“Mr. Hunter will see you now.”
Those six words sent my stomach from a somersault into a free-fall. I was usually the picture of confidence, at least in public situations and business arenas. I knew that I was qualified for this job and any other time I’d be on top of my game, but this was James Hunter… the man I had hated for the past eleven years. The man I intended to destroy. I nodded at the receptionist and forced a smile. As I followed her into the next office I swallowed the anxiety that was stuck in my throat. My stomach could take the brunt of this. I needed my brain sharp and my limbs steady.
“Mr. Hunter, this is Miss Summers.” The big leather chair behind the heavy oak desk turned around. Sitting in it was the most drop-dead gorgeous man that I’d ever seen in my life. There was no way that this could be James Hunter.
He stood up and held out his hand. Smiling to the full effect of the deep dimples on either side of his face, he looked at me with the bluest pair of eyes I’d ever seen and said, “I’m so happy to meet you Miss Summers. I’m Seth Hunter.”
It took me a full five seconds to find my voice. It seemed like minutes, or even hours as he stood there waiting for me to shake his hand. On the verge of an embarrassingly long pause, I finally took it and felt a spark of electricity shoot up my arm just with that simple touch. I mentally kicked myself in the butt and again I re-focused.
“Hello Mr. Hunter. I’m so pleased to meet you, and happy to be here.”
“Have a seat Miss Summers, and please, call me Seth. Mr. Hunter is my father.”
That was what I needed to snap back to reality. Yes, this man was absolutely beautiful, and yes, the room felt like it was suddenly charged with sexual energy… but I was here to destroy this man’s father and if I had to, him in the process. I needed to hold onto the anger I felt surge through me when he’d mentioned his father’s name. It was going to get me through what I needed to do.
I sat down in one of the chairs opposite him just as a middle-aged, balding man with a paunch rushed in the door. “I’m sorry, Seth. I just got out of the meeting with the auditors.”
“It’s fine, Harlan, we were just about to start. Harlan Broderick this is Erin Summers. Harlan is our CFO and he is also someone the person who accepts the position you are interviewing for will be working closely with.”
“I’m honored to meet you Miss Summers. I read your portfolio and I have to say I wasn’t only impressed, I was quite envious of all that you’ve accomplished at such a young age.”
“Thank you, sir. I’ve heard great things about you as well,” I told him. I wasn’t making that up. My research about Hunter Corp. had netted me more than one fan of his. It seemed that he was a competent, intelligent man who was also very easy to work with. He attracted clients to the company like flies.
“Please, no sir’s around here unless you run into the senior Mr. Hunter in the hallway,” Harlan said. It was good that they kept mentioning him. It kept that anger surging. “Call me Harlan,” he said.
“Thank you,” I said to him. “And both of you please call me Erin.”
“So Erin,” Seth said, opening the file he had in front of him. “What do you know about the position you’re applying for today?”
“The CBDO is in charge of developing elaborate business plans and designing and implementing processes to support business growth…”
“And how would you support business growth?” he asked.
Not by stealing it, I wanted to say. Instead, I said, “Through customer and market definition. That would include working together with clients as well as business partners such as suppliers and sub-contractors, JV partners, our technology providers…”
Seth was nodding, and Harlan looked impressed. Seth started to ask another question, but I wasn’t quite finished with that one yet. “I would also be responsible for building and maintaining high-level contacts with our current and prospective customers and other business and project partners.”
Seth smiled. I wish he wouldn’t do that. I found it easier to hate him when he didn’t look good enough to eat for lunch.
“Very good,” he said. “So let me ask you this… let’s say you bring in a prospective customer and he’s on the fence about his business with our company versus another. Would you hand him off to our marketing director from there?”
“Absolutely not. Once I identified a prospective client, it would be my job to drive them through to the contract award. I’d do that of course by emphasizing to them how skilled we are at identifying new customers and markets and developing new approaches to old markets. I would also be on top of all proposals and follow their preparation from start to finish.”