Chapter 1

Leo

 

It’s entirely possible that the reason I hate bow ties is because I hate the events that require me to wear them.

I yank the end of my bow tie and start again. I fucking hate tying bow ties. I can never get the sides to be even.

Wrestling with the ends, I’m finally satisfied with the results. I need it to be perfect because I know a couple of hundred people are going to take my photo tonight.

It’s an industry event to celebrate new electronic toys that are being created by startup companies here in Silicon Valley. I’m supposed to present some award to a company that developed a doll with artificial intelligence.

I hate that. What’s wrong with a simple doll? Kids need to develop their imaginations, not have some freaky computer talking to them.

Listen to me, I sound like I’m my father.

My father founded Newbury Toys when he was young. He was passionate about making good, old-fashioned toys that kids could get absorbed with in their own worlds while playing with them.

He did okay, but it wasn’t until after he died and I took control of the company at the tender age of twenty-four that Newbury Toys became the multibillion dollar company it is today.

Not bad for a thirty-three-year-old guy, if I do say so myself.

After slipping my arms into the tuxedo jacket, I do a once-over to make sure I’m looking my best. I shove my wallet into my pocket and head out the door of the hotel room.

In the elevator, I realize I’m late. When the doors open, I stride down the short hallway and into the chandelier-laden lobby.

“Mr. Newbury?” a woman says.

I glance around to see where the voice is coming from.

A woman jumps up from a wingback chair and hurries to my side. I can’t help raking my eyes over her body.

She’s exactly my type, blonde, blue eyes, big fucking tits and an ass I want to squeeze. My dick twitches just looking at her.

But I specifically told the hotel that I didn’t require an escort for tonight.

Normally, I like using escorts because they’re upfront about money. All the women I’ve ever dated are gold diggers and out for my money. At least with an escort, I can pay her a grand upfront and she won’t sell her kiss-and-tell story to some website.

I learned that lesson the hard way.

“I said I didn’t need anyone tonight,” I say brusquely and without stopping.

The blonde falls into step beside me, and I tilt my head to look her.

She doesn’t look like the usual escort type. Her skimpy dress isn’t what a woman would normally wear to an awards evening, and her make-up’s a little too heavy. But there’s something about her that makes me want to turn around and take her upstairs right now.

“I’ve been looking forward to meeting you,” she says.

“With or without your clothes on?”

She gasps, and stammers without getting any words out. She must be new at this.

“If I could just have a minute of your time to explain myself,” she finally says.

“No time, I’m in a hurry,” I say, and look straight ahead as I stride to the exit.

We reach the revolving door at the same time, and cram into the same small wedge. Her perfume fills the space, and makes my dick twitch again. Fuck, I’m not in the mood to be sociable.

As much as I’d like to fuck this escort, I’m not prepared to have to spend three hours at the award dinner with her first.

We spill out of the revolving door and onto the sidewalk. A taxi is waiting. The doorman sees me and opens its backdoor.

“Look, tell the agency I’d like you to come back to the hotel around eleven, but I don’t need you right now,” I say as I climb into the back of the cab.

As I tell the driver the address, the hotel doorman starts to close the door.

Suddenly, the door flies open and the woman propels herself into the backseat. She lands face down, with her juicy ass sticking up across my knees.

I’m too surprised to react right away. The doorman shuts the cab door and the driver pulls away.

“You must be really desperate for the money,” I say, stopping myself from smacking her ass.

“I am, actually,” she says, righting herself.

“I can pay the full amount for the evening, but like I said, I didn’t want you to come back until eleven.”

“Well, um, I’m not sure if that’s a good idea,” she says.

I slide across the seat to make room for her. Part of me wants to stop the taxi and kick her out on the side of the road. But the other part of me, that lower half, enjoyed the feel of her body against me far too much to get rid of her.

With all her wiggling around, her dress has slid up to the tops of her thighs.

I bite my bottom lip and plant my hand on her newly exposed flesh. Warmth from her skin floods through my body, something that’s never happened to me before. She jolts at my touch.

