“What do you think you’re doing?” a voice said behind Elizabeth causing her to cringe as she leaned over her overnight bag.
“Carly,” Elizabeth said, as she zipped up the bag, “didn’t hear you knock.”
“Your front door was unlocked,” Carly said flippantly as she walked into Elizabeth’s bedroom and sat down on the bed, grabbing the overnight bag.
“And evidently you thought that was your permission to come right into my apartment,” Elizabeth said sarcastically as she tried to snatch her bag from Carly’s clutches.
“No, no,” Carly said haughtily, her eyes narrowing as she managed to unzip the bag and pull out a turtleneck sweater, “don’t try to change the subject. What is this? This is not clothes you wear on a cruise to the Bahamas. Care to explain.”
“I have some business to attend to,” Elizabeth said, snatching the sweater out of Carly’s hand and stuffing it back into the overnight bag that Carly had pulled it out of.
“We’re supposed to be on a plane to Florida to catch a cruise to the Bahamas on Monday morning,” Carly warned her as she looked at Elizabeth.
“I know Carly,” Elizabeth said resignedly, “and I will be bright eyed and bushy tailed waiting with you and Robin to get on the plane early Monday morning.”
Carly’s eyes narrowed again as she took in Elizabeth fidgeting around her room packing up her makeup kit to throw in the overnight bag.
“So, what’s this business you have to attend to,” Carly asked her friend.
“Nothing much,” Elizabeth hedged, looking over her dresser to see if she was forgetting anything she might need.
“It’s him,” Carly stated disgustedly, “isn’t it?”
“Carly,” Elizabeth groaned as she put the make-up kit in her bag, “don’t start.”
“It is him,” Carly exclaimed affronted. “Elizabeth…”
“He called because he needed help out of a jam,” Elizabeth told Carly.
“And evidently you’re the only one that can help him,” Carly said, cocking an eyebrow up as she gazed at Elizabeth.
“Yea I am,” Elizabeth told her huffily. “He told me I’m the only one that can help him out of this particular jam.”
“No, you’re the only one that will put your life on hold to help him,” Carly corrected sarcastically.
“Carly,” Elizabeth exclaimed, looking at one of her best friends, “it wasn’t like that. And I’m not putting my life on hold.”
“Really,” Carly said in disbelief, “you’re supposed to be packing this weekend for your trip to the Bahamas. Not packing this weekend to go bail him out of a jam.”
“It’s one day,” Elizabeth explained. “The private jet leaves in an hour. I bail him out and I’m back here by Sunday to pack for the Bahamas and I’m meeting you and Robin on Monday for our plane. Done deal.”
“It’s never a done deal when it comes to him,” Carly said, folding her arms over her chest. “Your vacation was supposed to have started as of Friday at five o’clock. It is noon Saturday and you’re already off vacation.”
“I am not off vacation,” Elizabeth argued. “I’m just…”
“Helping him out of a jam,” Carly finished for Elizabeth when she saw that Elizabeth was struggling for words. “You’re such a doormat Elizabeth.”
“Carly,” Elizabeth exclaimed in shocked. “That is so mean of you to say.”
“It’s the truth Elizabeth,” Carly told him. “Every time he says jump, you say how high, which way, what type of jump, and how do you want me to land.”
“I don’t do that Carly,” Elizabeth refuted, running her hand through her chestnut hair in frustration.
“Oh you don’t,” Carly said. “You’re the only person I know that is on call for 24 hours and is not in the medical profession.”
“Well sometimes he has epiphanies late at night,” Elizabeth reasoned.
“He can buy a tape recorder and tell it to it,” Carly argued. “You know the only reason he does the things he do to you is because you let him.”
“Well it’s not like I can tell him no,” Elizabeth said.
“You’re his employee,” Carly told her, “not his servant.”
“I’m his assistant,” Elizabeth told her. “That means I’m supposed to assist him.”
“Yea, with paperwork, scheduling,” Carly told her. “I don’t think going to his house and watering his plants and taking out his dog should be considered under business work.”
Elizabeth rolled her eyes at Carly as she slung the overnight bag over her shoulder.
“You don’t have a comeback, do you?” Carly asked smugly.
“I did those things because I consider us to have a relationship where we would do things like this for each other,” Elizabeth said.
“Really,” Carly said in disbelief. “Then enlighten me. What exactly has he done for you where he’s done something for you?”
