Seduced by the CEO

By: Pamela Yaye

Chapter 1

Famed restaurateur, Nicco Morretti, watched celebrity party planner Claudia Jefferies-Medina sail through the doors of Javalicious and noted that as usual, she was right on time. Smiling broadly, he stood and pulled out a chair for her at their table. Celebrating the grand reopening of his restaurant lounge, Dolce Vita, last night left Nicco feeling sluggish. But he quickly shook off his fatigue and smiled. “Good morning, Claudia.”

“It’s great to see you again.” Kissing him on both cheeks, Claudia greeted him as if they’d known each other all of their lives rather than just a month.

“Thanks for agreeing to meet me on such short notice. I really appreciate it.”

“No problem,” Claudia said as she sat down, took off her white blazer and draped it behind her chair. “I was already in town on business, so squeezing you in this morning was a cinch.”

“I ordered you a cappuccino when the waiter came by earlier. I hope that’s okay.”

“You remembered what kind of coffee I like,” she said, touching a hand to her chest. “Thank you, Nicco. That was very thoughtful of you.”

The waiter arrived, tray in hand, and placed two steaming mugs on the round wooden table. “Would you like to order something from the breakfast menu?”

“Nothing for me,” Nicco said, reaching for his coffee mug. “I’m good.”

While Claudia chatted with the waiter about the morning specials, Nicco studied the thin, long-haired women seated beside the front window. They grinned lasciviously, and he did, too, making a mental note to introduce himself to the blond babes after his meeting with Claudia ended. He glanced around the sparsely decorated café, surprised to see that it was filled to capacity. The quaint coffee shop attracted locals and tourists alike, and although it was only nine o’clock in the morning, a steady stream of casually dressed people shuffled through the open door. The scent of sea water mingled with the aromas wafting around the café, and the sound of squawking birds and laughter filled the air.

“Have you had a chance to review the notes I sent you last week?”

Nicco wanted to laugh, but didn’t. Claudia sat on the edge of her seat, her eyes bright and her excitement sky high. “I think my mom will get a kick out of the live band, and the vintage photo booth, but the rest of the report didn’t wow me.”

Claudia frowned as if confused by his words, but she didn’t speak.

“The party’s too small, too low-key. It needs to be grand, flashy and over-the-top.”

“Nicco, it doesn’t get much bigger than the grand ballroom at the Biltmore Hotel,” she said, sounding as animated as a high school cheerleader. “I’ve done several events at the Biltmore, and they outdo themselves every single time. If you’d like, I could email you some pictures of the pre-Grammy party I did back in January.”

Nicco shook his head. “That won’t be necessary.”

“Are you sure? I think if you saw some pictures you’d feel differently about us booking the Biltmore. It’s a gorgeous hotel rich in history and culture, and one of my personal favorites.”

“I’m just not feeling it, Claudia, so please keep searching for another venue.” His mind was made up. Nicco tasted his coffee, and leaned back comfortably in his chair. He loved the Biltmore Hotel, and thought the food and service was outstanding. But he didn’t want to have his parents’ anniversary party in a hotel where he’d had numerous sexual liaisons. But he couldn’t tell Claudia that, not without looking like a sleaze ball. He wanted the celebrity party planner to think he was a mature, upstanding guy. So, spilling the beans about his past escapades at the historic hotel was definitely out of the question. “My parents worked hard to give me and my brothers a great life in this country, and I want to throw them the most expensive, outrageous anniversary bash Miami has ever seen!”

Claudia was silent for a moment. “What about a mega yacht?”

“Will three hundred people fit comfortably inside?”

“When did the guest list balloon to three hundred people?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Once word got out that my parents were celebrating their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, our relatives in Venice and Florence insisted on making the trip to Miami.”

“The more the merrier, right?”

“That’s the Morretti way!”

“Trust me, it’s the Mexican way, too. A small family dinner at my in-laws’ place usually involves hundreds of people, and more food and alcohol than a Carnival Cruise ship!” Claudia laughed out loud, but quickly sobered and continued her spiel. “A mega yacht can comfortably hold up to five hundred people, and has everything you can think of—lavish staterooms, a lounge, a formal dining room, a pool and even a personal theater. You name it, the yacht’s got it.”

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