Dirty Money

By: Jessica Clare



“Just what I said. I want to know why.”

Bates sputters. “He’s one of my executives and the overseer of this particular project. He’s there because he’s got my company’s best interests in mind—”

“Because you think I’m gonna screw you?” I snarl. “You came crawlin’ ta me.” I slam a hand against my chest. “This is a favor I’m doin’ you. Why would you need to be protected from that?”

“It’s procedure—”

“Fuck procedure!”

He casts another horrified look around us. “Keep your voice down, Boone. This is a gentlemen’s club.”

Am I not being gentlemanly enough for him? Too damn bad. I glance around and sure enough, there are several groups of people staring at us, including the employee that tried to stop me from coming in. All of them have shocked looks of distaste on their faces as they gaze in my direction. You’d think I took a dump on the green right in front of them or something. “I’m pissed at you, Bates, because you didn’t trust me and sent that insulting shithead over just to tick me off.”

He looks concerned now, reaching out to take my arm and steer me away from the others. I jerk away from him but head in the direction he’s going, because I want answers. “Insulting? Did he say something to you?”

“He acted like I was one of the hands. Zero respect for me or the business. Thought dowsing was a shit idea and tried to tell me how to run things.”

Bates only rubs his chin. “I can understand having a difference of opinion, and he’s a corporate guy. Of course he doesn’t understand dowsing.” The look he gives me is a bit condescending. “And as for one of the hands . . . well, look at you, Boone.”

My brow goes up. “The fuck you say?”

“Listen to how you act. Talk. Simmons is used to dealing with men in a boardroom. I told him he was going to speak to Mr. Price, the head of Price Brothers Oil, and he was expecting . . .” He shrugs, a gosh-shucks look on his fucking face.

“A suit?” I ask drily.

“Something like that, yeah.” He chuckles. “Of course he thought you were one of the hands. You still look and act like one.”

Do I, now? “I got a hand for you,” I tell him and shove my middle finger in his face. “You want a partnership? Take your fucking hand and shove it up your fucking ass, you cocksucker.”

The people standing nearby gasp audibly, loud enough for me to hear. It only pisses me off, more. I’m tired of these hoity-toity assholes sticking their noses up when I’m around. I’m just as good as them. Hell, I’m fucking better because I can buy all of them. I turn and shoot them all the bird, too.

“Boone, be reasonable,” Bates begins.

I ignore him. I’ve had enough of his shit. I storm away, ignoring the golf course employees that trail after me like I’m going to start attacking people. It’s fucking ridiculous.

I’ve got half a mind to buy myself a golf course and burn the motherfucker to the ground.

***



Hours later

“And then,” Clay yells out over the jukebox wailing in the corner. “When the guy pulls out his contracts and shoves ’em in Boone’s face, Boone throws ’em on the ground and pisses all over them!”

Gage, Knox, and Seth howl with laughter. Clay pounds a fist on the table, throwing his head back and guffawing with the others.

“Yuk it up,” I say flatly, swigging the last of my beer. I’m still in a foul mood. Something about being insulted by a dick in a suit that thinks he’s better than me? It gets to me, every time. At least Clay’s only got this morning’s story to tell—I’m still smarting over Bates and the whole golf course bullshit. That one Clay ain’t gonna pry out of me. Let them laugh at the way I put a suit into place. I’m fine with that.

The Bates shit? I am definitely not fine with.

“You pulled your dick out and pissed on his papers?” Gage chuckles and raises a hand for me to high-five.

I only scowl at him. “I was angry.”

Still am.

“You know Big Brother here hates it when people don’t take him seriously.” Clay reaches over and tries to grab my cap, but I grab his wrist before he can touch it. That just makes our three younger brothers laugh even harder. Gage smacks the table again, and his beer spills everywhere.

“I’m glad someone can laugh about today,” I say sourly, staring into my beer. He looks just like one of the hands. Look at you, Boone. Of course he didn’t think you were the boss. My hand tightens on the mug. “Waste of fucking time if you ask me. Land was dry, too. Not a hint of oil.”

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