Like a Boss - Annabelle Costa Page 0,2

don’t be so dramatic, Jenna.” Nathan Grunseich sidles up beside us, his eyes mid-roll. “Just because the company got bought out, it doesn’t mean we’re all going to lose our jobs.”

Nathan is not part of my team. He’s another project manager, like I am. Except he has a very different philosophy than I do about how to treat the employees. He doesn’t get Starbucks for his team or stop off at Dunkin’ Donuts for a box of mixed donuts when he thinks he can spare the calories. He tells the team what to do, and they better damn well do it. Nathan wins the award for the most truly awful comb-over I’ve ever seen. You can’t comb over ten strands of hair. You just can’t.

He has also been hitting on me pretty blatantly since he started working here. I can’t say no any more clearly.

“Who bought us out?” I ask.

“Thayer Industries,” Jenna says. “There was a memo this morning. Have you ever heard of them?”

Something tugs at the back of my brain. A distant memory. But I can’t quite grasp it. “No…”

“Really?” Nathan snorts. “That’s surprising. They’re the biggest company in the Boston area. Don’t you read the papers, Ellie?”

I immediately feel myself getting defensive. I wish I had drunk my coffee on the way here. I need the caffeine. “It sounds familiar…”

Jenna eyes the coffee I abandoned on the reception desk. “Please say one of those is for me.”

“Yes, of course.” With a slightly shaking hand, I detach my own black coffee. I’m the only one who drinks it black. “Tell the others to help themselves.”

Before Nathan or Jenna can say anything else upsetting, I scurry off to my tiny office. Two years ago, I finally got upgraded to an office from a cubicle after I created a medical app that made our company a ton of money. Yes, my office is only slightly larger than my bathroom at home—half the size of the one Nathan nabbed. But it’s private and I cherish it for moments when I need to focus alone. It’s hard to get any sort of deep focus in a cubicle.

The first thing I do when I get into my office is to check my email, and the memo is right at the top, marked with an exclamation point for high importance. Mediapp has been purchased by the billion-dollar Boston-based corporation, Thayer Industries. It says nothing about our jobs or any cutbacks, and raves like this is the greatest news there ever was.

Thayer Industries. Why does that sound so familiar?

Then I read the last line of the email: We would like to warmly welcome our new CEO, Lucas Thayer, who will be meeting with the staff this week.

Lucas Thayer.

No. No. It couldn’t be.

Instantly, I’m on Google. Google: my savior—what did I do without you to spy on people for me? I type in the words “Thayer industries” and pages of hits fill the screen.

The internet is incredibly helpful. The first website reveals Thayer Industries is an old corporation founded by the well-respected Thayer family of Boston. The current CEO is Lucas Thayer. And then there’s a photo.

I sit at the edge of my seat waiting for the photo to load, my nose practically touching the screen. The connection isn’t fast enough for me. I watch as an image of the guy who made my first semester of college hell comes onto the screen.

Shit, it’s him. It’s definitely him.

The image is a little fuzzy, but he looks the same. No, he doesn’t look the same—he looks better. His blond hair is a little darker and shorter, more professionally clipped rather than the shaggy college student look he used to sport, and he’s wearing a nice suit and tie, which makes him look devastatingly handsome. His face has filled out a bit too, and it suits him. It’s unfair that men look better when they get a few lines on their faces, while women just look old.

It’s exactly what I predicted would happen: he’s never suffered a moment of hardship. He went from being the rich heir to the rich businessman without batting an eye.

And now he’s my boss.


Chapter 2

Not a lot of work gets done in the morning since everyone is freaking out over the whole Thayer-takeover business. I try my best. We’re working on a crucial medical app that I think is going to change the face of medical diagnosis, and I call a meeting in the conference room to discuss our progress so far. But