Bossman by Vi Keeland

Chapter 10

Reese

I was busy with work the entire day, although that didn’t keep me from thinking about the boss at random times. It sort of helped to break my day into segments. Work on a tagline for Divine. Daydream about the boss. Research SEO keywords. Daydream about the boss. Lunch. Daydream about the boss. No wonder I was still at work at eight o’clock with all the time I’d slacked off.

When footsteps approached my door, my pulse quickened, anticipating it might be Chase. I hid my disappointment by being extra bubbly.

“Hi, Josh!”

“Burning the midnight oil again, huh?”

“I’m playing catch-up with so many things, and I want to be able to participate. Your team is incredible. They know these products inside out.”

“They are pretty great. But sometimes a fresh look at things wins out over experience. Chase told me two out of the three concepts we’re working with originated from you.”

“It was a team effort.”

He smiled warmly. “Gonna head out. Don’t stay too late.”

“I won’t.”

Just as he turned away, I thought of something I kept forgetting to ask. “Hey, Josh. Do you think we’ll work this weekend? A…friend asked me to go away for the weekend, but I wasn’t sure if you planned to come in or not. Lindsey mentioned that sometimes the team works weekends when they have a big project going on.”

“I don’t think so. But I’ll check with Chase tomorrow, see if he has any plans. He likes to get us out of the office when we do weekend brainstorming sessions.”

“Okay. Thanks. Have a good night.”

A few minutes later, I was shutting down my laptop and packing up my desk when Chase walked in. He was in gym clothes—loose shorts and a faded Mets T-shirt. God, he looks sexy. I was beginning to realize I thought the man looked good in anything.

“You wear that T-shirt around Samantha?”

“I wear this T-shirt because of Sam. Drives her nuts.”

“You two have an interesting dynamic, that’s for sure.”

“How was the rest of your coffee with your friend? You two talk about me some more after I left?”

“I was just telling her the story of how we met, that was all. Don’t let it go to your head.” Of course, what we were discussing would have inflated his ego, but he really didn’t need to know that.

“That’s disappointing. Was hoping maybe you were telling her how hot you thought your boss was.”

“Josh is handsome, although I’m not really the Adrien Brody type myself.”

“Smartass.”

“You heading to the gym?”

“Yeah. Didn’t get a chance to run this morning because of that early meeting I had. You heading out?”

“Yep. Home to Ugly Kitty. I think she gets pissed when I leave her alone for too many hours. She waits for me near the door and scares the shit out of me with her glowing green eyes.”

Chase tapped his finger against the door jamb like he was considering something. “No Brian tonight?”

“Bryant. And no, not tonight. Just me and Ugly Kitty.” The mention of Bryant reminded me of this weekend again. “By the way, do you know yet if you’re planning on working this weekend?”

“Working this weekend?”

“The marketing department, I mean. Lindsey said sometimes during a big project everyone will go offsite for brainstorming.”

“Haven’t talked about it yet.”

“Okay.”

“You have plans this weekend or something?”

“Not really. Well…sort of. A…friend asked me if I was free.”

He stared at me for a few seconds then squinted. “Anything good?”

“Long Beach Island.”

I was pretty sure he really wanted to know whether my plans were with Bryant, but I intentionally kept being vague. And he intentionally kept prodding. It was almost like a game.

“Got a house there?”

“No. Friend-of-a-friend sort of thing.”

He squinted again, staring at me, but I still didn’t give in. “Girls’ weekend?”

I shook my head.

He nodded. “See you in the morning. Don’t stay too late.”

“Okay. Goodnight.”

Chase turned like he was going to leave, then turned back. “On second thought, you know what? I think we do need to work this weekend.”

I smiled brightly—although I wasn’t sure why the hell I was smiling when he’d just put the kibosh on my weekend at the beach.

Maybe because I didn’t really want to go with Bryant. Or maybe because the thought of working with Chase all weekend was more exciting than a romantic beach weekend with the guy I was dating. Either way, I was looking forward to working a little too much.

After I left the office that night, I stopped at the restaurant a few doors down and picked up a meatball parm hero, knowing I’d be too lazy to cook when I got home. Between the long hours at the office, late-night meals, and skipping the gym, I was definitely going to gain weight if I didn’t do something about it.

Maybe I should join a new gym? Iron Horse was nice. And Bryant would probably like it if I joined. But who would I be kidding? Myself. I already spent half the day glancing up to spot a certain someone around the office. I sure as hell didn’t need any more distractions from that man.

My phone buzzed as I crossed the street on the way to my subway station. Bryant’s name flashed on the screen. Knowing I only had a minute before I lost service, I hit ignore, figuring I would call him back when I got home.

Outside of my train station, a man with longish gray hair sat on the concrete. He had a long beard to match. His skin was dark and leathery, likely from long hours baking in the sun. But it was the light blue of his eyes that caught my attention when he looked up. I have no idea why, even though I knew he was obviously homeless, he didn’t look like someone who was supposed to be homeless. He seemed soft and sad, rather than drunk or scary like a lot of the people I’d learned to speed past growing up in New York City. He had a guitar case sitting next to him with the lid open, but it was filled with piles of neatly organized clothing. I offered a smile and kept going. He returned the smile, but quickly looked away—like he wasn’t supposed to be looking at me.

Halfway down the subway stairs, I remembered my giant meatball hero. Walking back up, I split it in two and gave half to the man with the sad blue eyes. He smiled gratefully and nodded.

It felt good, and my ass certainly didn’t need an entire hero.

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