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Butt-dialing the Billionaire: Chapter 8


Renata comes up to me at the fabric cutting table.

“Whatever, huh?” she says.

I sigh. “We needed another designer, not some office gopher who’s just gonna disrupt things.”

“Right?” she says. “And what’s up with the nineties hair?”

“Maybe he doesn’t know better,” I say, glancing over at his cubicle, mysteriously agitated. It’s more than the disruption he causes. His entire persona is somehow agitating—it’s his insolent attitude, his ridiculous personal style.

“Maybe he’s from somewhere really backwards,” Renata says. “And the nineties only just got there. Who’s gonna break it to him about Kurt Cobain?”

I inspect a swatch. “According to his file, the last place he worked was upstate. A shipping company of some sort, but who knows where he’s actually from. His accent is…not East Coast. Kind of generic.”

Renata tosses it onto the pile. “Seriously, though, who goes to the store and says, yes, these are the glasses for me? Yes, a neon-patterned button shirt is the style I’m going with? And who in modern times does not remove a giant mole? Maybe it’s a religious thing.”

“That guy is not religious,” I say. “He’s way too defiant.”

“Maybe they don’t have proper medical services where he’s from. Not that the mole ruins his looks,” Renata says. “That’s the killer of it all. The mole says, look at me, I’m on this face, but even I, in all my moleness, can’t stop the hotness.”

“Oh, that’s what the mole says? You got some Baileys in that coffee?”

“Don’t you agree? That he’s so hot? In spite of it all?” Renata presses. “He pulls it off.”

“His annoying personality counteracts all hotness. Any and all possible hotness.”

“Also, ‘that’ll be all’?” she says. “‘You’re dismissed’? This is what he says to the CEO?”

“It’s as if he has no normal social skills whatsoever.” I put a swatch in the maybe pile. “Train him on the system. We need to get him up and running. At least getting him filing. Surely he can do that. He can still be an asset to the team.”

“We’ll see about that,” Renata says.

I glare over at him. He seems to be doing something on his phone. I’ve worked with guys like him all my life, guys who put in minimal effort and get twice the credit, while I work twice as hard and get pegged as the blonde bimbo.

“I’m serious. He’s here, and he’s gonna be an asset. I’m gonna make him an asset. He needs to understand how much we need him. Maybe that’ll help.”

“The man got two demerits in two minutes. I’m thinking he’s a lost cause.”

“No such thing as a lost cause,” I say. “That’s what he wants us to think so we let him off the hook, but he is going to be sorely disappointed. And make sure he appreciates the company culture. The only way we get through this is as a tight team. He could be a help to us; we just don’t know.”

“Oh my god. You think he’s hot, too.”

I pull a pencil out of my hair and draw a line on the fabric. “No, I’m thinking everyone can be a contributing member of this team, even if you’re arrogant and backwards and a sexual harasser and have no clue how to act.”

“Fine,” Renata says. “I’ll train him on the system and find out where he worked before, and then you wanna know what else I’m gonna do? Makeover. I’m gonna give him a makeover. I know a Tom Hardy in the rough when I see one and I’m gonna bring it all out, and then maybe I’ll reap the rewards.”

I frown. “Why not just let him be? This is the personal style he’s chosen.”

“But he could actually look good.”

“What would the world be if you homogenized everyone?”

“I’m not gonna homogenize him, I’m gonna hotify him,” Renata says.

It doesn’t sit right with me. I want to argue with her, but what do I care?


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