Read Trust Game Online

Authors: Scarlet Wolfe

Trust Game

 

Trust Game

 

Scarlet Wolfe

 

Copyright © 2014 Scarlet Wolfe Books

All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.

ISBN-13: 978-1499708080

ISBN-10:
1499708084

Notes

 

This novel is written from the point of view of

Everett and Reese.

Dedication

 

To
Scarlet’s Red-Hot Readers. The way you support me and my writing blows my mind. I am grateful for each and every one of you!

Chapter One

Reese

 

After putting my Volkswagen Beetle in park, I stare at the building. Accepting that this would be a stepping stone to something bigger and better isn’t entirely squelching my disappointment.

I
envisioned my first accounting manager position being at a more prestigious company. A retail store for motorcycles and dirt bikes, and an attached mechanic/detail shop to work on said bikes is not my first choice.

Also loving the city,
I was hoping to have a job in Atlanta, not the northern town of Marietta, where I’ve lived the last twenty-six years.

Peering in the rearview mirror, I apply my lipstick
and take one lingering look, preparing myself for more change. I’ve had too much of it this year, and it’s only March.

I gather my purse and lunch and
head toward the building. When I enter the store, I freeze. Casteel Motorsport agreed to interview me in the late evening, a few weeks ago, to accommodate the schedule I had with my former employer, so I’m surprised to see how busy they are this morning.

I can’t
remember ever being the only female in a room with this many males. As eyes fall on me, mine dart around in an attempt to find another woman on the premises.

When I don’t
quickly spot one, I approach the nearest counter. There’s a strong odor of leather and automotive parts, similar to that new vehicle smell, filling my nose as I wait.

T
he young gentleman at the counter is helping someone, so I watch as he types into a computer and discusses something sounding completely foreign to me.

I’m gathering
from the miniscule of information I can understand that the employee and customer might be discussing parts to a motorcycle.

Taking a deep
breath and exhaling slowly, I deliver myself a pep talk. I’m aware it will take time to learn all there is to know about this industry, so I shouldn’t be hard on myself for not being familiar with the products.

As the
customer walks away, the employee’s eyes meet mine. The light blue irises are vivid and set large and round. He smiles, and like his eyes, his mouth displays a radiant glow.

Teeth sparkle
, and his smile alone is telling a story of his incredible charm. It’s oozing from the boy.

“Hi, ma’am. What c
an I do for you today?” he asks.

“Hello, I’m
Reese Abbott, the new accounting manager.” Stretching my hand across the counter, I give him a firm handshake.

“Oh, um, I’m
Travis. I’m guessing Sarge interviewed you, but he failed to inform me you’d be starting today.”

“Yes,
that’s the name he gave.”

Travis chuckles
. “He did a tour in the desert and couldn’t let the title go or the bossiness, so he’s Sarge. I can say that since he’s my older brother.”

I smile
, unsure of how to respond. Travis looks to another employee. “Franklin, take over for me. I’m walking Ms. Abbott back to Sarge.” He strolls around the counter and motions for me to follow him.

“I’m sorry, is it Ms. or Mrs
.?”

“It’s Ms.”

“Oh, boy,” Travis murmurs. I don’t comment, but I’m curious as to why he said what he did. As fast as he is moving, I feel like I’m running a marathon in heels.

The black pencil skirt I’m wearing is making it difficult for me to widen my stride, too. I imagine my dress attire will soon be downgraded.

I hear the loud male voices once we enter a hallway. There are two offices on the right and two on the left. Travis takes me to the second door on the right.

“Ms. Abbott is here,” he says as soon as he s
teps inside. I follow him in, and the two men’s eyes flash my way.

Sarge, the man who interviewed me,
swiftly sits up in his chair that was leaning far back and unlaces the hands that were behind his head.

“Hi, Ms. Abbott. I’m glad you showed.”

“You did hire me,” I say with a smile.

