Cece Fells is one of the most talented young bakers in London. That is, until her billionaire landlord, Brenton Maslow, bulldozes her bakery to put up a bloody carpark! Now the disgruntled cupcake-maker is on a mission to destroy the insufferably attractive CEO of Maslow Enterprises—if she doesn’t fall in love with him first.
Age Rating: 18+
Destroying the CEO by Kimi L Davis is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.
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The ding of the oven brought a smile to my face. Finally, the cupcakes were done.
Slipping on my kitchen gloves, I pulled the cupcake tray out of the oven and placed it on the countertop.
My customer’s order was due in two hours, and I had to do my best to make it as visually appealing as possible.
A smile on my customer’s face was like a monetary bonus for me. It proved that my hard work had paid off.
“Cece!” I rolled my eyes when I heard my neighbor’s voice. Leave it to Mrs. Druid to come and shock me for the day.
The woman was forty, but she acted as if she were twenty.
And I couldn’t even talk about her choice of clothing.
“Yes, Mrs. Druid?” I smiled as I got my frosting ready for decoration. It took everything in me not to grimace at her outrageous outfit of the day.
She stood there in a neon-yellow dress with red high heels that could’ve been mistaken for weapons—which I believed they were because they must have been killing her feet.
Her stiff face—thanks to the Botox—was covered in makeup as if she were getting ready to hit the pub.
And one could not ignore the elaborate updo that she was sporting on her head.
“Cece, my darling! How have you been? Oh my, do you ever get a chance to go out and enjoy life? Every time I come to your shop I see you working and working. Why don’t you hire another person? You will die of exhaustion if you continue doing everything by yourself,” she suggested.
The woman may have had a strange sense of fashion, but she had a good heart.
“Mrs. Druid, I told you again and again that I like doing things by myself. And I don’t trust people easily. I am used to doing the work and I enjoy it immensely,” I replied as I piped a perfect blue swirl on the cupcake.
“I know, my darling, but I just worry about you. You are so young; you must go out and enjoy like I do,” she said, her light-gray eyes shimmering with concern.
“I enjoy working, and this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” I continued piping the swirls as I talked, watching the creamy swirls stand on top of the cupcakes like crowns.
“You are a strange one.” She paused. “I hope your shop doesn’t get demolished.” Her words had my swirls pausing midway.
“What do you mean?”
“Oh, nothing. I heard from one of my friends that this business tycoon is looking to buy a large area. If he chooses to buy this area, then your little bakery will be demolished, and you will be out of business,” she informed me.
“No! It is not possible. He cannot come and demolish my shop. I paid for it, and no one can touch a single brick without my written and verbal permission. Who is this tycoon anyway?”
No way would this man crush my business.
I’d worked hard for this, and I would not let some nobody come and tear it down.
“Brenton Maslow.” That was all she had to say. Those two words were enough to get my blood boiling.
Brenton Maslow, the youngest son of the most powerful family in the whole country. I had never seen his face, but I knew he was arrogant and powerful.
But no worries; if he dared to ruin my business, I would ruin his life instead.
I finished the swirls on my cupcakes and quickly sprinkled edible pearls on top before placing each cupcake carefully in the box.
“Doesn’t matter. He cannot touch my shop. I will hunt him down if I have to,” I stated as I removed my apron and got ready to deliver the cupcakes.
“Now. If you don’t mind, I have cupcakes to deliver and you have a party to go to.”
“All right, I can take a hint.” She started backing out of the shop. “Be careful, Cece. Don’t let that man lead you into trouble.”
I rolled my eyes as I exited my shop, making sure to lock it. As if any man could dare to lead me anywhere.
I placed the box of cupcakes in the container that was attached to the back of my scooter so it would remain safe before sitting down and starting the scooter.
Once it coughed back to life, I put on my helmet and peeled out into the harsh winter air that was the norm for this city.
Brenton Maslow could choose to buy any piece of land he wished for; he did not need to buy the one that I owned.
But if he chose to buy this, then he would not care about the lives of the people who owned shops all around me.
He would not care about their livelihood or how they would survive.
But no matter what happened, I would not let him take my bakery.
He would never know how hard I’d had to work for this bakery. No one would know that I had saved money by taking on multiple jobs.
I had to be careful where I spent my money because every penny counted. And even now that I had my bakery, I still had to be careful.
