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Donut Overthink It by Shantel Tessier (1)



MY GASPS AND HIS GRUNTS FILL the darkly lit hotel room. I don’t know why, but every time we have sex, it’s in a hotel. It’s as if he’s afraid to take me to his house. To get so personal. He just likes to use me, and I don’t mind.

“God, you feel amazing, baby,” the man whispers in my ear.

My nails dig into his sweaty back, and I moan as his hips continue their slow and steady thrusts.

I need more! “Harder …”

“Shh,” he whispers, his hot breath hitting my neck, and a shiver runs through me. “I wanna take my time with you.”

I arch my back and let out a cry as he bites down on my shoulder. “Do it again.” Desperately, I pull his mouth down to me when he tries to pull away.

“You like that?” he asks with a chuckle. “How about this?” His lips kiss my tingling skin as he makes his way across my collarbone and down to my breast. He wraps his lips around my nipple and sucks, making it harden.

“Oh, Goooooddd,” I cry out. He pulls his hips back, then thrusts forward. “Aiden …” My words are cut off as his lips slam down on mine, and he picks up his pace.

I feel that sensation taking over my body, making my toes curl. I can’t come again … fuck … I go to scream, but he won’t let me pull away. His hands are tangled in my hair, holding my head in place while his lips assault mine in the most delicious way.

My pussy tightens around him, and he growls into my mouth while his kiss grows possessive. I love it!

My heart pounds in my chest and my body shakes as his lips pull away from mine. He looks down at me with those dazzling blue eyes and GQ smile. “How was that, baby?”

“Amazing,” I breathe, my body physically shaking against his.

He leans back down, and I part my lips to accept his kiss, but instead, he licks my face.

“Uh.” I pull away at the rough feel of his tongue. He licks it again. “Aiden, what are you …?”

He meows like a cat, and I lie there thoroughly confused. He licks me again, and his gorgeous face fades away replaced by black fur and a pink nose.

I see my cat sitting on my chest while she licks my face.

I laugh at myself, placing my hands on my chest to see I’m still wearing the same T-shirt I had dressed in last night before I climbed into bed. “Of course, it was a dream,” I say to myself.

“Meeeooww.” She purrs, and I reach up, petting her between her ears.

“What are you doing, pretty girl?” She arches her back. “Do you have sex dreams about cats that you see when you sit in the window?”


“So you’re saying I’m just crazy?” I ask with a laugh.

My phone dings, and I reach over to grab it off my nightstand, finding a text from my best friend.


Andrea: How is the jackass this morning?


Smiling, I look at the time displayed on her text. “FUCK!”

I throw off the covers as my cat takes off running, now hissing at me. “I’m late!” I squeal, stumbling out of bed.



I shout as the scalding hot tea splashes over the rim of the plastic cup, burning my skin. Leaning forward, I try to blow on it while running down the busy Chicago sidewalk.

I knew I should have gotten lids. But it would have cost me another second. And I don’t feel like getting my ass reamed by my boss this early.

That train is long gone.

“Watch it,” a woman says as she jumps out of my way.

“Sorry,” I holler over my shoulder unable to slow down. I can’t. I’m already late. Just gotta keep going …

“Excuse me!” I shout before I squeeze among three women standing in the middle of the damn sidewalk like they got nothing better to do than gossip on this early Tuesday morning. I shove my way past, even as one of them gasps at me like I was in the wrong.

“Sorry,” I snap over my shoulder this time. “Maybe you could move,” I add as I continue running in my Nikes. I’m thankful I thought to wear them this morning and put my heels in my purse. I learned my lesson a few weeks ago when Mr. Kyle had me running across town to get his dry cleaning, and I scuffed my new heels when I fell off the sidewalk. I was embarrassed, but the man who helped me up off the concrete couldn’t stop laughing. He said I made his week. Possibly his month. My ego was happy to help him out.

Almost there …

I can see the black and white fifty-story building up ahead—Legacy Tower—and pick up my pace as I suck in a breath.

“Hello, Miss Burns!” a man dressed in a black suit with a genuine smile on his face says as I come to a quick stop in front of my destination.

The sudden stop causes tea to run over the back of my hand once again. “Hello, Charles,” I say, thinking I’m going to need a skin graft now.

“Let me help you,” he offers, reaching out for both the teas in my hands.

