My Dad's Boss(4)

By: Mia Madison

“We just—” he said, and I jumped in.

“We just started dating,” I blurted out. Anything to wipe that look of condescension off her face. Of course, it would be replaced by an even worse expression once she figured out I was a liar. All three of us looked up at the older man though I’m pretty sure I was the only one holding my breath.

There was a really long moment as he looked down at me. His stunning eyes seemed to drill into me, telling me that I shouldn’t have lied. Which I knew. But please, please let him play along. If he didn’t, I really would have to move to Mars.

“It feels like we’ve known each other for longer, though, doesn’t it?” he said lightly. And then he put his arm around my shoulder. Thank god. He was helping me. Lying for me. And wow, it felt good to press against his long, firm body. Involuntarily, I slumped against him with relief, and his fingers closed around my shoulder.

Brad stared at me in shock, which was gratifying. I wanted to say, “See, I can get a hot guy even though you dumped me,” even if it wasn’t true. But then a new thought occurred to me. If he were really my boyfriend, this would be the point where I’d introduce him. Which generally required knowing his name.

The silence wore on, and both Brad and Steph were looking at me expectantly. Maybe there was a way I could do this. I looked up at the handsome man next to me. “Hon, this is my ex-boyfriend, Brad. And his current girlfriend, Stephanie.”

His eyes twinkled briefly at me, perhaps admiring the way I’d refrained from saying his name. “I’m Nick,” he said, thrusting out his hand to Brad, who shook it, his eyes still jumping from me to Nick and back again. Nick. It was a nice name.

My rescuer shook hands with Stephanie, too. She had a strange look on her face, and she glanced down at the cup I held. “So, Nick, how long have you known Carlie?”

Oh shit. She was trying to trap him. I felt him take a breath, I could feel his chest moving against my side, and I knew he was about to answer. So I cut him off.

“He knows my name is Cassie, Steph.”

“Then why does your cup say, ‘Cute Girl’ on it?” I glanced at the cup, and that’s what it really did say.

“Because she is,” Nick said, pulling me in closer and leaning down to kiss my temple. Holy crap! So far, he was a really awesome fake boyfriend.

Brad was staring at me now, perhaps shocked to see another man kiss me, no matter how chastely. Served him right after what he did to me. But then Brad seemed to recover his usual swagger as he switched the subject. “So, what about you, Cassie? Any internships or exciting jobs this summer?”

Bastard. He probably knew I didn’t have anything lined up. Our parents talked all the time. “Not yet,” I said. “I’m still looking.”

Nick chuckled, a low, intimate sound. “That’s partly my fault. I’ve been keeping her pretty busy.” He winked at me and then slid his hand down my back and gave my ass a squeeze.

Oh. My. God. I didn’t know whether to say “in your face” to Brad or melt into a little puddle of lust. Shit, Nick was sexy. I wished so much that this could be real and not just a little show we were putting on.

Brad and Stephanie both had their mouths open. Brad with shock, it looked like, but Stephanie seemed mesmerized by Nick. It was really gratifying to see her lust after my fake boyfriend when she’d taken my real one.

“Well… I guess we should get going,” Brad said at long last. “It was nice to meet you, Sir.” He immediately reddened, and I had to choke back a laugh. Brad must have been really flustered to address Nick that way.

“But babe, I thought we were going to get drinks,” Stephanie said, speaking to Brad but still looking at Nick.

“I forgot, I still have some coffee left from earlier. See you guys,” Brad said, and he led Stephanie away. She looked back twice before he ushered her out the door.

And then it was just me and the hot, handsome older man with his hand resting lightly on my ass. This was totally surreal. I didn’t know what to say, but I knew that I owed him a big thank you. He’d come to my rescue and played his part beautifully.

Turning, I was suddenly face to face with him—except I had to look up to see him. And saw the twinkle in his eyes. My words of thanks were lost as we both stared at each other for a long moment and then dissolved into laughter.

We didn’t stop for quite some time.

Chapter Three

“OH, HONEY, YOU look fantastic.”

I smoothed down the skirt of my slinky red dress as my mom walked into my bedroom. I’d been half afraid she’d say it was too short, but then again, I was an adult. Okay, so I was staying in my parent’s house over summer break, but I was in college and could do what I wanted. Still, it was a relief that she approved. I didn’t want to upset her on her big day.

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