The Billionaire's Ball: BBW Billionaire Boss Erotic Romance (Vivian's Desire)

 

 

 

The Billionaire's Ball

 

©
2014 Fiona Wells

Before reading on, be sure to read Part 1!

 

The Billionaire's Brother (Part 1):
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KWKNASM

 

"I never meant to come between you and him,” Alexander told her on the drive over. Vivian sat beside him on the sleek leather seats and rolled her eyes with a playful laugh.

 

“Alex, I should be the one apologizing to you.”

 

It was just a few months ago that her torrid love affair with Alex’s brother and what was supposed to be her temporary boss, Ben, had begun. While Alex had taken the whole thing rather well and there was no fuss within the company, she continued to feel the urge to apologize for her lack of professionalism.

 

“You can’t help young love,” he had told her even though the gorgeous blonde hair atop his own head was barely over thirty years old. He was just thankful that Ben was finally starting to settle down. In fact, she often thought about her lover’s reputation of being an ex-ladies man, especially in times of her own insecurity. But, he’d remained steadfastly faithful and quite attentive to
all
her needs.

 

“Ah, there it is!” Alex suddenly exclaimed. His outburst brought her back to reality and out of her swirling thoughts of the handsome absent brunette. She craned her neck, taking in the sight of an impressive ship in the distance. The car sped along towards it.

 

“It’s the largest luxury liner in the world as of now,” her boss informed her, although she’d already read all about it. She never went anywhere without doing research. The white cruise ship seemed angelic underneath the shining sun. It would be their home for the next two weeks as she accompanied Alex. The family company had been a collaborative investor for the liner and now the eldest brother had to accompany them on their maiden voyage.

 

“I’ve got to bring my best secretary,” he’d told her a week ago.

 

“I want to go,” Ben had whined, but his brother promptly informed him that he had other matters to attend to.

 

Two weeks without Ben. She wondered if she could make it, especially since they saw each other nearly every day. She would definitely miss the steamy make out sessions stolen away in the privacy of his office, as well as their torrid date nights in the busy city. They’d promised to call each other on the phone each day, but he’d seemed oddly unconcerned when they parted ways over brunch this morning.  She frowned and played with a wavy tendril of her brown hair. 

 

Is he losing interest in me? Or does he have someone in the city to keep him company? Not even the prospect of the cruise spa could keep her mood from souring. She sighed softly under her breath so Alex wouldn’t catch it, reminding herself to be grateful for the opportunity to take what was essentially a paid vacation by the company. She turned her interest to the black leather portfolio on her lap.

 

“You’ve prepared all your notes?” she asked. Alex nodded. “Would you like me to go over them?”

 

He laughed. “You read my mind. You can do that tonight after dinner though. There’s no rush.”

 

They soon pulled up to a valet section. The attendants helped them with their bags while she produced their tickets out of her purse. They’d be staying in separate suites, but on the same level. Alex had been quite sneaky in planning his room, as it happened to be right next to the quickest way to the buffet. His wife, a lawyer and new mother, had cracked down on their eating habits when she’d become pregnant and especially after the baby was born. Vivian could practically see him dreaming of carbohydrates as they walked the ramp up to the massive ship.

 

She inhaled the salty air and smiled back at the crew in their pressed uniforms. The sound of the water lapping against the base of the ship soothed all of her worries. Perhaps this trip would actually be a much needed stress relief.

 

While Alex asked for directions to their rooms, her eyes greedily scanned the interior of the lobby. It was massive, with sparkling marble floors, maroon walls, and glittering chandeliers that she suspected had cost a fortune to install. Her gaze fell over the steadily growing crowd of passengers, many of whom were already congregating near a refreshment bar on the far side of the room.

 

A man was looking in her direction. She had the sudden impression of a wolf among a herd of sheep. He was oddly lanky and pale with only a sparse bit of hair gelled across his shiny head. His grin turned her stomach. She immediately turned back towards Alex with a shiver, feeling as if she’d like to crawl out of her own skin.

 

“Is everything alright, Vivian?” she was suddenly aware that Alex was peering at her. “Your face looks pale.”

 

“Everything’s fine,” she lied and smoothed her dress over her shapely hips. He nodded, assured, and they headed off to the elevator.

 

She could not shake the feeling that the man’s eyes were following her the entire time, but she pushed the thought far from her mind.

 

 

 

By dinnertime, she had checked her phone a dozen times before finally accepting that Ben hadn’t sent her any messages. It left her feeling frightfully disappointed, but she was determined not to overthink the situation. It was easier said than done though, with a vast array of happy couples cuddled up together at the velvety tables in the dining room.

 

Alex seemed oblivious to her eyes wandering to the phone in her purse as he practically inhaled his first plate of food while glancing over the notes in his portfolio.

 

“I’d like to change this part,” he mused between bites of seasoned chicken. She finally tucked her purse out of sight underneath the table and leaned over to see the portion he was indicating. She marked the section with a tiny red star with her pen while he ordered something else from the menu.

 

The shift of the ship beneath them sent a lively rush through the restaurant. She glanced enviously as lovers pressed closer together with smiles. Her boss suddenly cleared his throat.

 

“Vivian?”

 

She had absentmindedly dragged her pen all the way across the paper and onto the tablecloth. Her cheeks flushed. “Oh, whoops.”

