A Wolf in Billionaire’s Clothing

By: Daphne Loveling

“Thank you, Mr. Blake,” she said sincerely.

“Please. Call me Liam,” he replied, looking into her eyes with an unreadable expression.

“Liam,” she replied, saying his name out loud for the first time.

Miranda left his office in a daze, closing his door. He was so unpredictable, so mercurial. And so sexy -- when he actually looks at me. Something in his gaze shot straight through her like electricity. Miranda. She went to Ms. Hathaway and got the information regarding the travel agent and corporate charges, then came back to her desk and began making calls. A little less than an hour later, she was finished. She looked up at the clock: 3:40. So early to be leaving, she worried. She almost knocked on his door to make sure it was alright, but hesitated. Their last interaction had been so pleasant, she wanted to leave things on a good note today. So, with a slight frown, she shut down her computer, put the documents she’d been working on in a drawer, and grabbed her bag. As she walked through the main lobby, Jen the receptionist remarked with a smirk, “You’re leaving early.”

“Yes,” Miranda replied. “Liam suggested I take the rest of the afternoon off.” With a slight bounce in her step, she walked out the doors, leaving Jen to gape at her.

The next day was relatively uneventful, with Miranda spending much of the morning learning more from Ms. Hathaway about the various electronic calendar systems and the company intranet. She had lunch with Kim again, the latter as chatty and animated as ever. Miranda’s afternoon was taken up typing up the minutes of the day before and doing some research that Liam had requested for the upcoming trip to Switzerland. Around four o’clock, his door opened and Liam appeared in the doorway.

“Miranda, I wonder if you’d be able to stay a bit late tonight. I have some deadlines that need to be met, and it would be easier if you were here to take dictation for me on some reports that need to be sent out tomorrow. I can fill you in on the details of the firms in question so that you’ll be better able to finish typing the reports for tomorrow’s deadline.” Miranda didn’t fail to notice that he asked her rather than telling her. His demeanor toward her seemed to have softened since yesterday. It was a welcome change, and she hoped it would last.

“Certainly. Would you like me to have dinner brought in?” she replied.

“Yes, that’s a good idea. In your desk you’ll find a list of the places that deliver nearby. Order me something with red meat.” Liam’s head disappeared and the door closed.

Later that evening found Miranda sitting in Liam’s spacious office, facing him on one of the two long leather couches, a large glass coffee table between them. On the table were two stacks of folders and the remains of their takeout food from Manfred’s Steak House. They had been working for close to three hours, and were about half an hour from being ready to wrap up for the night. Liam stretched his arms and groaned mightily, saying, “Okay, let’s take five and then come back and wrap this up. I’ll be back in a few.” He stood up, stretching again, and strolled out the door toward the break room. Miranda got up, stifled a yawn, and then set about cleaning up the takeout containers. Closing all the lids and tying the plastic bags closed, she looked around the room, her eyes stopping on a large metal lidded trash bin by the bar area. She wandered over to the can and pressed on the foot pedal to open the lid. Miranda was about to throw the trash inside when she caught a glimpse of something red. Peering inside, she gingerly reached in to grasp what looked to be a large piece of fabric. Pulling it out of the bin, she saw with shock and confusion that it was a men’s white dress shirt, blood staining the sleeves. What in the world… she thought, and then stopped. Slowly, the blood drained from her face as as an unbelievable thought came unbidden into her mind. But… could the dog from last night… could that have been him? But how…? It’s impossible!

Just then, Liam came back with two bottles of water from the break room fridge. “I thought you’d like… Miranda, what’s wrong?” He stopped in his tracks when he saw her turn shocked expression towards him. Looking down at her hands, he saw the bloodied shirt she held, and involuntarily, his hand moved toward the scratch on his face. “Miranda…” he began, then stopped. His expression turning to one of resignation, his voice softened, and he said, “I would tell you it’s not what it looks like, but the truth is, it may very well be what you think it looks like.”

“It can’t be,” she whispered. “What it looks like is impossible!”

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