Authors: Hattie Black
A Billionaire's Obsession
by Hattie Black. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be
used, reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form without the prior
written consent of the author.
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, incidents and events are
either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any
similarity to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is purely
Knock, knock...Bang, Bang, Bang
Who is banging on my
door this early on a Saturday morning?" Renee mutters while making herself
coffee in her small apartment kitchen. She looks up at the time on the
microwave's clock "After almost no sleep last night-this is the last thing
that I need a
t 7:00 am." She complains. The
coffee cup slams onto the kitchen granite countertop, and Renee charges toward
the front door. She whips the door open.
"Melaine? Wha...Why...." Before Renee can manage
a sentence, Melaine walks directly in without waiting t
o be invited in.
"So this is where you spend your nights, and weekends.
Hmmm...Quaint!" Melaine comments. Renee stares at the woman confused, and
somewhat worried. "Melaine, why...". Renee begins, but Melaine
"Renee, I know you're wondering
why I'm here." Melaine begins in a softened tone.
"Colin told me everything that he did to you yesterday. He really does
feel awful, and I am sorry too."
Renee's eyes widen.
She knows? He told her!
Melaine keeps talking. "He
doesn't want you to leave the
firm...he knows you've
worked hard, and deserve every chance you get." Melaine continues. Renee
is slightly agitated by the comment. Still, she appreciates all Melaine's done
for her. She's discerned that her boss genuinely took her under her wing, to
or, and grow her creative gift, but her boss'
boss, and founder of the company - Colin Winston - had been cruel to her. As
far as she is concerned, he is a predator.
"Melaine, I can't stay there." Renee begins,
trying to conceal her true displeasure about
incident that transpired between herself, and Colin the evening before. The
incident where he deceptively lured her to the back room of a
restaurant to seduce her, as he had
done with other young women-or so she thought. "I don't want to stay t
here." Renee confirms.
"He wouldn't be there Renee." Melaine begins to
explain in a calming tone. "He's leaving...he's heading overseas to check
in on some of our foreign firms, and scout new locations for possible new ones.
Melaine informs, now smiling.
Renee sighs loudly.
That is supposed to make me feel better?
"So, is that how he gets away with inappropriate
behavior toward an employee...He just gets to up, and fly away?" Renee
says, finally displaying her frustration, and anger. "Well I g
uess that's what rich, and powerful gets ya." Renee
spits out disgusted. She plops down onto her brown leather couch in the middle
of the room, facing the wall opposite the kitchen. Melaine sighs, walks over to
the couch, and plops down next to her.
e, I am not trying to
make excuses for Colin, but he usually doesn't care. Women, at the firm, and
outside the firm, throw themselves at him all the time. He goes through them
without remorse. Somehow, this time what he's done irks him to the core. Our off
ice is the flagship office, which he is very proud of. Yet,
he's leaving it in Travis' hands so that you don't have to start over. He
usually couldn't care less about the ramifications of his actions. This was all
Renee stands up, and looks dow
at Melaine. If Melaine dared to come into her personal space, the same place
she had witnessed her boyfriend and best friend betray her-almost two months
ago-then she is going to get an earful. "I just want to create...to
design...to turn old into new, t
o surprise, to
revolutionize...to make art. I didn't interview at BYWINSTON because of Colin.
I interviewed because your firm is doing things that others are not. You guys
are edgy, and shake things up. I admired that, and wanted to be apart."
s to Melaine. "So what happened, is
the last thing I wanted. It is the last thing I even expected. I wish...um...I
wish you never changed me. He would have never seen me." Renee boldly
confesses and walks over to the countertop to grab her cold coffee, in
order to mask the tears welling up in her eyes.
Melaine rises and walks over to the kitchen counter too.
