Thalia Frost - Writer for the Billionaire #1 - Whatever He Asks
Whatever He Asks (Writer for the Billionaire #1)
I wiped down the table, sighing. It was 9:30 p.m., and the bar was empty save for the drunk old guy who came in as usual on a Tuesday night.
This job sucks and so does the economy. This is what I get for being responsible, getting a college degree and going on to grad school.
I rolled my eyes, pushing my usual negativity from my mind. At twenty-four I felt washed up. Nearly done with an M. F. A. in writing and no permanent jobs on the horizon. Pittsburgh was getting hip again, but the jobs weren't coming along with the cool new makeover the city was experiencing.
“Mel, you're closing,” my boss Rick bellowed.
“Yep. I got it.”
I'd already worked four hours at Gray Enterprises before I'd hit the bar. That was a job I liked—writing marketing materials for a huge company in the city—but it was temporary. My six months were almost up as an intern in a stuffy little cubbyhole in the basement. The job as a barmaid was probably here to stay.
“Good. You remember, anything funny happens, press the button or call me any time. I'll be here.” I smiled as I straightened the sugar packets on a table. We served a small menu, but the kitchen had already closed for the night. Nothing funny ever had happened, but Rick Moore had a store of firearms and a few red buttons placed strategically about his place—aptly named Rick's.
“I'll be fine. Thanks.”
“See ya tomorrow, Mel.”
“Yes, you will,” I whispered as the door chimed shut. Every night of the week I worked unless I had to study or get something school-related done. Eight to one. I couldn't believe we even stayed open till one.
I glanced over at the bartender. He yawned. “Glad I've only get another hour before I can blow this joint.”
Steve was an okay kid, and by that I mean a guy right out of college who could sling drinks with the best of them. Not that there was much slinging happening on this side street in Swissvale. I finished wiping down the tables, swaying to the terrible country song on the radio—one I didn't recognize. The old drunk guy played it, but it was a change from his usual.
“I'm going to straighten up in back. I'll be done before you leave.” Before I turned to head that way, the bell on the door jingled.
Lo and behold, a customer.
I glanced absentmindedly to see who it was, and my jaw dropped.
Sex in a suit came to mind as I tried to close my mouth.
That guy doesn't belong around here. Maybe he thinks he'll pick up a woman for the night here.
I smirked at the thought and left the room, adding a sway to my hips. After all, Mr. Tall, Nordic god was watching.
I rushed through the cleanup, my mind still on the Viking in the bar.
“Uh, Mel.” Steve stood in the doorway to the kitchen, his thin face screwed up in confusion.
“What is it?'
“There's a guy out here wants to talk with you.”
“The old drunk guy who mumbles his name?” I'd still never caught it.
“Uh, no. That business type.”
My heart skittered like a mad horse. “Okay. Why?” I put down my rag and washed my hands.
“Dunno. He just said he wished to speak with you. Just like that.” Steve shrugged.
“All right. His wish is my command.” I smirked and sauntered out, straightening my hair as I did so.
The standard barmaid outfit Rick insisted I wear every day made me want to crawl into a hole. Complete with royal blue laced bustier and white peasant top as well as short, matching blue ruffled skirt, it was a suit you'd only find in a sleazy joint like this one. A lot of men did like it, though. So I guess it was good for business. I tugged at the skirt, wishing it didn't ride up so high.
He was sitting at the far end of the bar, away from the old drunk guy—near the door to the kitchen.
My cheeks grew warm. Had he heard the conversation?
I stopped a few feet from him, feeling awkward and exposed with my cle**age on display.
Damn you, Rick. I don't get paid nearly enough for this.
The business hottie's jacket was slung over the back of the bar chair, and his shirt was so white it nearly blinded me.
Now I know what a really expensive dress shirt looks like.
“Hello. I'm Magnus Gray.” He gave me a searing stare, his blue eyes like slow-moving glaciers, shifting shades of ice and sky. His accent said he was local but wealthy and educated. Probably one of the Scots-Irish who'd live in the area for generations. But a blond like he was a rarity. Scots-German, I'd bet money.
“Melinda Louis.” I clenched the edge of the bar, wondering what he wanted from me.
“You're a waitress here?” He played with his beer bottle—an expensive import, of course.
“Yes, among other things.”
“I see. Would you like to have a drink with me?”
“Huh?” I'd been staring at his golden curls—waves really. One fell right over his left eye. His cheekbones were straight out of silent films and Hollywood.
“Would you like to sit down for a while?” He smiled, and one dimple popped out.
I thought I might faint, so I gripped the bar harder. “I'm sorry I can't since I'm working.” I tried to smile, but my cheeks were frozen.
Snap out of it.
“That's too bad. When do you get off?”
His dimple and cheekbones had me thinking all sorts of naughty things about that question, and I nearly laughed. “I'm closing tonight, so it won't be for a while.”
“Perhaps I could stick around till then.” I kept my tone casual. I wanted nothing more than to do just that, but the last thing I wanted this man to think was that I was desperate or a total floozy.
“Great. I have a proposal for you. I'll talk to you when you're done.” He paused. “Oh, I'm done with my drink.”
I stood there for a long moment like an idiot. Then I moved toward him and reached out for the cold bottle. My skirt brushed against him, and I almost squealed when I felt his warm hand on my thigh.
I'm going to pass out. This sexy man has a hand on my leg, but for all I know, he could be a serial killer.
“Till then.” He ran his hand up my leg, and our gazes locked. I had time to register that his eyes were the coldest blue I'd ever seen.