My best friend Paige’s boss was just the type of guy who would make her work late on her birthday: rich, arrogant, entitled (and handsome, really handsome). So when I walked into his office one night offering him a business proposition I was sure he couldn’t refuse, I was surprised when he offered me one: Paige’s freedom in exchange for a date. Dinner was the easy part; it was an elevator ride that had us both falling…
Going Down is book one of the Quickies Series: short, sexy stories you can read in one sitting!
I really hated parties, but I loved my best friend Paige, which was why I was standing in the alleyway behind Azure—one of the hottest clubs in Manhattan—trying to talk Paige into breaking out of the shackles that were chaining her to her desk so late on a Thursday evening.
“Paige, listen to me,” I said, trying to sound as patient as I could, even though I felt like my sanity was hanging on by the thinnest of threads. “We’ve been planning this party for two months. A group of our friends are inside the club waiting for you. We paid a hundred dollars for a bottle of champagne! You work your ass off, can’t you leave just this once? It’s your birthday; you can’t work overtime on your birthday. You only turn twenty-three once, and we love you. We want you here with us.”
I pressed the palm of my free hand against my ear, trying desperately to block out the sound of honking horns and rowdy Wall Street types that liked to frequent this area of town after hours. Even through the bustle of the city around me, I still managed to hear Paige’s long-suffering sigh on the other end of the line.
“Chloe,” she said with a hint of a whine. “I want to be there, okay? But Carter has a presentation tomorrow, and I have to get these slides cleaned up before I can go.”
“Okay?” Paige sounded a little hesitant and a lot suspicious, which I supposed came from five years of friendship. She knew me like she knew the back of her own hand; she had to have known that I would never give up so quickly or so easily. If she’d gotten to be that gullible, then I definitely needed to get her out of that office for some much needed fun.
“Yeah,” I replied, stalking out of the alley and shouldering my way through the crowd that littered the sidewalk. “Okay.”
“You’re coming, aren’t you?”
“No.” It wasn’t a very convincing lie, but that didn’t matter when I had my mind set on something, and I was getting Paige out of that damned office and into Azure to enjoy her birthday party if it was the last thing I did.
“Chloe,” she groaned, exasperated. But I could hear the lilt of hope and amusement in her voice, and that was what pushed me forward to the curb, what raised my arm to hail a cab. Well, that and my pure, unadulterated rage toward Paige’s boss, one Mr. Carter Armstrong.
Paige was ten times as ambitious as I was, which was saying something, and she seemed to have a bit of a masochistic streak too, working for a man who thought that just because he was born into a certain family that everyone on the planet existed purely for his benefit. Because Carter? He came from money. Not new, house-in-the-Hamptons-and-a-yacht kind of money, but old money. The kind of money that put the Armstrong family name on public libraries, hospital wings, and museums. Legacy money.
Now, I hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting Carter just yet, but I had learned everything I needed to know about him from listening to Paige gripe about him when she’d shuffle through the front door of our apartment after a long day at work. Supplemental material was occasionally provided by the society pages of the Post.
The thing that really grated on me about men like Carter was that they walked around like they owned the world, like the people living in it owed them something. Sure, with Carter there were heart-stopping good looks along with the chiseled perfection that was his body, but he was just your typical, run-of-the-mill-billionaire, right? Surely he’d recognize the value in a good business proposition, which was exactly what I was going to give him.