“I’m not hiring a whore,” I all but snarled, pissed at the idiot in front of me. I was tired and stressed; lacked the basic urge to be an understanding individual, much less give the asshole in front of me the benefit of doubt.
Jax, my closest friend since college, had caught me off guard—something that never happened these days.
Nothing surprised me anymore, not since that
night four years ago. The night my entire world stopped.
Fuck. Focus on the here and now.
“Why?” he asked, bringing me away from that dark
path filled with memories—moments frozen in time that never failed to haunt me.
The jerk sounded amused—a pit bull with a bone.
He wasn’t going to let it go.
Rubbing a hand down my face, I bit back a tired
Of all the moronic crap he could have spewed, I
had not been expecting this; for me to hire someone to play the role of my
girlfriend for the next few months.
“Think about it, Hendrix. It’s legal, safe…” he
ticked each reason off with his fingers “…and, she must sign an NDA to enter into this kind of an agreement. No one will know.”
Slamming back the shot of whiskey in my glass, I
leveled him with a glare. “Get the fuck out.”
“Speak up, man. Your staff went home.” Holding
his now-empty tumbler out in front of him, he twirled the glass atop my desk.
“There’s no one here to judge you. That prim and proper act you put on can be turned off.”
“Is all this a joke to you?” I hissed out from
between clenched teeth. “Am I your amusement for the evening?”
“Come off it, Parker. I came here to see the asshole I know, my friend, not this…” he waved his hand
absentmindedly in my direction. “To be honest, I don’t even know who you are
“No. Enough with the hiding. Emptiness—”
I slammed my hand down; the cup of pens close to
me tipped over from the impact. “Don’t go there, Jax. Just get up and walk out.
“Jesus, man, what the hell is holding you back? A
“Dammit, Hendrix.” He pushed his chair back and
stood to pace the length of my office. Ran a hand roughly through his blonde
hair in agitation. “This…” he pointed a finger between us “… is an intervention. You’re young, successful, rich—own the real estate game in South Florida. Known as an asshole, a shark in the business arena, and that’s gained you quite a desired reputation.” Stopping by the window on the far right, Jax turned and glared. “You have that whole tall, dark, and handsome shit going on with your over six-foot-two stature and brooding charm. People respect you, but
fuck, man, that’s not enough when you’ve forgotten what it’s like to live.”
“I’m content enough.”
Jax scoffed at my response, his hands placed on
the window ledge in front of him. “Content is the equivalent of blah. My friend, you need to rediscover the feel of a woman beneath you. The passion.
The heat between her legs.”
Ignoring his spiel, I shut my laptop off and
stored it. “Still a no on hiring someone just to appease you.”
No matter how desperate I was to pull the
pressure off my persona.
No matter how long it’d been since I dipped my
dick into something tight…wet.
Smirk firmly in place, he walked back over and
grabbed the bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label on my desk. “Prude much, Parker?” He poured himself another fifth and then sipped slowly, all the while studying me with a cocked brow. “And I never once mentioned hiring a whore.”
Pushing my glass toward him, I sat back. “What’s
the difference? Both are paid to keep you company.”
“Sugar babies are where it’s at, my friend. A
mutual exchange of benefits.”
“Answer me this…” Jax nodded “…is money
“It can be if—”
Holding a hand up, I halted his pathetic excuse.
“And you don’t call that prostitution?”
“Would you say my girlfriend Crystal is a
prostitute?” What would the young woman I met on his boat a few weeks back have to do with anything? “That she’s easy and out to make a quick buck?”
“She’s…?” I asked, because Jesus. Was this man
really sitting here in my office telling me he had a live-in play toy? That he bought her? “What kind of barbaric shit is this? How could you do that? What if
word gets out, you idiot.”
“And if it did, so what? I’m not ashamed of her
or us.” His jaw was set tight, and his blue eyes dared me to say anything negative about her. Jax, my easygoing friend, was pissed. Fuming, if the way
his hands were clenched was anything to go by.
“I meant no offense to her, but couldn’t you meet
someone through a more traditional route? Someone who cares about more than just the zeros that decorate your bank balance?” This entire conversation was
giving me a headache, and I rubbed my temples. I was too tired to continue
trying to make sense of this confession.
“And I’ll counter that question with one of my
own.” My mouth opened to protest, but he shook his head before taking another sip of whiskey. His eyes were on mine, unwavering. Looking for something.
“Wouldn’t you rather meet someone and know their intentions up front? No games or playing pretend. A mutual and even exchange.”
Headache now pounding, I pushed back my seat as
if I were standing to leave. “Still not interested—”
Not taking the bait, Jax leaned over the table, a
mischievous look in his eye. “Then let me paint a better picture for you, Parker.” He was about to drop some knowledge on me, and I knew it. Should’ve
seen it coming for miles. “You have two months to find a date for the few events honoring your pompous ass this fall. And before you say that you’ll decline and
hide away on your boat in the Keys, it’s not going to happen. The mayor will not take no for an answer…he and his wife live for these events. To mingle with the rich and arrogant.”
“Would you stop worrying about my life? I’ll be
fine.” Absentmindedly, I ran my fingers across my short beard. My mind still reeled from his admission.
I’d spoken to Crystal that day and was impressed.
In school, and working toward her master’s in psychology, she seemed to have a good head on her shoulders.
Didn’t hurt one bit that the body attached to the
head was downright sexy.
His laughter pulled my attention away from the
memory of the tiny auburn-haired beauty in a bikini. “Admit it, Hendrix, you’recurious.” Tone smug, he had a gloating gleam in his eye.
“Not in the least.”
“So, if I informed you that the account was
already made and you have some hits, you wouldn’t care? I should just shut
My fists clenched in anger. “Are you serious? Do
you have any idea what that could do to my reputation—”
“Let me stop you right there.” Holding out a hand
toward me, Jax dug into his laptop bag on the chair beside him. From inside he pulled out a plain manila folder and pushed it across toward me. “This is all the information you’ll need: contract, company NDA that I signed for you,
health screening information, and what you’ll need to submit. Read it. Sleep on it. Check out the website and the girls’ files available for possible match.”
“I don’t have time for this.”
“Too late. It’s already done.”