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The Replacement

Jessica just landed the job of a lifetime, working as the second-in-command to Scott Michaels. The only problem is Spencer Michaels, the other CEO—and the man she was hired to replace. When he finds out about her, Spencer stops at nothing to make sure she knows her place… And even though he’s blind, going through a divorce, and a total dick, Jessica can’t help but fall for him.

Age Rating: 18+

 

The Replacement by Rebecca Robertson is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.

 


 

The app has received recognition from BBC, Forbes and The Guardian for being the hottest app for explosive new Romance novels.
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1

Summary

Jessica just landed the job of a lifetime, working as the second-in-command to Scott Michaels. The only problem is Spencer Michaels, the other CEO—and the man she was hired to replace. When he finds out about her, Spencer stops at nothing to make sure she knows her place… And even though he’s blind, going through a divorce, and a total dick, Jessica can’t help but fall for him.

Age Rating: 18+

Original Author: Rebecca Robertson

JESSICA

I squinted at the press release on my phone screen: “MICHAELS HOTEL GROUP REVEALS RENOVATION PLANS IN TUSCANY.” Underneath the title was a photo of the two ridiculously photogenic Michaels brothers: Scott and Spencer.

My bosses.

I looked at their smiling faces, internally screaming, Shit shit shit. The press release was early—it wasn’t supposed to come out until next week. Scott was going to have a meltdown.

But I didn’t have time to think about that. I pulled open the door to the boardroom and saw a table filled with men.

They were all middle-aged, wearing some sort of designer suit or another, and looked up at me in surprise.

They probably weren’t expecting someone as young as me to be the second-in-command to Scott Michaels.

Since Spencer had taken time off from helping his brother run their successful hotel development company, Scott had hired me to do everything he couldn’t. Getting the job came as much of a surprise to me as it did to everyone else.

Granted, I did graduate from a top university with an honors degree in business, but that’s not what men like the ones at the boardroom table saw when they looked at me. No, these men saw a pretty twenty-five-year-old with luscious red hair and a picture-perfect smile.

That was why I had to work harder, speak clearer, and think smarter than everyone else in the room. I was a people-pleaser, sure, but I couldn’t have anyone thinking I got the job for any reason other than my capabilities.

“Good morning, gentlemen.” I nodded at them as I took my seat at the table. “Scott’s sorry he couldn’t make it. He’s tied up at the office, but I promise I’ll give him a comprehensive overview of your presentation.”

“You’re the only one he sent?” Mr. Wallace, the man in the charcoal grey suit, asked clicking his tongue.

“I’m his business analyst, Mr. Wallace, so yes. I’ll be here to analyze your business proposal.” The man was clearly annoyed he’d be presenting his million-dollar proposal to some girl young enough to be his daughter, but I didn’t care. “Whenever you’re ready.”

The man sighed and slid a folder toward me. I opened it, seeing a bunch of documents with figures inside. I took a peek as he began to speak.

“Tropic Relaxation is known for its spas around the world. We know that a partnership with the Michaels Hotel Group will increase profit for both of us. If you look at the figures on the first sheet, you’ll see our last month’s profit at a hotel similar in size and location to where your Delilah Estate is.”

The Delilah Estate was the hotel we had in Tuscany, and we were looking to revamp it. That included adding a state-of-the-art spa, which is why I was in this boardroom. Tropic Relaxation was just one of many spa companies looking to win the bid.

I closed the folder of documents and looked Mr. Wallace in the eye. “Tell me, what’s your most profitable spa service?” As an analyst, it was easy to just read the numbers, but that never got you the full picture.

The reason I stood out in university, the reason why I got this job, was because I’m good at reading more than just numbers. I’m good at reading people.

Mr. Wallace blinked back at me. “Our most profitable service? The signature facial, of course. It attracts every kind of client—male, female, young, old. We’ve never had a shortage of requests for it at any of our spas.”

I nodded, pushing back my chair and getting to my feet. “Thank you, gentlemen,” I said as I smiled at them. “I’ll take this back to—”

“What, that’s it?” Mr. Wallace’s right-hand man, the one in the navy suit, hollered from his chair. “You ask us one question and walk out? You haven’t been here ten minutes!”