“I got them,” I say, giving him a warm smile. The damage is already done. “Thanks, though.”

“Well, let me get the door for you then.” He grabs the stainless steel handle on the glass door and opens it for me.

“Thank you,” I tell him with a nod, entering the building.

“Mr. Kyle needs to give you a vacation,” he calls out as I start to walk quickly through the large lobby. My shoes squeaking on the marble floor.

“I second that,” I mumble now as I flat-out run toward the elevator banks. People no longer stare at me because this is a usual occurrence for me.

“Good morning, Miss Burns.” The man nods his head to me as he sits behind the front desk.

“Hi, Earl,” I say, running past him, and he chuckles. “Hold the door,” I shout as one of the elevators starts to close.

A hand slaps over the steel frame and pushes it open, and I squeeze in while the people shuffle around to allow me to fit.

I turn to face the front, sucking in a deep breath. My purse has fallen off my shoulder and sits in the crook of my arm, cutting off my circulation due to the weight of all my shit in it. My heels being one thing among many others.

I suck in another breath. Geez, I need to do some more cardio. Maybe hot yoga twice a week isn’t enough because I sure am out of shape. My boobs are already starting to sweat from the August heat and the fact that I just ran three blocks. My boss has to have some special fucking hot tea from the Tea Place in the morning. He acts like such a diva.

“Hello, Hadley,” the man who held the door for me says with a smile.

He’s a guy I know well who works on the fourteenth floor. I sometimes have to go down there for legal. “Hello, Trevor. And thank you.”

“Anytime.” He looks down at his watch and lets out a low whistle.

“Yep,” I say, trying to flip my hair away from my face. “I’m late.”

He laughs softly and then drops his hand down by his side, and his soft blue eyes look at me. “Well, if he fires you, I’d be more than happy to give you a job,” he says with a big smile. “And I won’t make you go across town to grab me tea.”

I grunt. “I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks.”

My boss is a fucking jerk!

I swear he likes making me run around Chicago like a chicken with my head cut off. He likes to test me, and I hate that more times than not, I fail. You can’t go anywhere in this town within a matter of twenty minutes. But of course, this morning was my fault. I knew I should have just gone to bed last night, but I got my Kindle out and discovered my favorite author had released a new book that I had forgotten I pre-ordered. I love when that happens. It’s like Christmas.

I was sucked in from page one. And by the time I finished, I realized it was almost three in the morning, and my alarm would go off in two hours. Needless to say, I slept through it, and the book had me dreaming of my own little romance. Why would I wanna wake up? And the worst part is that it’s Tuesday. The office was closed yesterday for Labor Day, so now it’s like my Monday. I’m gonna have to pay for the rest of the week.

The elevator comes to a stop. “Have a great day,” he says before he exits on his floor.

“You too,” I call out, blowing a stray hair from my face as I lift my right arm, my purse still hanging from it and the weight getting unbearable.

I ride the rest of my way up to my floor in silence as everyone else talks among themselves. My boss and his brother work for their father, who is partner at a prestigious law firm here in Chicago. It occupies the entire thirtieth floor.

My mind is running a hundred miles an hour just as it has been since I woke up. When I step off the elevator, I take a deep breath and pray he doesn’t see me. That maybe he’s in his brother’s office, and I can just slip his tea onto his desk and get out. If I’m lucky …

“Miss Burns, is that you?” I hear his deep, baritone voice call my name before I can even get to his office door, and it causes goosebumps to cover my arms. I swear he has eyes everywhere.

“Late again, Hadley?” his brother’s assistant, Bianca, announces as she walks past me. She makes a tsking sound that I ignore.

I drop my head, and blond hair falls around my face. I always wear it up, but waking up late didn’t allow me enough time to fix it this morning. Lifting my head, I square my shoulders—like he doesn’t intimidate me—and walk over to his open door.

“Yes, sir?” I ask, entering.

He sits at his massive desk with a cell in one hand and a pen with the firm’s logo on it in the other. He clicks it when he’s agitated—just as he is now. Papers scatter the dark mahogany surface, and a stack three inches tall is placed in the top right corner. The beautiful Chicago skyline is visible through the floor-to-ceiling windows behind him.

He looks up at me, his piercing blue eyes pinning me where I stand, and my breath catches in my throat. Especially since they’re the same ones from my dream this morning.

I have dirty dreams about my boss.

