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Eternally Seduced

By:Marian Tee


Lesson #1

‘Holy shit' is not the best thing to say

when you see how gorgeous your billionaire is for the first time.

He will want to fuck you after that.

"Oh God, I'm going to be, like, super late."

I threw Alyx a look of horror before returning my gaze to the digital  display of the elevator, wishing there was a way I could speed it up. If  I survived today's job interview, I must remember to write to the CEO  of Ferrari. He should know that people who are pathologically late like  me needed his help. He just had to create a sports car version for  elevators.

"Stop panicking." Alyx rolled her eyes as she spoke. She did it all the  time, making you unable to figure out whether she was being sincere or  sarcastic.

Alyx continued, "Any company would love to have you, Yanna."

Like now.

"Shut up. I know you're lying."

"I'm not." Her voice still had that eye-roll tone so I couldn't quite  make up my mind if she really did mean it. We had been friends since  kindergarten, but this one habit of hers just plain eluded me all these  years. I had long decided that this quirk of Alyx was truly something  only her own Mr. Right could figure out. I told her as much, but Alyx  had just laughed and called me a "romantic". Personally, I thought what  she really wanted to say went more along the lines of naïve, foolish,  and hopeless.

"You just have to show them what you've got."

Now that one sounded semi-sincere so I unhesitatingly asked, "What do I  have?" I sniffed for effect, just so Alyx would take pity on me and  dwell more on my good points than the bad.

Alyx pursed her lips, and when she did that she looked more like a  schoolteacher, thanks to her nerdy glasses and buttoned-up blouse  –   okay, make that a schoolteacher in a mini.

We loved our minis, Alyx and I.

She eyed me from head to toe, lingering on my hair, which was twisted  into a prim, preppy chignon, the modest neckline of my blouse, and my  skirt, which ended two inches above the knee.

I was sort of thinking she'd say something nice after that, but what she  came up with was, "Well, you may be older than most entry-level  applicants---"

I winced. "Twenty-four is NOT old."

"But if you tell them it's because you had to take care of your ailing parents first, I'm sure they'll understand."

Seeing the serious expression on her face, I protested, "I can't say  that! That's, like, lying." And yes, I was indeed 24 years old with a  tendency to abuse the word ‘like'. It was my own version of nail-biting  –   verbally regressing to a teenager from the 90s whenever I was anxious  or terrified. The word ‘panicky' described me to a tee, which was why  Alyx felt the need to accompany me all the way up to the 34th floor,  where my future would later hang in the balance.

Alyx didn't seem to hear me. "Also, you just need to let them know that  you speak scores of languages and that you have an honor's certificate  from your college."

"Three languages are not scores."

Alyx didn't seem to hear that either. As the elevator's doors silently  slid open at my floor, she simply gave me a thumbs-up and said, "Trust  me. Anyone with half a brain is going to want to hire you."

Not if you're late by twenty minutes and you're absolutely unprepared  for your first ever job interview, I thought a few minutes later as I  pushed the heavily tinted glass doors open and found more than a dozen  pair of eyes gazing at me.

"Sorry, sorry," I mumbled red-faced as I force-squeezed my way behind  the row of seats on the left side of the table. It was the only way to  get to the other side of the room. The entire left row of seats was  fully occupied, and their wheels squeaked as the other applicants pushed  their chairs further in so I could pass.

"Ditz," the bottle blonde in a severe black suit not-so-softly sneered  as I walked past her. Since I was wearing my favorite pink suit and  everyone here seemed dressed as if they were in mourning (why did I not  get the memo that black was back as the new black?), I told myself I'd  just let that one go.

Only one chair from the opposite row of the table was taken, occupied by  a man wearing a pinstripe suit and studying a sheaf of papers he held  in one hand. Even seated as he was, he exuded an authoritative aura that  made me gulp. If this man was going after the same job I was applying  for, I might as well give up now.

Taking the seat next to him, I quickly set my bag on the chair on my  other side as I hurriedly hand-combed my shoulder-length brown hair,  which was still half wet from my shower.

