I just don’t know if he knows what being equals means.

I mean, he’s a man. How can he? The idea he throws out there gets all lapped up, but could you imagine me doing the same? Coming into a meeting with the CEOs and pitching fucking pineapple-flavored condoms on a stick? They’d all think I’m a whore and then they’d laugh me out of the room. To get the respect that he gets, I have to work three times as hard.

Thank fuck I’m a hard worker.

I sit up straighter and give Kessler my most pleasant smile, which he immediately balks from because that motherfucker knows what it means.

“Coconuts,” I say and when everyone stares at me with blank expressions, I go on. “Coconut helmets.”

“Coconut helmets?” George repeats.

“Coconut bike helmets,” I elaborate. “Because I think that Kahuna Hotels should start implementing a bike program. We’ve all seen it take off in major cities, including Honolulu. People want to be responsible citizens. They don’t want to call a cab or an Uber and use harmful emissions if they don’t have to. In cities around the world, bikes and scooters are taking over, providing a cheap, fun and environmentally-friendly way to travel. I think if Kahuna Hotels started providing free cruiser bikes to their guests—with coconut bike helmets with our logo—we’ll appeal to the hip and environmentally friendly traveler. It’s sexy these days to do what you can to stop climate change.”

I sit back in my chair, trying not to feel proud of myself for completely pulling that out of my ass.

I glance briefly at Kessler and see that even he looks impressed.

“Hmmm,” George says. “That’s not a bad idea. Hey, it might work well with the free condoms, Kessler. Think about it. During the day you go for a ride and at night you go for another ride.”

Oh. God.


“Makes perfect sense to me,” Kessler says with one of those jovial I’m one of the boys laughs and I don’t think I’ve ever hated him more.

Kessler goes on, that smirk returning. “It works perfectly, Nova. Travelers these days want their finger to be on the pulse of everything new. They want to feel things from the inside out. They want to be knuckle-deep in tomorrow’s promises.”

This motherfucker is feeding me straight-up innuendo during a meeting.

That’s no accident.

I lash out and kick him under the table.

George leaps up in pained surprise.

“Ow!” he cries loudly. “What the—?”

Oh shit.

Wrong shin.

“I am so sorry,” I exclaim, “I was just crossing my legs.”

“Holy moly, Nova,” George says, practically weeping at this point. “Do you wear the pointiest shoes in the world?”

“I am so sorry,” I say again, getting to my feet, because if I stay in this god damn meeting one minute longer, I’m going to burn the whole room down with me in it. “I think I need more potassium or something. Leg spasms. I’m going to go talk to Teef about it, he always seems to be eating bananas.”

“Nova,” Kessler says but I don’t even look at him. I’m out.

I walk out of the boardroom and down the hall, right to my office.

I probably should have gone to the elevator and headed out for lunch, or gone to the washroom where I could dab myself with a cold towel and calm down these rage flashes, but instead I go in my office and slam the door.

I’m pretty sure the whole office shook.

I’m about to go Supernova.

My door flies open and Kessler barges in, doesn’t even knock.

“What is going on with you?” he asks. “Are you okay?”

I’m speechless for a moment and can only gesture wildly with my hands. “Am I okay? No!”

“What happened? Why did you kick George?”

The idiot actually looks confused.

“You happened. Finger on the pulse? Knuckle-deep?”

“I thought it was funny.”

“It wasn’t funny!” I yell. “Those are my bosses.”

“They didn’t know what I was talking about.”

“It doesn’t matter. You’re my boss too.”

“So I’m being inappropriate?”

“Hell yes you are. This is exactly why yesterday was a mistake.”

He flinches like I’ve backhanded him. “Look, I know you’re mad and I’m sorry I made a joke. We always joke about sex.”

“Not this time! This time it’s personal!”


“Because of what you just said. You’re my boss now. Letting that happen yesterday was…”

“A mistake. I know. But we can act like adults here.”

“Okay let me know when you plan on starting.”

He raises his palms in surrender and I notice the sweat starting to bead on his forehead. “I’m sorry, okay? I was inappropriate and I especially shouldn’t have hinted at anything between us or said any innuendo because I’m your boss. But just so we’re clear here, you’re not innocent in this at all, Demi Moore.”

