Stolen AngelBy: Lucy Leroux
A Singular Obsession, Book Three
Sergei paused behind his open office door and listened. Ada was chatting with Kelly. It was a normal, everyday conversation...except that they were laughing and joking like they were old friends. A week ago, Kelly had been gunning for Ada, determined to make her look bad in front of him. And now this. But he wasn’t really surprised anymore. That was just Ada. She could turn anyone into a friend.
Marveling silently, he went back to his desk for the latest report Ada had prepared. He could pretend to have a question about it. It gave him an excuse to talk to her. Slightly disgusted with himself, he put the report back down. It was—as usual—exemplary. Pretending it was unclear did her a disservice. Ada did her job as his executive assistant far too well.
Sighing, he picked up the coffee cup his other assistant Tim had fetched and took a long sip. It was already a little cold. Cheered by the thought of having a plausible excuse to leave his office, he opened the door wider to make his way to the break room.
Sergei passed by Ada’s desk, this time making an effort to avoid eavesdropping on her conversation. He already felt like a stalker. He listened in on her a little too often. But sometimes he couldn’t help himself. Ada didn’t talk to him the way she talked to everyone else. He was her boss, and she treated him accordingly.
She looked up from her desk and nodded at him with the habitually distant and professional manner she used around him. He gave her a small nod back as he walked past. A few minutes later, he passed again, checking in with Tim about the time of his next meeting.
“Is everything clear in my analysis?” Ada asked from her neighboring desk.
She’d whipped together a summary for today’s meeting in little more than an hour. The equivalent amount of work, with the required figures and statistics, would have taken anyone else the better part of a week. She’d been a spectacular hire, one he’d poached from one of his junior personnel. If only she wasn’t such a distraction.
“It was clear, thank you,” he said stiffly before retreating to his office, berating himself for his awkwardness.
It wasn’t like him at all, but he couldn’t seem to relax around her. He sat at his desk, wondering how things had gotten to the point where he was spying on his executive assistant and making excuses to see her.
Calen and Alexandros would laugh their asses off if they could see him now. Or at least Calen would. Alex was married now. After hearing the story of how Alex had met his wife, Sergei thought he would have some idea of where he was coming from.
What he needed was a distraction. Maybe he wouldn’t be obsessing over his assistant if he got laid more than once every six months. Decision made, he flipped on the intercom.
“Tim, extend an invitation to Mz. Worth for this Saturday night.”
Tim’s perpetually earnest voice came back from the speaker, “You have that charity benefit on Saturday.”
“I don’t think acquiring a second ticket will be a problem,” he said dryly.
Sergei was one of the children’s charity’s largest donors.
“Of course. I’m on it, Mr. Damov,” Tim replied, getting to work with his usual competence.
Tim had been his social secretary for almost four years, and without him, Sergei's life would grind to a halt. Ada had only been working for him for seven months, but she had quickly become equally indispensable.
He remembered the first time he met her. One of the senior VPs on the twenty-third floor had pissed him off. Trevor Jones was usually a half-way proficient executive, but his report on one of Damov Industries’ subsidiaries was two days late. It wasn’t the first time, either.
Sergei had swept down to the twenty-third floor to put the fear of god into Mr. Jones, only to find the man in question tearing into a subordinate in the conference room before taking off for lunch a half hour early. A three-dimensional model of a new hybrid engine one of his subsidiaries was developing had been destroyed—by Jones himself. But the hapless junior executive had gotten the blame for not informing him that the model wasn’t glued together.
Sergei had stayed out of sight, taking the opportunity to see Jones in action. He soon found himself angry enough to contemplate firing the man. His senior VP was one of those executives who blamed everyone else for their mistakes and covered their incompetence with shows of temper.