Saks drank his beer, aware of Luke eyeing him. His boss looked like he was holding something back and Saks spotted mirth in Luke’s eyes. “You got something to say?”
“You, Saks, speeding?”
“You mean the Boy Scout of bikers?”
“Happens,” Saks said. “I was trying to get back to work on time, and that’s what caused the problem.”
Luke’s eyes crinkled, and then his face registered concern. “You’ve been off your game, buddy.”
“Yeah,” Saks admitted with a sigh.
“Want to talk about it?”
“Fine.” Luke looked around the clubhouse. “Rob’s coming in this afternoon for a few hours. Show him around.”
“And where are you going to be?”
“There are some bikes I want to look at. So, you’ll be closing the shop, Mr. Manager.”
“Sure you can trust me?” Saks couldn’t believe Luke wasn’t going to drill him or give him shit. Just showed how much of a stand-up guy he was.
Luke shrugged. “Saks, it was one ticket. This is a small blip in the legal troubles of the club. If you play it right, Matt might be able to get the fine reduced like you said, or get the charge thrown out. You weren’t drinking and driving. You were being half an ass, but there’s a lot worse shit out there than passing someone on the road.”
“If it was only a speeding ticket, I'd pay it. It's the resisting charge that’s bullshit. However, it won’t be thrown out, I'm sure.”
“Let Matt do his shit. It’ll cost you, but luckily you just got a raise.” Luke tossed his coffee cup into the trashcan. “Drink up. I'll take you to your bike.”
“Okay, spill it,” Jessica demanded as she set a latte and a croissant on Chrissy’s desk. When Chrissy returned from lunch the day before, she was called into a meeting lasting all afternoon. Though Jessica waited for her, Chrissy had to run out the door to make the train back to Connecticut. So her assistant must have seethed all night, wondering about the results of Chrissy’s lunch with James Pearson.
“Spill what?” Chrissy said innocently.
“Don’t play with me, Christina Serafina,” Jessica said with a scowl. “What career opportunities did you dig up for us?”
“Really, you must stop riding my coattails,” Chrissy said evilly before she took a sip of her coffee.
“Me? If it wasn’t for me, you couldn’t keep your schedule straight or on task for your many projects.”
“All, sadly true. You did end up making me look better than I am. So much so that a rich industrialist offered me a salary of half a million dollars a year to do for him what you do for me.”
Jessica’s eyes immediately widened. “What?”
“Yup. But I turned him down.”
“Keep your voice down. People will think I’m beating you again.”
“Not that I don’t enjoy a good whipping, but are you freaking out of your mind?”
“How’s that?” Chrissy said casually. She flipped open a presentation book to scan the latest company promotional materials created by their advertising company.
“A half million? You could take me on as a personal assistant for a hundred thou a year, and I wouldn’t complain.”
“I’m sure you wouldn’t. But have you considered the tax ramifications of earning that kind of money? After federal and state withholdings, I’ll take home only half of that, and then if I pay you I’ll be left with a measly $150,000 a year. That’s only double my salary now, so it hardly seems worth the trouble of world-travel at the drop of hat, spending hours in meetings with the most powerful people in the world, and eating on the company dime at the most glamorous restaurants in the world with one very handsome and indescribably rich man. It really seems quite exhausting.”
Jessica crossed her arms across her thin cardigan sweater and glared at Chrissy. “I don’t appreciate you yanking my chain,” she said. “I’d kill for a job like that and you’re making a joke about it?”
“Trust me. I'm doing this for your own good,” Chrissy said with a sly grin.
“My own good? Girl, I’m calling up some New York psychiatrists and getting you an appointment with one of them for today. How can you pass up an opportunity like that? What are you thinking?”
Chrissy had thought about it, all night in fact. The job would be everything that James Pearson said and she might be tempted if she liked, merely liked, the guy. But she didn’t. She’d spent all her life around predators like him. Her experience told her a man like James Pearson was likely to use her up and spit her out when he was done with her.
There had to be a reason why no one assistant lasted longer than five years, and she suspected a number lasted less than that. A man with many businesses and the pressures that went with them had to be exceptionally demanding. And, as she saw at lunch, he was tactless and thoughtless with his words. She imagined him taking out the worst part of his days on her, simply because she was there.