The Unwilling Executive

By: Miranda P. Charles

(Captured by Love Book 1)


Jade Tully exhaled her frustration as she checked her watch for the umpteenth time. It was thirty-five minutes past the scheduled start of her meeting with a guy called Lucas Renner, and he still hadn’t turned up.

She drummed her fingers on the wooden table of the busy café in the middle of Sydney’s bustling business district while surveying the patrons. Perhaps Lucas was already here, waiting?

No. She was the only one sitting by herself.

Unfortunately, she didn’t even know what Lucas looked like. She was relying on her new boss’s assurance that Lucas would get the message of where she was sitting and the colour of the top she was wearing.

“Can I take this for you?” a wait staff asked, indicating her empty mug.

“Yes, thank you,” she answered. “And I’ll have another latté, please. Decaf, this time.”


Jade didn’t want another drink, but the establishment was full and she felt guilty hogging a table when there were people waiting for a seat. She grabbed her phone and dialled the direct line for Thomas Bilton.

“Jade,” her employer answered.

“Hello, Mr. Bilton. I just want you to know I’m still waiting for Mr. Renner. He hasn’t turned up yet.”

“Hang on a minute. Let me check if he’s left a message.”

A few seconds later, Thomas was back on the line.

“There are no messages, Jade. Please keep waiting. He must be held up somewhere.”

“Okay, sir.”

“Jade, remember it’s of utmost importance that you get him to read the letter and get his answer. And as I’ve said before, don’t worry if he gets annoyed. He’ll be reacting to the message, not to you. Okay?”

“Yes, sir,” she answered, her curiosity spiking once again.

Thomas hadn’t told her anything about this errand, except to say that it was a private but extremely important matter. So she didn’t press for more information. Anyway, how hard could it be to get someone to read a letter and get an answer?

She took out a sealed envelope from her handbag and inspected it again. Not even the recipient’s name was on it.

It was all very strange, and she couldn’t help but think that this extraordinary task demonstrated Thomas Bilton’s eccentric tendencies that Lexie Mead, one of her best friends, had told her about.

Lexie worked in the marketing department at Bilton Machineries and had witnessed some of the odd demands Thomas had made to their team. Evidently though, Thomas had always known what he was doing. After all, the man had single-handedly built a construction machinery company in Australia that now had branches in several countries.

Who knew, maybe Thomas and Lucas Renner were partners in a top-secret project, and they didn’t trust email technology for delivering important documents.

Jade rolled her eyes at herself. Gosh, she was so bored with waiting that she was coming up with ridiculous ideas. In all probability, this assignment might be her boss’s way of testing to see if she was indeed the best person to be his new PA.

Lexie had nominated her for the position when Thomas’ long-serving employee had retired last week. Aided by a glowing reference from her old boss, Jade was the last person standing after a gruelling selection process.

The job offer came at the right time. Jade was still in shock from her previous employer selling the company to an overseas buyer, who’d subsequently closed the Australian branch. Heaven knew she needed a good salary to help her older brother Jerry and his wife with their financial needs. Their baby boy had just had open-heart surgery to fix a congenital birth defect and was in for years of medical care. Even though Jerry didn’t like taking money from Jade, it wasn’t a matter of choice.

But Jade wasn’t guaranteed to keep this new job. She was on the usual three-month probationary period, and Thomas had made it clear that if she didn’t perform to expectations, she’d be replaced immediately.

So it bothered her that Lucas Renner still hadn’t turned up. Damn it. Another important task waited for her in the office—one she was supposed to finish before she went home for the day. It was taking her longer than expected to complete because she was still learning the system.