 

“Do you miss Ben?” he asked, although his concern seemed to abate briefly with the arrival of a second breadbasket to the table.

 

“Are you going to miss fitting into the pants you came in?” she shot back, eyeing the roll he was already buttering. He chuckled and took a huge bite.

 

“OK, fair enough. I won’t tell Ben if you don’t tell my wife about all the empty calories.”

 

“Like I’d ever be the one to judge!” she exclaimed and gestured playfully at her own curves. Truly, she loved food and had shed the ‘must be thin’ idea back in high school. It had never bothered her either. She loved the way she filled out pencil skirts and blouses at the office. She definitely loved the way Ben grabbed her body. Her mind flickered to his face and she was heaving a sigh before she even realized it.

 

“I do miss him,” she admitted and Alex nodded sympathetically.

 

“It’s hard being away from loved ones,” he said and then with a quick little smile, “But, you’ll be together soon enough.” She gave a small nod and sipped from her glass of wine.

 

“Did you know there’s going to be a masquerade ball?”

 

“Are you forgetting that I’m the best assistant in the world?” she asked with a cocked eyebrow and amused smirk.

 

Truthfully, her own boss had been blissfully unaware of it until recently despite her reminders. She had ended up telling his wife, Adriana, to make sure he had a mask packed. It wasn’t unusual for Vivian to tell him something over and over, only to have him suddenly relay the information to her one day as if he was telling her something profoundly new. She’d stopped reminding him that she’d already told him that because he would get so embarrassed.

 

Oh, men. I can’t live with them or without them
, she thought with a chuckle as he began to devour the second entrée the waiter had brought to the table.

 

The masquerade was scheduled for tomorrow night. It was supposed to be one of the big events to kick off the maiden voyage and passengers had been required to either purchase special tickets before the event or receive them complements of the Captain, whom she knew had personally gifted a pair to Alex. It wasn’t only due to the company’s investment status; they were old friends from boarding school. She wondered if she could get any funny stories out of the Captain about Ben, who had attended the same school a few grades below them.

 

Unless that’s when he started with his old womanizing ways. Ew. No thank you.
She drained her wine glass and politely asked for a refill. 

 

As the cute young waiter filled her glass with a sneaky glance at the cleavage peaking out of her dress neckline, she let her gaze roam across the crowd. A familiar unnerving grin greeted her and she whipped her head back to the portfolio with renewed interest and a disgusted groan.

 

Alex had noticed this time though. His eyes darted over towards the man from earlier and she saw him clench his jaw tightly.

 

“Is he the one that creeped you out earlier?” perhaps her boss was more perceptive than she gave him credit for. She nodded with a groan.

 

“I hate creeps.”

 

“He’s from a rival company.”

 

She jerked her head towards him. “What?” her hoarse whisper summoned a few curious glances from the nearby table.

 

“He’s a scammer. A lower man on the totem pole sent by his scheming bosses probably. It’s not unusual, to be honest. Rival companies hear about your investment and rush to get in on it,” he said with a shrug at the last bit. “Jokes on them though. Our investment is largely due to the Captain being a family friend.”

 

“You went to boarding school together, right?” she asked. He nodded.

 

“Yeah, we’ll see him tomorrow night. He’s a great guy. He’s the one who introduced me to Adriana. We played lacrosse together.”

 

Oh, lacrosse. Of course, they played lacrosse at boarding school.
She held back a sarcastic quip as he leaned in and lowered his voice.

 

“Just please try to never be alone with that guy. I don’t trust him. He gives off a bad vibe.”

 

“You don’t have to tell me twice,” she promised.

 

What was the likeliness that she would ever be alone with him? She and Alex parted ways on their floor. She checked the hallway before entering her suite and immediately locked the door behind her.

 

Her suite was small, but elegant. She ran a grateful hand over the soft comforter of the bed. Her fingers slid underneath the pillow where they ran across something hard. She yanked herself upward and pulled the pillow off the bed.

 

There was a small box wrapped in black paper and red ribbon. A tiny cream tag was tied onto the ribbon. She ran her eyes over the scrawled handwriting: “For my little love.”

 

Ben! She tried to be patient taking off the bow since it was so beautifully done, but soon she was ripping off the paper. Underneath the wrapping was a white jewelry box. She lifted the lid.

 

“A key?” she asked aloud. It was a small golden key, the kind that looked like it was used to unlock antique chests. She ran a fingernail over the glittering object. It rested, a comforting weight, in her palm.

 

Why on earth had Ben sent her a key? The ship groaned slightly and she looked out of the window into the darkness of the night. The waves of the sea were a lullaby that she couldn’t resist. She fell asleep in her dress on top of the bed with the key resting in her tight grip.

 

She may not have had Ben near her physically, but it was enough to know that he was thinking of her.

 

It was around midnight that she suddenly awoke to the frigid air conditioning gone unchecked. She rolled off the bed to turn it off, but stopped suddenly.

 

Shadows of footsteps had appeared beneath her doorway. Someone was outside her door. She clenched the key into her hand until her fingers went white and numb. The person outside the door took a step towards it, but then retreated. She heard the muffled footsteps walk down the corridor. They sounded like a man’s.

 

She shivered, remembering the creepy grin of the man from dinner that evening, and prayed that it was just a crewmember that had good reason to be there. Before she went to bed, she double-checked to make sure both of the locks were secured on the door. She put a chair against the door. Just in case.

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