Romance: Claimed By The Ape: BBW Shapeshifter Romance Standalone (Spicy Shifters Book 4)

BOOK: Romance: Claimed By The Ape: BBW Shapeshifter Romance Standalone (Spicy Shifters Book 4)
9.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Claimed By The Ape

Spicy Shifters Book 4

Ashley Hunter

 

 

 

Copyright 201
6
by Ashley Hunter

 

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced

in any way whatsoever, without written permission

from the author, except in case of brief

quotations embodied in critical reviews

and articles.

 

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any

character, person, living or dead, events, place or

organizations is purely coincidental. The author does not

have any control over and does not assume any responsibility

for third party websites or their content.

 

First edition, 2016

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
~1~

 

Erin Hughes dressed for her first day of work as if she wasn’t going to meet a bonafide sex symbol. She picked out her most sensible and professional outfit; her simple ocean blue blouse and a black pencil skirt that effectively camouflaged the overabundance of bust and thighs with which she’d been born.

She pulled her wild and curly hair back into a sensible and professional bun, and put on her sensible and professional black pumps. Studying herself in the mirror, she summarized her appearance as put-together, and absolutely unconcerned with how a celebrity playboy would see her. Perfect, exactly what she’d been going for.

Still, it was a bit of a shock walking into the kitchen and be greeted by a shriek of “THAT’S what you’re wearing?”

Erin glanced around in surprise. Her roommate Amanda wasn’t usually up for at least another hour, but apparently had risen early to see Erin off. Erin wasn’t too shocked-sometimes it seemed like Amanda was more excited for the gig than she was, despite repeated reminders from Erin that she’s signed a Nondisclosure Agreement, so no juicy details would be forthcoming. Amanda didn’t seem to mind; just the idea that Erin would get to bask in Jack Silver’s presence every day seemed enough to sustain her joy.

“Hm do I smell coffee?” Erin smiled wryly, fetching a cup from the cupboard, “So nice of you to get up early and make some.”

Amanda scowled from her seat at the kitchen table, still clad in her fuzzy bathrobe and bouncing one foot impatiently. “Don’t change the subject! You’re not seriously going to meet Mr. Sex-on-Legs dressed like that?”

“You mean Mr. Also-My-New-Boss? Anyway, what’s wrong with it?” Erin widened her hazel eyes innocently, trying not to laugh as Amanda’s scowl deepened.

“Erin, honey, you look like a nun. A stuck-up nun. A nun who tells off other nuns for having too much fun during prayer because they smile.”

“So someone who take her job seriously,” Erin sipped her coffee.

“Oh come on!” Amanda groaned, “You’ve got so much to work with! With the right outfit, you’d knock him clear into the new stadium!”

“Who? Mr. Different Woman Every Week? Mr. Signs My Paycheks?” Erin smiled over the rim of her cup.

“Har, har, but remember, he’s only your boss until his actual assistant comes back from maternity leave. Then, you’re a free agent. Then there’d be no conflict of interest! And what if he’d be interested then, if only you turned his head on the first day?”

“Because world-renowned bachelors are known for being very into average Janes with a few too many inches round the hips,” Erin set her mug in the sink and began collecting her things, which she’d meticulously stacked on the counter the night before; purse, keys, and a thick binder crammed with detailed instructions outlining the next six months of her life. Amanda followed her all the way to the front door, still pleading, “How about a wrap dress instead? Or at least some mascara! Just… something!”

“Don’t wanna be late,” Erin grinned over her shoulder, “Wish me luck?”

“Come on, Erin, first impressions are everything!”

“I’m counting on it,” Erin replied, closing the door behind her. Safely alone in the hallway, she quickly dug in her bag and pulled out a tub of lipstick. Dabbing the delicate pink shade onto her lips, she swiftly stuck it back into the depths of her purse. Okay, so maybe she cared a little.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erin did her best to force herself to relax as the bus gradually rolled from her sleepy suburb into the bustling downtown. She fished out the instructions and read them again, despite having most of it memorized by now, just to do anything to calm her nerves. It seemed almost unreal that the first day was finally here-she felt like she had been running a non-stop marathon for the past few weeks, and she hadn’t even technically started yet, ever since the day her agency got the call requesting the best they had for a temp PA position under a visiting star.

Jack Silver. Erin usually resisted Googling her clients, but in this case, there wasn’t any need.
Everyone
knew Jack Silver; Broadway bad boy, Grammy winner, People’s Sexist Man two years running.

She’d never even met him, and yet could picture his face perfectly, having constantly observed it on magazine covers and red carpet footage; his strong, masculine jaw uniquely complementing the slight stubble he always seemed to sport, crystal clear blue eyes, and a full mouth that always seemed to be on the edge of smirking.

