An envelope full of resumes arrived with my morning mail. It was from HR: the applications for my assistant position.
I had never been entrusted with this kind of responsibility before. Having someone who reported directly to me was a big deal. Honestly, it had me feeling like I’d finally “made it.” Gotten to actual boss status. Literally.
I was ready for it and excited. I had a million and a
I counted the resumes before I started reading any of them. There were ten. A recruiter had pre-screened all the applications and deemed these the best.
They were all impressive. Ten well-educated people with industry experience and well-written cover letters.
But it was surprisingly easy to whittle the stack down to four candidates I wanted to interview, once I’d read through everything. They were clear front-runners in terms of the skills I was looking for.
Two of the four had female-sounding names, and a third was probably a male. The fourth resume contained not only a male-sounding name (Harry), but also an unusual feature: a headshot of the candidate.
This was the first time I’d seen anyone feature a portrait of themselves right there on their resume. But, I reasoned, everyone crafted resumes differently.
And considering what this individual looked like, I could see why he might’ve (rather arrogantly) included this professional photograph of himself on the first page of his CV, if what he was trying to do was stand out at first glance.
An ethical employer neither excludes nor hires anybody based on their physical appearance, gender, or other personal traits like that—that’s a standard I value. And it only makes practical sense, too. I needed someone skilled for this position, and what they looked like had absolutely zero to do their capacity to do the job well.
But it’s impossible to not notice these other things
Especially when those documents come with a full-color headshot, and doubly so if that headshot looks like it should be in a men’s style magazine.
This was my dilemma: I had absolutely no inclination to be biased in the handsome man’s favor – in fact, it was just the opposite.
I sat with his resume on my desk, reading and re-reading it for a long time, trying to find a solid reason to move it from the small “interview” pile to the larger
“rejection” one. But the simple fact was that, at least on paper, he looked like the very best of all the candidates.
I could not bring myself to disqualify him based on the photo alone. It was the one and only thing that gave me pause about moving him forward to interview. But I knew, just knew with great certainty that Alexander
He would be jealous. Period. There was no doubt about that.
But… I had no reason to believe my Alpha would let his jealousy about something like this spiral into a dangerous extreme.
Yes, the last time I’d seen Alexander become territorial, the other man involved had probably gone to the hospital afterward. That situation had escalated quickly, but it was also a much more complication situation. My ex-fiancé had had his hands on me at the time.
There was no way having a handsome young man working for me could create a problem anywhere as explosive as that. And the idea of giving Alexander a reason to get just a little bit jealous… I don’t know, it
I had to quit overthinking it. I had more pressing matters to deal with in the office. So I kept Harry in the “interview” pile. Maybe one of the others would beat him out in the next round, anyway. This whole thing would be a non-issue if he simply wound up not being the best fit for the position.
I emailed the recruiter to let him know my choices and provide him my availability for the interviews. I was going to hire the most qualified person for this job.
And that was that.
My door was open, so I heard the commotion from down the hall when the lunch cart arrived on our floor.
The day was flying by.
I made an executive decision. Today was going to be the day I started taking actual breaks midday once
again. The “working lunches” I’d been hosting with my little task force team in the conference room were becoming unbearable. The mix of smells was just too much for me, and it killed my appetite. I couldn’t afford to skip lunch. I needed the calories, the protein, the energy.
I checked in with the crew and let them know I was going to start taking real lunch breaks again, and if they wanted to do the same, they should certainly go ahead. We’d made enough progress getting the emergency situation under control, and especially since they were all doing overtime tonight too, I no longer felt the lunch meetings were necessary.
The guys were unfazed and on board. Emmie, though… I could tell that she was worried she’d offended me this morning, and thinking that I might be avoiding her. That was unfortunate.
Not a single wolf in the King Pack wanted to dare let me see them looking weak. Not today. Not after the way I’d been calling out underperformers and making examples out of them this week.
But I could tell that a couple of them were struggling when they all soldiered into the weight room to report for morning training. Jacob especially.
Here’s something that a decade at war will do for you: make you really good at walking a lot and carrying heavy stuff. Forest marching wasn’t that big of a deal for me. It was just a good workout. Had me looking jacked last night too, I guess, if Fiona’s salivating over my muscles was any indication.
But the younger soldiers, especially the tallest and heaviest of them, were hurting some.
That meant one thing: we were about to start doing a lot more frequent ruck marches.
It didn’t do me any good to cripple them today, though. So I planned on keeping the guys off their feet somewhat, giving their blister-covered feet and ankles a chance to heal.
We focused on upper-body strength training. Anything and everything that we could do indoors while the unseasonable storm raged on outside all morning.
We ran a demanding circuit. Push-ups, pull-ups, salmon ladder, rope climbs, and repeat. And repeat.
The sky stayed dark till after noon, when finally the cloud cover over the palace cracked down the middle and let some light leak through.
I’d just gotten the pack started on end-of-workout stretches when my phone buzzed quietly in my pocket.
I stole a glance at the screen. It was Fiona.
She’d finally responded to a text I’d sent her right after my early a.m. mud run with Kayden.
She was probably on her lunch break. I dipped out a few minutes early and let Kayden finish up the session so that I could catch her before she got busy with work again.
I reset my office from work mode into a space where I could enjoy a private, quiet break alone. It was simple: paperwork went away, keyboard tucked into its drawer; door locked, blinds closed, lights dimmed just a little.
I checked my phone while I started eating.
Alexander had sent me another picture of himself… a couple hours ago.
In this selfie he was outside, shirtless and soaking wet, with mud splattered all over his face and body.
I replied: I’ve never seen you like this. You always clean yourself up for me.
I had no idea if he still had his phone on him. I put mine down and returned to my meal. It was just a few
Alexander: And what do you think?
I caught myself rolling my eyes. He enjoyed it a little too much when I expressed how much I liked his body. How much I admired and lusted after it.
I used to try to hold back from giving him much encouragement on this topic. I remember feeling, before, like it gave him too much power to know that he could turn me on by just… existing.
I was not so worried about that anymore. My god-like Alpha only wanted me to worship him a little, and when I was actively looking at these pictures he was sending me, it seemed like a reasonable request.
Remembering how he was the night before helped me want to indulge him in this, too.
Alexander: No, you don’t want to do that. I’m fucking filthy.
That got me chuckling under my breath.
Me: I know you are.
Alexander: Not actually what I meant, but… I like the way you’re thinking.