He rejects her application for a promotion.
She copes by having drunken wall-sex at the company party...with him.
Now he has her right where he wants her.
And he’s going to make her an offer she can’t refuse.
This raise is going to cost her…
Logan Pierce is our new CEO and he needs me as much as I need him.
Logan has thirty days to save Close-Up magazine from bankruptcy. And he needs me to pretend to be his wife at a couples’ retreat, where Logan and I will attempt to snag an exclusive celebrity interview that will revive our readership. If I can help him save Close-Up, he’ll inherit his father’s publishing empire and I’ll get promoted to editor, with a very healthy raise.
Logan has thirty days to prove to his father that he’s not just a bad boy womanizer. And I have seven days to prove my investigative journalism skills to Logan at a couples’ retreat meant to revive the sex lives of dissatisfied married couples. This raise is going to cost me.
BUY IT NOW
As I slide into the raven-haired CEO of Brunswick Publishing, I hear another squeak.
“Did you hear that? Do we have mice?” asks the muffled voice of a man, his question immediately followed by another squeak from my closet-companion.
I freeze mid-thrust. “Shh. We have to be quiet,” I remind Helen Brunswick as I press her too-thin-for-my-taste body against the back wall of the coat closet, where we are currently celebrating our new partnership.
Helen just agreed to sell the majority share in her failing publishing company to my father’s cutthroat investment firm, Angel Investments. We aren’t really angel investors, and we’re far from angels. My father, brother, and I are highly skilled in the art of hostile takeovers. Though, my technique is much less hostile.
What can I say? I’m a lover, not a fighter.
Helen giggles softly. “I’ll be quiet as a mouse,” the forty-three-year-old CEO says in a babyish voice.
Quiet as a mouse? Is this woman serious?
I shake my head as I thrust into her again. Squeak. Thrust. Squeak. Thrust. Squeak. Rolling my eyes, I realize I’m going to have to take a different approach with this squeaker toy before someone hears her and finds us in here.
No one can find us in here. I’ve been warned a million times by my father and the ethics committee at Angel Investments that I’m not allowed to use my cock to get women to sign on the dotted line. My father didn’t think it was funny when I mentioned that, unlike my older brother Everett, my dick isn’t pointy enough to sign anything.
Coiling my right arm around Helen’s waist, I pull her flush against my chest and whisper in her ear, “Do you like it rough?”
“Oh, yes,” she moans.
“How about we do a little roleplaying. I’m a dirty—but devastatingly handsome—pirate, and you’re a ripe, beautiful maiden. I’ve come to have my way with you before I pillage your town.”
The scenario wasn’t very far from the truth, but Helen didn’t seem to catch the symbolism.
She lets out a breathy chuckle. “You’re so naughty, Logan. I love it. I’ll be anything and anyone you want. Just don’t stop fucking me.”
I tighten my arm around her waist and gently clasp my other hand over her mouth as I whisper, “Aye, fair maiden. I’ll be taking what I want,” I say in an awful pirate accent, keeping one hand over her mouth as I slide my other hand between her thighs. “And what I want is your sweet, sweet nectar.”
And by nectar, I’m referring to the majority stake in your $322 million publishing company.
I rub her swollen bud as she breathes heavily against the palm of my hand. Then, I thrust into her harder, my eight-inch cock slamming into her cervix. She takes this as a cue to begin acting the part of fair maiden—a little too enthusiastically.
This time she doesn’t squeak. This time she screams. And her scream is so loud and high-pitched, I’ll have tinnitus for a month.
“Shit!” I whisper as I frantically pull out of her and attempt to tuck my throbbing erection into my pants.
“I’m so sorry!” Helen whispers as she bends over to reach for the pink G-string wrapped around her ankles.
But the coat closet in the employee break room at Brunswick Publishing is too small, and she can’t seem to bend over far enough. Every time she tries, she grinds her bare ass against the bulge in my pants.
“Hurry up! I hear voices coming,” I urge.
“I can’t reach my panties. You need to get out first!”
I reach for my zipper and pull it up, but it snags on my shirt tail. “Fuck!” I whisper as I try to unzip it, but it’s stuck.
I try yanking the fabric to rip it out of the zipper, but it won’t budge. Now, I’m not only standing in a closet with the bare-assed CEO, I’m also flushed and sweaty, with a waning erection in my pants.
I quickly button my pants and the top button on my suit jacket, but that’s clearly not enough to cover up the indecency below my waist. The fashion police will have to forgive me this once as I button the second button on my jacket, which works only slightly better to cover up the bulge and the bunny-ear of white fabric sticking out of my zipper.
