Excerpt for Her Seducing CEO_A Paranormal Romance_Pleasing Xavier Vol. 1 by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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Her Seducing CEO

Volume #1, Pleasing Xavier

Sable Rose




Copyright 2018 Sable Rose

AUTHOR’S NOTE

This book is a work of fiction by Sable Rose. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used solely for entertainment. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.




And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: ‘Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.”

The Book of Enoch

Introducing the Adoring Angels Chronicles

It has been many years since the Nephilim, beings who are part human and part angels, revealed themselves to humans. Now, the human and Nephilim races struggle to live side by side, both believing that all angels have left the earth forever.

But, unknown to many, a group of angels are trapped on earth, unable to return to heaven, hiding from their many enemies.

They hide in plain sight, in human form: male, six-foot-seven and taller, and extremely handsome.

For the select group of women who sleep with angels, sex is transcendental, life-changing. Angels are well-endowed, much more than human and Nephilim men, with wonderful tricks up their sleeves that transforms their lovers into lifetime groupies.

For these women, this saying is truth: when you go angel, you’re a groupie for life

Xavier, Master Angel of Seduction, Works His Magic on Tamara

“You haven’t been with a big man? Tamara…” Xavier’s hot breath fanned her ear. “I’m very big and thick. Over ten inches long and seven inches wide.”

At his words, her juice gushed out and drenched her panties.

Tamara licked her dry bottom lip. Ten inches long? Seven inches wide—what? How did that look? She didn’t even know that they made penises in that size.

“I need to know if you can take me in… all of me…”

Now her breasts were straining against her bra, aching to be released from their confines. She licked her lip again and said, “I don’t know.”

“Would you like to try?” Xavier pushed her hand down on his thigh.

“Here?”

His laughter was deep, throaty. “No, not here. So you haven’t been penetrated by a big penis. I’m not surprised. There’s something virginal about you.”

“I haven’t seen a big penis before,” she confessed, eying his mouth. “And anyway, size isn’t supposed to matter.”

“In some cases, believe me, I think it does. There have been a few men with long penises. Like the Russian monk, Rasputin who had a size eleven penis.”

She shook her head. How did they end up here talking about sex and penis sizes?

“Would you try to take all of me in? After all, the vagina can take a full-term baby. I want you to try, Tamara.”

Xavier continued, “And how did your former lovers take you?”

“We tried different positions—”

“I’m not talking about sexual positions, Tamara…”

Beneath her palm, she felt his muscles bunch.

“Do you like it sweet, gentle and always slow? Or do you like it first, slow and then, fast? Or do you prefer, hard, rough and primal?”

Her harsh breathing resonated with his. She spotted a muscle flexing in his jaw.

“I like the third option, Tamara. Which do you like?”

“The second…” she gasped.

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About Her Seducing CEO

A paranormal erotic romantic suspense story of manipulation and sexual surrender...

For most of her life, soft-spoken and naive Tamara Abbey has known that angels once were on earth and they impregnated human females who gave birth to the first Nephilim. That was years ago.

Now, there are no more angels left on earth. Now, Nephilim and humans try to live in peace, side by side.

But, at a job interview, the HR Manager offers Tamara a job as executive assistant to the conglomerate’s CEO, instead of the job she applied for, and it’s almost as if he needs her to say yes to the job offer.

Strange.

She’s never done the job before but just before she can reply, she sees a man walk past. Tall, mahogany-skinned, sharp-cheekboned and magnificent.

And of all things, he stops to stare at her. Her!

Soon after, she comes face to face with Mr. Magnificent. He’s Xavier Osagie, the CEO. The man she would be working for.

If she accepts the job, that is.

Tamara is hooked. Of course, she’ll take the job.

Her new boss is dreamy. Xavier. Wolf-eyed with cheekbones sharp enough to cut glass.

But, it’s strange.

She’s never seen him eat. He only sips from a flask.

And, he carries around a gold-bladed weird dagger. What kind of CEO needs a dagger?

Xavier is an enigma. Now he wants to have sex with her. But the catch is…

He’s offering life-changing sex and nothing more.

Life-changing sex. She didn’t know such a thing existed!

But her dark and sexy boss with the most appealing amber eyes she’s ever seen is not the only thing on her mind.

She’s been recruited by a shady group who call themselves the Soldiers for Unity.

A group with a compelling message:

There are still angels on earth...

Her Seducing CEO is Volume 1 of Pleasing Xavier. Read Volume 2, Her Supernatural Affair and Volume 3, Her Sensuous Rebirth

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In the world of Captivating Angel Jonas, humans and Nephilim (beings who are part angel, part human) co-exist on earth but both races are unaware that angels yet live among them, in hiding, passing as men.

Even though two months ago, Tomi Sawyer’s boyfriend took off to places unknown, she’s moving on with a man she met through a dating website, Jonas Dije, six-eight with eyes the color of fine whisky. But, on her first date with Jonas, this insecure beauty discovers he’s not a man at all but an angel.

That’s not all he is, however. Jonas is also an agent of a top-secret angelic agency, on a mission to find out if Tomi is involved in trafficking in manna with her AWOL boyfriend. Manna is the food of angels, of Nephilim, but for humans, it’s addictive and sometimes fatal.

From the first day, Tomi and Jonas can’t keep their hands off each other. They revel in exploring each other’s bodies. Tomi, especially, is drawn to this sexy angel and falls in love with him almost immediately. Jonas resists the pull of her attraction for a time, struggling to focus on his investigation and find out if she’s the culprit selling manna illegally to humans. But, somehow, she manages to get under his skin.

Now, Jonas is scared. All she knows of him is that he’s an angel, passing as a man and working as a personal trainer. What will she do when she finds out he’s an agent and she’s the subject of his investigation?

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Chapter 1

Tamara Abbey plopped into the dining table chair to her father’s left. She glanced at him, in his faded pajamas, peering shortsightedly at the newspaper in front of his face, despite the black-framed eyeglasses swinging on the lanyard around his neck.

She sighed. “Dad, good morning. You’re reading without your glasses again.”

