The Boss Vol. 2

By: Cari Quinn & Taryn Elliott

Now I was watching again, though this time I was flipping through stills of a naked Grace wrapping her tie around her neck and doing an intricate series of knots, her pale fingers moving so fast. My cock throbbed even now, just from the memory. Irrational anger bubbled inside me as I gripped the mainframe computer, half-tempted to throw it before someone got to see what should’ve been for me alone. I wanted to shield her from anyone else’s prying eyes.

To do that, I needed to stop studying the flow and curve of her body as she teased me, my fingers flipping through stills faster than my mind could process. Because I’d lived it, and now, all I wanted to do was erase.

Make a copy and erase, I amended. No way in hell was I letting this footage go.

But it wasn’t that simple. I couldn’t just delete a section of the tape after I’d made a duplicate. I needed to splice in another section to make up for the time lapse, and to be careful enough that I didn’t have any obvious tells if Violet happened to need to check this particular time period for any reason. Unlikely, but possible. So I had to make sure the section I copied wouldn’t show a glaring discrepancy—if frame two-thousand-sixty-one had a cab passing by the vestibule, I couldn’t duplicate the footage so that it appeared to backtrack in the next frame.

Goddammit, I was the president of a company, not a computer tech.

I slipped the ring that contained my keys to the building, to my Land Rover and my thumb drive out of my pants pocket and slid it into the USB port. A few moments later, the interlude had been copied.

Transferring the footage was easier than doing the intricate splicing required. I had no doubt that a tech would be able to instantly see the hack job I’d performed. My only hope was that no one would need to investigate this particular section any further.

By the time I walked out of the security sector of the building, more of the staff was filtering in. I greeted everyone who passed, and thanked the gods of illicit hookups that Violet hadn’t yet arrived. She was my employee, true, but I paid her to be a hard ass and she was gifted at her job. She would thoroughly question why I’d been in the security room despite the fact that I signed her paychecks. I admired that about her. Nothing dented her moral compass.

Mine, however, was much more shaky.

I went down to the parking garage and climbed into my SUV. Soothing classical music filtered from the speakers as I navigated through the congested morning traffic to my home in the nearby suburb of Chestnut Hill. Outside of rush hour, the trip wasn’t bad. In the thick of it, crawling was the most optimistic word to describe my speed.

When my house came into view, I swerved into the driveway without any of my usual care not to clip the bushes. It was amazing I didn’t bump the half wall as I floored it into the garage. I needed to be horizontal, fast. All the better to forget the start to this day.

Even if I wanted to do anything but.

On the way in, my cell buzzed. I half expected to see Violet calling, but instead it was my mother. I debated letting it go to voicemail, but guilt won out as it always did.

“Hi Mom. How are you?”

“Missing my boy. When can you come for dinner?”

The faint whine in her voice rubbed me raw, but then again in my current mood, so did the sun shining and the birds singing.

“Soon,” I promised. “How are…things?”

That was my way of stalling to avoid her dinner invitation as I disengaged the security system. I stepped into the silence of my home, only offset by the tinkling fountain some jackass had thought should be in the granite and marble front hall.

And that jackass was me, because I’d had more money than brains when I’d had this home built. Whether or not I’d moved past that affliction in the intervening years was up to interpretation.

“Good. Brant would really love to meet you, sweetheart. Surely you can carve some time in your busy schedule for your old mom?”

I undid my cuffs and pulled them back, revealing the reddened scratches on my wrists. Grace had grabbed at me, in restraint or for purchase, and I wore the evidence. I wouldn’t be able to forget today even if I wanted to.

“Who’s Brant, Mom?” My tone came out sharper than I intended as I shrugged out of my jacket and tossed it on the leather sectional that was practically untouched two years after I’d moved in.

I rarely had guests, and when I did, they rarely strayed to the living areas. My formal dining room had been built for entertaining, with soaring skylights and three walls of glass to let the encroaching woods at the back of the property inside. So far the only people I’d had over were business associates. I didn’t have friends other than Jack, and he didn’t stop by to watch the game. Not that he hadn’t suggested it. I simply didn’t make time for frivolity.

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