms to stop her movements. “I can start my own company with my name. With our name. Where is that faith you once had in me?”
Desiree scoffed. Yanking her hands-free from his grasp and continued packing. “You had everything at the tip of your fingers and you let it go. For what? To please your spoiled brother?”
“I love you.” He pleaded.
“I have love for you, Elijah. I really do. It’s just not the same anymore. I need a smart man that can lead. Not someone that makes rash decisions to please his family.”
“You have love for me?! But you don’t love me? So the last three years was a complete joke?”
“Look, you need help. Your fetish is not normal. I tried so hard to adjust to your lifestyle but I can’t.” Desire shook her head. “Something is seriously wrong with you.” She didn’t know what else to say to Elijah for him to let her go.
Elijah was taken aback. She had never once mentioned that his interest in BDSM had bothered her. They rarely indulged in any activity that could actually hurt her. So he was hurt but mainly confused on why she would say such a thing.
How can an individual pretend to love someone for three years? He had nothing more to say. He retrieved the glass of whiskey from the dresser and sat back in the chair. Three years of his life he spent making sure she was happy. Only to end up with nothing.
Love was nothing more than a fantasy that wasn’t destined to be true. Love was nothing more than broken words that held no meaning.
He was just thankful that he made her sign a contract when she started working for the company many years ago. Even when she had stopped working for him after a year, the contract was for life.
Elijah watched as she packed and carried her bags to the expensive car he had bought her. He didn’t even bother helping her with the lifting or carrying. What does he look like helping the woman he loved walk out of his life?
He smiled, waving at the woman who took the remaining pieces of his heart. His smile only hid how broken he was. He wanted to scream. Beg. Cry out. But he was frozen, standing in the door frame. It wasn’t until Desiree’s car was out of sight when he walked back into the house.
Elijah struggled to get sleep on the jet as his past hunted him. He gave his all to Desiree and she left without warning. He hadn’t heard from her since. The urge to drink was the only method he could find to help him forget his past flame. She changed him into a man he never considered being. He looked to his right and seen Rachel sleeping. His eyes widened when she began to lightly snore. He chuckled to himself as he checked the time.
After a long flight, Rachel just wanted to take a long hot shower and sleep until they had to prepare for the gala later on that day. She barely could keep her eyes open but the view was amazing. The hotels back in American couldn’t even compare to what she was standing in. She admired her surrounding as she followed Elijah to the front desk to check-in.
“Ah, hello Mr. Elijah!” The blonde woman batted her eyelashes. She had the audacity to push her breast up by folding her arms under her medium-sized breast.
The man must be well known in Italy.
Rachel looked towards the woman who was trying way too hard to get the man’s attention. She wasn’t half bad, to be honest. She was a short woman with long hair down her back. The light make-up she was wearing complimented her bright green eyes. Rachel looked at Elijah and noticed his eyes were elsewhere.
“The card key, please.” He demanded.
Right in front of his face was a bimbo throwing herself at him and he acted as if she didn’t matter. Rachel felt bad for the woman as she watched her face fall. A small part of her believed the man was gay. He never paid attention to the woman who obviously had eyes for him.
“Here you are, mister.” The woman smiled. The smile didn’t even reach her ears like the first time she saw Elijah.
“Give them to my assistant.” Elijah pulled out his phone. “I’m sure you have my payment information already on file, correct? Charge the room to whatever card you have on file.” Never looking at the woman, he began to walk off.
“I’ll pay you back for the room once we get back home.” Rachel said the moment they entered the elevator.
Elijah simply looked at Rachel as if she had grown a second head. The simple look had her shutting up and looking in a different direction. The elevator was quiet and awkward and all she wanted to do was collapse on a bed and sleep.
The moment they entered their room her mouth dropped once more. She’s never been in such an expensive suite.
“Let me show you to your room.” Elijah walked past her and towards the stairs.
She followed him and observed as he opened the master bedroom.
“To the right is your room, if you want to close the bedroom door then by all means. To the left is the bathroom.”
Rachel eyed the dress on her body in the full-length mirror in the bathroom. No matter how much she moved she could see the imprint of her thong. She huffed in annoyance and shimmed her thong off until it reached her ankles. She hated the way it felt on her anyway.
