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Asking For A Friend
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I always get what I want. Every time.
But not with her.
The beautiful woman my father forced on me through our billion-dollar firm has curves that make me ache.
Never in my short life did I imagine falling for her. Office romances are forbidden in my company.
But she’s a rule breaker. I guess I am too, but no one knows that side of me.
This single mother with brilliant business sense has a side hustle and still kicks ass at my firm daily.
There’s no way in hell she’s giving in. No matter what I try.
Not even when Valentine’s rolls around. And I pull out all the stops.
Her denial has me needing her like I’ve never needed anyone else.
Where this girl is concerned, I’m not asking for a friend.
I’m asking for me. For today. Tomorrow. Forever.
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The ground was frozen beneath my feet, crunching under the soles of my shoes as I walked onto the construction site. It was freezing out and we had at least another couple of months left before we’d get any respite from the cold.
As a Boston boy, born and bred, I was used to the cold. Didn’t mean I had to like it, though. My cheeks burned when a sudden gust of wind blew through the tunneling on the site that would soon be unveiled as the newest museum ready to be added to Boston’s collection.
Reaching up, I rearranged the scarf around my neck and tucked my chin into it. Moving to warmer climates sure felt like a great idea right around now.
Maybe my dad had a point by spending most of his time down in Texas. A little sunshine never hurt anyone. Dad always said he would’ve gone mad if he had to stay in Boston year round.
Fuck. It was hard to believe he was really gone.
Shoving my gloved hands into my pockets, I released a heavy sigh. It was too easy to just believe he was still in Texas and that was why he hadn’t been home for Christmas.
It wasn’t that.
He wasn’t there.
Some tools lying on the ledge of a half built wall with a tape measure on the ground caught my eye, distracting me from my miserable thoughts. There was a work bench right there, the tools and the tape measure should have been on it.
I scooped up the offending items and stowed them where they should have been all along.
Things had a place and I liked it when they were in it, or on it in this case. I didn’t understand why it was so difficult to put stuff in its proper place. Working on the job site all the time, surely they knew it was dangerous to leave things lying around.
Dwelling on it wasn’t why I was here, though. Following the low hum of men’s voices, I walked up to what would become the museum’s main entrance.
No matter how many times I experienced it, I still paused to take in one of my designs come to life. Sitting down at a drafting table with a pencil, I saw my buildings in my mind’s eye long before they were at this point of construction. It was always a thrill to see my drawings springing to life, changing the city scape in one way or another.
A big change or a small one, the rush remained the same. I couldn’t imagine a better job.
“Well, well, if it isn’t the architect himself.” A loud voice boomed behind me. “Come to check up on us?”
I turned to the voice, coming face to face with a six foot four brick of a man. He probably didn’t even know where the gym was, but his nine or ten hour work days on construction sites showed. A guy like him didn’t need a gym to be as big as he was. Bastard.
Shaggy, light brown hair peaked out from under a woolen beanie. There was concrete dust on his black work coat and thick sludge on his boots. He had the kind of rugged face you would expect to see a scowl on, but Craig was almost always grinning.
Smirking at my lead contractor and best friend, I said. “Someone’s got to check up on you, Craig. Just to make sure you’re not down here drinking beer or getting laid on my tarps.”
“You know me too well,” he joked, winking a hazel eye at me. “Thank fuck I just finished the keg and kicked the girl out. Wouldn’t want the boss to fire me.”
“You probably shouldn’t have told the boss about the girl or the keg then, genius,” I shot back, knowing there was no way he would ever fuck around on the job. “If you promise to save me a beer next time, I’ll let it slide just this once.”
Bringing two tattooed fingers to his big forehead in a mock salute, he laughed. “You got it, boss man. What are doing standing out here? You’ll freeze your balls off. Let’s get our asses inside before we freeze them off, too. Wouldn’t want to disappoint the women of Boston by losing two of its sexiest butts. Or your balls, for that matter.”
“I don’t give a shit about the women, but I couldn’t afford the time off to be treated for frostbite,” I replied, walking up the five steps into the foyer of the museum. “Another day away from the office and I wouldn’t be able to catch up even if I had the rest of the year to do it.”
The glass front of the building hadn’t been installed yet, but having walls on three sides shielded us effectively enough from the biting wind. It wasn’t much of a consolation, but at least it was a little warmer.