Our eyes meet for the first time, and the warmth turns into fiery heat.

“I’m Grace. It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Newbury,” she says, and pushes my hand away.

“Call me Leo.”

“Okay. Nice to meet you, Leo.”

“That’s the name I want you to yell out when I fuck you later tonight.”

Grace’s eyes widen, and she shifts her gaze to the passing buildings outside the car window.

Strange, since most escorts like to joke around with a little sexy banter. She’s definitely new.

I wonder if I’m her first-ever client.

“Will I be your first?” I ask with a coy grin.

Her gaze flies from the window to me, and her chin drops.

Her body language says it all. The poor thing must be nervous. I should go easy on her.

Nah, I should enjoy this for all it’s worth. After all, I am the paying customer. And I didn’t even order her. She’s lucky she’s so fucking hot, or she wouldn’t have a job tonight at all.

“Don’t worry, I’ll go gentle on you. I’ll save the kinky stuff for next time,” I say.

“Kinky stuff?” she repeats, her voice barely audible.

“Yeah, my giant cock is hard enough for our first encounter.”

“Excuse me? What the hell are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about what we’re doing later, after this stupid awards dinner is finished.”

Grace crinkles her nose, and breathes heavily. She shifts her gaze back out the window, and wrings her hands together.

“I’m not sure I can do this,” she says. I’m not sure if she’s muttering to me or herself.

It must be nerves. I’d be nervous too on my first night whoring myself.

I examine her as she sits facing away. Everything about her is perfection. It’s as though my fantasy woman walked straight out of my brain and into the hotel lobby.

Too bad her personality probably doesn’t match. I fantasize about a smart, intelligent woman who’s driven to make her own money and success, and not suck off mine.

An escort probably isn’t going to have those qualities.

That’s okay, I’ll fuck her anyway. I want to hear Grace screaming my name, at least for tonight. I wonder how she feels about bareback.

I clear my throat, and say, “The dinner’s going to be pretty boring. I hope you’re up for that.”

“Of course, we can pass the time by discussing new developments in the toy industry,” she says without looking away from the window.

“Huh?” I say, wondering what kind of escort talks like that.

 

Chapter 2
Grace

 

“We’re almost there,” Leo says, as the cab rounds a corner.

My heart is beating so fast that I can barely breathe.

Leo Newbury is a real piece of work. No. He’s a jerk. Even if he is a super hot one who smells delicious.

He must think he’s God’s gift to women. I can’t believe the things he said to me, or that he assumes we’re going to have sex tonight.

And what was all that stuff about it being my first time? How can he tell I’m a virgin?

The only explanation is that Shawna told him.

But does she even know? My brain races through my memories. In the back of my mind, there is a hazy instance during a drunken night out where I told Anna, my roommate and closest friend at work, that I’m a virgin.

Did Anna betray me to Shawna? Or did someone overhear us talking?

Does it even matter? If my boss does know I’m a virgin, why the hell would she tell Leo Newbury about it?

The taxi pulls up in front of the large conference hall.

“We’ve arrived at this evening’s hell,” Leo says.

“Hell?” I repeat.

Leo ignores me and pays the driver. My stomach is twisted in knots, but I have to do this. I have to convince Leo to let us use his brands in order to save our company, Mini Motivations.

The company and all our jobs, including mine, are depending on me. This afternoon, the company founder, Shawna, called me in for a meeting and begged me to approach Leo Newbury in his hotel tonight and convince him to license his toy brands to our app, Mini Motivations.

He’s our last chance. The company is running out of money and will go under. We’ve tried going through his company, and speaking to his various vice presidents, but haven’t gotten anywhere.

So today, the senior executives begged me to take these extreme measures to get Leo Newbury’s attention and convince him directly. They know I’m as determined to be rich as they are.

The entire reason I moved to Silicon Valley was to make something of myself.

Shawna said the best way to get his attention was in a skimpy dress.

She never said anything about my virginity being involved.

