He's So Bad

He's So Bad by Z.L. Arkadie

Book: He's So Bad by Z.L. Arkadie Read Free Book Online
Authors: Z.L. Arkadie
anything inexpensive since you waltzed into my father’s office asking to buy his company.” She takes her hand out of the doorway. “Tonight, you’re going to see what I do.” Her tone is bitter. Apparently, she’s not only offended me, but I’ve offended her as well.
    I make it back to the office, and Carter is at her desk, working. She doesn’t look in my direction as I pass her door and head to my office. I feel as if I’m caught in the calm before a storm. I push down the giddy sensation I get in my stomach when I remember today’s lunch, and I get to work.
    I meet with Account Acquisitions and listen to each project they want to place a bid for. They tell me about the solicitations from private individuals, non-profits, and businesses who want to use our services. The majority of the solicitations are from non-profits. Ralph was big on signing onto free projects, but I’m not. I end that meeting three hours later and start another one.
    The office starts to thin out around six, but I’ve been so busy that I forgot to look in on Carter. When I finally look toward her desk, it’s clean and she’s gone. I look at the other side of the room where Matt sits. He’s gone too. Shit, I’m jealous, and not in the way I’ve been toward Vince. This is different. This is something that I can’t explain.

Principals
    I take the elevator down to the hotel lobby. Grace is already there, sitting on one of the sofas and looking at her cell phone. She’s wearing another tight bright red dress. Some guy almost trips over his own feet while staring at her. She’s certainly beautiful, and I’m normally drawn to bitches, but for some reason, she doesn’t do it for me. If I hadn’t been drawn to Carter upon first glance, I wonder if I would be boning Grace right now. The thought makes my stomach turn.
    Grace stands once I reach her. “You’re on time.”
    “I’ve been punctual ever since I took over the helm.”
    “Well…” She straightens my collar, and I fight the urge to recoil. “I heard punctuality wasn’t your style.”
    I guide her hands away from my collar. “And who told you that?”
    “Does it matter?”
    I shrug. “No.”
    She snorts facetiously. “I didn’t think so. The limo is waiting for us.” She holds out her elbow. “Be a gentleman.”
    I take her arm, and we walk side by side out of the lobby and to the limo. I sit as far away from her as possible. Grace starts sending texts as soon as the car moves. It’s a relief to not have to chitchat with her.
    “So what’s going on between you and Carter?”
    I’m caught off guard. “Didn’t you ask that already?”
    “And you didn’t answer.”
    “Because it’s none of your business.”
    She finally looks up from her phone. “You should watch out for her. She likes—attention.”
    I recall the funny, sexy, down-to-earth young woman, who spends her weekends hunting for construction sites, that I had lunch with today. There’s no way Carter is the kind of woman who needs to be seen. “Duly noted.”
    She slips her phone inside of her purse. “Is that so?”
    “Is your problem with her or me?”
    “Who says I have a problem?”
    I grunt. “Listen, I took my best architect to lunch to discuss the sorts of projects she’ll be working on in the future.”
    “Ha! Carter is not your best architect.”
    “And you determined this how?”
    She rolls her eyes and looks out the window.
    I study her for a moment. “You’re jealous of her. Why? She’s an architect, and you’re daddy’s little girl. You’re both attractive in your own ways. Believe me, there are enough men to go around.”
    She sniffs bitterly. “I’m not daddy’s little girl. Get that through your fucking head.”
    Whoa. I hit a nerve. “No need to get pissy. You started it.”
    “I started it? How old are we?”
    I let out a longwinded sigh. She’s driving me nuts, and I want her antagonism to stop. I extend my hand. “Let’s call a truce.”
    She hesitates

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