He's So Bad

He's So Bad by Z.L. Arkadie Page A

Book: He's So Bad by Z.L. Arkadie Read Free Book Online
Authors: Z.L. Arkadie
but shakes my hand. Her palm is wet. My palm is dry.
    “So what’s this night all about?” I ask.
    “Every single person who needs special attention so that we can get shit done will be in the room tonight. I have a relationship with each one of them. I know you’ve been wondering why my father wants you to keep me around. You’re about to find out.”
    Politics. Vince has always been better at it than me. I respect the man who works hard to be the best, not some slimy-ass individual who relies on cronyism to get ahead. I can’t scratch backs, and I sure as hell don’t want mine scratched.
    Grace talks about all the people she plans to introduce me to tonight. I’m certainly intrigued.
    City Hall is an ostentatious building on the outskirts of downtown. Its gothic dome is lit up, which makes the structure appear as if it’s a relic from Europe’s past. The original City Hall, which was just as overworked design-wise, collapsed during the 1906 earthquake. This one was built in 1915. What’s funny is the original structure collapsed because of cronyism and back scratching, which is why we’re here tonight.
    The limo stops behind a line of other limos. I want to get out of the car where we’re stopped, but Grace, who’s back to sending text messages, holds up her hand, shakes her head, and says, “Be patient.”
    It takes nearly forty-five minutes for us to get our red-carpet exit. The driver opens the door for us. We get out of the vehicle, and cameras flash.
    “Mr. Tango, over here,” a photographer shouts.
    All of a sudden, my name is being called by so many men with cameras that I can’t count them.
    “What the hell is going on? Why the fuck do they know who I am?” I say to Grace.
    “I sent out a press release,” she says through a pasted-on smile.
    My name is still being called, and I don’t like the sound of it. This shit just got real. I keep my face forward. I’ve never been the type to play to the cameras. The last time these fuckers were interested in me, I was fucking a crazy royal chick from England. They pinned me as the bad-boy businessman from America and said that I gave that maniac chick a venereal disease. I would have never fucked her without a condom. I don’t even know why I fucked her in the first place. I think I went on a binge and was high for the whole month we were together—but not too stoned to forget to wear a condom. I knew her reputation.
    Grace keeps up the fake smile. “Look into those cameras and smile your ass off.”
    “This is your game, not mine.” I continue to face forward.
    “Fuck you, Tango.”
    “You’re not my type,” I say, but I wish I could take the words back just as fast as I say them.
    Grace and I enter the grand doorway. She’s silent as we weave through the crowd, still arm-in-arm on our way to the ballroom.
    “Listen, I didn’t mean that. That was immature of me,” I whisper in her ear.
    “I don’t want to fuck you either, Tango. But what I’m doing is protecting my father’s legacy, so when I say smile at the cameras, you fucking smile at the cameras,” she says past her pasted-on smile.
    “All right.” I paste on my own smile and turn toward the cameras. The bulbs flash.
    Grace winks at me. It’s apparent that she loves being in charge.
    I’m shaking hands and saying the same shit over and over. I’m the new owner of Kennedy Creative. I’ve been in the media industry for the last eight years. Then I listen to the other person discreetly tell me what they expect from me. We arrive at our fifth councilman—Gerald Bush. I’m amused by how he chuckles after everything he says. There are two reasons why a person does that. Either they’re nervous or they lie a lot. I suspect in his case, it’s the latter.
    “Ralph Kennedy revered the antiquity of San Francisco,” he says and chuckles.
    I’ve noticed that his chuckles linger until Grace or I start speaking.
    “I’m more of a modern man,” I say. “As a matter of fact,

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