Sigh.

Ignoring the tremble in my hand, I reach for the handle and open the door. I step out of the car. Leo is standing waiting and reaches his hand out to me.

My feet freeze. I don’t want him to get the wrong idea. Well, he already seems to have the wrong idea, I don’t want to solidify it. Because at eleven o’clock I most definitely will not be in his hotel room.

Even if that is what it would take to save the company. There is a line I won’t cross, and sex is most definitely over that line. I didn’t get to twenty-three without having meaningless sex for no reason, and I’m not about to start now.

I’m not a prude, I’m simply waiting to lose my virginity to Mr. Right. So far, all my brief boyfriends have been Mr. Wrongs.

Even though I’ve stopped moving, Leo comes to my side and wraps his arm around my waist, resting his palm on my hip.

Good Lord, this man is presumptuous. We’ve only just met.

But holy hell he smells good. And I can’t ignore the circle of heat around my waist wherever his arm is in contact with my body.

“Let’s get this over with, then we can move on to the fun stuff,” he says, squeezing me to accentuate his words.

He steers me to the door and I decide to play along with whatever is going on in his head since that will give me my best chance of getting him to talk business with me.

If I tell him who I am right now, he’ll probably leave me standing here, and I can’t risk that.

“Where are we going?” I ask.

“A silly awards dinner.”

“What kind of awards?”

“Some electronic toys bullshit. I have to give out an award for a doll with artificial intelligence. What’s wrong with a simple fucking doll?”

Holy shit, it’s the Intelligent Toys Awards Dinner. At Mini Motivations, we dream of getting invited to this event.

“A doll with artificial intelligence sounds cool. What’s wrong with that?”

Leo sneers at me, and I recoil. I decide to keep my opinions to myself, now more than ever, I need to make sure I don’t fuck this up. I have him, and now I also have the opportunity to network with other companies that we would love to collaborate with.

I wish Shawna hadn’t dressed me so provocatively. She must not have known where Leo Newbury was going tonight. The executives are going to freak when they find out.

Leo lets go of me to hold the door open. I tug at the hem of my dress, trying to look a little more respectable. Though there’s not much I can do about all the cleavage.

As soon as we’re through the doors, Leo puts his arm back around my waist. Even though I’m outraged by him, the heat in my body burns hotter than before.

Holding me tight, I can’t help but notice how hard and muscular his body is. And the smell. I still can’t get over how amazing he smells. Clean and rugged at the same time.

He is God’s gift to women.

I shake my head. I have to focus on my task. And I have to remember the way he acted in the taxi. Leo Newbury is no gentleman.

We follow signs marked Intelligent Toy Awards Dinner. They lead us to the far reaches of the sprawling building.

Finally, we arrive at the room our event is being held in. There must be two hundred or so people already here. All the men are in tuxedos. The women are all wearing beautiful, long evening gowns.

I stick out like a sore thumb.

“I don’t think I’m dressed right for this,” I say in a hushed tone.

“Who cares? You look beautiful,” Leo says.

I don’t want his words to affect me but my insides puddle. The most gorgeous man I’ve ever seen just called me beautiful.

“Thank you,” I say.

“The less clothes on you the better. I can’t wait to rip that dress off you when this BS is over with.”

I gulp. Words can’t even form in my head right now.

“Mr. Newbury, I’m so grateful you’ve joined us tonight. You’re really a huge inspiration to everyone in the toy industry,” a man with a shaved head says, shaking Leo’s hand.

The man looks at me, his nose crinkled as his eyes run down my body.

He shifts his gaze back to Leo, and says, “We weren’t aware you were bringing a companion.”

“I always have a gorgeous woman with me.”

“And never the same one twice, right?” the man says, chuckling.

“Not if I can help it,” Leo says.

I shrink back into myself, my shoulders rounded. They’re talking about me like I’m not even here. And right now I wish I wasn’t.

My head turns to the door, I want nothing more than to run through it and straight back to my little apartment.

