Bewitching the Boss by Jessa Kane

“I’m going to choose all the wrong things.”

“No, you won’t, silly,” she giggles, taking a sip of her seltzer. “You know your employees and their preferences way better than I do.”

“Oh, I don’t know if that’s true,” I say, rubbing at the back of my neck. “I don’t really socialize with them outside of work. That would be…”

“Enjoying yourself?” she finishes, her expression momentarily serious. Searching. “And you don’t allow for that.”


She nods once, her throat shifting as she looks down at her paperwork. Somehow I’ve remembered this girl all wrong. Yesterday in my office, I could have sworn she was a flirt. The playful type. And she is. But there is obviously a lot more happening under the surface that I wasn’t aware of until now. If I look closely at the base of her neck, there is a little vein there and it is beating as fast as my own. Faster? Too fast to be healthy? Is she nervous about something? If so, her nerves are totally at odds with the smile on her face.

“Well, I was doing some research on your apps and you definitely skew toward more vintage designs. User-friendly and modern, but with a retro twist. The fonts and language you use are almost a little…ironic.”

Surprised by her astuteness and the amount of thought she’s put into this, I nod. “That’s right. My sister used to say I had a dad jokes personality. I guess it rubs off on my work.”

Another flash of something in her eyes, something like yearning, is blinked away in a matter of seconds. “R-right. So I was thinking, why not go with an old-fashioned, spooky carnival theme?” She pushes some papers around and I notice she’s not wearing any jewelry. No necklaces, rings or bracelets. The lack of baubles is at odds with the rest of her glitzy, feminine appearance. This girl holds a lot of contradictions, doesn’t she? An image of me draping a gold necklace around her throat has me swallowing hard. “We could hire fortune-tellers, bring in some games and high-ticket prizes. I could even hire some characters actors to play creepy carnival workers and ghosts. I have a few venues in mind that would work great, if you like this direction?”

She lets the question hang in the air.

I shake myself.

Now she’s being completely professional and all I can think about is how I’d like to cover her in diamonds. “I like the carnival theme,” I say thickly, honestly. “I actually grew up in Kansas and we went to one every year.”

“What was your favorite part?” she asks quietly.

My grin catches me off-guard. “The food stands.”

Her eyes soften so much she almost looks…transfixed for a moment. By me?

Quickly, she straightens her papers, but I notice her fingers are trembling slightly. If I didn’t know how in-demand she is as a party planner, I would think she’s nervous about planning a job this size. It can’t be me making her nervous. Right? “Funnel cake, corndogs…”

“Pumpkin pie.”

“Oh. Yes. Absolutely. We can do it bite sized so it isn’t messy,” she murmurs, half to herself. “As far as alcohol…you want to have an open bar, I’m assuming?”

“Sure.” A sharp object gets lodged in my throat. “Actually, maybe it was a good idea to have this planning meeting, because there is something important to me that I would like you to arrange. Taxi service. I don’t want anyone driving under the influence.”

“No, of course not,” she breathes in a rush, ducking her head. “I’ll arrange that. Designated drivers. Being that you created a transportation app that connects drivers and customers, we can probably get them to do it for free,” she finishes, flashing me a smile. A smile that seems forced. “You’re like their patron saint.”

“I wouldn’t go that far,” I laugh, wanting to put her at ease. Why isn’t she at ease? What am I doing wrong? “I still have to wait fifteen minutes for an Uber like everyone else.”

“Now that’s just a crime,” she whispers, pouting.

Oh Christ, that pout. It makes my cock stand on end.

I’m suddenly very irritated over being on the opposite side of the kitchen island from Jane. I could have been standing beside her for this entire conversation. Studying the pattern of freckles between her tits. Investigating those momentary flashes of sadness up close. This girl is so interesting and gorgeous and I’m not going to allow myself to have her. Not happening. But it would be nice to just…imagine it. A little. There’s no harm in imagining, right?