She is a tough business woman, but she is also a nurturing leader. "Renee,
I am so sorry about everything, but my purpose for helping you with your im
age was to instill confidence...and yes, to assist with
winning clients over. I had no idea that you would have had such an impression
on Colin Winston. Perhaps he sees what I have always seen in you. You are a
remarkable woman. You're just the only one wh
doesn't know it." Melaine informs Renee, and without an invitation, walks
over to Renee's coffee pot, sitting near her stove, and brews a fresh pot of
"So this is where you dream up all your fabulous ideas
huh?" Melanie investigates each room a
waits for the coffee to be ready. Standing over Renee's entertainment center,
across from her couch she notices her trade magazines. Melanie picks them up,
one by one and rifles through them. She then looks up at the flat screen
hanging above her hea
d. "Smart TV I'm
guessing?" She says, pivoting her neck, and shoulder to look back at Renee
who hasn't moved from the kitchen, and
still wears a frown on her face.
"Very nice...but we will have to get at least a 52" in here. This
is...what 32"? No, no it w
ouldn't do for you any
longer." Melanie tells Renee, who just shakes her head.
Melaine continues down the short hallway leading to the
bathroom, and bedroom. Renee begins to follow her.
Where does she think she's going?
Renee begins to wonder. Melaine pee
ks into the open bathroom, on the left, mumbles
incoherently, and continues further toward the bedroom straight ahead.
"What are you doing?" Renee finally asks.
"Is this your bedroom?" Melaine answered with a
"Yes...um, it is, and there is noth
ing to see." Renee tells her.
A curious Melaine takes one more step to reach the door
handle, and begins to open the door. "There is nothing to see in
there!" Renee screams. A startled Melaine quickly releases the door knob,
jumps back, and turns around to
face a frantic Renee.
"You can't go in there." Renee tells her shaking. "It's not
ready for anyone, not even me."
Melaine has so many questions but she just walks over to
Renee, places her right hand on Renee's right shoulder, and turns her around.
s go get that coffee."
Melaine fixes a cup of coffee for Renee, and herself. Then
she rummages through Renee's kitchen cupboards, and fridge to produce a decent
breakfast. The mentor, and mentee sip coffee, nibble on a hodgepodge breakfast
and chat contin
uously for about three hours or so.
Renee is glad that she embraced the opportunity to open up
on Saturday morning. She felt more
understood, and learned more about how her immediate boss thinks, and what she
knows about the young Mr. Winston - Still, Melaine failed to mention that she
and the young tycoon are related.
Early Sunday morning, severa
bouquets of flowers, and boxes with gifts begin to arrive via private delivery.
Each card read; "I am sorry. Don't hold it against me, and don't leave,
Colin Winston." Renee holds her head with both hands, on each side near
her ears, She gazes at the bun
ches of flora, and
varied sized gift boxes cluttering her entry way. She is initially unable to
move or think. "What have I gotten myself into?" Are the only words
that she is able to utter.
She concluded her conversation with Melaine the day before,
eing to deeply contemplate remaining at BYWINSTON
past two weeks. However the items in her home causes Renee to want to run...run
far away, and fast. "No, no, no." Renee says pacing the area between
her entry way, and her couch. "I thought I could just ret
urn to work quietly, and he would be gone." Renee says
out loud, trying to rework in her mind, what she thought she'd already figured
out. She eventually sits on her couch, and extends her hand to the end table.
She retrieves her cell phone, and begins to
Melaine. In light of the recent situation, Melaine made herself accessible to
"Hello...Hello, Renee?" Renee hears Melaine's
voice on the other end, but she can't move her lips. "Renee, what is
it?" Melaine volume increases.
y Melaine. My
phone accidentally dialed you." Renee lies.
"Oh...okay...I see." Melaine says awkwardly.
"Look Renee, if you need something don't hesitate to contact me but do be
careful with your phone. Time is very precious to me." Melaine says
f course! I'm sorry
Melaine!" Renee tells her, extremely remorseful. "Enjoy your
Sunday." Renee says, and hangs up the phone.
I'm going to have to figure this out on
She establishes, and clears the entry way, one item at a
On Monday mor
ning, Renee clutches
her tote bag tightly into her body, and wearily tries to read the faces of each
person on the elevator, as she rides up to the 5th floor of the BYWINSTON
office building. From what she could tell, no one is looking at her strangely, or
appears to be gossiping about her. She exits the elevator
somewhat relieved, lifts her head and struts toward her cubicle.