Elizabeth thought for a while and then smiled in triumph. “He hired a nurse for me when I had the flu last year,” she told Carly.
“Only to turn around and have you as his personal nurse when he caught the flu the next week,” Carly countered.
“Point taken,” Elizabeth said as she thought about Carly’s counter.
“You’re his personal doormat,” Carly told her friend, “you do realize that right?”
“Yea I know,” Elizabeth said wearily. “That’s why you’ll be happy to know I came up with a decision.”
Carly sat looking at Elizabeth and watched her best friend chew on her bottom lip. Carly knew she did that when she was nervous.
“Okay Elizabeth,” she said finally. “Care to enlighten me. After all, you do have a plane to catch.”
Elizabeth walked over to her desk that sat in the corner of her bedroom and pulled a folder out of her top drawer. She walked over to Carly and handed her the folder. Carly looked in the folder and then looked up at Elizabeth, her eyes bulging out her head.
“This is an updated résumé,” Carly said, awe in her voice. “Does this mean what I think it means?”
“I was planning on putting out feelers when we came back from vacation,” Elizabeth explained only to jump back when Carly hopped off the bed squealing, wrapping her arms around Elizabeth.
“I knew it,” Carly crowed excitedly, “I knew you weren’t that big of a doormat!”
“Carly,” Elizabeth said, trying to calm her friend down from her exuberance. “Carly, you need to calm down.”
“I can’t,” Carly said, breaking away from Elizabeth, still doing a dance of joy. “I can’t believe that you’re actually growing some tits and telling your boss where to shove it.”
“Carly,” Elizabeth said reasonably, “I’m not exactly going to phrase it like that. And what do you mean…grow some tits?”
“Well you can’t exactly grow any balls,” Carly told her, “because you’re a girl. So tits it is. So when are you going to give your boss the old heave-ho?”
“I think I’m going to actually have to wait till I have another job in line before I can give my two week notice,” Elizabeth said.
“Uh uh,” Carly said emphatically. “He doesn’t deserve a two week notice. You’ve been his bitch girl for 4 years. When you get your new job, just leave him high and dry.”
“Carly,” Elizabeth chastised, “I couldn’t do that to him.”
“Why not,” Carly whined. “It’s the least he deserves.”
“Carly,” Elizabeth said sensibly, “whether you like it or not, he’s been good to me. I have a salary that most people will kill for. Vacation time that it would take some people years to accumulate, I really don’t have much to complain about.”
“Except,” Carly said, getting off the bed and walking over to Elizabeth to put her hands on her shoulders, “you never have time to use that vacation time because he always needs you and all your money does is sit in the bank because there is never any time for you to spend it.”
“Carly,” Elizabeth said a smile coming to her face as she rested her hands on Carly’s forearms, “I’m quitting when I can find another job. I’m not going to be cruel when I do. Let it go.”
“As long as you promise not to change your mind because he might say something nice to you while you’re rescuing him,” Carly bargained.
“I promise,” Elizabeth said cheerfully, seeing relief come to Carly’s eyes. “Now do you mind driving me to the airport?”
Carly rolled her eyes then wrapped her arm around Elizabeth’s shoulders. “I swear muffin,” she said as they walked out the door, “if I didn’t think of you like a sister, I would have drowned you by now because you’re so damn adorable.”
Elizabeth leaned back in the plush leather of the jet and contemplated when she became a complete schmuck. Carly was right. She and Jason weren’t friends. They had an employer, employee relationship. Nothing more and nothing less.
She had graduated from PCU practically at the top of her class with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in business management just to end up as Jason Morgan’s assistant. True, he was the CEO of Morgan Enterprises so she was working for the head honcho, but when she envisioned herself working for a company, she had envisioned herself wheeling and dealing, dictating orders to underlings, not passing along the message to underlings.
It had been a true fluke how she came to work for Jason Morgan right after college. She had gone to human resources to apply for an opening as an entry-level data processor. True she was over qualified for the job, but she had to get her foot in somewhere. However, the human resource manager had mistook her for a temp who was supposed to show up to take the place of Jason Morgan’s former assistant who left due to the constant demands of the man himself. Elizabeth hadn’t bothered correcting the human resource manager thinking that working as Jason Morgan’s personal assistant was a hell of lot better than working as an entry-level data processor.