How much humiliation can I endure? What is the value of twelve people’s jobs?

I shift my attention back to Leo and the man. I catch the man staring at my cleavage and glare at him.

“I’m Grace,” I say, sticking my right hand out to him.

“I’m Martin. It’s nice to meet you, Grace,” he says and winks. Fury replaces the nervousness in my belly.

“Are you in the e-toy industry?” I ask.

“I’m the president of the association.”

“But have you ever worked in it? Are you familiar with the challenges e-toy startups face?”

“Oh, well, I have many years of experience in many industries.”

“But e-toys face a particular challenge because our market is children. We have children from birth, and they don’t know any different now. So, the biggest problem e-toy companies face isn’t who our market is, but who our investors are. It’s the adults who are the problem. They don’t understand what kids today want,” I say. The passion in my voice is impossible to miss, and I stand up tall, fully confident in my words.

Martin stares at me, his eyes wide and his jaw slack. I hold his gaze, my eyes narrowed at him.

Leo tugs on my waist, snapping my attention back to him. I look up and meet his eyes. His glorious blue eyes.

 

Chapter 3

Leo

 

In all the times I’ve had escorts accompany me to these dreadful events, I’ve never once heard one voice any opinion about anything, let alone the toy industry.

Maybe my idea of a dream body also has my idea of a matching dream personality after all. My dick twitches like crazy, and I have to put my hand in my pocket to discreetly adjust myself.

Bring on eleven o’clock. We probably don’t have to wait that long. I’m sure it’s okay if we get out of here an hour early. Hopefully they do the awards during dinner and we can ditch this place right after dessert.

“Let’s mingle,” I say, and I lead Grace away from Martin. He’s a weasel, and I’ve never liked him.

“That guy was a jerk,” Grace hisses as we walk away.

“He always has been.”

“Not that you were any different,” she says.

“What?” A client can’t speak to me like that.

“You were both talking about me like I wasn’t there.”

“That bothered you?”

“Of course it bothered me. It would bother anyone.”

Weird. Escorts are ignored for most of the evening. They’re purely there for eye candy and fucking. But I have to remind myself that this must be Grace’s first time working as one.

“I won’t do it again. But be warned, it goes with your job description,” I say.

Grace crinkles her nose at me.

“My job description?” she asks, her voice rising as she speaks.

I wink at her, and place my hand in the small of her back. We manage to walk three paces before I’m surrounded with a half-dozen hopeful faces.

“Mr. Newbury, if I can have a moment of your time,” one says.

Without even asking, I know they’re all from various startup companies and want either my money or my advice, or both. I want nothing to do with any of them.

Leaning to Grace’s ear, I lower my voice and say, “I fucking hate Silicon Valley. It’s nothing but horrible people hanging their hopes of getting rich on some goofy idea they came up with in the middle of the night.”

Grace recoils, and my hand loses contact with her body. She turns, standing alongside the various people who are desperate for my time. Although their faces are all plastered with desperate smiles, Grace’s face is as hard as stone.

“Welcome to the annual Intelligent Toys Awards Dinner. Please take your seats,” a woman’s voice booms over the loudspeaker.

Thank God. I throw my head back in relief.

Not caring about the expression on her face, I grab Grace’s hand and lead her to the head table.

“Sit,” I say, holding Grace’s chair out for her.

She glares at me before sitting. I take my seat beside her.

Everyone has taken their seats. All eyes in the characterless conference room are on me. No doubt they’re contemplating how they are going to get me to listen to them later this evening.

Too bad they won’t be able to. I plan on getting out of here at the earliest possible second.

I’m so tired of people wanting things from me.

“Do you really hold all these people in such contempt?” Grace asks, her arms crossed.

“Yes.” I don’t feel the need to elaborate to her.

She huffs, and turns her head away from me. I think she’s actually pouting. I exhale slowly with eyebrows raised.

Grace is the most unusual escort I’ve ever used.

Our first course arrives, a jumbo shrimp wrapped in a lettuce leaf. Strange but it tastes good.