"Wainwright! Melaine wants to see you,
immediately." Renee hears Marina say as soon as she begins to turn the
corner to enter the "
thick" of the
Of course she does
. Renee thinks, sighs and spins around
to go in the direction of Melaine's office.
"You wanted to see me?" Renee says, as she gently
pushes the door into Renee's office.
"Have a seat Renee." Melaine
says without looking up at her. Once Renee is seated,
Melaine looks up from her computer. "Enjoyed your weekend, I hope."
Melaine begins. "Did you enjoy the gifts you received yesterday?"
Melaine concludes. Renee's mouth gaps open.
"You know about them?"
Renee tells Melaine in shock.
"Yes I do. Is that what you called me about
yesterday?" Melaine asks with a dry tone.
"Um, yes it is...um, I didn't want to interrupt
you." Renee informs her.
"You had...anyway it doesn't matter now. Did you enjoy
"Um...I put them away." Renee says quickly.
"So, you didn't enjoy them." Melaine retorts.
"They made me feel uncomfortable." Renee admits.
"There it is! Didn't you learn anything from our talk
on Saturday morning? Why so cryptic?"
says with a bit of agitation in her voice. "You could have shared that
with me, if you wanted to Renee. I only know because Colin called me, after you
"Did you give him my address?" Renee asks
"No, I did not! He has his way of finding out those
things on his own." Melaine educates Renee. "Look, if you want to
leave before the agreed two weeks, I fully understand." Renee allows
Melaine's words to wash over her for a few seconds. She looks up at,
what appears to be her only friend at the moment.
"I just want to grow as a professional. How can I
return the gifts?" Renee says soberly.
"I can take care of that. Just let me know when is a
good time." Melaine says assertively.
"Thank you!" Renee repl
Feeling relieved, Renee begins to briskly walk toward her
work area when she notices a tall sturdy frame, walking toward her, in her
peripheral vision. She immediately turns to see Colin Winston walking toward
"Ms. Wainwright, a word please." C
olin says authoritatively, and points toward the smaller
conference room next to Melaine's office. Renee is frightened but does not want
to cause a scene. She apprehensively obeys, and walks toward the room. Colin
notices that Renee is shaking.
't be long. I
promise." He whispers. Marina witnesses the entire occurrence, and is
conflicted about informing Melaine. She senses that something unusual is
transpiring between them, but is not certain. Marina sits at her desk, and
pretends to be typing, w
hile thinking about what she
"Renee...I am preparing to head out of the country,
but I have to know if you are okay. How are you?" Colin begins. "I'm
glad to see that you're here." He rambles on nervously. "Are you
okay?" He reiterates. Renee c
an feel her knees
about to buckle under her, but she continues to stare at Colin - trying to peer
into his soul.
Who is this guy? I mean really?
"Who are you...really?" leaps out of her mouth,
and surprises her.
Colin is taken aback by the question as w
ell. "Excuse me?" He responds. Renee wishes that
the floor would open up and consume her. Then she considers that she was
willing to quit anyway, and has nothing to
"Which is the true you? - The Colin Winston who roars
at everyone and makes them tre
mble, or the one who
appears to be genuinely concerned about a little, inexperienced newbie like
myself. What's the deal?" Renee asks honestly, seeking to uncover Colin's
"Um...wow, okay. Let's just say, I am both of those
people." Colin tel
ls Renee, and flashes a grin.
Renee is not impressed.
"I am fine. I will be returning your gifts as soon as
possible. They were not necessary." She tells him, in a matter-of-fact
manner. Just then, there is a rap on the door, and Melaine enters.
s Colin, what are
you doing?" Melaine says angrily. "You agreed to leave, and not
bother her anymore." She tells Colin frustrated.
"I just needed to know if she was alright Melaine. I
haven't touched her!" Colin reassures his cousin.
"You agreed Colin. P
leave." Melaine firmly reiterates to Colin, then turns toward Renee.
"Are you alright Renee?" Melaine asks with sincere concern.
