Home > Caught Between Three Billionaire Tycoons

Caught Between Three Billionaire Tycoons
Author: Willa Hart

1

 

 

I sat quietly in the chair in front of Aleksy Dragos, more nervous than I expected. I took this job to work with him—learn from him.

Still, being close to the man was always daunting. Over the past months, he seemed to seek me out and ask for my input. In one way, that was terrific. It meant all my hard work paid off. In another way, it scared the living hell out of me.

Dragos Inc. was the biggest trader of antiques and archeological artifacts in the game. I had joined the firm to get hands-on experience with the precious, rare items that moved through the firm daily.

So far, I’d done a lot of that. I’d tried to keep myself down on the bottom floor where I could handle the pieces, clean them, and prepare each one for sale. The company brought in billions every quarter. Aleksy had the very best teams on the ground in Greece and Egypt, and he was capable of finding and trading the rarest of items.

Every day was a thrill.

Over the past months, he sought me out multiple times. He put me on organizing the paperwork for sales and working through the items and clients. I didn’t like it as much, so fast-paced, and no chance to admire the pieces themselves.

Still, I took this job to learn the industry, and I suppose that was part of the learning process. One day I hoped to be moving and selling ancient and rare finds, perhaps even visit digs and religious sites myself.

I tried to grasp what Aleksy was saying, but it felt as if there were miles of space between us. That and some kind of sound barrier.

“Whitney?” He prompted. “Are you still there?” He grinned and shook his head.

Fuck. It was so hard to focus while Aleksy looked at me. In the sunlight pouring from the window behind him, his hair lit with red, far from the usual dark brown it usually appeared. His golden eyes glinted at me, and I felt like they glowed. Wild like a predator, in some ways.

“Yes, sir.” My voice was tinier than I intended. I hadn’t learned to be pushy or assertive… yet.

He nodded slowly, pressing his hands together. His eyes flicked to the paperwork on his desk, then back to me. His devices were set to silent, but the laptop, tablet, and phone all blinked and vibrated with notifications.

Everyone wanted original pieces for their offices or homes. Some were private collectors, others were businesses out to impress clients with their very expensive decor. Some were museums and other specialist organizations. The phone never stopped ringing.

He grinned at me, showing his very white, sharp teeth. My stomach clenched as if I was stuck in the room with a grizzly, and he was ravenously hungry.

“You’ve been doing excellent work here in the office, Whitney. I’ve never had someone who can work the books and the phones as well as you.”

I smiled despite my nervousness. It was charming to hear I was good at my job. Most people weren’t lucky enough to have a job they liked, and were good at, so I counted my blessings.

I decided to strike while he was in a good mood.

“Actually, Sir… Mr. Dragos, I wanted to talk to you about that.”

His eyebrows shot up, and his gold eyes widened. The way they caught the light and reflected was something like a cat’s, as he focused on me so intently. He tapped his fingers together and nodded.

“Go ahead, Whitney.” He seemed amused.

“Well, when I first started, I spent a lot of time down on the shop floor—”

“Yes.” He nodded, almost apologetically. “I apologize for that. Someone with your skills and delicate nature shouldn’t be lifting heavy things, getting dirty and dusty, and scrubbing antiques with a toothbrush.”

I had loved cleaning the smaller statues and pieces of jewelry. I once restored a gold bracelet that was set with different precious stones. It was priceless. Touching things like that utterly thrilled me.

“Thank you, sir. I appreciate that sentiment, but I really enjoyed working with the antiques. I was hoping to do more of that.”

He braced his hands against each other again, frown returning. “That’s very interesting.” His voice turned slightly dark as he looked away. “Because I’ve asked you to come in today to talk about moving up within the company.”

“I’m sorry?” I was sure I hadn’t heard him right.

He smiled gently at me. “When I brought you out of the shop floor, I was trialing you on the whole public relations and management thing. You’ve shown excellent ability in managing clients and meetings, and staying on top of filing and distribution. There has not been a single mistake since you began your work up here and that is remarkable.”

“Okay.” I tried to smile gratefully, but my heart sank. I wasn’t going to get to work with the artifacts again.

“What I can do.” He reached across the table, shuffled some papers and gave his devices a scowl. “Is put you in charge of the oldest and most fragile pieces. They get sent straight up here, so you can clean and catalog them at your leisure. Then you won’t have to work down on that dusty shop floor.”

“Thank you, Mr. Dragos!” My heart soared, and the smile on my face took flight. “That’s amazing, I don’t know how to thank you!”

“Ah, well. I haven’t fully explained the job, yet.” His eyes glinted with mischief, and the little grin he gave me was downright cocky.

“Oh?” Now I was worried again.

“You have done so well that I want you to stay on as my personal assistant. Basically, it will involve the same duties as before, but you’ll be on call. If the phone rings and it’s me, you drop everything and come running.”

A cheeky smile lit my face. “As long as it’s not a priceless antique.”

He laughed. “Yes. Don’t drop one of those.”

“Okay, so… If I’m going to be on call, how will I still work with the antiques?”

“You’ll have plenty of time for artifacts. I hired a girl to be my personal assistant, but she’s no good. She’ll take on the phone calls and filing, coordinating with downstairs. You will handle all my private affairs and the most valuable pieces that come through these doors.”

“I still feel like there’s a catch.” I grinned at him.

“Well.” He sighed and shifted in his seat. I had never seen him look even slightly uncomfortable, so I found this interesting. “This is a delicate matter.”

Oh shit. What could be so bad?

“The thing is,” he began. “I can’t find a nanny for my kids. You know my children, don’t you?”

“I do.” My smile changed into one of complete warmth. “Egan and Adara. I’ve seen them multiple times when they come in after school. We’ve even done some coloring together.”

“Good, excellent. Yes, I remember now. Okay. This is the tough part.”

I tried to brace myself. What the hell was he going to ask me to do now?

“I need you to drive them up to my holiday cabin for me. I have to go out and accept a shipment of statues. They are ancient and fragile, and those forklift drivers don’t know what they are doing. If they get even slightly damaged, I’m totally screwed. I’ll head up to the cabin as soon as I can, but the kids shouldn’t miss a moment of vacation time.”

I sat for a few minutes, thinking this over. It doesn’t sound like a chore. I love kids. I hope to have a few of my own someday. The trouble is that I worked too hard. I had to get a scholarship to attend the classes I needed, and I still didn’t have a PhD. in archeology or anything like that. I came to Dragos Inc. to get some hands-on experience.

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