Elijah quietly walked into the room. He stood at the door and watched as Rachel checked herself out in the mirror. She was oblivious that the man was standing by the bathroom door. Rachel leaned over and picked up her thong and tossed it back in her bag, giving him a full view of her ass.
And a perfect ass it was.
Elijah cleared his throat to get her attention. She didn’t even flinch.
“I was wondering when you would make your presence known.”
Elijah chuckled. He then walked up behind her.” Be still.” He commanded when Rachel flinched. He pushed her body back against him so he could put the shiny jewelry around her neck. With each touch, it caused chills to flow through her body.
“It’s beautiful.” She whispered out.
Elijah’s hands slowly made its way to her hips, placing them there briefly and giving them a light squeeze. She turned around causing him to drop his hands. She was breathtaking. Her wild hair that she would often leave out was placed in a neat bun. She wore light makeup that complemented her features. His eyes made its way to her’s and he was at a loss for words. For the past two weeks, he had always seen her in fitted pants suits but now? He was at a loss for words.
Elijah had on a navy suit. A suit that hid his muscles very well but Rachel knew what he was packing. His beard looked freshly cut and the color of the suit only brought out the color of his striking eyes even more. Rachel involuntarily bit her bottom lip as she gazed at the man in front of her.
“Come. I have something for you.” Elijah rubbed his chin and stepped back to allow her to exit the bathroom.
Rachel stood patiently as he retrieved a black box from his bag. He handed it to her and watched as she opened it. She gasps as she stares at a pair of large rose gold diamond earrings.
“This is gorgeous but I can not accept this.” She tried giving it back.
“You can and you will. Put them on so we can go.” Rachel hesitated, unsure of what to do. Elijah gave her an impatient look, waiting for her to put the earrings on.
“The only thing I ask is that you let me do all the talking,” Elijah said.
Rachel nodded as cameras began taking pictures of them. The whole scene was overwhelming but she kept a smile on her face. Elijah placed his hand on Rachel’s lower back and guided her over to the section where more pictures were being taken.
The more people she saw the more nervous she became. Her nervousness did not go unnoticed. Elijah squeezed her bad lightly to comfort her.
“Who is this lovely woman with you Mr. Elijah Henderson?” An interviewer asked.
“This lovely woman here is my assistant Miss. Jaeger.” Elijah responded.
“And what is it like working with the devil himself?” The man passed the mic to Rachel.
“Um, He’s an arrogant son of a bitch. He’s bipolar and half of his employees are scared shitless of him. Oh! And I totally masturbated while thinking of him. I can’t stand him but yet I think I want to jump his bones.” Is what she really wanted to say.
She looked towards Elijah with a smile on her face. Silently asking if it was okay to talk. He smiled and nodded.
“I love working for Elijah Henderson. I’m blessed to be given such an amazing opportunity to work in one of the top industries.”
“That is the first time I am hearing that from an assistant of his.” The man placed his hand over his heart and smirked. “So who designed this lovely dress you are wearing.”
“Elijah Henderson, himself.”
“Yes. However, my designs are from her sketches along with the material she picked out.”
“So the matching was on purpose?” The interviewer asked.
“Well, we couldn’t come to such an important event not matching.”
“Well, then. Enjoy your evening Mr. Henderson and Miss. Jaeger.” He smiled and walked off.
The two walked to a set of stairs and walked into the building.
“The main event doesn’t start until nine. Until then I’m going to introduce you to some people.” Elijah walked upstairs with Rachel hand in hand.
Rachel couldn’t even remember half the names of the people she was introduced to. Half the time she couldn’t even understand what people were saying. She was too accustomed to Jamaican and southern language. Since the cameras were all over the place she kept a smile on her face and continued to engage in conversation whenever she was asked questions. Her eyes drifted to the dancefloor and watched as people danced and laughed.
“Do you want to dance?” Elijah placed his hand out for Rachel to take.
She smiled and took his hand. As he guided her to the dancefloor the song was switched to Ed Sheeran Thinking Out Loud.
Elijah’s hand slowly guided down her bareback until he gently placed it on her lower back. He pulled her forward and stared into her eyes. Rachel placed her hand on his shoulder and the other interlocked in his hand. Elijah moved gracefully with Rachel following his lead.