That clicking continues while his eyes leave mine and slowly look over my blouse. His gaze lingers on my tits, and I’m thankful for the extra padding in my bra, hoping he can’t see my nipples harden from the assault. They continue down over my skirt, legs, and then my bright pink Nikes. When they meet mine again, they are full of disapproval, and the annoying clicking stops. “You’re late.” He states the obvious as if my ass can’t tell time.

I may have the hots for the jackass, but he does not reciprocate the feeling. I bite back a no shit remark and instead just nod. “Sorry, sir …”

“Tea,” he orders, dropping his pen and reaching out to me, his suit jacket sleeve riding up, showcasing his black and silver Rolex watch.

I walk over to his desk, almost tripping over his black and white Safavieh rug in my haste, and he sighs loudly, irritated at my clumsiness. But thankfully the tea didn’t spill over since most of it was already gone. I take a calming breath and hand it to him once I reach his desk. He takes a sip. “Jesus, Miss Burns,” he hisses. “When did you get this? An hour ago? It’s cold!” He growls, tossing it into his trash. The tea is now filling the bottom of his trash can.

I’ll have to clean that up.

It was scalding hot not fifteen minutes ago when I burned my hand with it, but instead, I say, “Sorry, sir. I had to run … I couldn’t catch a cab—”

“I don’t need to hear excuses.” He interrupts me, standing from his desk and buttons his black Versace suit jacket that fits him like a glove. The man has a body of a God. I know, I’ve seen it while I spied on him with one of his many women.


I place my elbows on my desk and sigh heavily. I’m so tired. It’s gotta be past eight, and I’m still not done with work.

I lay my head on the cool desk and close my eyes for a brief second to relax, but a noise has it snapping up. “Hello?” I call out.

I hear it again, and I shove my chair back as I stand. Making my way over to my office door, I open it quietly and peek my head out. “Is anyone here?” I ask softly. This office creeps me out at night. The long hallways remind me of scary movies where the chick runs but falls over an imaginary item and can’t get up fast enough. Most lights are off, making it too dark …

“You’re funny,” comes a voice, then a giggle.

Was that what I heard? I step out into the hall ’cause a giggle can’t be that terrifying, can it? I make my way down the long hallway and see that Mr. Kyle’s door is ajar. Light from his office floods the hallway, and I tiptoe in my heels to it.

I come to a stop when I hear the giggle turn into a moan, and I instantly know what it is. My boss has a woman in his office. This isn’t new. He parades them around here like they’re the fucking mascots of this firm. Their asses and tits hanging out for all to see.

I turn around to walk back to my office, but then I hear her cry out in pleasure, making me come to another stop. Nibbling on my bottom lip, I debate what to do.

Just leave, Hadley!

She moans again, and I hear what sounds like clothes ripping. Something inside me can’t turn away. I have to see what is so special about him. I mean, he has money, but most of the women I see him with are rich. That’s obvious by the way they dress and stick their noses up in the air. And I know he doesn’t buy them that shit! I want to know what other women find so attractive about him. Hell yeah is he hot, but he’s a dick!

Making up my mind, I turn around and tiptoe back to his office. My heart pounds in my chest when I get to the open door. Letting out a shaky breath, I peek my head around it to see him sitting on his black leather couch. A bleach blonde straddles him; her mini dress pulled up over her hips to allow her legs to spread. He has the shoulder straps of her dress pulled down over her arms, and she has her head thrown back as he’s bent forward with his head between her massive breasts.

“Gooodddd …” she breathes while his mouth devours her fake tits.

He abruptly stands from the couch, making her squeal. Wrapping her legs around his waist, he carries her over to his desk. He places her ass on one end and pushes her to lie back across it long ways. I have the perfect side view of them. She scoots back and brings the heels of her shoes to the dark wood.

He stands at the end looking like a fucking sex God. His button up is open, and I can tell she ripped it—the buttons long gone. He shrugs it off, and it falls to his feet. I watch shamelessly as his abs and arm muscles ripple when he steps up to the desk.

“Pull your dress up,” he orders since it had fallen down in their movement. His voice makes my body break out in goosebumps.

She lifts her hips off the desk and pulls it up without thought, exposing her white lace underwear to him once again.

Placing his hands on her knees, he spreads her legs wide for him, and she whimpers. Mine threaten to buckle.

Walk away, Hadley!

