Home > Proposal To Love (The Attracelli Family #4)

Proposal To Love (The Attracelli Family #4)
Author: Elizabeth Lennox

Elizabeth Lennox - The Attracelli Family #4 - Proposal To Love

Proposal To Love (The Attracelli Family #4)
Elizabeth Lennox

romance/billionaire

 

Chapter 1

Jim McNabb poked his head in Darcy’s door. “You ready to defend your ideas?” he asked, smiling as if he’d just swallowed the canary.

“What do you mean?” Darcy asked cautiously, not willing to sign up for anything when it came to her boss. Jim was great, but he tended to ride roughshod over people if they weren’t careful. Darcy pushed a flyaway strand of chocolate brown hair out of her face, wondering why it never stayed in the bun she put it in each morning.

Jim sauntered into her office and leaned against the doorway, extending the suspense a few moments longer. “I mean, I talked to Michael Attracelli and he’s willing to listen to your ideas on the bid he turned down last week.”

Darcy stared blankly at Jim for a long moment until his words sunk in. “You don’t mean the Senior Vice President for Growth and Technology, do you?” she whispered, awed by even mentioning his name out loud. The man was a legend, not just within the ATI community but in the information technology industry. He was a giant. He was brilliant when it came to programming and bidding on key jobs within the industry that put ATI in a strategic position for future work.

And he wanted to hear her pitch? Darcy was suddenly nervous. Terrified actually. She tried to hide her anxiety in front of Jim but she suspected that her green eyes mirrored her inner terror. Arguing with her boss about ATI’s decision not to bid on a huge job was one thing. Arguing in front of Michael Attracelli was a completely different game! The man had to have been around since the concept of computers was introduced, he knew so much about them.

Jim watched the emotions run across the beautiful young woman’s face. Darci was not very skilled at hiding her emotions. He saw the excitement build then the anxiety enter her stunningly green eyes. Finally, her porcelain skin turned pale white as she realized the magnitude of what he was asking her to do. But it didn’t’ matter. Darcy was the kind of woman that thrived on challenges so he knew she wouldn’t turn down this opportunity no matter how nervous she became.

Sure enough, a moment later, her pert little chin went up and she straightened her slim shoulders, a sign that she was mentally getting herself ready for the problem of changing the mind of a senior vice president, no matter how terrifying the prospect. Jim had never met or worked with a more competent person. Nor had he ever seen the kind of blind determination this woman possessed. She worked long hours, dedicating her life to ATI.

Not only was she intelligent and driven, she was beautiful as well. He suspected she didn’t even know how incredibly lovely she was. She was too dedicated to getting the work done to take the time to notice her personal appearance. He never heard of her dating anyone. When they talked, she only spoke of work issues and challenges. But he suspected she wasn’t dating anyone currently. When would she find the time? She worked fourteen hour days plus weekends.

Once the fear was gone from her face, he smiled at her, trying to give her confidence. “Well, what are you waiting for?” Jim asked, satisfied with her determined expression. He was delighted that he was able to drop this bomb on her. It wasn’t often that anyone surprised Darcy Madison.

He was actually hoping for a smile, but was disappointed this time. Darcy was stunning with a passive face. Her classically shaped features and the glowing green eyes that shone out from her lively face were enough to make men stop and stare. He knew because he had been affected that way when he’d first met her. In addition, he’d walked with her down the street and noticed the same affect on the other men she passed. What was more amazing was that Darcy didn’t realize that it was happening. She was so intent on what she was doing, even if she was just walking down the street talking with another person, her whole self was absorbed in her task, eliminating all other details.

Add a figure that should be modeling sexy underwear and her smile, and the combination was devastating at times. Whenever Darcy smiled, gravity seemed to weigh more heavily in the room. Jaws dropped, pens fell to the floor, coffee cups spilled and water splashed in every direction. She turned from looking like a supermodel, albeit a petite one, to a mischievous elf, with just a smile. She had dimples on both sides of her luscious mouth and her cat-like eyes twinkled as if she knew all the funny secrets in the world. It was quite a sight and caused shock each time a new person experienced her smile.

Jim sighed, wishing he could remember some joke to tell her so he could see her smile. Boy, was she a sight to behold. Darcy interrupted his thoughts and got him back to the business at hand.

“Not a problem. I can do this,” she said, grabbing her notebook and standing up. She grabbed a pen, and then rushed behind her boss out the door. A few seconds later, Darcy raced back to her desk and grabbed her glasses, then right back out to the hallway again.

“Are you sure Michael Attracelli is going to listen to me?” she asked, trailing behind him as she went through her papers to find the notes on the bid the senior vice president had originally rejected.

“Yep, the one and only.”

“Why is he going to listen now? What changed his mind?”

Jim pressed the call button for the elevator. “I did. I was talking to him and mentioned your idea. He seemed interested so I told him I’d get the two of you together to discuss the idea.”

Darci grimaced. “Remind me to keep my mouth shut in the future.”

“Bah!” he said and waived her concern aside. “You’re ready for this,” he said. “And if not, you’re no worse off than you were five minutes ago except that you’ve finally met Michael.”

“How do I greet him?” she asked. “Is there any formal policy?”

Jim glanced back to the nervous beauty, his eyes rolling. “He’s not royalty; he’s just a vice president.”

Darcy had a great sense of the absurd and was willing to make fun of herself when she was acting silly, like right now. “Yeah, but he’s sort of a God in the industry. It seems like he should have some sort of title befitting that reputation, don’t you think?” the imp in her joked. “Vice President just doesn’t due him justice, I’m guessing.”

“How about God of IT?” he quipped, pressing the button on the elevator that would take them to the executive floors.

They stepped into the elevator together. “No,” she said, shaking her head while she stared up at the lights indicating the floors they were passing. “It has to be more glorious. How about…God of Information?” she asked.

Jim didn’t respond but chuckled at her.

“Why not?” she asked, a few moments before they came to the top floor, “I mean, it’s reputed that he knows everything. Therefore, he must be at least a century old. I’m hoping that if I make it to that age, I’ll get a God-like title as well.”

She missed Jim’s astonished expression because the doors opened and they walked out into the subdued atmosphere of the executive floor. It was dramatically different on this floor, Darcy thought as she made her way down the hallway behind Jim who obviously knew where Michael Attracelli’s office was. Her office was on the sixth floor and was filled with mostly technical people. They called to each other with their ideas or barged into offices unannounced to bounce ideas off of each other. Some people didn’t even bother with going to an office. They would just shoot ideas to a co-worker in the hallways. There was a great deal of joking and letting off of steam when the tensions rose or deadlines drew near.

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