I could not buy things that I did not need. The majority of what I earned was spent on my bakery.
When I arrived at my destination, I parked my scooter to the side, removed my helmet, and walked over to the container that was keeping my cupcakes safe.
Once I had the box in my hands, I walked up to the doorstep and rang the bell.
I quickly ran a hand through my blonde hair to make myself look presentable as I waited for my customer.
After a few seconds, the door opened to reveal a woman who looked to be around eighteen with smiling blue eyes and black hair with purple streaks.
“Hello. Your cupcakes are here,” I said, handing her the box with a smile on my face.
The woman smiled. “Thank you so much. If you could just wait a few seconds, I will go and get the money.”
“Sure. No problem,” I replied. I looked around the street, watching as a couple of cyclists skirted their way around the pedestrians as if they were one with the bikes.
Children walked by licking ice cream, one hand firmly encased in the hand of a parent. Above me, I could see clouds forming, which meant that I should get ready for snow.
Life became difficult in winters, but I managed to hang on and continue with my work. No one would accept seasonal changes as an excuse to not work.
“Here you go.” I looked at the door to see the woman standing, holding out a twenty-pound note.
“Thank you so much. Have a good evening,” I said before walking back to my scooter. I did not hear the woman’s response; I just put on my helmet and drove out of the street.
As soon as I got back, I would have to start preparing for my next order, which was due in four hours.
The ride back should’ve been relaxing, but I could not help but think about Mrs. Druid and what she had told me about Brenton Maslow.
He had no reason to purchase the land; his family already owned plenty of it. And my neighborhood was not anything fancy, so a billionaire such as him should have had no interest here.
But no matter how hard I tried to convince myself that Brenton would not become my biggest nightmare, my heart was unusually heavy.
Which forced me to speed up, but I still had to keep the traffic laws in mind.
I rode back as fast as I could, my heart urging me to go faster. I didn’t know why, but I had a sinking feeling that I would not like what was about to happen.
However, I refused to be afraid because I knew whatever happened I would be able to handle it.
But I was wrong.
I wasn’t sure what was it that I saw first.
Was it the smoke that was rising like sinister clouds, or was it the rubble that was piled up to resemble a mountain?
Or maybe it was the absence of my bakery that came into my view as soon as I turned the corner for my street.
“N—No,” I said as I saw a giant bulldozer standing there with men in yellow hats walking around telling the people to back off.
I tried to look for my bakery but could not find it.
And I knew that my worst nightmare had come true.
Throwing my scooter into park, I ran over to where my bakery was supposed to be. “Miss, you cannot be here,” I faintly heard a man saying, but I refused to listen to him.
My bakery was gone.
All the money I’d earned and my blood and sweat had been turned into stone and dust. All the time I’d invested was staring at me in the form of debris.
It was gone. It was all gone.
“Miss, I told you, you cannot be here. You must leave.” This time I heard the man clearly, and I turned around to face him.
“How dare you?” I hissed.
His beady eyes widened. “Excuse me?”
“How dare you?! How dare you?!” I yelled at the top of my lungs, not caring who heard me or what they thought about a woman yelling in the middle of a street.
“Miss, calm down,” the man said.
“How dare you demolish my bakery?! Who gave you the right to come here and do this?! Answer me!” I continued, yelling.
He’d better have a bloody good excuse for doing this, or I swear I won’t hesitate to stab him.
“If you will calm down, I will explain everything,” the man said, his eyes pleading with me to cooperate, but he did not know who I was. I would never cooperate.
“Tell me right now or I will set you on fire, and I swear to God I am not throwing out empty threats,” I snarled, wanting to wrap my hands around his chubby little neck.
“Hey, hey! What is going on here?” A sharp voice cut through the haze of fire that was blazing in my mind.
A man who looked to be in his early thirties strode over to us and stood in front of me. “Why are you yelling like a madwoman?”
“You destroyed my bakery and you expect me to be calm about it?!” I wanted to slap this man, and if he did not understand why I was angry, then I would slap him for real.
“We are only doing what we were told to do. If you have any problems, take it up with the boss,” the man responded.
“Who told you to come and demolish my bakery? I owned that bakery. I have every legal documentation that is required. You or your boss had no right to destroy my property,” I stated.
I could see people gathering around, but I did not care. Right now, all I cared about was my hard work and how it no longer had any value or existence.
