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Accidentally Into You
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Enemies can make the best lovers.
“You’re my responsibility,” he told me.
Witnessing a murder that involved your shady boss is never a smart career move.
How did things get so crazy?
The police want to arrest me for a murder I didn’t commit.
Wrong place. Wrong time. Right guy?
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I should’ve called in sick.
That’s the first thought that ran through my head when I glanced up and caught the eyes of my boss. Henry Burke rarely came to The Verve. In fact, I could count the number of times I’d seen him here on one hand, and I’d worked at this nightclub for two years.
The man was obscenely rich, having made his first million as a real estate mogul back before I was even born. Now, he owned a variety of businesses, including this place.
Why did he have to show up tonight, of all times? As a new manager of the club, there was a ton of pressures on me to prove myself and tonight was not my best showing. The local band I had booked for the night showed up late and had yet to start playing, leaving the dance floor full of people milling around with drinks in their hands, waiting. Not exactly the party atmosphere that the owner of a night club would want to see on a Saturday night.
On top of that, one of my bartenders had called in sick, so the two guys I did have manning the bar area were struggling to keep up. I was doing my best to help out, but I had just lost my grip on a highball glass, sending it tumbling to the ground where it shattered into a million pieces and splashed a Vodka Mojito all over my pants. That’s when the prickling awareness of being watched made me snap my eyes to the door.
There he was, my boss, with his eyes locked on me. Great timing. Just great.
“Damn it,” I muttered, looking at the mess at my feet and the dozens of impatient customers crowding the bar area.
Yep, definitely should’ve just stayed home.
Taking a deep breath, I tried to compartmentalize. First things first, clean the mess. I grabbed a broom and flagged down my best waitress.
“What’s up, boss lady?” Tina asked with a grin, leaning on the bar and watching as I swept up the shards of broken glass.
“I’ve told you to call me Lilly,” I said. I nodded my head toward Mr. Burke hovering near the entrance. “See the older man over there by the door?”
“You mean the guy in the expensive suit with the two barely legal and barely dressed girls hanging off his arms?” Tina asked, wrinkling her nose in disgust.
“That’s the one. It’s Henry Burke.”
“The same Henry Burke that signs my paycheck?”
“Yep,” I said, dumping the broken glass into a small trash can under the bar.
“Wow, talk about VIP. What’s he doing here?”
“No idea. And his timing isn’t the best. So, I need you to take care of him. Seat him upstairs, of course. Wait on him and his…companions. Do your best to make sure he’s happy.”
“What are you gonna do?”
“I have to get the music going, even if I have to learn to play guitar myself,” I said, eyeing the stage where the band had just finished assembling their drum set.
“That’s something I’d like to see.” Tina shot me a grin before hurrying away to take care of our unexpected guest.
It was nearly 20 minutes later that the band finally picked up their instruments and started their set. Rock music filled the large space and I could feel the bass reverberating in my chest. The crowd reacted immediately. It was a sight to see as the dancefloor flooded with dancers; their bodies writhing to the beat under the dancing neon lights that twirled above them.
The band was good but I already knew that. I had watched them perform at a bar last month. It was why I booked them but I knew they wouldn’t be back here. Starting the show nearly an hour late was unacceptable. Besides, there were plenty of bands to choose from around here.
With the proper night club atmosphere in place and things running as smoothly as they ever do, I made my way to the stairs leading to the second floor. The steps were always flanked by a pair of bouncers since they led to our VIP seating. All seats on the upper level were semi-private booths along a metal railing that overlooked the dancefloor. The seating areas were separated by partial walls, giving a level of seclusion that wasn’t available below.
Henry Burke was seated in the booth at the far end, furthest from the stage area with arguably the best view in the place. He could see everything from here – the bar, the dance floor, the stage. As I approached, I couldn’t help but think of a king on his throne. He was seated comfortably, lounging with a scotch in his hand, but his calculating gaze never stopped roaming the place, seeming to take in everything. There was something about the man, the way he held himself, that projected the power he held here. This was a man that took charge.