Chandler by Laurelin Paige


  Laurelin Paige

  Paige Press, LLC


  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20


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  About the Author

  Copyright © 2016 by Laurelin Paige

  All rights reserved.

  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 written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.


  “Can you manage to keep your dick in your pants for one night?”

  Hudson’s question is meant to grab my attention, and it does. To be fair, I heard most of what he’d said up to this point. The parts that were of interest, anyway.

  Okay, maybe that wasn’t much.

  “Probably not. I don’t sleep in my pants, for one, and I do plan on sleeping.” I pull next to the valet podium at the Whitney Museum of Art, and add, “eventually,” because I know it will rile my brother up.

  His sigh is heavy with exasperation. “Can you keep your dick in your pants at the gala?”

  I grab my phone from its dock, automatically switching it out of Bluetooth mode, and bring it up to my ear. I pretend to consider as I step out of the car and button my tux jacket. “Hmm.”

  “Nice wheels,” the valet says, unconcerned that I’m on the phone.

  I pull out my wallet and flash a fifty-dollar bill. “Take care of her and this is yours.”

  “Yes sir, Mr. Pierce.”

  If Hudson were here, he’d wince at the recognition. It’s possible the valet knows me from the latest list of “Richest Men Under Thirty”—it’s the first year I’ve hit since I only got my trust fund when I turned twenty-four a few months back. But one look at the tattooed, pony-tailed Italian says he isn’t the type to read Forbes, which means he recognizes me from the gossip sites instead. Honestly, I don’t mind that I have a rep. It’s the elder Pierce who seems to care.

  Speaking of the elder Pierce…

  “Can I keep it in my pants until after the gala?” I repeat his earlier question as I stride toward the entrance of the museum. “I don’t know. How long is this thing supposed to last?” I’m messing with Hudson. It’s too easy not to. And really, what does he expect me to say? It’s not like I’m planning to try to get a girl to blow me on the event premises.

  Though, if one were to offer…

  “And don’t hit on anyone while you’re there, either.”

  Now he’s going too far. “Is that a baby crying?” I don’t really hear a baby crying, but the likelihood that there is one somewhere near him isn’t too slim. The recent birth of his twins is the whole reason I’m stuck going to this stupid shindig in the first place.

  “I mean it, Chandler.”

  As if on cue, a baby actually does start crying in the background. “Shouldn’t you go put a pacifier in it or something?”

  Hudson ignores me. “This is an important event,” he chides. “Accelecom is looking to strike a deal with Werner Media, and it’s crucial we make a good impression.”

  “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” It’s not like I don’t know this. He’s told me seventeen times just today, plus several hundred times earlier this week. In fact, every conversation we’ve had in the past few days has been about Accelecom’s charity gala tonight, which is more than a little strange, even for my work-obsessed older brother. Mainly because Werner Media isn’t a company we own. Sure, it belongs to family friends, but the Pierces haven’t been that close to the Werners since, well, around the time I graduated from high school. So why the fuck does he care so much about the impression I leave?

  It suddenly occurs to me to ask. “What exactly is it you hope to gain from my presence here tonight? The Werner-Accelecom merger has nothing to do with Pierce Industries, does it?”

  A beat goes by. “It’s a good opportunity for you,” he says finally. “There will be a lot of press there this evening, and if you play nice, you could get a good write-up, one that doesn’t involve the mayor’s daughter.”

  His answer is irritating. Though he’s easing me into the family business, I’m technically an owner of Pierce Industries, just like he is, and I hate it when he treats me like an average employee. We’re completely different people, from our attitudes about our careers to our physical looks—my eyes blue where his are grey, my hair blond where his is dark. But, despite our differences, I want our company to succeed as much as he does. I want our efforts to bear fruit, just like he does. He slaves away at the job, but I work hard, too.

  Well, hard enough.

  But I’m not in the mood to argue.

  I’m in the mood to deflect. “Man, that kid of yours is really howling. I didn’t know you subscribed to the cry-it-out method. I knew you were old, but 1990’s parenting? Come on.”

  “Chandler.” Hudson’s tone is clipped and stern. He means it to be intimidating.

  Spoiler: Hudson doesn’t scare me.

  “I’m hanging up now,” I say, pushing through the doors of the museum.

  “Do you understand what I’m saying?”

  “Yes. I understand. Dad.”

  I expect him to growl about my latest poke, but he’s distracted. “I’ll take him,” I hear him say, his words muffled as though he has his hand over the mouthpiece. Then, more clearly, “Chandler, I have to help Alayna with the babies.”

  “Finally. Wouldn’t want to have to accuse you of child neglect.” Without saying goodbye, I click END and, after putting it on silent, slip my phone into my inside jacket pocket. Hudson’s children can only preoccupy him for so long. Sooner or later, he’ll be back to riding my ass, and even though I’m here at this event in his place, as far as I’m concerned, I’m off the clock.

  The thing is, Hudson’s concerns are somewhat legit. Not because I can’t keep my cock in my pants, but because most of the time I don’t want to.

