The Billionaire's Mask (A Dark Steamy Romance)

The Billionaire's Mask (A Dark Steamy Romance)

By:  Margarette Grey  Completed
Language: English
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"I am a monster, Miss Hart. You wouldn't want nor wish to see me..." He is mysterious and brilliant, wealthy and prominent, but no single soul has seen him in person. Well, no one should see him—that's one of his many rules. No one can touch him either; that's another rule. Except for me because I have broken every rule. Now I'm extremely drawn to him. His peculiarity is out of this world, and his beauty is beyond physical. But the Master has demons of his own and is being chased by his brutal past. Suddenly, we've become the reflection of each other's nightmares. I realize that the Master and I are not so different. Is this newly found bond just another uncertain fate that could deepen our wounds, or is it finally going to be our redemption?

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172 Chapters
1
ALAYNA“You must never enter Master Brandon’s bedroom or his study. He’s not a very patient man. He allows no one in his room. You can do whatever you want in the house but never go inside his private space unless you are permitted to do so. Do you understand?” Ms. Lennie warns. It is clear in her pale cerulean eyes how serious she is.The head housemaid's hair is ash-colored and seems as if it has been tied in a bun forever. She has a strong countenance and is about five-foot-five. If I had to guess, I’d say she is in her late fifties.“I understand.” I gulp and nod.I always do research before job interviews, so I know a little about the ‘Master.’ He’s twenty-eight, a self-made billionaire, and the sole owner and chairman of Grethe and Elga Enterprises, a telecommunications and electronic consumer company headquartered in Manhattan.But his family background, where he graduated, and his face are all a mystery. No single soul has seen him in person. He never shows up anywhere public
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2
From the central kitchen, we stroll to the main hall and exit to a pathway toward a bridge to the left wing. Mr. Katrakis is taking me to a part of the house I haven’t seen yet.There’s a terrace and an outdoor swimming pool on the second floor that overlook the city skyline.“God! It’s beautiful. I can come up here?” I say as I walk to the metal and glass barriers of the balcony to get a broader view of the city.“Of course, you can,” Mr. Katrakis assures me, stopping by my side.“And I can use the pool?”“No one will stop you.” He smiles. “No one comes here except for me and Lennie, and now you.”“It’s amazing...”The landscape glows blue over the white clouds. He is right; I missed the best part of the mansion during the house tour. Here, I fantasize diving into the pool or probably spending my free day lying under the sun reading a new novel.“Now, why don’t we sit? Tell me more about yourself.” Mr. Katrakis perches on the wooden bench, then offers the space across from him.I bli
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3
I woke up earlier than my alarm this morning. Heck, I barely even slept, with all these inexplicable emotions churning inside me.Nonetheless, I can’t decide if I’m excited or just nervous because I’m sure that work won’t be easy for the next twelve months. I lazily swing my legs out of the bed and step into the bathroom.After a shower, I put on a regular white chef’s uniform and fix my hair. I hurry to the kitchen and arrive a few minutes earlier than Mr. Katrakis. I’m thankful for this, remembering Ms. Lennie’s rules about being on time.“Good morning, Alayna.” He immediately puts on an apron when he walks in. “Are you ready?”“Good morning, sir. Yes, I’m ready!” I reply heartily.He draws out a sheet of paper from the wall and hands it to me. It’s a copy of the meal schedule and the list of dishes he spoke about yesterday. It says breakfast is at seven, noon for lunch, and seven for dinner. Today is Tuesday, so for breakfast, Elipsiomo bread and Kagianas—a scrambled egg dish with
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4
BRANDONTry not to make it too creepy... Try not to make it too creepy...It’s really simple. She’ll just have to pick up the damn phone, and I’ll ask her what I need. It’s not like I’m going to show her my face.It’s very little information in exchange for a fortune I made sure she can’t decline. I saw her profile, so I knew exactly what she would need.Damn it. But how am I supposed to talk to her if I’m this anxious?I have not spoken to anyone besides my closest relatives for a long time. But this is the first time I think I’m close to reaching my objectives, and Oliver assured me that we finally found the right person.That’s what I hope, at least.“Brandon?”I swivel my chair around and meet Oliver’s curious face. “Have you spoken to your new assistant? What is she like?” I ask.“My new assistant or your new informant?” Oliver jokes and laughs. He pulls a chair in front of my desk and sits with his ankle resting on his knee.I roll my eyes. “Oh, please.”“She’s a little nervous
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5
CHAPTER 5Five days later, Oliver still isn’t working in the kitchen, though I’m pretty much enjoying my job as the days go by.Ever since I started writing notes to the elusive Brandon Lucien, I’m beginning to feel his presence—like I’m actually cooking for a person. He isn’t so invisible anymore. He’s actually, and peculiarly, responding to my notes.For today’s lunch, I heartily make him a marinated and smoked chicken with tzatziki sauce. This time, I make him brownies for dessert.I write him a note again.“Try the food with a glass of champagne. It tastes better.”Ms. Lennie doesn’t seem to mind me anymore, but she always tastes the food before serving it to our boss. As usual, I never expect a reaction from her. When she returns, I find another note from him, and this time he provides a note clipper.However, the brownie box went back untouched.I read his note.You’re right. A glass of champagne does make it taste better. But weren’t you told not to improvise? I don’t eat brown