“Listen, lady…” The man slapped a card in my hand.
“You can contact my boss here. Stop screaming, because you are doing nothing but creating a scene. We only had orders to come and demolish the shops here; that’s it, and we did. If you have a problem, you can take it up with the man who organized all this.”
I crushed the card in my hand as I watched the man walk away. He was telling his men to leave now because they had other sites to work on.
I gazed at the people who had destroyed everything, knowing that I would not stop until I had my bakery back.
“Cece? Cece?!” I heard Mrs. Druid jogging over to me in those ridiculous high heels. “What happened? And what happened to your bakery?”
“It’s gone, Mrs. Druid. It’s all gone,” I muttered as I watched the men leave.
How could they walk away as if they hadn’t done anything? Did they not care that they had successfully robbed a woman of her life? How was I going to earn now?
I hated working for other people; I preferred to have my own business, however small it was.
“Oh, darling.” Before I could say anything, she pulled me into her arms, providing me comfort that I hadn’t realized I needed.
“I am so sorry, Cece. Do you know who did this?”
I pulled away from her while shaking my head.
“No. I don’t know who is responsible for this, and he is not here. These men were ordered to come and destroy all the shops here, and only one man is responsible for this, but I don’t know who it is.”
“It’s Brenton Maslow. It has to be. There is no one else,” she replied, taking out a pack of tissues from inside her purse and handing it to me.
“Here. Wipe away your tears, Cece.”
“I am not crying, Mrs. Druid,” I said, thinking about what to do now. “I just don’t know what I am going to do now.”
“Why don’t we go home and discuss this,” she suggested. “I will make you some tea to help you relax, and then we can decide what to do.”
I shook my head. “No. I am not moving an inch from this spot until and unless I have a plan. I will find out who this man is, and I will go and see him right now.”
The only problem was I had no way of finding out who was responsible for this.
“Did you not ask those men?” she questioned.
“Even so, you cannot stay here. The weather channel predicted snow, and I do not wish for you to freeze here because you are too stubborn to listen to reason.”
It was while she was mumbling that I realized my hand was wound tightly in a fist. When I uncurled my fingers, I saw the card that the man had given me, now crumpled.
This was it. The man told me to go and contact his boss through this.
However, when I saw the name inscribed on the card in fancy calligraphy, I felt as if a volcano had exploded inside me.
It was Brenton Maslow. The one who had crushed my dreams into nothing.
And now I would destroy him.
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Maslow Enterprises was one intimidating building, but that did not mean I would turn and flee.
No, the man who had destroyed my life was in there, and I would not leave until he gave me back my shop.
I had worked too hard for it, and if I had to fight every security guard in the building, I would.
With the sole purpose in my mind, I squared my shoulders and entered what I knew to be the lion’s den. Most people might be scared of entering this building, but not me.
I was strong and fierce, and no lion had the power to scare me.
The polished marble floors and the pristine walls were what caught my attention first. This place was for the rich; there was no place for the poor here.
However, no one was allowed to be rich by snatching things from those who were powerless. That was not fair, and I would make sure Brenton Maslow understood that.
“Excuse me, miss? Where are you going?” the receptionist asked, wrinkling her nose as she ran her eyes over my trench coat that I had bought from a thrift shop.
I knew exactly what kind of a person she was, which gave me a clue as to what my enemy was going to be like.
People like this arrogant receptionist with her hair styled by a hundred different products were only comfortable with those similar to their own status and position; anything below that and they treated you like insects that needed to be squashed immediately.
“I have to meet Mr. Maslow,” I told her, hating the fact that she was wasting my time.
Brenton’s office was on the third floor, which meant that his other brothers had offices on the remaining floors.
“Which one?” she inquired in her crisp blue suit meant to show off her power.
“Brenton,” I answered her, refraining from rolling my eyes at her. Why was I even wasting my time talking to her?
“I’m afraid you’ll have to wait. Mr. Brenton Maslow is in a meeting right now. Besides, he does not see anyone without an appointment. So, I suggest you leave and come back after making an appointment with him,” she told me with a smirk.
Just who did she take me for? Just because she was a little rich, she thought she could tell me what to do. She was so wrong.
I had come here with a purpose, and I was not leaving until that purpose was fulfilled.