I don’t hear any more voices outside the closet, so this is probably the right time to sneak out. But as I spin around and open the door, I get tangled in a red wool sweater. I try to pull it off me, but the metal hanger comes off the rod and hooks onto my collar, poking me in the back of the neck.
“Shit!” I whisper, contorting my body so I can reach back and remove the hanger from my collar. “Get it off me!”
“Get what off you? Hurry up!”
Somehow, the stupid sweater will not fall away. It’s sticking to my jacket like static cling. Finally, red-faced and feeling as if I’m about to combust with frustration, I throw open the closet door to escape the demon sweater. Standing in the middle of the employee break room is a group of at least a dozen people, all staring at me as I step out of the closet with a semi.
“That’s one way to come out of the closet,” says a male voice that sounds like it’s coming from the back of the group.
Some of them snicker. Some of the women look crestfallen. A silver-haired man I recognize as the head of acquisitions is staring at me with his mouth agape. One group of three guys near the coffee machine seem to be paying each other—probably making good on a wager of how long it would take me to get into Helen’s panties.
“What are you waiting for?” Helen whispers, clearly still facing the back of the closet. “Hurry up so I can get my underwear on.”
I smile as I softly close the door behind me. “She thought she heard a mouse in there, so I was just trying to help her find it.”
The three guys near the coffee machine chuckle as they continue settling their bets.
Helen emerges from the closet, her raven hair disheveled as she straightens her skirt. “This isn’t what it looks like. Mr. Pierce was merely helping me…reach something up…high…in the… He’s very tall. Very…big.”
An older woman in an ivory pantsuit stares at my crotch and scrunches her nose in disgust. “Have you no shame?”
I cock an eyebrow as I flash the old woman my best seductive smile. “Wanna find out?”
* * *
“To say I’m disappointed with you right now would be an understatement and completely useless,” my father begins as he pours two glasses of bourbon from a crystal decanter in his corner office at Angel Investments. Keeping one drink for himself, he hands the other to my brother Everett. “It is blatantly clear you have no regard for how your actions reflect on the company, and you’ve once again left me with the task of cleaning up your mess.”
“I can fix this,” I say, pouring myself a drink.
“How?” my father demands, unbuttoning his jacket before taking a seat at his desk. “Helen has already been warned by her board of directors that any deal with our name on it will be rejected. And might I remind you, there are a plethora of investors eager to buy them out. Not to mention Ronald just informed me the ethics committee will be reviewing your work on this acquisition.”
Everett takes a seat in the chair across from my father, leaning back with a smug grin on his face. “Yeah, how are you going to fix this, Logan? Going to offer to go down on old Helen this time?”
I chuckle at his barb. “For your information, brother, forty-year-old women are great in bed. They’re just not very easy to bribe.”
Everett rolls his eyes at my reference to the fact that the ethics committee has had to investigate—and cover up—at least four of his acquisitions for suspected bribery.
“All right. That’s quite enough,” my father interrupts, setting his tumbler of bourbon on the desk and expelling a heavy sigh. “You’ve both been caught with your pants down more times than I can count.”
“I’ve never slept with a client,” Everett insists.
“I was speaking metaphorically. I know you’re more like your mother, Everett, about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the head, but do try to keep up.”
I stifle a laugh. “With all due respect, Dad, I hardly think having sex is on par with bribery. One of those is clearly illegal.”
My father narrows his eyes at me. “Some people might think sleeping with someone to get ahead in business is a form of prostitution.”
“And those people have no understanding of the law,” I reply.
My father shakes his head, probably regretting that he forced me to get a law degree. “I’ve given you both more than enough chances to turn away from these unscrupulous tactics. It’s time I do something about it. Something drastic.”
“Cue the ultimatum,” I remark, taking a seat in the chair next to Everett.
My father’s distinguished air of discontent unravels into a devilish grin. “I think you’ll like this ultimatum, son. In fact,” he continues, shooting a glance in Everett’s direction, “I think you’ll both be very pleased. Provided you follow the rules, one of you stands to make spectacular gains.”
Everett cocks an eyebrow. “Could we dispense with the cryptic allusions and discuss this ultimatum you speak of?”
My father chuckles. “Everett, I realize patience was never your strong suit. I understood this the moment you bribed a classmate to be your friend in primary school. You’ve never had the patience to cultivate relationships. You’ve always seen money as the only tool in your box.”
