Book cover of “CEO VS Shopaholic“ by Missy Anna

CEO VS Shopaholic

  • Genre: Romance
  • Age: 18+
  • Status: Completed
  • Language: English
  • Author: Missy Anna
“Benjamin Mackey?” she muttered, trying to regain her senses. “Ah, the CEO of Luxus Hotel Group, right?” she exclaimed, half-laughing. “Yes, it’s me,” said Ben, nodding several times. “I’m sorry, Mr. Mackey. I’m afraid you have to call Charlie and talk to him. I need to die right now...” Debt, despair, and an unexpected proposal bring Keira Ev... 

Chapter 1. Caught by You

“You’re not gonna take this one, are you?” snapped Claire Edward, a receptionist at the PR agency where Keira Evans was working. Keira sneered and shook her head.

“Please...” she begged while looking around her, afraid that someone might hear their conversation.

Claire sighed heavily, “Keira Evans is still on leave. She is taking a month’s leave so you could call her again next month. We need you to understand that we have a business to run here, so with all due respect, please stop calling us until she comes back to work. Thank you, good day!” she said firmly, then returned the phone receiver to its place.

Keira clapped her hands, “Look at you! You’re so cool! I adore you so much, Claire! Thanks!” she said while putting a cup of iced coffee on the receptionist’s table, something that she had done in the past weeks since the debt collectors kept hunting her and calling her at her office.

Claire snorted, “Whatever! You still need to pay that debt. Otherwise, they might come here looking for you, and I can’t lie to them any longer. You know that, right?” she snapped curtly while taking the iced coffee and sipping it slowly.

“I know, thanks...” said Keira. She let out a long sigh and then walked away from the receptionist’s desk, heading to her office. She sat behind her desk, biting her lip too hard until it bled. What should she do?

“Keira! Charlie is expecting you in his room right now, like literally right now!” shouted Kate, her office mate. Keira frowned for a moment, but then she smiled, ‘This is it! I know Charlie is going to promote me! I’m gonna get my salary increased, and everything will be okay!’ She stood up and half-ran to Charlie’s room with a bright smile on her face.

“What’s with that smile, Keira?” asked Charlie, peeking under his half-moon glasses.

Keira cleared her throat, “Um, no, just me being positive!” she exclaimed, pretending like she didn’t know that she was going to be promoted. Charlie snorted, laughing, “Good, I like that positive energy of yours. Anyway, can you meet Benjamin Mackey, the CEO of Luxus Hotel Group, at 2 p.m. today? It was supposed to be me who met him, but my wife called me and told me that my son has a fever, so I have to take him to the hospital right now. You don’t mind, do you?” he rambled while his hands were busy collecting the papers and putting them inside the file box.

Keira felt her energy evaporating suddenly, but she nodded her head anyway. She looked at Charlie’s desk with an empty gaze. ‘How am I gonna pay my debt?!’ she shouted inside her head.

“Keira? What are you doing? Why are you still here?” asked Charlie, looking at her in confusion.

Keira looked up in surprise, “Um, Charlie, is there any chance that I’m going to be promoted? I thought the project manager position was still vacant since Roland left,” she asked carefully. She didn’t care about how miserable she would look; she didn’t have any choice.

Charlie fell silent for a moment, then he took a deep breath, “Um, well, yeah, but you know it’s still under consideration. Just do your best; who knows!” he replied diplomatically. Keira lifted the corner of her lip, trying to show a smile, but only a lousy grin made it there.

She took her bag and walked out limply from her cubicle. She needed someone to talk to, but she was too embarrassed to confess that she had a lot of debt waiting to be paid off.

While waiting for the cab, three men in black leather jackets suddenly approached her. “Keira Evans! Finally! What are you? A celebrity? Why is it so hard to meet you?” raved the biggest among them.

Keira gulped. She glared in surprise. Her hands were sweaty and cold. “Listen, this is illegal! You can’t just come to me in the street like this! I’m gonna call the cops!” she raved while rummaging through her bag, looking for her cell phone.

The three men, who were apparently the debt collectors, laughed at her, “Okay, just call the cops, and I’m gonna call your parents. The house certificate that you put for your pawn guarantee belongs to them, isn’t it?” bragged the most prominent man.

Keira’s face turned red, “You can’t call my parents. They don’t know anything!” she snapped, panicking. If they let her parents know she was indebted to loan sharks, her life would be over.

“Then you better pay your goddamn debt! Shame on you! You walk in an expensive suit and luxury bag, but you don’t even have a thousand in your account? I’ll give you 24 hours to pay all your debt. Our boss has run out of patience!”

“Okay! Okay! Can you go now?” snapped Keira, embarrassed because people started noticing them.

’24 hours? How am I gonna get 100,000 dollars in such a short time? I’m dead! I’m dead!’

