I feel something akin to sadness at his news, which is odd. I’m not a man who easily forms personal attachments. It’s a product of my upbringing. I was raised by a nanny, not by my parents. My sister is eight years older, so we led separate lives from the start. I went to an affluent, obnoxiously snobbish boarding school with other like-minded kids who were also raised by nannies and had no concept of what it meant to develop deep friendships.
“I do believe I’m going to miss you,” I admit. Granted, our time hanging out was exclusively limited to The Wicked Horse, but after our fuck sessions ended, we’d spend hours nursing glasses of bourbon or scotch while we talked. We developed a friendship during our conversations, which is why I never hesitated to help him out when his son got sick. I let him borrow one of my private planes to pick up his newfound son, then bring him to Vegas for cancer treatments.
“I’ll miss you, too,” he says with a fond smile. “Not the club, per se. Those days are behind me, but the memories of our adventures will always be well regarded.”
“Indeed,” I murmur, mind immediately going to my last adventure there. With Bailey.
“So how has it been at the club?” August asks conversationally. “Managing to survive there without me?”
Still adrift in my memories of Bailey, I end up admitting, “Actually… I haven’t been in over a week.”
August laughs, clapping me on the back. “Are you sick or something?”
It hits me then… August could be a great sounding board about my problem with Bailey. He recently went through a similar situation. He’d gotten involved with a woman when he’d thought doing so wasn’t a good idea.
Never before have I shared anything personal with anyone. I’ve always chosen to handle my problems on my own. But August is a friend of sorts, and there’s no shame in having girl problems, right?
“There’s a girl,” I say, and August blinks in surprise. He knows I’m a firmly entrenched bachelor who hates the idea of monogamy.
I explain about Bailey, starting at the moment in my suite when she caught my attention with yeah… first her body, then her intellect… all the way to when she ambushed me in my office, demanding her job back.
“And so you hired her back?” August asks. He’s so intrigued he’s leaning forward, listening in rapt attention.
“Technically, I never got around to putting in the termination paperwork, but yeah… she’s still my assistant.”
“And you two… are back to being professional again?” he guesses.
“Yup,” I clip out.
August tips his head back and laughs, a deep booming sound. When he gives me his regard again, he chuckles. “I see what’s going on. You don’t want to just be professional. You want more with her, and you don’t know how to go about having it.”
“I don’t want a goddamn relationship,” I growl, annoyed at his keen observations. “I just want to fuck her again. Preferably at the club, so there’s no mistaking this is anything more than sex.”
“So tell her that,” he says with a shrug.
Is it just that simple?
But doesn’t it go against everything I stand for, and, more importantly, contradict the firm line I laid down between us? What kind of respect would she have for me as an employer if I go back on that?
Instead, I offer up an excuse for why that might not be the best idea. “In most businesses, me telling her that I want to fuck her in a sex club would be a solid foundation for a sexual harassment lawsuit.”
August’s expression turns somber, and he nods. “That’s a consideration, for sure. But I guess it really depends on whether she wants the same thing. If she does, then she’s not going to be offended by you suggesting it.”
“And therein lies the problem,” I mutter. “How does she feel about it?”
“I feel the need to point out,” August continues, holding his beer up to take a sip but wanting to make the point first. “You could totally just lay it out to her and ask her how she feels. People have conversations all the time.”
I roll my eyes, which is not something the heir to a multi-billion-dollar fortune does often. But August isn’t wrong. It’s the easiest way to determine what Bailey wants.
Stepping out of my parents’ house, I consider my next move. It’s either to the grocery store, as I have nothing at home to eat but cereal, and I’ve eaten that for the past three days. Or I can order takeout using GrubHub, which is a luxury I couldn’t have afforded before my promotion in the Blackwood corporation.
But I deserve it. I work hard for the money I’m making, I rarely eat good food consistently, and it’s not like I’m considering ordering a burger or pizza. No… I’d go with a salad or maybe a turkey wrap. It’s way more convenient than going to a grocery store, where I’m more apt to get lured down the snack section where I’d load up on Little Debbie cakes.