Her plan as she made her way to the top of Morgan Enterprises with the human resource manager leading her was to become Jason Morgan’s assistant and dazzle him with her know how and her efficiency. That was until she met the man himself who took one look at her and announced her as being too young for the job therefore too inexperience to handle the workload that he required her to handle. She was about to argue her case when the human resource manager had argued the case for her. Susan reminded Jason that he was out of options to be picky. He had gone through the secretary pool at the company and many of the temp agencies already.
Reluctantly Jason had decided to take Elizabeth on at a trial basis. Elizabeth had applied herself to be the best assistant Jason Morgan had ever had. A combination of long hours, working weekends, sleepless nights, no vacations, and barely any sick days culminated into Elizabeth being Jason Morgan’s assistant for the last four years while putting her dreams of being over a department at Morgan Enterprises on hold. To watch Jason Morgan’s mind work when he was wheeling and dealing in the boardroom was a thing of beauty. Elizabeth had learned more from watching Jason in the boardroom then she ever learned in a college course. Over the years of working with him, she had made suggestions to him how to help the company. He had taken them under consideration, sometimes rejecting them at the end, other times going along with them where it benefited the company.
Elizabeth had hoped that running those ideas past Jason and him even utilizing some of them was going to get her working in an actual division of the company besides just being his assistant. Instead her reward for one idea had been a $15,000 bonus, the next one a way more then generous pay raise, and the ultimate reward, a brand new off the show room floor red Aston Martin V8 Vantage fully loaded. Most employees would do back flips getting those kinds of gifts. Hell Elizabeth had called herself ungrateful many times over when she thought about all her perks of being Jason’s assistant like the travel to exotic locations, the exorbitant salary, the five-star dining, and the luxurious hotels and resorts they stayed in, but she found herself wanting to trade all that in for something more.
“Ms. Webber,” the pilot said over the intercom breaking her from her reverie, “we’ll be landing in 20 minutes.”
“Thank you Cody,” Elizabeth said, pressing the intercom before releasing it and buckling her seatbelt for the impending landing.
She had brought everything that she could think that Jason would need from her. Her laptop, her recorder, her address book full of contacts, and even some caffeine pills just in case she had to pull an all-nighter to get her back on the plane Sunday in order to keep her word and meet Carly and Robin at the airport early Monday morning.
Elizabeth shook her head as she thought about the conversation that she had had with Carly before her plane. Carly had shoved the folder containing her résumé as well as a computer printout of job listings that Elizabeth had printed out in her hand. Elizabeth had been forced to not roll her eyes as Carly once again reiterated what a jerk Jason Morgan was and that Elizabeth was not his personal doormat. Carly’s heart was in the right place when it came to Elizabeth. She hated the fact that Elizabeth worked long hours, was never free because she was always doing something for Jason or away with Jason working, but that wasn’t really what turned Carly off of one Jason Morgan. It was the fact that one of his business endeavors in Canada caused Elizabeth to miss Carly’s wedding to Mitchell Coleman in which Elizabeth was a bridesmaid. It wasn’t like Jason knew off the top of his head that they were going to shut down the airport because of an incoming blizzard. Besides, the marriage to Coleman only lasted four months before Carly decided that Coleman was not the man for her. Elizabeth smirked as she thought about the fact that Carly’s grudge against Jason lasted longer than her marriage to Coleman.
Elizabeth gathered her things together as the jet pulled up to the private hanger and stopped. Cody came out of the cockpit and opened the door letting down the stairs so that Elizabeth could exit the airplane. She smiled a good-bye at Cody as she made her way from the jet to the waiting limo where Max stood at attention.
“Good afternoon Max,” Elizabeth said cordially with a smile on her face directed at the burly chauffeur that always reminded her of a teddy bear.
“Good afternoon Elizabeth,” Max returned with a smile of his own aimed at the chestnut haired woman that always reminded him of a pixie.
“So,” Elizabeth said as Max opened the backdoor for her, “do you have any idea why the great man called me to Aspen on short notice?”
“All he told me to do was to pick you up at the airport and hand you this,” Max said, producing an envelope from his coat pocket.
Elizabeth looked at the envelope in puzzlement before climbing into the back of the limo. As Max closed the door behind her and made his way to the driver’s seat, she opened the envelope curiously trying to figure out why her boss was being so cryptic. Inside the envelope was a business credit card from Morgan Enterprises and a brief note in Jason’s bold handwriting.