Travis scratches his head. “I’m heading back up front.
I’m sure I’ll be talking to you again. You’re in good hands with Sarge here.” He gives me a flirty smile before he leaves the office.

“Um, this is my younger brother, Roman. He’s our head mechanic and
supervises the other shop guys,” Sarge says after pointing to him.

I’m guessing Sarge to be in his late thirties and Roman mid-thirties. Although I find the two of them too old for me and Travis to be too young, I can’t help but notice how attractive all three of the brothers are.

“Roman, this is Ms. Abbott. She’s the new accounting manager.”

Travis and Sarge, along with the other employees I saw up front, are dressed in black t-shirts with their store logo printed on the front in a deep blue, whereas Roman is wearing a black, button up shirt with a blue patch on the pocket that states his name.

There is grease covering most of his arms and hands, and that maintenance shop odor is much stronger in this room.

Roman gives me the same whopping grin I
received from Travis before he shifts his gaze back to his brother. “Did Everett approve this?”

“Um, I’ll handle him.” An uncomfortable expression appears on
Sarge’s face.

“Uh, I’m getting outta here before he shows
.” Roman turns to me and smiles again. “It was nice to meet you, Ms. Abbott. I’d shake your hand, but I’d get those pretty ones of yours dirty.”

He slips past me,
and now, I’m overly curious. I’m a professional and used to working in a sophisticated environment. I’m not getting the vibe Casteel operates that way. Who is Everett, and why are they giving off the vibe that he’s going to be difficult to work with?

“Let me show you
to your office, Ms. Abbott.”

“Oh, please call me
Reese,” I say as I follow Sarge down the hall and into the first room I’d passed on the right. The desk is old and file cabinets dirty, yet the computer is spotless and modern.

The new vehicle scent is
replaced with the smell of oil and metal. This is a world away from the plush tax accounting office I was working in.


Um, there are still two people you need to meet. One is my brother, Everett.” This is a family affair, but he’s the top dog. Everett was the smart one who finished college, and frankly, Roman and I don’t want the responsibility.”

Sarge runs a hand through his
light brown hair, appearing nervous. “I pretty much handle inventory and running the store out front. Everett might not be the most forthcoming with information, so if you aren’t getting the guidance you need from him or your assistant, Kyle, come find me.”

“Sure
.” I manage a faint smile, hiding the concern I have over the financial state or organization of the company. I guess I should’ve been asking more questions during my interview.

“L
et me take you over to meet Kyle.” Sarge knocks on the door across the hall, and a male’s voice tells us to enter. “Kyle, this is Ms. Reese Abbott.”

The young man
practically jumps from his seat and reaches his hand over his desk as he removes a pen from his mouth with the other.


Hi, I’m Kyle.” His hazel eyes attempt to mask the same humor I noticed in the other men’s eyes. He appears younger but not by as many years as Travis. I’m trying to wrap my brain around why there are no other females in the place.

“Hi, it’
s nice to meet you, and please, call me Reese.”

“Let’s go over to your office
and log you into the computer,” Kyle says, smiling as he comes around the desk. Sarge motions toward the door.

“OK, I’ll leave you
two alone.”

After following
Kyle back to my office, I spend the next half hour getting acquainted with him and the software they use for accounting.

He shows me the
filing system, and I’m relieved to see some organization to it. Kyle is intelligent, and this, too, settles my nerves.

“Um, have you met Everett?” he asks.

“No, I haven’t yet.”


Oh,” he says with a touch of anxiety to his voice. “I’ll leave you alone to get familiar with the software.”


Kyle, later I’d like to discuss your job duties and have you walk me through the invoicing process.”


Sure, find me whenever you’re ready.”

He
leaves me alone, and I sigh, releasing some of the nervous tension I’ve been carrying this morning. I can make this work.

Everyone
so far seems pleasant, and surely I can deal with whatever this Everett throws at me. I’ve worked with difficult people before.

