Home > Releasing the Billionaire's Passion (The Alfieri Saga #6)

Releasing the Billionaire's Passion (The Alfieri Saga #6)
Author: Elizabeth Lennox

Chapter 1


“’Mornin’ Uncle Chuck!” Fiona Chandler chimed as she walked into the office and plunked herself down in one of the chairs in front of the large, elegant desk.

Charles sighed, taking off his glasses and laying them on the desk carefully. “I am not your uncle, and please do not refer to me as “Chuck”,” he replied tightly, trying to not grind his teeth as he normally did when this particular woman walked into his office. Especially when she was wearing jeans and a tight top. Not that he had noticed her attire, he told himself as he rubbed the bridge of his nose.

He picked up a file folder from the side of his desk, trying to calm down. There was just something about Fiona Chandler that…well, she riled him as no one else could and it infuriated him that she could make him lose his temper so easily. If only his eyes weren’t so drawn to the soft curls that danced crazily around her lovely face, and if her beautiful brown eyes would dim just a tiny bit, he would be very appreciative.

He read through the file, or pretended to at least. It was hard to concentrate on anything when Fiona was near. She just had such an overwhelming vitality that it disturbed his normal icy, absolute control.

And why the hell did she insist on calling him Uncle Chuck? They were in no way related! It was almost as if she were neutering him in some way. He was a man, damn it! And she was a beau…

Charles stopped that thought instantly. Fiona Chandler was a client of his bank. Nothing more! Simply a very important client. He needed to keep that thought uppermost in his mind and stop looking at those soft, red lips or contemplating how much he wanted to kiss her until she couldn’t call him Uncle Chuck or anything other than….

He was doing it again! Shaking his head, he flipped the page of the report he was attempting to read.

Fiona crossed her legs and sighed, wishing she could just lean over his desk and kiss him until he looked at her. Really looked at her! She knew very well that Charles Henson was not her uncle. She called him that only to remind herself that Charles Henson the Third was out of her league and he hated everything she stood for. In fact, if it weren’t for her grandfather’s will, she would never have met Charles Henson. That probably would have been a good thing, she thought wistfully as she stared at the tall, almost painfully handsome man. If only he weren’t so stodgy and set in his ways. If only he would loosen that tie just a little and look up, see her as a woman. She sighed with longing. What could one expect from a banker?

Charles Henson the Third was the epitome of an old fashioned banker. He was cool, reserved, supremely aware of his reputation and that of his bank at every moment. He was freakishly good with numbers. She knew from past conversations she’d overheard that Charles had pulled this stodgy old bank out of a really bad slump when he’d taken over from his father. It was now a powerful force in the international banking industry.

But he was also a man! And the phrase tall, dark and handsome was probably created just for Charles. Since he was a man, didn’t he have needs? Didn’t he need the soft touch of a woman? He’d broken up with his girlfriend a long time ago! Of course, the stunningly gorgeous Georgette had probably spoiled Charles. There was no way Fiona’s more modest curves could compete with Georgette Charding’s sultry, Marilyn Monroe type figure.

Fiona shifted in her chair, contemplating a boob job. Yeah, she could most likely get his attention if she had a pair of bodacious double Ds! Maybe then Charles would notice her. Maybe then she could entice him and get him to see her as a woman. And then she could lean over his desk, his eyes would be drawn to her cleavage, and of course she would be wearing a low cut shirt just so that cleavage would be amply visible. She smiled at the idea, liking the possibilities. She could imagine his eyes being irresistibly drawn to her new double Ds….

Fiona sighed, almost slumping into the chair. Her C cup boobs just weren’t up to the task of enticing Charles, now that Georgette had ruined him. Fiona didn’t even like thinking of the two of them together. It made her stomach ache and her temper flare.

“Thank you for meeting me and I appreciate your promptness,” he said with a dry tone of voice, glancing at the crystal clock behind her just to reinforce the fact that she was fifteen minutes late for their meeting.

She grinned and watched as his eyes hardened at her disrespect. At least it was a reaction, she told herself. That proved that she wasn’t as completely invisible as she felt whenever she discussed anything with him. “No problem. What’s up? Why are we meeting outside of our normal monthly meetings?” Fiona had a love/hate relationship with those meetings. She knew that when she met with Charles, her heart got all excited, her body started trembling, and silly thoughts entered her mind. Thoughts like getting a boob job! The problem was very basic. She was in love with Charles Henson the Third.

And it wasn’t just a silly infatuation masquerading as love. Nope. Unfortunately for her stubborn, stupid and silly heart, she was truly and one hundred percent in love with the man. She thought he was brilliant, loved talking to him, and knew he had the patience of a saint because he was more than willing to answer any and all of her questions. Some questions she just made up so she could spend more time with him. He also had a dry sense of humor that never failed to make her laugh. His observations about life and the world were spot on from her point of view, and she found him endlessly fascinating.

Unfortunately, she knew he considered her a duty. An obligation to her dead grandfather who had left Charles as the executor of his will. Charles didn’t see her as a woman, as someone he could seriously think of in relationship terms. He saw her as an assignment – a monthly box to check off, and a tedious one at that. Fiona was the woman he had to lecture every month about her spending habits and job prospects. Having to explain financial matters to her always seemed to make him rub the bridge of his nose, a sure sign of his irritation.

Fiona had tried desperately hard to figure out all these banking issues so he would take her seriously. She’d actually taken some math classes, nothing complicated, just some basic math classes that she’d hoped would help her remember all of the high school math she’d tried so hard to forget after passing the class. And every few months, she’d make a valiant effort to stop overspending so he didn’t have to lecture her about balancing her checkbook. Unfortunately, she failed. Miserably! Some months, she’d done a fairly good job and only spent a few pennies over her balance. But other months, she’d forgotten and had blown through her cash. Those were the worst months. She’d had to endure many questions and long lectures about the extensive list of items she’d purchased, about how she needed to subtract those amount from her balance every time she spent anything.

During every one of those lectures, she sat in this chair in front of his desk while her mind created elaborate fantasies. Of course, Charles was the star participant! And oh goodness, the things that she had him do! Those lectures actually turned out some of her best stuff!

She sighed as she watched him, her eyes taking in his strong jaw, his black hair and long, black lashes. She knew that they hid golden eyes that changed to amber whenever she said something to irritate him. Which was often, she thought with increasing panic. The man just didn’t get her. She was sure that, to Charles, she was like a tiny splinter – near the surface enough to see and irritate, but deep enough that it drove a person nuts trying to get it out.

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