Dakeira Harris is beyond excited to have gotten an interview at Blue Moon Investments as a personal assistant to Yelene Matthews. Though she has the education to apply for a position as an associate, Dakeira doesn't have the experience and working for her idol is just the way to do that. She just doesn't expect her idol to be so... damn hot. Working for Yelene might not be such a good idea after all. Yelene Matthews is only interviewing Dakeira Harris as a formality, the young woman's resume is beyond impressive and Yelene knows she's going to hire her. But when Yelene gets her first glimpse of Dakeira she is blown away by the gorgeous African-American woman. Hiring Dakeira is the best thing for the company, but working so closely with the new hire may push Yelene to take a chance outside of the financial market and in the happily-ever-after one, instead.

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Cover Art by R.P.

Dakeira Harris sat in the lobby of Blue Moon Investments and tried not to hurl. Nervousness caused her stomach to clench, and she exhaled deeply in an attempt to stave off the anxiety threatening to overwhelm her. She kept her eyes focused on the coffee table in front of her as she mentally recited her name, job history, and skills repeatedly in her head. They weren’t things that she usually forgot, but when she’d prepped for her interview that morning, everything she knew about herself had disappeared. She wasn’t normally so easy to rattle, but getting the job as Executive Assistant to Yélene Matthews would be a dream come true for her.

Working for Ms. Matthews would be the greatest thing ever for Dakeira. It was all she’d thought about in college, a picture of the high-rise Blue Moon Investment firm taped above her bed in the dorm. When Fortune had done an interview on Yélene, Dakeira had taken note of the business suit the other woman wore and attempted to find one that looked almost exactly like it. When she saw how professional, clean, and stringent Blue Moon appeared, Dakeira had tried to make her room an exact replica. She’d also applied for every scholarship known to man to be able to afford to move out to Manhattan. When her brothers had teased her ambition, telling her she would never escape the ghetto of their urban Augusta, Georgia, neighborhood, Dakeira had ignored them. She’d stayed true to her purpose in high school, in college, and that had led her here. She hadn’t even gloated when her brother Courtney had followed her and opened a restaurant which had become hugely successful. She was in New York. She was here. In Manhattan. Inches away from the most brilliant—most gorgeous—woman she’d ever seen in a magazine in her life.

She was aware of the other candidates in the lobby, sitting in the chairs around her, all of them angling for her job. They sat around her, murmuring facts and statistics about the company and Yélene. Dakeira was aware of the numerous leather portfolios balanced on the different laps of her competition. She wanted to glare at them. To tell them that the position belonged to her, but that would have been beyond unprofessional. Dakeira had spent too long training and educating the “street” out of her speech and wardrobe for her to give into the snarling monster of envy and insecurity that paced within her.

C’mon, Keira. You’ve got a Bachelor’s in Accounting and Foreign Languages, and an Associate’s in Business Admin. You’re exactly what they’re looking for. You can do this.

No sooner had her inner pep talk concluded than a woman walked out and stood at the edge of the lobby carpet. Dakeira looked over and tried to calm her racing heart.

Oh, god. Don’t call me. I’m not ready.

“Da—” Fuck. “—vid Lewis?”

Oh, thank God.

Dakeira sighed in relief and watched surreptitiously as David Lewis, a tall, thin man with short black hair, wearing a blue suit with a white tie, stood and followed the woman across the floor to the elevators. David appeared calm and collected, and when he stepped inside, he turned and smirked at them, his portfolio loosely held in his hand. Dakeira wondered what made him so confident going into his interview, but as she glanced around the waiting area, she realized there were other applicants who appeared just as assured.

Dakeira wished for a long moment that she had such a feeling of peace about her own questioning and her ability to measure up. Oh, who was she fooling? She was going to be interrogated by a member of the Human Resources Department. All about her education, previous work history—of which she didn’t really have any—and her “strengths and weaknesses.”

My strengths are I have a powerful bladder. I’ve had to use the bathroom for the last half hour, and I’m still sitting here. My weakness is that I’m pretty sure I don’t belong here.

Lifting her thumb to her mouth, Dakeira nibbled on the side, ignoring the voice that sounded a lot like her mother, telling her that she didn’t look very professional. What did the voice know anyway?

