Authors: Eve Adrian
Sleeping with the Billionaire
Copyright 2014 Eve Adrian
Published by Eve Adrian
Table of Contents
I called in sick
after lunch. There was nothing that could force me back to the office after what just happened, and I needed to talk to someone. Andrea. I needed to talk to her. She was the only person on Earth who I could guarantee was on my side in all of this. But she wasn’t home by the time I got to the apartment. In fact, I had it all to myself for once. And I was absolutely not in the mood to appreciate it.
I paced, back and forth, back and forth, just waiting for her to get home. The nervous energy had me nearly bouncing off the walls. But luckily she was the first person home, arriving just in time for me to keep myself from pulling my hair out.
“It’s worse.” I blurted out before she could even set her purse down or take off her shoes.
“What’s worse?” Andrea asked. She still looked perfectly put together, even at the end of the day.
“Everything.” I was so nervous I started biting my fingernails before she gently swatted my hand down. She didn’t put any power into it, but it got me to stop. “Something really, really bad happened.”
We moved to my room. My roommate, Maricela, wouldn’t be back until late so we were sure to have the place to ourselves. I didn’t want to be overheard. “I thought the cops cleared you?” She asked.
If only things were that simple. A few weeks before I had sent a sexy text message to my boss after a few too many drinks. I thought he was going to fire me, instead, we slept together. Really, not a bad outcome considering the alternative. Except things went to hell right after that. There was a murder in the same hotel we were in that night, and the victim had pictures of me on his cell phone. And only after weeks of suspicion did the cops actually tell me that they no longer suspected me. I thought that I was in the clear.
Except then it turned out that Evan Daringer, my boss and lover,
know the guy that died, Nicholas Bitterman. And he’d lied to me about that. And he hadn’t told me that he was engaged. I had developed trust issues with that guy in a matter of days.
And then it got worse.
“Someone has video of me and Evan. Together.” From my tone, it should have been obvious what I meant, but Andrea didn’t seem to quite get it. “It’s compromising video.”
She sat down on the bed and put her head in her hands. “Are you okay?” She asked after a moment, looking back up at me. “What am I saying? Of course you’re not. Do you know who it is? How did they send it? Are you being blackmailed?”
She kept firing the questions at me, but I was grateful. It helped me focus on what I needed to concentrate on. Action, fixing this. Making sure my life didn’t actually fall apart. We could do this. “I don’t know who it is. They just sent me an email and the video was on the page in a link. They wanted me to send them an email after I got the video. That’s all.” I sat down next to her.
“Did you email them back?” She asked it like I’d had another choice.
“Of course! I don’t want it to go public.” I laid my head down on her shoulder, needing the contact to help keep me grounded.
Andrea rubbed a hand absently against my back. She didn’t speak for a moment, and I almost looked at her to see if she was going to. Then she spoke. “They didn’t ask for anything else? Money? Information?”
I shook my head against her. I couldn’t even look I was so embarrassed. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. “Just an email.”
She pulled away, leaving me to slump down on the bed. I slid off the side until I was sitting on the floor with my knees drawn up.
“How long was the video?” She stood back up and paced. I didn’t watch her but could hear each time her feet hit the floor.
“A few seconds.” It was seared into my brain. Black screen, then me on my knees in front of Evan, his cock in my mouth, fade to back once more. I took a few deep breaths, trying to hold back another sob. Damn it! I punched the floor. “Ow!” I hissed, I’d hit wood instead of the carpet.
“So this was just a teaser?” Andrea sat down next to me, no judgment in her voice. “Whoever it is, probably has more video, right?”
One breath in, one breath out. Slowly, slowly. I focused as hard as I could to keep my emotions under control. I knew what she suggested had to be true, but I hadn’t really thought about it. “Yeah,” it came out a weak whisper.
“Was it Evan?”
I jerked my head to look at her, my face drawn in confusion. “Evan?” I shook my head, “Why on earth would he? What would he have to gain? He said he doesn’t want anyone to know.” I thought I was done until I remembered, “And he’s engaged. So whoever is doing this…”
“They’re probably targeting him.” We said it at the same time. But Andrea continued speaking. “You have to tell him, he can help.”
My eyes widened and sweat popped up on my forehead. “No.” It was flat, absolute. “He can’t know. I wasn’t even supposed to tell you. If he finds out, it’s going to come out, he’ll tip whoever it is off. Can you do anything with it?” I knew she worked with computers. I knew how to do the basic stuff, but I couldn’t track down an anonymous email.
She blew out a breath. “I’ll need to see the email. Send it to me and I can try to track it down.” She gave me another hug. “It’ll be alright.”
I didn’t believe her.
I made it to work the next day. Somehow. I wanted to call in sick again, but if I did that, I knew that I would keep doing it until they fired me. And as bad as I was feeling, that felt like a good outcome, so it was one that I had to avoid at all costs. It was Friday, so there was only one day to get through until the weekend, I could survive it. I had to.
After I setup my computer it took me a few minutes to get up the courage to log into my email. I knew that the message from yesterday would still be there and even if I didn’t need to look at the video again, I knew where the link lead. But I’d promised Andrea that I’d forward it, so I did. And then I dumped that thing in the trash and cleared out my deleted items. I didn’t want to ever see it again.
