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Authors: Lyla Bellatas

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Deeper (The Real Fling)

BOOK: Deeper (The Real Fling)
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DEEPER

the Real Fling series

BY

LYLA BELLATAS

Copyright © 2016 Lyla Bellatas

Kindle Edition

Cover Photo Lenetstan /
Shutterstock.com

Cover Design Janine Ajamian SPA Digital Images, New York, New York

Published by Lyla Bellatas

www.LylaBellatas.com

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

 

 

 

Thank you to my family for their love and support. You guys made me who I am.

To my husband and our daughter, my heart beats for you both. You are my soul.

DS, my teacher, mentor, muse, you are family. Thank you would never be enough.

I love you all. Always.

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

About the Real Fling series

About the Author

Chapter 1


“I’m fired?” Adriana removed her
fleece headband, and dropped it on the snow-covered picnic table on top of her gloves. “That’s what the email says?”

With her lungs begging for more oxygen, she gulped air, but the altitude at Vail’s summit had to be more than two miles high and offered little relief. Still, being outside was better than the stuffy ski shack they’d just walked through.

“Downsized, not fired.” Jackie dipped her lettuce into the tiniest amount of salad dressing and popped it in her mouth.

“I don’t understand. I thought the bosses liked me.” Dizzy and nauseated, Adriana pushed her chowder away. “You said it was a done deal.”

Jackie stopped scoping the crowd long enough to turn sideways toward Adriana. “Look, I thought your promotion was in the bag, but I guess they had other ideas for this reorg.”

“Shit. So you’re getting promoted, and I’m out?” If it weren’t for the snow muffling the sound of everything, Adriana was sure the heavy thumps of her heart would be booming back and forth off the mountains in resounding echoes. A new apartment, no money and now no job.
What am I going to do?

Jackie bobbed her head left and right. “It is what it is.”

No it’s not.
Adriana straightened her spine and flashed Jackie her happiest expression. “Call them. Susan loves you. So does David, and I’m sure you’ve got connections with the other directors. If anyone can get them to see how good I’d be in brand marketing, it’s you.”

“It doesn’t work that way.”

“Sure it does. I’ve seen you work your magic when you want something. No one can turn you down. Come on, Jackie. I’d do it for you.” The flurries were so heavy the evergreens surrounding them were bowing under their weight, and Adriana could barely get a glimpse of the neighboring mountain tops around them.

Jackie patted Adriana’s arm and moved closer to her on the bench. “Face it, Ade, not everyone is cut out for brand marketing.” She bit into a cherry tomato with a huge snowflake on it and resumed checking out the crowd.

With shaky hands, Adriana touched her burning cheeks, hoping her blush didn’t show. “I could’ve handled it.”

“Ade, it will all work out in the end.” Jackie’s usually light and sweet voice had a surly edge.

A roar of baritone laughter from behind them startled Adriana. Jackie’s head whipped to the right so fast it should have rolled off her shoulders and down Vail Mountain.

“Holy shit, check out that guy. I swear he’s on the Olympic team. I heard they practice up here. Fuck, he’s got the biggest hands I’ve ever seen.” Jackie jabbed her bony elbow into Adriana’s side. “I told you this was the hot spot.”

The crowd parted, giving Adriana a perfect glimpse of him. Tall, blond and built, he turned toward them as he walked by and nodded at Adriana, his dazzling baby blues gleaming at her.

“Nice eyes,” Adriana acquiesced.

“Eyes? Check out his legs.” Jackie slapped the table.

Adriana shuddered, clenching her fists.
I’m fired and she’s more interested in hooking up.
She wanted to shake the shit out of Jackie, but what good would that do? “I thought you had my back?”

Jackie put her arm around Adriana, but Jackie’s attention was on the guys. “Of course I do. There wasn’t anything I could do about this.”

Adriana tried not to stiffen, but right now she wanted to be as far away from Jackie as possible. “Fine, then I’ll call Susan. She’ll help me with the other directors and David. She’s always liked me.” Adriana retrieved her phone.

“You can’t call my boss.” Jackie’s hands balled up in tiny fists.

“Actually there are a lot of people I can call. I’ve made an impression on more than a few of the top people.”

“Don’t.” Jackie’s rosacea went neon, as she rested her hand on Adriana’s arm. “The reorg isn’t public knowledge yet. If it gets out that I found out about it and told you, I’ll be in huge trouble.”

Adriana twisted her mouth impatiently. “That’s all you care about? I’m losing my job! I just moved into a new apartment, signed a two-year lease. I can’t get fired. Can. Not. Get. Fired.” She hit the table with her fist.

Jackie put her arm around Adriana. “Please, Ade. Drop it for now. We’re on vacation. Let’s make the most of this trip.” She lowered her voice to a sugary whisper. “Don’t contact anyone. When we get back to New York I’ll help you find a job, I promise. With my connections, you’ll be in a new position faster than it would take to get down this mountain.”

Jackie did have a big network.

“A better position than you had.” Jackie sipped her soda. “In fact, one of the top recruiters around called right before we left about a killer job with one of our competitors. He didn’t name names, but I’m sure it’s great. He’s always got the best placements. I left it open with him since I wasn’t sure how the reorg was going to net out, but I’ll get you with him.”