And as for Brenton being in a meeting, I couldn’t care less. He would have to talk to me, and I didn’t care who was present. He would talk to me, and he would talk to me now.
“How about you make an appointment with a dermatologist? Your face looks like somebody stomped on it repeatedly. Even the moon has fewer blemishes, which is why it doesn’t need to cover itself with layers and layers of makeup.”
I smirked when her jaw dropped, and I walked toward the elevators, leaving the snobby receptionist frozen in shock.
I stabbed the button until the elevator doors opened.
If the receptionist recovered from her shock, she was bound to send the security guards after me, and I was not going to let anything or anyone stop me from meeting Brenton.
He had to give me my business back; I would not let him walk all over me.
As soon as the doors opened, I stepped inside and pressed the button for the designated floor.
The red carpet muffled the sound of my shoes as I rode up the elevator, hoping the snobby receptionist hadn’t alerted the people on the floor about my presence.
If I had to throw punches in order to meet him, I would.
As soon as the elevator doors opened, I strode out toward the only room that was present on this floor. However, the receptionist sitting on the desk stopped me.
It took everything in me not to knock her out with my fist. Why were people preventing me from achieving my goal?
“Excuse me, miss? But you cannot go in there. Mr. Maslow is in a meeting and no one is allowed to disturb him under any circumstances,” the woman said, her light-brown hair tied in a neat ponytail.
“Listen. Brenton Maslow ruined my life. He destroyed my business by taking over the land. I cannot just sit by and let him think that there are no consequences of his actions. I have to talk to him right now because he owes me a goddamn business,” I said, hoping she would understand and let me go.
Her lips pursed. “I am truly sorry to hear about your business, but Mr. Maslow gave me strict orders not to disturb him for the entirety of the meeting. Please sit down and wait for him to finish, and then you can talk to him.”
“You know, just because he is rich and powerful doesn’t mean his time is more precious than mine. I came here at this time because I have other things to do later. So, please, tell him that I need to talk to him right now,” I replied, getting irritated.
This woman was wasting my time; I was afraid I would have to do something I would regret.
She shook her head, and I knew I had no choice. “I’m sorry, miss, but I cannot do that. You can go do the other things that you need to do and come back later.”
“I’m sorry too.” I punched her without thinking twice, my knuckles colliding with her nose. The receptionist grunted before slumping to the ground, unconscious.
Once she was out of the way, I eyed the double doors before marching toward them.
I pushed the glass door to the side and entered, stopping short when I saw a bunch of men sitting around a table with papers and files scattered all around them.
However, it was the man sitting at the head of the table who was my main concern.
Though I’d never had the misfortune of encountering him until today, I had made sure to Google his picture.
With curly blond hair and sea-green eyes, Brenton Maslow was a man who could have women dropping down on their knees just for a mere glimpse of him.
However, as I stood gazing at him, I realized his pictures did not do him justice. He was much more beautiful than he appeared in the pictures.
“What is the meaning of this?!” Brenton stood up when he saw me, his green eyes blazing with fury. “Who let you in? Where is Mariam?”
“Hello.” I faked a cheerful smile to piss him off. “My name is Cecelia.”
“I don’t care what your goddamn name is. Get out of my office! Mariam! Mariam!” He shouted for the receptionist.
The rest of the men sitting in the room remained silent, their eyes downcast as if they were used to their boss losing his temper.
“No need to disturb others, Mr. Maslow. However, I think your receptionist is too busy to listen to you right now,” I stated.
“Get the fuck out of my office or I will call security,” he threatened, his hands resting on the glass tabletop.
“You can call security after I am done talking. Call them before I finish, and I swear to God I won’t hesitate to ruin your reputation in front of your employees,” I shot back, keeping my voice firm.
Brenton’s eyes widened as if I’d slapped him before narrowing into slits. “Who the fuck do you think you are? You think you can threaten me?”
“As I said, my name is Cecelia. The reason I am here is because you destroyed my business when you took over the land yesterday. Your men came and demolished my shop. You had no right to do that, Mr. Maslow, especially when I am legally the owner of that property. You had no right to demolish my bakery without my consent. What you did is illegal, and I want you to pay me back for it,” I said.
He looked as if he wanted to slap me. “You clearly don’t know who you are dealing with.”
“I don’t care how powerful you are. You are human, just like I am. And your actions have consequences, Mr. Maslow. You owe me a bakery, and I am not leaving until you give me back what you stole from me,” I told him.