His nose was slightly crooked, as if it’d been broken and mended many times, but instead of detracting from the symetrical precision of his face only seemed to enhance his distinguished good looks. He almost always wore his dark hair longer, stray strands falling over his eyes in a way that reminded Erin of an animal’s eyes hiding behind foliage.

He wasn’t at all Erin’s type.

He had what she called “New York good looks”, the kind of looks universally acknowledged to be sighed over, but rarely seen by actual normal people. Despite her city’s reputation as a theatrical haven, it rarely saw the likes of him. When it was announced he’d deigned to star in a production at a local theater, Erin heard the tickets for the entire run sold out without hours.

It’d be easier to roll her eyes at the whole thing if he was just an absurdly handsome face, but after Erin finally broke down and bought one of his albums, she was forced to admit that his voice alone could probably fill every theater in the city.

Her phone suddenly vibrated in her purse. She fished it out to find an urgent text from the casting director blaring across the screen.

“First script reading in 30 mins no Jack!! Please fetch!”

Erin peered out the window at the passing street signs. Luck was with her; the next stop was within 4 blocks of Mr. Silver’s high rise. Excusing herself down the crowded bus corridor, she quickly hopped off at the corner, and wound her way through the busy streets towards the swanky apartment complexes gathered around the river bank, her purse under her arm and clutching the heavy binder to her chest.

The change of plans didn’t faze Erin at all. She’d been a personal assistant to several prominent business people throughout the city since she’d graduated college, and frequent changes of plans just came with the job. This job, however, was already promising to be something she’d never experienced before.

Erin quickly ducked into an organic juice restaurant to pick up Mr. Silver’s morning banana smoothie, before darting back out onto the sidewalk, walking as fast as she could towards his building. The theater was a mere five minutes walk from where he lived; hopefully he’d merely forgotten the time, and that he was receiving a new personal assistant today. Part of her, though, thought that would probably be pushing her luck.

Over the past few weeks, as she’d sat up until 1 am with flashcards to remember Mr. Silver’s favorite dessert (banana split) and his mother’s birthday (April 10th), she wondered exactly why she’d gotten herself into this. Mr. Silver was going to be nothing like any of the clients she’d had so far if half of the rumors were true.

Her most scandalous, a low-level city council chair, had juggled a mistress, forcing Erin to schedule romantic dinners right under his wife’s nose; Mr. Silver, went the gossip, had fled New York City because he’d been juggling
five
.

She nodded politely to the doorman as she entered the apartment building’s expansive lobby, a cozy fire crackling in the modern fire pit despite the warm spring weather outside. The doorman, identified as Frank by his nametag, quickly consulted his list of allowed visitors and, recognizing her face, waved her on.

Erin smiled gratefully, and hurried into the waiting elevator, pressing the button for the highest floor. She’d never had to get past a doorman before; clients rarely saw the need to let her into their personal lives that much.

She took a deep, steadying breath as the elevator slowly climbed upwards. It seemed that Mr. Silver was going to give her quite an education. Four months of working for him, though, and she could pretty much guarantee a personal secretary position with any top-level CEO or politician in the city.

Heck, after whatever antics the spoiled singer had waiting for her, her next jobs would probably be boring in comparison! Laughing softly to herself, Erin exited the elevator, located the correct door, summoned her courage, and knocked.

For a moment, there was only silence. Then from the other side came a voice, warm and operadic even just in words, “Who is it?”

“Hello, Mr. Silver,” she called through the door, “I’m your new personal assistant, Erin Hughes. I’m here to escort you to the first script reading; it’s starting in about fifteen minutes.”

The door opened. Standing on the threshold was the sex symbol himself, wearing nothing but a towel under his waist.

Erin gulped down her cry of surprise, and focused all of her concentration on keeping her gaze at his face and a polite smile plastered onto her own. “Hello, I’m Erin,” she said breathlessly, and immediately hated herself for it.

Mr. Silver grinned, a boyish, impish, knowing grin as he casually ran a hand through his wet hair, the movement adequately emphasizing the carved line of muscle in his upper arms, “So you said. You’re a bit too late to join me.”

Erin blinked at him in shock. He’d always come across as a bit pompous in interviews, but nothing had prepared her for the swift rush of annoyance that ran through her at his blithely arrogant tone. Before she could stop herself, she replied tartly, “I will forever mourn the loss, all because of a bus schedule, but with time, perhaps, I will heal and again be myself. Now, are you going to stand there all day, hoping a passerby will tip you, or shall we get a move on?”

Mr. Silver’s well-groomed eyebrows rose in surprise, and he stood staring at her in silence as the seconds ticked suspensefully by.
Oh God, I’m fired
, she panicked, trying to keep the emotions from displaying on her face as they so often did,
Not even five minutes in and fired
.

Suddenly his face split into a wide grin. He stepped back and opened the door wide, nodding his head towards the interior. “I’m just finishing up. Come on in.”

