Can you work late tonight?
Sterling Hamilton never broke the unspoken rule of the boss and employee with any of his other workers until Sasha Williams. The breathtaking beauty pushed him to a level he hadn’t experienced before. He had to prove to her that he could be more than her reliable boss and would do anything to make her see the real him.
She was in love with her boss...
Why couldn’t she have fallen in love with someone else besides Sterling Hamilton? Every time, Sasha Williams laid eyes on her handsome employer. She wanted to be with him, but it wasn’t possible because she could lose her job. So, instead of coming clean she kept her true feelings to herself.
Could working late one night finally be the motivation to get them together or would Sterling and Sasha still fight what is truly meant to be?
I swear, sometimes I wish I was an only child, Sasha Williams thought. She really didn’t need Akisha or Genise. The only sister she would think about keeping was Rachelle, because they were more alike than the other two were.
Why couldn’t Akisha or Genise have volunteered to do this instead of her? Both of them came up with stupid excuses.
Moving the cell phone away from her ear, she glared at it before hitting the end button and tossing it back into her purse, which lay on the bed near her. She couldn’t believe her sisters were ignoring her phone calls.
Neither one of them wasted time by staying in bed late. They were usually up and ready for their days by five o’clock. Now, they were either asleep or too busy to take her calls?
She expected them to act like this with her, but not Rachelle. Her big sister always answered when she called, no matter the time of day. Yet, everything changed when Rachelle married Cash Garon. Even now, it was hard for Sasha to grasp that her sister wasn’t single anymore, but happily married.
Eighteen months ago, the usually level-headed Rachelle met Cash while he was staying at their inn, Luxury. It was like she got shot by Cupid’s arrow—straight through the heart, and love at first sight had taken over both of them. Well, that was the way Rachelle explained her quickie marriage to the family.
Truthfully, Rachelle hadn’t known her new husband more than forty-eight hours before she’d fallen in love with him. If she believed magic spells were real, Sasha would have truly believed Cash cast one on her sister, like in an episode of Charmed.
Once her formerly workaholic sister got the huge diamond wedding ring on her finger, Rachelle instantly stopped checking in at work—worrying her little sister—and got her own life. Her past life and responsibilities were thrown out the window when she became Mrs. Cash Garon.
So what? Rachelle was on her honeymoon. She still had family who cared about her. She shouldn’t have to blow them off in order to please Cash.
Can Rachelle really not spare a few minutes to answer her phone messages, especially if they’re from me? No was the answer.
Before leaving, Rachelle told her that she decided to extend her cruise from two weeks to an entire month. Sasha was thrust into her sister’s shoes because she was oldest of the triplets. At this moment, Sasha felt like she was unfairly forced into something she really didn’t want.
Sasha hated trying to keep up with Akisha and Genise’s daily routines. Her siblings weren’t paying attention to one word coming out of her mouth. They thought she was too pushy and walked away from her any chance they got.
All of them should have stepped up and shared the responsibility of running the inn, but there was no way her sisters would think about doing that for her. They were more worried about themselves. Now, she wondered if Rachelle felt like this. They wouldn’t answer her phone calls because they weretoo busy.
God, she didn’t have a clue what Akisha and Genise were doing this morning. She wouldn’t be able to do her job correctly until she got a hold of them. Sometimes she really hated how selfish they were when it came to their family business.
Akisha and Genise were wonderful little sisters most of the time, but they had problems keeping their competitive streaks to a minimum. They were always looking for ways to outdo each other, which led them constantly to argue. Sure, sibling rivalry was okay, but when it came to them they could go overboard with it.
Why couldn’t Rachelle be here instead of away having fun on her honeymoon? Sasha desperately needed someone to confide in. Her big sister gave the best advice, even when Sasha was too stubborn to accept it and wanted to do things her way.
Without a doubt, the first words out of Rachelle’s mouth would be for her to stop stressing over the small things. She couldn’t help it, she liked everything to be seamless and in its place, because when nothing was cluttered her daily life ran more smoothly.
