The CEO - Book cover


Jessica Morel

Age Rating


Scarlett doesn’t trust easily. The last person she trusted was her long-term boyfriend Jase, and he dumped her at graduation.

But a one-night stand with sexy Nic is about to turn way more complicated than she could’ve dreamed. She’ll need to learn to trust him, fast, because otherwise she might not survive the cutthroat world of rough sex and rougher corporate takeovers.

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33 Chapters

Dirty Dancing


The moment I walk into the emergency board meeting and meet my grandmother’s glaring eyes, I know I’ve made a mistake.

“What are you doing here?” I ask, not bothering to make my voice sound friendly.

“Oh, Scarlett,” she says sweetly, “how good of you to grace us with your presence. I heard the merger with Firefly Industries is going ahead next week?”

The others at the conference table watch us silently, waiting to see where this is going.

“Yes,” I say, “that is the plan. You know that’s the plan. I don’t see what’s such an emergency about—”

“I believe you should hold off, darling.” Her voice is still syrupy-sweet, even as her dark eyes bore into mine.

“Why do you care?” I ask.

“You are family.” She offers me a sympathetic smile, a show for the other people in the room. “Dominic Peters has been playing you.”

“What are you talking about?”

“He doesn’t want to buy the company, Scarlett. He wants to take it.”

I scoff. “That doesn’t make any sense—”

“A video has been forwarded to us,” she interrupts, with the air of someone laying down a trump card.

I pause. “What of?”

“Of you and Mr. Peters in a compromising position.”

I freeze. It feels like my intestines are tying themselves in a knot. “What?”

“I believe that the video was taken at a club known as ‘Dirty Thoughts,’” my grandmother says, pronouncing each word like it might poison her. “A club known to cater to people of…shall we say, particular tastes?”

“No,” I say, the word coming out automatically. “There’s no way you could have a—we weren’t filmed. That was private.”

“We have, of course, kept this strictly confidential,” says Grandmother, oozing sympathy again. “But you must understand that were these tastes to become public… Well, it wouldn’t be a good look for the shareholders.”

“What are you saying?” I ask. I can’t feel my face. How is there a video? How did it make its way to my grandmother, of all people?

“Dominic Peters can survive a sex scandal,” she says. “Easily. But you?” She laughs. “You’re hanging on by your fingernails as it is.”

The numbness is fading now, leaving me with a burning rage. At my grandmother, yes, but she’s just the messenger. Mostly, I want to find Nic and murder him.

“Who you associate with behind closed doors is one thing,” Grandmother coos. “But I would think very carefully before trusting this man professionally.”

I’ve heard enough. “Thanks,” I choke out, and turn and run from the room as fast as my heels can carry me.


“We are totally celebrating!” Beth slides into our booth with a bottle of champagne.

“Sure,” I say with a sigh.

Claudia puts an arm over my shoulder. “What’s wrong, Miss Sourpuss? You deserve to celebrate. You just graduated, top of the class, and two months later you already have an amazing job lined up.”

“Maybe I shouldn’t take it…,” I mutter.

“This is about Jase, isn’t it?” Beth asks. I shrug. “You have to get that jerk out of your head, Scar. You deserve this!”

“When do you start?” Jackie asks.

“Monday.” It’s Thursday now, so plenty of time for me to overthink before I actually have to show up at the office.

My roommates—Beth, Claudia, and Jackie—are awesome cheerleaders. We roomed together all through NYU, and then got an apartment together in the city. They’re my BFFs for life.

But no matter what they say, I’m really not sure this job is a good idea.

Claudia’s right: it’s exactly two months since graduation. Two months since my long-term boyfriend Jason broke up with me out of nowhere.

“I want to be a senator by the time I’m thirty, baby,” he said before we’d even changed out of the caps and gowns. “There are a lot of demands on a senator’s wife. And you’re, like, a career woman. You’re not cut out for that life.”