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6
I quietly follow Ms. Lennie as we stroll through a corridor I haven’t seen before. I can’t help but overthink my situation. I suddenly want to speak with Oliver to apologize and probably ask him to help me with his cousin. I don’t want to lose the job.But how do I get away with this? How is it possible that I don’t have to see him to be able to talk to him? What’s the point of talking to me if he will fire me, anyway? Though I remember that he has every reason to. In the past weeks, I tried improvising dishes and sending him notes. Maybe he’s already fed up with me.We stop by another sculptured wooden door.“The Master shall speak with you inside. You don’t need to knock. You’ll find a white door upon getting in. Open the door and sit in the chair provided.” Her face is stone-cold. She is looking at the space behind me, avoiding my eyes. The way she explains it makes me feel like I’m visiting a prisoner.I do what I’m told. There might be a chance I won’t get fired if I obey quietly
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7
Is he going to fire me over some information? I couldn’t lose this job. I have debts, and I have no place to stay in this foreign city. I can’t just go back home, bringing nothing but failure to my family. Well, of course, I still need money, but this job was way more ethical than receiving unlabored cash.“Wait...” I give up. He’s firing me anyway, so why not talk back? “First of all, you signed me up to a one-year contract. You can’t just fire people just because you want to. That’s against the law. My job description is an assistant chef, and what you are asking now isn’t written in the contract. Second, what you are asking for is very private. I can’t just give such information away to strangers, especially to a stranger like you. Why do you want it anyway? I at least want an explanation. Lastly, in all honesty, I can’t trust someone who would speak with me this way. I can’t even see you.”“I hired you, Miss Hart. What makes you think I don’t have the right to fire you? And in all
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8
BRANDONI’ve never been closer to finding one of the persons who could be the reason for my family’s demise before. Finding those murderers has become my life’s purpose. They ruined my life enough.Annette Teller, my father’s fucking mistress. Oliver and I have been looking for her for a long time, and this very intriguing chef is bearing the information in her hands.For some reason, this Alayna Hart has triggered something in me—something inexplicable. I’m very meticulous with the food I consume, as it is one of the few things that can bring me joy in this very boring life. Oliver knows I won’t eat something my tongue would despise. But Alayna makes every meal special, despite not following the rules about improvising. Her little handwritten notes, I admit, are entertaining.Strangely, the person who can bring delight to my meals is also the person who could end my agony. I craved and longed for justice in this life, and I’m finally close to that reality. That way, I may finally get
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9
I can see half of his face through a shaft of light that slips from somewhere in the room. I want to step back, but I’m pinned to the wall with his hands on my wrist, pushing me a little harder. His breathing rapid, his chiseled mouth almost touching mine. A familiar smell of aftershave tickles my nose.“Alayna Hart!”“Oh God—” I look around me as the sharp sound of bells ring.Ms. Lennie glares at me. She is holding a small bell, enough to wake a girl who had an intimidating dream. Next to her are two maids who look precisely alike, and they are staring at me. Obviously, they are trying their hardest not to laugh. Their small, marble eyes betray their fake expressionless look. I feel my face burning with shame.What are they doing here?“The Master will see you in ten minutes. He expects you to be early,” Ms. Lennie says.“What? He’s—he’s what? Why?” I ask in a panic. “What did I do wrong now?”“For your information, young lady, you forced the Master hand with your conditions. I want
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10
Silence fills the room for a couple of seconds. I’m thinking of a reason to divert his attention.“The painting!” I cry. “Uh... the girl in the painting, she’s beautiful. Who is she?” I ask, then swallow hard, praying he won’t remember what I’ve just said.How can I be so stupid? One doesn’t make comments expressing admiration for such a dangerous person. How could I even say those words so quickly? All I wanted was to know why he was hiding from the world when he had nothing to be ashamed of.His expression is annoyed. He stares at me with a questioning look, then takes a deep breath.“I could fire you right away for being too nosy. You’d better be thankful that the information you have won’t make you a jobless newbie.”Wow! I exclaim mentally. Am I supposed to thank him then? It was he who made such fuss about it after telling me he was still going to fire me. I only protected my rights.“Yes, and unfortunately, I still have that information,” I retaliate. His sex appeal shouldn’t o
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