Best Friends, Secret Lovers

By: Jessica Lemmon


He shrugged and then turned in the direction of the elevator.

What a pile of crap-male logic.

Flynn needed time and space to acclimate—time to heal—and the last thing he needed was to spend time with a nameless, faceless woman.

He’d spent years with a woman who had both a face and a name. Sabrina felt possessive of him at first, but quickly determined that wasn’t fair. She’d never had a claim on him. As his best friend, sure, and that meant she supported him no matter what—that hadn’t changed. She’d tell him exactly what she thought if he started entertaining the idea of taking home a random...floozy in the hopes of improving his mood.

As she was contemplating whether anyone still used the word floozy, the door opened. A swarm of suits filed out of the room. Most of them were the senior members of the staff, the men and women who had helped build Monarch back when Emmons had started the company with nothing more than a legal pad and a number two pencil. It was admirable that Emmons Parker had built a consulting business from scratch, and even more so that it’d become the top management consulting firm for not only Seattle but also for a great deal of the Pacific Northwest.

He’d demanded excellence from all of them, in particular Flynn, who had been strong-armed into the executive level within the firm. When Flynn graduated college, he’d landed Gage and Sabrina internships. Reid started a few years later, after an unsuccessful trip back home to London resulted in his admitting that he preferred living in America. Sabrina wasn’t surprised. Reid was much more suited to Seattle than London. And the weather was similar.

She stepped out of the way of Mac, who was marching past her, propelled by the steam coming out of his ears. He wore an unstylish brown suit and his jowls hung over the tightly buttoned collar at his neck. His tie was tight and short, his arms ramrod stiff at his sides, and his hands were balled into ham-sized fists.

The rest of the executives who ran various departments of Monarch paraded out next, but no one appeared as incensed as Mac.

She offered a paper-thin smile at Belinda, Monarch’s legal counsel. Belinda was smart and tough, but also a human being who cared, which made her one of Sabrina’s favorite people.

“What’s going on?” Sabrina whispered, following Belinda’s lead away from the pack.

Belinda stopped and watched the rest of the crew wander off in various directions of the office before leveling with Sabrina in her honest, curt way. “You need to get Flynn out of here, Sabrina, or they’re going to revolt.”

“Oh-kay. I can...take him to lunch or something.”

“Not for an hour. For a few weeks. A month. Long enough for him to remember what is important or they’re going to abandon ship. Son of Emmons Parker or not, he doesn’t have their support.”

“I’ve never had their support,” Flynn boomed from behind Belinda. To her credit, she didn’t wilt or jerk in surprise. She simply turned and shook her head.

“You heard my suggestion,” she told him with a pointed glance before leaving Flynn and Sabrina alone.

“What happened in there? You guys brought down the house.”

“What happened is that they’re blaming me for stock prices taking a dive. Like it’s my fault Emmons died and made our investors twitchy.”

He dragged a hand over his short, stylish brown hair and closed his eyes. Long lashes shadowed chiseled cheeks and a firm, angled jaw. If there was only one attribute Flynn had inherited from his father it was his staggering good looks. Emmons, even for an older guy, had been handsome...until he opened his mouth. Flynn wielded those strong Parker genes like a champ, wearing jeans and Ts or suits and ties and looking at home in either. He wore the latter now, a dark suit and smart pale blue shirt with a deeper blue tie. A line marred his brow—that was a more recent feature. He’d had it since he’d taken over Monarch and inherited the problems that came with it.

“They have to know that the company was declining as soon as the Seattle Times ran the article that announced your father was ailing,” she told him. “That has nothing to do with you.”

“They don’t care, Sab.” He turned on his heel and marched to the elevator. She followed since her office was on the same floor as his. He held the door for her when he saw her coming and she stepped in next to him as the elevator traveled up the three floors she had intended to walk so she could count them on her fitness tracker.

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