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Best Friend’s Dad
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My best friend’s dad makes me an offer I can’t refuse…“Graduate college with honors and come work for me.”
Four years of excruciatingly hard studying later I show up at the building which bears his name to claim my position with his company.
But there’s an entirely different kind of position this younger woman is ready to claim for the very first time with this older man.
I may not have a lick of experience, pun intended, but dammit I read and I’ve got one hell of an imagination…and lucky for him I’m a giver.
But how can I wow my best friend’s dad from the boardroom to the bedroom without his daughter finding out?
Especially when all I really want is a houseful of daughters, and sons, with the only man I’ve ever wanted.
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My heart slams wildly against my ribcage as I stare up at the top of the building in front of me.
Austin Enterprises, it says at the top. Not that I can see it from my perspective.
I’m too close. Too close not only to the building that bears the name of the man I’ve come to see, but also too close to finally realizing the moment I’ve worked four long years for.
I’d been a middle of the pack student in high school, but something changed the moment I graduated…or should I say the moment he made me that promise at my graduation party.
“Graduate college with honors and come work for me,” Andrew Austin, my best friend’s dad, said that fateful afternoon.
Something clicked inside me the moment those words rolled off his tongue. It was as if I passed over the Rubicon and went from clumsy high school girl into one that knew it was time to be a woman. Okay, I still might be clumsy, but at least I hunkered down and graduated with honors…which is why I’m here today.
And I’d practiced for weeks to make sure my pitch to fulfill my end of the bargain with Mr. Austin was anything but clumsy.
I practiced every question he could possibly ask. I read each and every corporate filing about his business I could get my hands on. I even stayed up all night last night listening to his most recent conference call with investors.
I had to listen to it five times just to hear the numbers and the strategy…the direction he wanted to take the business. The first four times, or more if I’m being honest, all I could focus on was that deep voice that sounded like steel dipped in honey. The way his words had my mind spinning and my stomach tightening were such a contrast from the boys I was used to in college. Boys that were still works in progress…still trying to find themselves…still interested in short term things versus building something, like a business, or a family, as Andrew had.
But after Andrew’s wife went off the deep end and left him to go “find herself” in Bali, all that Andrew had left was his daughter, my best friend Alice.
And I’d found myself with the opportunity of a lifetime…to work for him and as crazy as it sounds, to get to know him better.
To win his respect, his trust, and if even one percent of my dreams could come true…his heart.
That one simple phrase he’d uttered four years ago had inspired me more than any educator, or my absentee father, could have ever dreamed of.
And that’s what Andrew had always kind of been to me…a father figure. I’d never seen him as anything more than that, until my high school graduation. Until then he’d always just been Alice’s dad. Granted he was the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome, but when you’re a kid those things don’t really click. At least they didn’t for me.
Until that one moment, and now my moment was here. It was time to steady myself and take the long elevator ride up to the thirty-seventh floor, the top floor, of the imposing steel and glass building that stood in front of me, and then stand in front of the man who made this building his own.
I was here to make him my own, even though he didn’t know it yet. Surely he had no idea. But he would.
I knew him from all those years of being around him. I saw how well he treated Alice, and after studying the business side of him in college, I came to understand just how well he treated everyone in this world.
There was a reason he was so successful and so well respected. And I wanted nothing more than to win his respect and become successful in his eyes.
I’d purposely stayed away these last four years to fulfill my end of the promise he’d made me so he’d see that I had been working hard, so he could see how successful I’d become. I wanted him to see how I’d done everything I could to become the best version of myself, even though right now I might not feel my absolute best. I’m practically hyperventilating.
As much as I didn’t want to put pressure on myself, I knew the only way I could measure success in my own eyes was to put that sparkle in his. I wanted to be his everything, just like he was for me…even though he didn’t know it yet.
No one knew my secret, no one but me.
I breathe in deep, my nostrils flaring. There’s even a term for it called nasal wing dilation, I studied body language in preparation for this moment. I want to be able to read him, just like I know he’ll be able to read me. He’s normally very calm and his body language doesn’t give anything away. I want anything, the smallest clue, that lets me know I’ve got a chance. Just an opportunity to get my foot in the door and then I’ll smash that thing wide open and bust in, making the most of my opportunity to come work for him…and more. To win his respect, and his heart.