Tempted: A Standalone Billionaire Boss Romance by Ava Harrison

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Drew



I have a life most would kill for.

At twenty-eight, I own the hottest club in New York City.

There should be absolutely nothing to complain about . . .

But unfortunately, that’s not the case. I do, in fact, have one problem.

Cal Loche.

The bastard won’t stop calling me. I hate that little fuck, but as much as I don’t want to answer, I do business with him, and it’s a necessary evil.

“What do you want, man?” I hiss through the phone.

“I need a favor.”

A deep breath escapes my lungs. I shouldn’t have answered the call.

“And why would I do anything for you?” I pivot my chair away from my desk and lean back. This could take a while, so I might as well get comfortable.

“Word around town is you are looking at space uptown.”

“Is that the word? Maybe you should check your sources.”

I am looking for space, but I don’t like this douche knowing anything about my plans. I’m so close to getting what I want, and I don’t need him fucking it up.

“My source is just fine, and what he says is that you want to buy it.”

Shit.

Even though what he says is true, I don’t need anyone knowing it. I have too many competitors who would love that piece of information. They would scoop it up just to mess with me, regardless of my plans for the space.

“And why does this concern you?” My voice sounds steady and uninterested. I’m plenty interested but giving him that knowledge only plays right into whatever hand he’s playing.

“Well, as it so happens, I own it.”

My body jerks forward at his words. “How come I didn’t know this?” I ask through gritted teeth.

“It’s owned by a different holding company.”

“So basically, Mommy and Daddy own it,” I fire back. I probably shouldn’t poke the beast, but I’m too pissed to care. This is not what I want to hear tonight. I’m dealing with enough shit.

“Doesn’t matter who owns it. If you want it, you’ll do me a favor.”

I let out a sigh. He has me by the balls. He knows it, I know it. “And what exactly is this favor?”

“You still looking for a waitress?”

“I am.”

“I have one for you.”

“I’m not employing some girl you’re banging.”

“I’m not banging her. She’s my girl’s sister. She’s a charity case, just the way you like them. Actually, you’ll want to meet this one in particular. Trust me.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“That would be too easy. But she’s exactly the kind of girl you have a soft spot for.” His words have me sitting forward in my chair. Cal knows my sordid past. He knows about Alexa. He knows my weakness. How much he knows is another problem, but I keep my voice steady.

“A druggie?”

“Recovering. But still. Look her up and make your own decision, man. But if you want the property, you’ll hire her.”

“Name.” It doesn’t matter what he says, I know I’ll offer her the job. My need to help, to fix, to save is too great.

“Bailey Jameson.”

Placing my hand down on the computer, I start to type, and the moment her picture pops up, my hands pause, hovering over the keyword. She’s gorgeous. Stunning in a girl next door sort of way. Her haunted eyes cause my stomach to turn. I don’t have time to process why I’ve had such a reaction because what I see on the page has my attention. I pull up the article on her.

My fingers freeze on the keyboard once again.

“What do you gain from this?” I grit through clenched teeth.

“I don’t need some recovering addict getting evicted and moving in with me and my girl. Her sister is a lead prosecutor with the city, and I can’t have Bailey fucking that up for me. That connection is gold. Do this for me, and you’ll get your property.”

“Fine.” I slam the phone down, knowing full well this is probably the biggest mistake of my life, but there is no going back now.

I reach across my desk and grab the decanter of scotch and pour myself a glass. The night hasn’t even begun, and it’s already off to a shit start. How can it get any worse?

The answer to my question walks in the door as if being summoned.

Another thorn in my side I can’t get rid of.