The Boss Vol. 2

By: Cari Quinn & Taryn Elliott

So instead I watched her make conversation with everyone who passed, chatting easily and pleasantly while never missing a task. She outpaced me sometimes, basing priority lists on what we’d done the day before. Already she was reading my mind more than I felt comfortable with.

Because if she knew what else was in there, she probably wouldn’t wear off-the-shoulder tops ever again.

Except she did. The next time, she wore a suede fringed top over a snug black skirt and pencil heels, the kind she shouldn’t have been able to walk in. She definitely shouldn’t have been able to sashay into my office bracing a couple of packages in one hand and the nearly empty box of invitations from the Light Up The Night event in the other.

“Almost all gone,” she announced, setting everything on my desk. She bent far enough forward that her top dipped, revealing a slice of her purple bra.

She loved fucking purple.

“I sent them to everyone you noted in the company, and we received RSVPs of attendance from all but six. I wasn’t invited, but I’m going to go. I figure the more people, the better—Sir?”

“Yes.” I dragged my attention to her face and for a second, she smirked. Was she teasing me on purpose?

If so, she would soon learn that wasn’t a wise idea.

“As for you not being invited, I expected you would take one of them for yourself. I indicated who to invite, but that didn’t mean you weren’t to take some initiative.”

“Oh, I take plenty of initiative. In fact, you might be surprised what I could initiate.” She turned and headed for the door, her long fall of blond hair swinging. It was uncharacteristically loose, and even that caused an odd quickening in my chest.

And much farther south.

“Jack ordered lunch again. I’ll let you know when it’s here,” she called, letting the door snick shut behind her.

I’d been so fixated on her ass in that tight skirt that she could’ve said “Jack was between my legs under my desk” and I might not have realized.

So that was a lie. I’d have realized—and acted—on that in a heartbeat.

Before I could think better of it, I pulled up an IM and typed.

BC: What’s on the menu for today? Not in the mood for nutty chicken.

It annoyed me I’d begun thinking of it that way in my mind. So much prickled me these days.

Most of all? That I wasn’t to touch her again. That I couldn’t. A momentary lapse was one thing. More than once made it a problem.

An addiction.

Even if Violet and her all-seeing camera wasn’t still watching, there was still the little matter of boss and employee and all the lines of impropriety that would breech. I’d be damned if history repeated on my watch.

Repeated again.

There was also the fact that Grace’s employment was all part of some greater plan she’d hatched. One I didn’t understand yet, but found myself wondering about more than was sensible.

How could a woman like her think she could tangle with a man like me—and win? Unless winning wasn’t even her aim.

That she would try to run a scheme on me didn’t irritate as it should have. It intrigued me. Turned me on. Made my curiosity toward her verge on madness.

GC: Jack ordered from a deli. I’m not sure what he got you. Something about corned beef on rye, extra pickles.

Say what I would about Jack—and I said plenty—he knew what my stomach liked. I could eat pickles by the case.

BC: What did you get?

She didn’t answer for so long that I assumed she was working on something else. One of her many spreadsheets, perhaps.

But when I glanced out at her desk, she had her finger caught between her teeth and she stared at her computer. Her other hand was in her lap.

Did she not want to answer me? Why? What was the big deal about lunch?

I frowned. Maybe she was on a diet. Women always seemed to be. The last few socialite types that I’d dated had always seemed to be on one. But Grace wasn’t like them. And by God, her figure was perfect. My hands had itched to touch those curves again since the moment they’d left them.

Or maybe it was something else. Perhaps she didn’t have money for a meal. Eating out could get expensive for someone on a budget. We paid her well, but she still received an entry level assistant’s salary.

I hated the idea of her scrambling for money for food—or anything else. She shouldn’t have to pinch pennies.

BC: Ms. Copeland? Have your fingers ceased to work?

My jab caused her gaze to fly to my office. She knew I was watching. I’d revealed my hand intentionally.

I would rather have her annoyed at me than worried for even a moment.

I also wanted the truth and would use any means to extract it.

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