The Italian Tycoon's Mistress(2)

By: Cathy Williams



‘This particular subsidiary is the goodwill arm of the firm, so to speak. Amy Hogan looks after it. You could say that she handles the equivalent of legal pro bono work. Your father was, is, very keen on the idea of giving back. Of course, Amy does handle profit-making work as well…’

Rocco frowned. ‘I thought I had met all the relevant personnel. The name rings no bells.’

‘That’s because she doesn’t exactly work in this building. She has an office closer to Birmingham because she’s on the move a lot of the time, overseeing things in the city centre.’

‘What is her position in the company?’

‘She’s…well, one of the executives…’

‘I believe I asked to interview all the executives.’

‘Ah. Yes. You did. But she couldn’t make it in yesterday…’

‘Because…?’ Rocco’s voice was ominous in its smoothness. ‘Severe ill health, perhaps? Or was she out of the country?’

For a few seconds, Richard Newton seriously debated going for the severe ill health option. ‘She said she was busy.’

‘She. Said. She. Was. Busy.’ Rocco was finding it a little difficult to believe his ears. He had made his orders perfectly clear from the very first moment he had stepped foot in the company. He was so accustomed to having his orders obeyed without question, and usually at the speed of light, that the idea of someone casually ignoring them because she was busy was very nearly beyond the realm of his understanding.

‘Amy hardly ever stops!’ Richard elaborated in a desperate attempt to avert the equivalent of a missile homing in ruthlessly onto its target, judging from the expression on Rocco’s face. ‘And right now she’s working on a particularly big project…’

‘Would that be a particularly big non-profit-making project, by any chance?’

‘Community centre on a sink estate in the city centre,’ was the mumbled response.

Rocco felt his tightly reined-in patience begin to unravel. This was a highly unusual occurrence. In that rarefied place that he inhabited, where power and influence afforded him the luxury of utter self-assurance, stumbling blocks were things that he tackled with utmost cool. Hitches in multimillion-dollar deals did not rouse his impatience, merely his professional curiosity and intellectual interest. They cropped up occasionally and more often than not he simply sorted them out with his usual unerring precision.

The thought of some minor middle-management woman deliberately choosing to ignore his summons because she basically couldn’t be bothered made him grit his teeth together in rising rage.

He leaned forward, elbows on the desk. ‘Here is a little job for you, Mr Newton. You telephone Miss Hogan as soon as you walk out of this office and inform her that I will be paying her a little visit this afternoon. I will expect her to be waiting for me in her office, however busy she is, at precisely three o’clock. If she is not there, feel free to assure her that her head will most definitely be on the block.’


Richard Newton opened his mouth to state that dismissals of executives were taken to the board of directors, and closed his mouth before he could utter a word. This man did not play by the usual rules. He was a law unto himself and the gentlemanly codes of behaviour that had operated within the hallowed walls of Losi Construction would be brushed aside as minor irritations. He nodded and exited the room with a feeling of deep relief, leaving Rocco to broodingly ponder yet something else to deal with that he had not foreseen.

If he and his father had had any sort of ongoing communication between them, he would have arrived here with some expectation of what he was going to find. As it was, the feud that had driven him to make his fortune on the other side of the Atlantic meant that he had arrived in England with no knowledge of how his father’s company operated or even whether it was successful or not.

He raked his fingers through his hair and buzzed his secretary in to arrange a driver to take him to wherever the Hogan woman’s office was in the city centre. Then he proceeded to spend the remainder of the morning going through profit-and-loss columns, summoning up information on the computer, while maintaining contact with his own offices across the Atlantic via his own laptop computer.

He only broke off at two when he was interrupted by his secretary informing him that his driver was ready.

He didn’t know what he had expected to find. Losi Construction was located on the outskirts of Stratford and was housed in an old period building that reeked of Old World elegance. It was as far removed from his own super-modern, innovative glass building in the heart of New York as chalk was from cheese.

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