Irresistible Billionaires by Summer Brooks



After I called the number Zach gave me, I got a phone call almost immediately from their HR manager, who also scheduled an interview and told me to fill out the application online. Somehow, in the span of fifteen minutes, Zach’s dad had given the green light to bring me in the following morning to start the interview process. I was hoping I would be the only prospect for the position, but it was a huge company with a lot of interest. At least I had gotten my foot in that far.

Waking up that next morning, I could feel zest flowing through me. Part of me feared I would run into Zach while I was at OBEL. The other part of me just wanted to make a good impression on the HR manager and the company as a whole. Besides, what was the likelihood I'd get anywhere near the owner's son. He said his father worked with the HR manager to do the hiring, but I was sure his father hired people to hire people to do the interviewing.

Of course…I couldn't have been more wrong.

After changing my outfit maybe 2…3…8 times, and leaving forty minutes early, I found myself wandering through the massive complex hoping I hadn't taken a wrong turn. I was there on time, no visible stains, no sweat soaked brow and with a stern determination not to injure the interviewer at any cost. Fingers crossed, this wouldn't be yet another disaster.

Walking quietly down the hall toward the offices on the top floor of the building, I paused. There he was, again, in all his sexual glory. Zach strolled side by side with his father, one hand in his pocket, a smooth look of cockiness on his face, and an self-assurance I would never muster.

My mouth dropped, and my leather folder fell from my hands, sending several sheets of paper fluttering to the floor. I groaned and bent down, hastily snatching them up. When I looked back toward them, Zach's eyes immediately met mine.

"This is just my luck. If he weren't so good-looking, I'd probably run," I muttered under my breath as I picked up the last paper.

When I stood back up, Zach and his father were walking straight toward me. I froze.

Why is Zach's dad here? Isn't having the CEO involved in job interviews for middle management overkill?

I looked up to see his father staring at me with a slightly confused expression.

Zach threw me a beaming smile. "Clara, it's so good to see you." Zach reached out to guide me by the arm, but I pulled away. Zach glanced at the onlookers when I hesitated. "Dad, why don't we talk about this in your office so Clara can feel more comfortable?"

His father nodded. "Good idea."

I was utterly lost. All I could do was follow behind the two stone men, hoping they weren't there to personally escort me out of the building. We headed down the hallway toward one of the plainer offices, the kind interviews were usually held. My stomach dropped. They really were going to be the ones talking to me about the job.

Why does this always happen to me?

I bit my lip but kept walking. If they were going to deny me the job, they'd have to do it to my face. I couldn't afford to bail on any interviews, not when the last five had gone sour.

When we got into the office and closed the door behind us, Zach wrapped me in a hug. "It's so good to see you, babe. I'm glad you could come in for the interview."

Babe? What the

Any protests I had died in my throat when he shot me a pleading look.

Did I just get dumped into some alternate universe where Zach likes me? I'm not his type, and judging from the way his dad is looking at me, I think he’s feeling the same doubt and confusion I am.

I hugged him back and played along with the charade… but he'd have a lot of explaining to do later. Zach pulled away from the hug and turned back around to face his father.

He raised an eyebrow at Zach. "This is your girlfriend? The one who called the house last night?"

Zach nodded. "Yes. This is Clara. My…girlfriend."

I stifled a laugh. It sounded like calling me that cause him physical pain. Good. He deserved discomfort for whatever weird charade he was putting me through.

Robert shot me a skeptical look. "Okay, then. Clara, you can start as the marketing manager tomorrow." His phone rang, and he held up a finger. "Sorry, I need to get back to work, but it was lovely meeting you." Zach's father walked out the door.

I waited for a few breaths after the door clicked shut. My gaze followed his father through the glass walls of the conference room until I couldn’t hear him talking on the phone. Then I shoved Zach's shoulder with as much force as I could manage. "What the heck was that? Who hires someone without an interview, and why did you call me babe?"

Zach smirked. "Should I have called you Creeper Clara instead?" He waggled his eyebrow at me, and I punched his shoulder.

I smiled when he bumped into the table. "Serves you right for lying to your dad like that. What exactly did you tell him about me?"

I put my hands on my hips and tapped my foot in impatience. I tried to calm that inner high school girl part of me that was giggling, squealing, jumping up and down, and longingly sighing at his barely pubescent picture in the yearbook. It didn't help that his cologne still lingered on the pressed fabric of my shirt. I could feel an urge trembling inside of me, one that called for his body to be pushed against mine again.

Pull it together, Clara. He was a bully in high school, and now he's pretending you're his girlfriend so he can keep up some lie to his dad. He's a jerk through and through.

