There are only two people in this world I’m close to. My father, and the man who just walked into the room, Trent Morgan. He cocks a brow and watches the woman pull her dress down a bit more as she gives me the cold shoulder and stalks off without a word.
A sly grin forms on his cleanly shaven face as he takes her seat and looks at me. “Already pissing people off. You couldn’t wait for me to start the party, could you?”
I let out a deep rough chuckle. I’ve always liked Trent. He’s nearly a decade older than me as he approaches forty, but we’ve gotten along since day one. Which isn’t the case for most Parker-Moore executives.
I’ve always taken this business seriously. After seeing my mother shred my father after his stroke and try to steal the business out from under him, I knew anyone and everyone who thought they could try to take it from me would. And I was ready for them.
I’m not sure if Trent liked the fact that I was ruthless in business and didn’t trust anyone even at such a young age, or if he was just relieved that his new twenty-two-year-old boss wasn’t some spoiled brat who didn’t give a fuck about the business he’d just inherited.
But seven years later, he’s my closest ally. He’s my only ally.
He signals to the bartender for a drink before looking down the bar at mine. “I’ll take care of that for you,” he says as he picks up the glass. The napkin sticks to the bottom as he brings it to his lips and downs the drink in a single swig.
“Stressed?” I ask him with a cocky grin.
“I am,” he answers without looking at me. I know why he’s anxious, I’m just waiting for him to say it. He smiles at the bartender as he orders another Jack on ice. I got him hooked on my drink of choice. He turns to face me before he says, “We need to choose, and neither of them look like they can handle our influx.”
He has a right to be upset. We bit off more than we can chew. We have the manufacturing capabilities, but the sales just aren’t there. Hiring out isn’t paying off like it should. “Our profits are shit for the retail division,” Trent says, accepting his drink and taking a modest sip.
“I’m aware,” I say and nod, rapping my knuckles on the bar, “and that’s a fixable problem.”
He looks at me from the corner of his eye. “You’re more laidback about this than you should be.”
I shrug. I may be a little less stressed than normal over this, but it’s because this has happened before. “For every problem, there’s a solution,” I say easily.
“I imagine that means you got good news on Thursday?” he asks. My body tenses, and I don’t answer. Instead I face the bartender and wait for him to make eye contact with me.
I’m vaguely aware of Trent apologizing to me as I’m distracted, hearing a small feminine voice to my left. It catches me off guard for some reason, and I turn and see a beautiful short woman with sun-kissed skin and gorgeous blonde hair talking to the bartender.
She gives the the man a small smile, but it’s merely to be polite. Her brilliant blue eyes are dimmed by something. In a room full of people, she stands out. She’s like me in that she doesn’t belong here. But I’m not sure why.
I watch her body language and see how closed off she is. She’s uncomfortable. A small sigh leaves her plush lips as she sits back at the bar with her eyes closed. The sight makes my dick instantly harden. She looks vulnerable and beautiful. She looks tempting in so many ways.
The sound of her giving in, that soft sigh--I want that. I want to hear it again and again. Even more than that though, I want to force those sounds from her lips myself.