I brace myself as my father turns to me. “Go ahead. Hit me with your best shot.”
“You’re also impatient, Logan,” he continues. “You think your good looks are your key to success. Taking women straight to bed instead of courting them is your only approach. It’s no surprise to me you’re still single at your age.”
I chuckle with disbelief. “I’m twenty-eight. I’m in my prime. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying life before you settle down. If we’re going to talk about singlehood reaching its expiration date, you’ve been divorced for seven years. When are you going to get back in the saddle, old boy?”
My father nods and smiles. “Funny you should mention that. I’ve met someone new, and I’ve decided to retire.”
“What?” Everett blurts out.
“What Everett means is…what the hell, Dad?” I exclaim. “We haven’t even met her and you’re suddenly going to retire just so you can be with her? Are you two engaged? Is it… It is a woman, right?”
My father rolls his eyes. “Prissy is most definitely a woman. And not that it’s any of your business, but, yes, we are engaged. As for you two meeting her, I’ve already scheduled a dinner for noon on Sunday.” He pauses to appreciate our slack-jawed expressions for a moment, then continues. “As for the ultimatum… Now that I’m retiring, I’ll need one of you to take the majority share in the company, as I won’t have much time for board meetings once Prissy and I are traveling.”
Everett laughs, setting his tumbler on the desk and combing his fingers through his dark hair as he leans back in the chair. “I accept. Rest assured the company will be in good hands.”
I roll my eyes. “A little quick on the draw there, Everett. You might want to button the snap on the old bribery holster and let him finish. Besides, Father knows I’m clearly the better brother for the job.”
“Better at what?” Everett bellows.
“Oh, I think we know what you’re better at, Logan. All of New York knows what you’re better at,” my father continues, his nostrils flaring with exasperation. “As I was saying, I just struck a deal with Kensington Publishing. I have your uncle working on their fitness magazine division, but I want you to work on putting together a business revitalization plan for their nature magazine, Open Sky,” he says to Everett. “And you, Logan, will be making a plan for their celebrity gossip magazine, Close-Up.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me. That rag has dumped on me for years, and now I’m supposed to save them from bankruptcy?” I protest, my voice jumping at least two octaves like a child protesting chores.
Close-Up magazine used to be the most popular celebrity gossip rag on the shelf, until some antiquated marketing tactics and bad management failed to deliver them into the digital age. Now they’ve apparently sold out to my father in a last ditch effort to save themselves from bankruptcy. That means it’s our responsibility to do what their upper management should have done years ago and hope it’s not too late.
Our company doesn’t usually buy out another company with the intention of revamping them. Sure, we will usually pitch that as a good possibility. But most of the time, we break up the company, lay off scores of employees to cut costs, and liquidate all assets before moving on.
But trying to save a company is no small feat. And trying to save a celebrity lifestyle magazine like Close-Up… Well, let’s just say this is not my father’s usual modus operandi. This Prissy woman must be making him soft.
“I’m aware both of these companies will present many obstacles for you two. But I’m certain you’ll rise to the challenge. Whoever’s plan has the most positive effect on the bottom line at the end of thirty days will be awarded the majority share in Angel Investments.”
“Thirty days?” Everett exclaims. “Surely, you must be joking. We can’t do this in thirty days.”
My father drains the rest of the bourbon in his glass then leans back in his tufted mahogany leather chair. “I have faith in you both. Just keep your bribes to yourself, Everett. And you,” he says, glaring at me. “Keep your hands to yourself. Don’t let me down.”
* * *
I enter my office and immediately make a call to beckon my assistant Nora. “Close the door,” I say as soon as she arrives.
She shuts the door softly and turns to face me, her auburn hair framing her eager face as she holds her mobile phone behind her back. “What can I help you with, sir?”
Nora is a great assistant. She wears her hair down to hide the custom-fitted Bluetooth earpiece-slash-microphone in her ear. It records every command I give her, so she can replay our conversations in the event she forgets what she was told to do. I don’t want this conversation recorded.
I tap my ear and say, “Give it to me.”
She doesn’t hesitate as she removes the gel earpiece and places it on my desk in front of me.
“And the phone.”
She places her iPhone next to it.
I quickly snatch it up and power off the phone before I begin. “I have a special project for you, but no one can know about this. Do you understand?”
She mimes pulling a zipper across her lips. “My lips are sealed.”
“Good,” I say, motioning to the chair across from me. “Have a seat.”