Use the card to buy a formal dress. Meet me at the St. Regis Aspen Hotel at 8pm sharp.
You can get dressed in my Loft Suite.
You’re playing the role of my significant other.
Elizabeth didn’t know how long she stared at the note in disbelief but she snapped out of it when she felt the limo pull up to a stop. Looking out the window, Elizabeth saw boutiques lining the street. Her door opened to reveal a smiling Max putting his hand out to help her out the limo.
“Max,” Elizabeth said suspiciously as she took his hand, “did you know anything about this?”
A small smile quirked Max’s face as he closed the door to the limo and stood beside her as she looked up and down the street.
“All I know is Jason told me to pick you up from the airport and bring you to Galena Street,” Max told her. “He said that his note would explain everything else.”
Elizabeth looked back down at the note and felt her anger rise. She was on vacation. She was supposed to be packing to go to the Bahamas with her two best friends. Instead she was off vacation and in Aspen, CO not as Jason’s assistant but under the pretense of being his girlfriend.
It was only one thing to do, Elizabeth thought deviously. And that was to make him pay.
“Max,” Elizabeth said sweetly, the glint in her eye contradicting the light heartedness in her speech. “You might want to grab yourself a cup of coffee and a newspaper. I’m going to be a while.”
Max shook his head as he watched Elizabeth walk away from him into one of the boutiques. He didn’t like the look on her face and had a distinct feeling that his boss was about to find out a side of Elizabeth Webber that he had never met before.
Jason looked at his watch for the fifth time that night in annoyance. It was 8:30 and Elizabeth still hadn’t shown up yet. He had given her distinct instructions to be here at 8 and she was now 30 minutes late. Jason raised a glass of champagne to his lips wishing it was beer as he glanced around the room to see if his sufficient assistant had came in without him noticing. He tried not to wince as his eyes landed on Courtney Corbin as she smiled seductively at him from across the room.
She was the reason that he had to make a mayday call to Elizabeth to come out to Aspen. Daughter of Michael Corbin, the man that he was about to finalize a multi-million dollar contract with, she was after Jason like he was the last man on earth. Not helping the matter was the fact that Michael wasn’t exactly against the thought of his daughter hooking up Jason. However, Jason’s motto from day one when he started his company eight years ago was to never mix business with pleasure and for eight years he had lived by that motto never once breaking it. Not that he was even thinking about getting involved with Courtney Corbin.
She wasn’t really his type. Not saying he wasn’t attracted to blond blue eyed women. He had quite a few since Heather Ramsey had kissed him in fourth grade. He liked all types of women. Blonds, brunettes, red heads, petite, tall, pear shaped, hour glassed shaped, top heavy. Jason considered him an equal opportunity dater. However, it was one thing that his dates had to have in order to peak his curiosity and that was something that Courtney hadn’t shown the three days that he had been around her. An actual brain.
She had no real goals in life except for her father to take care of her until she was married off to a husband. She had no formal education to carry on a decent conversation. And she used her body to get what she wanted more than her mind. After the second day when Jason had come out of the bathroom to find Courtney in his hotel suite lounging on his bed with nothing but a white lace bra and lace thong on, he realized that the excuse of mixing business with pleasure wasn’t going to suffice and came up with the excuse of having a girlfriend.
At first Courtney hadn’t believed him, saying that he would have mentioned his girlfriend by now and when she asked the simple question of her name, Jason had come up blank. His slight hesitation had Courtney smiling smugly that she had caught him in a lie until an image of Elizabeth came into his head and he began to go into details about his efficient assistant who was now his pretend girlfriend.
Courtney had been perturbed but not defeated. She had asked him question after question trying to trip him up in a lie until Jason finally told her that she could ask Elizabeth those questions herself when she arrived for the Heart Awareness Charity Ball that Michael Corbin was hosting in the grand ballroom of the St. Regis Hotel. Courtney had casually got up from the bed and pulled on her wrap around dress making sure to flash Jason her backside which she didn’t catch him shake his head in disgust at before turning to him with a predatory smile on her face telling him that she couldn’t wait to meet Elizabeth.
Now he stood in ballroom waiting for her to arrive. He knew that she was in Aspen. Max had told him that much when he had called him to see if she had arrived safely in Aspen. What he didn’t know was where she was at, the reason that she was not hear making sure that Courtney Corbin got the message that he was not available.