Evan didn’t get in until later in the morning. He had so quickly become my obsession that I didn’t even realize that I checked for him every few minutes until I looked down at the document I was working on and saw that I’d barely written anything in more than half an hour. And it didn’t get any better after he walked in just after ten.
He spared me a quick smile, something like sympathy in his eyes.
I followed him into his office, closing the door behind me.
“I’m sorry that you had to meet Amanda that way.” Evan sat down behind his desk, leaning back in his chair with his hands steepled in front of him. I didn’t know whether to remain standing or sit. But I felt too much like a child being reprimanded by her teacher. Sit it was.
He didn’t know that I’d learned about her before that anyway. And I had no plans of telling him. What I did on my own time was my business, even if that business conflicted with his. “I thought you didn’t do relationships.” I didn’t quite make finger quotes around those words, but my tone made it clear. I was still pissed. Beyond pissed really.
“It’s complicated,” Evan didn’t meet my eyes. “And hardly a real relationship.”
“You’re marrying her and it’s not a real relationship?” Now I wished that I hadn’t sat, I wanted to pace, to walk around his desk and get in his face. It made me angry on Amanda’s behalf.
“We’re engaged, not married. And I don’t see why I’m telling this to you.” He moved his arms up like he was about to cross them, but controlled himself at the last second and let them drop back to the armrests of his chair.
I didn’t know either. But I did know that a month ago I would have never taken this tone with him. There must have been some switch flipped inside of me. Once I was naked with him so many times I no longer needed to be afraid for my job, or worry about any authority over me. Though with that thought I knew I had to be careful. Because the truth was, one word from him and I was out of my job without a reference.
I hoped that the place I interviewed with called me back.
A chill went down my spine when I realized that someone could be watching us at that very moment. I was sitting right where the video had captured Evan and me the other night. I whipped my head back, but all I saw was a picture hanging on the beige wall and a small air conditioning vent in the ceiling. Nothing looked like a camera, but I had no way of knowing from where I was sitting if it had been removed already or if the video had come from somewhere else.
“Are you alright?” Evan asked, leaning forward over the desk and looking where I looked. I saw him when I turned back to face him.
I wanted to tell him then, to let him know that my reputation, his as well, was at stake. That someone had compromising video of what should have been a private moment, and that whoever it was could still be looking at us. Maybe I should tell him. I would want to know if someone could watch me every moment of the day.
But I had no idea if my blackmailer could grab sound from the recording, and I couldn’t risk it. Not yet. There was too much at stake for me.
“Amy?” He prompted when the silence stretched too long between us.
I smiled. “Sorry, yeah. Of course I’m fine.” I needed to get out of there before I did something stupid, like blurt out all of my problems and beg for him to solve them. Yeah, that wouldn’t be good. I gripped the edge of my chair tight and asked, “Is there anything else you needed? Or was this just personal?” I tried to keep my voice cool, not pissed. I had no idea if I was successful.
But Evan’s expression shut off, so I must have been. I hadn’t even realized how much he was showing me until his face turned blank. “By all means, please get back to your work.”
There was more that I should say, or at least I felt that there was. But I didn’t even know where I stood with this guy. So I got up and opened the door. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw detectives O’Hara and Santiago standing on the other side of the door, Santiago’s hand half-raised to knock.
I looked back at Evan just in time to see him register their presence. His eyes widened for a moment and his shoulders stiffened. Then he smiled his heart stopping smile and rose from his chair, crossing the room in only a few strides and calmly shaking hands with each of the cops.
Damn, what I wouldn’t give for that kind of composure.
I stepped back into the office to let Santiago and O’Hara enter, but then Santiago stayed standing in the doorframe, blocking my exit. When I stepped close, she didn’t move away, and I had no idea if she was doing it on purpose or didn’t know that I was supposed to be leaving.
Evan leaned back against his desk, hands resting lightly in his pockets. “I’m quite busy right now, I hope this won’t take long.”
Santiago and O’Hara exchanged a glance, and I could have sworn that O’Hara was suppressing a grin. “I’m afraid this might take some time. We need you to come with us to the station.”
Evan looked slowly between the two detectives and pulled his hands out of his pockets. He rested them casually, deceptively casually, against the edge of the desk and grinned. “I’m afraid I can’t make it in right now. If you would schedule something with the receptionist, I’m sure that you can find something that works.”
“It’s under your own power or in handcuffs,” O’Hara told him. “But you’ll need to make time for us now.”
Santiago looked at me, “Miss Bowen, would you like to discuss the nature of your relationship with Mr. Daringer? You lead me to believe that we wouldn’t find you discussing things privately with him in his office.”
Evan spoke up before I could respond. “Miss Bowen is one of my employees, it’s hardly strange that we would be speaking to each other.”
I wanted to shrink into the corner or escape, but Santiago was still blocking my exit. She finally stepped completely into the room, but something rooted me in place. Were they going to arrest Evan? Was there anything that I could do to help him?
“Are you telling me that I’m under arrest?” He asked, echoing my thoughts.