Beyond the Boardroom #1
Anything but business as usual.
Billionaire CEO Nic Price lives for his job. With sales down and grumbling from the board of directors—including Nic’s permanently dissatisfied father—the last thing Nic needs is distraction from the new manny, whose freewheeling approach to childcare is outlandish... and who makes Nic feel things he’s never allowed himself to feel.
Ex-teacher Sasha Lindsey is all about fun—that’s the reason people love him, so he has to be. After a bad break-up leaves him jobless and homeless, the live-in manny job with Mr. Price seems like a windfall. But his chemistry with Nic is off the charts, and he can’t afford another workplace romance disaster.
Can Nic leave his dominance in the bedroom and open his heart to the best thing that’s ever happened to him? Or will Sasha’s leap of faith backfire and ruin his chances at the family happily ever after he’s always dreamed of?
- 2 To Be Read lists
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Bad Breakup, Families/Raising Kids
Word Count: 60500
Setting: Vashon, WA; Seattle, WA
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
What the fuck? The den was trashed. It would take more than a good Hoover to suck the dried bits of tree from the carpet, and somehow, the popcorn had ended up everywhere, not only around the table where the kids worked. Nic’s blood pressure shot up to dangerous levels, and his fists clenched as he fought the urge to blow up. This was the last thing he needed right now. On Sunday, his parents would be over for brunch, giving Nic only one day to get the mansion to rights before they arrived.
Another burst of laughter from the kids galvanized him, driving his feet forward until he stood over them. This situation was far from funny. Lucy and Ben should have been studying and working on homework instead of screwing around with garish Christmas decorations. The two kids noticed him finally, their laughter dying like a switch flipped somewhere. Lucy jumped to her feet, rubbing her hands down the sides of her faded jeans.
“H-Hi, Uncle Nic. Did you have a good trip?”READ MORE
Not in any mood for small talk, Nic ignored her question. “What the hell is all this?” He gestured broadly around the den. “Where’s Ms. Lindsey? Hasn’t she been watching you two?”
Ben tucked his knees toward his chest and continued threading his popcorn without even a glance at Nic, his lips forming a tight line. However, Lucy narrowed her eyes and gave him a smirk in response.
“I’m not in the mood for games. Where is she, Lucy?”
She cleared her throat and looked over Nic’s shoulder. “Ms. Lindsey just walked in.”
Bracing himself to get rid of yet another caretaker, Nic drew a deep breath and turned. Immediately, the breath whooshed out of his lungs. A sudden gut punch couldn’t have taken him more by surprise than the man standing in front of him, holding a tray with three steaming beverage mugs.
“Hi, Sasha. What took you so long?” Lucy said from behind Nic in her chirpy, fake-cheery voice. The man didn’t seem to hear her at first, his bright cobalt eyes surveying Nic from top to bottom. Barefoot, his dirty blond hair deliciously tousled, and wearing somewhat loose jeans and a rumpled blue T-shirt that matched his eyes, the man—Sasha—appeared freshly rolled out from a nap.
A jolt of interest spread heat through Nic’s body, centered right at his groin. If Nic had an ideal dream man, this was him—slightly shorter than Nic with broad shoulders tapered to a trim waist, an athletic build without too much bulk, and thick, iron-hard thighs perfect for wrapping securely around a man’s hips.
“It’s not from a mix, Lucy. Best things in life are worth waiting for.” The rich, deep voice had a slight rasp to it that only added to the “just awoken” image in Nic’s head, sending a lick of sensation dancing right along Nic’s spine.
Despite his answer having been directed at Lucy, Sasha’s eyes never strayed from Nic. After only a moment’s hesitation, he continued toward Nic and leaned down beside him to place the tray on the coffee table.
As he stood, he offered his hand. “Sasha Lindsey. Glad to finally meet you, Mr. Price.”
Sasha’s grip was firm, strong, and didn’t last nearly long enough. Eyes up, Nic. Fuck! Dragging his eyes away from Sasha’s masculine hands, lined with sexy veins roping along his muscular arms, Nic fought the urge to drift his gaze lower to the bulge below Sasha’s waistband.
“Call me Nic.” As much as he enjoyed the sound of Sasha calling him “Mister,” he didn’t relish being called by his father’s name at home on a daily basis.
When a throat cleared behind him, he glanced over his shoulder to where both kids watched him with wide eyes and raised brows. Though he’d love to sort them out about proper treatment of his home in his absence, he needed to deal with the manny first. Maybe without the audience, though.
He turned back to Sasha. “I was expecting…. Um, well.”
Sasha’s genuine, throaty laugh revealed sinful dimples that made Nic’s breath catch in his throat.
“You were expecting a spinsterly old woman in support hose, weren’t you?”
Nic couldn’t help chuckling despite his frustration over the state of his house. “Something along those lines. Can you, uh, spare a few minutes to talk?” He tipped his head toward the foyer outside the den.
Sasha nodded, still grinning, and then pointed at the kids. “You two drink your cider before it gets cold.” The warmth in their answering smiles smacked into Nic’s head like a two-by-four. When was the last time he’d seen them smile like that? Or smile at all? Granted he’d been gone for a couple of weeks, and he’d been too busy holding the business afloat lately to spend much time with them, but even when they were younger, the expression had been a rare occurrence.
Except before, when their mother was still alive.
What would Josie think if she saw her kids now? If only there’d been someone more fitting to raise Lucy and Ben, some nurturing godparents somewhere. Because heaven knew he was fucking everything up with them. As he led the way to the foyer, Nic clenched his jaw. He didn’t have time or energy to fix things with them yet, not with the company struggling, his parents breathing down his neck, and all his late hours. Fuck if he even had a clue how to deal with the kids and get them on the right track, but a good start would be getting rid of this manny, who obviously couldn’t maintain discipline with them.
Problem was, now that he’d seen the manny, he wasn’t sure his libido was ready to get rid of the golden-haired Adonis.COLLAPSE