Sure Thing(17)


by Jana Aston

“Um, I’m not sure,” she murmurs but she’s examining her fingernails instead of looking at me. “I mean sort of. Maybe.”

“Perhaps you could move up within this company?” I suggest, ignoring her nonsensical answer. “This tour company is owned by a parent company, isn’t it? With hotels and the like, surely. They must have designers on staff to handle the acquisitions and remodels.”

She looks at me, interest sparking briefly in her eyes before it disappears just as quickly. I wonder if I’ve overstepped the line. Then she frowns, tiny lines appearing on her forehead before she’s rising in her seat and slipping past me into the aisle. “I’ve got to prep the group for Mount Vernon,” she states without looking at me, but I’m not sure if that’s true or if she’s just looking for a way to end this conversation. A conversation that’s left me with more questions than answers.

I watch as Daisy turns on the microphone and grabs the group’s attention. Then she reiterates that we’re on our way to Mount Vernon—the same information she gave them when the bus left the hotel not twenty minutes ago. I tap my finger on my mobile while I try to recall the time difference between the East Coast and Las Vegas.

I think it’s time to start digging.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

Violet

I’m the worst. Literally the worst. My pulse is racing so fast. Why did I just tell him all that? It’s a good thing no one’s life depends on my ability to lie because I suck at it. I suck all the sucks. That sounds sorta perverted, doesn’t it? Perfect, now I’m thinking about sucking his dick.

It’s a nice dick. A great one, really. I smile thinking about my naïveté regarding uncut cocks. I can’t believe I told him I didn’t know what to do with it. I’m so ridiculous. It was basically the same, except easier to give him a hand job. And more sensitive. Like when I swirled my tongue around the head and he made that little groaning noise that almost made me come. I swear groans in British sound different than American ones. Like a way better kind of different, which sounds crazy but I promise is true.

I take a huge breath and try to calm myself as I grab the microphone so I can repeat the same information I gave the group twenty minutes ago. Information that doesn’t need to be repeated, but I needed to get away from Jennings. Granted, I’ve only managed to get two feet away from him, but I’ll take it.

I can’t believe I just word-vomited out all that information about myself, but it’s not like he’s going to check, right? It’s not like he would know what Daisy majored in or what she does when she’s not on tours. It’s not like he has access to her employment files to verify anything I just told him. I almost laugh out loud at the idea. Can I be any more paranoid?

He knows nothing.

Nada.

Zip.

Zilch.

I like him.

Wait. Where did that thought come from? I glance over my shoulder to where he’s sitting, still next to the seat I just escaped from. His head is bent over his phone and he appears to be tapping out a text or an email. From this angle I can see his jaw ticking in concentration as he types.

So of course I like him. I’m sleeping with him and it’s not as if I go around sleeping with men I don’t like. I liked the look of him when I smiled at him in the bar that first night, didn’t I? I liked his eyes. And his jaw. His dark hair and the way his shirt fit his shoulders. I liked that he sent me a drink when all I did was offer up that stupid three-second smile. No one’s ever sent me a drink before. In the movies men are always sending drinks, but in reality it doesn’t happen that often. At least not in my reality. In college I had guys offer me red Solo cups filled with beer from the keg, but it’s not the same thing.

I like the tone of his voice and his British accent. I like the way he smells and the feel of him pressed against me.

It’s just the sex, right?

Except I like the way he pays attention when I talk. The way he wants to know more—even though I can’t tell him more because I’m a big fat liar. But nonetheless, I like the way he pays attention. It was sweet how he suggested I look for openings within the company. It wouldn’t be a terrible idea, if I actually worked for the company. Daisy isn’t qualified for positions I’d be interested in, not to mention it would be problematic to apply as her and keep this charade running any longer. I’m still not convinced I’ll make it to the end of this tour without blowing it.

