Page 24 of Filthy Boss

“So, if someone shorted Wright’s stock at $97 per share, with a strike price of say $57…”

“They would see a profit of $40 per share.” Ruth was quiet for a moment. “Candice, is there something going on that you’re not telling me?”

“No, Ruth, of course not,” I said, hoping I sounded convincing. “I’m just on the team doing due diligence for the acquisition and I have to look at every angle. That’s all. Just running hypotheticals through my head.”

“Well, that’s good to hear, dear,” she said with a sigh. I could tell by her tone that she was concerned that I was into something I shouldn’t be. She drove the point home by adding, “Because anyone involved in that kind of collusion and stock manipulation could go to jail.”

“Thanks, Ruth,” I said. “That’s good to know.”


I spent the rest of Sunday finalizing my report for Monday’s wrap-up meeting with Stan and the rest of the Goldman team. The discrepancies in the old P&Ls kept nagging at my brain, but I managed to brush them aside long enough to finish the report.

The report was all sunshine and unicorns.

There was nothing there that would cause an issue with the acquisition going forward.

The red flags had been lowered, now it was full speed ahead.

I patted myself on the back for a job well done.

The one thing I couldn’t brush aside was the fact that I missed Tanner terribly. I was amazed at how close I felt to him after our brief time in Tucson. I’m not saying that I’m in love, mind you. I’m just saying that he was constantly on my mind. I hoped that I was on his mind, too.

We didn’t talk at all over the weekend, but I knew he was super busy in Atlanta. And the undefined status of our relationship prevented me from calling him every two minutes like I was dying to do. I didn’t want to frighten him away, but I didn’t want him to think that I didn’t want to hear from him either.

It was the age-old single girl dilemma.

Do I call him or wait until he calls me?

But what if he doesn’t call me?

What do I do, oh dating gods?

What do I do?

I decided that it was within modern dating etiquette to send a few short texts, adequately spaced out over the weekend so I wouldn’t sound too needy.

His responses were short and to the point.

Super busy.

In meetings.

With Henry.

Getting lap dance from stripper …

Getting blowjob in limo …

Okay, I made those last two up, but sometimes that’s where my jealous imagination ventured. I forced those thoughts out of my head and focused on work.

Tanner would call soon. I just knew it.

I’d hear his voice and know everything was all right.

I went to bed around midnight on Sunday with all my work done. The wrap-up meeting with the Goldman team was at ten the next morning.

I was going to knock their socks off.

I dropped my purse and briefcase behind my desk, then pried the lid off the cup of black coffee from the shop downstairs and fired up my computer.

Immediately, a message from Stan popped onto the screen.

Please come to my office as soon as you arrive. Stan.

I sipped the hot coffee and stared at the message for a moment. It wasn’t unusual to have inner-office messages waiting for me when I arrived, but this one popped up even before I was logged into the company network.

I slowly lowered the cup to the desk and clicked the login button on the screen. My fingers trembled as I typed in my user name and password and hit Enter.

I swallowed the lump that was in my throat as I read the words that flashed back at me from the screen.

Account Restricted. Contact System Administrator.

“What the fuck…” I typed in my user name and password again, pounding my fingers against the keys as if I thought that would do the trick. It was like hitting an elevator button over and over thinking it would get the elevator there faster.

I held my breath and hit Enter.

Account Restricted. Contact System Administrator.

I slowly withdrew my hands from the keyboard.

My fingers curled into my palms.

My heart began to race.

I struggled to keep the tears from welling in my eyes.

I knew exactly what was happening.

My god, how could I have been such a fool.

When I got to Stan’s office, his secretary escorted me to a conference room. She ushered me in and closed the door.

Stan was sitting at the conference table with his hands folded neatly in front of him. He had a nervous look on his face. He motioned for me to sit across from the table from him.

There was a sour-looking older lady sitting next to Stan.

Next to her was serious-looking man with salt and pepper hair and a Brooks Brothers suit.

I pegged them immediately.

She was from human resources and he was from legal.