As I’m doing that, I take the measure of the man before me while we’re in the bright lights of his office. He’s insanely tall. I bet he tops out around six-six. He’s built and the tailoring of his dress shirt is so precise I can see the shape of his biceps under the silk material. So yeah, Jerico has the body. But what makes him so striking is his face. His eyes are the first thing I notice, and I have a tough time looking away from them.

Crystal-jade green.

Amazing.

Pair that with his midnight-black hair, which includes perfectly slashed eyebrows of almost the same color and thick lashes, his eyes become hypnotizing. That hair is something to behold. It looks like he walked straight out of a fashion magazine as it is cut in various layers. It’s not too short, but not too long, and it looks like he did nothing more than run his fingers through it to style it. Finally, he wears a five o’clock shadow well. It’s dark and gives him a rough-and-tumble look, which is very contrary to the stylish way he dresses.

He gives me a curt smile as he walks out from behind his desk, and my inspection is over. I watch as he opens a closet door and pulls out three hangers, each holding a different outfit.

He holds one up to me. I immediately recognize it as the bartending outfit. For the females, it’s a black miniskirt that’s not too obscenely short—I’ve worn shorter—and a camisole that’s sexy but not too revealing.

“Here’s your bartending uniform,” he says as he hands it to me. “You brought black heels as I instructed, right?”

I nod, because it is the only thing he said I needed, so I’d grabbed one of only two pair I had. These had a modest heel of only three inches, with a pointed toe and a thin silver chain around the ankle.

Jerico holds up the second hanger, which also holds black clothing. “This is the uniform of a cleaner. I still want you in heels, though. You’re not meant to be seen but if you are, at least the heels add some sex appeal.”

The uniform looks very concealing, but very tight. Black stretchy pants with a slight shimmer and a small, extremely tight-looking black turtleneck with long sleeves. I suppose covering most of the skin in black is to camouflage the cleaners so they could be discreet when they swooped in to clean up the vinyl.

My eyes slide to the last hanger in his hand and there is a tiny scrap of flimsy silk folded over the bar. He hands it to me and says, “This is your uniform for the condiment tray. It’s brand new.”

My hand shakes as it takes the hanger from him. I swallow hard and ask, “And which job will I be performing tonight?”

Please don’t be the thong. Please don’t be the thong.

My breath comes out in a massive rush when he says, “We’re going to start you easy tonight with cleaning duty. I’m going to be the one to train you.”

My jaw drops open and my stomach flips at the thought of spending the evening with him in the midst of people having wild monkey sex. Talk about awkward and scintillating at the same time. My voice is raspy when I ask, “Why would you even bother training me?”

Jerico laughs, and there’s no mistaking the taunt in it. “Relax, Trista… It’s not because I think you’re special or anything. It’s just that you’re a temporary employee and you’re specifically working for me since I’m personally loaning you the money. I’m not going to waste any of my other staff’s time to train you when it won’t benefit the club in the long term.”

It made sense. I guess.

Jerico turns toward his office door and issues a curt, “Come. Follow me.”

“Please,” I mumble softly under my breath so he can’t hear my backhanded rebuke for not being polite. I turn around and jog to keep up with him, clutching the three hangers to my chest. From his office, we turn left. Stopping, he points to a door that says Locker Room.

“It’s unisex, but I have dressing rooms in there that are private,” Jerico says. “Go get dressed. You can put your stuff in a locker. They have programmable digital locks. I’ll wait here for you. We’ll get started after that.”

Jerico leans back casually against the wall and doesn’t give me a second glance. I watch for only a moment as he pulls his smartphone out of his breast pocket and starts working it.

Not eager in the slightest to get started, I still make myself turn and walk into the locker room, my nerves humming with nervousness and some other emotion I can’t quite put my finger on, but it’s making me feel like I’m walking on a razor’s edge.

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