People from the opposite row were staring at me oddly. I could feel  their gazes on me, and most of them weren't friendly either. My heart  sank even as I tossed a grateful glance at the unoccupied seat at the  head of the table. Obviously, whoever it was that Kastein, Inc. had  assigned to interview us was also late  –  but what if the other  applicants were planning to tell on me once the interviewer arrived?

Sensing the man next to me turning toward me and not getting any  unfriendly and competitive vibes from him, I silently breathed a sigh of  relief at the thought of having at least one person in the room not  antagonistic towards me.

Friendly smile in place, I said, "Hel-oly shit."

Bottle Blonde gasped.

I cringed at the sound. That was what I should have done. Gasped. But  then  –  who could blame me, really? Anyone would have been completely  shocked at seeing someone so incredibly beautiful in person. Men were  not supposed to be beautiful, dammit. But this one was.

His sun-kissed hair seemed to have all the shades between dark gold to  copper  –  his natural hair color, in other words. It was impossible for  any artificial hair dye to create this kind of hair, which was also  naturally curly. Those adorable curls would have made him look gay if  not for his strong jaw. His eyes were the lightest shade of gray, almost  silver  –  and they were laughing at me, with his sexy-looking lips  curved in a slightly amused grin.

My heart sank for the second time in minutes at the sight of it. Great.  Way to make an impression on a potential rival in the workforce: let him  know he's turned your head around completely.

Desperate to make him forget my embarrassing gaffe, I asked quickly,  "Are you applying for the marketing research position, too?"

He raised a brow, making me wonder what I had said wrong. His sexy  secretive grin still playing on his lips, he said simply, "No."

We stared at each other after that. I didn't want to  –  I swear I didn't  –   but somehow his gaze was commanding and magnetic, and I felt like I  wouldn't be able to pull my gaze away unless he let me. And really, I  knew how ridiculous that sounded  –  especially where I was concerned.

My parents had even nicknamed me "Little Miss Granite" because I was  stubborn as a rock. Even as a kid, I had a tendency to be headstrong  when there was something I wanted.

I have never been a pushover, and yet here I was - a slave to a  stranger's gaze. I was scared that if this man told me to bend over, I'd  ask if he wanted me to take off my undies first or let him do the  honors.

It was a freak-out-worthy thought, considering that I had never thought  of sex in such graphic terms. In fact, the only sex scene I had ever  watched in my life was the one in Breaking Dawn and the only hardcore  part in it was when Edward broke his bed's headboard into pieces. And  all the time, I had kept thinking, if his hands could do that, what  about his … well … you know? Was that even a good thing?

"You're late, you know." The European accent of his voice made my toes  curl. Even so, one part of me was dismayed at his words  –  did he really  have to say that out loud? But the other part of me was just plain  relieved that he spoke. It somehow gave me the strength to look away,  and I did so quickly, training my eyes on his necktie, which was a  lovely silky shade of red. Again, it was the kind that should have made  him look extremely gay. But no, it did not. It just made him more  mouthwateringly sexy.

Still not looking at him, I mumbled, "I miscalculated the traffic on the way here."

"Ah," he said.

I mentally groaned at the sound. It too was very, very sexy. Everything  about this man was just plain sexy, and it was extremely terrifying. You  see, I was what you'd call a sexual prude. My parents had the most  amazing love story ever, and because of it, they sort of drummed into me  since I was old enough to enjoy bedtime stories that I was destined for  an amazingly romantic adventure of my own. Of course, by the time I got  to high school, those bedtime stories had turned into the most horrible  of warnings.

Walter and Carole would constantly warn me of how a man's, umm, member  could end up literally tearing your hymen apart and send you to E.R. if  you weren't made ‘ready' by true love. Since Walter was a top-rated  surgeon and Carole was his nurse for twenty years, you could just  imagine how believable their horror stories had sounded during my  younger years. Of course, I knew better now, but old fears were pretty  hard to kill, especially if you'd been listening to them ever since you  had your first period.