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Claiming His Valentine
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The bad boy CEO always gets who he wants, especially on Valentine’s Day
First a box of chocolates mysteriously appears at my door, followed by a bottle of perfume and a beautiful necklace.
***Pure alpha novella, no cliffhangers, no cheating, and a guaranteed happily-ever-after***
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CALLUM BLACK stood at the head of the table in the restaurant.
“I want to thank everyone for their dedication and hard work. We just got our financials back, and we have more than doubled our commissions over last year. We have you to thank for that. I want to let you all know our success at Black and Associates will be reflected in your reviews and your salary increases over the next few months.”
The group of people gathered around the table applauded.
“Here’s to another successful year.”
He held up his glass and watched his employees congratulate each other and enjoy the celebration. Callum’s eyes rested on Sarah-Jane Phillips, who was at the far end of the table. She had only been with the company for a few months but showed great promise. Young, smart, and a fresh college graduate, she dressed conservatively, which told him she wasn’t the type to try to sleep her way to the top. Her long hair was piled carelessly on top of her head, yet she wore small gold jewelry that gave her an air of femininity.
Callum knew his way around women – how to treat them, how to finesse them, and how to land them in his bed. He was no stranger to the dating world, but something about Sarah-Jane struck him.
“You seem a little more eager and joyous than usual this evening,” Joshua said quietly.
Callum dragged his attention away from the young woman to his head of accounting. “I have good reason to be. I have an amazing staff, and our success is a direct result of their hard work.”
“This is the same speech you give every year. Spare me the hype.”
“That’s because every year we seem to outdo ourselves.”
“We both know you get more with honey than you do with shit. We’ve always been successful. It’s not a surprise.”
“It is to them. Look at them.”
Joshua didn’t bother looking at the others. He cocked his head and raised his eyebrow. “You know you can’t pull that shit on me. What gives?”
He was smart. It was one of the reasons Callum had him right by his side. Joshua had been with the company almost as long as him, and he knew him inside and out.
“Well, as you know, Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I’ve been looking for that special gift.”
“Who’s the lucky lady?”
“If all goes well…”
Joshua followed Callum’s stare and smiled when he saw Sarah-Jane.
“You always have liked the young and naïve.”
“Young, yes. But she’s very smart, and I find that attractive.”
“I bet you do,” he chuckled. “So, what is the special gift you’ll be giving her? Or should I even ask.”
“The gift isn’t for her. It is for me. And the gift is her.”
“You sly dog.”
Callum glanced at Joshua, wondering if he should have kept what he’d just said to himself. The others began to mingle, telling stories about the recent holidays, while a few excused themselves. Sarah-Jane wedged her way into a group of top salespeople. He watched her as she laughed at their jokes and tales.
He locked his eyes on her until she noticed. She blushed and glanced away for a moment. She then looked back at him, straight in the eyes. Flashing his brilliant smile, he nudged his head to the side, indicating for her to join him in a private huddle. Moving to an empty corner, he leaned against it, his arms crossed and his thumb on his lips.
Callum looked up at her without raising his head when Sarah-Jane approached him.
“Mr. Black,” she said in a demure tone. “I want to thank you for inviting me tonight. This was very nice.”
“I trust you are having a good time, Ms. Phillips?”
“I am, yes. Thank you. Please call me Sarah-Jane. It’s thrilling to be part of a company like Black and Associates. The energy is truly amazing.”
“You seem to fit in well here.”
“I look forward to learning more and moving forward. I know I only started a few months ago, and I don’t expect a salary increase, but I would love a review at some point on how I’m doing so far.”
“I can give that to you right now if you’d like.”
“Yes. I have been keeping an eye on you. It is something I often do with young blood. I usually lose interest, but in your case, I became intrigued.”
“Intrigued?” she said, her eyes widening. “I didn’t think I would have caught the attention of someone of your stature.”
“You’re the CEO. I’m on the ground level in marketing. A few months into it. I didn’t expect a lot.”
“Why not?” he asked.
“You get out what you put in. I like to give my ideas, but I’m still learning the ropes.”
“But you’re ambitious. I like that. I can see great things happening for you at Black and Associates. I look forward to hearing your ideas.”