He glanced at her, a sheepish smile on his face. “Good morning, sweetheart.” He dumped the paper on the table and pulled the glasses over his eyes. “That’s one of the many reasons why I need you here,” he added.

Tamara rolled her eyes and laughed. “You don’t miss an opportunity to remind me that you like me living with you.”

“Of course. Why spend money to get your own place when there’s more than enough space here? You have your privacy in the guest quarters downstairs with free breakfast, lunch and dinner. Why would you ever want to move out?”

She pursed her lips. “Yes, yes, dad. I know I have everything here. But, dad, I’m twenty-eight, a grown woman. I need my space.”

Her father, Professor Kurokeme Abbey, shrugged. “Well, when you get another job, you can afford your own place. For now…”

Tamara shook her head from side to side. The same argument, day after day. But now, with this job interview, maybe the change she’d been waiting on for close to two years was finally here.

Hopefully. Fingers crossed.

Although her dad and grandmother were the last people to stick their noses in her business, she needed to be able to earn her way. How long could she keep living with them and eating their food? No, she had to do well tomorrow. She had to!

She glanced at her father. His face was buried in the newspaper once more. Reading and writing were his passions, his pleasures. As long as she could remember, he was never without a book or paper in his hand or right beside him.

Her gaze traveled to the stacks of books at the other end of the dining table, competing for space with a tray of plates, mugs, saucers and cutleries and another carrying instant coffee, powdered milk, granulated sugar and a box of Lipton tea.

Tamara sighed. Dad would always be dad. As for her, the only sign that she had inherited some bit of his writing ability was her blog, A United Stand.

“Daddy… well, about that… I have a job interview tomorrow morning.”

Professor Abbey glanced up again from his paper.

“Did I hear my favorite granddaughter say something about an interview?” Tamara’s grandmother strolled into the dining room from the kitchen, dusting flour-covered hands on her apron. She grinned and planted a kiss on Tamara’s forehead.

Tamara gazed up into her grandmother’s face. Even at nine A.M., she was made up; lips glossed, cheeks rouged and eyes lined. “I’m your only granddaughter. Good morning, Granny O.”

“Good morning, darling. Are you hungry? There’s bread and boiled eggs in the kitchen. I’ll bring them out in a minute, unless you prefer cake?”

“Um, bread, for now.”

“Okay.” Granny O placed her hands on her hips and grinned down at Tamara. “What is it you were saying? A job interview?”

“Yes.” Tamara’s eyes swept from her grandmother to her father. “I applied a few months ago. As Health and Safety Manager to Neteru Mills.”

Professor Abbey’s eyebrows jumped almost to his hairline. One hand fled to his already disordered grey curls. He shrieked, “Neteru Mills… isn’t that where manna flour is produced? Is that wise, sweetheart? I mean, with everything that’s happening.”

Granny O hissed and shook her head. She muttered, “What’s wrong with working there? It’s as good a job as any.”

Tamara’s father lifted the newspaper into the air and shook it. “The papers are full of it. See… see…” his finger punched at a section of the paper. “Two Nephilim found dead. Decapitated.”

Tamara raised and lowered one slim shoulder. “There’ll always be haters, dad. And, anyway, they’re in the minority. We can’t let them hold us back.”

“I’m not saying that…” Professor Kurokeme groaned and scratched his head. He continued, “Remember when the League of Humans picketed the plant?”

“The police chased them off.” Granny O snorted.

Tamara smiled at her dad. “It’s a good place to work, dad. Etim is the plant manager there.”

“Is he?” Granny O cut in. “That boy is crazy about you. Why do you push him away? Is it because he’s Nephilim?”

Tamara’s forehead crinkled. “No, Granny O, of course not. I’m not racist.”

“You know what they say about male Nephilim? They tend to have big you-know-whats…” Granny O winked at her granddaughter.

Professor Abbey hid his face behind the newspaper.

Tamara chuckled. Oh, Granny O. Unbridled. Blunt. Bless her heart. “Still, he doesn’t move me, Granny O.” Etim only reminded her of her previous boyfriends. Wonderful guys who were all crazy in love with her. Good men, all of them. And yet, she’d never been in love. She’d cared for them, liked them but love? No. And for her, for now, dating had been relegated to the background. Thank God her dad and grandmother were not pressuring her to get married. Bless them both.

“I get you, darling. We Odili women, we need unique men, ones who can make us sweat between our legs.”

Tamara shook her head, chuckling. A man who could make her sweat between her legs… did such a man exist? Sex with her former boyfriends had always been bland; something a woman sometimes did when she was dating a guy. Nothing earth-shaking.

Please…” Tamara’s father groaned behind his paper at his mother-in-law’s comment.

At her father’s reaction, Tamara laughed, falling back in her chair. Oh, this two. When Granny O moved in to live with her widowed son-in-law and granddaughter nine years ago, Tamara had wondered how long it would take for her straight-laced father to firmly but politely ask his mother-in-law to find her own place. But to her surprise, even though they were as opposite as fire and ice, they seemed to somehow enjoy each other’s company.

“So, dad…” Tamara sat up in her chair. “My interview is at ten tomorrow. Will you be using your car?”

“I have a meeting at three P.M. But I’m at home until two forty five. What’s wrong with your car?”

“I need new tyres. That’s an expense I can’t afford right now.”

Granny O reached out to knead her granddaughter’s shoulder. “You’ll get the job, darling. I know it.”

“Thanks, Granny O.” Tamara bit her bottom lip. It had been two long years since her retrenchment from Flour Mills Plc and her savings were dwindling fast.

“Yes, you can use it.” Professor Kurokeme Abbey lobbed a smile at his daughter.

“Thank you, dad,” Tamara said. She grabbed a black mug and a teaspoon.

Granny O returned to the kitchen. Tamara extricated a tea bag and plunked it in her mug. She poured hot water in from the flask that had been half-hidden by the pile of books. Her right hand stretched toward the plastic container of powdered milk and her glance fell on this month’s issue of Female and Proud, a magazine to which her grandmother subscribed.

