Stolen Angel:A Singular Obsession, Book ThreeBy: Lucy Leroux
The panicked executive shook his head. “He’ll just tear your head off, too. We’ve got to send this back to R&D for reassembly.”
“No, really. I’ve got this. Go,” she’d asserted with a smile, giving him a little shove.
A grateful Mark took off. Once the little brunette was alone, she paced around the conference table. She examined the pieces from all sides and closed her eyes as if she was comparing it to a mental image of the model before disaster had struck. Then she’d dived in and started putting the thing back together.
Sergei was prepared to help when she inevitably failed. The model was too complex for someone without an engineering background to reassemble without directions, a copy of which were on his phone. But, miraculously, the scattered pieces started to coalesce into a coherent whole under her small hands. Soon, the pile of parts resembled the schematic he’d been sent the week before.
Fascinated, Sergei walked into the conference room to watch her finish. She was done before finally noticing she had company. He’d introduced himself, impressed as hell with the level of concentration that would lead someone to completely ignore the CEO of the company they worked for. Not to mention the memory and attention to detail she had to possess to put the complex model back together in a matter of minutes.
Ada hadn’t even realized who he was at first. She’d been caught off guard when he introduced himself, hesitating for a second and flushing a rosy pink before her usual unflappable confidence had returned. She shook his hand and cleared the table, offering him the use of the conference room without mentioning the scene that had led to the broken model in the first place.
The next day, he promoted her to a position created specifically for her. She had started as one of three aides, but his most senior PA, Edith, had retired soon after. Now Ada and Tim were his only assistants. Ada oversaw all of his corporate accounts and research, while Tim organized his daily schedule and any social events he needed to throw as the head of a multi-billion dollar enterprise.
Noting the time, Sergei turned his attention to the work on his desk. A few minutes later, Ada knocked, announcing the arrival of his four o’clock meeting. She sat unobtrusively in the corner, taking notes and feeding him information whenever he asked it of her. When the meeting ended, he focused on his departing guests, forcing himself not to watch his assistant leave.
But the image of her blue eyes and delicate features stayed in his head anyway. These days, he even saw them in his sleep.
Ada sat at her desk with a little exhalation. Back to back meetings made her days long, but she appreciated the work. It kept her busy, and generally that was a very good thing.
Sergei Damov was the best boss she’d ever had. He had recognized her innate intelligence and had promoted her from the relative obscurity of the twenty-third floor after their first meeting. Working for him was exhausting, but Ada usually rose to the occasion. And Mr. Damov’s appreciation extended to her paycheck. She was finally building a little nest egg on her own...or at least padding her emergency fund.
“I understand, Mrs. Worth, I’ll send the car for you on Saturday,” Tim was saying into his headset.
Ada smiled sympathetically. Neither of them much liked the divorced socialite that Mr. Damov used as a backup escort when he was between girlfriends. When Ada thought about Mrs. Worth resuming her visits to the office, it almost made her miss Ivanka, the bitchy supermodel he’d been dating when she’d started working for him. At least Ivanka had ignored her and Tim, but Fiona Worth thought of Sergei’s assistants as her own. She had expected Ada to drop everything she was doing to run errands for her. Mr. Damov had to intervene once when the overly groomed woman had thrown a fit the time Ada refused to stop working to go pick up her dry-cleaning.
“I don’t see why she always insists on Sergei picking her up. She has her own driver. She got him in the divorce,” Tim grumbled when he hung up.
“If she used her own driver, Mr. Damov might be inclined to ditch her should he run into another supermodel at one of those events,” she murmured quietly.
Tim snickered and offered to refill her coffee.
“I’ve had enough for today,” Ada said easily, avoiding eye contact.
She liked Tim, but she didn’t want to encourage another dinner invitation. In the last few weeks, she’d already turned him down twice and was hoping not to have to do it a third time. Under other circumstances, she would have liked to say yes, but keeping people at arm’s length was necessary.
Turning to watch his tall form as he left, she smiled wistfully. It would have been nice to be able to spend time with him after work. Tim Moss was one of the nicest people she’d ever met. And he was cute.
Hours passed as she prepared for Sergei’s upcoming business trip. She wouldn’t have to attend this one, which was just as well. Ada had finally convinced him to hire back a third assistant, and she was going to be conducting some preliminary interviews while he was away. However, Tim still had to go; Sergei never went anywhere without him.
Dinner was delivered to their office at eight that night, just as Tim was getting ready to leave. He lingered for a while and was still talking to her when Sergei stuck his head out of his office door and ordered him to go home. When their boss retreated to his desk, leaving the heavy wood ajar, Tim looked at Ada and frowned.