The Alpha's Temporary MateBy: Victoria Davies
Vivian’s eyes had not left the substantial check. Chloe could almost hear her able mind whirling through all the possibilities.
“Not enough?” Kieran asked silkily. “I’m happy to write one for whatever fee you require, if you can ensure absolute secrecy and a top notch candidate.”
“Vivian,” Chloe hissed.
The siren blinked and glanced her way. “Please excuse us for a moment, Mr. Clearwater, while I confer with my associate.” Grabbing her arm, Vivian steered them both down the hall and into her personal office.
Chloe didn’t bother to glance at the icy wonderland she’d just entered. The office was easily thrice the size of hers, decorated in silver from the shimmering wallpaper to the massive metal desk to the trimmings on all the colorless furniture.
“You cannot be considering this,” Chloe said.
Vivian sighed. “I agree it’s an unorthodox request, but this is serious money here.” She waved the check.
“We do an excellent business. We don’t need his bribery.”
“Normally I’d toss him out but you know I’ve been considering expansion for a while now.”
“The West Coast office?” Chloe asked, brightening. If Fated Match expanded to other locations, Vivian would have to move with them to ensure the offices were each started up and managed properly. That would leave their New York agency without a leader, and as the longest-standing employee on record, Chloe would be perfect for the job.
“That caught your interest,” Vivian said. “That money could help fund our new office…leaving this one open for new management.”
The trap snapped shut around her. The siren was nothing if not ruthless when it came to getting what she wanted, and she saw no problem with dangling people’s hopes and dreams before them like carrots to ensure the behavior she desired.
“We’ll write up the contract,” Vivian continued. “Make it magically binding. You can do that easily enough. All participants will be sworn to silence and there will be no chance of our reputation being tarnished. Plus, once completed, we’ll have the capital to grow our business.”
“I still think it’s a terrible idea.”
“Enough to give up your dreams of running this office?”
Chloe hesitated. She didn’t like Kieran using his wealth to force them to serve up some woman to him on a platter. But did she object enough to jeopardize her life’s goal?
“This city is full of women who will jump at the chance to be a powerful man’s arm candy for a few weeks for fair compensation. We can add a no sex clause to the contract if you feel strongly enough about it. Make sure everything is above board and fairly handled,” Vivian said. “Think of the opportunity, Chloe.”
She was. Oh, how she was.
“If I agree to this,” she said, not even believing the words were coming out of her mouth, “you will sign a contract as well, naming me as the acting manager of this office upon the opening of a subsequent Fated Match location. This agency will be mine.”
“Under my brand umbrella,” Vivian agreed. “We’ll have to work out the breakdown of profits and what percentage will be owed to me.”
The siren inclined her head. “You have a deal. Make Kieran happy and New York is yours.”
Chloe arched a brow. “You don’t want to oversee this yourself?”
“You’ll be just as invested as I, and I need the time to put all the wheels in motion to move on. I hear Seattle might be a good place to set up shop.”
She chewed her lip, thinking about the beautiful alpha in her office. All she had to do was find him a gold-digger that met his specification. She already had a few names she could put on the list.
“Fine,” she capitulated. “I’ll do it.”
A cool smile crossed Vivian’s face. “Excellent. As long as we do well by Kieran, he’ll do well by us. And really, how hard is it to keep one werewolf happy?”
“You are impossible to please.”
Kieran merely grinned as he reached for the file Chloe had tossed onto the desk between them. “I just know what I want,” he replied.