Tamara read out the front page headlines. “Ten sexiest Nephilim celebs… Granny, how do you read this?”

With a tray containing a loaf of bread and a bowl of boiled eggs in her hands, Granny O emerged from the kitchen. Setting the tray on the table, she laughed and said, “It’s thrilling. My old bones need it. You should read it, Tammy baby.”

“It’s trash,” Professor Abbey interjected.

Granny O swatted the air in his direction. “Don’t listen to your boring old father.”

Tamara heaped milk into her cup, still reading, “An angel gave me the best sex of my life… I’m an angel groupie and proud of it…

Granny O rubbed the back of her neck and whistled. “I can never forget that one night stand I had decades ago with an angel. It was… heavenly. He did things to me no man had ever done, even your late grandfather. And his eyes glowed when he came.”

“A story we’ve heard a thousand times,” Kurokeme Abbey mumbled, “And a work of complete fiction.”

Granny O ignored him. She focused on her granddaughter. “A pity he used a condom. See, I always knew there were angels on earth, well before the Nephilim revealed their existence twenty years ago.”

“But they’re all gone now, Granny O. Some are dead and some returned to heaven. That’s what everyone says.” She lifted an eyebrow. “Don’t tell me you wanted a Nephilim baby.”

“Not really. Maybe. Anyway, so you think those women’s stories in the magazine are fabricated?” Granny O stared wide-eyed at Tamara. “There are still angels on earth, Tamara. They’re in hiding, that’s all.”

Tamara’s father turned a page of his newspaper. With his eye on the print, he muttered to his daughter, “You’ll never convince her otherwise so stop trying.”

Tamara grinned as she added sugar to her tea. Stirring the contents, her mind raced back to the past, almost twenty years ago, to The Day. She had been eight years old; unable to totally understand what was going on.

The first inkling that there was something different about that day was her father’s strange behavior. He’d huddled in front of the TV and then the radio for hours, excitement radiating from his eyes, his hair and his manner.

After, he’d raced to the home telephone and spent another couple of hours, calling various people and arguing stridently with them.

She remembered watching him, wondering what was going on. Then, her mother had come home, accompanied by Granny O. Granny O had been dancing around the house, declaring that she’d been vindicated.

Tamara had tried to find out what was happening from her parents and her father had started to tell her, in his absentminded fashion, but her mother had put a stop to his explanations. Tamara hadn’t given up, though. Her father had always treated her more like a grownup than a child. So, when her mother had retired to bed, she’d questioned her father again and after she’d promised to keep it a secret from her mother, he’d told her.

For the first time ever, in major cities all around the world, the press had been invited to attend conferences orchestrated by groups of people. At those meetings, these people had suddenly announced that they were Nephilim; beings descended from the first original Nephilim that had been born of the mating of angels with human females many, many years ago.

The members of the press had laughed off these assertions until they compared notes across the globe and noticed that all these people had midnight-black irises, black enough to render their pupils indistinguishable from the surrounding irises, that were rimmed with gold.

She’d asked her dad, “These beings would have had friends, neighbors, teachers, schoolmates… how come no-one noticed their strange eyes?”

Her father’s answer had been, “well, some claimed to have worn contact lenses to hide their eyes. For others…” Kurokeme had shrugged. “…we already know that humans have a variety of eye colors. Maybe, people merely assumed that the Nephilims’ black and gold eyes were just another normal human eye color.”

Her dad had carried on with his story. That, the main news hadn’t been their eyes but the DNA tests for non-human DNA that these people had voluntarily subjected to. Before the release of the results, there had been a flood of news stories. Some had called them insane. Some had labeled them deluded crackpots. Until, of course, the tests proved the existence of this never-before-seen genetic material.

Forgetting that he was speaking to his eight year old daughter, her father had gone on and on, enlightening her about these beings. Nephilim.

He’d started with the Book of Genesis. “I’d always thought it was fantasy. I never believed it was really true. That, according to what was written there, the sons of God, angels, saw the daughters of men and noticed their beauty. They lost their heads over these women and made them their wives. These women gave birth to giants or Nephilim, otherwise called ‘mighty men of old, men of renown’. God didn’t like what was going on and therefore he decided to destroy everything alive on earth, with a flood, except, of course, for Noah and his family and the other creatures in the Ark.”

She’d glanced up at her father, confused and yet willing to hear more. “Why did God want to destroy them just because they got married?”

Her father had sighed. Then, he’d added, “Because that wasn’t part of the plan and also because, according to the Book of Enoch, the Nephilim began to ‘devour one another’s flesh, and drink each other’s blood.’” He’d then proceeded to quote these words. “These giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon the earth... the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth...

“I don’t think I like the Nephilim,” she’d muttered, with a shudder.

“We shall see, Tammy baby. Time will tell,” he’d said and then wandered off.

That night, she’d slept with all the lights on in her bedroom.

Years later, she had read through every article and report she could find detailing people’s individual experiences on that day. A lot of people had at first thought it was a prank, a massive-scaled and world-spanning prank. How was it possible that there had been part-human beings living among them for years and no-one had known or even suspected? Beings with a mix of human and inhuman DNA and a slightly lower than normal body temperature. Beings that looked just like humans—apart from their odd eyes. How had they managed to keep their existence secret for this long?

Her father’s voice sliced through her thoughts. “Another human teenager dead from eating manna. When will they ever learn that manna is harmless to only Nephilims? How many more need to die before they understand that?”

Tamara sighed. “That’s a point I keep harping on in my blog. I have to believe that the word is spreading.” Twenty years after The Day and humans and Nephilim were still struggling with the day-to-day nuances of living side by side. Writing her blog was something she could do to promote peace and, possibly, save lives. It was better than folding her hands and expecting the government to do everything.

She sipped at her sweet, milky tea. Once she was done with breakfast, she would go and hang out with her best friend, Ezi, at her shop. For about an hour though. She planned to spend most of the afternoon and evening preparing for her interview. This job was vital.

Tomorrow would be the first day of her new life.

