“Do youtwo do any real work or are you making plans to suck face?”
Quentin’s business partner could sound like a real sonuvabitch sometimes. Jace had been giving him the evil eye all day, and Quentin still had no idea what he’d done wrong.
“What’s up with Mr. Sweetness-and-Fucking-Light?” Elsie asked. Elsie was Quentin’s secretary and the office manager for the day-trading company that Quent and Jace had built from scratch after they’d graduated from college. She was in her late forties, was happily married, had just sent her youngest to college, had a mouth like a sailor, and left exactly on time every day. She could do that, because she was so fucking efficient that by closing time, she had nothing on her pile, ever. Period. The end.
In fact, she was so fucking efficient that Jace’s secretary, Lexi, and their paid intern, Tony, rarely had anything in their pile at the close of day, period-the-end either.
Jace and Quentin, who liked to play as much as they liked their work, adored all three of them and showered them with everything from chocolate to expensive vodka. It was the happiest goddamned office in San Francisco—but it also gave Elsie a certain amount of latitude in her personal demeanor.
“I have no idea,” Quentin answered in response to her question, and Elsie snorted. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You’re wearing his suit again,” she observed, her eyes narrowing in her lean, tanned face. Elsie was fond of both peroxide and the tanning machine; she looked to be in her late thirties, so it must have been worth it, but Quentin had always been glad she’d never decided to go rogue cougar on him. She’d be terrifying.
“I lost a bet,” Quentin mumbled, not meeting her eyes, and she gifted him with another snort.
“Then lose another one, come out of your damned closet, and let him be our happy boss instead of this pissy-assed bitch he is now.”
Quentin’s game face closed down like a fucking poker vault. “Elsie, you know I love you, but even if what you’re talking about is true, it’s still none of your business.”
Elsie didn’t back down. “It’s my business if he’s making us miserable.” Her heavily mascaraed green eyes didn’t so much as pulse as she leveled a “mom-gaze” at him, and Quentin found himself looking away.
“Duck,” he muttered. “He’s back from the bathroom… Elsie, hon, could you do me a favor and get these copied by four?” he asked nonchalantly, pointing to a pile of documents he’d told her he didn’t need until the next morning.
“Oh absofuckinglutely, boss,” Elsie snarked with a straight face, and Quentin walked away from her desk and toward his office with all the casualness in the world.
He should have gotten a goddamned Oscar for that performance.
The truth was, Elsie was right. Quent and Jace had been lovers for more than three months. They’d gotten together one night after poker in a giddy coming together that had literally sang of exclusiveness and monogamy—and for the two of them, that had been enough. They’d hidden it from their office, their poker buddies, and their families, and until today, it had been great. Quentin had thought that working side by side in their securities firm by day and fucking each other’s brains out by night might have been awkward. It wasn’t. He found that all he had to do was follow Jace’s lead. It worked in bed, it worked on the job, and for the first time in his life, he actually felt like he’d done it. He had it. He had a job he loved and a man (okay, that was initially a surprise, but he got over it) to care about, and things were so good it was scary.