But I could have Daisy keep an eye out for the jobs I’d be qualified for and then apply for those as myself, couldn’t I? Daisy’d probably even get a bonus for referring me. Wouldn’t that be something? She dumps her job on me and then ends up getting a bonus out of it. Quintessentially Daisy.

I like the way Jennings keeps an eye on his nan and makes sure she’s got everything she needs. How he always exits the bus ahead of her so he can hold her arm as she takes the last step from the bus to the pavement.

I like the way he watches me when I’m fumbling through this tour, a look of curiosity on his face as if I’m more interesting than I actually am.

I also like the way he looks at me when we’re having sex. The way his eyes stay on mine when he thrusts into me. The way he cups my chin and moves my gaze back to his when I’ve turned my head away. How he touches me and—enough. It’s the best sex I’ve ever had. I know it’s cliché and semi-dramatic, but it’s that good. And maybe twice doesn’t exactly equal a case study, but it’s enough of a sample to make a pretty good argument in his favor. Dammit, why does it have to be so good? It’s making me feel things, things I have no business feeling.

So what if I like him? It’s not a big deal. It’s just a week. My perfect one-night stand turned into the perfect one-week fling. It’s what I wanted, isn’t it? A no-strings-attached liaison to help me get back in the game. A rebound relationship, so to speak. One I should have had six months ago to get my ex out of my system. Because it totally worked. Maybe it’s the time that’s passed or maybe it’s Jennings, but I can honestly say I’ve moved on. I feel hopeful. I feel glad—well, almost—that my last company went under because it forced me to face that neither my job or my relationship were a good fit. I couldn’t see it for myself so fate stepped in and forced me to.

Just like fate is going to force this thing I have with Jennings to an end when the tour ends. So I like him. So what? There’s no crime in liking your temporary lover. When I remember this week it will be filled with happy memories. Torrid, scandalous memories. Sinful, dirty recollections of brown eyes, perfect abs and sly smiles that wet my panties and restored my confidence.

No big deal.

The bus pulls onto the Mount Vernon grounds, so I snap myself out of my lewd musings and focus on recalling how Daisy handled this part of the tour. The group is taking the premium mansion tour, which is led by someone who is not me, thank goodness. I’ve just got to run into the tour office and coordinate handing the group off.

Twenty minutes later I’ve instructed the group where the meeting point is once their guided tour is over, with free time added in order for them to explore the grounds on their own. Then I sigh the happiest sigh of relief as I watch the group depart without me, Jennings along with them. I’ve got three hours of freedom. Three hours in which I won’t accidentally tell Jennings too much. Three hours in which I won’t be swayed by his accent, by his brown eyes, by the way he draws me into telling him too much.

He’s just a fun distraction—and that’s great. But a week from now he’ll be gone so I need to keep it together. I don’t need to fall for him. And I don’t need to blow my sister’s job and lose this week’s paycheck because of my big mouth.

What I need to do is focus on the future. On finding a new job, a new place to live. On getting my life back on track. Not on falling for someone I can’t be with. Not to mention—he’s not even my type. I go for goal-oriented men. Suits. Mr. Casual Concert T-shirt is so not my type.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

Jennings

“What exactly do you need to know and why can’t you ask her yourself?”

I’ve put in a call to my cousin Rhys. My American cousin, younger by two years. His mother is my father’s sister. She grew up in England but left when she fell for a foreign exchange student during university—and followed him home. All the way home to Connecticut. Somehow Rhys and I have always been close despite growing up on different continents. It helped that once we were old enough we spent summers together, alternating between the US and the UK each year. Looking back I suspect our parents made this deal to buy themselves a kid-free summer every other year, but the end result is that it made Rhys and I thick as thieves.

“It’s complicated,” I reply and it makes me smile. I sound like Daisy with her evasive excuses.

“What do you mean it’s complicated? Didn’t you introduce yourself? We don’t Undercover Boss the employees, Jennings. That’s policy. Senior-level employees introduce themselves whether they’re traveling on company or personal business. We don’t hoodwink the employees.”