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Author:Deborah Bladon

Chance by Deborah Bladon

Chapter 1

"You're telling me that I've never fucked you?"

You'd think I'd walk away at this point. It would make sense for me to turn on my heel and march out of his apartment. I'm not even sure why I'm here.

Today started out like any other day. I woke up and then I had a glass of orange juice after I brushed my teeth. I cursed myself for doing that and vowed that tomorrow I'd drink the orange juice before I brushed my teeth. I dressed in a navy blue pencil skirt and a pale blue blouse. I'd let my dark brown hair fall in waves down my back and I'd hurried to make the subway train before it sped uptown. I walked through the door of my office at precisely two minutes before nine. It was the same routine I followed every single day.

I spent my morning in meetings with the development team and I had lunch with the owner of the company. He'd been focused on his phone. It's normal for him. He can't resist his wife and whenever she texts or calls him, the world, as he knows it, halts on its axis.

Once I got back to my office, I settled in at my desk to go over last month's budget. It was exactly five minutes to two when my phone rang and I dropped everything to get in a taxi to come here. I'm in a spacious apartment on Park Avenue, sitting across from the one man who has popped in and out of my life since I was a child.

"Caleb," I say his name as I cross my arms over my chest. "What the hell was the emergency? Why am I even here?"

His finger darts into the air to silence me. It's a gesture that he knows I can't stand. He's pushing me and if I thought it would benefit me at all, I'd push him right back. I know his game though. I know exactly what's going on.

"I have to go." His deep voice fills the room. "I'll call you later, baby."

I shake my head slightly as he ends the call. "If you called me down here so I could listen to you talk to some woman who can't remember being fucked by you, I have better things to do with my time."

"I didn't fuck her." He pushes his chair back from the desk as he crosses his long legs. "If I had, she'd remember it."

I cover my face with my hands. "I have a lot to do today. I have to get back to my office."

"Why haven't you quit that job yet, Rowan?" His hand darts into the air. "I need you to work with me. I'm prepared to sweeten the offer."

"What offer?" I fumble inside my purse for my smartphone. "You know I'm never going to work for you."

"I know that you will one day." He stands quickly, pulling his large frame up. "Tell me what they're paying you at Corteck and I'll double it."

"I'm not telling you how much money I make." I scan my phone, reading the new emails that have come in since I left the office almost an hour ago. "When have I ever told you how much money I make?"

"When you worked at that fast food place right before you graduated from high school," he points out. "I told you my professor assigned a project about young people in the workplace and you let me interview you."

"You were such an asshole." I don't look up from my phone. "You were twenty-two, Caleb. You should have been partying hard. Instead you were harassing me."

"I was curious." He rounds the desk. "I wanted you to come and work for me then, don't you remember?"

I do remember. I remember how envious I was that he was able to work for his father and that he was pulling in more money than my parents were making combined. Caleb Foster has never had to do an honest day's work in his life and he's still trying to get me to pick up the slack for him.

"I like my job at Corteck. I work in a real office." I scan the home office we're standing in. "Don't you ever actually go into the office building that has your last name plastered all over the front of it?"

"You mean that one you pass every day when you go to your job at Corteck?"

"I need to leave," I say briskly. "Don’t keep calling me down here for nothing. I have a job to do."

"One day you're going to ditch all that so you can work with me." He grabs my arm as I walk past him.

I stare up into his face. His body may have changed since we were children but the same glint in his dark eyes that I saw when he chased me around the playground is still there. His short hair is a darker shade of brown now than it used to be. There's no denying that he's gorgeous. He knows it and he uses it at every opportunity. He's tall and muscular and if I didn't know him as well as I do, I might even label him as emotionally dangerous. It's the reason I've always avoided getting romantically entangled with him. Caleb breaks hearts whether he's aware of it or not.

"I'm leaving." I pull my arm free of his grasp. "Don't call me again unless you actually need something from me. I'm tired of you wasting my time."

'You don't mean that Rowan." He moves in step beside me. "You don't actually mean that you'd rather I don't call you."