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Blackmailing The Billionaire(10)

By:Melody Anne



     



 

"I must be mistaken, then. Thank you for setting me straight," she said  in a mocking tone. His eyes narrowed more. A growl escaped his throat  and he stood back up and began pacing. She breathed a sigh of relief,  though it didn't help being enveloped by his scent.

"You don't need to be writing every little thing down. If your goal is  to make me into a monster … " he started raising his voice again, when she  interrupted him.

"I've already told you I'm not a trash magazine reporter. I want an in  depth look at the life of Max Anderson. The more notes I take, the  better the article will be," she said as if talking to a child who  needed a time-out. He did appear to need one.

"We need to have a talk. Follow me," he told her, before heading to his  office. That didn't sound good. She should be more upset, even a bit  scared, but all she could feel was excitement, that was until his next  words. "Go ahead and grab a couple cups of coffee, too, this may take a  while."

Cassie sat, staring at his back, with her mouth hanging open. She was  aware of the snickers going on around the office. She couldn't believe  the man had the nerve to demand she serve him. She stayed where she was  for a few moments, counting in her head. She knew he was trying to get a  reaction from her, and she shouldn't take the bait, but he had a way of  eliciting a rise out of her unlike anything she'd ever experienced. She  hated it when he acted like a demanding pig. She decided the best way  to get the upper hand was to act as if she didn't care. The more bland  and unaffected she reacted, the more irritated she'd make him.

She slowly rose to her feet, walked over to the coffee pot and poured  him a cup of coffee. She smiled to herself as she added several shakes  of salt to the cup, anticipating his reaction at the first sip. She knew  he'd never believe it had been by accident, but she was also sure it  would be the last time he'd demand she bring him a cup of coffee. She  took her time making up her own mug of the fragrant drink.

"Thanks," he said as he took the cup. He took a large sip, then spit it  out on his desk, covering some paperwork. He looked at her in shock. She  had to fight not to smile, keeping the same bland look on her face.

"Is something wrong?" she asked innocently.

"What the … " he sputtered. She just looked at him like she had no idea  what could be wrong, taking a long sip of her own coffee. He glared at  her before rising to grab some paper towels. He quickly cleaned up the  mess before resuming his seat. Then, to her amazement, he picked the cup  back up and took another drink, his expression not even flinching.  Damn, he was good, she thought irritably.

The phone rang, and he quickly picked it up, not able to hide the relief  from his face. After listening for a moment, he turned to her.

"I need to take this. We'll continue this conversation later," he  dismissed her. She walked from the room and managed to make it to the  bathroom before the laughter flew from her. She stayed there until she  was sure she had herself under control, then made her way back to the  office. She decided to steer clear of Max for the rest of the afternoon,  and instead spoke with several employees about their boss. Not one  person had anything negative to say about him  –  it was quite irritating.





The next day, Cassie made her way up the elevator and was delighted to  see both Joseph and George talking with some of the staff. She hadn't  had a chance to talk to them in a while and hoped to get more  information on Max.

"Good morning, Cassie. How's the interview going?" George asked as she stepped toward them.

"It's going great, but if you both have a few minutes, I'd love to pick  your brains," she said with a genuine smile. They were so easy to speak  with and made her feel welcome.

"We always have time for a beautiful lady," Joseph joined in. She knew  how much he loved his wife, and his teasing always came across as  comforting, verses creepy, like some older men. She knew men Joseph's  age actually chased young women, thinking it made them look younger. It  always gave her the creeps.

"Why don't we head down to the cafeteria so we can have something to eat  while we talk?" George asked. They made their way downstairs, taking  longer than normal, since everyone seemed to want to stop the two men  and chat. They were friendly and willing to talk with everyone from the  lowest to the highest of positions. She took some notes as  inconspicuously as possible. Max said she couldn't talk about the  private lives of his family, but there was nothing wrong with pointing  out how all the Andersons seemed to go above and beyond in making  everyone feel valued. He couldn't complain about that.         

     



 

"Are you managing to keep that son of mine in order?" George asked her with a huge smile.

"I don't think anyone is up for that task," she teased back.

"You've got me there, young lady," he said with a quick laugh. "But, I'm  sure you're managing to keep him on the straight and narrow."

"He thinks he's tough but I'm not easily intimidated. I'm holding my  own," she said with a bit of pride. He actually scared her a lot, but  not because he growled and shouted once in a while, but because he  caused her body to go into overdrive every time he set those smoldering  eyes on her.

"That's refreshing to hear. I like a girl with a spine of steel," George  told her. Cassie relaxed and took out her iPad, getting ready to ask  questions. She didn't want to lose the opportunity of speaking to the  heads of the corporation.

"We're an open book so go ahead and ask us anything you'd like," Joseph said, giving her an open smile.

They sat in the cafeteria for a couple hours, the time getting away from  her. She enjoyed their company so much she felt like she could sit  there all day. When she finally realized the time, she quickly excused  herself and headed back to the top floor. She knew the Alaska trip was  coming up soon and Max still hadn't confirmed she'd get to go with him.  She was hoping to lock that in before the day was over.

Max was sitting in his office when she walked in. He glanced at his  clock and then to her face. He knew she'd been with his father and uncle  and wasn't pleased with how long she'd been gone. He wanted badly to  rip her all-important iPad from her and read everything she'd been  writing over the last couple weeks. He couldn't believe he'd allowed  this ridiculous interview to go on.

Every time he even thought about ending the entire farce his stomach  would tighten in protest, though. The longer he was around her the more  he wanted to know her every secret. He'd never been so fascinated with  any woman and he didn't like the power she seemed to hold over him. He  knew she desired him as much as he wanted her. Maybe, he should just  please both of them and take her to his bed. He was trying to prove to  himself that he alone had control over his suddenly raging hormones. He  was a stickler for perfection, even from himself, and his weakness  around her was unacceptable.

He hadn't touched her in weeks because he didn't trust himself to stop.  He didn't trust her to stop him, either. He was beginning to think he  was a real idiot for torturing both of them. He either needed to take  her to bed or send her on her way. He just couldn't figure out which way  he was going to go.

Max leaned back in his chair, appearing casual, not allowing the  turbulent emotions passing through him to show through his face or body.  He propped a foot on his desk and smiled at her.

"Sit down, it looks like you want to chat," he said. She walked further  in and took the chair across from him. "How was your long lunch?"

Cassie looked at him strangely for a moment. She wasn't on his payroll.  In fact, she was only there to interview him, and the people who worked  for him, so she didn't see why he could possibly be upset with her being  gone for a few hours. Sometimes the man didn't make any sense.

"Lunch was great. I spoke with your father and uncle. Don't worry, I'm  not writing a bunch of personal family history in my article, but to be  fair to you, I need to have as much of a clear picture as possible," she  quickly added, cutting him off.

"Are you enjoying yourself, then?" he asked casually.

"Actually, yes. Thanks for asking," she said just as nonchalantly.

"That's good," he replied. Their obnoxiously polite conversation was ridiculous and she was done with it.

"Have you made a decision about the Alaska trip, yet? I think it would  be great for me to go, to really see you in action. You've been working  on this deal for a long time, and to get a fully rounded picture of you,  I need to go," she pleaded. She hated to beg, but she wanted to go.  He'd be gone for several days, cutting into her precious month.

Max stared at her for several moments, not giving away any hint of what  he was thinking. She couldn't tell if he was going to allow her to go  with him or not, and she felt like screaming. Enough with the suspense,  already.

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