Home > Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard #1)(7)

Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard #1)(7)
Author: Christina Lauren

“It’s too bad you’re such a horrible lay,” she replied calmly. She turned to continue down the stairs but stopped abruptly, spinning back to meet my eye. “And it’s a good thing I’m on the pill. Thanks for asking, ass**le.”

I watched her disappear out of sight down the stairs and growled as I walked back to my office. I landed in my chair with a loud huff, raking my hands through my hair before removing her destroyed panties from my pocket. I stared at the white silk fabric between my fingers for a moment, then opened my desk drawer and dropped them in to join the pair from last night.


How the hell I made it down those stairs without killing myself is beyond me. I ran out of there like I was on fire, leaving Mr. Ryan alone in the stairwell slack jawed, clothes askew, and hair standing on end like he’d been molested.

Blowing past the café on fourteen, and clearing the final floor landing in a leap—no easy task in these shoes—I pushed open the metal door and leaned against the wall, panting.

What just happened? Did I just f**k my boss on the stairs? I gasped and my hands flew over my mouth. Did I order him to? Oh, Jesus. What the hell was wrong with me?

Dazed, I stumbled away from the wall and up a few flights into the closest restroom. I did a quick check under all the stalls to make sure they were empty and then turned the lock on the main door. As I approached the bathroom mirror, I winced. I looked like I’d been ridden hard and put out to dry.

My hair was a nightmare. All my carefully styled waves were now a mass of wild tangles. Apparently Mr. Ryan liked my hair down. I’d have to remember that.

Wait. What? Where the hell did that come from? I most certainly would not remember that. I slammed my fist on the counter and moved closer to inspect the damage.

My lips were swollen, my makeup smudged; my dress was stretched out and practically hanging on me, and I was once again missing my panties.

Son. Of. A. Bitch. That was the second pair. What was he doing with them, anyway?

“Oh, God!” I said, panicked. They weren’t lying in a pile in the conference room somewhere, were they? Maybe he picked them up and tossed them aside? I should ask him to be sure. But no. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of even acknowledging this . . . this . . . what was this?

I shook my head, scrubbing my face with my hands. God, I’d made a mess of things. When I came in this morning, I’d had a plan. I was going to walk in there, throw that receipt in his pretty little face, and tell him to shove it. But then he’d looked so goddamn sexy in that charcoal Prada suit, and his hair stuck up like a neon sign screaming, Do Me, and I just lost all coherent thought. Pathetic. What was it about him that made my brain turn to mush and my panties wet?

This was not good. How was I going to face him without imagining him naked? Okay, well, not naked. I technically hadn’t seen him completely undressed yet, but what I had seen caused a shiver to run through me.

Oh no. Did I just say “yet”?

I could quit. I thought about that for a minute but didn’t like the way it felt. I loved my job, and Mr. Ryan might be the world’s most epic douchebag, but I’d dealt with that for nine months and—the last twenty-four hours aside—I had him figured out and could handle him like no other. And as much as I hated to admit it, I loved watching him work. He was an ass**le because he was both supremely impatient and an obsessive perfectionist; he held everyone to the same standards he set for himself and didn’t put up with anything but the best effort. I had to admit I’d always appreciated the expectation that I would perform better, work harder, and do whatever it took to get the job done—even if I didn’t always love his methods. He really was a genius in the marketing world; his whole family was.

And that was the other thing. His family. My dad was back home in North Dakota, and when I started as a receptionist while still in college, Elliott Ryan had been so good to me. They all had. Bennett’s brother, Henry, was another senior executive and the nicest guy I’d ever met. I loved everyone here, so quitting was simply not an option.

The biggest issue was my scholarship. I needed to present my in-world experience to the JT Miller scholarship board before I completed my MBA, and I wanted my thesis to be a powerhouse. It’s why I stayed on at RMG: Bennett Ryan offered me the Papadakis account—the marketing plan for the multibillionaire land developer—which was a bigger project than anything my peers were working on. Four months wasn’t enough to start somewhere new and have anything good to show for it . . . was it?

No. Definitely couldn’t leave Ryan Media.

With that decided, I knew I needed a plan of action. I had to remain professional and make sure Mr. Ryan and I never, ever happened again, even if this was by far the hottest, most intense sex I’d ever had in my life . . . even when he was withholding orgasms from me.


I was a strong, independent woman. I had a career to build and had worked ridiculous hours to get where I was. My mind and body were not ruled by lust. I just had to remember what a jerk he was. He was a womanizing, arrogant, pigheaded asshat who assumed everyone around him was an idiot.

I smiled at myself in the mirror and reeled through a collection of my recent Bennett Ryan memories.

“I appreciate that you got me coffee when you made your own, Miss Mills, but if I’d wanted mud to drink I would have scooped my mug through the garden soil this morning.”

“If you insist on pounding your keyboard as if you’re hammering gophers back home, Miss Mills, I’d appreciate it if you kept the door joining our offices closed.”

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