A Calculated Seduction

Chapter One

“Self-centered egotistical jerk,” Dulcy Menendez muttered.

She checked her watch for the fifth time in five minutes, then glanced around her office. Everything was in its place. Every bit of business done for the day. But there she sat, Friday night with nothing to do, just waiting for Ethan MacMillan to grace her with his presence.

Ethan MacMillan.

Just thinking his name irritated her. Mainly because, even though she was convinced he was the most arrogant man she’d ever met, she was attracted to him. She couldn’t help it. Each time he looked at her with those dark gray eyes, her nipples hardened and her whole body heated with anticipation. It had happened the first day she met him and each time she came in contact with the man, she had the same reaction. Even if he did piss her off every time he opened his mouth.

Within five minutes of meeting her, the newly appointed President and CEO of MacMillan Boots had informed Dulcy he expected her to stay at the office when he was working late. She didn’t mind working late. She did mind sitting in her office with nothing to do. And that’s exactly what she was doing. Staring at her computer, the walls, anything to keep her thoughts off the clock.

She glanced at her watch again and then shot the evil eye at his door. Eight-thirty. Did the man have no concept of time?

Since he had taken the reins from his uncle, Ethan had made her life a living hell. As Executive Assistant to the President, Dulcy expected to work through lunch and past five some days. It was just part of the job. But occupying a chair just so some idiot with a thousand-dollar suit could feel important, well, that just didn’t sit well with her.

Dulcy didn’t have an active social life. Okay, she had no social life. Still, he had no right to insist she wait for him to finish when he didn’t need her. A lot of times, he walked out of his office and acted as though he’d forgotten about her. As if she were office equipment he’d forgotten to turn off.

She’d called her nephew, Richy, to tell him they would have to put off his sleepover at her house until Saturday night. Richy hadn’t complained, but she knew he was disappointed. This job was becoming unbearable. Only thing was, she didn’t want another job. She loved working at MacMillan Boots and for William MacMillan. He’d been one of her father’s best friends and when Jason Menendez had died three years earlier, he’d offered her a job.

The shrill ring of her phone interrupted her thoughts. She groaned out loud when she saw the caller ID.

“Hello, Clarice,” she said to her stepmother.

“Dulcy, darling, I’ve been calling your apartment for hours. What are you still doing at work?”

“Mr. MacMillan’s still working.”

“Well, since you weren’t at home, I finally decided to try you at work. I thought you might be ignoring my phone calls.”

“You didn’t think I might have had a date?”

Her little tinkle of a laugh grated on Dulcy’s nerves. “Darling, I just love your sense of humor.”

“What do you want, Clarice?” Her voice was harsher than she had intended, but she really couldn’t help it. Why was it so funny she would be on a date on a Friday night? Okay, so it’d been three months since she’d had a date, but still, Clarice had no right to laugh.

“There’s no reason to get all bent out of shape, darling.”

She sighed. Clarice wasn’t intentionally mean. She was just shallow. “What do you need?” Silence greeted her question. “Clarice?”

“I have a slight problem.”


“I can’t pay my rent.”


“I need an advance on my allowance this month.”

Dulcy didn’t say a word. Irritation inched up her spine. It was only the fifteenth of the month and Clarice had already borrowed against her next month’s allowance.

“Shouldn’t you have paid it on the first?”

“Mr. Warner is very nice man. I convinced him to wait a couple of weeks. Ow! Be careful.”

“Clarice, what the hell are you talking about?”

“This imbecile giving me a pedicure hurt me.”

“Clarice, are you telling me you have someone giving you a pedicure in your apartment? How can you afford that and not your rent?”

“Denny’s paying for it.”

Well, that explained it. Clarice’s latest lover was a man with money to spare and a wife who didn’t care.

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