Jason groaned when he saw Courtney grab a glass of champagne from the tray of a passing waiter and began to make her way over to him. He looked once again at the door hoping that Elizabeth would come through the door. His hope was dashed when a woman walked in and stood just inside the door, drawing a few stares from the other male partygoers in the room.
She was stunning wearing a form fitting black strapless dress. She was adorned with diamonds, her curly brunette hair pulled up on the top of her head in an intricate way where the curls fell around her face framing it artfully. In the corner of his eye, he saw Courtney getting closer and considered approaching the vision at the door to see if she would pretend to be Elizabeth but part of him held back thinking that a vision like that would not be here alone.
He glanced once again at the door as he felt Courtney getting closer and closer to him and was caught off guard when the vision’s eyes landed on him and she waved at him. Jason narrowed his eyes in confusion and began to make his way over to her, wondering where he had seen her before. As he got closer his confusion turned to disbelief as the vision turned into none other than his competent assistant Elizabeth. Disbelief turned into anger when she smiled and waved again and Jason took in the jewelry that adorned his assistant’s neck and ears.
Right before he got to her a man approached her about to begin introducing himself when Jason grabbed Elizabeth by the arm, gently but firmly, and led her back out of the ballroom. He led her down a hallway seeking privacy and pushed open the door to a meeting room, pushing Elizabeth in first.
“Jeez Jason,” Elizabeth said rubbing her elbow where he had grasped it even though his grasp hadn’t really been painful or bruising when he released it to flick on the lights. “What’s the problem?”
“What’s my problem,” Jason said in disbelief, anger tingeing his words. “What is this?”
“What is what?” Elizabeth asked, feigning confusion.
“What is this?” Jason repeated, swinging his hand up and down at her entire outfit.
“This,” Elizabeth said, resting her hand on her hip and cocking it to the side with a smile on her face, “is Badgley Mischka.”
Jason strolled over to her and touched the necklace that adorned her slender neck, looking into her blue eyes. “And what is this,” he asked her, curiosity in his voice.
“Well Jason,” Elizabeth said, taking a step back from Jason, feeling crowded by him standing too close to her, “You can’t exactly go naked with Badgley Mischka.”
“And pray tell Elizabeth,” Jason said following her as she began to walk nervously around the meeting room, “how much is not going around naked with Badgley Mischka costing me.”
“Well,” Elizabeth reasoned, feeling his eyes on him, “I’m supposed to be the girlfriend of a very wealthy businessman. I have to play the part.”
Elizabeth turned and looked at him, cocking a well groomed eyebrow and Jason finally saw the anger flashing in her eyes.
“Are you trying to tell me Elizabeth that you’re upset with me because you have to play the role as my girlfriend?” Jason asked.
“No,” Elizabeth told him, a hint of ire coming into her voice. “I’m about to tell you that I’m upset that you brought me off my vacation not to be your assistant but to play your girlfriend.”
“Elizabeth,” Jason said resignedly, “I really don’t need this right now.”
“Are you kidding me Jason?” She burst out angrily, catching him off guard as she swung around to look at him, her cobalt blue eyes flashing. He had never seen Elizabeth lose her temper. The feeling was both disconcerting but also surprisingly refreshing. “I’m supposed to be on vacation. My first vacation in four years and you call me off of it to be your girlfriend. And now you’re telling me that you don’t need me expressing how upset I am with you right now!”
“That’s exactly what I’m telling you Elizabeth,” Jason told her, his own anger kicking up. “I’m in the process of a multi-million dollar deal. I think your little vacation can be held off long enough to help your boss out of a jam!”
“Little vacation,” Elizabeth said in disbelief. “I know you just did not imply that my plans are insignificant to your plans.”
“Well let’s think about this Elizabeth,” Jason said dismissively. “Multi-million dollar deal compared to a…what…thousand dollar trip.”
Elizabeth neck reared back as if she had just gotten struck. She looked at Jason in disbelief before she shook her head at his arrogance and started making her way toward the door.
“You know what,” she said as she made her way angrily to the door, “you can take your multi-million dollar deal and shove it up your ass.”
Elizabeth grabbed the handle of the door, about to twist the knob when she felt Jason come up behind her and plant his hand on the door to keep her from opening it.
