Second Chance Mess (Bad News Billionaires #1) - Lucia Jordan


Prologue (Brooke)

When Kate and I finished putting the last of the moving boxes into my car, I left my key on the kitchen counter, and then closed and locked the door to the apartment. I had loved that apartment.

I tried not to cry anymore as I got into the car. I situated my little violet plant between my thighs and started the engine. It felt like one of those scenes in a movie where the girl drives away; it felt final. I pulled out of the parking lot and followed Kate back to her apartment, which I guess was now my apartment, too.

When we got there, her boyfriend was already waiting by the door to help us unload the cars. I liked Nick; he seemed like a nice guy. He was cute and had a sort of "indie-grunge" vibe that made him look like the perfect fixture for hanging out late nights at a coffee shop, which just happened to be exactly how they had met. Kate worked at CUPS, a hip coffee shop in downtown Seattle which she had thankfully been able to land me a job at starting tomorrow, too.

I honestly didn’t know what I would have done without her help now. I was just hoping I could make as decent of a barista as Kate did. She had the quintessential aesthetic for the job; short, yellow-blond hair in a pixie cut, bright-blue eyes that seemed to say hello without her needing to speak a word, and a teal rhinestone nose ring that matched them. Kate was tall and thin, but curvy in all the places that guys liked to look at. She had even invented her own drink at the coffee shop, a dark-chocolate, orange mocha that her customers adored her for. Together, Kate and Nick looked like everything carefree and trendy that I wanted but would never have.

My life seemed like it had come crashing down into a dissatisfied and disappointing mess. My job was gone—my real job as a personal marketing assistant to a billionaire CEO, not my new one as a crappy barista—my boyfriend was gone, and now in one last painful jab to the ribs, my apartment was gone, too. I hadn't even realized that I had been sitting in my car, talking aloud to the violet plant in my lap as I monologued my sad story. My eyes caught Kate standing outside of my car window and staring at me as if I'd lost my mind.

"Sorry," I said as I opened the car door. "I guess I got lost in thought there for a minute."

Kate eyed the plant in my lap. "You're going to want to put that up somewhere where my cat won't try to eat it. She loves eating plants and things."

No! She couldn’t; it was my violet. It was the only thing I have left.

"Okay," I said as I got out of the car, clutching my plant as if it were the last thing of value on earth.

"Hi, baby," Kate's boyfriend said as he walked over to us and wrapped his arms around her waist while he pushed his tongue into her open mouth and kissed her.

I stared at them in amazement. That was probably the most erotic kiss I'd ever seen two people have as they both moaned, and I could see the swirling movement of their tongues from beneath the skin of their cheeks. I was pretty sure that they'd probably had sex on every surface in Kate's apartment; I tried not to think about it.

"Hey, Brooke," he said once they had finally untangled their tongues from each other.

I felt myself blushing as I said "hey" back to him. I felt like I had just intruded on a private and intimate moment, which was ridiculous since I knew that they were both so flagrantly outgoing with their feelings for each other. He had once tried to have sex with her when she came to sit on his lap during her break at the coffee shop, but she almost got caught, so they stopped before she got fired. Living here with these two was going to be quite an experience. They were both totally great and caring people, but they were the literal opposite of me. Fortunately, Nick didn't live here, even though he seemed to stay at Kate's apartment enough that one might think he did. But it was just Kate and her high-allergen, plant-eating cat up until now that I was moving in.

Nick went to reach for