Her Boss by Day...(6)

By: Joss Wood

Too loud, too packed, girls too obvious and generally far too young and too eager. Call him old-fashioned but he liked to do a little work before a piece of tail fell into his lap. And, really, at thirty-two, dating kids his sister’s age or younger made him feel like a dirty old man.

Rob brushed off a hand on his behind and ignored a proposition from his left as he scanned the bar. He’d find his new firecracker of a PR person, make his excuses and then head back to the flat he’d rented and fall face-down onto the bed.

Rob ran a hand over his short dark brown curls and squinted into the low light of the club. Finding Amy in this madhouse was going to be a nightmare, he thought as his mobile vibrated in his pocket. Or not, he thought, looking at the text message.

At the entrance, hook a left and head towards the back of the club. Table in the back corner.

God bless technology. Rob smiled, shoved his mobile back into the pocket of his jeans and took her directions.

Ah, a table full of women...not too young, thank God, but obviously, judging by the bottles and glasses on the table, well on their way to being cabbaged. Shoot me now, he thought. Half an hour, one beer, and he was out of there.

At least they were gorgeous women, admittedly. Amy, confident and glossy, led the pack. There was her colleague—he couldn’t remember her name—and her assistant. Couldn’t remember her name either. The other two women he didn’t recognise at all. He dismissed the tomboy blonde who, he saw when he looked over his shoulder, was swapping some major eye contact with some dude at the bar, and focussed on the woman with mahogany hair tucked into the corner of the table, a cocktail glass in her hand. She had a wide-eyed, Audrey Hepburn waif look to her that instantly made a man regress to being a caveman.

You woman, I protect you. Lie down and I make you happy. Grunt. Grunt.

He’d known a lot of women—sue him...he was in his thirties and had been consistently single all his life—so he was old enough and wise enough to realise that waifs and strays, romantics and women who seemed helpless and hopeless, normally ended up tearing strips off him.

Women, as he’d learnt, were seldom what they portrayed themselves to be. Scrap that. People mostly weren’t who they said they were.

Amy sprang to her feet. ‘Rob—yay, you’re here!’

Yeah. Yay.

‘You know Bella and Kara, my colleagues—’ their names went in one ear and out of the other ‘—the creature ignoring you for the rock star wannabe at the bar is my flatmate Jessica—oi! Jessica! This is Rob.’

The blonde whipped her head around, flashed him a smile. ‘Hey, Rob.’

Quick eye contact and a super-fast scan to determine whether she found him attractive. She hesitated, suggesting that she did, but then her eyes slid back to the bar. Rob smiled inwardly. Someone, if he played his cards right, was getting lucky tonight.

Amy touched his wrist to get his attention. ‘And this is my old, old friend Willa. Willa, this is Rob Hanson.’

‘You make me sound like a crone with all the olds, Ames,’ Willa complained good-naturedly, before lifting amazing silver-shot-with-green eyes to his. ‘Hi.’

‘Hi back.’

Rob took the open seat next to her and eyed the full beer bottle on the table, icy cold. It was his favourite brand.

He cocked an eyebrow at Amy. ‘That for me?’

‘Sure.’ Amy pushed the bottle and glass across the table. Ignoring the glass and picking up the bottle, he lifted it to his lips and allowed the liquid to slide down his throat. One beer, half an hour and he’d leave...

‘Rob owns a chain of sports equipment and clothing stores in South Africa, Willa. And some gyms. He’s looking for franchisees to open branches of the stores everywhere, and the gyms will be here in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne initially.’

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