in return. Now I’m all about proving I have what it takes to work amongst talented designers and architects of ARC Industries, and building a better future for myself.
those who threaten it…
From Book 1: Like a F*cking Boss*For readers 18+ due to Mature content*
The universe has colluded to get me angry and possibly fired today. Not only am I late returning from lunch, there’s taco sauce on my new, still-has-the-tag-on skirt. And like a sour cherry on top, as I try to rush back to the office in my too-tight skirt, a car nearly runs me down, screeching to a stop inches away from my legs. I slam a palm on the hood and scream profanities at the careless driver hiding behind the heavily-tinted windows. And because I’m having such a wonderful moment, I flip him the bird before stepping onto the sidewalk and racing back into my office building.
People who don’t seem to be in any rush line the elevator banks. To make matters worse, I have to fight my way inside one of them since one car is out of order.
Huffing and puffing and sweaty as hell, I finally sneak into the conference room stuffed with every single ARC employee. I slide next to Bryde. Her eyes widen and she mouths, “What the hell happened?”
“You wouldn’t believe it if I told you. Some fucker almost ran me over, and look what happened to my skirt! Oh, great.” I groan. “Now it looks like a Rorschach test.” I point at the spot on my lap. After a quick lick on my thumb, I rub at the stain. Absently, I continue yapping, “Did the boss man show up yet? Is he bald, fat and ugly like we thought?”
It takes a few synapses firing in my brain for me to realize the entire room has gone silent, and is slowly filling with a combination of murmurs, throat-clearings, and snickers. I let go of the bright fabric and glance around. Bet your ass all eyes are on me, including the unimpressed gaze of one hot-as-hell man in an impeccable navy blue suit that shouts ‘I own this shit.’ The intensity in those eyes causes me to step back, hitting the floor-to-ceiling glass wall behind me.
For once in my adult life, I am speechless. Theodore Solomon, although bald, is neither fat nor ugly. He’s a piece of six-foot-five goodness that I’m willing to climb any damn time. For a minute or so, he holds my gaze. I keep my back flat against the wall, which effectively pushes out my tatas. Any warm-blooded man would be mesmerized by my tits, but not this one. His jaw tenses, and I swear he’s about to ask me to walk to the front of the room, pull my skirt up, and spank me in front of the entire staff. If I’m being honest, I wouldn’t object. The thought wets the tiny piece of fabric covering my pussy. Then he pulls his gaze away from me and continues to address the room.
I relax, sagging against the wall, and look sideways at Bryde, who appears even more scared than me, and then across the large table to Lyra, who looks like she’s about to lose her shit. Mr. Theodore Solomon talks about what his restructuring plans mean for all of us, but he doesn’t mention cutting jobs. We’re safe, for now. Well, not me. I’m pretty sure I’ll get a pink slip before this day ends. I better figure out how to get the stain out of my skirt so I can wear it for job interviews before I can get a refund.
As mesmerizing as Mr. Solomon’s subtly-accented voice is, I couldn’t concentrate any longer. I calculate the amount left in my depleting savings account and how I can make it last until I land another temp position. I highly doubt Lyra will give me a glowing reference, but Ingrid might. I’m in deep shit. It wasn’t easy finding this job. If push comes to shove, the taco place is hiring. My stomach gurgles at the thought of getting paid in tacos and wearing that god-awful forest green apron their underpaid staff wears. Oh God, they all wear hairnets! I absently fiddle with my dark brown curls while I swallow this information.
A nudge to my ribs brings my attention back to the room. Bryde subtly nods her chin and pushes me toward the door. I guess the meeting is over. I’ll have to text her later for any important info I’ve missed—not that it’s going to matter after I get my ass booted out of here. My aforementioned ass is almost out the door when someone calls my name. Bryde and I turn and see Lyra’s devilish smirk.
“Mr. Solomon would like a word with you,” Lyra says. Her pointy chin lifts. Smug bitch.
My eyes widening, I send an SOS signal to Bryde, even though I know she can’t do a thing. “Pray for me,” I ask her as I pivot back and stop at the end of the conference table. Luckily, Lyra isn’t the only one who stays behind. Mr. Yum and Ingrid talk amicably with the dapper CEO. There’s a weird pinch in my belly as I watch Ingrid touch Mr. Solomon’s upper arm, and I recall our earlier conversation about Teddy. Her hand stays on his biceps, and she leans in and whispers something in his ear. His impressive broad shoulders relax, and one corner of his mouth twitches into a small smile, a secret smile only meant for Ingrid. Yeah, if they’re not banging yet, they will be soon. The pinch intensifies in my gut.
Henrik extends his hand to Mr. Solomon. “Anything else you need, just ask.”
“Have the blueprints ready for the new shopping centre. I intend to check in with each designer and architect before the week ends,” Mr. Solomon tells him, and the men shake hands. He reaches for Ingrid, placing a large hand on her tiny waist, and quickly kisses her cheek. “See you in a bit.”
“Be nice.” She pats his shoulder, and then smiles over at me. Henrik and Ingrid walk past me, and she touches my arm. I don’t care for it. It’s meant to soothe me because she knows I’m getting fired. “Good luck, Talia,” Ingrid mumbles.