“Elizabeth, I’m sorry,” Jason said soothingly, his body so close that she could feel his breath tickle her neck. “I shouldn’t have said that but I need your help. I need you to pretend to be with me in order to seal this deal. I’m desperate Elizabeth.”
Elizabeth turned around from the door to look at Jason taking in the pleading in his ocean blue eyes.
“You only have me for tonight,” Elizabeth told him resolutely, crossing her arm over her chest. “I have to be back home by tomorrow to pack for my cruise to the Bahamas that I am leaving to go on Monday.”
“Fine,” Jason said through gritted teeth. “Now can we return to the party and I introduce you to Michael Corbin and his daughter Courtney.”
“Lead on fearless leader,” Elizabeth told him sarcastically. “I am here to serve.”
Jason narrowed his eyes at Elizabeth before moving her out the way of the door, opening it and then ushering her out with him leading her back to the ballroom.
“Well Morgan, you sly devil,” Michael Corbin said jovially, pumping Jason’s hand as he shook it, “you just told us that this pretty young woman was your girlfriend. You failed to mention you were engaged to each other.”
Jason looked at Mike in puzzlement before his eyes swung down to Elizabeth’s left hand that was hanging down by her side. He had to stop his eyes from bulging when he caught sight one of the largest diamond rings that he had ever seen.
“I…” Jason began wondering how come he hadn’t noticed the ring when they were in the meeting room, only to be cut off by Elizabeth.
“Well, it’s just recently,” Elizabeth told Mike with a smile lighting her face, “so I think my fiancé is still getting used to the word fiancée instead of girlfriend.”
Jason watched as Elizabeth and Mike shared a laugh at his expense, totally tongue tied over the fact that Elizabeth was now his fiancée instead of his girlfriend. She had taken his game one step farther than he wanted it.
“A very big ring,” Mike was commenting as he took Elizabeth’s hand to look at the engagement ring before glancing over at Jason, “but I think it’s a little too big for such a petite hand Morgan.”
“Well Elizabeth is trying out different rings before she settles on the perfect one,” Jason said, finally catching up to the conversation. “I want to make sure that she gets the ring that she’s happy with.”
“That’s a unique idea,” Mike said approvingly before glancing back at Elizabeth. “And how’s the journey going?”
“Well,” Elizabeth said, glancing at Jason’s impishly making him narrow his eyes with suspicion before looking back at Mike, “my fiancé is indulging me so much, I’m thinking that I might need a different engagement ring for each day of the week.”
“Well,” Mike said, nodding his head good naturedly, “I’m pretty sure that you’re worth it.”
“Thank you for the compliment Mr. Corbin,” Elizabeth said, bowing her head in acknowledgment to the flattering remark.
“Please my dear,” Mike said waving off the formalities, “call me Mike. My daughter Courtney is somewhere around here. She’s been very anxious to meet Jason’s fiancée. Was afraid you didn’t exist and Morgan was making you up.”
“Well as you can see, she does,” Jason said, wrapping his arm around Elizabeth’s waist. “If you can excuse us for a second Mike, I think I would like to dance with my fiancée.”
“You two young lovebirds have fun on the dance floor,” Mike told them. “I think I may make my way around the room and find me a dance partner.”
“Well,” Elizabeth said cordially, “if you can’t find one. I wouldn’t mind a dance or two.”
Mike let out a bark of laughter before looking at Jason. “She’s a keeper Morgan,” he told Jason. “Make sure you keep your eye on her.”
“From now on,” Jason said tugging Elizabeth closer to him, “I’m going to make sure I keep both eyes on her.”
Jason turned them and started leading them toward the dance floor while Elizabeth took a few deep breaths to calm her pounding heart and steady her nerves. She could feel the tension bouncing off him and was now regretting the little joke she played on him by becoming his fiancée instead of staying just his girlfriend.
“Jason, I can explain,” she began nervously as they stopped on the dance floor and he swung her into his arms.
“Oh you’re going to explain alright,” Jason said, annoyance flashing in his eyes, as he intertwined their hands and pulled them behind her back, so that he was basically shackling them even though other party goers would see it more of a loving embrace. The position brought her closer to his chest where they were basically touching from the chest down.
“First,” he said keeping his voice down so that the other dancers wouldn’t hear him, looking down at her face which was now flushed with nervousness, “explain to me how we became engaged?”
“It was just a little payback,” Elizabeth said copying his hushed voice, craning her neck back so that she could look in his face. “When I read the note that you wanted me to be your significant other, I just wanted to throw you off your game.”
