Working Stiff:Casimir (Runaway Billionaires #1)(6)

By: Blair Babylon

Well, hers and her three fuzzy roommates’.

She had uploaded the DiCaprio contract to the office cloud, ready to print it out and hand it to Cash when she got there after flagging it last night. For some reason, Cash liked to go over a contract at least once in hard copy, reading the actual pieces of paper with her notes typed in little bubbles in the margins. Pointing and yelling at the contract was easier to do with a stack of paper.

Paper was much more dramatic when thrown against a wall, too. A thumb drive just went plink on the plaster and dropped to the carpet. So unsatisfying.

Rox trotted over to the door, adjusting her blouse and suit jacket, which she was of course wearing even though it was almost eighty degrees Fahrenheit out there already. Suits hid her lumpy pudge a lot better than some of the slim sundresses that the other girls wore.

Luckily, her new car had fantastic air conditioning and that new-car smell.

On the table near the door, one of her cats had squeezed himself into Rox’s purse. His long, ginger-blond fur and sumptuous gut overflowed her bag, and he swished his bushy tail and blinked his one good eye up at her. His chewed-up ears, long since healed, swiveled toward her while he purred, thrilled with himself that he had wedged himself inside it once again.

She scratched his head, feeling the lumpy scar tissue, and ran her hand down his back, careful to go easy on the hard pebble where someone had shot him with a BB during his homeless kittenhood. “Pirate, we have discussed this. I need my purse.”

He purred more loudly and blinked his yellow eye at her.

“Come on.” She slipped her hands around him—her fingers running through his cottony fur—and grunted when she lifted him out of the bag. “You need to diet, mister. You and me, both.”

She had been working a lot the last few years, staying late and getting into the office early, and working through meals. Back home in Georgia, she would have been considered a little plump. In body-obsessed Los Angeles, Rox was constantly aware that she was always the chubbiest one in the room.

Rox carried Pirate over to one of the three cat beds in the middle of the room where the sunlight shone most brightly during the day and lowered him into the nest. Hand-crocheted kitty afghans lined each bed. The one in Pirate’s bed looked a little shredded. She should buy some yarn and whip him up a new one.

Speedbump and Midnight sprawled in the other beds, stretched to suck up the morning sunlight. Pirate sniffed and poked around before he settled.

Yep, three cats.

When you volunteer at an animal shelter, accidentally adopting cats is an occupational hazard.

It was a good thing that she volunteered at the no-kill shelter the next town over. They needed her help more than the local shelter, and if she had volunteered at the local shelter that euthanized a lot of their strays, Rox would have owned three hundred cats.

Hiding even these three beasts from the super could be a hassle.

Behind the cats, her living room was smothered in pearl pink velvet and lace, just how she liked it. Rose potpourri fumed flowery scent from every tabletop.

Rox might wear dark, tailored suits to work, but she went full-blown girlie-girl when it came to her own space. One of the guys she had dated last year, Robbie, had loved it, saying that it was like being invited into a lady’s bedchamber where no man had ever entered, only to ravish her.

Robbie had been fun, but it hadn’t quite worked out. They had drifted apart amicably after a few months.

She went back over to the little table by the entryway and called goodbye to her cats as she fished around her purse for her keys. They thumped their tails, ready for their fully booked day of eating and sleeping while she earned the money for the kibble and cat litter.

Just before Rox left, she slipped on the wedding ring set that had been lying in a blue bowl on the table beside a larger bowl of lemons and oranges. The cubic zirconia glittered in a stray sunlight shaft, and the thin gold plating shone.

She had bought the rings for herself during her lunch break on her first day of working at Arbeitman, Silverman, and Amsberg, after hearing that Cash Amsberg the Heartbreaking Superman was repelled not by kryptonite, but by diamonds.

Cash might be a maleslut, but he didn’t touch married women. He didn’t even flirt with them. It was like he shut it all down. His flirting with Rox was just friendly banter, like girls do with their gay guy friends. It’s just all in good fun.