Grace is still ignoring me. I keep trying to relax her by rubbing her leg and her shoulders. But every time I touch her, she seems to retreat more and more into her thoughts.

Time passes with me discussing the weather on the East Coast versus the West Coast with the stranger on my left. It’s painful but at least it isn’t business.

“Enjoying the food?” I ask Grace, trying once again to engage her in conversation.

“It’s delicious—” Just when I think she’s about to loosen up, Martin sticks his ugly face between us.

“Can I get you anything?” Martin asks, his filthy breath hot on my face.

“Nope. Nothing,” I say and crane my neck to try to make eye contact with Grace.

“I wanted to talk to you about a little company I’ve helped co-found.”

Here we go.

“I’m not interested in investments, Martin,” I say without looking at him.

He forces a sound that comes out as a guffaw. “Oh, we don’t need money. Just some expert advice. How would you like to be a board member?”

“I wouldn’t.” I shift my body back to the nameless person at my left and say, “I’ll take coastal weather over mountain weather any day.”

“Agreed,” he says. Martin takes the hint, sighs and walks away.

Finally, dessert arrives. A baked peach half with a dollop of cream is set in front of me.

I lean over to Grace, and say, “This reminds me of what I’m going to be eating later, although it won’t taste nearly as good.”

She looks at me with a puzzled brow. “Huh?”

I laugh. “When I get my face between your legs. Though you are going to be much creamier than this,” I say, poking the cream with my spoon.

Her hand flies to her mouth. Her eyes are wide and I lock them in mine.

“I am really looking forward to making you scream,” I say and suck a forkful of peach into my mouth.

“Can we talk about something?” she asks.

“Of course, I’ve been trying to get you to talk all dinner.”

“I’m really fascinated by the e-toy industry. I don’t know why you’re so rude about it.”

“Kids should be playing with real toys, not screens.”

“That’s so old-fashioned. What are you, ninety?”

I laugh even though there was nothing lighthearted about her voice. She glares at me, and I can’t help but laugh harder. Her eyes narrow, and she flings her spoon at her plate.

“Easy, save some of that passion for tonight.”

I expect her to shoot something back to me. Instead her face glazes over, and a tight-lipped smile spreads across her face.

“Like I said, this industry fascinates me. I’d really like to discuss it with you.”

“And like I said, I don’t like this industry. The last thing I want to do with you is talk about e-toys.” I trace a circle on her knee with my index finger.

“For example, I know a great app that helps motivate children to do their homework and chores.”

“What do I care if parents can motivate their kids or not?”

“Money?”

“I’ve got enough money already.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, if I can have your attention please,” Martin says, standing at the podium.

About time. Not only are we getting the show on the road, it’s also saved me from whatever Grace was about to say.

We sit through far too many awards. For some reason, Grace seems to be typing continuously into her phone as the awards slowly drag on.

Unless she’s texting other escorts for moral support. That must be it. As we get closer and closer to me ripping her clothes off, she’s probably getting more and more nervous.

I really should be kinder.

I lean over and in a low voice say as Grace is sipping some water, “Don’t worry, I will be the ideal gentleman later. Your perfect first time.”

Grace chokes and starts coughing. I start to rub her back, when Martin announces, “Please put your hands together and welcome this evening’s guest of honor, Leo Newbury.”

A massive round of applause erupts, complete with whistles and cheers. Grace is still coughing, but I have no choice. I stand and make my way to the podium.

I say my standard spiel I give at these events, and hold my nose while I sing the praises about the creators of the virtual-reality doll that I’m presenting the award to.

More applause. All I can think about is getting out of here. I look over to Grace, and she’s staring intently at me. I could get lost in her eyes, instead I rake mine over her seated frame and count down the minutes until I can get her naked.

I want to see those tits bouncing on top of me. Maybe I’ll get her to perform a strip tease before I fuck her senseless.

Sitting back down next to Grace, Martin returns to the podium and thanks everyone for coming this evening.

