Excerpt: The Boss’s Wife for a Week
Book 5: Beware of Greeks Series
It was paperwork that kept Sadie Morrissey tied to Spencer Tyack. He was hopeless at it.
If paperwork were left to Spence it would never get done. And that was no way to run a business. Tyack Enterprises was an enormously successful property development business because Spence had a good eye, great insight and a prodigious work ethic – and because he had Sadie to take care of the details.
She’d been doing it for years – ever since she’d been in high school and he’d been barely twenty-one, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks with grit and goals and not much else. Now, twelve years later, he owned a multi-national business and had his finger in property developments on five continents.
He’d have taken over the world by now, Sadie sometimes thought, except she couldn’t keep up with the paperwork.
“You need to file faster,” Spence always told her, flashing that megawatt drop-dead gorgeous grin of his as he breezed through the office on his way to London or Paris or Greece or New York.
“Not on your life,” Sadie always replied, wadding up a piece of paper and throwing it at him. The grin flashed again and he winked at her.
Sadie resisted the grin, resisted the wink. Resisted Spence – something else she always did.
“I’m busy enough, thank you very much” she told him tartly. “And it’s not only filing.”
Of course he knew that. He knew it was Sadie who kept things organized, who could lay her hand on any piece of paper at any given moment, who could set up a meeting between people on four continents at the drop of a hat, whose address book was even more stuffed full of information than his own.
He only said it to annoy her. Then he’d grin again, rattle off half a dozen more things she needed to do, and then he’d vanish, off to catch another plane while Sadie got back to work.
Not that she cared.
Until last year she’d had a reason to stay in Butte. She’d been determined to care for her elderly grandmother, to make sure Gran would be able to stay in her own home as long as possible.
Now that Gran had been gone six months, her parents were urging her to come to Oregon where they lived, and her brother Danny had promised her job interviews galore if she came to Seattle.
But Sadie hadn’t gone. She liked Butte with its wild and woolly history. Loved Montana. Delighted in the change of seasons, in the wide open spaces. It was still, as far as she was concerned, the best place on earth.
And she liked her life – what there was of it. Mostly there was her job. But that was all right. She and Spence had always worked well together, and the job was exciting and demanding, even though she was always going like mad, working insane hours as she did her best to keep the ducks in a row and the details aligned so that Spence could get on with buying up the world piece by piece.
Some days – like today – Sadie thought she ought to have been born an octopus. But even eight arms would not have been enough to deal with all the Tyack Enterprises projects she was juggling this afternoon.
The phone had been ringing when she’d opened the office door at eight thirty this morning. By lunchtime she had talked four times to an Italian determined to encourage Spence’s interest in some condominiums in Naples even though she’d assured him that Spence wasn’t there, he was in New York. She’d listened to an imperious Greek tycoon named Achilles who wouldn’t take no for an answer, either. And in between those and all the other calls, she’d worked on finalizing Spence’s meeting in Fiji next week.
Arranging the logistics for him and his co-investors to spend a week on one of Fiji’s smaller islands at a resort for stressed out and over-worked businessmen and women was, to put it bluntly, a challenge. Movers and shakers like Spence and his partners did not have schedules that permitted them to laze around for a week in paradise.
“We don’t want to laze around,” Spence had told her last time he was in Butte. “We just want to go, see the place, crunch the numbers and, if it works out, buy in.”
“That’s what you want. But Mr Isogawa wants you to experience the peace you’re going to be investing in.”
That had been clear during the first conversation she’d had with Japanese businessman Tadahiro Isogawa. Mr Isogawa wanted partners, yes. But not just any partners. He wanted partners who believed in the resort’s concept – and who would experience it first hand.
“The piece we’re investing in?” Spence had frowned. “We don’t want a piece. We want partnership in the whole place.”
“P-e-a-c-e,” Sadie had spelled patiently. “He expects you to all turn up and spend a week getting to know the place – and each other – and reconnecting with your families.”
“I don’t have a family.”
“So tell that to Mr Isogawa. He’s very big on marriage and family. It’s why he works, he told me. But he believes sometimes people who work so hard get their priorities mixed up. Hence the need for Nanumi. It’s Fijian for ‘remember,’” she’d informed Spence. Mr Isogawa had told her that when he’d explained his reasons for the resort development.
It hadn’t impressed Spence. He’d had given her that sceptical brows-raised look Sadie knew all too well. She’d just shrugged. “Up to you. But he says if you want in, he wants all of you – and your spouses – there for a week to experience it.”
Spence had rolled his eyes. But his desire for the resort won out and finally he’d shrugged. “Fine. Whatever he wants. Set it up.”
And so she had.
And just when she finally got everything sorted and began to go over a contract Spence had faxed her for a development in Georgia he was involved in, the phone rang again.
Sadie closed her eyes and prayed for patience. It actually wasn’t eight hands she needed, she thought wearily as she reached for the phone. But eight ears certainly wouldn’t hurt.
“Tyack Enterprises,” she said and was rewarded by the crackle of a trans-oceanic connection and a voice whose first language was clearly not English. On the plus side, it wasn’t Italian or Greek either.
“Ah, Isogawa-san, konnichi wa. How lovely to hear from you!”
And it really was. Mr Isogawa was the one person she hadn’t talked to. “Everyone arrives on Sunday. I have all the details right here.”
She happily relayed the information and smiled at his cheerful approval.
Mr Isogawa, she had discovered, had had little experience with westerners beyond the ones he saw in films. Since Sadie was more given to hard work than car chases and shooting people to get things done, he thought she was a miracle worker. He took all the information as she relayed it, then said, “You must come too.”
“Thank you. I’d love to,” Sadie replied with a smile. Who wouldn’t want to spend a week in a South Pacific paradise? “But I have work to do here.”
“Even so,” Mr Isogawa said. “You work very hard. You should have a holiday, too. A life.”
How did he know she didn’t have a life?
“You talk to Spencer,” he said. “He will arrange it.”
Spence didn’t take vacations himself. She knew he wouldn’t see any reason for anyone else to, either. Officially she had two weeks a year. She couldn’t remember ever taking them.
“Maybe someday,” she said to Mr Isogawa. When hell froze over.
Still after Mr Isogawa hung up, she thought about what he said.
Not about going to Fiji. There was no chance of that. But maybe she ought to consider getting away. Moving away. For years she’d assured herself that she thrived on the variety and busyness of her life.
But was it really a life?