Chapter 2

Tamara pushed open the glass door and entered into the air-conditioned interior of Ezi Ozobia’s shop. After the scorching heat of the tropical sun outside, the chilly room was a gift from God.

“Tammy!” Ezi screamed and launched her small body into Tamara’s. “You’re here.”

Tamara grinned down into her friend’s round face and bright eyes. “I am. How are you, Ezi?” At five foot nine inches, she was eight inches taller than the petite Ezi.

“Busy, Tammy, very busy. Come, let’s sit.”

Tamara followed Ezi through the fluorescent-lit shop, past shelves and display boxes packed with various brands of make-up and hair products.

The two shop assistants sitting behind the counter smiled at Tamara. “Good afternoon, ma.”

“Good afternoon, girls,” Tamara replied, falling into a black leather seat next to her friend. She glanced at Ezi. “You’re doing well I see.” Ezi had always been the lucky one. She had known right from university that she was going to open a makeup shop. She had fallen in love at first sight with a wonderful guy that she had met in school, they had dated for years and finally three years ago, they had sealed the deal.

Ezi’s gaze zipped forward to the four women and the lone man browsing the shelves, shopping baskets in tow. She replied, “Business is okay, I guess.”

“Good to hear.”

“What’s up with you?”

Tamara grinned. “I have a job interview tomorrow. With Neteru Mills.”

“It’s one of those you applied to months ago, isn’t it?”

Tamara shrugged. She said, “I applied to a lot of companies. Neteru Mills contacted me yesterday afternoon.”

“You’ll get the job, by God’s grace. I know you’re tired of living off your father’s generosity.”

Tamara blew air out of her mouth. “Very, very tired, Ezi. It’s bad enough that he houses and feeds me. On top of that, I have to use his car tomorrow for the interview. The tyres of my car are begging me to replace them. I’ve patched them as many times as I can. It’s over for them. The end of the road.”

“How did you get here?”

“I took a taxi. Anyway, Ezi, I don’t know much about Neteru Mills. One thing I know: Etim is the plant manager.”

Ezi clapped her hands together, laughing. “That guy will do anything to get you to be his girlfriend. He’s obsessed with you.”

“I didn’t tell him before I applied for the job.”

“But he may have seen your CV and put in a good word for you.”

“He hasn’t mentioned it all this time. But I don’t want his help.”

Ezi grinned. “That’s because you’re not into him. Why? You don’t want to make little Nephilim babies with him?”

Tamara rolled her eyes. “Oh shush. And you know very well that it’s not a hundred percent certain that the mating of a human with a Nephilim will produce a little Nephilim baby. So that’s not the issue.”

“So, what is?”

Tamara sighed, forking the fingers of one hand through her very short, brunette-dyed curls. “He’s a good guy but I love him only as a brother.” She chuckled and added, “If you listen to Granny O, I need a man who can make me wet between my thighs.”

“Your grandmother is hilarious. It’s hard to believe she’s seventy years old, the way she acts and the things that come out of her mouth. But seriously, though… you need to irrigate that wilderness between your thighs—”

Tamara nudged Ezi in the side. “Shut up.”

Ezi laughed harder, grabbing her knees with her hands.

“I know it’s been a while—” Tamara said, her mouth curved in a smile.

“If you think four years is a while.”

“Shut up.” Tamara cut her eyes at her friend. Wow. Had it been four years ago that she had ended her last relationship?

Ezi tapped Tamara’s arm. “That reminds me… guess who I saw last week?”

“Who?”

“Cecilia Bakare, of all people!”

“Cecilia… it’s been a long time since I thought of her. In fact, after we left university, I pushed her from my mind.”

Ezi laughed. “She hated you. It was jealousy, of course. She always believed she was the most beautiful girl in school, the idol of every horny undergraduate in the University of Port-Harcourt. But you always managed to catch the attention of the hottest guys in school. She absolutely hated that.”

Tamara hissed. “I kept out of her way. She was mean. Anyway, how did she look? Still stunning?”

“Yep. Married and now pregnant… with her third child. She asked about you… wanted to know if you’re married… I dodged the question. I know she only wanted to compare notes, your life with hers.”

Tamara’s mouth twisted. “As insecure as ever…”

“Remember her ex… what was his name? He adored you. You two dated for a while.”

“Eight months. Jerry.”

“Yes! Jerry… I remember he was a fine-looking guy.”

“He was.”

“He was head-over-heels in love with you. But you weren’t feeling him, were you? Left to him, by now, you two would have been married.”

Tamara shrugged.

“You’re tall and curvy, with those sexy come-hither lips that I’ve always envied. From our time in Uni till now, men have buzzed around you like bees to a flower. Open, open up, little flower…”

Tamara wagged her head from side to side. “You need help.” Her friend could tease as much as she liked. Yes, men had always flocked to her. Men like Jerry. But each time she had been their choice. Was there a guy out there that could arouse in her something no man had ever done? One that would be her choice? Who knew?

But one thing she did know was that she was tired of boring guys. For now, she had no interest in starting a new relationship or even in having sex. She wasn’t looking for just any bee to enter between the thighs of this flower.



***



“How was work today?” Tamara asked, shutting the door to her flat behind her visitor.

Etim Coker answered over his shoulder as he strode straight into her kitchen. “Good.”

Tamara smiled. Two years ago, he had walked up to her while she was buying household items in a supermarket and had introduced himself. He had been polite and respectful and so she had given him her phone number.

Now he wanted something more. She only wanted to be his friend.

She returned to her position on the brown sofa opposite her flat screen TV. Beside her on the couch sat her laptop. On the dark wood centre table in front of her seat rested a half-full can of Heineken beer and a sheaf of printed papers.

Etim came into the sitting room, a small bottle of manna beer in his right hand.

She glanced up at him. Etim Coker. Nephilim. Five-eleven and smooth-faced. Twenty-seven years old, but he looked at least four years younger. It was those cheeks of his. Baby cheeks, she called them.

He perched on the sofa, next to the right arm-rest.

Tamara said, “Every time I go to the shop to buy your beer, the clerk at the counter gives me the usual disclaimer: Manna is fatal to humans. I don’t know how many times I have had to explain that I’m buying it for my Nephilim friend.”

