Home > Provoke_ A Grumpy Boss Romance

Provoke_ A Grumpy Boss Romance
Author: Ava Harrison

 

1

 

 

Charles

 

“Bloody hell, Amanda. Not here,” I bark to the annoying woman who has attached herself to my hip for the evening.

Can this night get any worse?

This woman is handsy. And not in a good way.

Typically, that would be more than welcome, but tonight, I’m not feeling her.

Pity.

It’s not that she isn’t insanely beautiful. She is.

Wavy brown hair hangs to the top of her small breasts, and her toned legs go on forever. Not an inch of her is soft. She’s all hard lines and muscle.

Definitely my type.

Although, I don’t have a definitive preference when it comes to the opposite sex.

“It’s Mandy,” she croons.

I cringe at the awful sound.

Mandy is too much, and I can tell she wouldn’t be up for any of my rules.

One night. No numbers exchanged. No repeats.

I made that mistake one too many times in London, and I have no plans to repeat it here in the States. This is my clean break. My do-over.

I’m too busy for relationships and wouldn’t be good at one, even if I wasn’t constantly working.

Which I am.

Mandy has practically growled at any woman who’s looked my way, which only furthers my suspicion that she’d be clingy if I gave in to her roaming hands and took her into the offered VIP room.

I’d spend the next month dodging her advances, and I have absolutely no time for that.

“Charles,” she whines in what could quite possibly be the most ear-piercing sound I’ve experienced in some time.

I glare over her head at my supposed friend. The man responsible for this setup. He promised me top-shelf drinks, a night of relaxation, and a beautiful woman who would be more than happy with one night of sex. Complete rubbish.

He failed to say that he only knew petulant models who drink the most expensive champagne on an empty stomach and practically piss all over their target of the night. Me being said target.

He chuckles into his fist at my glare, and I manage to refrain from pummeling him.

Paxton Ramsey is an arrogant son of a bitch, but a good man. His friend, Mathis, owns the club, which he takes full advantage of regularly. He has a reserved VIP room every Wednesday night to schmooze clients. This week, there was a cancellation, and I was the lucky recipient of a night out on Pax’s dime.

“Charles, you’re ignoring me.”

My eyes close as I attempt to rein in my growing irritation with the exasperating woman. When they open, I’m met with Mandy’s green eyes piercing into me with barely restrained anger.

Perhaps this one is more than a little clingy. I’m not into the whole fatal attraction foreplay vibe that Mandy is throwing my way.

“I need to use the little girl’s room,” she says, pursing her lips.

An audible breath rushes through my chest, and Pax hears it loud and clear, if his barely restrained laughter is any indication.

Mandy doesn’t seem to notice as she swishes her hips in the most exaggerated fashion when she saunters out of the room.

“Christ, Paxton. What have you done?” His head falls back, and he bellows in laughter.

I’m sure this entire situation is quite hilarious if you’re on the outside looking in. His hand pops up as he works to get himself under control.

“I’m sorry. It’s just—” He falls forward, wheezing in glee. I’m ready to shake the amusement out of him.

“Right, then. Go on and get it all out, mate.” I smack my lips together, not amused in the slightest at his absurd reaction to my distress. “Are you quite finished?”

His head shakes back and forth. “She’s never acted like this. What can I say? You bring out the crazy in women, Cavendish.”

“This night has gone all to hell,” I say, shaking my head.

“The night’s still young, my friend. I’m happy to help you ditch Mandy. I’m tired of her moaning myself.”

“Oh, she’s whining on, all right.”

He grunts. “Alex and the guys are on their way. She has a history with him. Give me an hour, and I can have her well and truly distracted, if you know what I mean.”

“I’ll gladly vacate this room for Alex if it means being rid of her. Just tell me when.”

Sitting back in my chair, I stretch my legs and get comfortable. Our server enters, handing me another scotch on the rocks.

I tip my head in thanks, receiving a coy grin in return. This woman would no doubt be a perfect replacement for Mandy.

“Don’t even think about it,” Pax says, watching the girl leave with her empty tray tucked under her arm.

“Sod off. You have no say at this point, mate. I choose her.”

“You want to tango with Mathis? Have at it.” He takes a swig from his beer bottle. “I’m not losing my VIP status because you decided to fuck the help.”

“She’s the owner’s girl?”

His eyebrow rises. “They’re all his girls. Off-limits.”

We sit in companionable silence for several minutes, each sipping on our drinks. The bass from the music pumps through the room as the night begins to pick up. Outside this room, the party rages like it does every night at Club Silver.

“The party is here, boys.” Alex steps through the curtain with Mandy curled into his side.

The son of a bitch was right.

Pax leans toward me. “Told you. And it didn’t even take an hour.”

I grin, nodding my head in admiration. “I believe I owe you now.”

He slaps my leg, smiling. “Let’s go. There are plenty more ladies to charm, and I need you as my broody wingman.” He turns back to the room. “Boys, enjoy yourself. Drinks are on me.”

He stands, and I follow him through the chiffon curtain that hides each VIP table. The scene is just as I suspected. Scantily clad women move their bodies in time to the music while men watch on in ravenous delight, eager to score.

My eyes sweep through the throngs of people gyrating on the dance floor. No part of me wants to be in the middle of that chaos. I’ve never been one for the clubs. I’ve always found it to be the worst sort of place to decompress, but every now and then, I step outside my comfort zone for the sake of Pax.

He’s been a good friend since I’ve made this city my home for the last three years. And where he goes, I go, if and when I decide to venture outside my office.

Pax enjoys Silver more than the average person, so it’s become my stomping grounds by proxy. It’s more than the discount his friend provides. He lives for the loud music and over-eager women. I prefer the chase.

I’m about to tell my friend I’m calling it a night when my eyes land on a woman directly across from me, sitting at the bar with two others.

She shines like a beacon in the crowd, drawing my attention without effort. Golden hair falls down her back in waves, stopping midway to her arse. Her bright smile literally lights up the room as she laughs with her companions. I wonder what the man beside her said to draw such an authentic delight from the woman. They seem well acquainted but not a couple. He leans into her as though that’s exactly what he’s angling for, but her body language doesn’t scream lust when she looks at him.

The glow about her is alluring and utterly hypnotic, but it’s not for him.

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