Breaking His Rules

By: R.C. Matthews


Midnight Blue

Rule #1: Don’t sleep with the patrons. Smiling and flirting is encouraged to enhance the customer experience. But check your libido at the door. Offenders will be terminated immediately. No exceptions.

Frustration coursed through me as I read down the list of fifteen rules pinned to the inside of my employee locker. The word “Non-Negotiable” glared at me in bold type and I shook my head. Seriously? How dare the owner dictate who I could screw? Or not screw, as the case might be. I rarely slept with my customers, but that was beside the point. It should be my choice. One-night stands were one of the perks of being a bartender. Especially at a premiere, downtown Chicago nightclub like Midnight Blue, where the men were wealthy, good-looking, and only after one night of passionate fun. No names. No strings. No mess. Just the way I liked it.

I leaned my head against the locker with closed eyes, blocking out the offensive list. There was nothing I detested more than rules. They forced people to conform to someone else’s views of right and wrong. Rules were a form of control. Simple as that. Believe me, I knew. I’d spent the first twenty-three years of my life following my father’s rules until I walked out of his house a year ago, determined to live without Daddy’s assistance.

The booming roar of his laughter still twisted in my gut. He expected me to fail and come running back to him so he could control every aspect of my life again. I’d be back in one month, he had predicted. A year of struggling later, success was finally within my grasp, and I refused to give up my dream of being self-sufficient.

So, I would swallow my frustration. Midnight Blue was a gig worth bragging about; one capable of paying the bills and then some. I blew out a steadying breath and straightened my shoulders. Fifteen rules? I could handle that.

An arm encircled my waist from behind, and I spun to find myself trapped in a warm embrace. Eric grinned with his sensuous lips hovering tantalizingly over mine. He was my favorite coworker. I was stunned at how well we’d bonded in a single week. Not only did his bartending skills match mine, but he was smooth. The men wanted to be him and the ladies loved him.

I was no exception. What wasn’t there to love? An easy-going personality. Thick, wavy blond hair that fell artfully to his shoulders. Piercing blue eyes. And a panty-melting smile. I longed to brush my lips against his sensual mouth just once to experience his exotic taste. My breath hitched in my throat when his hungry gaze sent a flash of heat through my body. But I knew myself well enough to know that once I hopped on the train, there would be no getting off until it arrived in the station. Besides, the one rule I was completely on board with was Rule #2: No dating or intercourse with coworkers. Relationships between coworkers invite drama. We don’t do drama here.

“How have you managed to survive here so long?” I asked, arching an eyebrow. “Might I remind you of rule number two?”

A roguish smile curved up his lips. “You could quit, Samantha. I’ll make it worth your while. Promise.” He bit playfully at my ear with a low growl.

“Bastard.” I teased and slapped his arm away from my waist before heading over to the closet full of uniforms. The owner didn’t trust his employees to properly launder and press the black garbs. Can we say control freak with a capital ‘CF’? But in this case I wouldn’t complain; it was one less hassle for me to deal with during my free time. Skimming through the garments, I settled on a knee-high pencil skirt and black silk blouse.

Although the wall was lined with cubicles for changing, I remained out in the open. What was a little skin and underwear between coworkers when I flaunted my body on a beach in a string bikini? I glanced over my shoulder at Eric as I shimmied into my skirt. “I waited six months to score an interview here. You know only one in ten meet muster. So, even if you were the best piece of ass in town—not that I’m saying you are—I wouldn’t risk losing this job for a quick tumble in bed.”

“Always worth a try,” he said, peeling off his T-shirt to reveal a toned chest and rock hard abs.

His bronzed body was gorgeous and the look in his eyes said he knew it. Confidence in a man was an aphrodisiac I succumbed to often. What a sick twist of fate that confident and powerful men aroused my sexual appetite to a fevered pitch. I couldn’t resist them in the bedroom, yet I never trusted them with my heart. My heart had been broken too many times by powerful men.

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