Billionaire's Disguise

By: Kendra King

Chapter 1





“Christina!” Vanessa yelled while stepping into my office. “If you buy any more useless crap, I’m going to send you to that hoarding show. You do not need another fax machine.” She sat on my desk. “What’s going on?”

Vanessa and I have been friends since kindergarten and co-workers for the past five years. I like to call her my personal Oprah. She was always full of advice and knew how to shoot it to me straight.

So, it was no surprise that when she saw the mess that my office was in, she was going to say something about it. She looked around at all the boxes, shook her head, and pulled out her mirror. She applied yet another coat of lip gloss to her full lips and played with her bangs, adjusting them so they looked just right.

I couldn’t help but laugh and shake my head while I watched her—she was always primping herself. Vanessa was a gorgeous, full-figured Latina. She knew her beautiful body and face had men eating out of the palm of her hand, thanks in no small part to the fact that she was constantly at the gym. She worked out, ate well, and even made regular visits to the salons. Sometimes, I wished I had the energy—or the time.

After I had turned 28, I gave up on all that. It was like one day I looked into the mirror and told myself enough was enough. I couldn’t keep up with all of the new trends anyway. Ladies went well beyond simple hair and beauty tricks, now they added hair and nails. Some were dying their hair, wearing super high heels, adding fake eyelashes, and they were even doing plastic surgery. Looking through the magazines, it wasn’t about spotting the celebrities, but more like recognizing who they were.

I’m done with all that. Just a bit blush for my fair skin and maybe some dirty blonde highlights, if I was feeling wild.

Now, Vanessa was looking at me again expectantly, and it took me a minute to remember why she was even in my office.

“They aren’t for me!” I finally responded playfully. Then I added, “I’m shipping them out of here first thing Monday morning.”

I turned to go over the invoices, which were becoming a hefty pile on my desk. I have so much to do, I thought miserably as I rubbed my temples. A vacation. I need one stat.

“Damn, well you can at least place it neatly in the corner.”

“I told them to do it,” I responded, waving my hand behind my back as if the delivery men were still standing there.

“Chrissy, I’ve told you a million times, you have to put your foot down—especially when it comes to the workers.”

“Vanessa, I told them.” I reiterated as if that would settle it. I should have known better. There was a lecture coming this way, the shift in the air told me so.

“But did they listen? Why are you so content with people walking all over you?”

The nagging wasn’t helping the throb in my temples, and I slammed my pen down a little more loudly than I’d intended. “Please, can we just skip the speech? I don’t need another-”

The computer’s ringing interrupted me. It was Blake calling, we’d been online friends for nearly ten years. We “met” in a chat room when I was bored one day. He sent me a message and we have been talking ever since then.

It was such a natural chemistry. It started off with instant messages online every day and then grew to phone calls every night. We’d laugh for hours.

Relief washed over me as the ringing continued, this was exactly what I needed to soothe my nerves. With Blake, I could forget about my day. He was like hot cocoa and a cozy book next to a fire wrapped up in an enigmatic man with a deep voice.

“Let me guess who it is,” Vanessa started, mock-tapping her chin as if deep in thought. She then rolled her eyes as she slid off my desk and pressed the spacebar on my keyboard without waiting for me to respond. “Hi, Blake!” She beamed.

“How are you, Vanessa?” Blake responded, sounding as bored as ever. I smiled a little on the inside, knowing that he was probably the one person in the world that Vanessa didn’t have an effect on.

“I’m great, thank you for asking. So, when are you coming to sweep Chrissy off of her feet?” She shot me a mischievous smile. She’d been teasing me about Blake ever since I finally admitted to her that we’d never met; she was convinced that he was tricking me, a ‘catfish’, she called it. It’s resulted in her taking the opportunity to make a joke about him sweeping me off my feet every chance she got.

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