I’m less than a half hour away now and I try Courtney’s phone again. This time it goes straight to voicemail. Shit!

Either her phone died or she’s turned it off, which doesn’t make any sense. She’d never read my messages and turn her phone off without replying. Fuck, this isn’t good.


Jayden offers to drive us there, and I gladly let him so I can read over emails from the office. We always have projects we’re working on, but the current one is a huge opportunity for King Marketing.

“So, have you always wanted to work in the marketing field?” I ask as we cruise down the highway.

“No, not always. I majored in business and originally wanted to focus on finance, but a professor of mine really encouraged me to go into marketing after a presentation I did. I looked into it more and decided it was something I’d probably be good at, so I changed to marketing and then decided to get my master’s degree so I could pursue working in the big leagues.”

“Sounds like you have that professor to thank for helping you to realize your full potential,” I say with a smile. “And for bringing you to King Marketing, of course. It’s nice having a pretty face to talk to every day.”

He blushes. “Are you calling me pretty?”

“No, I was referring to myself.” I burst out laughing at his expression. “I was saying it must be nice for you to have a pretty face to talk to every day.”

He rolls his eyes and shifts his eyes back to the road. “You’re a real pain in the ass sometimes, but you aren’t bad to look at, so I’ll give you that.”

“Speaking of pain in the ass, have you met Travis’ new assistant, Claire? She’s a piece of work,” I groan.

“I ran into her briefly but she looked at me and rolled her eyes before I even said hello.”

“Oh, that’s nothing. I left a message for Travis about updating the analytic software next week, and she said she’d give him his messages in order of importance and by the sound of it, mine wasn’t that important.” I raise my brows and purse my lips. “Girl is lucky I value my job or she wouldn’t be able to sit with my cowboy boot up her butt.”

He laughs and shakes his head. “I wouldn’t want to get in a fight with a Southern girl, that’s for sure.”

We talk the rest of the way, and before I know it, we’ve arrived at the Four Seasons Hotel. We walk in and are directed to the conference hall, which holds a few hundred people. I brought my laptop and notebook with just in case I need to jot down any notes or good information to bring back to work with me.

“The bar’s open and I was going to get a Coke. Want anything?” he asks as we settle into our seats at a table that’s near the middle.

“Sure, I’ll take a glass of water with a lemon, please.”

“Water with lemon?” He arches a brow. “Okay, grandma.”

“I’m not a grandma! I just don’t want a sugar high when I have to sit on my ass the next seven hours.”

“Fine, how about a Diet Coke, at least?” He flashes me one of his boyish smirks.

I sigh and give in. “Fine, but then I want some extra cherries.”

Jayden returns with our drinks and the seminar begins shortly after. I jot down notes during the PowerPoint presentation and two hours in, I start to feel sick. I quietly excuse myself to go to the bathroom to throw up, but it does nothing to relieve the sudden onset fatigue and nausea that hits me before I even make my way back to the conference room.

“Are you okay?” Jayden whispers, concern written all over his face. “You look pale.”

I shake my head and close my eyes, trying to take slow, deep breaths. “I feel really sick all of a sudden. I need to lie down somewhere.”

He looks around and we both realize there’s nowhere in here I’ll be able to just lie down without causing a scene. My stomach feels like it could roll at any moment and soon I’m feeling too dizzy to even stand.

“Hold on, I’ll be right back,” Jayden says quickly before stepping out of the conference room. My eyes begin to weigh too heavy to keep them open. Moments later, Jayden returns and tells me he got a hotel room so I could lie down and rest until this passes.

“Thanks, Jayden,” I mumble as he helps me lie down on the bed once we’re in the room. He’s been so sweet and helpful and I tell him that repeatedly until I no longer have the energy to even talk anymore.

I feel myself falling deeper into a sleep, my body feeling like it weighs a thousand pounds. My head is pounding and my arms and legs feel too numb to even move. I let sleep take me because I feel powerless to do anything else at the moment.

Tags: Kennedy Fox The Checkmate Duet Erotic
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