“I’ve gotten a good read of your proposal and—”

“Are you even twenty yet? You’ve barely been alive long enough to get a good read of anything!”

I stopped moving, looking right at him. “I’ve been alive long enough to know your business is run on convention, not on innovation. Your staff looks at what’s on the page, not what’s between the lines.”

I saw Mr. Wallace’s eyes narrow. I continued anyway. “The Swedish massage is your most profitable service, Mr. Wallace. One look at the figures told me that. Sure, the numbers for the custom facial are impressive—but they ignore the cost. The cost of all the materials needed.”

“You think you can do my job better than me?” Mr. Wallace seethed, slowly rising from his chair.

Yes, you idiot.

But I didn’t say that. Instead, I said, “You run a great business. But I can see Tropic Relaxation is happy conducting its operations safely, the same way it always has. Scott’s looking for something new with this project. Something fresh. But like I said, I’ll show him your proposal.”

I took the folder off the table and turned to leave. “Goodbye, gentlemen,” I said as I pulled the boardroom door open. As I walked out into the hall, I was pretty sure I heard one of them refer to me as skank bitch.

I shook my head. I wondered why Scott had sent me here at all—Tropic Relaxation had a reputation for being old and boring. Which was the opposite of what our brand was. And beyond that, it was incredibly out of character for my boss to send me to a proposal meeting alone.

Scott Michaels might have been born and bred for his job, but that didn’t mean he took it for granted. The opposite was true, actually. Scott lived and breathed for his company—he oversaw every decision personally, no matter how small.

Which was why, when he sent me a last-minute email this morning about taking this meeting myself, it felt more than a little off.

Whatever the reason, I’d wasted a half hour of my morning, and I was eager to get back to work.

When the cab pulled up to the impressive Michaels Hotel Group building, I jumped out and hurried through the doors.

By the time I was riding the elevator up to the top floor, to where Scott’s and my offices were, I’d had the chance to take my phone out and check my emails. Forty-four new emails since I’d last checked.

Great.

I was striding through the floor, about to turn into my office, when I heard loud voices shouting from inside Scott’s office across the hall. So, that must be the meeting that had tied Scott up. The door was ajar, but I could only make out Scott’s back inside.

“The fucking nerve you have—” a man thundered.

I heard Scott sigh. “Can you just relax for one second, so I can explain—?”

“Explain what? How you went behind my goddamn back and did the one thing we agreed you wouldn’t do?”

“You’re turning this into treason, Spencer.” Spencer. As in, Spencer Michaels. Scott’s older brother. And my other boss. Technically. “It’s not like I did it out of spite—come on, you know that. But I can’t take it all on, not alone—”

“Who are you?” a small voice said from below me, and I snapped out of my eavesdropping session to find a young girl, maybe five years old. She was wearing a tutu skirt and pigtails. I looked around to see who she belonged to but came up empty.

“I’m Jessica. Where are your parents?” I asked, crouching down.

But instead of responding, the girl just grabbed my hand and pulled me across the hall, into Scott’s office. She let go when I was standing in the middle of the room.

Both the men stopped talking, and I looked at Scott first, giving him a sorry-to-interrupt glance before turning to his brother.

Woah.

I’d never seen Spencer Michaels in person before. Everything about him, from his dirty blonde hair to his square jaw, to his muscular arms in that button-down shirt, made me salivate. The man was a goddamn Greek god.

“Who is she?” the little girl asked again, pointing right at me.

“Leila, this is Jessica,” Scott answered. “Leila’s Spencer’s daughter,” he offered to me, but before I could respond, Spencer started up again.

This is her?” he raged. “This is the twenty-five-year-old you hired to take over my job?

It hit me then that the argument I was eavesdropping on was about me.

“She’s not taking over your job, Spencer.”

“I can come back later,” I tried to say, but Spencer interrupted.

“Leila, go choose a snack from the kitchen, please,” he instructed his daughter.

