Under Her(8)

By: Samantha Towle

“Where in the world are you?”

“Arlington Heights.”

“Arlington Heights! Jesus, Wilder. What are you doing there? Actually, I don’t want to know. But your mom is not happy at all. I’ve been running interference with her. She told me that she called you already, and you didn’t answer. Morgan arrived ten minutes ago.”

“Shit. She’s early.” Kiss-ass.

“Yeah, well, your mom’s not happy because she wanted you to meet with her before the staff meeting, which is happening in an hour.”

“An hour!” I slam my hand down on the seat beside me. “The meeting was supposed to be at ten.”

“It was brought forward. You got an email about it late last night.”

Last night—when I was in a bar, getting trashed and doing body shots off a chick, like I had done back in college.

I’m such a prick.

“Shit.” Taking my phone in hand, I lay my head back on the seat and rub my aching forehead. “I’ll be there as soon as I can. Just try to delay the meeting until I get there.”

“I’ll do my best.”

I hang up my cell.

I can’t fucking believe this. I need to be in Chicago in an hour to make that meeting.

Because, if I don’t, I’ll never hear the end of it from my mom.

I lean forward in my seat. “Looks like I need to be in Chicago in an hour. I’ll add another five hundred to your fare if you get me there.”

His eyes meet mine in his rearview mirror. “I’ll do my best.”

His foot presses down on the gas as I lie back on the seat and pray for a traffic miracle.

The cab gets me to the office in an hour and twenty. I pay the driver and jump out of the cab like my ass is on fire. I race my way into the building and straight into a waiting elevator.

I jab at the button to my floor, impatiently watching the door close. Then, finally, it starts to ascend.

I tuck my shirt into my pants, and staring at my blurred reflection on the shiny metal walls of the elevator, I run my hands through my hair, trying to straighten it.

The elevator reaches my floor. The door opens, and Chrissy is waiting there with a coffee in hand.

“You look like shit.”

“Thanks.” I take the coffee from her, and we start walking side by side in the direction of my office. “Has the meeting started yet?”

“No. Your parents pushed it back.”

“My mom pissed?”

Chrissy slides me a look. “What do you think?”

I think I’m dead.

“They’re waiting for you in your office with Morgan.”

“Okay.” I take a gulp of coffee.

“And your parents think that a pipe burst at your apartment and that you had to get the plumbers in, so that’s why you’re late.”

“You’re the best,” I tell her.

“Oh, I know.” She smirks.

My stomach growls loudly. I realize I haven’t eaten since lunch yesterday. No wonder I got so hammered last night.

“You hungry?”

“Apparently so.”

“I think there are some muffins and brownies in the conference room, but I’ll put an order in for waffles at your usual place.”

Waffles. Best pick-me-up food ever.

“Thanks, Chrissy. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“You’d crash and burn. But, luckily for you, that will never happen ’cause I’m here to stay.”

“You’re due a pay raise soon, right?”

“Yep.” She grins.

We reach my office door. I take another drink of my coffee and hand it off to Chrissy.

She gives me an encouraging smile. “You’ve got this.”

I take a deep breath and pull my shoulders back. Then, I push open my door and walk in my office.

I hear Chrissy make a noise behind me, like a gasp, but I ignore her and stride confidently into my office.

“Mom, Dad.” I smile at them. “So sorry I’m late.”

My mom returns my smile, but I can see she’s pissed at me. The tightening around her mouth gives it away. I’ve seen that mouth tighten a lot over the years.

My dad greets me, coming over to pat my back. “Don’t worry, son. It’s not your fault you had plumbing problems.”

If I’d had plumbing problems, then I wouldn’t have been so late. I swallow down.

“Wilder, you remember Morgan.” My mom gestures to my sofa.

For the first time in nine years, my eyes take in Morgan Stickford.

And, holy fuck, she’s changed.

“Yes, of course.” I walk forward to greet her, my eyes fixed on her.

She rises to her feet, her lips pressing into a smile. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen her smile in my direction. I used to get a sneer, and that was on a good day.

Dad makes a strangled noise behind me, but I’m too busy taking in Morgan to pay him any mind.

Because hello, hottie.

Morgan Stickford is all grown-up. And she’s a full-fledged babe.

She was pretty in college. But, now, she’s a fucking knockout. She’s thinner than she used to be, but she’s still rocking those curves in all the right places.

She’s wearing a pale pink pencil dress that has a slit up the front, finishing mid thigh, showing enough of her gorgeous tan legs to tease. The dress hugs her body, showcasing her amazing figure.

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