Brother to the BossBy: Lexy Timms
Managing the Bosses Series
The soles of Alex’s polished work shoes clacked quietly against the marble of the foyer as he crossed from the elevator to his office, a steady beat under the noise of his employees going about their business. He nodded to Justin at the secretary’s desk, and again to Miss Eriksson as she went by with her own quick tap-tap-tap of heels. He stepped through the door into his office, and shut it behind him.
Standing at the desk, Alex looked out over the view from the window, Manhattan spread below him, and felt the heady rush of power. All of this, this building standing tall among the skyscrapers of one of the greatest cities in the world, he’d built. Reid Enterprises and everything that came with that was his.
And yet, as he sat down at the big desk of sleek wood and logged into his computer to begin the day’s work, he couldn’t help feeling that something was missing.
Less than a year ago Jamie had been here with him, working in the room next door now occupied by Miss Eriksson. Even after all the months that had passed since the twins were born, he still felt the lack of Jamie’s presence, and not only because she was the best PA he or anyone else had ever had. He missed their trysts in his office, and the way she would smile at him when he passed her in the halls. Some days now she dropped in to leave things, or to run a meeting, but those incidents were few and far between. She had the twins to take care of, after all, and even with the nanny giving her a few extra hours each day, she refused to take enough time to come in to work for more than an hour or two, and usually just worked from home. Alex understood it, but that didn’t mean he didn’t wish she could be here with him, helping him keep the company he’d built running smoothly and out of enemy hands.
Alex growled low in his throat at the thought. He’d been sure they were rid of Nicholas after what happened with Gina. He’d been kind enough to settle with the man out of court, and this was the thanks he got: a third of his company quietly bought out from under him. That was just another reason he needed Jamie here, with him. He’d lost his brother to the golf course, and his wife to stay at home motherhood, and as much as he hated to admit it was feeling a little lonely at the top.
He’d never felt that way about his job before. Even back in the days before he met Jamie, when things were starting to be too much for him to carry on his own, he had never felt anything less than secure in his position. Now, he was trying to fend off interlopers without the family he’d become accustomed to working beside, and somewhere the surety that he could handle anything on his own had slipped.
At least Mark’s business was going well.
He hadn’t been by the country club as often as he would have liked after his brother officially opened — there was too much to do with his own business, and when he wasn’t working he was with the twins and Jamie, but he’d been hearing good things about it from clients who had visited. They’d had nothing but praise for the amenities, and for Mark himself, and Alex was proud of the little brother he’d once refused all but the barest of contact with.
What the hell?
Another client had sold half their stock shares, Alex saw when he glanced down at the computer screen. His jaw tightened. The company wasn’t in any real danger. He’d convinced two of the stock owners to sell to him, and he owned fifty-two percent of the company, but that didn’t mean that Sunrise Investments owning thirty-eight percent wasn’t a concern. The rest of the stock owners were loyal to him, but he’d thought that some of those who had sold were, too. Anyone would do anything for enough money, and Nicholas had enough money and enough charm to buy a lot of things he shouldn’t have been able to get his hands on. Like Alex’s stock. Like the secretary who had been with him since the birth of Reid Enterprises.
It didn’t matter, he promised himself. He wasn’t going to let Nicholas tell him how to run his company, no matter how much stock he’d managed to gobble up. Alex owned Reid Enterprises. It was his, and no one else’s, and Nicholas certainly wasn’t going to take that from him. He shook his head, and settled in to get to work before the day got any later.
Time passed. The lunch hour came and went, and Alex hardly gave it any notice. He was wholly focused on the numbers he was running, the calls he was fielding. Miss Eriksson popped in from time to time to give him some file or bit of news. It was two-thirty when he finally looked up from the screen he’d been staring at for the last two hours, and found Zander standing in the doorway of his office.
“You know,” his senior advisor said, crossing the room and dropping into the chair across from Alex’s, “I’ve been standing there for probably ten minutes, waiting to see how long it would take you to notice me.”