“But I’m not hungry!”

Leila,” he repeated. I watched as she crossed her arms over her chest and stomped out of the room. Then Spencer turned to me.

“Tell me, what makes you think you’re so qualified to help run a company that has been in my family for sixty-five years? Tell me why you think you’re so deserving,” he practically spat at me.

He wasn’t really looking at me at all, though. His emerald green eyes were stuck about two inches to the left of where I stood. I knew Spencer Michaels was blind, it was no secret. Everyone who read any sort of tabloid knew it.

He had gone in for brain surgery last year, and when he woke up from the operation, he couldn’t see a thing. That was why he’d taken time away from the company. It was very tragic, of course, especially given the fact his wife had filed for divorce not three months later. But I didn’t feel that much pity for him at the moment.

“Excuse me?” I asked, not about to let him walk all over me.

“Was I unclear? You’re doing my work—work I spent a decade nailing down. It’s my relationships, my processes, that you’re using, for my family’s goddamn company.”

“Well, I’m sorry my being hired was a surprise to you, but I was under the impression you knew,” I said, shooting Scott a look. “And just because I wasn’t handed a family business does not mean I’m incapable. I’ve worked my ass off to get here, and I’m good at what I do.”

Scott nodded. “Jessica’s been a huge help around here. With you gone, I need someone to help me handle everything—”

“I’ve only been gone a few months!”

“Six months, Spencer. And you know I’m good with you taking all the time you need. But I can’t do it alone.”

Spencer sighed a loud sigh, and then he did something I wasn’t expecting. He took a couple steps toward me, so there was maybe an inch separating us. And my body…it felt like it erupted in flames.

This time, his eyes were directly on me, not an inch to the side. It felt like he was reading me, even though I knew that was impossible.

“Jess, was it?” he asked, his breath hot on my cheek.

This is beyond inappropriate.

“Jessica.” I responded.

“Well, Jess, proceed with caution. Because I’ll be watching your every move here. And I’m not as nice a boss as my little brother.”

And then, Spencer left the office, and I heard him call for his daughter as he walked down the hall. I exhaled the breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding.

“That press release…” Scott started talking, but I couldn’t focus. My mind was still on Spencer Michaels and his glistening green eyes.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

2

JESSICA

THUD.

My day planner fell off the desk. Fuck. It was too cluttered. The whole office was too cluttered. I got up and walked around the desk to pick it up. I was crouched over, reaching for the planner, when I heard someone clear their throat behind me.

“That’s not a very professional position,” I heard a man say.

I turned, and there was Spencer Michaels. In all his tall, muscular, chiseled glory. I felt my cheeks burn hot.

“How… how—?”

“How can I see?” he asked with a smirk. Spencer Michaels, one of the two heads of this company, was blind. “I could hear you rummaging around down there. Which meant your hands were on the floor, which in turn meant it’d be safe to assume your ass was in the air.”

“Excuse me…” I stammered, shocked this man—my boss—was speaking so crudely.

“Don’t worry. I’m sure it looked good,” he said, stepping closer to me. “Better than good, in fact.”

“What are you doing, Mr. Michaels?” I got out when he was just a step away from me. I was already backed up against my desk—I couldn’t move back any further. And I didn’t know if he was stepping so close to me on purpose, or if he didn’t know where I was.

“Oh, Jess, you can call me Spencer.”

“It’s Jessica. What are you doing here?”

“I told you I’d be keeping a close watch on you, didn’t I?” he breathed, his face leaning in close to mine. My whole body trembled. This was wrong. He must know what he’s doing. He must know the effect he’s having on me.

“Does Scott know you’re here?” I stammered.

But Spencer didn’t answer. Instead, he lifted a finger to my face, slowly dragging it from my temple down to my ear. The soft touch sent shivers down my spine, and I felt the heat in my core grow.

God, he was sexy.

Jessica, stop that. He’s your boss.

But my inner voice shut up the second his finger coiled a piece of my long red hair. He pulled it tight, and the pain felt good. A moan slipped out of my mouth.

“You like that?” he whispered.

