Getting dirty with the c.., p.1
Getting Dirty with the CEO, page 1
Getting Dirty with the CEO
By Mia Sosa
New York Boston
Table of Contents
A Preview of UNBUTTONING THE CEO
About the Author
Also by Mia Sosa
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This book is dedicated to Olivia Dade.
We started this journey together, and we’ll continue to stumble along together, too.
Thank you for always being there for me.
And yes, you’re right, your milkshake is better than mine.
Sending you heart-eyes emojis for days.
This is my third published book, and the number of people who deserve my thanks continues to grow. If I don’t do justice to those people here, I’m screwed. Okay, here I go:
Everything I do begins and ends with my hubby and girls. Thank you for cheering me on, making me smile, and being proud of my accomplishments. I love you always and in all ways.
My family has continued to champion me and my career, and I can’t thank them enough for pimping my books. Now if my mother could just work on the women at her beauty salon, I’d be all set.
I’m so fortunate to be able to call Sarah Younger my agent. She’s always available for me, gives me sound advice, and encourages my dreams. She sends fantastic GIFs, too. Thanks for everything, Sarah.
My new editor, Madeleine Colavita, helped me write a better book. She says doing so is her job, but that’s only half the story. She cares about the manuscripts she edits, and her love for words shines through in everything she does. It may be your job, Madeleine, but you do it exceptionally well, and I’ve grown as an author as a result of working with you.
To the rest of the Grand Central Publishing/Forever Yours family: Thank you for everything you’ve done on my behalf.
My friend and cackle partner Soni Wolf has beta read most of the books in The Suits Undone series, and I’m so grateful for her insights and feedback. A home-cooked empanada is definitely in your future, woman.
A special shout-out to Tiffany Winters, Stephanie Taylor, Sofia Tate, and Kennedy Ryan, because sometimes writers just need to talk with people who “get” them.
And as always, I must recognize The Dragonflies, The Cackle Corner, my Hermanas, The Binders, my law school tribe, and Team Sarah. These folks are my jam.
Finally, to the people who purchase my books: Thank you for giving a relatively new author a chance to enter your reading worlds. I hope you enjoy my books as much as I enjoy writing them.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
The sounds of the salsa band irritated the hell out of Daniel Vargas, but as he rounded the outskirts of the ballroom, he pasted on a “life couldn’t get any better” smile, hoping everyone would believe he was having a great time at Graciela and Ethan’s wedding.
What he wouldn’t do for a little air and space. A reprieve from the what-ifs that kept urging him toward a dismal place in his head. He snuck a glance at his parents, who sat with their good friends, the mother and father of the bride. Their wooden expressions didn’t surprise him. These days, life happened around them, and they simply watched like bystanders to an event they hadn’t expected to attend. His parents had never learned how to hide their pain behind a cheerful exterior. Daniel, on the other hand, had perfected the skill.
He needed a distraction. His gaze floated over the faces of the wedding guests until it settled on a familiar face.
The bride’s best friend—and distraction in the flesh.
She stood by the open bar and typed on her phone, giving him a minute to watch her undetected. The bridesmaid dress she wore skimmed her delicate ankles and hugged her generous curves. She’d pinned her blond hair on top of her head, her bangs and a few runaway strands framing her face. Though she was petite, Mimi’s larger-than-life personality made her appear six feet tall to him. And damn, that mouth. It was an entity unto itself, and for reasons he had yet to decipher, its barbs had recently begun landing on him. Still, like a moth to a six-alarm fire, he was drawn to her anyway.
Didn’t matter that she would skewer him. He’d much rather focus on Mimi’s sharp tongue than the sadness in his parents’ eyes. So he strolled over to the bar and rested his elbows on the counter. “Hey, Fireworks.”
She stopped typing and raised her head—but she didn’t bother looking at him. “What do you want, Vargas?”
“I’m flattered. Do you have a sixth sense when it comes to me?”
She turned to face him then, her blue eyes sparkling. “You know how dogs have this supernatural ability to hear sounds at high decibels? Well, I have a similar talent for detecting pompous men. I could sense you from across the room. Watching. Plotting. Arroganting.”
He chuckled, the brief exchange already lifting his mood. This was why he chose to engage with her: A conversation with Mimi never traveled along a straight path, and the journey was just as enjoyable as the destination. “Arroganting?”
“Being arrogant. It comes so naturally to you, the word deserves to be a verb.”
Well, as to her, other more interesting actions came to mind: kissing, licking, sucking, fu— He stopped himself. Bad, Daniel. Pay attention to what she’s telling you. “But you don’t know me very well. How’d you come to that conclusion?”
She gave him a full once-over before responding in a flat tone. “I know enough.”
He raised a brow as though he were mildly interested in her answer. In truth, the need to uncover the source of her disdain had occupied more of his time than he cared to admit. She’d erected a wall between them, and he couldn’t help wondering what would happen if he scaled it. And since he was a man who thrived on being likable, her ire made him uncomfortable. He’d always played off his confusion well enough—a smirk being his go-to move—but the question remained: What the hell had he done to piss her off? “Care to clue me in?”