“Demi Moore?” I say incredulously.

“Yeah. Disclosure. I know you’ve seen that movie.”

“Oh my god,” I say, stomping over to him, waving my arms. “Just get out. Go.”

“Fine, fine,” he says and I’m pretty much shutting the door in his face.

I lean back against the shut door, running my hands through my hair, trying to regain my temper. He’s not being professional at all but maybe he’s right with his Demi Moore comment. I’m not exactly professional either, trying to kick him under the table and all that.

He at least deserved it for the condom idea, the voice in my head says.

God, that’s right!

I whip open the door and storm down the hall to his office and I can feel heads poking up over the cubicles watching me as I go but I don’t care.

I barge right into his office, slamming the door behind me. “I’m not done with you yet!”

He’s sitting down at his chair, aiming the AC remote at the unit and stares at me in a mix of surprise and fear as I storm over to his desk.

“Condoms!” I yell at him. “Your idea was condoms?”

He blinks at me. “Uh, yeah.”

“What is wrong with you!?”

“What? Don’t pretend that you’re some prude suddenly. Believe me, I know you’re not a prude.”

“I’m not being a prude, you’re just turning this company into a joke. We can’t give condoms to our guests!”

“Why not, at Rockstar we had condoms available, along with a little sex kit they could buy from the mini bar.”

“This isn’t Rockstar. We don’t stoop to that level.”

“Hey I’ll have you know the sex kits were my idea.”

“Of course they were your idea,” I tell him. “Who else would think of such a thing?”

He gets out of his chair and takes off his blazer, hanging it on the back of his chair. “You’re just upset that the bosses liked my idea best.”


“Better than yours. Coconut bike helmets? Like that’s sexy?”

“It’s a good idea and you know it!”

“No, a good idea is keeping with the times. You yourself said you wanted to turn Kahuna Hotels into something that’s tailored to young couples and professionals. None of this family shit, just young, sexy and hip, a place where you’d even Instagram the toilet. That was your objective and you did it with the revamp of the hotel bars. You made a place where people could go to work and not be disturbed as well as try and pick up the hottie next to them. Why are condoms any further off? I mean, those bar hookups are going to go back to the hotel rooms and guess what, they’ll need condoms.”

“Pineapple ones? On a stick? Kessler, it’s going to look like a lollipop. What if someone does bring their kids here? Next thing we know children are going to start eating condoms by accident.”

“You’re the one who said to stop catering to families. Besides, parents have to get laid and have fun too.”

“I know you fucking do,” I say under my breath.

“Excuse me?” Kessler says, coming around the desk to me. “I need to get laid? You’re the one who came all over my fingers last night.”

“You’re the one who keeps bringing that up. I’d like to pretend it never happened.”

“Yeah fucking right,” he says, getting right in my face. His nostrils are flaring, his eyes burning into mine. “You go on pretending, but I know that last night you closed that door to your room and you got off thinking about me, thinking about my big fat cock squeezing inside your tight little cunt. Those fingers weren’t enough for you, nothing is enough for you when I’m in the picture.”

“You’re so full of it,” I sneer at him, staring at his lips, hating the words that are coming out of his mouth, hating how much they’re turning me on, hating how that mouth makes me feel when it’s flush against mine.

“You wish you were full of my cock,” he says, grabbing my hand and placing it right on the stiff length of him straining against his fly.

I want to laugh but it dissolves in my throat as my fingers curl around his dick, feeling the heat pulse through the fabric into my palm.

I’m fucking aching for him. I hate what he does to me, I hate that I should push him away and call him out for being inappropriate when all I want to do is sink to my knees and do inappropriate things to him.

“I hate you,” I hiss at him.

He smirks. “You only hate that you want me.”

“Same difference.”

“I don’t think so,” he says, his hand going to my hair and making a fist in my strands. I grip his dick harder in response. “I can practically smell how wet you are. You want me to shove up that little skirt and make your eyes cross when I slam inside you. You want me to fuck the hate out of you.”