The second his mouth stops moving, I spring up out of my seat. We need to get out of here before I’m surrounded by more people wanting something from me.

“Let’s go,” I say, tugging on Grace’s hand.

She stands, and once again I can’t help but admire her curves in that slinky dress she’s wearing.

“I don’t think I should go with you, but I need to talk to you,” she says, frazzled.

She must be having cold feet. I’m sure that’s normal in her situation.

I put my hand on her shoulder and say, “Everything will be okay. I’m going to make this easy for you because I realize it’s your first time.”

“Why do you keep saying that? How do you know it would be my first time?”

“It’s obvious.”

“No. This will not be my first time. I will not do this. I can’t go this far for them,” she blurts. Tears prick the corners of her eyes.

Chapter 4

Grace

 

What am I going to do? It’s the end of the evening and I haven’t been able to get Leo to talk about Mini Motivations, no matter how hard I’ve tried.

And now he thinks he’s taking me back to his hotel room and having sex with me.

That is most definitely not happening.

But I can’t give up this easily. I have to get him to agree to let us license his brands.

All I can feel is fury. One of the executives, most likely Shawna, obviously knows I’m a virgin, and set me up. Someone obviously told Leo, and he’s clearly really into the idea of deflowering me.

So. Not. Going. To. Happen.

Part of me thinks screw the company, they deserve to go under. But at the same time I can’t forget the twelve people, including me, who would lose their jobs.

“Mr. Newbury,” a man with a beard says, inserting himself between me and Leo.

More people appear, all chanting his name and asking for a minute of his time.

Leo grabs my hand and drags me through the crowd. I follow without resisting, hoping I can get him to talk about Mini Motivations between here and the exit. After all, we are in the far reaches of the building and it’s a long walk to the door.

We step into the hallway, and it’s deserted. No one else has left the event. Unsurprising, given what an amazing networking opportunity it is.

“Leo,” I say and stop moving my feet. At this point, I figured I’d better just come out with it. “I work for an amazing startup company, and we really need to license your brands.”

“What?” he roars, spinning to face me.

“If we could just talk about this.”

“You lied to me and misled me all evening,” he says, his eyes narrowed.

“I did no such thing. You just assumed I was going to sleep with you. That’s nothing to do with me.”

People start to spill out of the event. Leo grabs my arm, and drags me down a side hallway.

“You came to my hotel and posed as my whore for the night.”

“I did not.” My voice is high, with a slight waiver in it.

“Look at how you’re dressed,” he hisses.

“So what? That doesn’t mean I’m a prostitute,” I yell.

The conversation of everyone in the nearby main hallway ceases. People turn to stare, but as soon as they realize it’s Leo, they rush to us.

Leo takes my arm and drags me, zigzagging deeper into the depths of the building.

“Mr. Newbury,” several people say as they follow us.

Several break into unashamed jogs, as they race each other to get to him first. More people notice the commotion, and follow suit.

There’s an unmarked door around a corner, and Leo opens it and half drags me through it.

He quickly pushes the door shut behind us. It’s pitch black except for a tiny crack of light from under the door but otherwise it’s the darkest place I’ve ever been. I can’t even make out Leo’s shape.

“What are you—” I start to say but Leo clamps his hand over my mouth.

I try to pull my head back, but Leo grips the back of my head with his other hand. My blood is pumping fast. Through the hand covering my mouth, I let out a muffled cry.

“Shh,” Leo says into my ear, his voice low. “Don’t let them hear us. I don’t want them to find me.”

Breathing through my nose, I try to calm myself. He’s right, it’s better if those people don’t find us. That way I have him to myself and can talk to him about Mini Motivations and licensing his brands. It’s my last chance.

Leo keeps his hand over my mouth, but relaxes his grip on the back of my head when I stop struggling.

Though the only thing I can see is the silhouettes of our feet, I can feel him standing close to me. Apart from his hands, our bodies don’t touch. But it seems like they are.