She swiped at her phone while she spoke. “Do you remember when I tried to pitch you for your business at the Blakely Awards Dinner?”
He recalled speaking with her at the event, sure. He’d been there in his role as a board member of her best friend’s community service organization. But he’d talked to Mimi only briefly, and he couldn’t recall what they’d talked about. “I’m sorry. I’m drawing a blank.”
“Yes, well, I’m not surprised.” She jabbed at her phone. “You were more interested in having a conversation with my breasts.”
That wasn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility. She had a magnificent rack. But he was usually smoother than her memory indicated, and certainly less boorish when admiring a woman’s body. Still, his gut told him that her resentment came from another source. Even before the Blakely Awards Dinner, she’d made it clear he didn’
Her eyes narrowed and she curled her upper lip. “You’re the butter knife in the drawer, Daniel.”
Well, damn. Sparring with Mimi required a full night’s rest and a clear head; he had neither. Maybe it was time to disengage and find a less lethal form of entertainment for tonight. He raised his elbows off the bar and opened his mouth to apologize and make a hasty exit, but before he could do that, a woman holding a small bouquet of flowers rushed to Mimi’s side and whispered in her ear.
Mimi’s eyes bulged and she nodded. “I’m so there. Give me a sec.” She faced him and smiled. Given that her smile was directed at him, he suspected it was fake as hell. If she invited him to kiss her lips, they’d probably be laced with arsenic.
“Do you speak Spanish?” she asked him.
“Great. So apparently there’s another party going on in the hotel. We’re planning to crash for a few minutes.” She pointed to the woman by her side. “This is Rosa, by the way. Gracie’s cousin.”
“Good to meet you, Rosa.”
Rosa gave him a shy smile. Now that smile seemed genuine. “Hi.” She placed the bouquet on the bar counter and tugged on Mimi’s arm. “Mimi, we should go.”
“Okay,” Mimi told her. To him, she said, “Want to join us?”
Rosa covered her mouth with her hand and gave Mimi a questioning look.
Mimi’s face looked hopeful, which made him suspicious, of course. Oddly, though, he was hopeful himself. Maybe he could use this as an opportunity to begin scaling that wall. “Why would you want me there?”
She raised her eyebrows as though the answer were obvious. “Because we’re crashing a party, and if anything goes down, it might be helpful to have you around. You know, to intercede on my behalf, particularly because I don’t speak Spanish.” She stuffed her phone in her clutch. “I can see the idea doesn’t appeal to you. No worries. I’m just going to pop out and come back in before Gracie and Ethan leave for their honeymoon.”
She spun around.
Despite his reservations, he touched the back of her arm to stop her and she froze. So did he, since the softness of her skin scrambled his brain for several seconds.
She twisted her head and glanced at his hand on her arm before pinning him with a heated gaze. “What is it?”
His brain cleared enough to register that her words came out choppy. Ah, she wasn’t immune to him after all. That morsel of information opened up so many possibilities. He’d always been attracted to Mimi’s crackle and pop, eager to stoke her fire simply because her taunts kept him grounded in the present, far away from his unpleasant past. But what if he were the object of Mimi’s desire? What if she channeled all her passion in a different direction? To his bed, for instance.
After clearing her throat, she repeated her question and flicked her gaze to his fingers on her skin.
He dropped his hand as though he’d touched a flame, which, in a way, he had. “I’ll come. I need a distraction anyway.”
“Excellent. It’s just a floor below this one, in Salon C.”
The women whispered to each other as he followed them out of the ballroom. After a few false turns, they found the sign for Salon C. Rosa descended the stairs beside him while Mimi led the way.
“So, Daniel, do you live in Washington, D.C., like Mimi?” she asked.
“Do you have family on the island?”
Mimi laid a finger against her mouth and shushed them. “Let’s try to be discreet.” She cracked open the door and peeked inside. The steady thump of dance music and flashes of light told him they’d found the right ballroom. Mimi and Rosa scurried through the door.
He followed them inside and stopped short to survey the room. And after his eyes adjusted to the strobe lighting and focused on the scene, his jaw dropped.
There were men. Everywhere. Half-naked men everywhere. Okay, maybe not everywhere, but certainly a dozen of them, and fuck, they wore thongs. Pink thongs. Blue thongs. Even leopard print thongs. Chests flexed and asses out, they gyrated around the room, competing with each other in an epic battle of the bulges. And he couldn’t un-see any of it.
Mimi whooped. “Now this is the kind of cock fight I can get down with.”
With his mouth still hanging open, Daniel spied a woman in a short red dress, her long hair covered by a cheap wedding veil. She was sitting in a chair of honor in the center of the room and waving dollar bills in the air. One of the men straddled her and she inserted the money between his ass cheeks.
For the love of…
By his side, Mimi held her stomach as she took in Daniel’s dumbfounded expression.
