You can tell a lot about a man, especially a big wig, by the way he treats his employees. Sam Rhodes is every inch a boss, but there’s more to this master of the universe type than power, talent and a Herculean work ethic.
In this scene from Hard Love with his executive assistant, I show – I hope – his edge, his humor, and a little bit of his heart when he realizes my heroine Laurel is one of his most dedicated employees. His first instinct is to give her a reward, but that doesn’t mean a raise.
Hard Love is out now.
“Who’s the late girl?”
“The late girl?”
“The page three girl in editorial with the long black hair, gold eyes and red lips. The X-rated Sleeping Beauty who always wears black pants or skirts and white button downs. Always stays late?”
His assistant gave him side eye rather than turn around.
“What’s with the attitude? Answer me,” he said impatiently, resisting the urge to roll his eyes.
Cute. She was feeling protective. Women. Even when they were backstabbing, catty – or in Char’s case, silly – they’d pick the oddest times to stick together.
“Her name’s Laurel,” Char said reluctantly. “Sweet, Southern, good little worker. But she’s being taken advantage of by her coworkers.”
“She’s a nice, eager to please girl, and they always give her their work, play on her kindness. Always talkin’ like, I gotta leave early today, or I gotta take a long lunch to run to the store. I gotta go get my hair done ‘cuz I gotta date, blah blah bah, can you help me? So, she works late doing her work and theirs, and they skip out before five.”
“How the hell long has this been going on?”
The phone rang. She held up a finger. “Rhodes Design House, Sam Rhodes’ office. This is Char speaking. I’m so sorry, Mrs. Yardley. You just missed him. May I take a message? I certainly will. Thank you for calling.”
Sam didn’t even blink. He was used to the coat switching by now; from the Bronx to the big office and back again, real quick, as she liked to say. “The late girl?”
“Huh? Oh! Yeah. They been clownin’ her damn near since she got here. It’s been a good few months now.”
That gorgeous female had been right here under his nose that long? He was working too hard. Her curvy little ass should have been bent over his couch at least a half dozen times by now. He’d need at least that many fucks to properly anoint all those curves.
She gave new meaning to the phrase pocket Venus. Forget Sleeping Beauty. The old fairytale miss hadn’t been stacked like Miss Laurel. She was like a modern day Rosie the Riveter. And that accent, soft, sweet. It would sound wonderful in the dark. Then again, so would nothing, especially if that full, red mouth of hers was full of his dick.
He was definitely slipping. Times gone by he’d never have let a prime piece of pussy like that escape his attention. But things had been so fucking good with business lately, the past few years actually. Money was coming in hand over fist from new advertisers, and the consulting arm of his business was growing so rapidly, it would soon eclipse advertising revenue.
Pussy had been the last thing on his mind. He hadn’t even had a friend with benefits or a bar hook up to take the edge off in more months than he cared to count. A fact his balls chose to remind him of when he spied the new girl working late last night.
“You gonna do somethin’ about it?”
What the hell was she on about? Oh, duh, the late girl. “I’m the boss aren’t I?”
Char just rolled her eyes and started typing like the speed of light, the dangling decorations on her nails flying every which way. He looked around, found no one watching and gave her the finger as he went back in his office. As always, she ignored him.