“Pull your panties to the side, baby. Show me that pussy.” His voice is rough, and it makes my pussy tighten. It’s like he’s talking to me.

Leave, Hadley!

“Yes, sir,” she purrs as she reaches down with her right hand and pulls them to the side for him. Thankfully, I only have a side view, so I can’t see what she is offering him. But that wouldn’t matter anyway because I can’t look away from him.

His hands leave her knees, and he brings them to his black slacks. He undoes his belt, and my breath catches as he unbuttons his black slacks.

Leave, Hadley …

The sound of his zipper slowly moving has my breathing hitched. He kicks off his black shoes, and then his slacks fall to the floor like his shirt.

He stands in a pair of black fitted boxers, and the outline of his cock makes my mouth water. Fuck me! He has a dick to go with that attitude.

He places his fingers in the waistband, and I hold my breath ready to see him pull them down … and then a blaring noise sounds from behind me, down the hall.

“What the …?” The blonde sits up quickly and closes her legs.

I yank myself away from the door, slamming my back against the hallway wall. Heart pounding. The annoying noise comes again, and I take off in a mad dash toward my office, realizing that the noise is my cell phone ringing.

I run into my office and reach over my desk to grab my phone. I silence it when I see it’s my best friend, Andrea.

“Shit!” I say, bowing my head as my hand goes to my heaving chest.

“Miss Burns!”

I jump, dropping my phone, when I hear his voice. My eyes fixate on my office phone, his voice coming from my intercom.

Closing my eyes, I try to will my heart to stop pounding. “Yes, Mr. Kyle?” I ask and hate how shaky my voice is.

I remove my finger from the button, and the silence that follows makes me think he is maybe on his way to my office. To fire me. To tell me to pack my shit and get the fuck out for being such a perverted freak!


What was I thinking?

“I want to see you in my office first thing in the morning,” he says, and I cringe at how stern his voice is. No longer rough. But I know he’s still standing there with his clothes off. Is she on her knees …?

“Yes, sir,” I all but whimper and then clear my throat. Quit having sexual thoughts about your boss!

I stand there, waiting for him to say something else—to dismiss me in any way—but seconds later, I hear his office door slamming shut, and I realize that was my sign. He was giving all his attention back to her.

I grab my phone and purse and haul ass out of there. The work I still had be damned!


“Miss Burns?”

I blink a few times as I come back to reality. That was over two months ago, and we never had that meeting the following morning. Something came up, and he was out of the office. We never spoke of it, and I’m not even sure if he knew I saw anything. I’ve been too afraid to ask, and he’s never mentioned it.

“Miss Burns?” he snaps.

“Yes, sir?” I ask, shaking my head.

“What is wrong with you today?” he demands. “Do I need to send you home …?”

“No, sir.” I fake a yawn when his blue eyes bore into mine. “Just a long night.”

He snorts, not believing the lie, but drops it. He picks up the papers on the corner of his desk. “I need these done by lunch,” he says, placing them in my arms.

I fumble, trying not to drop them since I’m holding my tea in my left hand. My right hand has officially gone numb from my heavy purse hanging from it, cutting off the circulation.

“Noon, sir?” My mouth falls open.

“Did I stutter?” he asks, looking down at me with narrowed eyes.

My jaw tightens. He’s such a wealthy, successful prick! I’m his seventh assistant in the past five months. I heard that Marcy, the one before me, only lasted three hours before she ran out crying and already dialing her therapist number.

“I will have these done for you.”

He pulls his cell out of his pocket and sends a quick text. I blow a few loose strands from my face as I try to juggle everything. If I didn’t need this job so much, I would tell him to go to hell and quit. I needed a job and went through a temp agency. As my luck would have it, I got him as a boss. “You have court in an hour, sir—”

“I’m on my way,” he says again, interrupting me as he often does. “Call Louise and let him know I’m ready.” I nod as he passes me. I get a whiff of his cologne, and I inhale it. He smells so good too. Damn, the man smells delicious. Why are all the hot guys such asses? “And Miss Burns?”

“Yes, Mr. Kyle?” I ask, spinning around too fast to face him at the door, and causing the top papers to slide off the stack in my arms while my hair whips me in the face.

He stares at the papers now scattered on his rug for a few seconds and then back at me.

He’s not gonna help me pick them up.