Etim stared at the label on the bottle in his hand. “There’s a disclaimer on the bottle too.”

“All the things I do for you,” she teased. Tamara’s eyes dropped to her CV, the topmost paper on the pile. She raised her eyes back to him. “I have a job interview at Neteru Mills tomorrow morning. I applied months ago.”

Etim’s head swiveled to face her. “You did?”

“Yes, as health and safety manager.”

“And that’s the job you’ll be interviewing for tomorrow?”

Tamara peered at him. “Of course. That’s what I applied for.” She tilted her head to the side. “Did you come across my CV?”

His eyes skittered away. His fingers scratched at the hair under his chin. “No. Why?”

Tamara bit her lip, struggling to hold back a smile. He was a bad liar. She could always easily tell when he was lying. Especially when his hands dived under his chin. Ezi was right. Etim had somehow gotten a hold of her CV and had used his influence to get her the interview. He was lying because he was probably too embarrassed to admit it.

She replied, “Just wanted to know.”

Etim gulped down the last of his beer. “Okay.” He stood up. “I’m off. I’ll leave you to prepare for tomorrow.”

Tamara rose to her feet and trailed him to the door. He opened it, paused and then glanced at her.

“Once you’re done tomorrow, send me a text or something so I can meet up with you.”

“Sure.” She watched him walk to his parked car in the fading daylight. Most women would consider him a catch. He was polite and generous, educated and a gentleman. He had a good job, a decent flat and a posh car. And he loved her, she was sure of it.

But she was also sure that he wasn’t the one.



***



In the driver’s seat of her father’s cream 2006 Nissan Pathfinder, her hands on the steering wheel, Tamara shook her head. Aside from his books, his car was his pride and joy. He maintained every streamlined inch with love. She enjoyed driving it, relaxing in the soft leather seat, breathing in the lavender scent from the air freshener stuck in the air conditioner vent and feeling the heavy car respond with ease to the pressure of her shoed foot on the accelerator.

Her gaze touched the electronic clock on the dashboard. Eight forty-five. She was going to make it well before ten.

She glanced out her side window. The car was moving through a patch of heavy traffic on Oba Akran road, heading toward the plant at the end of the long road.

Her eyes caught a third billboard proclaiming the message: ANGELS ARE AMONG US. Tamara rolled her eyes. A conspiracy theorist with too much money for his own good. Why was it so hard for some people to believe that angels had left the earth? People like Granny O, this conspiracy theorist and many more like them. People who believed angels were still here, hiding in plain sight.

She pressed down on the accelerator. The vehicle crept forward, compressed on either side by rows of cars, motorcycles and tricycles.

Tamara sighed. Her right hand patted the file on the front passenger seat containing copies of her CV, cover letter, references, certificates and other documents. She had spent hours yesterday studying, researching the Neteru Mills’ Health and Safety practices, rehearsing sample questions and reviewing and updating her CV and cover letter. She was determined to do her best today.

Her gaze descended to her outfit. A black fitted jacket over a white shirt and a pencil skirt that had somehow grown smaller in the two years since she’d last worn this suit. And black block-heeled pumps on her feet.

A horn blared behind her. She jumped and stared ahead. The path in front was clear. Good.

Her foot shoved down on the accelerator. The car leaped forward.

It took less than thirty minutes to arrive at the gates of the factory. The security men at the gate directed her to a parking spot and from there to a glass door on the ground floor of a three-storey building to the left of the gates.

Her handbag dangling off her left shoulder and her file underneath her right armpit, Tamara stepped into the busy reception area. More than half of the white chairs in front of the wide reception desk were occupied by visitors. Beyond the seating area and opposite the doors was a bank of three elevators. People, some in suits, some in white coveralls and coats, streamed in and out of the elevators, chattering, laughing. Two of the three receptionists behind the desk were surrounded by inquiring guests.

Tamara approached the only one available. “Good morning, I’m Tamara Abbey. I have an appointment with Mr. Wole Adio.”

The woman’s eyes smiled through her orange-framed lenses. “Good morning. Have a seat. Wole will be here in a few minutes.”

Tamara returned to balance on the edge of her chair, her eyes on the receptionist as she picked up the phone in front of her and spoke into it for a few moments. A group of women in coveralls poured in through the entrance doors into the room, making straight for the lifts.

Tamara’s eyes followed the human traffic through the reception area. Surely Etim would be somewhere here in this vast building. It would be nice to run into him. A familiar face in this sea of strangers… he had joined this company about four years ago.

With branches in every major city of the world, Neteru Mills had monopolized the entire manna flour production market. A market of roughly four million Nephilim. Wow. Even though Nephilim also ate normal food, just like humans, for some reason, they were mad about manna.

The elevators pinged again. Tamara glanced up as one of the elevator doors opened. A man in a dark blue suit and a black shirt walked out and up to the desk.

“Tamara Abbey!”

“Yes, yes.” Tamara bounded to her feet.

At the reception desk, the man was waiting for her. Offering her a polite smile and a handshake, he said, “I’m Wole Adio, Senior HR Manager of Neteru Mills. Welcome, Ms Abbey. Sign in and follow me.”

Okay. Here goes. She shook his hand, smiled and quickly signed in, received her temporary visitor’s badge and followed him into the lift to the third floor, through a white-walled corridor to a steel-gray door marked Conference Room Five.

He turned around to glance at her. “I don’t really have an office here. I’m in the head office. I just came here for the interview.” He pushed the door open and strode inside, switching on the lights as he passed.

Tamara glanced around. A mid-sized conference table sat in the centre of the room, surrounded by black office chairs. On the table, rested a desktop computer and a desk phone. The wall parallel to the steel-gray door was made of glass. It had another door, also of glass. Through it, she could see another corridor and beyond, white-painted balcony rails.

He told her to take a seat and then moved to a chair across the table.

Dropping her handbag beside her chair and her file on the table, she settled in her seat, her gaze sighting a copy of her CV lying by the desktop keyboard.