I knew that logically we would never work as a couple but being around him made me wish we could. My heart raced anytime I met the depths of his blue eyes or scanned his perfectly defined chin. The need to punch him and kiss him warred within me.

Damn hormones.

Just as I was contemplating how I'd make him pay for his little stunt, my phone rang, and my heart dropped into my stomach when I saw the caller ID. It was my dad's caretaker.

Please don't let this be bad news about my dad. Not yet. I'm not ready.

I paced around the tiny office as I clicked to answer the call. I could feel Zach's eyes on me, but I ignored it. "Hello, this is Clara speaking." My body went icy as I answered, but I let out a sigh of relief when I heard my dad's voice.

"Hi, honey. I was just calling to see if you wanted to get dinner together this evening."

I smiled. "Sure. How does seven o'clock sound?" I heard some background chatter and static on the other line.

He was probably talking to Mom. "Seven o'clock sounds good. See you then."

"See you then," I answered, but my hands still shook as I ended the call.

Zach's face grew stern. "You look a little pale. Maybe you should sit down for a minute?"

Too emotionally exhausted for words, I just nodded. He pulled up a chair and gestured for me to sit. He took the chair beside me, wringing his hands in his lap. He appeared almost…kind. It was a strange look for him. It almost made me want his arrogant banter from moments before.


He cocked his head to one side. "What was the call about? Is everything okay?"

I stared at the ground when I spoke. I couldn't look him in the eye. "Everything's fine," I lied.

He frowned and leaned back in his chair as if mulling over his next words. His face broke out in a grin. "Want to hear something funny that'll cheer you up?"

I threw him a disbelieving look and shrugged. "Sure. Go ahead."

He let out a laugh that sounded forced. "So, it's a funny story. I may have told my dad we're dating, and we're getting engaged soon."

I stared at him in disbelief. My eyes widened, and my face felt hot.

And he was calling me creepy?

I leaned in closer to him, smiling, wagging my finger at him; he grinned back and leaned in. My face dropped into a scowl, and I grabbed his shirt collar. "Why would you say something like that? And why would your father hire me if he thinks we're in a relationship? Wouldn't he question my motives? Won't other employees feel like there's too much favoritism going on? This seems like unsound business ethics to me." My words came out bitter and cold.

Zach pried my hand from his shirt collar. "Relax. He likes self-made people, so he likes you because you want to work even after getting engaged to me."

I sputtered, and my eyes blinked rapidly in shock. "Engaged. Excuse me. I don't remember ever agreeing to that!"

He grabbed a lock of my hair that had fallen from my ponytail and held it between his fingers. "Do you need to know what's in it for you? Maybe something to…sweeten the deal."

I huffed. "No, I don't because I want no part in this. I'm not an actress, and I don't like you anymore!" My voice rose to a shout.

He put a finger to my lips and moved so close that his breath brushed my face. "That's even better. Liking me isn't a requirement."

I backed away from him, and my jaw tensed. "But I hate you."

Zach put a hand around the back of my neck and pulled me into a kiss. His lips felt soft on mine, and he teased my tongue with his. I moved closer, leaning into him. My face flushed, and I reached out to pull him closer, but he was already backing away.

When he pulled back, he had a satisfied smirk lifting his lips. I'd given him exactly what he'd wanted. The expression on his face was so smug it made me want to smack him back to high school.

"Based on how eagerly you leaned in to that kiss, it doesn't seem like you hate me at all. You still like me, don't you? It's okay. Your secret is safe with me." He winked.

I straightened my bag and pulled away from him. Wishing my face weren’t still flushed from the kiss. "In your dreams. I just haven't been on a date in a while. Any handsome guy would've gotten the same treatment."

Zach's grin widened. "Oh, so I'm good looking?"

"You're as handsome as you are tiresome." I rolled my eyes, unsure of whether I had just paid him a compliment or dissed him good. I got up from the chair and moved to leave the room, but his voice stopped me.

"Please wait. If you're willing to do this, I'll draw up a contract with plenty of benefits to make it worth your while. I can even include monetary compensation."

My head turned at the mention of money. I could really use some cash to help with my dad's medical treatment. But if he found out… My parents were sinking everything into my father's chemo and medications, everything except for what they were dishing out to care for me. It made the guilt inside of me pound against my heart.

I sighed. "Fine. Draw up your contract, and we'll negotiate tomorrow when I'm less inclined to punch you for the stunt you pulled today with your father."

He held out his hand. "Deal."

I reached out and shook his hand. I wrinkled my nose at the thought of lying for money, but it wasn't like it had been my idea. "I'll see you tomorrow."

I turned on my heel and marched out of the office without another word.

Lord, give me patience because if you give me strength, he's a goner.