I try to blow away the hairs sticking to my lip gloss, but it doesn’t work. “Pull your hair up. And find a pair of pumps. We have a dress code for a reason. And not to mention, it looks unprofessional.” Then he walks out.

I walk out behind him and make my way down to my office. I drop off the papers, my tea, and quickly call Louise, his driver. I drop my purse on top of my desk before going back to retrieve the rest of the papers scattered on his office floor. I sit down back in my office and open the envelopes sitting on my desk


“Mr. Kyle. Your brother is on line one …”

“Tell him to call my cell,” I say to Millie, the receptionist at the front desk. “I’m on my way to the courthouse.” She nods and sits back down.

“Hey, Aiden?” Harris, a partner here at the firm and my father’s best friend, calls to me when he spots me walking toward the elevator.

I raise my hand. “Can’t talk right now, Harris.” He frowns but doesn’t try to continue the conversation.

My cell rings in the pocket of my suit jacket, and I answer when I see it’s Asher, my twin brother. “What?” I ask in greeting.

“Where are you?” he demands.

“The office.”

“What the fuck, Aiden? We have court …”

“I know.” I catch sight of Miss Burns walking down the hall from her office to the front desk. Her hands now clear of all the papers I had handed her.

“Good morning, Millie,” she says with a big smile on her face, then like a fucking tease, she leans over the side of the desk. Her white pencil skirt isn’t slutty, by any means, but it shows off everything I want to see. The slit up the back showcases her lean legs covered in sheer black material, and I’ve wondered ever since she started if they’re thigh high or pantyhose.

“Good morning, Hadley. What may I do for you?” Millie asks her.

“I need a hair tie. Do you have one by any chance?” she asks, biting her bottom lip nervously. She knows I’ll be pissed if her hair isn’t up when I arrive back at the office. And the sad part is that I love it down. She always wears it up in a nice tight bun, but right now, her blond hair is down and flows over her back. It honestly looks like she just rolled out of bed with that freshly fucked look. My jaw tightens at the fact that a man was with her last night while I only got to dream about her.

“Yes, ma’am, I do,” she says, picking her purse up off the floor.

“Oh, Millie, you’re a lifesaver,” she says, wearing that big smile on her face.

And then as if she feels my eyes on her, she turns her head to the left, and her eyes meet mine. That big smile drops off her face, her beautiful blue eyes narrow, and she straightens herself. My eyes sweep over the way her skirt hugs her round ass and thin waist. She now wears a pair of black pumps with a silver heel, and I have images of that being the only thing she wears while she bends over my desk.

“Aiden?” I hear my brother’s voice on the other end, but I ignore it, continuing to look at her shamelessly.

“Here you go,” Millie says, holding up what she had asked for.

She finally pulls her eyes away from me and gives her a warm smile like they’re best fucking friends. “Thank you.” And then she turns, giving me her back, and walks off, shaking her ass back and forth before slamming her office door shut.

Fuck, I’ve got to find a way to wipe that bitch look off her face.

“Aiden?” my brother snaps again.

“I’ll be there in thirty,” I growl, and then hang up the phone just as the elevator doors slide open. I pocket my cell and get in, knowing that when I get back, she better be ready—I’m gonna chew her ass off ’cause I know she won’t have those papers done in time. It’s impossible.

I know I’m a prick. You don’t go through as many employees as I have ’cause you’re a nice guy. I’m strict, and I like things in order. People are sloppy and only do shit when it is convenient for them, but she’s different. She’s a great secretary, always doing what I demand of her, but her downfall is her looks. I know that isn’t her fault, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I’ve had a hard-on for her since the first day I saw her.


I storm out of my office and up to Millie’s desk. Slamming the papers down on the black wood, I demand, “What happened to Marcy? She isn’t answering my phone calls.”

She looks up at me, straightening her oversized red-rimmed glasses but still squints. I swear she’s as blind as a bat. The woman is in her fifties, and sometimes also hard of hearing. “She quit …”

“When?” I snap.

“Last week.”

How did I miss that? It’s Wednesday.

I run a hand through my hair and let out a long breath. “Well, get me a replacement …”

“I have, sir. The agency has sent someone new. Hadley Burns. She arrived today.” She smiles, nodding her head to me as if convincing me this one will be any different. Doubtful. “She’s in her office …”

Finished with this conversation, I pick up my papers and head toward the end of the hall where I know Marcy had been previously.