Then her eyes rose to the man himself. Dark-skinned and thin-faced, smart in his well-cut suit.

Wole’s eyes flicked across the paper in front of him. “So, Tamara Abbey, I see you previously worked as Health and Safety Manager in Flour Mills.” He glanced up at her. “And you applied for the same position with us.”

“Yes sir.” She lifted her head, meeting his eyes head-on. She had to show him that she was the best person for the job.

“Hmm.” His gaze skipped to the ceiling. His right hand caressed his grey-streaked goatee. His left fingers tapped the table. “I’m sorry to tell you that the health and safety manager position in Neteru Mills has been filled. The only position vacant is that of executive assistant to our CEO.”

Tamara gaped at him, speechless. Executive Assistant to the CEO. What? She came all the way for this? Why didn’t he mention it in the mail he sent two days ago?

Wole’s gaze lowered to hers. He said, fingers still tapping. “If you’re interested, the job is yours. I know it’s a disappointment but…” he shrugged.

Frowning, Tamara stared at his tapping fingers. There was something strange about his behavior. Even though he was acting as if he didn’t care whether she took the job or not, she somehow sensed that he needed her to say yes.

Strange.

No, she wasn’t going to accept the job. She opened her mouth to say so but at that moment, the phone on the desk trilled.

Raising an index finger up toward her, he picked up the receiver with his other hand. “Yes? Okay… really?”

From the corner of her left eye, Tamara noticed movement.

She swung her head to the left. Two men and two women, corporate types, trouped through the corridor beyond the glass wall. The other three appeared to be tagging behind the one in front. He towered over the rest, at probably six-foot-six or seven inches tall.

Suddenly, he stopped. Behind him, the other man and the women skidded to a hasty stop, averting a collision with his back just in time.

He glanced toward her direction, head cocked.

Tamara gasped. Lord, he was a hunk of finely-hewn, mahogany-colored marble. Chiseled clean-shaven face, cheekbones high and head shaven of hair. It seemed like her heart stopped for about a second and then started up again.

And was he staring at her? Was that why he stopped? To stare at her?

Chapter 3

From far, far away, she heard Wole’s voice on the phone. “Yes, I see him. Mmhnn. On one of his surprise inspections, I guess… right, right…”

In about five seconds, it was all over.

The hunk of brown marble had whipped his head forward and was striding past, trailed by his minions.

She inhaled air. What had just happened? Who was he?

Wole ended his call. “Ms. Abbey, sorry about the interruption. As I was saying, if you want the executive assistant job, it’s yours. We don’t have to go through a lengthy interview. It’s up to—”

“Who was that?”

“Who?” Wole’s forehead creased.

“The very tall guy that walked past. In a bright blue suit.”

“That’s Xavier Osagie, the CEO of the Neter Group. Neteru Mills is one of the Neter Group’s subsidiaries. If you say yes to the job, he’s the one you’ll be working with.”

That was the CEO? Wow. Tamara sat up in her chair. This was a good opportunity, wasn’t it? She needed a job and this one had been offered to her on a platter of gold. Plus, she would get the chance to work very, very closely with the most devastatingly handsome man she had ever seen in her life. But what did the job entail?

She cleared her throat. “What will I be required to do? What’s my job description?”

Wole tossed her a smile. “I’m sure you’ll be able to handle it, based on your skills, abilities and qualifications mentioned in your CV. You’ll handle things like… responding to his emails, answering his phone calls, taking dictation, organizing his travels, attending meetings with him and on his behalf, preparing presentations, working with high-level clients… It’s a much better job than the health and safety manager job. For one thing you’ll be working out of the head office in Victoria Island. But if you don’t want the job, then I’ll have to give it to someone else.”

“No, no. I’ll take it. Thank you for the opportunity.”

Wole sighed in relief. He nodded, his smile broadening. “Very wise, Ms. Abbey. Welcome to the Neter Group.” He slapped the table with one hand. “I think now that he’s here on a facilities inspection, he might want to briefly interview you and see if you are a good fit with him. I’ll check. But you may have to wait for some time, are you okay with that?”

“Sure, sure. It’s okay.”

“Good.” He picked up the phone receiver and hefted it in one hand. “I’ll have Etim, our plant manager, drop in and keep you occupied for a few minutes. He can give you a brief walk-through and offer a short history of our company and the work we do.”

“Thank you.” Tamara linked her hands over her lap and waited as Wole made the call.

Minutes later, the glass door opened and Etim sauntered in.

Wole rose from his chair. The two men shook hands and Wole exited the room.

Etim grinned down at her. “Ready, Tamara? I’m supposed to keep you busy for a few minutes. You can leave your bag and file here.”

She stood up and walked out with him to the second corridor. “He said the health and safety manager job had been filled. I accepted the job as executive assistant to the CEO.”

“You’re going to be Xavier’s executive assistant?”

“Yes.” Maybe this was a chance to learn more about her new ultra-sexy boss. Without alerting Etim to her less than professional motives, of course. “I saw my potential boss pass through here some moments ago. What do you know about him?”

With her at his side, Etim moved down the corridor, toward the left. The balcony bordering one side of the corridor overlooked a spacious bull-pen.

He raised and lowered one shoulder. “Not much. He’s thirty-nine years old. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer by the board of directors of the Neter Group about seven years ago. He’s been doing a good job so far.”

Tamara scowled. That wasn’t the type of information she was seeking. She tried again. “He must be too busy with work to have a personal life.”

Etim nodded. “He’s single, as far as I know.”

Single. God is good. Tamara’s lips curved in a smile.

“He doesn’t have children. I know he has two brothers. He calls them brothers. But I don’t think they’re his blood brothers.”

She eyed him. “Why?”

Etim smiled. “Because one, Augustine, is Latino and the other, Dominic, is white South African. Anyway, that’s all I know about his personal life. He’s very private. And I’m supposed to be talking to you about the plant.”

“Yes, of course.” I’ll find out more about Xavier later. “I read on the company website that the Neter Group owns Neteru Farms, Neteru Mills and Neteru Foods.”

