Home > My One And Only (Very Irresistible Bachelors #5)

My One And Only (Very Irresistible Bachelors #5)
Author: Layla Hagen

 

Chapter One


Liam

 


“Hi, Gran. All good?” I checked in with my grandmother twice a week, no matter what I had going on. Right now, I was on a short break from hearing pitches from companies that my fund was considering investing in.

“Still alive,” she said.

I groaned. “Can you please find another way to greet me?”

“Why? I’m grateful every day for not biting the dust.”

She had a point, but it was still too morbid for my taste.

“How are you?” I asked.

“Just left my Pilates studio. Should have tried it out years ago. Don’t know why I didn’t.”

“Never too late to try out new things,” I agreed.

“When’s the last time you tried out something new?” she asked.

I actually had to think hard about that, and I still didn’t come up with anything.

“I don’t remember.” I didn’t have time for new experiences, but I liked my life.

I was running my investment fund, Harrington & Co., with my two best friends, David and Becca.

“See, that’s not good. One day you’ll be eighty and wondering when you let life pass you by.”

I laughed. “I’ll keep that in mind, Gran. Do you need anything?”

“No, no. I’m fine. That delivery service app you showed me is wonderful.”

“I’m glad you like it.”

One of the companies I invested in a few years ago developed an app that was a mix between existing concierge services and food delivery. The team behind it were geniuses when it came to user friendliness. As proof, Gran got the hang of it in fifteen minutes.

“I can still stop by. It doesn’t replace me,” I said playfully.

“Oh, I guess you could. You’re still the best chess player I know.”

“Happy to know I’m still a worthy opponent.” We played chess for as long as I could remember. Gran thought she was better than she actually was, mostly because Grandpa let her win one too many times. He always claimed she was in a better mood afterward and that a man had to choose his battles. Gran could be stubborn and feisty, two traits I seemed to have inherited.

After hanging up, I checked the time. I still had a few minutes before the next pitch started, so I headed to the restroom. It was going to be a long day. We were in an auditorium across from our office building in the Upper West Side.

Harrington & Co. accepted proposals once a year from businesses looking for investors. We had twenty applicants this year, and they were all excellent. I took that as a compliment to our fund. It was proof that we were well known in New York and attracted a lot of interest. Usually, we signed on about three new companies each year, but this time, we were only going to take one. Our team was stretched thin already, and until we wanted to bring on more new hires, one more company was all we could manage.

Where the hell are the bathrooms? We only rented this place once a year for pitches, and the damn place was a maze every time. I went down the wrong corridor twice before stepping into the right one, then headed straight to the men’s room, still playing in my mind the five pitches I already heard. I opened the door and stumbled upon a woman who was only half dressed.

Fuck. Me. She was tall with an hourglass figure and glossy hair that fell over her shoulders. I couldn’t tell if it was blonde or brown—it seemed like a mix that suited her perfectly.

She’d taken off her shirt and was currently only wearing a red bra that was driving me insane.

“Oh my God. This is the ladies’ room,” she exclaimed, wincing when she noticed me.

Several things happened at the same time. She took a step back and tried to shield her chest, but one of the cups seemed to detach itself. I got an eyeful of a gorgeous breast before she managed to cover her front with her arms. A deep blush appeared on her cheeks, highlighting her blue eyes.

“I’m sorry. I wasn’t paying attention.”

“Close the door. Now.”

I stepped back, immediately shutting the door, but it didn’t close all the way. A thin crack remained, but she was completely out of my sight.

“I apologize again,” I said through the door. “I was lost in thought and wasn’t paying attention. I didn’t mean to walk in on you.” I glanced at the signs on the doors. I could swear they were reversed last year, but maybe my mind was playing tricks on me.

“Oh my God. This is so embarrassing. I, um, had to wash off a stain. I don’t make a habit of stripping in bathrooms.” She was rambling, speaking very fast.

“You’re here for the pitching session, right?”

I recognized her because I’d seen her in the waiting room with the other applicants earlier today. I wanted to put her at ease.

“Yes. Tess Winchester from Soho Lingerie. And you’re Liam Harrington, right?”

“Yes.”

“Well, what a way to meet,” she mumbled.

“I’ll pretend I haven’t seen anything.”

There was a small pause before she asked in a low voice, “So you did see?”

“No, nothing,” I said quickly.

“Oh, that sounds so convincing.”

This wasn’t working out. The more I tried to reassure her, the more she got herself in a frenzy.

“Okay, then I’ll pretend we haven’t met. How about that?” I asked.

She chuckled.

“Is there anything I can do to make this situation better?”

“Ending this awkward conversation?”

She sounded flustered. She was right. This wasn’t helping—quite the contrary, actually. Now that she mentioned it, I realized I was just prolonging an awkward situation. After all, she was still half dressed in there.

“I’ll see you in the auditorium. Good luck.”

She laughed. It was more of a nervous chuckle, but it was still progress. The last thing I wanted was for her to walk in that auditorium and stumble over her own words because of this. She had one shot. I didn’t want anything to jeopardize her chances of success.

I wasn’t really sold on their business. I remembered from the application they sent that they had impressive sales numbers, but they had a short history. This didn’t mean, however, that I wasn’t going to give their pitch a fair shot.

“I’ll try to do the same.”

I smiled before ducking into the men’s room, still miffed at my mistake. The auditorium building had been under renovation recently, so perhaps they changed the locations of the bathrooms?

It didn’t matter, in truth. I had other problems. I might be able to pretend we hadn’t met, but there was no erasing that sinful image from my mind.

***

Tess

Oh my God, this was embarrassing. I spilled coffee on my shirt, so I’d come to the bathroom to clean it off. Instead, I flashed my boobs to Liam Harrington himself. What a way to start the day.

I recognized him from the photo on his company’s website. I’d also seen him in passing this morning when we were all shown to the waiting room.

I gave up trying to wash off the stain, just holding the wet portion of my shirt under the hand dryer for a full minute. After putting it on, I also slung my black suit jacket on, buttoning it up. There, now it was hidden. I just hoped I wouldn’t break into a sweat.

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