It was as if they were the only two in the room. With each moment that passed Rachel’s heart began to beat faster against her chest. The man was hot and cold. Friendly one moment and straight-up hateful the next. But as she stared deeply into his baby blues, she could feel herself admiring him. There had to be a reason for his madness.
Elijah felt a pull that had him leaning towards Rachel. He couldn’t understand it one bit. The woman was frustrating but she was strong. Maybe that was it. He was always attracted to strong women.
The song ended and the two pull away right before he could fully lean in. A short woman interrupted them with the prettiest smile on her face.
“Can I have the next dance?” Her sweet voice asked.
“Oh, of course! I’ll go get something to drink.” Rachel smiled awkwardly before walking off to the refreshment tables. She was moments away from kissing her boss... In front of people. She groaned and touched her lips. She was losing her mind and she had to snap out of whatever trance she was in. She gulped down the cup of juice before someone cleared their throat behind her. Turning around she saw a familiar face.
“Why, don’t you look beautiful.” He said. “I had no idea that this was your type of world.”
“Oh. I’m an assistant to one of these fashion industries.” Rachel chuckled. “I work for Henderson Inc.”
“Interesting.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Care to dance with me?”
Elijah watched as Christen and Rachel danced like old-time friends. Something within him was burning to march across the floor and snatch Rachel away. But she wasn’t his and she never will be. The problem was that he couldn’t understand why the scene bothered him so much.
“Did you hear me, Elijah?” Said Desiree.
“What is it?”
“I said that we should try and fix our relationship. I made a-”
“What? Don’t bother.” Elijah walked off to interrupt Christen and Rachel dance.
Christen held Rachel close as he whispered in her ear. The way she giggled left a burning sensation in Elijah’s chest. He cleared his throat, gaining attention from the two.
“It’s almost time for the main event,” Elijah said rather annoyed.
“Save another dance for me, beautiful.” Christen winked at Rachel before walking off.
“I thought I told you to let me do all the talking? What did you two talk about?” Elijah asked while pulling her downstairs.
She was about to answer but another gentleman had caught his attention.
Rachel hadn’t seen Christen the remainder of the night but he somehow got her number. Elijah was distant and left her alone as she watched the fundraising. He even had his driver escort her back to the hotel room after the event had ended.
She was beyond frustrated and she was growing tired of his constantly changing behavior. Changing into her night shorts and tank top she waited downstairs for him.
Elijah came in around two in the morning slamming the door causing Rachel to jump up from the couch. She watched as he ignored her and walked to the kitchen. But she wasn’t giving up. She followed behind him.
“Did I do something wrong?”
“Goodnight, Miss Jaeger.” He said while continuing to search the fridge.
“I’m not going anywhere until you give me an answer.” She demanded.
“What did you discuss with Christen?”
“I told him nothing about you or the company! As if I would compromise my job for a pretty smile!”
“What is it! Why do you hate me so much?! If you want me gone just say so!”
For the first time since he entered the hotel that night, he finally looked at her.
“Hate you?” He asked in disbelief. “How could I hate you?!”
Elijah stalked towards Rachel with a heated gaze. She could smell a hint of whisky on his breath and wondered if he was drunk. He searched her face to see fear and determination. He took a step back and sighed.
“Goodnight,” Elijah mumbled. He went to walk off but was stopped.
Rachel yanked his arm. “Do I get under your skin that much?”
“As a matter of fact, you do! I can’t stand the sight of you sometimes! You’re clumsy. The simplest things are a struggle for you!”
“Your not a ball of sunshine either, Mr. Arrogant! Will it kill you to listen to someone else other than yourself?!”
Rachel dropped her hand from Elijah’s arm. Her eyes glazed over as she put distance between them. “I’ll give you m resignation letter Tuesday morning. It might take a few days to find another organization for my externship.” She walked past Elijah and mumbled a low sorry.
“Dammit.” He grumbled. He yanked Rachel back and swiftly turned her around. He searched her eyes and felt remorseful. Grabbing the back of her neck, he slowly connected his lips to hers. His aggressiveness left her shocked and panting. He grabbed the side of her face as he deepened their heated kiss. When she pulled on his shirt to bring him closer, he removed himself from her altogether. He had a confused look on his face as he licked his lips.
Before Rachel could utter a word, Elijah walked away. Moments later his bedroom door was slammed shut.