I am so fucked.
I nod and glance down on my pretty shoes. Hell, there’s taco sauce on them too.
“You may leave now too, Lyra.” Mr. Solomon’s booming voice takes my attention away from my shoes and I stare at Lyra. She pops her mouth open to protest, but she shuts it just as quickly, but the smirk returns on her sour face. “Have all current bids and proposals at my desk before the day’s done.”
“Yes, Theo.” Head held high, she click-clacks her way out of the conference room.
Struggling not to fiddle with my skirt or my hair, I wait for the shitstorm that’s about to rain down on me. While I think of reasons why I shouldn’t be fired, my heart is jack-hammering in my chest, and I’m starting to sweat. Not a pretty sight.
Mr. Solomon closes the door behind Lyra, then takes a seat at the head of the Philippe Starck rectangular table. The chair groans underneath his weight, and its wide back barely matches the broadness of his shoulders. With one hand, he unbuttons his suit jacket, and the panels slide back, exposing a crisp white shirt and a plain, dark blue, skinny tie. His impeccable manner, the way he carries himself—relaxed, yet powerful and authoritative—and the fact that he’s wearing what could be a real diamond tiepin should impress me, but something else, something totally unexpected catches my attention.
Underneath his sleek navy trousers is one hell of an impressive boner.
What’s more shocking though is he doesn’t seem to be hiding it. Mr. Solomon is proud of not-so-little Solomon straining at his zipper. I catch a moan between my teeth, and tamp down any notion that his hard-on is meant for me. After all, he and Ingrid were all over each other just moments ago.
“Sit.” Even though his voice is low, barely audible, it has a commanding tone that’s hard to ignore.
On your lap? I want to ask, but I shake my head instead. “I’d rather stand.” If he’s going to fire me, I’d prefer staying on my feet, with hopes of escaping quickly after he’s done with whatever he wants to say.
I hold my chin high, defiant, proud, and our gazes lock once more. There’s a twitch in his jaw, and somehow, seeing it calms my nerves. Maybe he’s as uncomfortable as I am.
“I don’t tolerate tardiness, Miss—”
“Talia. Talia Newman,” I supply.
“Well, Miss Talia Newman, I’m a busy man, and I still manage to make it to all my meetings on time.” He crosses an ankle over a thick thigh and my eyes are drawn back to the bugle in his crotch.
I clear my throat, and look up. “I didn’t mean to be late. I had an incident at the tac—at lunch and well, this—” I wave my hand at the dildo-shaped taco stain. “And some guy tried to run me over.”
“He didn’t try to run you over. You were jay-walking.”
What the friggin’ hell? “How did you—” My hands fly to my hips, but I check my attitude and drop them down again.
Theodore Solomon glances at the windows over his shoulder. “I saw the whole thing.”
“You could see me from all the way up here?” It’s possible. We’re only twenty floors up. Plus, it’s not hard to spot my fuchsia skirt from afar. People on Mars could see it.
He returns his gaze to me and rubs his angular jaw. “I see all.”
Whatever the fuck that means. I roll my shoulders back, trying to shake off the effect of his stare. He looks like he could swallow me whole. His tongue, darting out between his lips, catches my attention. That simple action’s effect on me is instantaneous. I might as well take off my panties as they’ve become soaked and uncomfortable. His words take on a whole different meaning. Can he see me tremble under his gaze? Can he see me squirm? Can he see my heart beating hard enough to rip through my ribcage?
I swallow to push down the lump in my throat and find my voice again. “Is there anything else, Mr. Solomon?” A lap dance? Some head? I mentally roll my eyes at myself. He’s with Ingrid. Daddy issues or not, they make a better couple than he and I ever would.
“That’s all, Miss Newman. And call me Theo. If you’d been on time, you would know I prefer an informal greeting.” We stare each other down until I falter under the heat of his fiery gaze. Powerful. I can’t help but be drawn to it. Then my eyes drop to his hand, which blatantly adjusts his erection. Fuck..me. Turning away, I quietly release a ragged breath, and show him my second-best assets before walking toward the door.
I add an extra sway to my hips. He may be unavailable, but my second name is Flirt, and I’m not always afforded a chance to do this to a hunky boss. Our last CEO was sweet but he resembled a crypt-keeper. Theo will have to get used to me ogling him every now and then. The chair creaks behind me, and in no time at all, he’s standing beside me, his large hand on the door’s handle, on top of mine. This close, I see the gold flecks in his light brown eyes and get a whiff of the mint on his breath. This close, the warmth of his body sharpens his irresistible manly scent.
parents. However, they’ve never read her dirty books. Her stories are full of
humor, sass, drama or angst. But guaranteed, they are filled with steamy scenes
with hot Alpha heroes.She has a healthy obsession with reading and writing romance,
and an unhealthy addiction to red wine, bourbon, and dark chocolate with sea
salt. She doesn’t people until after coffee. When Quinn is not scribbling
Erotic Romances, she loves to curl up with her puppy and watch foreign films.
Quinn lives in a house that never stays clean, no matter how
much she wishes it would. She also writes sweet, contemporary romance, romantic
comedy, and chick lit under a different pen name.