Walking into his brother’s office, Beau Whitaker waited for Sam to get off of the phone before he said anything at all. When Sam finally hung up and looked up at him, Beau wasn’t even sure where to begin.

            He wanted to seem nonchalant, but the girl he’d met in the hallway—Mia—was so beautiful, so intriguing, he wanted to make sure Sam was aware that Beau wouldn’t mind it if he hired her as his new secretary. In fact, if he had any say in it at all, Mia already had the job.

            “What’s up, little brother?” Sam asked, making a note on a sticky before attaching it to a file and moving it across his desk. “Need something?”

            Beau snickered. He didn’t come into Sam’s office often, unless he needed something. There was usually no need to. Sam handled new accounts; Beau handled existing accounts. If they ever needed to meet, their offices had an adjoining conference room where they could discuss whatever they needed to. The view out the floor to ceiling windows of downtown Chicago was breathtaking, but Beau had a similar view out his own window. So… the fact that he was standing there at all was telling.

            “I hear you’re looking for a new secretary,” he finally said, running his fingers along the edge of Sam’s large, finely finished mahogany desk.

            “I don’t have a choice,” Sam replied, clicking his pen a few times as he leaned back in his chair. “Since Bridgette quit, I have to have someone around here to answer the phones.”

            Beau snickered. They both knew Bridgette’s jobs had been plentiful, but answering the phones was rarely one of the duties Sam tasked her with. “Hazards of dating a co-worker, I guess. You break up with her, she’s gotta go.”

            “I’d hardly say we were dating,” Sam argued, sweeping his shaggy dark bangs out of his eye. The brothers looked very similar—same build, same dark hair, but Sam was slightly shorter, a little broader in the shoulders, and his eyes were a jade green while Beaus were the same shade that their mother’s had been.

            “True. That’s hardly what I’d call it either, but I was trying to be polite, I guess.”

            Sam gestured with his arms wide. “For whose benefit?”

            Knowing he was wasting his breath in further explanation, Beau sank down on the edge of one of the two leather upholstered chairs across from his brother’s desk. “Any prospects?”

            “A ton,” Sam said, sighing as if he was the one who had to dig through the stack of applicants or even do any of the interviews. “I’ve been keeping an eye on things.”


            Sam picked up a tablet off of his desk, flipped it on, and handed it over.

            Veronica’s office came into view. It was clear she was wearing a lapel pen that allowed Sam to drop in any time. Across from his assistant, Beau could see a beautiful woman with long, blonde hair sat across from her. It was on mute, but it would’ve been easy for Beau to listen to the interview if he wanted to. “So… what’s your method here?” He offered the iPad back to his brother.

            Sam took it and sat it down on his desk in front of him, only glancing at it briefly. “If it’s a girl Veronica thinks I might be interested in, she calls me, I drop in, check her out, and let Veronica know.”

            “How many girls have you been interested in?”

            Shrugging, Sam said, “I don’t know. Five or six.”

            “Do you know their names?”

            Now, Sam knew something was up. “Why do you want to know?”

            Beau couldn’t keep the smirk off of his face. “I may have ran into one of your potential candidates in the hall, and I was hoping… maybe you’d consider hiring her.”

            Leaning forward in his seat, Sam stared at Beau for a few moments before he said, “Considering the types of services I ask my secretary to perform, why would you want me to hire a woman you’re obviously interested in?”

            It was a good question. “I guess… I just want to see her again.”

            “You want her phone number?”

            Beau chuckled. “No.” He ran a hand through his hair. He felt ridiculous. Why not just call Mia himself. He pulled himself up out of the chair. “Never mind.”

            “What? Why?” Sam asked, his hands stretched out again. “You like her or not? Since when are you so shy?”

            “I’m not.” He walked toward the door. “I’m not. I just… wanted to know what you thought, I guess.”

            Sam still had a smirk on his face. “What’s her name?”

            Beau didn’t even want to tell him. “It’s… uh… Mia.”

            Sam’s countenance changed completely as he studied Beau’s face for a moment. Then, tapping his pen against his chin a few times, he asked, “Long, black hair? Petite—unassuming? Maybe a little lost? Potentially innocent in every way?”

            Swallowing hard at the objectivity his brother had just used to describe the sweet, beautiful girl he’d found wandering the hallways, Beau blew out a deep breath. “Yeah, that’s her.”

            A rich chuckle emanated from Sam’s throat. “Funny. When I saw her, I thought she looked like the sort of girl you’d be excited about.”

            Shaking his head, Beau turned back toward the door. Maybe he should go get Mia’s number from Veronica. It would be stupid and potentially dangerous for him to let Mia work for Sam anyway. He definitely did know what his older brother asked his secretaries to do, and little of it was secretarial.

            “She’s one of my five or six,” Sam shouted as Beau walked halfway out the door. “You still want me to hire her? Maybe we can ask her to handle secretarial services for both of us.”

            Hearing what Sam wasn’t saying, Beau hesitated. He rarely dated women like Mia. His brother had been right about her unassuming personality appealing to him, but he dated rich, elite women, aspiring models, daughters of well-respect businessmen. Not girls who just relocated to the city and had safety pins holding their skirts up.

            But he’d liked her immediately. If she worked here, he wouldn’t necessarily have to date her to see her. If she was the sort of girl that would bend to Sam’s expectations, he might not have to date her to receive her services either.

            Realizing his inner thoughts reflected he was a bit more like his brother than he was willing to admit, Beau found himself nodding. “Yeah, I want you to hire her.”

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