Bewitching the Boss by Jessa Kane

Bewitching the Boss



I walk into Byron DeWitt’s office and beam him my best smile.

What I’d really like to do is drop to my knees and crawl to him.

“Good morning, Mr. DeWitt,” I say brightly, extending my hand over the top of his ruthlessly organized desk. “It’s wonderful to meet you. I’m going to plan the heck out of your company Halloween party.”

He still hasn’t looked up from the memo he’s writing.

Hasn’t even acknowledged my presence.

I leave my hand right where it is, smiling even wider, taking the opportunity to study the man up close. He’s been starring in my waking thoughts and dreams alike for two years. The suit jacket that hugs his thick shoulders? I know the tailor who fitted him. The shaving cream he uses to stave off that black stubble that plagues his square jaw? I know the brand he uses. How it smells. And the sharp green eyes that finally tick up to mine?

They are responsible for every beat of my twenty-three-year-old heart.

He drops his pen when our eyes lock, his Adam’s apple squeezing past the tightly buttoned collar of his dress shirt. Hastily, he pushes up his black rimmed glasses and stands, upsetting a coffee mug on his desk. It splashes onto a neat stack of paperwork, black liquid slithering along the gleaming surface of his desk like a river. We reach for the box of tissues at the same time and our hands collide, stealing the strength right out of my knees. I fall into the chair facing his desk, my pulse haywire.

Keep smiling.

Keep smiling.

Cannon fire booms in my ears and the skin beneath my blouse is turning clammy, but I order my hands to move and we manage to sop up the coffee before it does too much damage, tossing the damp tissues into a waste basket.

“I’m sorry about that,” he says gruffly, the tips of his ears red. “I didn’t expect…no one told me to expect someone who looks like you.” Immediately, he pinches the bridge of his nose, clearly scolding himself on the inside. “That’s not what I meant. Well, it is what I meant, but it can’t be appropriate for me to say something like that. About your appearance. Jesus, I don’t usually have this problem—”

“Because most of our employees are in sweatpants and haven’t showered in a week?” He thinks I’m attractive. How am I not floating? How much longer can I act normal around this man who haunts my mind? “Don’t worry. I plan parties for software companies in Silicon Valley. Coders like to be comfortable.” I trail a finger down the row of buttons on my shirt and he tugs on the side of his collar. “I’m used to being the overdressed one in the room.”

“Right,” he rasps, his gaze briefly warming my breasts, before he determinedly pins it on the wall over my shoulder. “I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name.”

“Jane,” I say simply, begging him to repeat it. Please. Please.


A hot pulse begins between my thighs, the urge to touch myself fierce. Almost undeniable. It’s what I typically do when I think of this man. Byron DeWitt. CEO of the booming Silicon Valley technology company, Firestarter. He’s brilliant. A genius. He created a universal app for transportation information, putting train, bus, taxi and flight data at users’ fingertips—and that was only the beginning. Since then, he’s brought technology to its knees. Everyone else in the Valley is just trying to keep up.

Did I mention how beautiful he is?

Hot Nerd. That’s what the other girls at my event planning job call him.

Byron is six foot three, naturally muscular. Thick in places it should be illegal. And he clearly has no idea what to do with all of that size and strength. It’s untouched and untested. The buttons of his dress shirt struggle to remain closed, black hairs that match the unruly waves on his head peek out over the top. The fly of his slacks is strained. God bless his tailor for hugging those bulky male lines. He’s doing the lord’s work.

This is the first time Byron has ever arranged a party for his software firm.

And it’s about time.

I’ve only been slipping advertisements into his mailbox—real and virtual—for a year.

“So what made you decide to plan a party, Mr. DeWitt?”

He realizes he’s still standing up and takes a seat, but not before bumping the desk with his knee and wincing adorably. “Call me Byron, please.”

“Byron,” I murmur, winking at him, watching the flush creep up his neck.

Wow. He really is attracted to me.

I was afraid to get my hopes up and have them dashed.

Really, I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t have spent the last two years watching this man from afar, obsessing over him, hungering for his touch. If he knew who I am—who I really am—he would throw me right out of his office. Maybe even call the police. And that would be his right. But I couldn’t stay away. I could no more pass up this opportunity to breathe the same air as Byron DeWitt than I could predict next year’s weather patterns.

I ache for you, I whisper to him inside my head.