His scent envelops me. I’m now standing in the darkness with the most attractive man I’ve ever seen. Fluttering fills my chest, only I know it’s not from a nervousness to discuss business.

I feel like a middle-school kid playing their first game of Spin the Bottle.

The fingers laid across my mouth are thick, and the temptation to poke my tongue out and taste them is overwhelming.

I fight to get a hold of myself. Although at this point, he could run those hands all over my body and I wouldn’t do a thing to stop him.

We stand like this, motionless. The longer we stand here, the more excited I get. It’s like the darkness has heightened all my other senses. Especially my nose. He smells incredible. The longer I stand this close to him, the hotter I become.

Eventually the noise of the people in the hallway dies down, and then vanishes. Leo drops his hand from my mouth, leaving me gasping for air in an attempt to calm myself down.

“They’ll be waiting. Let’s wait a bit longer, but in the light,” Leo says.

He shifts his body away from mine, and noisily runs his hands over the wall. A switch clicks, and the space fills with light. My eyelids blink furiously, adjusting to the sudden brightness.

After a moment, I can take in my surroundings. We’re in some kind of janitor’s closet and storage area.

The room is small. Widthwise, I can touch both walls at the same time. It’s maybe seven feet long, with a bare-bones utility sink at the far end. Mops and buckets are crammed alongside it. Stacks of packs of toilet paper run along one wall.

This is my chance. The big break I’ve been waiting for.

“Mini Motivations aims to be the most effective yet positive way for parents to motivate their children in everything from chores to schoolwork to simply rewarding behavior,” I start.

“For fuck’s sake,” Leo says, rolling his eyes.

“And it’s done in a way that’s fun for parents and children. But at this time we need real brands to motivate most effectively, rather than our in-house created virtual toys and games. We would like to—”

“I am not discussing this now,” he says, shaking his head.

“If you’d just hear me out, I’m sure it’s something you would love to be a part of.”

“I ran into this cupboard to get away from people trying to pitch their ideas to me.”

“But this one is different,” I say, my voice pleading.

“No, it isn’t.”

“If you would listen, you would understand that it is. I’m just asking for a chance.”

“I’m out of here,” he says, and grabs the door handle.

His hand yanks back and forth, but the handle doesn’t budge.

“We are all about making life fun, even the boring parts of life. “

“Fucking hell.” He wrestles harder with the door, pushing and pulling and jamming the handle and door every way he can.

“Because what’s the point of living if everything’s a chore? Your brands are safe with us. They are loved by children and parents everywhere, and we will do everything to ensure our app only increases their brand value.”

“Would you stop talking!”

“I can’t. We need them to make our app a success.”

Leo turns to me, puts his hands on my shoulders, stares into my eyes and growls, “We’re locked in a fucking storage closet. We have to get out of here. This isn’t the time to talk about whatever hare-brained idea you have.”

My shoulders sink. I’ve barely registered the situation. I’ve been too focused on pitching the company. Is it more important to focus on getting the license for his brands or on getting out of here?

I open my mouth again. “We’d be willing to take a short-term contract, say a period of twelve months?”

“What is wrong with you? We’re stuck in a cupboard.”

“If you listen I think you’d find our idea is solid. There’s nothing hare-brained about it.”

“Save your breath, I’m not giving you my brands.”

Leo
A stunning woman approaches me in my hotel lobby.
She's dressed for sin. And I'm a sinner.
The next thing I know, she flings herself across me in the backseat of my cab.
I didn't want an escort tonight, but the look of her lying in my lap is impossible to resist.
Except she's not what I thought.
Young. Beautiful. Innocent. I can't get her out of my head.
She's not to be trusted. But one night in my bed won't do any harm.


Grace
Leo is way hotter than I'd anticipated when my boss dressed me up and sent me out to lure him into saving our company.
Sure he's arrogant and rude but the air around us is electric. Unable to resist, I wear the red dress and give him my virginity.
It's just one time but there's something more between us, something real, I'm sure of it.
Until I end up pregnant and he disappears off the face of the earth.

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