Brandi did the paperwork for her employment and she agreed to be back the next day. Things had gone better than she’d expected and she was proud of herself as she parked her car at her cottage.
She lived in what had been a carriage house on her father’s estate. She could walk to the main house, but she had privacy and a separate driveway for her home.
After she changed out of her work clothes, she went to find her father. He’d promised to be home when she arrived so he could hear how her day went. The story she’d told Zach had been only slightly true.
She did want to prove herself, but in a different way than she’d told him.
Her father was in his study when she found him. He sat behind a carved wooden desk in a high leather chair. She’d sat in that chair as a little girl dreaming of one day taking over his company. He smiled when he saw her “There’s my girl. How’d it go?”
She settled on a butter leather chair. “He hired me.”
“That was easy.”
“Hey, I’m good. I’m his new personal assistant.”
Her father leaned back in his chair and laughed. “You are good. This is going to be great. You’ll have access to just about everything he has access to.”
“It might take me a few weeks to figure out where everything is, but then I’ll be able to feed you as much information as you need. We need to take him down,” she said.
“Zach Wilder won’t know what hit him and it’ll be great to see him in jail. I would pay money to watch that perp walk.”
“Me, too and I’ve only just met him. He was undressing me with his eyes the whole time.”
“I’m sorry you had to endure that. All the more reason we take him down. Then Marsing Enterprises will rule this city and all the real estate in it.”
She relished that thought. If she succeeded her father would give her a larger role in his real estate empire. She wanted to take over the commercial side of things. No more staging houses. No more difficult buyers who wanted the sellers to give them the moon.
As much as she’d loved being a real estate agent, she wanted a bigger chunk of the commissions.
“That sounds great, Daddy. I start tomorrow. I get a company phone and laptop.”
“That means he can track you.”
“I gave this address, Daddy. He isn’t going to check on where I live.”
Her father didn’t seem convinced. “You have to be careful. He’s evaded arrest for this long, Brandi. He’s smarter than you think.”
Brandi had been hearing for a decade how awful Zach Wilder was. She’d almost thought him to be an ogre, but then she’d seen him. His chiseled jaw and blue eyes had been the furthest thing from a grotesque monster. She’d have to be on guard since he probably had the charm to match those looks.
“I’ll be okay, Daddy. I’m smarter than he is.”
“I know you are kitten, but he has a criminal mind,” Kent said.
“Well, then I’ll have to figure out how he thinks and defeat him that way. You gave me this assignment and I won’t fail. Zach Wilder will be taken down.”
“Let’s talk about what I need to know,” he said.
She pulled out her phone to take notes. Everything she knew about selling real estate, she had learned from her father. If he had a plan she would listen to it. That didn’t mean she wouldn’t make some tweaks of her own, but he wouldn’t need to know that.
“I need every contact he has. Emails and phone numbers.”
“That’ll be easy. I’ll probably end up having most of them anyway. That won’t take any stealth.”
Her father’s phone rang. “I better get this.”
He didn’t ask her to leave, but when he realized it was one of his dates, her mind wandered.
Zach had smelled good. Like a man. Wow. Maybe it had been too long since she’d had sex if she found Zach attractive. That wasn’t good. She had to keep her head in the game and her mind out of the gutter.
That didn’t mean she couldn’t look at him as one would admire a piece of art. He was well put together. His tailored suit had shown broad shoulders and an impressive chest. Was there hair on it?
She shook herself. That wasn’t her concern. She needed to bring this guy down and prove to her father she could eventually run his company. Thinking of Zach naked wasn’t going to get her there.
Her father hung up. He had a few women he dated at once. Nothing exclusive for him. Brandi suspected that her mother’s leaving had affected him more than he let on. No woman would get close to him again.
“Where were we?” he asked.
“I need to get all of Zach’s contacts. Like I said, that will be easy.”
“I will need all ongoing projects. I’m sure you’ll be a part of those anyway. Will you be scheduling things?”
“No, I’m more of a hands-on assistant. I’ll be with him most of the time.”
Her father smiled. “Right. That’ll be great. Make notes about everything. Nothing is insignificant.”
“Right. Got it, Daddy.”
“The last part is going to be the hardest. For the projects that he is doing illegally or skirring around the laws or regulations, I doubt he’ll include you. You’ll have to figure out where he keeps this information. Note if there are file cabinets you don’t have access to. Or if there are folders on his computer that you need passwords to get into them.”
Brandi noted that because she might not have thought of looking for other projects. That criminal mind. She’d have to get inside of it.
Inside. That made her think of Zach naked again. Those large hands probably knew how to get a woman hot and bothered. Her mouth went dry. “I need a drink, Daddy.”
She returned after downing a glass of water. She didn’t know why Zach affected her so much? He was the enemy. She had to keep that in mind. Especially when she was speaking with her father. They’d stayed out of each other's personal lives and how embarrassing was it to blush in front of her father while she was thinking about the man he wanted to bring down.
She steeled herself. “Okay. Anything that he deems off-limits to me should be suspect.”
“Exactly. That will be where he’s hiding his illegal doings. There may be bribes to officials to overlook something about a property. If he has meetings that he doesn’t let you attend then find a way to be there. You just need to make sure he doesn’t suspect that you are searching for anything.”
“Maybe I’ll wait to do any snooping until I’m there for a few weeks?”
“I see the reasoning behind that, but we don’t have time. If he gets wind of what you’re doing he’ll fire you. We only have this one chance to gather information on him.”
Brandi nodded. If she kept in her mind that Zach was a criminal, she could resist finding him attractive. “I got it, Daddy. I’ll lay low for a short time then go searching.”
“Good, kitten. I’m looking forward to taking down my nemesis once and for all.”
“Me, too, Daddy.”
“Now I have to get into the office. Thanks for the update, honey.”
She rose, having been dismissed. Her heart was full of love for her father. That he’d given her this assignment meant he trusted her.
She wouldn’t let him down.