  What can I say? I’m a guy who loves women.

  Lucky for me, women usually love me too. And why wouldn’t they? I’m charming, young, good-looking, smart. Decent at my job, despite what Hudson tells anyone. Oh, and let’s not forget, filthy rich. I’m shower masturbation material come to life.

  Most impressive, though, is my bedroom portfolio—it’s not a secret that I’m a giver. Swear on the Pierce family name, I do not let a woman leave my sheets before she’s received at least two orgasms. The goal is always three, but I’m willing to concede that there are sometimes other factors besides me contributing to that outcome. Maybe she’s tired. Maybe her head’s too into it. Maybe she’s not good at relaxing. Whatever, I get it. But she’s getting two O’s regardless.

  Before I start sounding too noble, let me clarify—the orgasms are for me. There’s nothing like the feel of a pussy clenching around your cock, milking you to your own climax—that’s got to be the best definition of heaven around.

  But the biggest reason I deliver is because of the cost-benefit ratio. I’m a firm believer in what
goes around, comes around. The happier she is, the happier she’ll want to make me. I’m talking Happy with a capital “H.” And while I’m a one-night-only kind of guy—a fact I always make clear from the beginning—I’ve done really well with referrals. Call it a successful “business” model.

  Sometimes too successful, considering the way some of the ladies are eyeing me as I glance around the museum.

  It only takes one sweep of my gaze to know tonight is not going to create any problems for my brother. The room is filled with the kinds of women I’m one hundred percent not attracted to. Trophy wives looking for a distraction. Cougars who sit on the boards—and the faces—of whatever-and-whoever-is-in-this-week. Rich dames with so much Botox and spandex their bodies don’t even jiggle when they’re supposed to—and if she’s lying underneath me, it’s supposed to.

  That just leaves the women I’ve already been with, and I don’t do repeats.

  Well then, let’s make this trip an easy in and out, just like I like it. This time when I glance around, I look for the quickest opportunities to achieve the “make a good impression” edict that Hudson has given me. I make a plan. Mingle with the execs from my father’s country club, say hello to Warren Werner who I’ve just spotted by the fondue station, and then put in a bid at the auction in the adjoining room to make sure the Pierce presence is duly noticed.

  But first, I need a drink.

  A waitress passes by with a tray of caviar. “Excuse me. Is there a bar somewhere?”

  She tilts her lip into a flirtatious grin as she checks me out. Now this woman might be an option…

  But she’s working, and I’ll have to stick around until she gets off before I’ll have any chance of getting off myself, and I can already tell this thing is going to be a snooze-fest.

  Especially when she answers. “There’s champagne floating around. And some punch that should be spiked if it hasn’t been already.”

  “Well, shit. I should have brought my flask.” Though, if I had, it would have been filled with a single-malt scotch and not something I’d ever mix, let alone with fruit punch. I wink. “But thanks for the heads-up.”

  I can tell she wouldn’t mind more cozy conversation, but I slip away before she gets any ideas, and after a quick chat with some men I’ve done business with in the past, I run smack into Warren.

  “Chandler! I didn’t expect to see you here tonight. Where’s Hudson?” The man is practically a father to me, or rather, he was around while I was growing up about as much as my own dad was, which is to say, not much. In other words, I have to talk to him, but it’s going to be boring as hell.

  I put on my friendliest grin. “Alayna had her babies early. He’s taking some time ‘off.’” I use air quotes around the word off because Warren and I both know my brother works in his sleep.

  “Oh, yes. I recall hearing that.” He goes on to deliver heartfelt congratulations and the like before moving to the obligatory inquiries about the rest of my family, which I give, dutifully.

  This kind of small talk is the worst. I’m dying inside with every polite word. I only manage to tolerate it by dreaming about the real drink I’ll get later at The Sky Launch or another one of the nightclubs where hooking up is practically an item on the drink menu.

  Eventually, after Warren’s told me all about his upcoming plans to retire, I courteously ask about his daughter, Celia—Hudson’s childhood peer/possible lover/almost-baby-mama/part-of-a-complicated-friendship-that-I’ve-never-understood.

  Though Warren’s expression remains warm, his eyes harden, and I sense he’d prefer not to talk about her with me. While I was too young to be privy to the rift that happened between our once-close families, I have a feeling most of the bad blood has to do with Hudson not marrying Warren’s daughter.

  “Celia’s good,” he says curtly. “She’s in town at the moment. In fact, she was supposed to be here tonight but ended up canceling because of a headache.” Or because she was afraid she’d run into Hudson. “You know she’s married now, and her husband—”

  His sentence is cut off by a younger gentleman tapping on his shoulder. “Sorry to interrupt, but Mr. Fasbender is looking for you.”

  Fasbender. I recognize that name. He’s the owner of Accelecom and probably one of the people that Hudson would most prefer I be seen with tonight.

  Which is why I decide not to bother. I’ve done a fair bit of schmoozing already. If Hudson wanted more from me, he could have been more specific when he asked. Besides, he needs to learn to deal with disappointment, and who better to teach him but me.

