Constance Wheeler rushed through the revolving glass door and made a beeline to the stairwell.
There was no time to wait for the main elevator, so, moving as fast as her chubby legs would carry her, she rushed up three flights of stairs, hopped onto the service elevator, and rode it to the top floor.
She was still slightly out of breath when she reached her desk, but was pleased to have arrived so quickly.
The intercom buzzed before she could drop her belongings.
“Nice of you to join us this morning. My office, two minutes.”
Milo Preston’s voice was still deep even through the tinny speaker, and cold enough to chill the piping-hot coffee she had risked his wrath for.
She sat the cup down, put her delicious-looking blueberry muffin next to it, and gathered a pen and notepad, almost certain she wouldn’t get a chance to enjoy either the coffee or her muffin for a long while yet.
Constance stopped long enough to adjust her ivory-colored blouse, ensuring that the buttons hadn’t pulled apart during her impromptu sprint. That had happened more times than she cared to remember, and even now, she flushed with embarrassment at the thought of having accidently flashed who knew how many people, including her boss.
When she was certain her shirt was arranged properly, she brushed back the stray curl that had fallen from the loose bun at the back of her head.
Ninety seconds later, she exhaled a deep sigh and pushed open the door that separated her open office area from Milo’s inner sanctum.
Funny how she hadn’t really thought of time in terms of seconds before, but after six years of working for Milo, his insistence that every second counted was one that had been pounded into her.
And when she looked at Milo, who stood facing the door, hands behind him, waiting, she knew she had been right to hurry.
Had Constance taken thirty-one seconds longer, he would have had some critique, so it was a victory for her, a small one, but a victory nonetheless, that he was forced to hold his tongue.
Or hold it as much as one could expect Milo to.
“Good morning, Mr. Preston,” Constance said.
“Is it still morning?” Milo replied, his eyes boring into her.
Constance felt her face muscles tense, but she didn’t respond.
It was, in fact, morning.
7:03 to be precise. A full two hours before Constance was officially scheduled to start her day.
But Milo couldn’t care less about that, and if she knew him, which, after all these years she undoubtedly did, he had been counting down the moments until she arrived.
Sometimes Constance wondered when he slept. No matter how early she got here, how late she stayed, he was always there, and expected her, his personal assistant, to be there as well.
“Don’t just stand there, Ms. Wheeler. We have a full day ahead of us,” he said.
Constance paused a moment, groaned inwardly, lamenting the loss of her hot coffee and warm muffin. Not even 7:10 and Milo was addressing her by her last name. Definitely not a good sign.
What Milo considered a full day would be exhausting, so Constance bit back a sigh and took the cap off her pen, then settled at the small conference table in Milo’s office.
She scribbled furiously for the next hour and a half, making notes as Milo always expected her to, her focus on him, but a small portion of her mind buzzing as she began to consider the logistics of handling the projects Milo was continually piling up.
Well, most of her mind.
But a small part, one that got a little bigger each day, was busy listening to the sound of his voice.
Constance always tried to keep her focus on work, but despite her best efforts, she was easily sucked in by Milo.
He was tall, at least a foot taller than her own five foot five. He was also broad, heavily muscled, his strong arms, tree-trunk thighs, and massive chest more at home on an athlete or man who worked outdoors and not a wealthy businessman. He was a knee-weakening combination, his amazing body and handsome features almost irresistible, at least to her.
He was devastatingly handsome, but his looks, his money, his power and the way he wielded it didn’t affect her even a fraction as much as his voice.
It always held an undertone of barely disguised scorn, but that didn’t matter to Constance. The sound of it was like magic, working through her body like her blood flowing through her veins.
By now, her reaction was predictable.
She’d hear his voice, and the first tingle of awareness would start to creep over her. Her nipples would pebble, growing harder with each word he spoke.
That feeling was only the beginning, but it was the one that stoked the low fire in her belly, a fire that soon ignited and moved lower and lower until her pussy was drenched and clenching around emptiness that Milo would never fill.
More than once, she had left his office, mind spinning from the seemingly unending amount of work he expected, body completely aflame from listening to him talk.
And him none the wiser.
That was a good thing, because Constance didn’t think she’d be able to bear it if Milo knew even a fraction of the thoughts that raced through her mind whenever she was near him.
But despite how he made her feel, how incredibly turned on she was whenever she was within a hundred feet of him, there was always an underlying truth she could never avoid, no matter how much she wished it otherwise.
She was Milo’s assistant, nothing more.
And it stung, made her feel beyond stupid for desiring him so deeply when she was simply a part of the scenery to him, no more or less valuable than the computer on his desk, the copier down the hall.
Not that she would have expected anything else.
Constance had always faded into the background, been good, reliable, but no one of note.
Her hair, when it wasn’t pulled back, was thick and unruly, but otherwise unremarkable. As were her brown eyes, her medium brown skin. She was average height, and had spent many years of her life trying to reach average weight. She’d given that up years ago and accepted that she would always be curvy, just as she would always be average-looking.
And it didn’t bother her.
But sometimes, usually on those late nights when she finally came home for the few hours before she had to go back to work, she would think about what it would be like if she were different. What would it feel like if for just a little while she was the kind of woman who would attract Milo’s attention.
No chance of that happening.
Over the six years she’d worked for him, she had seen Milo’s type and it couldn’t be more different from her. Milo’s type was beautiful to Constance’s average, interesting and exciting to Constance’s dull.
So she had consented herself to her role and tried to squash down that pesky attraction for him. But doing so got a little bit harder every day, especially when Milo was his most demanding.
It was fucking twisted, but the more demanding Milo was, the more attention he focused on her, the more Constance savored it. She used those moments when he was focused on her as fodder for fantasies.
Constance told herself it was harmless, that it meant nothing that she dreamed about her boss. He was smoking hot, and she was human, so there was no harm in it.
That was what she told herself. But deep down she knew the truth.
She was in love with him.
In love with cruel, heartless, thoughtless Milo.
“I’m not paying you to daydream, Constance.”
Milo’s sharp-toned voice broke her thoughts, and Constance blinked, then looked up at Milo, realizing that she had lost track of what he was saying.
“Sorry. Haven’t had my coffee today,” she said, ending on a little giggle as she shook her head, trying to clear it.
“I’m not interested in your excuses either,” he said.
Her mouth snapped closed, and she glared at him for a split second, then quickly made her expression as blank as she could.
“Of course not, Mr. Preston. I’ve taken the notes I need. I’ll get started on these projects now,” she said.
Without waiting for a response, she stood and exited his office.
It always happened this way. Constance would get caught up in some thought, and Milo would remind her of how obnoxious he could be, remind her that he felt nothing for her at all.
If only her stupid body could get the message…
Because even though she was practically buzzing with anger, that ever present and growing desire was still there.
She felt it with every step she took, the dampness between her legs not allowing her to forget it.
“Pull yourself together, Constance,” she muttered, frowning that she had said so out loud, her little habit of talking to herself one she had never been able to shake.
She paused long enough to give one last lingering look to the breakfast she wouldn’t eat, and then, on a deep sigh, she got to work.