“Email him now.”

“We’re on vacation.”

“Then give me his info and I will.”

“I don’t have his number with me. I’ll call him on Monday when we’re back.”

Exhaling raggedly, Adriana pocketed her phone. “So I’ve gotta go to work on Monday, as if nothing’s wrong, and wait until the axe falls on my neck?” She karate chopped the table. “That’s fucked up,” she croaked.

“Don’t be so dramatic. Trust me, I’ll take care of you. Now let’s enjoy the view. Look at all of them. They’re serious skiers.” There were eight men and three women sitting around the table. All wore white and red ski jackets with a bunch of patches on them, except for the blond with the nice eyes, who sported a purple jacket with a red stripe down the sleeve and leg.

Dramatic? Is she kidding?
How was Jackie going to help? All she cared about was herself.

Adriana groped for something to believe in.
No,
Jackie was her friend. Sure she had selfish tendencies, but it was enviable the way she went after what she wanted. Jackie was the first person Adriana met at the company three years ago and she’d always made it a point to include Adriana in everything from big concept meetings with the VPs to social activities with the upwardly mobile. It was Jackie who got Adriana on the invite list for some of the coolest parties in the city and she always introduced Adriana to everyone.

“I’ve gotta get some of that. Come on, those guys know where all the best parties are. Hell, they are the party.” Jackie rubbed her hands together.

Yeah, they were handsome enough, but their attraction was about more than looks. They had the shimmer of royalty. Flirting like they knew they’d won just by being present.

Women circled the table like pigeons scrounging for scraps in Saint Mark’s Square. They kept trying to engage the blond, but he was in his own world. The other guys gladly picked up his slack. Seemingly oblivious, the blond took off his jacket. Everyone was bundled up, and this guy had no hat, no sweater, just a thin indigo turtleneck.
Isn’t he cold?
He took out a wineskin and squirted alcohol into his mouth. The sparkle she’d noticed when he first looked at her was gone as he stared into the woods.

Adriana relaxed her shoulders.
He looks like I feel.
There wasn’t enough booze in the world to fix this. “I wanna go home.” Adriana stood up. Tears burned her throat.

Jackie sat up straighter. “Back to the condo? No way. I’m getting us dates tonight.”

Adriana threw her lunch into the nearby garbage can. “I don’t want a date. I want to go back to New York.”

Jackie tugged on Adriana’s arm. “You can’t. Come on. I told you I’d help you get a job, but first let’s get hooked up. You’re always complaining about your nonexistent love life. Look at those guys sitting there waiting for us.”

Laughter rang loudly from the group. Adriana bristled. “They’re not waiting for us.”

“Oh yes they are, they just don’t know it yet.” Giggling, Jackie yanked Adriana back into her seat. “Besides, you can’t change your ticket, I got them using a ton of miles. They’re nonrefundable and nontransferable. Do you know how expensive a last-minute, one-way ticket back to New York’s gonna be?” Jackie whistled.

Adriana swiped back a lock of her hair that had blown across her eyes. Her insides were roiling.
I can’t ask my parents for more money. I just can’t.

“Whoa.” Jackie squeezed Adriana’s leg. “Look at the dark-haired one, on the end. Watch this.” Flipping her blonde hair off to the side, Jackie got Dark Hair’s attention by locking eyes with him while running her forefinger across her bottom lip. She licked her finger and slightly open lips with the tip of her tongue. She didn’t do it more than a few seconds, but that was all it took.

Watching her, his brow arched, as a smile played across his features. Jackie lowered her head, and then looked up at him before turning away. “Wait for it,” she whispered to Adriana. Dark Hair was trying to get up, but there were people in his way.

Adriana had to admit, Jackie was fearless and unfettered. “You’re fearless. Once you set your mind on something, nothing stands in your way.”

Jackie licked her soda straw. “Stick with me.”

Adriana hated being at someone’s mercy. She didn’t want to rely on Jackie or anyone for that matter. She wanted to do it on her own.

“He’s waving me over.” Jackie dropped her chin, letting her blonde hair curtain her face. “Can’t give in to him that easily.” She drew on her straw while studying him through her pale lashes.

Adriana shifted uncomfortably and covered her mouth to hide her words. “You’re going to make him come right there.”

“What fun would that be?” Jackie got up. “Let’s go.”

“You go. He wants you, not me.” Adriana stared away.

“I’ll see if he’s got a friend.” Jackie sauntered her petite self over to their table and despite her protests, Dark Hair hauled her into his lap.

“Those guys won’t help me,” Adriana murmured to herself. “Empty calories. I want the real thing. Not a one-night stand.” She glanced at the blond guy again. She wanted to know everything about him. Catching her staring, he canted his head, eyes blazing, as if he wanted the same from her. Adriana half smiled and turned away.
First I need the job then the guy.

Before Adriana knew it, Jackie and Dark Hair were up and getting their skis on. “Come on, Ade,” Jackie called out as they skied between the evergreens and disappeared.

BOOK: Deeper (The Real Fling)
11.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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