  Grabbing a glass of champagne from a passing waiter, I head to the area where the silent auction has been situated. I peruse the items up for bid, quickly bypassing the most popular draws—a houseboat, a vineyard in France, a private island off of Malta—and settle on the gaudiest piece of art I’ve ever set my eyes on. Complete with a five-inch thick ostentatious gold frame, the six-foot square canvas is covered with abstract red-hued phallic brush strokes. It’s bold and brusque. It makes me angry just to look at it.

  It’s perfect.

  I pull a Montblanc fountain pen from my breast pocket and find the next blank line on the auction sheet. Tripling the last amount offered, I fill in my own bid. Then, with a gleeful smirk, I sign Hudson’s name and his office phone number before tucking the pen back in my jacket.

  There. I’ll pose for a picture at the door on my way out for good measure, but otherwise my work here is done. And without causing any trouble. Consider it a baby gift, Hudson.

  Downing the too-sweet champagne, I turn to search for a place to set my empty glass before making my trek back across the museum floor.

  That’s when I see her.

  My breath is knocked from my chest the second my gaze slams into her. I swear there’s a spotlight on her. Cliché, isn’t it? But I pull my eyes up toward the ceiling to see if there’s a fixture directed at her and am surprised when I find none. Because she literally shines.

  Frozen to my spot, I ignore the people pressing past me coming to and from the auction tables, drinking in every detail I can of the beauty across the room. Her long shapely legs, her lusciously curved hips, her pouty mouth drawn into a tight line. She’s wearing a lace shift dress—my sister owns a boutique, I know these terms—simple in shape, but the pattern is elegant, making her look classier than many of the older women here in their skin-tight bling-bling gowns. She’s on the tall side, but not too tall. With her modest heels, she’s just the right height to kiss. Just the right height to devour without having to bend. Just the right height to be able to look in her eyes as my hand presses gently at her throat.

  Jesus, did I just fantasize about choking a woman? What the fuck is wrong with me? I’m the first to admit I’m a pig, but I’ve never had those kinds of kinky thoughts. I’ve never not been a gentleman. Never wanted to not be nice like I want to not be nice looking at her. She’s just so…captivating.

  I’m not the only one who notices. She’s surrounded by a flock of men who are not very good at hiding their eagerness to see what’s beneath her dress, and I can’t say that I blame them. She’s that alluring. That hypnotizing.

  She’s not even the kind of girl I’m attracted to. Too thin, too brunette. Too young—she can’t be more than twenty-five. But there’s something about her. Something that separates her from the crowd. Something in her gestures as she patiently tolerates her would-be suitors. Something about her posture, which is polished, but aloof. Something about her entire being that keeps my eyes pinned to her like a lion’s pinned to his prey.

  I should leave. I know this. It’s not my M.O. to stalk. I prefer to be the one reeled in—again, part of the model I’ve successfully honed. But I’m stuck, glued to the spot, staring at this intriguing creature with graceful movements and delicate features.

  And then there’s a clearing in her swarm of admirers, and I’m suddenly not stuck, but moving toward her, drawn as if on the descent of a zip-line. She hasn’t noticed me, and
I take advantage of that, circling around her so that I can approach her from behind. It gives me a chance to check her hand, when I’m near enough, for signs of a ring. A ring is a deal-breaker for me. I don’t do infidelity, never have. Once, I came close. Or rather, the situation felt close to cheating, and it was terrible. I won’t do that again.

  But that was five long years ago now and not only has that lesson been learned, it also seems to be unnecessary tonight. The slinky brunette that has lured me across the room is ring-less. I’m assuming she’s also date-less, or if not, she should be, because no way in hell would any decent man leave his girlfriend alone around the predators here. Predators like me.

  It briefly occurs to me that I’ve never once thought of myself as a predator, and that maybe these ideas in my head are a sign that I need to get the fuck out of Dodge.

  But I can’t. For reasons I can’t explain. Reasons that are primal and base and as out of my control as breathing.

  As well as being ring-less, she’s also drink-less, and so, as a waiter passes, I drop off my empty flute, and retrieve two fresh glasses.

  When my prey turns casually in my direction, I’m ready.

  I hold out a glass in her direction. “Champagne?”

  Her grey eyes spark when they catch mine, sending a jolt straight to my dick. I’d know that look anywhere—she likes what she sees, and thank god, because now that I’ve seen her close up, I’m absolutely certain that I have to have her. Have to possess her. Have to do unspeakably dirty things to every inch of her body.

  Tighten those reins, boy. Get ahold of yourself.

  I almost do, but then she narrows her stare and twists her lip. It’s the lip that does me in.

  “How do I know you didn’t put anything in it?” she asks, and JesusfuckingChrist, she’s got an English accent. I’m instantly hard.

  Okay, semi-hard. I’m not twelve. I have some control.

  “Well,” I consider, “I have two drinks. You choose which one, and I’ll drink the other.”

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