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Hard For My Best Friend's Sister(2)

By:Ava Jackson

The skirt, on the other hand, was a cheap knock off from a department store. The goal was for the jacket to distract so thoroughly that no one noticed how cheap the rest of the outfit was.

I wasn’t convinced it was working. The stitching on the skirt looked cheap next to the jacket, not to mention the pinstripes on the skirt made my ass look huge. Well, huger than it already was.

I cringed. I tried not to think about my weight most of the time. It was counterproductive to not getting stressed out. Besides, weight only mattered when there was someone to notice. It had been a while since anyone had noticed me for anything other than my brain.

I hadn’t had much time for dating in years, and I didn’t have the kind of looks that made men throw themselves at me. Or maybe I just hadn’t seen any men worth catching.

I’d risen hard and fast through the corporate ranks, and no one had ever accused me of sleeping my way up. I wasn’t bad looking, but I also wasn’t most men’s type. I was more likely to be called a bitch or a ball breaker than a sex kitten.

I combed my fingers through my hair then turned away from the mirror. I needed to leave right now in order to be only slightly late, as planned. I’d learned that it was important to make sure other people were waiting on me, and not the other way around. I was never late enough to make anyone angry, but I was never early or on time. That would make me look eager. It would give the other person all the power. Being slightly late was my favorite way of emphasizing that the meeting wasn’t the most important thing in the world to me, even if it was.

I finally convinced my feet to move and my heels clicked on the floor as I headed out of the bathroom and to the elevator. Most of the people who worked in this building had already left for the day around five o’clock, and it was now inching past six. Oh, the joys of ambition and working more hours than everyone else to prove how dedicated I was.

I deserved this promotion. I worked hard to close this deal and when I reached that negotiating table I was going to have the other side begging to make a deal with me.

The pep talk boosted my confidence a little, but I was still nervous. I ran over my prepared speech in my mind as I stepped out onto the eleventh floor where the conference rooms were. I’d gone over the entire floor plan of the building before I’d flown here. Now that I was here I had to admit it wasn’t that useful to know where all the janitor’s closest were, but I was glad I had no fear of getting lost in this huge building.

We were meeting in room E, which was easily the nicest room on the floor. The room was marked on the map as “senior partners only,” but I was getting to use it for this meeting today, which showed how much trust they were putting in me. My belly fluttered with nerves.

I paused for a moment with my hand on the door handle and drew in a breath. I was glad that the conference room walls were made out of nearly black tinted glass for privacy instead of the usual clear glass that was so common elsewhere. The conference floor was still well lit, but clients wanted to feel like their business was confidential so the management arranged to keep the place feeling as private as possible.

I swung open the door and strode in with confidence I normally felt, but was actually lacking in at the moment. “Hello.” I flashed my photogenic smile. “I’m—”

Then I saw him.

Holy shit.

How was this possible?

There was no way in hell the world was this small.

It defied probable odds.

But there he sat, and I couldn’t argue with what was right in front of me.

The lawyer representing the client with the very profitable business venture was none other than Cameron Richmond.

The man who’d crushed my very young and very, very stupid heart. The man I’d skillfully—and successfully—avoided for ten years, despite how close our families were. You know what took serious effort? Avoiding your brother’s best friend like you might catch the bubonic plague. Or pneumonia. Take your pick. Herpes? Mesothelioma?

Okay, now my brain just needed to shut the hell up. Focus, Dylan.

A realization struck me: maybe I’d done too good of a job dodging all mention of him because I’d had no idea he was going to be here. Thanks, Mom, for not mentioning this little tidbit while you were talking my ear off in my cab ride this morning.

Did he live in New York City? Shit, maybe I needed to pay more attention to Facebook.

Cameron Richmond. He still looked hot enough to melt panties at twenty paces. His eyes were such a dark blue they almost looked black, but I’d spent enough time looking at those eyes to know the difference. He’d had the longer, frat boy haircut tamed down into a business cut that looked unfairly fucking sexy on him. It was cropped close, with just enough to grab onto. Not that I’d be doing any grabbing. Geez, what was wrong with me? Hell, he looked like he’d been poured into his navy blue suit that only accentuated his intense eyes. How was it fair that ten years had passed since I’d seen him, and he was somehow even more gorgeous?