“Keira? Why are you still in here?” suddenly, she heard someone yelling behind her back. “Charlie? Sorry, I’m leaving now!” she hurriedly stopped a cab and jumped in. She still had fifteen minutes left before the meeting with Benjamin Mackey started.

Fifteen minutes later, she was already in the Luxus Hotel lobby, walking limply like a zombie toward the receptionist’s table. “I have a meeting with Mr. Benjamin Mackey. It’s Keira Evans from Sheeran Communication.”

“Please wait for a moment,” said the receptionist as she took the phone and made a call. Seconds later, “You can go to the 70th floor. Here is the access card,” said the receptionist, nodding professionally.

“Thank you...”

Heading to the 70th floor, Keira was busy thinking about the best way to escape from the debt collectors. She was unaware when someone asked her about that Luxus afternoon party. The elevator dinged open. Keira took a deep breath, trying to regain her confidence.

She walked out through a thick glass door and was surprised to find herself on a semi-rooftop of the hotel. She looked around the area and noticed about one hundred people talking to each other like bees with slow jazz music playing from hidden speakers.

“Excuse me, do you know where I can find Mr. Mackey?” she asked one of the girls wearing a hotel uniform.

“He was here, um...” That girl looked around the area while frowning. “I don’t know where he is right now. Who are you? I’ll let him know when I see him,” said the girl in a hurry.

“Keira Evans from Sheeran Communications, thank you!” she said, half-yelling because the hotel girl was walking away from her. “Okay, just enjoy the party; I bet he will show up soon!” the hotel girl yelled back.

Keira just shrugged. She was still in a bad mood.

“Champagne and canapés?” Suddenly, a server came with a big tray in his hand.

Keira smiled, “Yes, please! Um, do you have something stronger? I’ve had an awful day, and I think I’m gonna need a shot or two,” she said, half-whispering.

The server smiled, “Vodka?” she asked.

Keira nodded. “That will be fine. I’ll be waiting next to the garden. Thank you!” she said while grabbing the canapés and stuffing one of them into her mouth.

She walked to the garden near the safety fence. She didn’t know anyone at that party, so staying away from everyone seemed better.

When she was just about to sit on the bench, suddenly her cell phone rang from her mother. “Yes, Mom?” she tried to sound casual, hiding her true feelings. “Hey, honey, are you busy now?” asked her mother.

“Not really, I was about to meet someone, but I think he’s still busy. What happened?”

“Did you see my house certificate? I looked everywhere, but it’s nowhere to be found. Should I report it to the authorities?” rambled her mother warily.

Keira felt like throwing up suddenly, “Keira, honey? Are you still there?” asked her mother, curious because she didn’t hear any response.

“No, Mom! Don’t report it! The certificate was in my apartment when I brought my important documents. I took it accidentally.”

She didn’t lie at all. She had pawned the certificate to the loan shark by creating a fake power of attorney, ultimately making her naughty mind work.

“Thank God! Can you send it to us? No, that’s not safe. Um, maybe Dad’s going to be in New York over the weekend to pick it up,” Mom said quickly as if that was something urgent.

Keira’s eyes widened instantly. “What? Why? I mean, why should Dad even bother to come from Nashville to here just to get a house certificate? You don’t have to worry. The certificate will be safe here with me,” she rambled frantically.

She could hear Mom taking a deep breath on the other end. “Honey, we’re sorry we didn’t tell you earlier, but the company your Dad worked for went bankrupt, and you know, at his age, he can’t easily find a new job. So we planned to pawn the house certificate to the bank so I can get a loan to start a small business; you know I’m pretty good at making bread...”

Keira was no longer listening to her mother. She felt like she was floating. How could she do such a bad thing to her parents? She was the worst daughter in the world!

“Mom, you don’t have to pawn anything, okay? I’ll give you the money you need! I’ll call you as soon as possible. Tell Dad I miss him. Bye, Mom! Love you!” With haste and trembling hands, she ended the call. She covered her face with both hands. “What should I do, what should I do...” she muttered to herself.

Before long, the server came and brought the vodka she had asked for. “Thanks,” she said while looking at the row of vodka shooters on the table before her. The server was quite generous; though she asked for three, she gave her six shots.

She drank all six shots of vodka, ignoring the debt collectors who kept calling her. Suddenly she felt like she didn’t deserve to live anymore. She walked to the rooftop’s edge and started climbing the fence.

‘No one would be sad if I died. I’m a fake plastic tree, I’m trash, I’m useless...’ she muttered in her head, then she spread her wings and was about to jump, but suddenly a hand caught her, pulling her down from the fence, and together they fell onto the rooftop floor. She looked up in surprise. “Who the fuck are you?! Mind your own business!” snapped Keira irritably.

“I’m Benjamin Mackey. We’re supposed to meet, right? At least do your job first, then you can continue whatever you wanted to do...”

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