Home > All ONES

All ONES
Author: Aleatha Romig

Plus One

 

 

PLUS ONE: Standalone romance

 

Blackmailing my sexy boss, the one with a panty-melting smirk into being my plus-one for a wedding in my hometown while staying at my parents’ house for the long weekend—what could possibly go wrong?

 

Duncan Willis is sexy and confident, the kind of man every woman notices. You know, the one with the to-die-for body. And then there's the way his designer suits drape over his broad shoulders and big...well, we've all heard the rumors, the ones that say he's up for any challenge.

 

Men like him don't notice women like me, and they don't date them. Until that one time that I catch him in a compromising position when I'm also in need of a last-minute date for a wedding...and then it's not a real one, simply a plus-one.

 

It's blackmail.

 

 

That’s what Kimbra Jones thinks.

 

Letting her believe she blackmailed me may not be the most conventional way to get on her radar, but I didn't get this far in business without knowing when to seize an opportunity. If this sexy, little firecracker with perfectly kissable lips thinks she can trick me into attending her cousin's wedding, I'm going to jump at the chance to be her plus-one.

 

A sexy, fun stand-alone from New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig. You love her darker side. Now it's time to meet Leatha, the lighter side of Aleatha.

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

Kimbra

 

 

As the Midtown breeze blows between the tall buildings, I brush strands of hair that have escaped my workday bun away from my cheeks and freshly painted lips. Shielding my eyes from the early evening sun, I gaze up at the giant limestone building in front of me. In a few minutes, I'm supposed to meet my best friend and roommate on the top floor at one of the newest, swankiest restaurants in Manhattan, Gaston's.

Everyone is talking about this place. Gaston's boasts the best panoramic view of the city from its rooftop patio. The service is supposed to be unrivaled, and the chef is world-renowned. And those are only some of the qualities I've heard. With its recent grand opening, getting a seat at the bar, much less a reservation, is only for the elite.

That's why as I stand on the busy sidewalk and gaze upward, I can't help but wonder what in the world I'm doing here. What is Shana doing here? A place this nice isn't our normal stomping ground.

While the glow of the setting sun and the warm spring breeze give me the promise of summer, I continue to formulate questions.

How in the world did Shana get a table at Gaston's?

And more importantly, why didn't she give me more notice so I could dress properly?

As it is, I came straight from work, responding to her surprise text message. Not having a chance to go home and change, I'm still wearing the gray sheath dress and black pumps I donned this morning. They're fine for the pharmaceutical logistics company where I work, but knowing what I've heard about this restaurant, I anticipate I'll be a little too blasé for the likes of Gaston's.

At the very least, if I'd known I'd be going out to dinner in a place like this one, I would have brought some fun accessories. I'm a fan of brightly colored necklaces, earrings, and even shoes.

Shaking my head and running my palm over my dress, I make the decision to stop worrying about my attire and instead enjoy this unexpected night of fine dining. Just as I'm about to step into the large glass revolving door that leads to the marble lobby, my cell phone vibrates and chirps.

Taking a deep breath, I open my purse and move out of the crowd's way. Pressing myself against the giant limestone wall, I hit the call button and place my phone to one ear.

"Hello," I say without reading the screen.

The whoosh of wind and traffic and murmurs of others rushing around me drown out the voice on the other end. Turning toward the building, I cover my other ear and speak again "Hello?"

"Hello!" my mother's voice yells. "Can. You. Hear. Me?"

I shake my head and speak louder. "I hear you."

Passers-by look my direction as if I'm yelling at them.

"Kimberly Ann?" she asks, her volume still louder than necessary.

"Mom? It's me. Is everything all right?"

"Can you hear me?"

"Yes, Mom. What's wrong?"

"You know," she says, dragging out her words in a way that tells me this isn't a quick call. "You never call me anymore."

I don't have time for this. "That's not true. We spoke just last week. Is Dad okay?"

"We'll find out soon. He has that appointment."

I rack my brain trying to remember what appointment my father has. "The appointment?"

"With the urologist. They're going to—"

I cut her off. Not because I don't care about my dad, but because the streetlights are brightening and the sun is sinking near the horizon. Shana's reservation is for six o'clock. I don't want to make her wait in one of the best restaurants in the city. "Mom, sorry. I'm about to go to dinner with Shana. Can I call you tomorrow?"

"Yes, just don't forget. You know how you are. First..."

I hold my breath, wondering what could possibly be so important.

"First," she goes on, "can you tell me Timothy's jacket size, waist measurement, and pant length?"

I press my other hand over my free ear tighter, certain I've misunderstood her question. Timothy and I dated months ago. More accurately, we broke up months ago. Why in the world would she care about his suit size?

"Mom, why?"

"Kurt's friend from California broke his leg. It was a skiing accident. From what I heard..."

Kurt...my mind searches for Kurts. The company where I work has one who is employed here in New York and also one at our Chicago office, but that wouldn't make sense.

"... three places," she continues. "Can you imagine? Kurt's heartbroken. And you know how Scarlett is. She has six bridesmaids and it wouldn't be right if Kurt only had five groomsmen. Thankfully, the tux shop said he could get another size and your aunt asked if Timothy would mind. As you know, Kevin is already in the wedding and then there's Jimmy..."

The wedding!

The figurative light bulb above my head illuminates.

Kurt is my cousin Scarlett's longtime boyfriend and fiancé. Shit. Their wedding is coming up soon. How soon? I'm afraid to ask.

"...happy that you're dating someone, anyone. The entire family can't wait to meet Timothy. Everyone is so excited that you have a plus-one."

My temples pound as I slouch against the building. I never told her that Timothy and I broke up because I didn't want to hear about how I'd never find a man, how I should move home, or mostly, how Darrin McKinney from my high school class is still single and owns a shoe store in Cartersville. The only shoe store. It's the only one because the town has one stoplight and one grocery store. Why do they even need a shoe store?

"Mom...go...will...Tim...tomor..." I speak between taps of my fingernail on the microphone of my cell phone.

"What was that dear? You're breaking up."

Hot Books
» Buy Me Sir
» Daddy's Pretty Baby
» Ruckus (Sinners of Saint #2)
» Mastered (The Enforcers #1)
» The Greek's Forgotten Wife (The Boarding Sc
» Kept (The Enforcers #3)
» The Dom's Virgin: A Dark Billionaire Romanc
» Filthy Marcellos: The Complete
» The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15)
» Wet
» White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2)
» Wake A Sleeping Tiger (Breeds #31)
» The Hot Shot (Game On #4)
» Fallen Crest Home (Fallen Crest High #6)
» If You Were Mine