“I am giving you to the count of five. If you don’t leave by then, I will call security and have you thrown out. People like you don’t have money or prestige. The only thing you people have is your dignity; am I right? So I am giving you a chance to salvage that dignity, because after the count of five, not only will I have stolen your business, I will have stolen your dignity as well,” he warned me.
I smiled. “I can understand that a thief like you doesn’t know anything other than to steal. However, I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. I have no problem talking this out with you in a civil way.”
“No, you don’t understand.” I watched as he walked over to me, his gait predatory, as if I were his next meal.
He stopped a couple of inches from me, so close I could smell his cologne.
“I don’t waste my time talking to people like you. And the fact that you are forcing me to speak to you is no less than a crime to me. I should have you locked up for this.”
I smirked. “Projecting your crimes on me now, are we? That’s all right; you think you can get away by projecting your crimes onto me, but I will not let you get away so easily, Brenton…”
“It’s Mr. Maslow to you,” he snapped.
“Respect is earned, Brenton. You might use fear to get respect from people, but that’s not going to work with me. You have committed a crime, and unless you agree to give me my bakery back, I will go to the police and tell them everything you did,” I told him.
These powerful people thought they owned the world, but I would not let them trample me.
“Really?” He took another step forward, our noses almost touching. “Go ahead, firecracker, go to whoever you think can help you. But if you think you can win against me, then you are mistaken.”
“I am not going anywhere until you give me what I want. I don’t care if you have to cut your meeting short in order to agree to my demands. You will do as I say because I can crush your reputation in two seconds.”
That was an exaggeration, but I was hoping he was a shallow snob who only cared about his image in front of the world.
I gasped when he grabbed my neck with his hand and pushed me against the wall.
“Like I said, I don’t waste my time talking to people who are beneath me. So get the fuck out of my office. Save the bit of respect that you do have and go get a job. People like you are good for nothing except serving others. You should be grateful that I saved you from the hassle of running a business.”
He let go of me and wiped his hand with a handkerchief as if he had touched a piece of dirt.
“I worked hard for that bakery. I took on numerous jobs in order to get my business started. You can’t take that away from me, Brenton,” I snarled.
In response, he grabbed my wrist tightly and dragged me out of his office. He was surprisingly strong, because I tried to resist by digging my heels in the carpet, but it was useless.
As soon as we were out of his office, he shoved me hard, causing me to fall on the floor.
“I told you, you are good for nothing except serving others. That is your place in this world—on the floor. And I wanted that land so I took it. I don’t care an iota for whoever became a casualty. I own this world; so everything I do, every piece of land I buy is legal. Because at the end of the day, I will win and everything will be mine. Now get the fuck out of here, and don’t you dare show me your face again,” he stated before striding back inside, and this time he made sure to lock the door of his office.
Brenton’s words were harsh and would’ve made a normal person cry. But I was not a regular person.
I knew such people existed; I had worked with a few of them when I was working jobs for my bakery. So his words were nothing that I hadn’t heard before.
And I also knew that whatever he said was nothing but false. I was not meant for serving others. Everybody had a purpose in this world, and I knew mine was not to serve.
The reason I’d started a business was so I could become a kind and just boss, and that was exactly what I would do.
I didn’t care what he said about me; he would have to give me my bakery back, even if I had to destroy his family for it.
Taking a deep breath, I stood up and gave one last look to the double doors.
I will be back, Brenton. You can’t get rid of me that easily, I thought before taking the elevator down.
I would go and do my errands, and after that I would come to visit him again. I would not leave him until he gave me what I wanted, even if he insulted me in the worst way possible.
As soon as the elevator doors opened, I was greeted by two bulky policemen. What kind of a business was he running when his security guards were so slow?
And he said I was not fit to own a business? Brenton really was projecting his insecurities onto me.
But that was all right; at least I knew what his defense mechanism was; maybe I could use it to my advantage in the future.
“Don’t bother arresting me; I am leaving,” I said to the guards as I walked out of the building.
But at the last moment, I felt sorry that they were working for such a lousy man, so I decided to give them some advice.
“And by the way, there are better companies you men can go work for. Companies that pay well and treat you well. Goodbye,” I said before finally making my exit.
For some people, getting such a response would’ve been the end. But not for me.
For me, it was just the beginning.
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