Bewitching the Boss by Jessa Kane

Wow. He really is attracted to me.

I was afraid to get my hopes up and have them dashed.

Really, I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t have spent the last two years watching this man from afar, obsessing over him, hungering for his touch. If he knew who I am—who I really am—he would throw me right out of his office. Maybe even call the police. And that would be his right. But I couldn’t stay away. I could no more pass up this opportunity to breathe the same air as Byron DeWitt than I could predict next year’s weather patterns.

I ache for you, I whisper to him inside my head.

He jolts a little when he remembers that I asked him a question. “Why did I decide to plan a party?” He rolls a big shoulder, looking out at his endless rows of coding employees through the glass wall of his office. “They’ve been working hard. Really hard. A party never really occurred to me until recently. I’m not much of a partier. My sister does—” He stops short, taking long moments to gather himself. “My sister did like parties. She would have been the one to remind me to schedule one, but she’s no longer with us.”

My heart is plastered to the ceiling. “I’m so sorry.”

He has no idea how much I mean that.

I mean it on a soul deep level that I’ll never be able to express.

But sorry can’t bring a person back from the dead. Sorry can’t undo the past.

My sorry means nothing.

“What kind of party would she have liked?” I ask quietly, taking out my electronic tablet and taping it awake. Poising my stylus over the screen.

His lips jump at one end. “Silly. Fun. Over the top. The opposite of me.”

“Is that what you’d like?”

“Yes,” he says after a moment. “I’ve never thrown my company a party. So I suppose I should make up for the oversight. Just make the night fun for them and I’ll…” He rubs at the back of his neck. “I guess I’ll suffer through it.”

“Ouch.” I give him an amused pout. “You’re not very confident in my party planning skills, are you?”

He comes forward abruptly in his seat. “I’m sorry. That came out wrong.” More redness on the tips of those ears. I’d like to bite them. “Please understand, I wouldn’t enjoy a party thrown by anyone. In any way, shape or form. I’m just not very…”


“That’s right.”

“Costume ball it is.”

Those insanely intelligent eyes narrow on me. “I don’t understand.”

Excitement tingles my fingers and I sit up straighter. After the accident, it took me a while to straighten out my life, to figure out what I’m good at. But I think I’ve landed on the career that truly makes me happy. I’ve been party planning for the last year and I love the challenge. The fact that every event is different. A party is a blend. Personalities, occasion, theme, season, vibe. I’ll never arrange the same event twice. I love the spontaneity and adventure in that and now, miracle of miracles, I get to use my knowledge to help Byron.

“A costume ball puts everyone in disguise. It really breaks the ice when everyone is wearing an interesting get-up or a mask. It’s very freeing, to be someone else.” I should know, shouldn’t I? After the accident, I changed my entire life. “The strict expectations a person places on themselves are relaxed when they’re dressed like a vampire or a clown. It’s permission to cut loose.”

He considers me quietly, brow furrowed.

“Do you…feel a lot of expectations are placed on you, as the boss?” I whisper the question, desperate to know more about him. Everything. Whether I deserve the insight or not. “Maybe that’s why the idea of a party doesn’t appeal to you?”

“Of course there are expectations placed on me. There should be.” His eyes tick to the glass wall again, then back to me. Have they turned a deeper green? “I’ve asked them to devote hours of their lives to creating my software.”

“Yes. They’ve done an amazing job and you pay them well for it, right?” I tilt my head and smile. “You’re paying me well, too, so I want to make sure the party is something you enjoy.”

“Begging your pardon, I just don’t know if that’s possible, Jane.”

My thighs cinch together at his low rumble of my name. “Because you don’t like parties? Or is there another reason?”