“I could figure it out,” I said, hating myself even as the words came out of my mouth. I really didn’t want a life relegated to being someone’s arm candy. But I loved Jase! We’d been together for three years. We could make it work.

“Maybe if you were gonna get your MBA and go be CEO for your dad’s company,” he said. “That’s what I always thought. We’d be a power couple. But instead, you’re applying for all these low-level assistant jobs? What’s that about?”

“I’m sorry,” I said, voice going cold, “I didn’t realize you were only dating me for access to Roberts Enterprises.”

“I wasn’t,” he said, conciliatory. “I just don’t think we’re on the same path, career-wise. Better to get out now, right?”

I’ve spent two months cursing Jase. “Low-level assistant jobs?” Really? Everybody starts out entry-level after graduation.

During college, I interned a few summers for Roberts Enterprises. My father, Michael Roberts, is the CEO there, and I’m pretty sure he does want me to be his successor one day.

But I don’t want his nepotism. Especially since he’s barely been a father to me.

All through growing up, I didn’t even know who my father was. I was raised by my grandparents—my mom’s parents—on a farm in Texas. I love them to death. They’re all the family I need.

Michael Roberts randomly sent me an email during my sophomore year, a long, rambling thing apologizing for walking out on my mom before I was born. At the end of it he offered me an internship.

I went. I figured I’d have to be crazy to pass up the opportunity. But now that I have my degree, it’s time to prove myself, rather than accepting more handouts.

Still. Working as an assistant to the CEO of one of Roberts Enterprises’ competitors feels like asking for trouble.

“Oi! Earth to Scar! Drink up; we’re celebrating!” Claudia hands me a glass of champagne before downing her own.

“Tell us about your new boss,” Jackie suggests.

“I don’t know much,” I admit. “He didn’t interview me; it was just some HR rep.”

“But you will be working for Dominic Peters, the hottest billionaire bachelor in the country?” Beth clarifies.

“I’ll be his executive assistant,” I explain. The girls squeal.

“That’s so cool! No one has seen him since he took over the company from his dad; he’s so elusive,” Jackie gushes.

“Guys, seriously, I’m excited about the job, not the man. And I’m not even sure I’m that excited about the job. What if there’s a noncompete clause or something?”

“Worry about that later. For now, we celebrate,” Claudia says. “I’m getting shots!” And she runs off to the bar.

She comes back to our booth a minute later with a huge tray of tequila shots together with lime and salt. There must be at least fifty there. The three of us gape at the tray, then at her.

“Claudia, this is like, shots for the whole bar. How much did this cost you?” I ask.

“We paid,” a male voice answers. A guy in a navy business suit with skater-like blond hair puts his arm around Claudia’s shoulders, and she turns a deep shade of red.

“Girls, this is Eric,” she says, pointing to skater boy. “Matt,” a guy wearing a gray suit, white shirt, buzz cut. “Luke,” black suit, pale blue shirt, black hair.

All three of them are unfairly gorgeous. My friends trade glances, trying to figure out who’s going to hit on who.

“Oh, and this is Nic,” she adds, as a fourth guy shows up holding a rocks glass like he wasn’t in the mood for shots.

This might be the hottest guy of all. Black suit, black shirt, black tie, light-brown hair, and piercing blue eyes surrounded by thick black glasses frames. I bite my lip looking at him and don’t miss the way his eyes dart down to my mouth.

“So, shots!” Matt says, sliding into the booth. We quickly partner off. Claudia with Eric, Beth with Matt, Jackie with Luke…and me with Nic.

I’m not complaining at all—I mean, the guy is stunning. But I’m still smarting after the breakup with Jase; I haven’t slept with anyone since then.

I can practically see Nic’s muscles through his suit, but I know he’s a player just by looking at him. His piercing blue eyes scream lust.

Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s time to sleep with someone new, no strings, no drama, and put Jase behind me for good.

I push a blonde curl behind my ear, and Nic’s eyes follow the action.

