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One Hot Boss – The Johnson Brothers
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I snapped at him on my first day of work.
Him… Elijah Johnson.
Can I trust my heart or will this flawed man break it?
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“You’ve got to be joking!”
Shannon met Aubrey’s eyes and grinned as though she knew this would be the best news Aubrey would hear all year. “I’m very serious, Aubrey. I can’t think of anyone else I’d want to take on as CFO. You’re the only candidate I’m considering of hiring internally.”
Aubrey brushed through her long red hair with a shaking hand and slowly melted into the chair. Her heart thrummed in her chest like a drum, making her lightheaded. She had been working so hard to get to this position, and now her work was paying off. It had been two years since she’d joined Glamour Girl. In that time, sales had tripled. Aubrey liked to think it was because of her idea, which made them go viral on social media, but she couldn’t take all the credit. She had a great sales team she’d been managing over the last two years, too.
Shannon perked up in her computer chair and brought her hands together on the desk in front of her. As the CEO of Glamour Girl, Shannon always had an indirect way of asserting dominance in a room. People paid attention whenever she sat up confidently. Aubrey inadvertently corrected her posture as butterflies whirled in her stomach.
“There’s a catch.”
There it was. Aubrey sighed and stared out of the window that overlooked New York City. It was a grey day, and those words made it seem even bleaker. There was always a catch. She should have expected as much.
“I put in your name for the CFO position, but it seems that our shareholders want you to prove yourself before having you take on the job. I’m sure you understand,” she said, sounding genuinely sympathetic. “You have the credentials to run our sales team and lead us into an online marketing campaign. However, being the CFO of this company will take a lot more than what you’re doing now. It’s a lot of responsibility.”
Aubrey breathed in deeply. Her career was everything to her, and she needed to get that job. Just knowing that it was a possibility was enough to make her want to work even harder for it. “I’m ready to take it on. I know it’s a gamble on your end, but I promise you won’t regret it.”
“I know I won’t,” Shannon said flatly and moved closer. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t agree with the shareholders. What I mean is, I want you to be able to prove yourself. I know your work ethic, Aubrey, so I know what you’re capable of.”
Aubrey was silent as the tension rose in the space between them.
“There’s a new ad campaign starting for next year’s boxes. As you know, we’ve already signed with several new, up-and-coming brands,” Shannon said, maintaining eye contact. “I want you to prove that you can get this going online and garner some buzz before the release. We’re pairing with an agency for this season, and it’s imperative that we raise awareness about our new collaborations.”
“What’s the agency called?”
“You’ve heard of them. They’re called Spectrum.”
Aubrey considered the name for a moment and tapped her foot. Where would she have heard of them before? Spectrum? Shannon wasn’t wrong. They definitely sounded familiar. Spectrum advertising. Wait, it couldn’t be. “Do you mean the Spectrum? The same one that’s owned by that super-rich family?”
“That same one. You’ll be working alongside their advertising team to come up with a launch for our new subscription boxes. We’re looking to make it more personal for our customers. I’m sure you remember.”
“Of course! And I’m all for the idea,” Aubrey said, her heart leaping. It would look amazing on her resume to work with such a prestigious advertising agency. Everything that Shannon was saying seemed surreal. “I definitely won’t let you down.”
Shannon leaned forward and tapped a number into the silver phone on her desk. “Martina? Hello?”
“This is she,” Aubrey heard Martina say through the other end of the call.
“Have you received my email?” Shannon asked Martina and smiled at Aubrey, as though to let her know to wait. It was strange for Shannon to call Martina in front of her.
There was a shuffling on the end that filled the silence of the room, then Martina said. “Yes, I have. I just read it about ten minutes ago.”
“Perfect! You’ll be attending the advertising company with Aubrey, who’s just agreed to take on the project. Isn’t that wonderful?”
Aubrey could hear Martina clear her throat on the other end and felt sorry for the poor girl. Martina was Aubrey’s assistant, and Aubrey should’ve been the one to break the news and ask Martina to go, after all. Shannon, however, was a bit of a control freak. “Yes, that’s awesome news. I’d be happy to join her over there.”
“Great,” Shannon said and leaned closer to the phone. “I’ll send you the address for the advertising company, and you can get started with the information that I’ll be forwarding to you both tonight. You start tomorrow morning.”