The Billionaires Love CurvesBy: Cj Howard
Lacey had already taken off the jacket to her wool suit, but put it back on before taking the elevator up to the executive offices. She tugged at the front of her jacket and smoothed the skirt over her curvaceous hips.
“Ms. Russell said to go right in,” the secretary said when Lacey arrived.
“Ah, come in, Lacey. Don't look worried, there's nothing wrong. You know Nate Horwood, don't you?” Ali turned to look at the tall figure of the CEO sitting to her left, who simply nodded at Lacey without any expression on his face.
“Well,” stuttered Lacey. “Only that he owns Holden-Taylor and built the whole company to the success it is as a young media specialist who saw the company failing its targets, and became the youngest billionaire, aged twenty five, six years ago. He has several homes around the world and he was once dating Katherine Heigl, the actress.” She hardly took a breath.
'Tell me, Lacey, did you just swallow Wikipedia or are you a stalker?” Nate Horwood was smiling now. His high cheekbones were slightly pink, his deep blue eyes, sparkling in anticipation of laughter and his teeth were dazzlingly white.
He looked young for thirty one, his hair was fair and in a trendy style, more like a model than a business man. He sat to the side of Ali Russell's large desk with his leg resting on one thigh and his broad shoulders bulging from an expensive designer suit. His elbows were on the arms of the chair, his forefingers coming together under his masculine chin. His hands were large but slender with a ring on his left pinky that had a tiny diamond in it. His tie was not tight to his neck, there was something very laid back and informal about his demeanor.
Finally, Lacey was able to relax and giggle at what she'd just said.
“I'm sorry, I promise I'm not a stalker,” Lacey said. “But I did do my homework before I took this job.”
“Good for you,” Ali said. “Now the reason we called you in is because I spoke to Jane yesterday afternoon about her feature idea, and it seems it was never hers in the first place – was it, Lacey?”
She looked at Lacey over the top of the reading glasses she had just put on.
“Oh,” Lacey said.
“It's all right, Mr. Horwood and I know what happened. We know it was your idea and I was just wondering if you want to run it.”
Lacey staggered backwards and looked at Ali Russell in disbelief and then at Nate Horwood. He was looking at her intensely now and rubbing a forefinger down the side of his chin. The sight of him being so serious set her on edge but yet there was something in the way he looked at her that she really liked.
In some way she could feel a connection between the two of them but wondered how that could be. They were from very different worlds, yet she felt something from deep inside her being drawn towards him.
“Are you serious?” Lacey broke her gaze from Nate and looked directly at Ali Russell.
“I wouldn't say it if I wasn't. In fact it was Nate's idea.”
“I saw right through you, Lacey.” Nate Horwood said. “I knew that was you talking in the boardroom that day, I could just tell. You've got passion, a fire in the way you think and I told Ali we'd be crazy to waste such talent here at Holden-Taylor.”
“Thank you,” Lacey said. “I would love to do it but I don't have the experience Jane had.”
“What I'd like for you to do is come by my offices later this morning,” Nate Horwood said, still with a serious face. “I'd like to take you under my wing, as it were, give you the benefit of my experience so that one day you'll be sitting behind a desk like Ali's and being in control of your own team of journalists.”
“That's a wonderful opportunity, I don't know what to say, Mr. Horwood.” Lacey couldn't believe what she was hearing and wanted to pinch herself but resisted.
“You can just say – thank you. That's all. I can see you're keen and I want to nurture that. In the end it can only benefit the company.” Nate leaned back in the chair now and uncrossed his legs.
There was a moment of silence as the two stopped and found themselves staring into the eyes of the other.
“That'll be all, Lacey,” Ali said. “I'll arrange for Bethany to help you make a start on the planning of this project. The two of you can jot down more ideas and concepts that you can take to your meeting with Mr. Horwood. His secretary will brief you about the meeting.”
Lacey’s smile said it all. In fact she could not stop smiling all the way back to her desk. It was Bethany who told her during their briefing session that Jane had been fired.
Nate Horwood’s secretary was a short, thin woman in her forties. Lacey thought he'd have someone young and dynamic but his secretary was a kind and chatty woman who showed Lacey into Nate's office suite.