Home > Boss Me, Alpha

Boss Me, Alpha
Author: Sylvia Fox







When I answer the nanny ad, I don’t expect to find the hunk of a man before me now. He’s the kind of man you see on billboards on Fifth Avenue with his dark smoldering eyes and pristine black suit. He towers over me, his body corded with muscles and his lips curled into an expression that makes me weak in the knees. He even smells like sex, a musky aftershave punctuating the air. As he holds open the door to his office, I swallow hard. How am I going to nail this interview when I can barely even think straight?

“Good morning,” he says in a voice that’s cool, confident, and one-hundred percent no-nonsense. I can tell this is the kind of man who is used to getting what he wants when he wants it, and not just because his penthouse suite on the Upper East Side boasts views of Central Park. He radiates confidence, wealth, and power. There’s nothing that isn’t within his grasp, and he knows it.

He is the total opposite of me.

If I’d known what I was getting myself into, I probably wouldn’t have come to this interview. No way in hell am I going to impress this man. Instead of a sleek black suit, I’m wearing a hand-me-down dress from my older cousin, and it’s just a size too big for my frame. It makes me look how I feel inside: dumpy. I’m from small-town nowhere, I have zero skills in being suave and elegant, and I barely have a few one-dollar bills to my name. That’s why I’m going for this job in the first place.

I need the money.

Turns out, Manhattan is an expensive place to live.

“It’s Miss Larson, I’m guessing” he asks as he closes the door behind us with a click. Suddenly, I’m hyper-aware how very much alone we are.

Cheeks flaming, I nod. “Yes, Lily Larson. Nice to meet you, Mr…?”

“Christopher McKnight.” He cocks his head to the side as if I’ve said something wrong already. How could I have screwed this up with one measly sentence? Was I supposed to offer some kind of different greeting than I did? Should I have curtsied or something? I’m so out of my depths right now, I’m practically drowning. “You didn’t realize the ad was mine when you answered it?”

No, of course, I didn’t. But I hate to admit that now. Was I supposed to know? I scan back over the text of the ad in my head, desperately trying to figure out if I’ve missed some important clue as to what he means. But there was nothing. Just a simple ad requesting a nanny for two motherless toddlers for an Upper East Side bachelor who works long hours on his own company.

Of course, I’ve never even heard of Christopher McKnight before. And now I’m thinking I should have done my homework.

“No, sir,” I say stiffly. “I didn’t know.”

A slight smile lifts his lips, if you can call it a smile. It’s a ghost of one more like it, as if his mouth isn’t used to making the expression. And it probably isn’t. I get the feeling that Christopher McKnight is all business all the time. It would explain why he’s able to afford a penthouse like this.

And why he needs a nanny.

“You have a really nice place here,” I say, trying to turn the conversation onto something else, something that doesn’t reveal how clueless I am. “Very…well, it’s very impressive.”

The smile dims. “Yes, my wealth certainly does seem to be the first thing people notice.”

Okay, so I’ve messed up again. He didn’t like that comment. Maybe he thinks I’m too focused on the materialistic, the outward showing of wealth. If only he knew me, he’d realize how far from the truth that is. Money has never been much of an interest to me. I mean, sure I like it in the sense that I need it to put a roof over my head and food in my mouth, but it doesn’t motivate me the way it does for some people.

So, it’s time to turn the topic onto something else, once again.

“The first thing I noticed was the view, of course,” I say with a smile. “I love Central Park. It’s such a beautiful pocket of nature in the middle of all this steel and stone. I’m sure the children love going there. Do you take them to the park very often?”

Thankfully, that brings his ghost of a smile back onto his face, and he motions for me to sit in the black chair across from his desk. I settle onto the hard surface, wishing I’d worn something a little more substantial than a sleeveless dress and black hose. The chair is freezing, not unlike the temperature in the rest of the penthouse. It’s summer outside, but in here, it’s as arctic as the poles.

“So, Miss Larson.” Christopher shuffles some papers on his desk but his eyes never leave my face. “Tell me about yourself. I can see on your resume that you recently graduated from college with a degree in education. Tell me what inspired you to apply for this position rather than a position as a teacher.”

Ah, the million-dollar question.

Actually, the zero-dollar question more like it. I’ve been trying—and failing—for months to get a job in an elementary school, but the competition is fierce right now. How do I explain that without coming across like a failing candidate?

I want to impress him. Desperately. And not just because I want the job. There’s something about this man that makes me yearn to look good in his eyes. Probably because he’s staring at me with such an intensity that my panties are getting more and more soaked by the minute.

“I decided to study education because I love children.” I swallow hard as his steely gaze focuses on my mouth. “I’ve always wanted to work with kids. Teaching them, mentoring them, caring for them. While being a teacher fulfils that dream, so does being a nanny. And what’s more, I would be able to focus one-hundred percent of my attention on just these two young children, rather than an entire classroom. I think it would be very fulfilling. Have the children started at any pre-schools yet?”

I spent hours practicing this very speech, and because of that, it comes out rehearsed and stilted. But it’s better than rambling on without purpose, and it’s much, much better than admitting I haven’t been able to find work elsewhere. It seems important for him to believe that I want this job instead of falling back on it because I have no other choice.

To tell the truth, I think I’d love being a nanny. I can’t say it’s my first calling in life. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to teach, to leave an impression on young peoples’ hearts and minds. I just don’t think that teaching them how to use the big girl’s toilet is exactly what I had in mind.

But it’s better than nothing. And it’s close enough. I’ll put my whole soul into this job if I can manage to convince Mr. McKnight I’m worth the chance.

His lips are a straight line, and it’s impossible to tell what he’s thinking. “Have you applied for teaching positions, Miss Larson?”

Erm…I don’t want to lie. Something about the way his impossibly blue eyes pierce into me makes me think he already knows the answer to this question. My heart beats a little harder, and my palms begin to sweat. This man really puts me on edge.

“I have, yes,” I admit.

“And you have not yet received an offer of employment,” he continues, raising his eyebrows. “So, I worry that your dedication to this particular job might be less than ideal, when you have been aiming for something different, something better, I presume, than being a nanny. Unless of course, it’s my name that’s caused the interest.”

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