“Under Neteru Foods, there’s the Neteru Bakery and the Neteru Breweries. The brewery produces the manna beer you buy for me. But the company has many more interests… in pharmaceuticals, private security, TV broadcasting and even film production.”

“Huge.”

“Yes. I learnt that before my people made our existence known to humans, for years, we had been milling the manna grain and running this factory and other businesses on a small scale, keeping them secret from humans. But ever since we came out, the Neter Group has expanded its operations.”

They passed an office and then another. Eyes on the endless expanse of corridor ahead, she asked, “Is Xavier Nephilim?”

“No. He’s human.” Etim stared down at her. “The Neter Group employs both human and Nephilim.”

“Of course I know that. That’s why I’m here.”

One of the glass doors on their right swung open and a man in his early fifties marched out. His bearing and build reminded her of a soldier.

He stopped and smiled at Etim. “Etim. How are you doing?”

“I’m fine, Peter.” Etim inclined his head at Tamara. “This is Tamara Abbey. She’s to be Xavier’s assistant.”

“Tamara, welcome to Neteru Mills.” Peter extended a hand and shook hers. His dark eyes scanned her quickly, subtly.

His iris was jet-black with an outer rim of pale yellow. He was Nephilim. Although touch was one way to detect a Nephilim from a human, sometimes it took a moment to register the slight coolness in body temperature. But the eyes were the easiest. All it took was an instant. She replied, “thank you.”

Etim added, “Peter Dodara is the MD of the plant. He’s the man to go to if you want to know anything about our work here.”

“Good to know.”

“You’re a writer too, aren’t you?” Peter asked. “You write A United Stand.”

Tamara stared at him. “You’ve read my blog?”

“Yes, I have. Anyway, nice to meet you, Tamara.” Peter shot her another appraising look and then moved on in the opposite direction.

What’s with the looks? “Is there something special about this executive assistant job?” Tamara asked.

Etim shook his head, his gaze on his watch. “No, it’s just a job. Why do you ask?”

She shrugged. “No reason.”

“I think it’s time I take you back to the conference room. When you’re done with Xavier, let me know, okay?”

Tamara nodded. Maybe it was only her imagination. There was nothing going on.



***



She flicked a glance at her watch. Two minutes after twelve. This was taking longer than she had expected. She needed to be done with this and back home with her dad’s car before three. How long did she have to wait for—?

Without warning, Xavier swooped into the room through the glass door.

Tamara stared up at him, her heart flying into her throat. Lord, he was better-looking close up. His tailored bright blue suit served to define his muscled arms and lean body. With the suit, he wore a matching waistcoat, white shirt and brown tie. His scent sneaked into her nostrils. Something strong, manly and exotic. And his eye color was… unusual. One she hadn’t seen before in a black man’s eyes. They were a shade of amber. What some people referred to as wolf’s eyes. Were they real?

Real or not, his quick glance in her direction just sent a laser burst of energy into her blood.

She gulped, rising to her feet. This interview was going to test her in ways she hadn’t prepared for.

He dallied at the other end of the conference table, two sheets of paper in one hand and the other hand splayed out on the table.

Tamara’s eyes left his face and stayed on his hands. What slender, brown hands. He could make a fortune working as a hand model—

“Tamara Abbey…”

“Sir—” She stuck her hand out.

His eyes sank to her hand and then narrowed. “Call me Xavier. We call each other by our first names here.”

Xavier’s hand darted out and shook hers.

It only lasted a second but the touch of his soft palm against hers remained ingrained in her mind.

“Sit, please.”

She dropped into the chair behind her, her heart thumping like a praise-singer’s drum.

“You’ve never been an executive assistant before, have you?”

Tamara glanced up at him.

His gaze skipped over her face and was away to the wall behind her. He was determined not to make eye contact. He didn’t seem shy, so, for some reason, he just didn’t want to look at her.

“No, sir—Xavier, but I’m a quick learner. And I know I have the prerequisite skills to do this job effectively.”

“It’s a high pressure job. Is it something you’re prepared for?”

“Yes, I am. I’m no stranger to working in high-pressure situations. I love such situations because they challenge me and force me to grow.” She tried again to pin his gaze. Succeeded only for about two seconds. Why was he still standing? Poised, like a magnificent statue.

In the uncomfortable silence that followed her words, Tamara plodded on. “I’m also very experienced in using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. I have taken courses on—” she crashed to a halt as she stared into his face.

What was he doing?

His eyelids covered his eyes and his long lashes fanned his cheeks. His nostrils flared. “Pardon me,” he said and opened his eyes and, for the first time, focused those amber orbs on her face. “Jasmine, orange blossom… sandalwood…”

Tamara’s mouth twisted. What?

He threw her a brief, warm smile. “Your perfume. It’s Dior’s Pure Poison, isn’t it?”

Wow. Her eyes widened. A man with knowledge of women’s perfumes. Hmm. Did his girlfriend use the same perfume?

Tamara replied, “Yes, you’re correct.” What a question to ask during an interview. He didn’t appear to be flirting, though. Had he smelt it on her and just wanted to confirm the label? Who knew…?

He grinned. “I’m sure you’re thinking I’m crazy.”

She zoned in on his smile. Whoa. Potent. Seductive.

She managed to blurt out, “No, I’m not.”

“It’s okay. It was inappropriate.” The smile vanished. He strode forward to loom over her. “I’ll give you a trial period of three months. You’ll start next week in the main office.”

“Thank you, Xavier.” She gazed up at him. Lord. How would he look naked? As the thought flashed through her mind, her vagina tightened and a flood of her juice gushed onto her panties.

Xavier gasped. His eyes expanded and a wrinkle marred his smooth forehead. In a swift motion, he spun around, presenting her with his back.

Tamara bit her lip, frowning. It was as if he knew what had just occurred, between her thighs.

But that was impossible. It couldn’t be.

But then why did he gasp and turn away?

No, it couldn’t be. There had to be some other explanation.

Her stomach roiled with embarrassment.

He muttered, “I’ll send Wole to you,” and stamped out of the conference room.

