His Secretary Mistress(5)

By: Chantelle Shaw

‘More through luck than judgement,’ the older man commented dourly.

But Jenna was already hurrying on, and reaction would not set in until later.

The office block was an imposing building, the huge sheets of tinted windows glinting like copper in the autumn sunshine. The interior was a picture of discreet elegance, only the most flourishing businesses could afford to rent offices here, and Jenna was horribly aware of her laddered tights and damp skirt as she crossed the marble foyer.

As the lift carried her up to the top floor she was beset with nerves, not aided by the fact that she was now almost an hour late. She could do this, she told herself. She had excellent secretarial skills, and additional studying at college had given her the necessary qualifications for a legal secretary. Her part-time job with a small firm of solicitors had been a good learning curve, and she was more than capable of facing this new challenge head on.

Even so, her palms felt damp, her mouth dry when she introduced herself to the impeccably dressed receptionist, and was directed along the passage, a hasty glance at her watch revealing that she really had no time to pop into the cloakroom and change her tights.

Margaret Rivers was not at her desk when Jenna pushed open the door to a large open-plan office that commanded breathtaking views across the city.

‘Hello, I’m Jenna Deane, from Bale’s employment agency.’

At her interview she had briefly met the woman sitting at a desk at the furthest end of the room, and Katrin Jefferstone had not struck her as particularly friendly. She was tall, and whippet thin, her slenderness emphasised by the stark elegance of her black suit. Her black hair was cut into a severe bob that showed off razor-sharp cheekbones, her crisp, white shirt and scarlet lipstick the ultimate in chic sophistication.

‘Goodness, you’ve finally arrived.’ Finely plucked eyebrows disappeared beneath her fringe as the woman surveyed Jenna with barely concealed contempt, and Jenna felt her confidence trickle down to her toes. ‘You’d better go straight in. We’ve been expecting you for the past hour.’

Taking a deep breath, Jenna pushed open the door to the inner office. ‘Good morning, Mr Morrell. I’m Jenna Deane from the…’ She tailed to a confused halt as the figure with his back to the door swung round on his chair.

It was a morning like no other, Jenna decided, instantly recognising the man she had met in the coffee shop doorway. He had discarded his overcoat, and his navy shirt echoed the colour of his eyes, the fine silk skimming his broad chest so that she was made aware of impressive muscle definition.

‘I don’t understand,’ she said huskily, as realisation slowly dawned. This man, this virile, sexy man, was Alexander Morrell. He was definitely not the middle-aged, balding lawyer she had imagined her new boss to be.

‘Out of interest,’ Alex drawled, ‘we parted company over half an hour ago, and it took me less than five minutes to reach the office. Where did you go for a new pair of tights? Scotland?’

Jenna felt the first stirrings of temper at his sarcasm, the shock of the attack, coupled with her surprise at the identity of her new boss, making her feel sick and shaky. ‘I was mugged,’ she said slowly. ‘At least I wasn’t—a woman on the pavement in front of me had her handbag snatched by a cyclist. He was wearing a balaclava,’ she added, as if the information would explain everything. ‘I couldn’t see his face.’

‘Perhaps he was working undercover?’ Alex suggested dryly, his tone plainly skeptical, and Jenna felt hot colour flood her cheeks.

‘You don’t believe me?’ Suddenly she was at boiling point. The cyclist had been the lowest of the low, but this man, with his sardonic smile and barely concealed cynicism, was the bitter end. The fact that he looked utterly gorgeous and made her feel like a self-conscious teenager only added fuel to her anger. ‘I’m not in the habit of lying, Mr Morrell, but obviously I’m wasting my time here. I’ll inform the employment agency that you decided I was unsuitable.’

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