Conquering Kameron

an excerpt

Chapter 1

"I don't really need a junior executive or a personal assistant," Vernon Henderson argued with his younger cousin and his publishing company's sales manager, Jonathan Richoud. "I have Michael."

"Michael is my assistant." Jonathan leaned against a wall in Vernon's gigantic office. "He's also afraid of you, like most of the other employees around here."

"He is not scared of me." Vernon loosened his collar by putting some slack in his tie and unbuttoning the top button of his white dress shirt. "I speak to him every day."

"Grunting doesn't count," Jonathan said. "Or growling either." He walked over and sat in one of the Queen Anne guest chairs. "You need someone with some serious organizational skills and who knows something about books and the field of publishing."

Vernon rocked back in his chair. He knew the real reason Jonathan was acting so overly protective of Michael. The gorgeous accounting assistant was Jonathan's little fuck-buddy. Both of them thought he didn't know, but he had spies everywhere and cameras, too. He'd caught them several times smooching it up near the copier or in the employees' lounge.

Vernon chuckled to himself. The little blond had some great skills, too. He could suck a dick like a professional and always left his cousin a shivering mess after one of their little in-office liaisons.

"We need to bring in some young blood," Jonathan insisted. "Someone who's up on what today's young people are reading, who can speak the lingo and who knows how to work a damn computer."

Vernon nodded in agreement. The monstrosity on his desk beeped at him occasionally when he tried to use it. He could turn it on and off, activate his spying software and surf the Internet. Everything else mystified him. Maybe he should have taken a couple of computer classes in college instead of focusing on journalism and business. He'd paid a guy in school to type all his assignments and, at the time, he'd had no complaints compensating someone who knew his way through office software. Now, he was just too damn busy to take classes and learn for himself. Lately, he'd been using Michael to help him.

"I'm bringing in someone later," Jonathan informed him. "He's young, has a journalism degree and is willing to start from the ground up."

"Is he one of your little boy toys?" Vernon asked.

Jonathan scowled at him. "No. He came in for an interview with a few other applicants and he stood out. He even knew who Shakespeare was."

Vernon smirked. "Wow, I'm impressed. You didn't let your dick make the decision for you."

Jonathan rolled his eyes at him like he used to do as a child.

"What's his name?"

"Kameron, with a K, Santella. He's from New Orleans, but he's been living here in Boston for seven years while he attended Boston University."

"A southern guy. Does he know anything about the publishing business?" Vernon asked.

"Not exactly," Jonathan answered. "But he worked in a library while getting his degree and he graduated at the top of his class. I offered him an entry-level position so he can get his feet wet. He can move up as he gains experience."

Vernon stopped rocking in his chair. "So what am I supposed to do while he's gaining experience?" He needed someone to get control over the mailroom and organize his files.

"You can take him under your wing and train him if you want to," Jonathan said. "He's an intelligent young man and will be a great asset to this company. And he's also cute."

"Why in the hell should I care?" Vernon asked. "I need help, not a hookup."

"I'll let you be the judge of that," Jonathan said. "But I know he'll be safe since you've given up on things like dating and love."

Vernon frowned at his cousin. He hadn't given up. He was just too damn busy being the boss. It came with a high price tag. He sighed. Life had been easier when his father had run things. "He better know how to type and how to work a computer."

"I had Drew give him a test. He not only types in excess of one hundred words a minute, he knows about spreadsheets and databases. And, as an added bonus, he could find our website on the Internet on his first attempt."

"He sounds too good to be true," Vernon said sarcastically. "Start him off in the mailroom. If he can survive there a week I'll think about making him my assistant."

"Okay," Jonathan said. "Would you like to meet him? He's coming in today."

"No," Vernon said. "I don't want to frighten him off."

Jonathan rose and left the office.

Vernon went back to work. He needed to find out all he could about a writer named Alexander Manning. The little chit had the number one book on USA Today and The New York Times. He could use someone like that writing for him. Hopefully he didn't have an exclusive contract with his present publisher.

