Like a Boss - Annabelle Costa Page 0,1

swiveled in his direction as he held their rapt attention. Even at eighteen, Luke had the power to command a room.

“My name is Lucas Thayer the Third but everyone calls me Luke,” he said. I had never met someone with a roman numeral before—I wasn’t impressed. “Here are my three facts. I have spent every summer in Greece since I was an infant. I have seven brothers and sisters. And I speak four languages fluently.”

The Greece thing was surely true, as evidenced by his glowing tan and the natural-looking blond streaks in his hair. I found it very hard to believe Luke could speak any language other than English fluently, and I even had my doubts about English. Then again, something about Luke screamed out “only child.” But maybe in the huge mansion that was surely his home, seven siblings wouldn’t be that noticeable.

We voted and it turned out Luke was, in fact, fluent in Greek, French, and German aside from English. His parents, while Anglo, loved Greece and had a summer home out there. (Actually, he called it “a villa.” He had a villa and I had a tiny bedroom at home that I shared with my sister, who snored.) He was an only child.

On the way back to our dorm, Delia lectured me. Apparently, I needed to never tell anyone ever again about my little twelve-fingered secret because it was “gross” and I’d never get a date. I just rolled my eyes. I was at Harvard to learn—not to pick up guys.

“By the way,” Delia said, “you know we have a celebrity in our class, don’t you?”

“Really?” I asked eagerly. “Who?”

“Lucas Thayer the Third,” she said in the falsely haughty voice that such a name demanded. She giggled. “You know Thayer House?”


Delia raised her eyebrows.

“Oh no,” I groaned. “We have Thayer House in our expository writing class. Fantastic.”

“I know,” Delia said. “He does seem like an arrogant prick, doesn’t he?” She paused thoughtfully. “But you have to admit, he’s really hot.”

“No,” I said firmly. “I don’t think so at all.”

I always disliked people like Luke Thayer. He was an arrogant asshole who thought he was God’s gift to the world, and he was just going to get worse as he confirmed that everything in life could be his with just a snap of his fingers. I believed Luke was never going to know a moment of hardship—he was always going to be a spoiled brat.

I had no idea how wrong I was.

Chapter 1

Present Day

From Twitter:

@LukeThayer is the evilest man on the planet, and Thayer Industries is the spawn of Satan. How do these people sleep at night??? #pureevil #worstbossever

I ride up in the elevator, balancing a tray of six coffees in my left hand while I adjust my purse with my right. I made a stop at Starbucks on the way here, and I recited the coffee preferences of all the members of my team from memory. I’ve always believed a good dose of caffeine every morning keeps your employees happy. And I want happy employees.

Now hopefully I can reach the office without spilling all their drinks.

I make it out of the elevator and down the hallway to the office space occupied by Mediapp, the company where I have worked for the last six years (a company I’ve had a large hand in building into what it is today). I kick open the door with one of my heels and carefully ease my way inside, expecting to be greeted by the usual chatter and liveliness of the company first thing in the morning.

Instead, everyone in the office looks like they’re about to start crying.

I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. What happened? I heard some rumors that Mediapp was struggling financially in the last year, but I hoped they were just that—rumors. But maybe not. Has the company gone belly up? Are we all out of a job?


Before I can wonder much longer, Jenna Marsh runs up to me. Jenna is a member of the team working on my latest project (the café latte is hers), and she’s usually very put together in the morning. So her runny mascara is a very bad sign. On any other day, I’d think she was going through another breakup. But something bigger is happening here.

“What happened?” I ask her as I set down my drinks in the reception area. The receptionist is nowhere to be seen.

“We’re all going to be fired!” Jenna blurts out.

My stomach sinks. “What?”