Chasing Vivi(3)

By: A.M. Hargrove

“You live here now, too?” he asks.

“It would seem so.”

“How about we go out for a drink some night?” He scrapes his hand over his face, which is covered in sexy scruff.

Absolutely not.

“Thanks for the invite, but I don’t think so.”

He takes a step back, as though I’ve physically pushed him. My guess is a man like Prescott doesn’t get turned down much. Then I wonder if he’s still in touch with Felicia Cunningham, a.k.a. Felatio Cuntingham. That girl had more dicks crammed down her throat than even I care to imagine and she made it her mission to make my life miserable. She was the one who coined the term ViviVoom.

“Then how about dinner?”

So, he’s still persistent, a trait I recall from our Crestview days.

“No, but I totally appreciate the offer.”

Those damn bourbon-hued irises latch onto mine, and my breath hitches, causing me to almost, almost give in. Shaking my head instead, I confirm what he heard, “Honestly, I can’t, Prescott.”

He opens his mouth, his very sensuous mouth, to speak, then stops, nods once, and says, “I get it. You still think I’m the asshole from Crestview. I’ll probably always be that guy to you. But maybe you should go out with me and find out if I really am.” He pulls out his wallet and hands me a card. “If you change your mind, I live here in the city.”

I say nothing in response. I don’t think I could if I tried.

Then Prescott greets Vince and orders a double shot of something or other. Vince fixes his coffee and after Prescott leaves, Vince wants to know the deal.

“The deal?”

“Yeah, how do you know The Prescott Beckham, one of the wealthiest dudes in Manhattan?”

Interesting. I knew he had money, but not that kind.

Waving my hand, I say, “Oh, that. We went to high school together.”

“And you turned him down for a date? What the hell is wrong with you, Vivi?”

“I don’t want to date a guy from high school, Vince, not that it’s any of your business.”

He stares at me like I’m loony. “But, he wants you. And he’s Prescott Beckham.”

“I don’t give a rat’s ass. Now, I have work to do.” When I go back to what I was doing before the beautiful Prescott interrupted me, my brain fires in all the wrong directions. It won’t process what I need it to do. I’m not sure how many times I almost throw the stupid keyboard across the counter. And then, to add icing on the cake, my asshole boss, Joe, calls and wants to go to lunch. He says he needs to discuss my progress on the upgrade, but that’s a lie. There’s only one thing he’s interested in and it’s not going to happen.

“What time?”

“I’ll meet you at Nikki’s around noon.” Nikki’s is where he always wants to meet. I don’t know why I ask anymore. It’s where he conducted our first interview and he told me then it’s his favorite place to eat.

That gives me at least a couple of hours to complete what I’m doing and mentally prepare for his attack. Still, the time flies.

When I arrive at lunch, he’s seated at his favorite table. I stiffen my spine and put on my boxing gloves. Only how can you ever be truly ready to fend off a barrage of sexual advances by your disgusting boss whom you’ve already told in no uncertain terms N-O?

The waitress takes our order and he’s well-behaved, asking general questions until our food arrives. It’s while we’re eating that he goes on the offensive and tells me he’s prepared to give me a salary increase if I’m willing to do him certain favors in return. I know exactly the kind of favors he’s referring to. Joe has been less than discreet about their specificity in the past.

“Um, Joe, I thought we discussed this already.”

“Yeah, but I’ve sweetened the pot, Vivienne. I was sure you’d leap at the chance.”

Who is he kidding? I would leap off the Brooklyn Bridge before I’d leap into bed with him. “No, I haven’t changed my mind and I never will.”

His fork becomes a pointer as he aims it at me. “You know, you really ought to consider this. Didn’t you tell me during your interview process that you needed this position? That your mother’s death had left you in quite a financial bind?”

My jaw falls open. I hadn’t expected him to play this dirty. “Y-yes, I did.” I lick my lips that have suddenly turned bone dry. My brain scrambles for something to grab onto, any remote thing I can use against him.

“Then, Vivi, I’d think very carefully about your response to me. You see, I’m being quite generous by offering you a raise after such a short time of employment. And you turning down my kind offer is what I’d consider a slap in the face. And slapping your boss in the face could cost you your job. Do you truly want to risk that?”

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