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Surrendering Series Box Set

By´╝ÜChelsea M. Cameron

Surrendering Series Box Set
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron





One

How in the name of everything holy did I end up on my back on the polished mahogany table in the boardroom, getting the daylights fucked out of me by one of the sexiest men alive?

Wait, wait, wait. That's not the place to start the story. Let me rewind a little for you. . .

Dad called me on the phone first thing on Monday morning, and he didn't sound happy. One thing about working at the same company as your father is that you never know if you're in trouble for something work-related, or if it's something else. I locked my computer and strolled down the hallway to his office, trying to keep my face blank. I usually wore a blank face at work so I could never be accused of being "too young and emotional" to do my job. I knocked softly on Dad's door.

"Come in," he said, and it sounded like the voice of doom. I scrolled through anything I could have possibly done wrong. I was paranoid, so this was a long list. I'd also only heard him use this particular voice when he fired people, or he called them out for screwing things up royally. Wait, could he fire me?

"What's wrong?" I said, wanting to get this over with as quickly as possible. One cut.

He held up a folder with papers in it. My heart beat erratically at the sight of the folder. For all I knew it could have been nuclear launch codes, or that fourth grade test I cheated on that he never found out about. Until now?

"Have you seen this?" he said. His face was drawn and serious. This worried me even more.

I crossed my legs and cleared my throat. "I'm not sure, what is it?" Just get it over with. I almost closed my eyes and braced for the blow.

"I was just going over some of the expense reports and something popped out at me. See what you think."

Wait, what? Expense reports? Who gave a fuck about expense reports? I mean, normally I did, but at this moment? I couldn't find any fucks to give.

But I opened the folder and tried to calm my heart and find what he wanted me to see in the sea of numbers that were doing this weird swirly thing that they probably shouldn't be doing.

"See that?" he said when I obviously wasn't immediately picking up on what he thought should be patently obvious.

"Yeah, look at that," I said, not sounding convincing.

"The sixth line down. Does that look right to you?" I looked at it. Okay, yeah, that did look odd.

"Did we really go through that much toner? That seems like an awful lot. Do you have the other months here?" He pointed and I thumbed through and saw that we'd been going up and down, but steadily ordering more and more. Not enough to make a huge red flag, but once I thought about it, it seemed like a lot.

"Has anyone been looking over these?" There were people whose entire job it was to check these things over and make sure they made sense and that everything was accounted for.

"That's just it. Seems that the reports have been altered. I haven't told anyone else, but I wanted to make sure that I had something to go on before I said a word, so I needed your eye."

"What are you going to do?"

He sighed and sat back in his chair.

"Well, the problem is that clearly, if this is something, it's an internal thing, which means that I can't make a big deal of it, or whoever it is will be tipped off. For right now I'm going to keep my eye on it, and if you could do that as well, I would appreciate it."

"Yeah, absolutely." He didn't need to tell me to keep my mouth shut about it, so I handed him the files back and he put them back in his desk and then locked it and put the key back in his pocket. His face changed and morphed back into the one I knew so well.

"Thanks, Rory. I'm so lucky to have you." He got up from his desk and gave me a hug. I hugged him back and I held on a little too long.

~*~*~

It's funny how something that seems so insignificant, so unconnected to your life, can alter the course of it so dramatically.

Sal Martin had worked for my father's software company, Clarke Enterprises, as an administrative assistant since the very beginning. He'd been a friend of my father's, and when he'd needed a job, Dad hired him. Dad was always like that. A nepotist, through and through.

Sal had started out low on the totem pole and had worked his way up. When his mind started to go, I took him on as my assistant once I joined the company after college, because I knew how much he valued his job, and the company. I kept his workload light, but soon his mind was in the grips of Alzheimer's and there was nothing we could do. It was absolutely heartbreaking, and more than once I caught Dad crying in his office about it, and I'd shed more than a few tears, watching his decline.

I planned a retirement party for him, and in the meantime started looking for a new assistant.

I was all for promoting from within the company, and that's what Dad would have done, but I still put an advertisement online, just in case there were any stunning applicants.

"Anyone strike your fancy?" Dad said, finding me alone in the room we used for interviews, my head resting in the desk. I loved, loved, loved my job as Vice President, but being one of the only women in the company was challenging. Especially in times like these. Being the boss' daughter didn't help either. People either thought I was an entitled airhead, or were so scared of me they couldn't speak. All three of my interviews had been some variation on those two themes.

I lifted my head as Dad put his arm around me. In spite of looking like a man who never hugged his children, Dad had always been affectionate. Just not in front of the whole office. He'd made sure my door was closed before he'd hugged me.

"Not yet. I think I'm going to look at some of the applications after lunch. See if anyone pops out."

"Go with your gut, Rory," he said, using my childhood nickname. It made me

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