Deciding to give her sisters another call, Sasha grabbed her cell phone out of her purse. She tried Genise first and still didn’t get an answer. Forget Genise. She would try Akisha. She quickly dialed her other sister’s number and got the same result as last time…no answer.
Great! She knew they were ignoring her on purpose. Wait until she saw them again. She was going to give them a piece of her mind.
Genise and Akisha didn’t seem to be aware she knew them like the back of her hand. Rachelle was blind to how truly blessed she was not to be included in the unique, and sometimes unwanted, bond triplets shared.
Fine. If her sisters were doing something else and didn’t want to speak with her, she wouldn’t bother them. Probably an hour or two from now, they'd be calling her nonstop with some kind of problem.
Of course, they would expect her to drop everything she was doing to help them. They would be in for a huge surprise—she would be in the driver’s seat then and would determine if their problems were important enough for her to deal with.
Leaving her bedroom at the back of the house, Sasha made her way down the hall towards the front. In the living room, she stopped by the side of the couch and grabbed her briefcase off the seat. All the time she wasted trying to contact her siblings put her in a bad mood, but she didn’t want to make it worse by being late for work.
She had to get her ass in gear because she had to get there early to prepare for her meeting with her boss, Sterling Hamilton. Sasha prayed nothing went wrong with the new promotional campaign Sterling was marketing for his business. He had been working night and day to get everything ready to make this a huge triumph.
The last thing she wanted to do was get on his bad side by being late the day it launched. This was the first time she would be there to watch and see if the diversity training she had taught would take effect. If not, she would have to think of another angle to approach his employees.
Sliding her purse over her shoulder, Sasha took one final glance around the house. She left the house, slamming the front door to make sure it locked automatically behind her. On the way to her car, Sasha tried not to fantasize about her handsome boss, but it was hard to keep the man off her mind.
His compelling blue eyes, the firm features of his face and chiseled jaw line, and beautifully proportioned body had made him a permanent fixture in her head and nightly dreams since their first meeting. Her attraction to Sterling totally hit her out of the blue because she wasn’t normally drawn to white men. Every single one of her past boyfriends had been African American.
She never saw herself as one of those women who crushed on their bosses, until him. Sterling came into her life and, as much as wanted to, she couldn’t stop being fascinated by him.
Every time his gaze met hers, her heart skipped a beat and she barely got two words out of her mouth. All of those public speaking classes she took in college went to waste any time he unexpectedly walked into the room.
Of course, she had jobs in the past and her former male bosses were extremely attractive white men, but it never crossed her mind to date any of them. She never saw any of them as potential boyfriends.
Yet, for some odd reason, Sterling was completely different from them. She loved being around him any chance she got and when she wasn’t, a piece of her was gone. She'd miss his deep, coaxing voice and staring into his beautiful eyes and getting a whiff of his expensive cologne.
Okay! Stop it!
Sterling Hamilton was her employer and nothing else. It didn’t matter in the least that he made her heart race every time she heard his voice in the hallway at work. She wasn’t going to turn into Rachelle and end up falling in love with a man she barely knew. Hell, even Akisha was hung up on her boss, Ethan Newman, and it wasn’t going good for her at all.
Unlike Rachelle, she needed more than a sizzling attraction between them to make her forget about everything else going on around her.
Ultimately, the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with had to be caring, dependable and loving, considerate, and able to take care of himself. She didn’t mind helping her boyfriend out every once in a while, but she wasn’t about to give him money for no reason at all.
Getting into her Lexus, Sasha dug her favorite Bruno Mars CD out of the console and slipped it into the CD player before starting her car and pulling out of her driveway. She stopped at a red light a few blocks from her house and thought back to how she started working for Comforts Sleep Company, and Sterling Hamilton.
She had been employed by the Hamilton’s family owned business for over three years, but on a part-time basis because, for a short period, she had big dreams of becoming a famous actress.
She hoped her career would take off and she would eventually land a role in a big Hollywood film. She had only worked there for two weeks before quitting to find work on a movie or television show.