She’d tricked him into crashing a bachelorette party.
Mimi: 1. Daniel: 0.
* * *
Mimi debated whether to break out her iPhone and take a picture of Daniel’s face. It. Was. Priceless. Ha. Mr. Perfection looked less than perfect at the moment. He’d scrunched his face so that his brows almost touched, and he was running his hands through his hair as he backed up.
She laughed. “Where you going, Daniel?”
He stopped mid-step. “You knew this was a bachelorette party?”
“Why didn’t you tell me that?”
“I didn’t think it mattered,” she said with a shrug of her shoulders. “Does it?”
“Do you think I want to stare at a bunch of men in thongs?”
“I don’t know. Do you?”
He smirked. “Even if I wanted to stare at a man in a thong, I assure you a leopard print would not be my first choice.”
Oh, good. He had a sense of humor lurking under that polished veneer. “Point taken. You’re free to leave, Daniel.” She waggled her eyebrows. “I’m going to hang out for a bit and watch the show. Make sure Rosa doesn’t get into any trouble.”
She glanced around the room searching for her fellow party crasher, but Rosa had disappeared into the throng. Go, Rosa. One of the male strippers was leading the bride-to-be back to her table while another fully clothed stripper crooked a finger at a woman in the audience. That woman nearly upended the chair in the center of the dance floor in her rush to sit on it. The emcee, meanwhile, pumped his hands in the air, inciting the crowd even more.
Beside her, Daniel made no move to leave and instead put two fingers to his mouth and whistled. What the hell?
Daniel motioned for the emcee’s attention and pulled the man to the side, speaking rapid-fire Spanish to him. Dammit. If only she’d paid attention to Señora Colon in high school. Mimi strained to hear what Daniel was saying, though the exercise was pointless. She did appreciate the sound of his voice, however, each roll of his r’s making him more attractive in her eyes. No, no, no. This was Daniel. An arrogant, self-centered ladies’ man if ever there was one.
The emcee exchanged words with one of the dancers, and before she knew what was happening, the dancer pulled Mimi to the center of the room and guided her to sit in the chair.
Daniel clapped and whistled from his spot in the audience.
She pretended to protest her situation, shaking her head and covering her face in feigned embarrassment. In reality, however, she mentally licked her lips in anticipation. The stripper was cute, a little young for her taste, yet attractive enough for a one-night stand.
But then he sauntered away, and Daniel took his place.
Her mouth went dry, and her face burned. What is happening? I cannot compute. I cannot compute.
In an unexpectedly suave move, Daniel spun around to face the crowd of women and loosened his tie. A collective cheer erupted from the audience, and playing to the masses, Mimi fanned herself.
He wouldn’t strip. N
The music changed tempo, slowing to a sinewy Reggaeton beat that made her think of the slip and slide of limbs between silk sheets. Daniel rocked his hips as he flicked the top button of his dress shirt. The man had rhythm in spades, and his movements made her think of his body slipping and sliding with hers between silk sheets. Given that his smoky gaze had zeroed in on her face, she guessed that had been his objective.
Any minute now he’d laugh and pull her from the chair, bowing to the ladies who’d expected a lot more skin. Except he flicked another button. And another. And yet another. And then he slipped off his suit jacket and let it fall to the floor.
“More, more, more,” the women behind him chanted.
Mimi caught a glimpse of his defined pecs through his open shirt, and her breath hitched. No. Absolutely not. She closed her eyes and clamped her legs shut. Stand down, lady bits. Stand the fuck down.
The crowd roared. The floor shook. Her own sense of self-preservation forced her to open one eye. He’d taken off his shirt, and she blinked several times to make sure she hadn’t been transported to the set of Magic Mike. Nope. That was Daniel. Daniel with the six-pack abs. Daniel with the broad shoulders. Daniel with the so freaking happy trail.
In a trance, she watched him stalk across the dance floor and face her with his legs apart. Then he winked at her and held out his hand. “Had enough?”
Mimi had never been one to suffer bullshit, so she told him the truth. “Quite the opposite. I want more.” Just in case that hadn’t been clear enough, she trailed a single finger from his Adam’s apple to his navel. “A lot more.”
He bent at the waist and whispered in her ear. “You have ten minutes to head upstairs and say your good-byes.”
She leaned toward him and breathed in his scent. All male. All yummy. “Where are we going after that?”
He lifted her out of the chair and pulled her flush against his naked chest. “To your bed.”
* * *
As soon as Mimi hit the button for her floor, Daniel used his body to push her against the elevator wall. Her perfume, a tropical scent with a hint of citrus, drifted over him. With their bodies pressed together, her ample breasts touching his chest, he stared at her for a few seconds cataloging her features. They’d never been this close, her heat penetrating his shirt and warming him from the outside in. From this new vantage point, he could see that her eyes were blue-gray rather than true blue, and her pupils were dilated.
by Mia Sosa / Romance have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes