Since graduation, my life has been a little different from my best friend Jase’s.
We catch up every time he’s able to. Now he works full-time in accounts at his Dad’s construction firm.
I’m the most overqualified, unemployed girl from our class, with everyone but me somehow landing work once they earn their degree.
And on my twentieth birthday, I’m waiting for Dad to get home from job number three so Jase can take us all out to dinner.
The only one of us who can afford it.
But he has a birthday surprise.
A job interview at his Dad’s firm sounds excellent, but it’s a little bit of a double-edged sword.
I’d have Jase as my boss, for one. Of course, that would mean spending more time with my best friend.
It would also mean he’s my boss. Something I know he’d remind me of every five minutes.
But the real problem isn’t Jase. It’s his Dad. The Forbidden man.
See, my Dad couldn’t make it on time on the day of graduation, and neither did Jase’s father. Meaning I only caught a glimpse of his Dad as I was leaving.
But that was months ago, and I still haven’t shaken off the feeling it left me with.
I push down those kinds of feelings every time I think about it because it’s just too weird.
But I still think about it. A lot.
An older, handsome and successful man like Jase’s Dad with a younger, heavy-set younger girl like me?
As I said, it’s weird. A totally unrealistic fantasy, but I can’t deny how I feel.
Telling myself, it’s just that, a fantasy. That I can’t fall for an older man I don’t even know.
Especially one I’ve only ever seen from afar and for just a second.
It’s how I’ve always felt since that day, so when the interview is with Jase’s Dad, I’m nervous about meeting him. I’m walking into something that’s either gonna solve all my problems or give me a fresh set of new ones.
And lucky for me, a problem shared is a problem halved.
I think my new boss’s Dad has a not-so-soft spot for me when I accidentally fall right into his lap.
But before either of us can help it, I run like a fool.
Scared of just how intense my feelings are.
But even more scared of the life I’d have to live if I never went back.
What if my boss’s Dad doesn’t claim what we both know is rightfully his?
Giving Jase a shot as the head of accounts with Hart Construction is what he’s always wanted.
He’s a sharp kid, and although he’s not my son by birth, I only see results when I look at him.
I’m prouder of him than anything else, and raising him on my own without his mom means that he shares my values.
Family and company values make Hart Construction as big as it is today.
But I’ve longed for a real family, kids of my own. Always have.
I love Jase as I would my own son, but when he suggests we interview his best friend, Vanessa, from college, I’m kicking myself. I didn’t think of it earlier myself.
She’s the reason I don’t sleep much anymore. The reason I’m thinking about kids and a forever wife every time I think of her.
Which lately has been about ten times a minute, no thanks to the picture of her and Jase, which seems to haunt me in a good way every time I see it.
And every night after.
He’ll be her boss, which is fine by me.
Because she’s already hired in my mind. Once I tell him it’ll be me doing the interviewing.
And it’ll be me making sure that she never works a day in her life.
The life I’ve always dreamed of sharing with someone else is so clear to me once I lay eyes on her up close.
Once she falls right into my lap.
Or has she?
Panicked by what I know feels oh so right on so many levels, she runs out on me before we even get to her first lessons in dictation.