He jolts a little when he remembers that I asked him a question. “Why did I decide to plan a party?” He rolls a big shoulder, looking out at his endless rows of coding employees through the glass wall of his office. “They’ve been working hard. Really hard. A party never really occurred to me until recently. I’m not much of a partier. My sister does—” He stops short, taking long moments to gather himself. “My sister did like parties. She would have been the one to remind me to schedule one, but she’s no longer with us.”

My heart is plastered to the ceiling. “I’m so sorry.”

He has no idea how much I mean that.

I mean it on a soul deep level that I’ll never be able to express.

But sorry can’t bring a person back from the dead. Sorry can’t undo the past.

My sorry means nothing.

“What kind of party would she have liked?” I ask quietly, taking out my electronic tablet and taping it awake. Poising my stylus over the screen.

His lips jump at one end. “Silly. Fun. Over the top. The opposite of me.”

“Is that what you’d like?”

“Yes,” he says after a moment. “I’ve never thrown my company a party. So I suppose I should make up for the oversight. Just make the night fun for them and I’ll…” He rubs at the back of his neck. “I guess I’ll suffer through it.”

“Ouch.” I give him an amused pout. “You’re not very confident in my party planning skills, are you?”

He comes forward abruptly in his seat. “I’m sorry. That came out wrong.” More redness on the tips of those ears. I’d like to bite them. “Please understand, I wouldn’t enjoy a party thrown by anyone. In any way, shape or form. I’m just not very…”


“That’s right.”

“Costume ball it is.”

Those insanely intelligent eyes narrow on me. “I don’t understand.”

Excitement tingles my fingers and I sit up straighter. After the accident, it took me a while to straighten out my life, to figure out what I’m good at. But I think I’ve landed on the career that truly makes me happy. I’ve been party planning for the last year and I love the challenge. The fact that every event is different. A party is a blend. Personalities, occasion, theme, season, vibe. I’ll never arrange the same event twice. I love the spontaneity and adventure in that and now, miracle of miracles, I get to use my knowledge to help Byron.

“A costume ball puts everyone in disguise. It really breaks the ice when everyone is wearing an interesting get-up or a mask. It’s very freeing, to be someone else.” I should know, shouldn’t I? After the accident, I changed my entire life. “The strict expectations a person places on themselves are relaxed when they’re dressed like a vampire or a clown. It’s permission to cut loose.”

He considers me quietly, brow furrowed.

“Do you…feel a lot of expectations are placed on you, as the boss?” I whisper the question, desperate to know more about him. Everything. Whether I deserve the insight or not. “Maybe that’s why the idea of a party doesn’t appeal to you?”

“Of course there are expectations placed on me. There should be.” His eyes tick to the glass wall again, then back to me. Have they turned a deeper green? “I’ve asked them to devote hours of their lives to creating my software.”

“Yes. They’ve done an amazing job and you pay them well for it, right?” I tilt my head and smile. “You’re paying me well, too, so I want to make sure the party is something you enjoy.”

“Begging your pardon, I just don’t know if that’s possible, Jane.”

My thighs cinch together at his low rumble of my name. “Because you don’t like parties? Or is there another reason?”

“I don’t want to enjoy myself,” he blurts, closing his eyes. “It doesn’t feel right to…have a good time, I guess. It hasn’t felt right for years.”

Scalding hot tears threaten against the backs of my eyes, but I breathe. Breathe. Breathe through them. He would definitely think it odd if I cried over his admission. After all, he has no idea that he’s just stabbed me through the heart. “Because of…your sister?”

He nods stiffly. “If she’s not here to enjoy herself, I shouldn’t be allowed to, either.”

“No,” I breathe, stricken. “That’s not true. I…I don’t know what happened to her…” Liar. “But I know you deserve to live. You have to live.”

Until his jaw flexes sharply, I don’t realize I’ve stood up, set down my tablet and leaned across his desk. I’ve placed my hand on top of his, squeezing it. His attention travels from my face downward, to where my breasts are pushed up by a lacy pink bra into the V of my blouse. “Do you…attend the parties you plan?” he asks, his voice deeper than before.

“Sometimes,” I whisper, brushing my thumb over his wrist and listening to him suck in a jagged breath. “Would you like me to be there?”