Dakeira was freaking the fuck out.

She crossed her legs and smoothed her hands down the skirt of her suit as she tried to remember the techniques she’d learned in yoga class about breathing to ease stress.

In and out. Imagine yourself in a calm meadow, surrounded by flowers, and birds flying above your head. Just breathe.

“Traci Graham?” another woman called. This one was thin and tall, her brown hair thick and falling to just below her shoulders.

Despite her nerves, Dakeira found her gaze traveling over the woman’s svelte frame, momentarily distracted. From her thin nose and lips decorated in red lipstick, to her tiny waist and long legs, the woman was beautiful. As she felt her panties grow moist, Dakeira briefly wondered what the policy was on fraternization at Blue Moon. Dakeira’s pussy clenched, and she crossed her legs, her gaze fixed on the oblivious employee as the woman turned and walked away, leading Traci to the elevator for her interview.

Applicant after applicant was called and taken for their interview. Dakeira found herself wondering just how long the interviews were going to be. When another forty-five minutes passed and still her name had not been called, her foot started tapping on the floor. The material of the black heels scuffed slightly, and Dakeira winced. She really should have chosen a better pair of shoes. What if the HR employees took one look at her and denied her the job because of how she was dressed?

She raised a hand to run her fingers through her hair, remembering just in time that instead of flowing free over her shoulders like usual, she’d pulled her dark auburn hair up into a French twist at the back of her head. It was probably for the best, of course. With her nerves strung as tight as they were, she’d end up tugging on the tresses. Then she’d start cleaning her nails, and before long, she’d be in a whole OCD cycle. She really didn’t need that while waiting for a meeting.

“Dakeira Harris?” a husky female voice called her name, and Dakeira shivered at the sound. Looking up, she gasped as she found herself face to face with Yélene Matthews, investment banker extraordinaire.

Holy. Fuck. Me. Almighty.

Dakeira had seen pictures of Yélene. Everyone had. Yélene had been on the cover of Forbes a number of times, as well as Time and People. So seeing her standing there, her blonde hair pulled back into a loose chignon at the base of her neck, wearing a white business pantsuit, Dakeira shouldn’t have been so startled by the woman’s beauty. But she was. She really, really, really was.

Yélene was gorgeous. Her blue eyes looked almost a dusky gray in this light. Fascination gripped Dakeira tightly as she found herself ensnared by Yélene’s stare. Her gaze traveled over Yélene’s obviously Nordic features, her narrow, patrician nose, and her lips, thinner than Dakeira’s but still plush. Dakeira felt her stomach clench again, this time for a totally different reason than nerves. This was arousal, pure and simple. Especially as she took in the sight of Yélene’s curves wrapped seductively in business attire.

Yum. Those pictures did not do her justice at all.

Dakeira rose with a smile and held out her hand. “Yes, Mrs. Matthews. I’m Dakeira Harris. It is an honor and a privilege to meet you.”

Yélene waved her hand in a dismissive gesture and grinned widely as she took Dakeira's hand in a firm handshake. “It’s Miss Matthews, and I’m nothing special. You’re the impressive one. Your resume so stunned me, I just had to come down and meet you myself. I’ll be conducting your interview.”

Dakeira stared at Yélene in surprise. Her resume was impressive? What alternate universe had she stepped into? Dakeira glanced around to see if there were any cameras or people appearing to tell her she’d been pranked. Surprise lanced through her to find she and Yélene were standing alone. Turning back to the woman, the mogul, who would be interviewing her, Dakeira smiled shyly.

“Thank you. I studied while I was attending college, and I’m passionate about accounting and finance.”

Yélene nodded. “Well. Let’s talk more about that. Follow me to my office. We’ll conduct your official interview there.”

Dakeira dipped her head and followed Yélene to the elevator, one set apart from the others that her competition had entered. Her arms and legs felt weightless, and she continuously checked to make sure she wasn’t floating on air. While she wanted the job as Yélene’s assistant, needed the job in order to pay off student debts and help her family, she would only experience a modicum of disappointment if she didn’t get it. She’d met and would be interviewing with Yélene Matthews. The only thing that could make her happier would be the chance to see if the other woman’s lips were truly as soft as they appeared.

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