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He thought I was a hooker. I thought he was a nice guy giving me a ride home…
We were both wrong.
Bryce Ericsson is not a nice guy. He’s a ruthless billionaire with a penchant for snapping up failing companies and completely gutting them.
Unfortunately, I had no clue who he was when I got in his car and spent the hottest night of my life with him.
When he walks into my office the next day, announcing he’s the new owner of the company I work for, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be fired.
Then he makes me an offer I can’t refuse.
They say money can’t buy you love…
Or can it?
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“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”
“Here’s to job insecurity and not knowing if we’re all fired tomorrow!” my best friend Clara cries out with her glass raised high in the air.
The group of us that are out tonight to ‘celebrate’ our company’s buyout raise our glasses with fake and not-so-fake smiles plastered on our faces.
Everyone throws back their drinks and I down my shot of tequila in one gulp. No girly or frou-frou drinks for me tonight.
I need to get drunk.
While everyone else seems to be easily hiding their uneasiness behind their smiles, inside I’m a wreck.
I slam my empty shot glass down on the table and feel like pulling a Thor by calling out for “Another!”
Thankfully the waitress shows up with a tray covered in drinks before I can embarrass myself.
I eagerly grab two more shots of tequila off the tray and Clara shoots me a look full of mirth.
“Looks like someone’s getting wasted tonight,” she smirks.
I just look her in the eyes as I down both shots one after the other.
She tips her golden head back and laughs.
Yeah, she can laugh, but she has nothing to worry about. Even if she gets fired tomorrow, there’s no shortage of accounting positions up for grabs in this city. Viral Marketing positions, however, are a lot harder to come by.
I’ve sent out dozens of resumes, but so far I haven’t had any callbacks. The job market is seriously fierce right now.
Clara’s boyfriend, Mason, comes up behind her and wraps an arm around her shoulder, pulling her into him.
Mason eyes the empty glasses in front of me, then he lifts both of his brows up at me and grins. “You’re riding home with us tonight, Zoe.”
“In that case…” I grin back and grab another shot off the table.
Mason laughs, but shakes his head ruefully.
You know how sometimes you just don’t click with your friend’s boyfriends? Well, I’ve never had that problem with Mason. As soon as he and Clara started dating a few months ago, he instantly became my friend too.
He’s a good guy, and handsome to boot. Tall, with wide shoulders, blonde hair, and a winning smile. He’s like the perfect poster boy for the quintessential All-American hottie. He and Clara make an adorable couple, especially because she’s so petite. Next to him, she looks like a blonde little pixie.
I start to lift the shot to my mouth and Mason says, “Oh, come on, it can’t be that bad.”
My hand pauses in mid-air and I narrow my eyes at him. “Not that bad? I might not have a job tomorrow and I have student loans to pay off. Not to mention I have a cat to feed and she’s a total food snob. She only wants the best, which just so happens to be the most expensive.”
“Bella is a food snob.” Clara bobs her head in agreement.
I glance down at the shot, but just hold it in my hand as the buzz from the last two shots suddenly kicks in.
What I didn’t say, and what no one else knows, not even Clara, is that I’m in a sickening amount of debt. My last long-term boyfriend, Jared, convinced me to add him to my credit cards and then maxed them out behind my back. Since I technically gave him authorization to use them, I can’t pursue legal action against him.
Not that I could find him anyway.
As soon as I found out what he did, he took off. The asshole is probably sipping margaritas on some beach somewhere while I’ve been working my ass off to dig myself out of the hole he left me in.
“Yeah,” Mason says. “But you don’t know for certain you’re going to be fired tomorrow.”
I look up and even Clara narrows her eyes at him in disbelief as we both say, “Have you heard of Bryce Ericsson?”
Then we both look at each other and laugh. We do this occasionally. Sometimes we’re so on each other’s wavelength, we say the same thing at same time.
Mason rolls his eyes, but the corners of his lips still tip up. He’s used to our antics by now.
“Yeah, I’ve heard of him. He’s like a tech guru or something,” he shrugs.
“Tech guru?” I scoff. I may be buzzed, but I still manage to say without slurring too badly, “He’s a ruthless business man with a reputation for snapping up struggling companies and completely restructuring them until they pull in a profit. Then he sells them off.”
I know because right after we found out he bought the company, I looked him up. I couldn’t find much about him as a person, apparently he’s extremely private, but there was plenty out there about his cut-throat business practices.
“Yeah, what she said,” Clara nods her head.
“That doesn’t mean—” Mason starts, but I cut him off.