“And you thought making us engaged would do the trick,” Jason said, looking down at her heart-shaped face.
“Well you have to admit,” Elizabeth said with a teasing smile on her face, “it did throw you for a loop when Mike offered us his congratulations.”
The smile on Elizabeth’s face faded as she took in the sternness on Jason’s. She took in a deep breath which made her body brush up against his as she tried to calm her nerves. Maybe after tonight, she wouldn’t have to wait until after her vacation to put out feelers. Maybe Jason would just drop her on the spot.
Jason tightened his fingers a little more to cause her to slightly wince as she felt the ring cut into her hand before he eased his grip.
“Do you think this is a game?” Jason asked her firmly, his eyes looking hard into hers.
“Jason,” Elizabeth said, seeing the sternness in her boss’s face, “I know this is part of a business deal. I’ve been your assistant for four years. I know how important your company is to you. I was just upset that I had to leave my vacation to come help you only to find out that it was just to play the roll of your girlfriend instead of an assistant.”
“So you thought you would pay me back by dolling yourself up,” Jason said, leaning back enough to take her all in, “becoming my fiancée and splashing yourself with jewelry.”
“Well Jason,” Elizabeth reasoned, “I didn’t think one of Jason Morgan’s women would be dressed in clothing that she got from the local Target store.”
Jason pulled Elizabeth back to him and lowered his head where his mouth was right beside her ear.
“So tell me,” Jason said, breathing into Elizabeth’s ear, causing her to catch her breath, “how much does it cost being one of Jason Morgan’s women?”
“I don’t get what you’re saying?” Elizabeth said, trying to steady her breath as he nibbled on her earlobe.
“The earrings Elizabeth,” Jason said softly. “Tell me about them.”
“2 carat diamond stud earrings in a white gold setting,” Elizabeth said, trying to ignore what Jason was doing to her ear.
“How much are they costing me,” he asked, continuing his nibbling, trying to not smile at her discomfort. If she wanted to play the fiancée, he could sure play the doting groom to be.
“They aren’t costing you anything,” Elizabeth said nervously. “They were put on Morgan Enterprises Business card.”
Jason pulled back to look at Elizabeth’s face and smirked; taking in the slight flush on her face and the wide eyed look in her eyes.
“Clever Elizabeth,” he said. “But I gave you the business card. So although it’s not my personal credit card, it’s still my money.”
Jason bent his head back to Elizabeth’s ear and kissed the area right underneath her ear before breathing in her ear. “So how much?”
“Fourteen thousand dollars,” Elizabeth blurted out trying to keep her mind on business and off of what Jason was doing. She knew he was doing it on purpose to knock her off her game and she wasn’t going to let him.
Jason smiled then dipped his head lower, kissing her on her neck right beside the necklace she wore, right on her pulse point that jumped at the feel of his lips
“Jason,” Elizabeth hissed at him so only he could hear. “We are in public and people are watching.”
Jason looked up from her neck and took in the smiling faces of some of the party goers who noticed their antics and the pissed off face of one Courtney Corbin. He lowered his head back to her neck. “I’m a newly engaged man,” he muttered against her skin, “I have a right to indulge myself with my fiancée. Now tell me about this necklace.”
“Twenty-eight carat diamond necklace in 18K white gold,” Elizabeth rattled off to Jason. “It’s $95,000.”
Jason lips left Elizabeth’s neck and his head swung up to look her in the eyes. She smiled at him nervously as he glanced back at her neck then back up at her with a curious look on his face. He pulled her arm from around her back and held it as he kissed the wrist right beside the diamond tennis bracelet, his eyes never leaving her face.
“Ten carat diamond tennis bracelet set in 14k white gold,” Elizabeth informed him, looking in his now expression less eyes, “$10,600.”
Jason lowered her hand and rested it on his chest as he brought her other hand from around her back. He led her hand up to his face so that he could get a good look at the canary yellow diamond solitaire ring on her left ring finger before looking at her and quirking an eyebrow at her.
“Explain,” he said to her.
“Four and 1/7 carat pear shaped yellow diamond in platinum,” Elizabeth told him with a small smile on her face to try to lessen the tension she saw around her boss’s eyes. “$76,500.”
“And the dress,” he said to her.
“Badgley Mischka,” Elizabeth told him. “$9500 dollars.”
