The Wild West Billionaire Duet(4)

By: Harper Lauren

“Oh?” Jim nodded. “I’m glad you get the picture. I have a feeling that with a little assistance, you could become a valued employee.”

“Oh, I don’t think that’s going to happen,” I said. “Because I quit.”

Jim’s mouth flew open. “What?”

“You heard me,” I said. I stepped closer, letting the rage bubble out of my body like toxic gas. “I’m sick of being abused and demeaned and leered at on a daily basis, and I quit. Find someone else to get your stupid fucking lattes – I’m out of here!”

“Now, wait just one second,” Jim yelled. His chipmunk cheeks were turning bright pink with anger and a feeling of satisfaction began to settle over me.

“Don’t bother,” I said. “Save it for someone who cares.”

Before Jim could reply, I walked back to my desk and grabbed my coat and purse. The office was silent as I walked out, holding my head high. Fuck them all, I thought as I waited for an elevator in the lobby. They’re all sadistic assholes, anyway.

But as soon as I was outside, my confidence began to falter. What if I’d done the wrong thing? What if, somehow, Jim and everyone else in that stupid fucking office managed to keep me from getting another job in Boston?

What would I do? It wasn’t like I could live off Danielle’s charity forever, and I knew she wouldn’t be thrilled with me when I told her what I’d done…but on the other hand, I didn’t have a choice. I couldn’t stand to stay in that office, with Jim smirking and leering at me all day – it was disgusting!

By the time I got home, I was seriously depressed. It was only three in the afternoon, but the sun was already starting to set low in the Boston sky and I shuddered. I hated winter, I hated the cold, I hated almost everything about this city. I kicked off my shoes and curled up on the couch, closing my eyes and dreaming of a tropical, warm place where the chill and frost couldn’t touch me.

That was when his face flashed across my mind. The most gorgeous guy I’d ever seen, with tanned skin and unruly cowlicks of dark hair, and intense dark eyes that made my heart flutter and skip in my chest.


Sometimes I wondered if I’d done the right thing by giving him a fake name and not leaving my phone number. In my strong moments, I felt like it was what a modern, confident, successful woman would do. But right now, when I was feeling weak and sad, I regretted it more than anything in the world.

Whenever I thought of the magical Christmas Eve night we’d shared in Jamaica, I blushed and broke out in goose bumps. I couldn’t believe that it had been almost a year ago – in just a few weeks, it would be Christmas Eve again.

But this time, I knew there would be no Jack. No sexy, fun, spontaneous trip to Jamaica. No beach and sun. Just the cold and snow and ice, and jerks like Jim who thought they could push me around.

I stayed on the couch, shivering, until Danielle got home. She stomped her boots in the foyer, sending crusted chunks of snow flying under the furniture. When she turned on the light and saw me lying there, she gasped.

“Oh my god,” Danielle said, putting her hand to her chest. “Hanna, you nearly gave me a heart attack! What are you doing home?”

“I quit,” I said lamely. I sighed. “I know, I know – you don’t have to tell me. But it was really bad, Danielle. My boss was such a creepy asshole!”

Danielle gave me a sympathetic smile as she sat down on the couch next to me. “It’ll be okay,” she said. “I’m sure you’ll find something else, Hanna. You always do.”

I bit my lip. “I’m really sorry.”

Danielle waved a hand dismissively in the air. “Don’t worry about it, sweetie,” she said. “We’ll make do.”

“I feel like the world’s worst best friend for putting you in this kind of position,” I said. “I really am sorry, D.” As I told her about Jim and the horrible day I’d just had, I felt the weight of the world start to lift off my shoulders. I still felt shitty and guilty for what I’d done, but I was starting to realize that I likely wouldn’t have lasted much longer at that job, anyway. Jim had been a colossal ass – and he wasn’t likely to change, even if I did start acting the way he wanted me to act.