* * * *

"Who is that?" Michael asked Jonathan as they stood in the administration office drinking coffee.

"That is our new employee," Jonathan said, watching the young man being taken around by Drew Carlo, the Human Resources manager.

"Is he for real?" Michael asked.

"Yes," Jonathan answered. "His name is Kameron Santella and he's from New Orleans."

Michael pouted. "Did you select him?"

"Yes. I thought it was about time Vernon got an assistant."

"Good idea," Michael said. "Your cousin is an ogre."

Drew finally made his way over to them. "Kameron, I'd like to introduce you to our sales manager, Jonathan Richoud, and his assistant Michael Allen. Guys, this is Kameron Santella. He's training to be an editorial assistant."

"Kameron and I have already met," Jonathan said, shaking the new employee's hand. He'd come dressed for success in a navy suit tailor-made especially for his slender frame. The overhead lights made his curly brownish blond hair glimmer like a halo. Behind the gold-framed glasses, hazel eyes twinkled and seduced when he smiled. He pushed Michael forward.

"Hi, I'm Michael." His assistant extended his hand for a friendly shake.

"Hi, I'm Kameron. It's nice to meet you."

"Ooh, a southern twang. Mr. Henderson is just going to love working with you."

Kameron stared at him oddly.

"Kameron's starting in the mailroom first," Drew said.

"But I thought..." Michael began.

"Mr. Henderson wants Kameron to learn everything about the publishing business," Jonathan explained. "Then he's personally going to train Kameron."

"I hope you've had your rabies shot," Michael said.

"What do you mean by that?" Kameron asked.

Jonathan moved his assistant aside. "Michael is just being silly."

"Welcome aboard," Michael said from behind him.

Drew took Kameron off to meet some other employees.

Jonathan turned and faced Michael.

"Has Mr. Henderson met Kameron yet?" Michael asked as they walked back to their office space.

"No," Jonathan answered.

"I didn't think so," Michael replied.

* * * *

Kameron nearly fainted when he finally got to see the mailroom. What have I gotten myself into? The place was huge with thousands of white crates filled with letters and packages. He also saw trash everywhere, and it wouldn't surprise him if the space had rats.

"I know it looks bad," Drew said nervously. "But you'll have help. Ernest and Kevin are at lunch right now but should be back shortly. Let me show you to your office."

"I have an office?" Kameron asked, stepping over a stack of boxes.

"Yes. You have a degree. They don't. You won't exactly be their supervisor, though. You're here to get this place organized and the mess under control."

"Oh." Kameron had no problem with a little hard work, but this looked like a monumental task. "I hope this place has a shredder, a working telephone and a computer." He stepped inside the office with Drew. "Oh my gawd," he said. "I'll need trash bags and cleaning supplies. I can't possibly work in here without disinfecting it first."

"I'll have those things brought to you tomorrow," Drew said. "Ernest and Kevin don't usually come back here."

Well, someone did. Kameron noticed the used condom on the floor near the desk. He shuddered, trying not to hyperventilate. He had a powerful aversion to dirt.

"There's a small supply cabinet in the back," Drew said. "Feel free to use anything you need."

"I'm going to need a list of sections and employee names," Kameron said. "And several huge mail carts."

Drew nodded. "I'll have them sent to you tomorrow, too."

"What are my hours?"

"Eight to five most days," Drew said. "The hours will change when you move up to editing. Sometimes those guys pull all-nighters to get a book out."

He hadn't planned on giving up his life for a paycheck. He'd see how things went first. "Is there a dress code?"

"It depends," Drew said. "Down here you can wear casual clothing, but upstairs it's strictly business suits since you'll have contact with authors and clients."

"I'll bring a change of clothing." Kameron looked into the bathroom attached to the office. He shuddered. "And gloves." He couldn't wait to go home and take a shower.