I cleared my throat. "Yeah, I know her."
"In a business sense" Or in a personal sense""
"Both," I replied and bit my tongue in aggravation when Ashton sighed. "Don"t even start the lecture. Donna and I had an agreement a month ago that whatever happened in the bedroom remained there. She didn"t give a flying fuck, and neither did I."
"When is this going to stop, though"" Ashton asked. "I"ve been your friend for a long time now, Bastian. The crazy one-night stands have to stop eventually."
"Do they"" I asked, leaning back in my chair. "I"m fine with the way things are. I"m not married anymore. I can have fun outside my work, believe it or not."
"I don"t think you"re having any sort of fun. I think you"re trying to lick your wounds after what happened with Sierra."
My ex-wife"s name awoke a tingling anger inside me. Sierra had pulled the shades down over my eyes years ago when we"d met through a mutual friend in investments. I had fallen in love with her too quickly. That had been my first critical mistake in a list of even more critical and fucked-up ones. I had let good sex blind me in other areas of my life"including my bank accounts and wallet, which Sierra gladly took advantage of until I cut her off.
"The string of broken hearts behind you is long, my friend," Ashton said, sighing. "I admire you for what you"ve done with your life, but don"t you think it"s time to settle back down again""
"No," I said shortly. "I don"t think it is."
The idea of marriage sent a cold shudder through me. I had been a romantic type of guy before Sierra. The kind of guy who believed marriage was for life. My alimony checks were living proof that marriages could turn into World War III in the blink of an eye. It was too fucking painful to even think about all of it anymore. I did my best to erase the memories by either slipping in between some woman"s legs for just a few minutes of unadulterated pleasure or having a few drinks in the privacy of my home office.
"I"ve been talking to Jennifer about a few things," Ashton continued, playing with the wedding band on his finger. "There is a woman at her office who""
I held up a hand to interrupt Ashton"s offer. "No offense, Ashton, but I"m not in the mood to be set up. I"m perfectly fine with how things are in my life, and a blind date sounds like absolute torture."
Ashton"s phone chimed in his pocket. He pulled it out to glance at the number before slipping it back into his coat.
"Just an offer," he said. "I know how bad things got with Sierra, so I just thought""
"I"m perfectly fine with how things are in my life," I snapped and grabbed my iPad pointedly to power it back on. "Anything else, Ashton" I have a lot of work to do."
"Right, of course. Just consider it." Ashton rose from the chair and strode across my office to open my office doors. "I"ll make sure to forward everything to you about the Jacob"s Fashion business. Major money. You won"t be disappointed."
I didn"t bother with a reply. Bitterness festered in me as I shut down the iPad, tossing it carelessly into the chair across from my desk. Why the fuck does everyone have to bring Sierra into my conversations and my life" She doesn"t want to be in it, and I don"t want her in it.
A gentle knock on my office doors brought my gaze upward to Joanna Lind, who was standing nervously in the doorway of my office. Lust spiraled through me as I took in the curves of her hips through that black pencil skirt she wore. I fucking loved a woman in a pencil skirt. It was the perfect combination of classy and sexy. It covered everything but still showed off every line of a woman"s body.
Her ample breasts were noticeable, too, through the tight purple sweater that clung to her in all the right places. Joanna was a wet dream walking around my office. It took all my strength to keep myself from swooping down on her like many of the men in my office wanted to. If there were any relationships in my company, they were kept quiet and private. Which was the way I wanted it to be.
"I"m sorry," she said, holding a few files close to her chest. Her blue eyes skirted my face nervously. "I, um, needed to give these to you. Roger said it was important to give you these documents today."
"When did Roger call you"" I asked, frowning. "I thought he was out sick with something in his throat."
Joanna"s eyes focused on the carpeted floor. "He emailed me instructions this morning, sir. I hope that"s all right. He didn"t want me to miss anything today that would upset you."