“I’m really not in the mood, Aidan,” I bark at him as we take our seats at a VIP table. It is so noisy in here I can barely hear him tell me to shut the fuck up before ordering drinks from the waitress. I haven’t liked clubs like this for years – ever since I became as successful as I am and people started to recognize me. Now when women approach me, I never know if it is for me or my money so unfortunately, I’m still single for a reason.
And nightclubs are NOT the place to meet women.
Not what I’m looking for anyways and not in my experience. I’ve met plenty of women but they’ve been simply looking for a good time – which is fine if you know that going in, or were looking for a long-term relationship because of my fucking money. I’m twenty-eight years old and ready to settle down – I’m ready to be done with one-night stands. As much fun as the sex is, the rest of the encounters are always awkward and embarrassing – I’m over it.
“I’m not trying to get you laid, Hayes – simply relaxed a little,” Aidan shouts as he sits down beside me. I roll my eyes at him, unhappy about everything to do with what’s presently going on and I’m not afraid to let him know it.
“I’ll relax when this is all over,” I tell him while downing my drink in one swallow. This time Aidan rolls his eyes at me as he turns to face the dance floor and crowd. We sit quietly for several minutes before Aidan elbows me in the ribs. As casually as possible, he uses his head to indicate toward the dance floor. I follow his gaze but with dozens of people to look at, I’m not sure what he’s drawing my attention to.
“The brunette in the black mini?” He says and I return my gaze to the dance floor, finally seeing who he’s talking about. She’s gorgeous – tall, slender – sexy as hell, truth be told. She’s dirty dancing along with everyone else on the dance floor which I fucking love watching but when some asshole starts creeping on her, I become less thrilled.
“Yeah, she’s hot,” I tell him, suddenly unable to tear my eyes away from her. The more I watch her, the tighter my pants are becoming and the more embarrassed I am – I’m not some adolescent teenager who gets boners uncontrollably. I’m a grown man and should have better control of myself – yet here I am. Every flick of her hair, every sway of her hip and every toss of her shoulder has me thinking and dreaming about doing more to her.
And she isn’t dressed for any of it.
“I’m pretty sure that’s one of the students working for us,” he says, as if surprised it is the same person. My erection immediately deflates upon hearing his words – if she’s a student she’ll be much younger than I am, not to mention – she works for me!
I don’t think she could possibly be more off-limits.
SOPHIA, SOMETHING STINKS AT THE MATTHEWS CORPORATION
We’ve been working on the files at The Matthews Corporation for nearly three months now and both the project and our course are nearing completion. Mr. Jacobson offered me work after I’m done my course so I’m excited not to be returning home, as awful as that sounds. I miss my family like crazy but not the isolation and remoteness. Bridget has another year of classes and then her practicum to get through so she’ll be staying at the house while I find somewhere cheap to rent. Since I won’t be a student anymore, I can’t stay at the house too and will have to find my own place which sucks. I’ve never lived apart from Bridget but since we’re both still relying on public transit, she needs to stay close to school while I’ll be looking for something closer to work.
I’ve noticed a… ‘discrepancy’ in the files and I don’t know if I should broach it with Mr. Jacobson or not. What are the chances they wouldn’t be aware of a problem like this and besides – his years of expertise versus my months of schooling? Hardly compares and I feel like any problems I point out; he might take exception to. I want and need my new job desperately and with him as my boss, I can’t afford to blow it.
But this is big.
Can I afford to not say anything?
What if I’m wrong? What if I’m simply misreading the information and everything is actually above-board and there are no problems whatsoever? I’ll have gone to the CFO of a major corporation to ‘tattle’ about a non-existent threat which will not only get me fired, but likely laughed out of the industry too.
Is it possible to be laughed out of an industry?
The point is, I won’t look good and if I fuck up that big – it’ll follow me. What an amazing way to start my career! It’ll be over before it even begins!
But if I’m right and what I think is happening is actually taking place – then not saying anything isn’t an option. My own guilty conscience won’t let me live with the knowledge that the company I’m working for is being stolen from and not say anything.
Shit, I’m going to have to say something.
HAYES, TWICE THE PUNISHMENT
“We have what we need,” Aidan shouts as he runs into my office, slamming the door behind him. He scares the shit out of me so severely I drop the pen I’m holding, cursing his existence the entire time.
“For fuck’s sake, Aidan. You’re lucky I didn’t hit you,” I grumble. I pick up my pen and lay it on the desk.
“I’ll be lucky if you don’t kiss me, more like,” he grins. It hits me what he is talking about which brings me to my feet, my excitement taking over.
“You figured it out?” I ask, taking the papers from him. He points out the trail and where it leads, shock and disbelief taking over when I see who the culprit is. “Son of a bitch,” I exhale heavily, collapsing back into my chair. My own personal secretary has been using her corporate access to transfer funds illegally for years – so far, she’s up almost four million dollars.
My own fucking secretary.
“Goddamnit!” I shout, slamming my fist down on the desk. The sense of betrayal is overwhelming and hurt is the first emotion I feel. That is quickly overtaken by anger – how dare she do this to me? To her coworkers? She didn’t just steal from me but from all of them.
“I’ve already called the lawyers – I figured you wouldn’t be able to act cool for long,” he jokes as he pours us both celebratory drinks. “They’re doing what needs to be done to put protections in place and come morning, there will be two city police officers in your office waiting for her to show up for work,” his smile gets bigger. “They’re going to arrest her in front of everyone,” he smirks, causing me to smile. There’ll be no keeping this a secret so owning it and not being secretive about any of it is the best way to go – it’ll also let the employees know who the true bad guy is so they don’t blame me.
“I’ll drink to that,” I toast and we clink our glasses, relieved to finally have a resolution to our problem. We each sit down in the lounge area of my office, enjoying our drinks and sense of celebration.
“Do you remember the student we saw that one night at the club?” Do I remember – of course I remember. The fact that she works in the same building as me every damn day hasn’t slipped my mind once – knowing she’s close but untouchable. I nod slowly to show I remember. Aidan gives me his signature smirk, “she’s the one who figured it out.”
Figures – what a day this is turning into. First betrayed by one of my most trusted employees and now… I don’t even know her name. Not only is she beautiful, sexy and attractive – she’s also clearly highly intelligent. She is sounding more and more like the whole package and I’m fortunate enough to have her working for me.
“Smart lady,” I say, not having any other words. “Be sure to pass on my gratitude,” I ask him. Aidan smirks before answering.
“You know – you could tell her yourself, maybe get a date out of the deal.” Now it is my turn to act annoyed as I show him how ridiculous his words are.
“She’s an employee, Aidan,” I pointlessly remind him. Aidan gets up and refills our drinks before speaking.
“Technically, not yet she isn’t and besides – don’t you think you deserve to find out if this could be something?” He hands me my drink, his eyes on mine. “I know it’s against the rules but she doesn’t work here – not yet anyways, not really. I say at least talk to her; the age thing might not even be a factor. Don’t you want to know, Hayes?” I do want to know – the woman has literally haunted my days and nights since I saw her that ONE time at the club. I’ve been pining for her like a horny teenager and if this will give me resolution one way or another – I should do it.
“Yeah, okay. You’re right,” I tell him. Aidan’s smile grows even bigger.
“I’m glad you agree because she should be here any minute.”