She clapped her hands over her mouth. What had just happened?



***



Whew. She had made it home with ten minutes to spare. Tamara slammed the door of her flat, tore off her jacket and flung it onto the nearest chair. She kicked off her shoes and stamped to her fridge in the kitchen.

Pulling out a can of Heineken beer, she sighed. What a day. A good day, mostly. Today she got a job. Not the one she’d applied for but one that promised to be nerve-tingling and panty-wetting.

After Xavier’s exit, Wole had come back in. Another interview. She had then filled a series of forms and received an orientation package.

Tamara stalked to the sitting room and collapsed into the couch. She lifted her legs onto the centre table and sighed again. With one hand on her beer, she reached for the TV remote and switched on the TV. The late afternoon show, Today’s News with Habiba Sanni, came on.

Habiba, the host of the show, was making a point to her two guests. “…the riot that broke out at today’s pro-human rally at Freedom Park ended in the death of six people…”

She groaned. Always with the bad news. Taking a swig of her beer, she let her thoughts wander once more to her new boss. Did he know she had creamed her panties? He couldn’t know. But his reaction was instantaneous. Shock. Was it her face? Did her expression reveal something of her lustful and utterly inappropriate thoughts? Oh Lord. She was both excited and mortified at the thought of working with him. He definitely was not boring.

This was the first time she had experienced such a stark and immediate reaction to a man. Only yesterday she’d reminded herself for the thousandth time that sex and dating were both in her rear-view mirror. And the moment she’d met Xavier Osagie, her past resolutions had vanished like a wallet of money forgotten in a Danfo bus.

She had never dated a man like him before, accomplished and successful, the epitome of TDH; Tall, Dark and Handsome. The Chief Executive Officer of a major corporation with looks that could easily place him on the front cover of national and international magazines.

Xavier Osagie. Prim, maybe even a little reticent. Sexy to the power hundred.

But a bit weird. His sudden stop in the corridor, like he had sensed her somehow. And he had stared at her, through the glass, for a few seconds though, but it had happened. Plus that question about her perfume in the middle of a job interview, while she was speaking, for goodness sake. And the way he behaved, eyes closed and nose sniffing. Inhaling her scent?

Tamara grabbed her jacket and pushed it to her nose, inhaling. She could smell some residue of the fragrance she had applied in the morning. But she wasn’t the kind of woman who loved to douse herself in perfume. And how come he was the only one who had noticed?

Strange.

There were a few things that seemed off today at Neteru Mills. First, Wole, then, Peter, and most of all, her boss, Xavier.

Next week she’ll make sure to keep her eyes open and find out all she could about her job.

Chapter 4

She woke with a start. Her glance caught the empty beer can on the floor. On the TV, Habiba Sanni was still on, debating another issue with her guests.

“…later on in the show, I’ll call on ex-political correspondent and current political activist, Salim Atiku, to join this discussion… but for now, I have to ask: what about the families of the two Nephilim men whose heads were severed from their bodies...?

Tamara blinked. Good. She had only dozed off for a few minutes. She yawned and stretched.

Her mobile phone rang.

She answered. It was Etim.

“How did your interview with Xavier go? You didn’t inform me before you left.”

She pushed the fingers of one hand through her curls. “Sorry. The interview was fine. I’m starting next week for a probationary period of three months.”

“That’s good, isn’t it?”

“Yes, yes.” Tamara nodded. “After two years of unemployment, I finally have a job.”

“We need to celebrate.”

“Oh, we will.”

“What are you doing right now? Wait, I can picture you… feet up, TV on, cold beer by your side, am I right?”

She chuckled. “You know me well. But the beer is finished and I’ve barely been watching this talk show on TV.”

“Let me guess: Today’s News with Habiba Sanni.

“Yes, correct.”

“About two months ago, she was doing your job.”

Tamara straightened, eyes narrowed. “She was Xavier’s former assistant?”

“Yes.”

Tamara’s gaze whizzed to the woman on the screen. Fair-complexioned, skinny, with a strikingly pretty face. Glaring at the TV, she asked, “Why did she leave?”

“I don’t know. But the two of them were very close.”

Her lips curled. “Were they dating?”

“I don’t think so. Anyway, Tamara, I’m on the road now. I’m driving. I’ll call you later, okay?”

“Yes, it’s fine. Bye, Etim.” She bit her bottom lip. Earlier in the day, Etim had mentioned that Xavier was unmarried. No wife, yes, but there may be a girlfriend or girlfriends… One of whom, maybe, was Habiba Sanni.

Tamara snatched her phone, launched the Facebook App and did a search.

A few other Xaviers popped up. No Xavier Osagie, CEO of the Neter Group. The same with Instagram and Twitter.

What? Not a trace of him on social media. Not one.

Wow.



***



Eight-thirty two, Monday morning. Heart thudding, Tamara leaned forward in her chair, her arms wound around her chest.

It was finally here. Her first day as Executive Assistant to the CEO of the Neter Group. Whew.

She was at her desk, in a square enclosure bordered by short white walls. On her right stretched a bull-pen of chairs, desks and partitions. At this hour, more than half of those compartments were already occupied. A few feet away, on her left, Xavier’s dark office took up most of the room. The polished wood door stood almost directly opposite the entrance to her enclosure. The walls of the office were part concrete, part reinforced glass.

According to his itinerary she had received from a HR person some days ago, along with her job description, her boss got into the office at nine ‘o’ clock. She had been here for about an hour. Waiting. Her stomach churning and her pulse dancing. Some of it was the novelty of starting work again after a long absence, yes, but most of it was because of her new boss. What type of a person was he? Would she enjoy working with him? Was he dating Habiba Sanni?

Tamara inhaled air in through her nose as her gaze snagged a tall, regal figure striding toward her.

He had arrived.

Today he was in a grey suit, matching waistcoat, white shirt and white pocket square and a burgundy tie. Dangling off one wide shoulder was a grey knapsack.

She jumped to her feet, almost banging her leg against a drawer beneath her desk.

He reached her and paused. Cool, amber eyes rested on her face.


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