The Firstborn PrinceBy: Virginia Nelson
Again, the small quirk of his lips suggested that he not only noticed the nervous motion, but was amused by her at the same time. “Sometimes, it isn’t about what you can do, but what you cannot. Due to your history of keeping secrets, I believe you could work for me without sharing the actual extent of your duties. What I want to hire you for is to work as an image consultant for Connor.”
She blinked at him, not understanding. “You want to hire me to help Connor with his public reputation? Isn’t that contrary to your goal, if you want to take the company away from him? I mean, if the purpose of my position is to help you gain control, wouldn’t we want to focus on your reputation, Mr. Boyd?”
Foster crossed his legs, disrupting the dog, who’d begun to doze on his knee. “And that is what I hope Connor thinks, but your actual position would be a bit more complicated than that, Ms. Stolen. You see, my brother has a weakness, one of which is common public knowledge due to the press being such a constant in our lives.”
He left off there, and she scrabbled through her memories of the twins to try to figure out what Foster referred to. “I’m sorry, Mr. Boyd. It’s escaping me as to which particular weakness you’re referring to in this case.”
“Diplomatically said, Ms. Stolen, however I understand your meaning. Connor has a weakness for intelligent women.” Foster Boyd didn’t quite meet her eyes as he spoke.
It took a second for his words to register, but when they did, she smacked both palms down on the desk and stood up, furious.
“As I said before, Mr. Boyd, please do not hesitate to find your way out. I’m not an escort, I’m an image consultant. And even without a client to my name, I’ve no interest in being hired as a prostitute for your brother.”
Was it wrong that he couldn’t help but think she was even more sexy when she was mad? Because he did. Just looking at her had him recrossing his legs again to hide the fact that her flushed cheeks made him rock hard with uncomfortable lust.
“Again, you misunderstand, Ms. Stolen. Although you’re a lovely woman, and I don’t intend this as an insult, I don’t wish to hire you for your skills in the bedroom.”
She didn’t back down, still facing off with him with both palms flat on her large glass desk. “How many times do I have to ask you to leave?”
“Well, it isn’t as if you can call security to have me removed. Not in an office like this,” he said bluntly.
Her lips pinched together in a thin white line. “You came here insinuating you want to hire me as an escort for your brother, as if that’s not insulting enough, and then you add to that by pointing out the lack of security in my new office? Judge-y much?”
He tried not to be amused at her spitting fury and failed. However, if he wanted to gain her assistance, perhaps he wasn’t using the best tact. She was already off balance, so he changed his tone to one that was intentionally soothing when he said, “I’m not saying any of this well, and I’ll ask your forgiveness—”
“Which I won’t give,” she inserted in a tart tone.
He smiled easily, as he’d expected her reaction. “Nonetheless, I’ll ask for it, because I’ve never been in this position before, and the job I want to hire you for is considerably outside the realm of normal boundaries.”
“Can you just flat out say what you’re trying to dance around, Mr. Boyd?” She sat again, slowly, but her expression didn’t soften in the slightest.
He respected that, even if it might prove inconvenient for him. He didn’t need a woman Connor could squish like a bug or ignore, and from his short acquaintance with Natalie Stolen, she could prove perfect for the position. Even more so than he’d initially intended, as there was something about her passionate responses that triggered him on a base level.
Which means she’ll likely drive Connor wild, he reminded himself. She wasn’t for him.
“I’ll try,” he agreed. “I want to hire you as an image consultant, with the open and public job of helping my brother clean up his questionable reputation, to repair the damage done by his recent ad campaign, in the hopes that he can continue as a valuable part of Boyd Cosmetics. However, that’s not your actual job—”