Chapter Two

Everett

 

After walking through the front door of the store, I glance to the counter. It’s a relief to see how busy we are this morning, especially when I just came from a meeting with a new supplier. Travis gives me a shit-eating grin.

“What the hell is that for?” I ask loudly.

“You’ll see,” he replies with a chuckle. I swear if the shop guys put another damn blow up doll in my chair, they will not get a summer bonus this year.

Starting d
own the hallway to my office, I halt after passing the first one.
No fucking way.
After taking three steps backward, my binder, which is tucked under one arm, slips and falls to the floor. Scrambling, I pick it up as I hold a cup of coffee in my other hand.

When I stand
, the woman is staring at me from the desk. Sarge is in deep shit. Dammit, she’s gorgeous, too. I want the blow up doll. The real deal is nothing but heartache and trouble.

“Hi,” she says as she rises from
her chair and comes around to greet me.
Holy hell, that body.
“I’m guessing you’re Everett Casteel,” she says, sticking her hand out.

I put my wandering eyes in their straight jacket a
nd gaze at hers. It’s no better of a place to look since they’re a billboard advertisement for seduction. Yeah, this ain’t happenin’.

“I’m Reese.”

Situating the binder under my arm, I then shake her hand. It’s soft, but her grip is firm, and I imagine she could grip something else firmly. And that mouth … I bet it’s equally talented with her tongue as the tour guide.

Fuck, it’s been way to long since I’ve had sex.

“Yes, I’m Everett. I’m guessing you now work here, and I bet Sarge hired you.”

“Correct.”

“Do you know anything about bikes?” I ask, probably not as nicely as I should have.

“No, I don’t, but I’ll spend as many hours here as it takes to learn about them quickly.”

I need to walk away
before it becomes difficult to send her ass out the door. “Um, I need to speak to Sarge.”

“Sure.
It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Casteel.” Her provocative smile snakes right into her stunning, green eyes. I know that look.

“Ca
ll me Everett or Ev.” Abruptly, I make my way to my office. After setting my stuff down, I storm over to Sarge’s and slam the door behind me. “Tell me this a prank. Did Roman and his guys put you up to this?”

“No, and you need to lower your voice. These walls aren’t that thick,” my older brother says from his chair. I’m pacing back and forth in front of his desk.

“We agreed that you would hire another old fuck that has an immense amount of tax experience and won’t cause us grief around here.”

“Yeah, well I didn’t have any applicants who fit your stringent requirements, and we’re going to have the labor department up our ass if we don’t get some females working in this place. And for the last time, lower your damn voice.”

“We have a couple of girls that work the counter,” I say in a semi-quieter voice.

“That’s not enough, Ev.”

“How old is she?”

“Twenty-six.”

“She’s too young to handle our tax situation.”

Sarge leans back in his noisy chair and crosses his arms. He might not want to do that. One of these days, that chair i
s going down, taking him with it, and I’m going to laugh my ass off when it happens. He scratches at his hair.

“I
t’s been over two years, Ev. Krystal’s death isn’t every other woman’s fault. It’s not good for you to avoid them completely.”

I stop pacing and point at him.

“You don’t know what it’s like to have your wife die in your arms, so I don’t think you have the right to give me advice.”

“I know what it’s like to watch my brot
her gradually die because he feels too guilty to live. Love, happiness, family … those are only a few of the vital things money can’t buy.

“It doesn’t matter how far you bury yourself into work or how much
cash you bring in for this place; you’ll never be happy until you let another woman in.”

“Have you been watching that Lif
etime channel with Sheryl again?” I ask.


No, asshole, and you need to stop being a candy-ass around women before the next blow up doll in your chair has a penis.”

After glaring
at my brother, I return to my office. Since I’m going to have to work next to this attractive woman, I hope she can at least fix our tax problem.

Sarge is probably right. I guess it is time I begin moving forward. Not having someone to go home to or have sex with is getting old.

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