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He was the most powerful man in England.
No one liked to admit it, but he was even more powerful than the Queen.
At such a young age, he already had built several corporations around the world and had more money than anyone in the country.
The secret to his success was that he was ruthless.
Mason Campbell laughed in the face of death.
I heard that he could make anyone disappear and never be found again, with just a wave of his hand.
To make matters worse, he had been named the U.K.’s Sexiest Man Alive for five years in a row.
There’s nothing more dangerous in the world than a man with money and impossibly good looks.
Mason Campbell had an infinite supply of both.
I know this sounds like the kind of person I’d want to stay far, far away from.
But if I played my cards right, the devil himself would soon be my boss.
“Why don’t you try to work somewhere else?” my roommate Beth asked. “This job sounds horrible.”
“How sure are you that I am even going to get it?” I asked her.
A lot of people wanted to work at Campbell Industry and a lot of people were going to be interviewed. Only one of us would be able to get the job, and I seriously doubted that I would be the one.
Some of the girls were only after him, not the job.
“Zero percent sure.” Beth laughed, earning a glare from me. “I can’t see any good working there. That place is nothing but terrifying. It’s filled with nothing but control and darkness.”
I drew the pillow close against my chest.
“You know”—Beth looked at me, her emerald gaze piercing—”I’d love to be there tomorrow just to see you cower in fear at his presence,” she ended with a laugh.
“Shut up.” I grinned, throwing the pillow at her. “I’m not going to cower. I’m not afraid.”
She raised a challenging eyebrow. “Oh really? You’ve never been in his presence before. You don’t know what you will feel like.”
Nervous and a whole lot of uncomfortable, I thought, biting my lip.
“If I come home crying, you shouldn’t even be surprised,” I said.
“I will keep the tissues ready.”
“Girl, you wish.” I glared playfully at her.
Her smile faded and she looked at me with a serious expression. “You’re going to do fine in the interview, Lauren. Your resume is great. I’m sure you’ll be picked among the hundreds of people.”
I smiled weakly. “I hope so.”
I really did, because it was the only job I found that would pay me well enough…
Well enough to pay my dad’s medical bills and for all his treatments.
He had stage four cancer. And he was the only person I had left after my mom ran out on us when I was ten.
Dad had to go through hell to raise me. Now it was my turn to take care of him. Even if that meant signing a deal with the devil.
Morning came sooner than I had expected.
It took me ten minutes to get ready. I straightened my spine and smoothed my worn-out gray skirt that reached my knees.
My light blue blouse was tucked inside my skirt. My cheeks were rosy, setting off the sparkle in my hazel eyes which slanted slightly upward and were thickly fringed with lashes.
You can do this, Lauren, I thought to myself.
But the encouragement did little to calm my nerves.
I took a taxi and when I told him where he would take me, he looked shocked.
He asked me again where he would take me, and I told him the address.
“Are you sure that is where you want to go, ma’am?” he asked, unsure of himself.
“Yes,” I said, growing annoyed.
He didn’t say anything afterward, but I would occasionally catch him looking at me through the rearview mirror as if he couldn’t believe I was going to such a place.
He stopped the car across from Campbell Industry.
When I was about to ask him why he wouldn’t drop me off near the building, he said, “Sorry, ma’am, but no taxi is allowed near the building. I have to drop you off here.”
My mouth shaped into an O, and I shook my head in disbelief.
I walked out and readjusted my blouse. If anyone stopped to observe me, they would see nervousness oozing off of me.
Campbell Industry stared down at me. It was a huge building that had about sixty floors.
It was large, wide, and intimidating. I carefully strode past a security guard at the entrance and into the building.
I was met with a lot of people that were strolling around in their expensive, neat clothes and I felt self-conscious about what I was wearing.
They seemed to be on edge, like they were holding the entire world on their shoulders.
I went directly up to the receptionist nervously. She was a redheaded woman, dressed elegantly in blue.
Her hazel eyes sized me up, her expression filled with pure distaste.
“The coffee shop is down the street, ma’am,” she said with a hint of a slight Italian accent.
“What?” I asked, confused.
She stared at me as if I were a dimwit.
“Isn’t that where you want to go?”
“No. I’m here for an interview.”
She raised her perfect eyebrow, her mouth curving up. “Oh?”
Sizing me up again, she clicked her tongue before meeting my gaze again.
I wanted to punch her face. She didn’t think I belonged here. How dare she!
The receptionist inhaled dramatically before plastering on a fake smile.
“Twentieth floor. Take a left and you’ll find yourself among the lot that are here for the interview.”
My lips twitched.
Was she insinuating that there were a lot of people for the interview and I had zero chance of getting it?
“Thanks,” I gritted out.
“Good”—she looked me up and down again, her smile turning upside down—“luck.”
I was feeling a bit miffed, but I tried to calm myself down and made my way into the elevator. My back hit the wall and I closed my eyes.
