Paid For(3)

By: Alexa Riley

“You need to loosen up. And I’ve done something to take care of that.” I glance up from my screen to see a shit-eating grin on Finn’s face. I know that’s not good. Out of the two of us, he’s always been the more laid-back. Up for anything. I’ve had to shut down a few of his crazy ideas before. That said, our being so different is what makes us work so well together.

“I’ve told you before, I don’t like massages. I’m not into strangers touching me,” I say, going back to my computer screen. I swear to God, whoever made this scheduling program is the devil.

I would love to loosen up. I hate being the stuck-up asshole friend who never has time to do anything. Our company is very successful, and it’s because Finn and I have dedicated every waking hour to it. We started our company when we were in college and we saw a better way to design sports equipment. The two of us were biochemical majors, so we started working with plastics and fibers until we were able to design what we wanted. The University of Michigan ended up buying our first prototypes, and we went into manufacturing full time afterwards. We’ve made a ton of money, and Forbes called us the future of athletics last year. People have expectations, and I want to not only meet them, but smash them. I like winning. I’m a Packers fan, after all.

Finn has been hounding me for the last year to slow down and enjoy some of our success, but I’m afraid if we do that, someone will step in and take our place. No matter what the market or my best friend tells me, I worry that all this could vanish at any moment. All this hard work could be gone. And for what? A few hours of fun.

I lost my parents in a car accident when I was fifteen. I know all too well how fast things can slip through your fingers, and I don’t want to lose our advantage in the market. It seems like every time there’s a gap, someone is looking to fill it, and I don’t want to be in second place. Our competition regularly comes up with ideas that have clearly been stolen from us, and we continuously have to remind them that we won’t be fucked with.

“It’s not a massage,” Finn says and throws a grape at me.

I catch it with one hand and pop it in my mouth without looking up at him.

“Asshole,” he mumbles not so softly. “I can tell you what I’ve done, or you can thank me and we can call it a day.”

This has me looking up at him and glaring. “What did you do?”

“I placed an ad for your new admin. I figured you’ve got a stick so far up your ass that it’s going to take someone special to pull it out.”

“Great. But you’re not doing the interviews this time.” That’s how I ended up with half a dozen dudes before. I’m beginning to think Finn did it on purpose. Looks like I’m going to have to do the hiring myself this time.

“No problem. I’m sure you can handle this on your own. I made the pay pretty astronomical, so you should get lots of quality applicants.” He wiggles his eyebrows, and I grunt.

“I think the higher the pay, the more idiots show up,” I say, leaning back in my chair and crossing my arms.

“Nah. This time, I made sure the ladies coming would be able to meet all your needs.”

The way he says that makes me think he’s hiring me a prostitute. I shake my head, my annoyance growing. That’s all I need, people thinking we’re hiring hookers. The papers would have a field day with that shit.

“Finn. What the fuck did you do?”

He stands up and holds his hands out in front of him. “Easy, big fella. I know it’s been a long, long, long, long, long time since you got your rocks off. I’m merely offering you an easy solution—a professional who can do her administration job and then…another job. The kind that requires knee pads.” He smirks.

“You—” I start to tell him what a fucking dumbass he is, but Helen buzzes my phone. “Yes?” I answer, glaring daggers at Finn.

“Mr. Foster, there is Miss Kennedy Myers here for an interview.”

I grit my teeth. I don’t have time for this shit today. I’ve got a laundry list of items to clear off this schedule, and I don’t even know how to use the stupid thing.

“Send her in,” I say as politely as possible, because it’s not Helen’s fault Finn got me an escort. Or whatever you call it.

I know it’s been a while since I was with a woman, but my hand is a lot less drama when I don’t call it back.

“Good luck,” he says, winking at me and slipping out the door before I can throw a paperweight at him.

I take a deep breath and try to calm myself. If she’s truly a prostitute, this interview should go easy. I’ll just ask her if she knows how to use some of the software here and be done with it.

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