Fuck. What was this man doing to me?

He released the lock of hair and slid his finger back to my cheek, to my mouth, and then, he was outlining my lips. I could feel the wetness between my legs, and he hadn’t touched me with more than a finger.

This was insane.

What are you doing, Jessica?

But then, he pushed his finger between my lips, into my mouth, and I started sucking like I’d been born to do it. My eyes were locked on his, and he was looking back, right at me. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t see. I knew he could feel my gaze.

He was moving his finger in and out of my mouth, and I was sucking, twisting my tongue all around it. It was the most erotic thing I’d ever been a part of. Innocent, and so, so wrong.

I needed more. I needed to feel him moving this fast somewhere else, deeper into me, further inside… I was so turned on, but I needed release. I needed release now!

I was so close. How was this happening? How was I this fucking close to a—?

KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK.

“JESSICA!”

I shot up in my bed, my heart racing at a mile a minute. I looked around. I was in my bedroom. In my West London apartment. I squeezed my eyes shut. I could still feel the remnants of my arousal.

But it was just a dream. Just a goddamn wet dream. About my boss.

KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK.

“JESSICA, OPEN YOUR FUCKING DOOR!” I heard Sam’s voice shout from the outside hallway. I ran out of bed to the front door and found my older brother staring back at me.

“You never sleep this late.”

“What time is it?” I demanded.

He held his phone up to me, and I saw the time on the screen. 8:17 a.m.

“SHIT!” I screamed, running to the bathroom. “I must’ve slept through the alarm. That never happens. Scott’s going to kill me!” I cried as I smeared foundation all over my face.

But Sam just walked in through the doorway laughing.

“What?” I asked him.

He lifted the phone screen up again. This time, it was 6:43 a.m.

The asshole kept on laughing. Louder now, in fact.

I exhaled. “I’m gonna get you back one of these days,” I promised.

“I’m waiting,” he responded with a huge smile.

***

“You don’t need to worry—” Scott Michaels said from behind his desk. But I waved the post-it note in front of his face. The post-it note that had taunted me from the second I walked into my office.

“This tells me I do need to worry! Do you see what it says?”

Scott sighed. “I see what it says, Jessica. He’s just trying to make sure the company’s in good hands.”

“It says, and I quote, I am watching you.” Which was ironic, considering it came from Spencer Michaels. Spencer Michaels, who was blind. But I didn’t note the irony to Scott. “I don’t understand why you didn’t tell him about me before.”

“For exactly this reason. I didn’t want him to freak out.”

“Well, that worked well,” I responded, before checking my attitude. “Sorry. I just have enough daily stress without the added bonus of another boss looking down my neck.”

“He won’t be looking down your neck, Jessica.”

I nodded even though I was still uncertain. But then, something dawned on me. “Is my contract…is my contract still intact? He can’t technically void it or anything, right?”

“You’re taking his joke way too seriously.”

“I’m just making sure.”

“Trust me, Jessica. Spencer has enough to worry about outside of the Michaels Hotel Group to keep him plenty busy,” Scott informed me.

“You mean, the divorce?”

“The divorce, the custody battle…” Huh. That part wasn’t in the tabloids yet.

“The custody battle? I haven’t heard about that.”

“Well, Spencer’s trying hard to keep it out of the press for a reason,” Scott said, giving me a look. A look that said, now I know you read the tabloids.

I shook my head. “I’m not interested for the sake of being interested, Scott. We have to think about the optics of the company. If Spencer’s being dragged through the mud in the tabloids, that won’t reflect well—”

“Spencer isn’t being dragged through the mud in the tabloids. He has a bitch of an ex-wife who cheated on him, shoved a divorce down his throat the second he became blind, and is now using his blindness as a defense for her custody plea.”

I swallowed. “Right.”

“It’s not for you to worry about. All you have to know is that Spencer has his hands full, so you can just focus on doing your job. Forget about him and his scare tactics,” he said, motioning to the post-it in my hand.

