Teaching The Boss

By: Mallory Crowe

CHAPTER ONE





“I hate models.” April tossed her fork down and tried not to think about the calories in the maple glazed salmon that sat untouched on her plate.

“Ummm…should I not be offended right now?” asked Jessica, the striking woman who sat across from April.

“You’re not like them. You’re well rounded in a thin and glamorous way. I swear, every woman he’s ever dated is a spiteful, skinny, little…model.” Besides, April had known Jessica long before her career had taken off. No matter how different their lives were now, she would always remember Jessica as the scrawny track star from Elkton Middle School back in the Jersey suburbs. But that seemed like a lifetime ago now.

“There you go again with the model thing.”

“Sorry,” mumbled April. “It’s just that Sam is flying back from Europe in four hours and sent me a text saying he wants to take Oksana to La Plaque.”

Jessica snorted. “Good luck with that. I heard that not even Trump can get in without making a reservation two weeks in advance.”

“Well, I have something up my sleeve that Trump doesn’t. I know the manager.”

“Not surprised. You know everyone.” Jessica brought a forkful of salad to her mouth in one polished move.

April nodded. She’d probably met half the population of New York City by this point. Sam seemed to have appointments, parties, meetings, or golf outings with a new person every day. “This is different. This isn’t a Sam connection. This is a me connection. Jonathan moved over to La Plaque when it opened six months ago.”

“Jonathan? You’re kidding. Why would he help you with anything?”

“Come on. We didn’t break things off on bad terms. It’s not like I broke up with him.”

“Yeah. He’s the one who left you, so that must mean you’re best friends.”

April shook her head. “I’d fight with you, but Jonathan happens to be walking out of the Starbucks behind you right now.”

Jessica twisted around to look over her shoulder. “You little sneak. You planned our lunch around his schedule?”

April pushed her chair back. “Just a strategic restaurant choice.” Strategic in that Jonathan had always been strangely addicted to a certain latté served by the massive chain. “I’ll be right back.” She rushed past the streams of people between her and Jonathan. The late afternoon lunch crowd always flocked to the coffee shops and no-fuss delis for a quick bite around this time.

As soon as she caught up to him, she tapped his shoulder. And he ignored her. In this crowded section of the city, it took a lot more than a tap to get someone’s attention. Rather than pound him on the back, April settled on getting his focus another way. “Hey, Jonathan!”

He jerked around. “April? Oh my God. What are you doing on this side of town?”

A smile covered his face, and April took a moment to soak in his handsomeness. That perfectly spiked hair, naturally tan skin, and completely endearing set of dimples could stop a girl’s heart. April tried to remember back to the times she’d been so infatuated with him. It seemed so long ago now. “Jessica and I were having lunch in the area and I remembered this is where you make your mid-day caffeine run.”

“Yeah. Just trying to keep powered up for dinner service. How are you? It’s been almost a year since we—”

“I’m good,” April interjected. She didn’t want to hear how he would’ve finished the sentence. For a brief moment, she wished she’d spent a few more minutes on her appearance. Her bright yellow dress toned down with a black cardigan was flattering enough, but paired with her black boots, it kind of made her feel like a bumble bee. If she’d known ahead of time that she’d be stalking Jonathan today, she probably would’ve grabbed her new bright blue skirt that made her hips appear as if they actually existed.

Jonathan looked as if he’d spent plenty of time getting ready. His tailored black suit and skinny tie helped him to fit in with the elite clientele he was surrounded by. It was one of the reasons they’d worked as a couple. They both understood what it was like to bend over backwards for the rich and famous in the city that never sleeps.

And that was about the only thing they had in common. Between his love of partying and her love of curling up with a good book, the similar jobs and mutual attraction were the only things they had going for them. “How about you? I heard you switched restaurants.”

His eyes narrowed as his smile disappeared. “You’re here because you need a reservation.”

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