Was this such a good idea after all?
I wanted to leave, but I knew I had to stay. This was the only place with a good salary.
I was doing this for dad. I shouldn’t be thinking twice about working here.
Working here? You don’t even have the job yet, and you don’t know if you’d be the lucky one.
Tightening my eyes, I hoped this interview would be a success. I couldn’t afford to mess it up.
Dad’s life was on the line here.
You will do great if you’d just calm down and believe in yourself.
“Aren’t you going to get off?” I was startled by a man’s voice beside me.
I realized that I had reached the twentieth floor and I mumbled a quick apology to the older man in a gray suit and stepped out.
The entire left wall was a huge window and I stared at the amazing view of London.
I followed the instructions the receptionist told me and true to her words, there were a lot of people.
There were so many that I wasn’t even able to see the end of them. And they all wore nice clothes.
A group of girls spared a glance at me and I heard them laugh a little.
Was something on my face?
Looking up, I noticed that they hadn’t stopped looking my way and weren’t subtle about it.
Just because they were looking hotter than me and were dressed in nicer clothes didn’t mean I should be treated this way.
I pushed my way through tons of bodies, trying to find a place to sit.
I spotted an empty chair at the end of the room and made my way to it. But before I could sit, a man beat me to it. He shrugged his shoulders at me and I glared back at him.
I turned to go back to where I was, but before I knew it, I was being pushed by bodies in different directions.
I found myself being pushed through a silver door at the end of the room.
The door shut automatically. I panicked when it wouldn’t budge at all. I tried again, but the same thing happened. It just wouldn’t budge.
I turned around to see where I was, and I found myself in a long, dim hallway with an elevator at the end of it.
I heaved a sigh of relief. A way out. It slid open when I pushed the button, and I quickly hurried inside.
I went to press the twenty-first-floor button, but there was only one button in this elevator, with a Campbell logo on it.
My face screwed up.
Deciding that it would be best to go there rather than stay here trapped with no way out, I pushed the button.
My heart started to race for some reason, and I found my hands shaking slightly. It felt stuffy in here and I felt like there was a presence of something terrifying.
What was wrong with me?
The elevator stopped and it slid open. I got out as quickly as I got in. Maybe I would be able to breathe in here.
What was this place?
I scanned my surroundings and my jaw dropped.
The office was gigantic and breathtaking. Everything in here screamed wealth.
The white leather seats were shining. I didn’t want to touch them in case I ruined them.
And the veiw…it was just amazing.
I gasped when my eyes caught a painting. on the wall. I realized that it was the painting that had been the talk of the whole country after it sold to an anonymous buyer for a billion pounds.
A billion pounds.
There was a fireplace and a large flat-screen TV on the wall. Literally everything in the office was white. Even the pens were white.
I heard the door being burst open and several footsteps. Before I could even realize what was happening, I felt a hand clamp down on my shoulder, pushing me roughly to the floor.
And then I felt something cold and hard pressing into my forehead. It was the barrell of a gun. Oh. My. God.
This totally happens in movies. There was no way this was real. No way was I on the floor with a gun to my head like a bloody criminal.
I attempted to raise my head to see who was holding me at gun-point, but it was pushed back down. I winced and gritted my teeth.
“State your reason for being in a private office before I blow your brains out,” a deep voice barked out.
How was I supposed to know it was off-limits?
I shook in fear.
“I…I got lost. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to be here.
“I’m sorry. Please don’t shoot me,” I pleaded as I closed my eyes and prayed to God that I wouldn’t end up dead, staining the floor of this pristine office with my blood.
“Stand down, Gideon,” another voice said, making me sigh in relief.
I felt the man draw back the gun that he had at the back of my head.
But my relief was short-lived.
I stayed down on the floor, not sure if I had permission to stand.
“Get up,” the new voice commanded.
I didn’t need to be told twice.
As I rose, the air in the office shifted.
A chill blasted me, making my heart beat fast in my chest. I could almost feel a rush of emotion, a powerful force seeking to prove its fury.
I saw his angry footsteps approaching me before I had the courage to look up at his face.
His powerful pose was enough to make me nearly fall over again.
He breathed hard, his broad, well-muscled chest rising and falling as if he’d just run a marathon.
He was dressed in black from head to toe, wearing a suit that could barely contain his powerful arms.
His face was carved by the gods, with cheekbones that would make any man or woman jealous, a straight nose, and thick red lips.
And his eyes.
Oh, God, his eyes were pure silver.
They were the most intense, yet cold eyes I had ever seen in my life.
He raked his fingers through his dark hair, his silver eyes ready to devour any poor soul stupid enough to glance his way.
His glare was fierce enough to wipe out the existence of mankind.
It was him. Mason Campbell. The country’s most vicious, attractive man alive.
And he was walking straight toward me.