She had booked a couple of small parts in plays and on television, and everything seemed like it was going fantastic. Then a few years later she woke up and it hit her like a ton of bricks.
The acting thing was a little exciting, but it truly wasn’t for her because the callbacks were the hardest part. She would rather be told no instantly at the audition instead of being called back and then not landing the part. She wanted to do more, and decided to enroll in college and do something different.
So, she’d gotten out of bed and got on her laptop, then searched online for college classes to take. With the money she had left over from her Uncle Raymond’s life insurance policy, it would be more than enough to support her through whatever classes she took.
At first, she’d been extremely apprehensive about going back to college after being out of school for so many years. She wasn’t sure if she would fit in with the younger students, but she didn’t let that deter her from signing up and getting the ball rolling. Within six weeks, she was sitting in a classroom and taking notes from her professor.
After graduating, she had immediately gone to work at the family business with Rachelle. One thing was for sure, she wouldn’t be able to keep living in the same place with her paycheck from Luxury. She needed another income because she wasn’t about to get a roommate.
One day while at lunch, Sasha was looking through the want-ads for a part-time job and she noticed her old job was hiring an Employee Relations Specialist. So, she took a longer lunch and applied for the job the same day.
What could it hurt to see how far she might get in the interview process?
Sasha knew her mother raised her with something those other applicants lacked: the Williams women’s fierce determination. She didn’t know how to give up without giving it everything she had in her. Not quite two weeks later, she’d finally gotten a call from the company asking her to come in for an interview. She could barely contain her excitement long enough to give the woman a coherent answer.
The sound of a horn blowing jarred Sasha to the present. She pulled away from the green light. She would never forget how she felt sitting there with the other applicants, three female and one male. They all pretended they weren’t sizing each other up and making judgments on each other’s appearances.
Her nerves had been on edge as she watched applicant after applicant getting called into the conference room for the job she wanted. She would bet none of the other candidates needed the job or money as badly as her. The pay quoted in the newspaper ad would help her keep her apartment without having to get a roommate.
She also remembered specifically how she had made up her mind back then to not mention the job interview to anyone, especially Rachelle. Her older sister believed if something was meant to be then it would happen for you. If not, you should accept it and move on to something else.
Don’t let the small things worry you for no reason.
Why let it get you down when it wasn’t meant to be, anyway?
So, if she hadn’t gotten hired for the job at Comforts Sleep Company, Rachelle wouldn’t know how much she needed a second income. In the end everything turned out perfectly because she got the job.
Making a left turn, Sasha continued driving towards work when something suddenly crossed her mind that hadn’t in a very long time. She still wasn’t sure what made the interviewer hire her instead of the tall brunette. She had been her biggest competition during the last round of interviews.
She knew the past was the past, but every once in the while the thought did cross her mind that she was the one working at Comforts Sleep Company. Working with Sterling was the best job she could ever ask for; she truly didn’t want to be anywhere else.
The long hours didn’t bother her at all, and interacting with the employees was a lot more fulfilling than she thought it would be. She didn’t mind gathering information from them to put towards resolving problems between them and upper management.
The more she learned and the more she saw Sterling, the more she enjoyed being in his company, and listening to his accent wasn’t bad either. Honestly, the idea of doing this job for several more years didn’t sound too bad.
Sure, there were those rare occasions with certain men at Comforts Sleep Company who didn’t want to take her advice about stopping their demeaning comments about their female co-workers. However, once she reported them to Sterling at their weekly meetings, they came back with totally different attitudes and were a lot more respectful.
Sometimes men at the other factories would holler and whistle at her as she walked past them when she went there for visits. Yet, she learned very quickly how to ignore the guys who had no class. She shoved their unwanted comments to the back of her mind and went on with her day.
Working for CSC gave her the chance to prove to Rachelle that she could be a responsible person and hold a job for more than six months. Sasha tried to keep her mind off her handsome boss, but as usual Sterling found a way to sneak back into her head. When was she going to finally admit to herself that she saw him as more than her boss, and she was dying for him to notice her as a woman instead of his brilliant employee?