"I am fine Melaine." Renee responds, wondering
how she ended up in the center of all of this. "I really am."
ines. "Can I return to work now?"
"Yes, please do." Melaine says, and clears the
door. Renee heads straight for the door, walks through it, and takes one last
glimpse of Colin before shutting it behind her. As she walks toward her desk,
she sees Colin fac
e reappearing in her mind like the
images on a photography reel. She sees the face that hurls rude words at
whomever crosses his path, and the face that seems to be genuinely concerned
about another's feelings. The latter images gnaws at Renee as she tries
to diligently complete all her tasks for the day.
Was his concern sincere?..Is he even
capable of being kind?
Renee mulls over.
Renee made it through the day. By 6:00 pm, she has made a
fair amount of progress, despite her many distracting thoughts. She
swings by Melaine's office to say goodnight. Marina waves
her right in. Although, she is not completely in the loop, Marina has picked up
on enough to know that she'd better permit Renee immediate access.
"Thanks Marina." Renee offers respectfully, knock
s and enters. "Goodnight Melaine...I just wanted to
say goodnight." Renee says, not fully in the office.
"Come in Renee. That wouldn't do. Give me a run-down
of what you accomplished today." Although their relationship was
developing into something more, R
enee knew that her
professional relationship with Melaine would always take precedent. Renee
divulges into a thorough break down of her activities of the day. When Melaine
is satisfied, she asks a follow-up question. "About this morning...how are
y doing?" Renee expected the question,
though not certain when.
"I am doing well. I'd just like to return the gifts
with your help." Renee expresses.
"Done! Do you think that you can bring them in, or
would they need to be picked up?" Melaine inquires.
"I would prefer to have them picked. Too many
eyes...you know?..." Renee says nervously.
"Understood. I will have someone there at 9:00 am
tomorrow, so don't come in until 10 in the morning. Take the work tablet home,
and log on if you feel guilty about m
issing an hour
and a half." Melaine says with a wide grin. Renee chuckles.
Feeling fortunate that her mother let her hang on to her
car, about two months prior when Renee was in dire need of her parent's
comfort, she drove home that evening experiencing a plethora of emotions. She
is grateful that her parents support her unwaveri
and insisted that she come home on the evening she discovered her then
boyfriend, and then best friend stark naked in her bed having sex. She is
appreciative for the interesting new dynamic between herself, and her immediate
supervisor. However, she
is confused by how she
should now view Colin Winston. She was certain that he was an asshole, but when
Melaine questioned him that morning, she thinks she saw a glimpse of a kind
person. However, she maybe mistaken - or so she thinks.
Renee runs up the st
her apartment, with her keys in hand. She is eager to get inside, and pack-up
the "gifts" to be picked up.
Just want to get back to designing...and
growing my craft.
She thinks excitedly. Renee begins to turn the key in the
door, and feels a war
m sensation on the back of her
"Hello Renee." Colin's deep voice rings in her
ear. She spins around immediately scared, and trembling.
"What on earth are you doing here?" She asks, now
tilting on furious
"I had to make sure you are okay..." Colin b
egins to explain.
Renee shakes her head. "I'm sure that you can see that
this is becoming ridiculous...Colin. Why can't you just go, like you said you
would?" Renee pleads with him.
"Why do you hate me so much Renee?" Colin blurts
out. Renee looks up at
him, wondering if he is
clinically a "mental case".
"You want to know if I am okay? - Alright, I'm
very...I am super fine Mr. Winston." Renee tells him sarcastically, hoping
it satisfies him sufficiently.
"I am glad you're okay Renee. I sincerely regret
upsetting you. You're not like any other woman I've met -
at any age, or status in their career. For some reason,
keep playing repeatedly in my mind. Now
that you've looked into my eyes, and assured me that you are okay, I can leave,
as I've promised.
Thank you. Goodbye Renee."
Colin speaks in a kind, gentle tone. He looks down into Renee's brilliant brown
eyes, and smiles. "Good night." Colin turns, walks down the stairs,
and just before exiting the building, takes one last look at Renee and smiles.