I shove the door open without even knocking, and a petite blonde stands with her back to me, bent over her desk.

“Shit!” she hisses to herself, unaware that I just entered the office.

I open my mouth to say something but stop myself when she bends over even further, pressing her ass out, and my brows rise.

She starts yanking Kleenex out of a box in front of her and then begins to pat down her desk. “So stupid …”

I look down at her black high heels that are a little too tall for the office. They look like the kind I’d have a woman wear to bed for me. Heels tall enough for me to wrap my fists around as I hold them above her head. My eyes run up her thin legs to her round ass. The dark gray dress has a small slit up the back—very professional—but I hate that it hides so much from me. The room smells of cherries, and it has me taking a deep breath.

“What was I thinking …?” She continues to chastise herself as my eyes refuse to look away from her ass.

My cock hardens when her ass shakes back and forth, and I adjust my slacks. I clear my throat, unable to stand here and watch her bend over in front of me anymore.

She stands upright and spins around. Beautiful blue eyes as big as saucers meet mine. Pretty plump lips painted dark pink part. “I’m sorry …”

My cock presses against my suddenly tight slacks.

“Mr. Kyle,” I inform her.

She clears her throat, and her eyes dart to her door behind me. “Mr. Kyle … I’m so sorry,” she says in a rush. “I spilled my coffee everywhere …” She gestures down at the top of her dress, and the gray material is even darker due to the liquid covering it. She starts to wipe it frantically, and my already hard cock throbs when I notice just how big her tits are under the material. It’s not low cut by any means, but nothing can hide those monsters. I’ve always been a breast man, and dear God, hers look the perfect size.

“Miss Burns!” I snap when she continues to rub her tits with the napkin.

“I apologize.”

“I need these to be logged,” I say, lifting the papers in my right hand, needing out of this damn office. This can’t be happening. She can’t work for me.

Her eyes lift to meet mine. “Absolutely.”

I almost roll my eyes at her eagerness. I give her one week, and she’ll be running out of here like the rest of them before her.

Turning, she grabs a box I just notice off her desk. She opens it and smiles brightly. “I stopped and got donuts for the office.”

I just give her a blank expression. “I don’t eat donuts.”

“Oh.” Her smile falls.

“I would like a hot tea from Tea Time along with a scone from Margaret’s. I have a ten o’clock meeting with my brother that you will need to attend and take notes for me ...” I pause as she just looks at me wide-eyed with those pretty pink lips parted. “Are you going to write this down?” I ask. She spins around, bending over her fucking desk once again, and sets the box of donuts down to locate something to write with. She knocks over a cup that holds the pens, and she curses herself once more as she leans over farther, kicking her right foot up to reach for a pen before it rolls off the desk. A growl forms deep in my throat as the gray material stretches against her ass. And I can’t help but notice she has no underwear line. She’s either wearing a thong or nothing at all. My eyes drop to the bottom of her skirt, and I imagine grabbing that slit and ripping it apart.

“Okay,” she says, standing and turning to face me. Immediately, she starts to scribble stuff down on a notebook pad. “Tea from Tea Time, scone from Margie’s…”


“And a meeting with your brother at ten. Anything else?” She looks up at me with a big nervous smile on her face, and all I can think about is her bending over again. Or shoving her to her knees and her smiling up at me for another reason.

“Yes.” I gesture to the mess that still covers her desk. “Clean that up, Miss Burns. I expect you to keep your work area tidy.” Then I turn around and walk out the door, slamming it behind me.


Every day, she wears these outfits that make my head spin and cock hard. She always has this smile on her face. The one she gave me in her office that first day didn’t last long. By the second week, she got tired of pretending to be nice. She realized I was a heartless prick, and I realized I couldn’t fuck her ’cause she was good at her job. It’s gone downhill ever since.

I wanna see her lying on my bed as she begs me to fuck her. Voice rough and pussy soaked. I wanna hear her moan my name. I wanna know what it would feel like to kiss her thighs. To fuck her tits. I fucking want her in every imaginable way, and it’s put me in a bad fucking mood. Not like I needed help with that.

I know it’s not her fault. It’s mine. I don’t know what it is about her that drives me so insane. Why her?

That pisses me off to the point I want to punch a wall. But I can’t change my attitude no matter how hard I try.