Without waiting, he turned and strode gracefully back into the luxurious suite, apparently just assuming she would follow.

She did, though cautiously. She stepped into the foyer, closing the door behind her, trying to manage the sudden trembling of her hands. Had that been some kind of test, and she’d passed? Or was he just in an unusually good mood? Either way, that hadn’t been at all like her-she would need to be far more circumspect from now on.

“Coming?” His musical voice called from deeper within the apartment.

“Yes, Mr. Silver,” she replied, her voice thankfully back to its calm and authoritative norm, and she marched towards the kitchen, head high, managing not to gawk around at the frankly lewd square footage and rich trappings of the open-plan apartment.

He stood leaning against the counter, still contently scrubbing at his hair so that it fell in soft waves around his ears. Making sure to focus on his face and only his face, Erin set down the smoothie right in front of him. “Your morning smoothie, Mr. Silver.”

“Oh jeez, please, it’s Jack.” He threw her a broad smile that made her stomach flip, “Thanks, this was just what I was craving.” He sipped at it thoughtfully, making no attempt to disguise his interest as his clear blue eyes swept her up and down. “Dawn promised she’d gotten a good replacement. So far, not too bad, kid.”

Erin bristled internally at the nickname-he couldn’t be more than a few years older than her-but kept her features composed and serene. “Well, as her replacement, it’s my duty to inform you that unless we get out the door in the next five minutes, we’re going to be very late. The casting director is already freaking out.”

“That guy needs to get laid in the worst way,” Jack observed, still nonchalantly sipping his smoothie.

“So…” Erin hesitated, “Should I… lay out an outfit for you?”

“Nah.”

“Are your clothes at the dry-cleaners… should I go get them?”

“Nope, I’m good.”

Erin sighed in exasperation, “So are you going to attend the rehearsal naked?”

“Is that a request?” Jack grinned wickedly.

Erin was thankfully spared a response by a shout from the bedroom, “Jack! Where did you go?”

Jack shot Erin a look of-could it be?- embarrassment, a slight blush spreading over his well-defined cheekbones, and called back, “Um, looks like a change of plans! I’ll be-”

His visitor didn’t allow him to finish. A woman, lean, blonde, and wrapped only in a somewhat transparent sheet, appeared in the doorway, a scowl darkening her lovely features.
Definitely having a good day
, Erin thought, subtly noting the gorgeous glow of the woman’s skin.

Paying absolutely no attention to Erin, she pouted, “But I thought you were going to spend the whole morning with me!”

“I’m sorry, miss, that’s my fault,” Erin spoke up, causing both Jack and the tan goddess to glance at her like a sea cow had just materialized in the middle of the kitchen, “I didn’t tell Mr. Silver about his schedule in advance. Please accept my deepest apologies. If you’ll give me your card, I can call you as soon as there’s a time gap in his schedule.”

The woman looked Erin up and down in a distinctly different way than Jack had, her upper lip curving disdainfully for a moment, before finally sniffing, “Fine. Then I’m getting dressed, and you
owe
me, Jack!” She turned and flounced into the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.

“Sorry about Brooke,” Jack muttered, self-consciously running his fingers through his hair, “She’s… used to getting what she wants.”

“Don’t worry, I’m used to it,” Erin responded breezily, inwardly wondering at his response. His body language seemed to scream awkward, but why? This had to be a typical thing for him, given his reputation. Was he truly not as big a player as the media portrayed? Or, did he think she was a prude-or worse, judging him?

“Would you mind, um, dealing with her while I change?”

“No problem,” Erin said confidently; she might not have been prepared to meet her employer in just a towel, but this she was ready for. “When shall I tell her you’ll be calling?”

“Dunno,” Jack’s abashed expression quickly morphed into a smirk, “When does my schedule look free?”

Catching the glint in his eye, Erin ventured tentatively, “Never?”

Jack suddenly reached forward and seized her around the shoulders, pulling her into a one-armed side hug. The movement was so swift and unexpected, Erin’s head swam for a moment from the intense sensation of his touch-it certainly didn’t help that this close, she could smell the heady, masculine scent of his clean skin.

“Kid,” he grinned down into her bemused face, “I think we’re going to get along just fine.”

 

BOOK: Romance: Claimed By The Ape: BBW Shapeshifter Romance Standalone (Spicy Shifters Book 4)
9.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Wind Dancer by Chris Platt
The Accidental Wife by Rowan Coleman
After Dark by Donna Hill
Multiplayer by John C. Brewer
La caja de marfil by José Carlos Somoza
More Than Allies by Sandra Scofield
Operation: Normal by Linda V. Palmer
Crónica de una muerte anunciada by Gabriel García Márquez
Over Her Dead Body by Kate White
The Bone Palace by Downum, Amanda