When we aren’t staring at each other, his leg bumps mine under the table. Just that small touch sends my heart racing. His eyes drop to my black tank top, and I’m thankful for the push-up bra that’s helping my B cup.

Hold yourself together, Scarlett. Seriously!

At some point, I shake myself out of staring into Nic’s eyes yet again and realize that we’re the only two left at the table. Nic registers the look of shock on my face.

“Everyone else went to dance,” he explains. It’s the first time I’m hearing his deep, husky voice, and I can practically feel my ovaries quiver. Oh my god!

“Oh, right,” I say, trying to sound semi-together.

“You never said your name,” he prompts. I don’t know if he’s actually asking me until he raises an eyebrow in question. He slides his black-framed glasses off his face, holding them casually in his hand.

“Uh…yeah…Scar. My name is Scar. I mean, Scarlett actually, Scarlett Miller. Everyone just calls me Scar,” I ramble.

I’m seriously losing it. I should just check myself into a mental asylum now.

“You have an accent,” he states. Again, I’m unsure if it’s actually a question.

“Um, yes. I’m originally from Dallas. Well, Irving, actually, but that’s in Dallas County.” And there I go, rambling again…

He nods slowly, a smirk plastered across his face.

I find myself leaning my elbows on the table just to get a closer look. This guy has to know he’s gorgeous. Even the glasses are sexy. Every part of me wants to just leap across the table and jump him.

Oh my god, did I just think that? I’m a whore…

As though he’s reading my thoughts, Nic leans toward me across the table. His hand cups my face, and his thumb brushes along my bottom lip. Then, without warning, his lips press down on mine.

I’m shocked at first, but it doesn’t take me long to catch up. He bites at my bottom lip and I gasp, allowing his tongue to explore every corner of my mouth.

I breathe in his scent. Whatever cologne he’s wearing smells expensive; everything about him drips money.

He pulls away first—and judging by his smirk, I don’t mask my disappointment well. He slides out of the booth and extends his hand to me.


“Uh, I can’t really—”

“I can.” Of course you can. “I’ll help.”

“No, really, it’s—”

“Get up, Scarlett.”

Slowly I get up, taking his hand in mine. His large hand engulfs my small one, and suddenly he’s literally dragging me to the dance floor, pulling me close. My whole body starts to heat at his touch.

“Really,” I try again, “I’m not a very good dancer.”

Nic leans in, a smirk on his face. I feel his breath on my ear. His husky voice makes me melt.

“Any woman can dance; she simply needs a strong man.” His breath grazes my neck. “Relax your knees and just move with me.”

I feel like Baby from Dirty Dancing—although I’m about ten times more uncoordinated.

One of Nic’s hands leaves my hip and brushes along my cheek.

“You are incredibly sexy when you blush,” his husky voice says in my ear. My cheeks heat again, and he chuckles. “Very, very sexy.”

As Nic leads me back to our booth, I feel my phone buzz in the pocket of my skinny jeans. I press the phone to my ear and plug my other ear with my finger to block out the noise.


“Scar, it’s me.” I can barely hear Beth over the club music. I’ve never understood why she insists on using her phone as a phone rather than texting like a normal person. ~“We’re taking the boys back to our apartment. Bring Nic.”~

“Wait, what?”

I don’t hear what else she says. Nic takes the phone off me and talks to Beth instead. When he hands me back the phone, he takes my hand and leads me outside.

I will probably never see this guy again.

Making the most of the moment, I wrap my arms around his neck and press my lips against his. Nic doesn’t need any encouragement, wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling me against him.

I feel his hand grab my butt and lift. I wrap my legs around him and almost forget we’re on a sidewalk in the middle of New York. Before I realize what’s happening, Nic slides me into a waiting limo.

“Are you taking me to my apartment?” I ask, breaking the kiss for a breathless moment inside the car.

“Mine,” he says with a smirk.

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