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Here is a short sample from the book:
Dexter exited the lift into his office space, the highest office space at the shard. The views of the city inspired him. Especially since he could now physically pinpoint most of the developments he owed. His first hotel. His first gym. His various apartment blocks. They were his babies. All his. All earning more money than he knew what to do with. The thrill of investing and becoming the richest man in the UK kept him going. He was still far behind the Russian Oligarchs and Saudi playboys who resided in the city. There was no football club in his portfolio. Maybe he ought to look into that? Would the owner of Chelsea sell to him? What self-respecting billionaire didn’t own a football club?
He marched in. He caught the staff gathered around gossiping. As soon as they saw him, they separated and scuttled back to their desks. Unfocused staff annoyed him. He didn’t pay them to socialise at his expense. Maybe a few sackings in the new year would refocus their energy on the bigger picture.
His current secretary, Bella, beautiful Bella, stood up to greet him.
A sigh, he clicked his fingers at Belle and pointed to his office. She followed him in.
“Shut the door,” he demanded and leaned on his desk.
“Have I done something wrong?” she asked.
“Yes, I don’t like you calling me Dexter. It’s Mr Fox to you.”
A grin spread across her face.
“I thought you liked being called Boss.”
“Only in bed,” he said.
With a hook of his index finger, he beckoned her over.
“Remove your clothes; I’m going to punish you.”
“Yes, Mr Fox,” said Belle.
He moved to one side and ordered her to bend over the table. God, he loved his job. He loved his life.
Once he finished, he ordered her to get dressed and take some notes.
“Yes, Mr Fox,” she winked at him.
She sat opposite him, with her long, lean legs crossed and her skirt riding up. How was he supposed to do any work with her around? He really should get himself an older secretary.
“Mr Fox, pay attention,” she ordered him.
He snapped out of it. Back to business.
“Organise a lunch with the Chelsea owner. I feel like doing a bit of shopping.”
“He won’t sell.”
He always got his own way.
“Belle, what was distracting the staff this morning?”
“They were discussing the Christmas lunch and if we should do secret Santa or not.”
He rolled his eyes. It was only November and they were already obsessed with Christmas. He hated Christmas. To him, it meant distractions. Loss of business. He had to give the entire staff time off. They’d return in January, fat and unfocused. If he had his way, he’d ban Christmas.
“Hey, Scrooge,” Belle interrupted him. “So you want in on the secret Santa? It’s twenty per head.”
“What the hell can you buy for twenty quid, apart from tat? What’s the point in buying tat?”
“So that’s a no from you. Are you coming to the Christmas lunch?”
No, of course he wasn’t. The small talk, the nonsense. Parents boring him about their snot-nosed brats. Why did he even employ parents? Damn HR and tribunals. If only he could sack staff as soon as they became parents. Parental leave, maternity leave. Focus. It all cost him.
“Don’t count me in. I’ll be working. Someone’s got to keep this company afloat.”
Belle shook her head at him. Sometimes she was so cool and other times she was like the rest of the sheep.
“Will you also be working on Christmas day?” she asked.
If only he could. Always expected to attend the family Christmas lunch, there was no getting away from that.
“Unfortunately not, I’ll be at my parents. You want to come?”
At least Belle might liven it up. And she was exactly the type of girl his parents would expect him to be with. She came from money and was posh enough for her snobby mother.
“Not if they’re as miserable as you, thank you. I’m having fun at Christmas. Now, if you’ll excuse, I have work to do.”
She stood up and strutted out of his office. He enjoyed the view of her form in her tight skirt.
What a distraction. He must remember to get her something sexy for Christmas. If he couldn’t avoid this dreadful holiday, he may as well get something out of it. Now, who to choose it for him? He could ask one of his other assistants, but it might look a bit tacky getting one of them to pick out sexy underwear especially since he’d slept with most of them. He’d delegate it to his concierge service. They handled everything outside of work.
After a day of conference calls and no lunch, it was dark already. Maybe he should work from his Sydney office. He’d definitely look into it for next year. It was always less festive when Christmas fell in summer. He called Belle.
“Book a table for us for dinner. Somewhere nice. You’re staying with me tonight.”
Their brief tryst earlier that day had whetted his appetite and he wanted more of Belle tonight.
“Yes, Mr Fox.”
He placed the phone down. He could always rely on Belle to book something perfect – and expensive, with her exquisite taste. A few moments later, there was a knock at the door. Belle poked her head in.
“Are you back for more?”
She shushed him. “There’s someone here to see you.”
His schedule was clear for the rest of the day, he needed to get on with some paperwork.
“Tell them to make an appointment.”
He was too important to be seen without an appointment and he shouldn’t have to tell Belle this; she was a perfectly adequate secretary.
“I think you should see them.”
“Is it the Chelsea owner?”
She shook her head.
“Then no, tell them to come back another day,” he shooed her away and opened a file on his laptop.
Then there was a sound. An unusual sound. It sounded like a child crying.
“Belle, I thought I made it clear the staff weren’t allowed to bring their kids in anymore.”
There was nothing worse than a child running around the office, swivelling around in the chairs, spilling water at the water cooler and then him being introduced to them. As if he wanted to meet his staff’s kids. Actually, the worst was when they brought a screaming newborn in. And they expected him to coo over the ugly, red, blotchy thing.
“It’s social services,” said Belle.
Social services? He’d never had any dealings with social services before and as far as he knew all of his staff were perfectly respectable. He didn’t hire lowlifes, chavs or people with criminal records. Confused, he allowed Belle to bring them in.
Some middle-aged woman in a cheap, polyester, grey suit entered holding the hand of some snivelling child. Belle threw him a bemused look. The woman thanked her and closed the door, leaving Belle on the other side.
“Nice office, nice view,” she commented.
He knew it but urged the woman to get to her point. He offered them a seat. The girl looked about four or five. Or maybe nine or ten. Dexter had no idea. He had no experience with children. There were no young children in his family and none of his friends had them. Except probably one of his friends, Mason, the sap, would soon. Recently engaged. All loved up and talking about children the last time he saw him. It would be a shame to cut Mason out of his life. They used to get on so well.
“Mr Fox, this is a rather sensitive issue.”
The woman squeezed the little girl’s hand. With her long, blonde hair tied in pigtails and her big, blue eyes, she looked very cute.
Before she continued, he cut in. “Look, I don’t have a lot to do with my staff’s personal lives. Maybe I should call someone from HR to talk to you instead?”
“No, we’re only here to see you, Mr Fox. It’s about Heidi.”
“Who the hell is Heidi?”
The woman glared at him; “this is Heidi. Your daughter.”