Sexy Jerk(10)

By: Kim Karr



“Mr. Carrington, I hate to bother you, but do you have those contracts signed yet? I’d like to send them out and then, if you don’t mind, I was hoping I could leave early. The school called and my daughter has a fever.”

Swiveling in my chair, I look through the glass at the snow falling down and notice Jackson Boulevard is covered with it. “I’m still reviewing the contracts, but go ahead and leave. I’ll finish reviewing them this afternoon and you can send them back to Mr. Miller’s office first thing in the morning.”

“Are you sure, sir?”

I turn back in my chair. “Yes, I’m sure. It’s really not a problem.”

“Thank you,” she says.

“No need to thank me, Carrie. Now go.”

Carrington Development is a small business located on the tenth floor of a large office complex in Printer’s Row. It consists of me—the CEO, Carrie—my assistant, two field scouts—Hayden and Ash, and their assistants—Natasha and Tammy. It’s small, and I like it that way. Family-like. Hayden has a new baby with his girlfriend, Allie. Ash is single, so he and I often grab a beer after work. Natasha and Tammy are both married. Like I said, the operation is small and I like it that way.

The truth is, I made my first million right out of the gate because I understood Chicago, not because of my size, or because I got lucky. I knew Printer’s Row would be ripe for retail and restaurant expansion as soon as the area south of Magnificent Mile and River North became too oversaturated. So I bought and bought and bought, and waited. And boom . . . the area blew up like firecrackers on the Fourth of July. That was eight years ago, and I haven’t stopped doing what I do—scouting, buying, developing, and waiting.

Sifting through the pages on my desk, I read Ethan’s notes first. He’s worried the price is too steep for me and will put my other business deals at risk due to low cash flow if the deal takes too long to go through. “Risk, buddy,” I write. “It’s the name of the game.”

Then I spend the next couple of hours reviewing the bid, the terms, the contingencies. This is for a very large parcel of vacant land outside the Miami city limits. Right now the area is desolate. I want to develop it. Homes, condos, and restaurants.

Why?

Because that is what developers do.

What I do.

I buy land, finance real estate deals, build or have builders build projects, lease out buildings I own, create, imagine, control, and orchestrate the process of development from the beginning to the end. I take the risk—and receive the reward.

And that is who I am.

Not a playboy, but a businessman who works hard and plays hard.

There my mind goes again—right back to Tess and what she thinks of me.

Without overthinking it, I grab for my cell phone and hit Tess’s number. We’d done the number exchange gig last night. And yes, I made sure she knew it wasn’t for sexting.

Shit, I really am a jerk sometimes.

Today is her day with Max. Mine is tomorrow. Splitting the weekend into shifts seemed like the best way to handle the time. We haven’t planned next week yet. That might have been pushing the amicability between the two of us a little too far. After agreeing on the schedule, we both went to our rooms by nine. Separately, of course. I did suggest we bunk together. She flipped me off.

In the end, Tess took the master bedroom, and I took the upstairs spare, as was agreed upon. Again, there were surprisingly no issues there, although I think she would have preferred I had agreed to take the couch in the basement.

“Hello,” she answers. Her voice is low, almost sultry, and the sound makes my cock pulse.

What the hell?

Ignoring what’s happening below my waist, I hit the speaker button and lean back in my chair. “Hey, it’s me. I just wanted to check on you and Max.”

“Hang on,” she whispers.

“Yeah, sure.”

“Okay, sorry. Max and I were watching television and we both fell asleep,” she laughs.

“You let him fall asleep on the couch?” I ask in mock horror. “At four o’clock in the afternoon?” I add a little louder.

“I know, right? It’s so against the parenting rules. Promise me you won’t tell Fi, but he wouldn’t take a nap, so I didn’t make him, and then about ten minutes ago he conked out.”

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