Craving My BossBy: Tasha Fawkes
“Hey, Sheila.” I stick my head into her office, and she jolts slightly at my appearance.
“Surprised to see you here,” she says and leans back in her seat. “Dennis told me you had a pretty nasty accident earlier today. He sent you to the ER, right?”
“Yeah.” I fight the urge to roll my eyes at the mere mention of Dennis’s name. “But I’m all put together again, and I’ve got the evening off, so I thought–?”
“If you think I’m going to let you out there on a Friday night with your hand sliced and diced, you’ve got another thing coming.” Sheila gets to her feet and steps toward me. “Come on. Go home, get some rest. Get that cute and sexy boyfriend of yours to look after you.”
I try to hide the look of disappointment on my face. “Sure,” I mumble, not ready to share the news of our breakup with anyone. I sidle back into the bar, scanning the place. Time to change my luck. I’ve had a creep coming on to me, an accident that sent me to the emergency room, and a breakup with my boyfriend of two years, all in one day. As my old daddy always says – when life hands you lemons, make whiskey sour.
I push my way through to the bar and lean on the counter, catching Tina’s eye. She quickly heads my way and deftly pours a shot into a small glass, shoving it toward me.
“This will help. How’s your hand?” She frowns sympathetically.
“They just dumped some of that glue stuff in it. It’s nothing, really.” I offer her my best fake smile and reach for the drink with my bad hand – wincing. I withdraw it and use the other to toss back the shot.
“Be careful. You’ll tear it open. I’ve got to serve that group over there,” Tina nods to a table at the other side of the bar, “but I’ll catch you soon, yeah?”
I watch her leave and fight the urge to reach over the bar and pour myself another shot. One thing is certain, after this long fucked-upped day, all I want to do is get wasted.
“Are you okay?”
I jump as a soft hand lands on my shoulder. I turn and see the woman who defended me earlier. I give her a smile. “Yeah, thanks. I really appreciate you stepping up for me.”
She holds out a hand. “I’m Aria,” she says as she takes a seat beside me.
I’m grateful that my wound is on my left hand as we shake. “Daniela.”
“Are you sure you’re okay,” she asks, eyeing me closely. “You seem…upset.”
I’m not sure why, but I feel tears prick the back of my eyes. I blink hard, willing them away.
Aria squeezes my fingers. “Oh, honey, want to talk about it?”
I look into her eyes and realize I do. Maybe talking to a stranger will be easier than with a friend.
As I spill my story, Aria orders us both a straight whiskey.
“I didn’t even know he was bi,” I complain and take a sip.
She winks at me. “Nothing wrong with that,” she says with a laugh.
I laugh too and the stress of the day seems to float away. Maybe it’s the effects of the whiskey, but I think it’s more that I’m able to get all this burden off my chest.
“Thanks for listening to all that,” I tell her and raise my glass in a silent toast.
She clinks her glass to mine. “Anytime. And speaking of anytime, how about this weekend?”
I look at her curiously. “What do you mean?”
She leans closer. “My aunt has this amazing house down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I’m heading down there this weekend for a party but I hate traveling alone. You should come with me. Plenty of hot and sexy guys. Nothing like getting your mind off a guy than a quick fling with another guy.”
I smile. “That sounds incredible, but right now, I can’t even afford a McDonalds happy meal, much less a plane ticket.”
“Oh, honey.” Aria laughs. “You’ll be so glad you met me. I’ve got like two million flying miles saved up. We’ll get you a ticket.”
I look up from the amber liquid I’d been staring at and meet Aria’s eyes. “Seriously?”
Aria nods. “Seriously.”
It’s tempting. Florida does sound better than Chicago any day of the week.
“Come on,” Aria says as I hesitate. “The ocean. Hot guys. Free getaway with a new friend. How can you say no to all that?”