I nodded even though I knew it’d be impossible to forget about him, with or without the scare tactics. In fact, ever since I met Spencer Michaels yesterday afternoon, ever since I’d dreamt of his crudeness, his touch…I hadn’t been able to get him out of my mind.

“You have tea with Craig at one. Don’t be late,” Scott said, pulling me out of my head.

I nodded again. Craig Sharp, the father of Scott’s fiancée, was a very important business advisor to the company.

Craig had asked Scott to set up a tea so he could get to know me. But I knew what get to know meant. It meant judge. It meant figure out if the new twenty-five-year-old female hire was competent, or if she just had a nice ass.

I headed back to my office, ready to get some work done before I had to leave for tea. I was actually kind of looking forward to it. Regardless of whether Craig was a pain in the ass or not, he would make a good distraction.

And at the moment, I’d welcome any sort of distraction at all. Anything to take my mind off the handsome face with the green eyes. Anything.

***

I strode into the Ritz hotel in Piccadilly, London by myself, and saw Craig Sharp already seated at a table. He was good-looking for his age, with silver hair and a deep tan. When he saw me coming, he rose to greet me.

“You must be Scott’s new Spencer.”

“Jessica,” I said, shaking his hand.

“Well, come on, Jessica. Let’s have a drink.”

Craig waved down the server and ordered two whiskeys, neat. My eyebrows shot up—it was one o’clock on a Tuesday, but Craig didn’t seem to mind one bit.

“I hear you’re doing a good job,” Craig said after he took his first gulp. He eyed me, ready to read whatever response I gave him.

“It’s been an honor to work for the Michaels so far.”

“Enough of the pageant answers, Jessica. Tea is for dishing.”

“And what do you think I have to dish about?”

“Look at you. An attractive young woman in a company full of power-hungry men. You must have your finger on the pulse of what goes on.”

“A lady never shows her hand, Mr. Sharp.” I smiled, taking a sip of my drink.

“Don’t listen to her, Craig. Jess isn’t old enough to be a lady.” At the sound of his voice, I almost choked on the whiskey. I whipped my head around, and there he was.

Spencer Michaels.

Wearing a grey cashmere sweater and jeans, his bronzed skin and light hair seemed all the more golden. He looked like fucking Hercules, if Hercules went to Oxford.

“Spencer. Been too long, my friend,” Craig said, shaking his hand.

“What are you doing with this one?” Spencer responded, nodding in my direction.

My name is Jessica,” I managed to get out.

“Getting to know her a bit. Scott said she’d be around for a while—”

“Did he?” Spencer smiled.

“What are you doing here, Spencer?” I asked, trying to sound genuinely curious.

“I have a meeting. My guest is late. You don’t mind if I sit, do you?” he asked, already dropping into a chair.

“I’ll grab you a drink,” Craig announced, heading to the bar.

“You’re infiltrating all the right places,” Spencer said to me.

“Infiltrating? I’m not James Bond.”

“Certainly not with that body,” he replied, and my cheeks burned. Did he just say…? “Yes. Under certain light, I can see shapes. You got my note?”

“Yes. Thank you for that,” I said tersely, trying to get my body under control, to force myself to remain professional. But he slid his chair closer to mine, and it was enough to raise the hairs on the back of my neck.

“Jess, I’m going to be real with you. I’m not happy you’ve been hired—”

“Oh, well that’s a shock.” But as I said that, Spencer Michaels dropped his hand onto my thigh, silencing me. My breath hitched, and immediately, heat exploded between my legs. He leaned in close, so his mouth was right next to my ear.

“I’m not happy you’ve been hired, but I don’t mind how you react to seeing me,” he whispered.

“What?” I snapped.

“Being blind means my other senses are heightened.”

“So?”

“I can smell you, Jess. I can smell your arousal.”

EXCUSE ME?” I demanded, jumping up from my chair, but Spencer just stood up, too.

“Excuse me,” he said with a smile, and then he walked to a new table and took a seat.

“Is everything all right? Where’s Spencer?” Craig Sharp asked when he returned to the table with fresh drinks. I pointed—I couldn’t do much else. I was still trying to figure out what had just happened.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

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