“Yes,” he says thickly, though he draws his hand away from mine. “But I’m pretty damn sure that spending time with you falls under the category of enjoying myself. So I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

This is where I should take a step back. Maybe I would if he wasn’t looking at me with such unabashed yearning. How long has it been since this man enjoyed a single thing?

Two years. You know that.

Would he enjoy me? Could I replace his ever-present seriousness with bliss?

I won’t find out if he tells me no to planning his party.

If I want to see him again, I have to go big or go home.

“That’s too bad…” I say, circling the desk in his direction. “Because unfortunately, planning a party requires a lot of input from the client. You.” I perch myself on the lip of Byron’s desk, immediately to his right. And I cross my legs slowly, letting him peruse my thighs. Letting him catalogue my garter belts and a hint of pink panties. “We’d have to work closely together to make sure everything runs…smooth. And tight.”

Once upon a time, I was something of a flirt. Some even called me a tease.

I’ve always enjoyed being a little daring with my wardrobe. For myself. My own enjoyment. Frilly underthings, sexy clothes and new makeup trends are my jam. Unfortunately, men expect a certain behavior out of me because of my clothing. But I am not a seductress. I’ve had a boyfriend or two in the distant past, but ever since what happened and I found Byron? Other men don’t exist for me anymore. There is only this man right in front of me. I’m compelled to establish a physical connection with him, even though I feel as though we already have one. That it’s been there for years. Long, aching, miserable years that I’ve watched him through his windows at night, needing his body on top of mine. His mouth on my skin.

Now I’m trapped in a fever state.

No choice but to bewitch him. Tempt him closer.

Not just for me.

For him. Because the fact that he denies himself pleasure and happiness is like a knife twisting in my gut. All I want to do is make it better. Please let me make it better.

“I don’t think I can work closely with you, Jane,” he rasps, shifting in his seat. His hand drops from the top of the desk to his lap and he not-so-discreetly adjusts himself. “No. That sounds like a b-bad idea.”

“Not even one little planning session?” I let my head fall back, shaking out my long, brunette waves and forcing a giggle. “I don’t bite, Byron. And I promise, you’re not going to find a party planner more dedicated or creative than me.”

“No, I don’t want someone else,” he says quickly, through his teeth, eyeing my body like a meal. “We just…have to keep this professional. I don’t do personal, Jane.”

My heart convulses. He’s so damaged. “What would you consider personal?”

His chest heaves, more and more color staining his cheekbones. “You know what I’m talking about. I can’t believe you’re…well, that you seem interested in me. Like this. Physically. Because, Christ. You’re incredibly beautiful and I’m…not. I’m a tech geek. But I’m still not able to pursue this.” He ogles my crossed thighs, letting out a shaky breath. “God help me.”

I should respect what he’s telling me. I do. I need to back off and accept his wishes.

But I can’t shake the belief that I can help him.

Because of who I really am, we can never have a relationship. It would be based on deception and how long can that really last? But maybe, just maybe, I can leave this man in a healthier place than when I found him?

It won’t make up for my role in what happened.

But it might help me sleep at night.

I haven’t slept well in so, so long, the sound of crunching metal replaying in my head. The smell of motor oil and the sounds of crying.


“One planning session,” I say, trying not to sound desperate. I uncross my thighs, letting my tight, black skirt ride up, up, up, as I slide off the desk. Letting him see that I’ve soaked through my panties since walking into his office. “I won’t lay a finger on you. Promise.”

In response, he makes a choked noise, his hand disappearing from view beneath the desk, his bicep flexing. Flexing. And when he chews on his bottom lip, I know he’s rubbing his erection. I’ve watched him enough at night to know his tells. When he masturbates, he bites that lip so hard, sometimes he leaves blood.

If I stay any longer, I’m going to ask to watch him. Live and in person.

Instead of through my binoculars.

“I’ll schedule a one-on-one with your assistant on the way out,” I say, blowing him a kiss on my through the exit, glancing back once to ascertain that he’s panting at the sway of my ass. It’s yours, baby. You own it. My legs turn more and more rubbery as I stride to my car, collapsing minutes later into the driver’s seat, struggling to breathe. Shaking.

I can’t believe it.

I’m going to see Byron DeWitt again.

This attraction, this connection between us, wasn’t a figment of my imagination. It was real—and there’s nothing I can do about it, because of who I am. But I can help heal him.

I can leave him whole.


Able to embrace happiness.

I’ll do this for the man I love or die trying.