I make her work late hours and get here earlier than anyone else—well, when she’s not late—and she does it without argument. Like a fucking little slave. If she wants to be so accommodating, I can think of several other ways she can serve me. But I don’t want her to quit and sue me for sexual harassment.

I actually laugh out loud at that thought. The man next to me in the elevator looks over at me with concern. “Funny joke,” I say, pointing at my head. Her try to sue me? I laugh again. I’m an attorney. A criminal defense attorney but an attorney nonetheless. She could try to take me to court, but she wouldn’t get far.

But that’s all hypothetical ’cause I’m gonna wait it out. She’ll quit eventually. She has to.


Two hours later, I’m walking out of the courtroom when I see a man who my brother, Asher, and I graduated with. Some would even say he’s my friend.

“Hey, Trent.” I reach out and shake his hand. “How are things going?”

“Good. Really good,” he says, then laughs nervously. I frown. He looks at Asher as he walks out of the courtroom behind me and joins us. “Do you have a moment?” His eyes move back to mine. “I would like to speak to you privately.”

I nod. “Of course.”

My brother slaps me on the back. “I’ll see you back at the office.”

“There’s a coffee shop next door—”

“That would be great,” he interrupts me.

We make our way outside and next door. After placing our orders, we sit at a small table.

“What’s on your mind, Trent?” I ask, taking a sip of my coffee and leaning back in my chair. My body relaxes now that I’m out of the office and away from Hadley.

He fixes his already straight tie. “I, uh …” He lets out a long breath. “When was the last time you spoke to Evelyn?” he asks.

My frown deepens. He knows I talk to her all the time. She’s the only woman in my life who is a constant. “This morning. She was taking Olivia to school.”

He nods. I place my forearms on the table and lean forward. “Is everything okay with the two of you? Did something happen …?”

“No, no, no. Nothing like that.” He waves a hand in the air, but I don’t believe him. “It’s just. I wanna … God, I didn’t think this would be that hard to say.” He lets out a long breath. “I wanna take our relationship to the next level.”

I arch a brow. “What do you mean next level? What’s left? You guys live together.” He and his girlfriend have been living together for eight years now.

He lifts his hands and rubs them together nervously before reaching into the inside pocket of his suit jacket. He pulls out a white velvet box, and my eyes widen in surprise when he opens it. “I wanna marry her.”

I stare down at the yellow oval diamond before my eyes meet his again. “I’m ready, Aiden. I’m ready to start a family. Well, we have Olivia, but I want more. You know?”

I slowly lean back in my chair as I rub a hand over my unshaven face. More? I’ve never wanted more with a woman. Not by choice anyway. But Trent and Evelyn have been together for almost nine years, so I can see where they feel it’s time to take that next step. “How does she feel about this?” I ask.

He closes the box and places it back in his suit pocket. “I haven’t told her. I want it to be a surprise.”

“She hates surprises,” I remind him.

“I know.” He sighs heavily. “But I want to do it right. I want to propose …”

“What aren’t you telling me, Trent?” There’s more to this story. Why push for marriage all of a sudden?

His shoulders slump. “We got into a huge fight last night.”

Here we go. “Over what?” I knew he had been lying. What surprises me is that she didn’t mention it this morning when I spoke to her.

“Over us. Our life. Or lack thereof. I want all of her. I want her to have my last name.” My chest tightens at his words. “More of my children. She told me that wasn’t a possibility. And that I knew that from the beginning. I argued that things have changed now, and that we are adults,” he says frustrated. “She told me to get the hell out. When she woke this morning and found me in the spare room, she came in there, still pissed and asked me why I stayed, ready to throw my ass out on the front lawn. I told her that I’ve reminded her over and over that I’m not going anywhere. And that I was gonna continue to prove it.”

“So you went and bought a ring today?” I ask, trying to figure out where this is coming from. I’m just not getting it. Evelyn is right; he knew she wasn’t able to give him more.

“No. I bought this ring three years ago, Aiden.” I blow out a long breath. “I’m ready,” he says, pointing at his chest. “But I can’t do it without your help.”

I’m not the kind of man who falls in love, but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in it. And I believe that everyone has a soul mate, and I have no doubt that Trent is Evelyn’s. And he’s such a great father to Olivia. They’re lucky girls to have him in their life.

I nod. “I’ll talk to her.”

“Really?” he asks excitedly. “When?”

“Today,” I answer, already pulling out my phone.



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