Jason smiled. A smile that Elizabeth had to stop herself from shivering from because the smile didn’t reach his eyes and didn’t add any warmth to his expressionless eyes.
Jason pulled Elizabeth close to him, closer than she was before and lowered his mouth to her ear.
“Elizabeth,” he said softly in her ear, his tone of voice making her shiver with dread, “before this night is over, you’re going to earn back the over $200,000 that you charged to my company.”
Elizabeth groaned as she slowly came to consciousness, noticing that her head was throbbing and her mouth felt like her tongue was three sizes too big. She slowly opened her eyes only to shut them as the light poring in from the window shown in her face, causing her to groan again as a fresh wave of pain sliced through her forehead. She ran her hand through her hair to get it off her face and winced as her hair caught on something on her hand.
She opened her eyes slowly groaning again as she blinked to get accustomed to the sunlight shining through the window. She slowly pulled her hand from her hair, her fuzzy mind focusing on the fact that she probably fell asleep with that stupid canary yellow engagement ring on her finger. She grimaced as she remembered all the trouble that that ring as well as the other stupid jewelry got her into last night. The last thing she remembered from last night was Jason parading her around the entire ballroom introducing her to various businessmen and making her act like the dependent fiancée that catered to his every word. She had started indulging in the champagne when her nodding and agreeing with various businessmen and their wives how great of a person Jason was had gotten to her.
As she woke up with a headache from a hangover, she realized that maybe she over indulged in the champagne. Elizabeth rubbed her hand across her face almost slicing her nose off with the ring and groaned. She looked down at her hand to glare at one of the things that was causing her so much trouble and screamed as she bolted up in the bed staring at her hand in shock.
The pear shaped ring from last night was gone, replaced by a one carat princess cut diamond bridal set. Elizabeth’s hand flew to her neck and she found the necklace gone from her throat. Headache forgotten, Elizabeth felt for the earrings finding them gone as well as the tennis bracelet around her wrist, but what shocked her most was the state of undress she was in. Elizabeth’s grabbed the sheet to cover her naked breasts as she finally looked around the room she was in.
“Elizabeth what have you done,” she said to herself, her brain working feverishly trying to remember what had happened last night for her to end up in this predicament.
Her eyes went back to the only jewelry that she had on. A bridal set. That could only mean one thing. She was married. Sometime last night, she had gotten married and at the same time, she also got robbed. She tried to remember what happened and came up blank. Elizabeth rested her head in her hands, careful of her ring and a flashback came to her.
It was of Jason walking off with Michael Corbin leaving her at the bar and a smarmy guy that reminded her of an out of work actor had approached her. That was the last cohesive thought that she had before waking up in the room with a hangover. Elizabeth’s head snapped up and her hand flew to her mouth. Had she married the smarmy guy to get one over on Jason? And what about Jason? Had he let her marry the guy just to show her whose boss? What about the missing jewelry? Jason would kill her when he found out that she lost over $200,000 worth of jewelry.
As all the those thoughts and questions swirled in her head, her head snapped over to the left as she saw the door that she suspected was the bathroom began to open. She had to get out of the room quick and fast without being detected. She would worry about whether she was married or not later and who she was married too. She needed to find Jason so that he could fill in the blanks of what happened to her last night.
Elizabeth bundled the sheet around herself and began to crawl out of the bed only to get tangled up in the sheets and fall out of the bed, landing on the floor, letting out a groan as the fall jarred her head and increased the pain in her head. Elizabeth just laid half on the floor, her legs still slightly on the bed as they remained tangled in the sheet. She tugged on the sheets to once again cover her breasts as she heard footsteps make their way over to her. The sheets didn’t budge and finally she gave up hope, closing her eyes and placing her hands over her face, feeling a blush come over her body at the impeding embarrassment that was about to take place.
“Well, well, well,” a masculine voice rung out in her ears, amusement in his voice, causing her hand to fly from her face and her eyes to shoot open to stare up in the face of the last person she expected.
“Oh my God,” she said in astonishment, as her hands went immediately to her chest to cover her breasts from his amusing gaze.
“Don’t cover up on my account,” he told her with a smile on his face.
“This can not be happening to me,” Elizabeth said, starting to hyperventilate.
“Come on Mrs. Morgan,” Jason said as he stared down at Elizabeth, “is that any way of greeting your husband on the first day of your honeymoon?”