Dance for the Billionaire

By: Jewel Moore



“You have no idea.” Dominic gave a lopsided smile and headed to the door. “Relax for a couple of minutes. I’ll have a word with the other panel members and then send them back in.”

Lauren and Mark were both seated in the comfortable chairs when Dominic walked into the waiting area. Lauren, the consummate professional looked cool and unflustered; Mark, on the other hand, made no attempt to contain his curiosity.

“What was that about, Dom,” he demanded.

“Ms Payne and I have met before briefly.” He didn’t elaborate. “It wouldn’t be fair if I sat on the panel, so I’d like just the two of you to interview her. I trust your judgment and expect you to give her a fair assessment.”

***

Don’t get your hopes up, girlfriend! Chantelle warned herself as she sat across from Lauren in the nearby Bea’s of Bloomsbury. She took a sip of her creamy cappuccino, trying hard not to smile like an idiot. The interview had gone perfectly. Feeling that she had nothing to lose, Chantelle had been relaxed and confident.

“O’Brien is the best employer I’ve ever worked for.” Lauren took a delicate, appreciative sip of her cappuccino. Chantelle suspected that the woman didn’t frequent the café on a regular basis. The decadent Chocolate Fudge Cupcake they had each ordered would have had a visible effect on the woman’s svelte figure. “I’m the only female among fifteen senior managers and I haven’t once experienced any overt sexism in the four years I’ve been with them. Don’t get me wrong—there are two, possibly three of them who don’t like the idea of a woman being so prominently placed in the company, but Mr. O’Brien, Dominic’s father made it perfectly clear that sort of behavior won’t be tolerated.”

Dominic. Chantelle repeated his name to herself for the ninth time since they had been introduced. She should have known that he wouldn’t be called something as simple as ‘Paul’ or ‘John.

“You would enjoy working for the firm,” Lauren continued. “There are enough new challenges to keep the job interesting but not so many that you feel overwhelmed.”

Though nothing was actually said, it was almost as if the woman was indicating that Chantelle was her choice for the role.

But, Chantelle was afraid to hope.

Dominic, after saying that he had searched for her and admitting that she had caused him pain, had been nowhere in sight when the interview had ended.

Whatever pain he’d felt, he must be well over it.

But, oh God, this job would be the end of Chantelle’s troubles. The salary was nearly double what she’d expected from a first job after full-time study. The perks included private healthcare.

Life was so bizarre. She had sent in her application form just for the hell of it, thinking on receipt of it the person doing the shortlisting would laugh all the way to the nearest wastepaper bin and toss her neatly completed form inside. When she’d received the letter inviting her for an interview, she had thought of not showing up. She’d needed a well-cut, tailored new suit, a decent pair of shoes and a suitable handbag. For a job she was unlikely to get, the cost of the items was too much to invest upfront.

But then an inner voice had reminded her just how strange the events had been leading up to her applying. Totally pissed off on her way home on the Tube from a job interview which had gone badly after she had politely asked one of the two male interviewers to address her and not her chest, she had picked up a discarded copy of The Times from the seat next to hers. Realizing it was almost two weeks old, she had been about to put it back when a job advert circled in red caught her eye. The closing date was that Friday, two days away, and the salary almost made her eyes pop out of her head.

She had attended interviews for several jobs she could have done with her eyes closed, and yet each time she’d been politely informed days later that a more suitable candidate had been found.

I’m going to raise my game! she’d thought defiantly, but only half seriously. She’d mainly taken the newspaper home to read with her bedtime cup of chocolate. It was a well-written but expensive newspaper and though out of date, there was guaranteed to be something of interest between the pages. She usually got the Metro, the free weekday newspaper, which was too full of celebrity news and gossip for her liking, but beggars couldn’t be choosers.

That night in comfy pajamas and half snuggled under her duvet, she’d read the job advert and realized that she met all the requirement. The next morning she had logged on to their website, completed the application and pressed ‘send’ with a flourish and more than a trace of defiance. She’d then forgotten all about it and continued her job search. Only to almost die of shock ten days later when she received an invitation to attend an interview.

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