Her Filthy Rich Boss by Summer Brooks



Nature is the most perfect escape, even for a city girl like me. It’s not that I didn’t love living in San Francisco, with the constant hustle and bustle, the people running back and forth from morning until night, the underlying buzz of energy that just never seems to go away.

That stuff fed my brain. I was hardwired to soak it all in, to drink up that energy, and use it as I stampeded through the streets myself, running back and forth all day long.

But unlike everyone else, I wasn’t running back and forth because I wanted to. I didn’t have a job that lit a fire under my ass like Bella did or a newborn baby who I loved with all of my heart the way Clara did. My two best friends in the entire world ran back and forth all day because that fueled them.

I, on the other hand, did it because everyone else was doing it.

That’s a hard realization to come to- realizing you’re one of the crowd, a part of those damned sheep that everyone is always talking down about.

So, yes, the energy fed me. But it also drained me at the exact same time. I don’t think it would have been so bad if I wasn’t such a heady person. But I couldn’t help it.

I lived in my head. I loved it up there. It was my solace and my comfort.

And, at precisely the same time, it would probably be the death of me. Because my head could easily turn dark, it could remind me of all of the things I lacked, the places I should have been at this point.


My head desperately wanted to remind me of that number. To remind me that I was thirty-three, and I was still single.

Which was why I needed nature. Because in nature, I didn’t have to live in my head anymore. I could reach out and touch a tree branch, or feel the soft petals of a flower between my fingers, and I was instantly out of my head and in my body, where thoughts of my singleness no longer plagued me.

Today was different, though. Today, even the softest of flowers in Golden Gate Park and the loudest of the honeybees weren’t enough to keep me from remembering the fact that, once again, I was jobless. Extremely jobless.

Oh, and also, single as a freaking Pringle.

Not that I’d ever seen Joshua and I working out long term. Or working out short term, either. And we hadn’t even been a couple. Booty buddies was more like it.

Yes, that is a term I coined myself.

But I did think that I’d been so desperate to find what Clara and Zach and Bella and Logan have that I’d been willing to subvert myself just to get it.

At least with my two best friends, though, they’d both had something else to focus on. Careers and aspirations, dreams that kept them from falling into the arms of the first guy who looked their way.

I did not. My dream, as old fashioned and potentially anti-feminist as many might think it was, had always been to be a wife and a mother—a good one, at that. My Barbie dolls had never traveled into space or sat in the Oval Office. They’d cooked roast beef in the kitchen or folded laundry in the kids’ rooms.

Ken had always been right there, too, sitting on a stool while she cooked or playing with the kids while she cleaned.

Right now, though, it was just Barbie, all alone, with nothing else around her.

“I just think we want different things.”

Those had been his exact words. “Different things.”

Meaning he wanted sex, and I wanted a relationship.

And then, to top it all off, I’d walked into my job the very next morning to learn that my position was being “redone,” which was a polite way of saying that they were looking for someone younger and dumber, someone to work for half the price I was.

Desperately, I reached a hand out and ran my fingers down the bark of a tree trunk, feeling the way it bumped underneath my skin.

“Such is life.” I murmured to myself. It was something I’d picked up the habit of saying when I was a lot younger, but it had stuck with me.

Everything would be fine. It always was. Especially now that I’d booked a one-way ticket to Thailand.

I was going to start over. Have an adventure. Do something different.

I continued on with my walk in a much lighter mood than I had been in when I’d started. Life was fine, in retrospect. I may not like my job, and I may not have had the relationship I wanted, but it would all work out in the end.

Plus, I had a pretty great group of friends around me.

I bounced on down the path, exiting the park and re-entering society, headed toward my apartment so I could get ready for my very long, very unexciting day sitting on my butt after I’d been fired as the personal assistant to one of San Francisco’s least well known real estate developers, Henrietta Lin.

Of course, her relative anonymity was by design. She tended to sell to some of the higher-end clientele that resided in our fair city since she’d managed to corner the market back in the late nineties and wanted to keep their names out of the paper as much as possible. Had she started her business down in L.A., the anonymity wouldn’t be nearly such a big deal, but celebrities up here in the Bay Area liked to keep their privacy, well, private.

Not that I could blame them. It must be horrendous to have cameras shoved in your face at all hours of every day, putting your life out there on display for everyone and their mother to see and judge without ever bothering to understand the reality of life.

Then again, the money and the comfort that came with that sort of lifestyle didn’t sound all that bad most of the time.