The Do It List (The Do It List #1)

BOOK: The Do It List (The Do It List #1)
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CONTENTS

Title Page

Praise for Jillian Stone’s novels

Dedication

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SIX

SEVEN

EIGHT

NINE

TEN

ELEVEN

TWELVE

THIRTEEN

FOURTEEN

FIFTEEN

SIXTEEN

SEVENTEEN

EIGHTEEN

NINETEEN

TWENTY

TWENTY-ONE

TWENTY-TWO

TWENTY-THREE

TWENTY-FOUR

TWENTY-FIVE

TWENTY-SIX

TWENTY-SEVEN

TWENTY-EIGHT

TWENTY-NINE

THIRTY

THIRTY-ONE

THIRTY-TWO

THIRTY-THREE

THIRTY-FOUR

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ALSO BY JILLIAN STONE

Copyright

The Miss Education of Dr. Exeter

“An arousing erotic romance wearing a skimpy steampunk dress...tension-filled sex scenes in a variety of unusual locations will satisfy readers who like to dog-ear the pages.”


Publishers Weekly

 

An Affair with Mr. Kennedy

“Sizzling hot…An exciting, mysterious romantic suspense novel that will steal your heart.”
 


Romance Junkies

 

 
The Seduction of Phaeton Black

“The atmospheric London setting has a dark gothic feel with ancient gods on the loose. The writing is witty, the characters delightful, the descriptions vivid and the sex earthy and erotic.”


RT Reviews TOP PICK

 

The Moonstone and Miss Jones

“This time, Miss Jones is on top and Mr. Black is at the bottom…of a truly infernal plot.”
 


Addicted 2 Heroines

A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis

“Jillian Stone combines danger, mystery and passion to create a story where the action and emotions are fully entangled...absolutely mesmerizing.”
 


Single Title

 

A Private Duel with Agent Gunn

“Another wonderful adventure from Ms. Stone. The story grabs you from the start and keeps you turning the pages. The chemistry between the two is amazing.”


Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind

Dedicated to all the amazingly talented
 

advertising men and women I have laughed, loved and

cried with. You know who you are.

ONE

THIS IS HOW the next sixty minutes of my life is going to tick off:
 

Breezing past the receptionist, I take the elevator to the ground floor, and jaywalk across Eighth Avenue. As I fly past my dry cleaner, Hung Vo tosses a party dress bagged in plastic over my shoulder, and I jog a block and a half to George. Not George’s, just George Salon, where I undergo a miracle transformation. I receive a fifteen-minute facial and shampoo. Unruly curls—the bane of my existence—will be scrunch dried into loose waves styled for the just-bedded, tousled look that only George and his magic hairstyling fingers can conjure. Simultaneously, Martin, George’s hot makeup artist, creates smoky eyes with a hint of deep blue shimmer called, Electric Eel.
 

Breathe.

 
With approximately ten minutes left to spare, I wriggle into a flesh-colored, stretch fabric dress, covered in a swirl of midnight-blue sequins, expose entirely too much thigh, and make the return trip to my building where I will take an elevator back up to the twenty-eighth floor, just time to be fashionably late. Even with delays, I’m calculating sixty minutes tops until the world ends.
 

Let me explain.
 

For months now, agency celebrations have been given post-apocalyptic names. Per staff memo, this evening’s after-hours party, End of the World No. 19, has thematic ties to the undead. The dusk ‘til dawn rave is in celebration of our emancipation from a monster merger that had nearly eaten us alive. Hence the zombie motif.

Three days ago, if you had asked Axel Wexler about the merger breakup, our Chief Strategy Officer’s answer would have sounded something like this: “Fuck Scacchi & Scacchi—it’ll be a cold day in hell before I’m caught wiping my ass with old stationary, therefore—no new business cards. We’re keeping the goddamned worldwide because we’re more than ready to go global—when and if—the offer is fucking right.” Our fearless, foul-mouthed leader had left the conference room trailing expletives behind him.
 

“…Motherfuckers.”
 

Darcy, Wexler, Dean Advertising, had risen from the dead.

I opened my eyes and discovered my near-naked self, lying on a massage table.

 
“You are refreshed no?” Ingrid had managed to make my Blooming Beauty, Fifteen-Minute Facial feel twice as long. I glanced at my watch. Lordy, Lordy, Lordy—I had taken a five-minute nap! The shampoo girl would just have to make up for lost time.

Shortly thereafter, I plopped myself down in front of George and Martin, squeaky clean of face and scalp. In a well-coordinated glamor ménage à trois, George attached a diffuser to the end of his blow dryer and Martin wedged himself between my knees. Using a small, triangular sponge, Martin smoothed dots of Creamy Ginger foundation over moisturized skin.

“Out with anyone special?” He tilted my chin up.

“Another end-of-the-world party, just the regulars.”

“I’d say it’s about time for something irregular.” George multi-tasked a grin as he scrunched.

“All the hot men are taken by other hot men.” I sighed.

Martin tapped excess powder off his brush. “My flatmate is bi, and he’s a Ford model. I could set you up.”

Curling iron in hand, George created a few perfectly imperfect corkscrew spirals. “Shake your head,” he ordered.

“Is that a no or a yes?” Martin teased.

I wrinkled my nose. “I’m not that into pretty men—but thanks.” I watched my head of curls quickly build in volume.

Martin added a hint of pink to my lips and finished with a gloss. “I can’t believe that you’re so wicked hot, yourself.”
 

His compliment raised a skeptical brow. “Grandma Nola used to call me a skinny-assed, mulatto pickaninny.”

“And if she could see you now…” The master stylist analyzed his work in the mirror. “Gorgeous by George.”

I was nearly down the stairs, wearing my slip of a dress and walkabout flats when Martin stopped me to add a second coat of mascara.

 
“Eyes up.”

 
I stared at the air vent in the ceiling.

“No blinking until you turn the corner,” he ordered.

 
I blew him a kiss from the bottom of the stairs and was soon out in the crisp air of Manhattan in early fall. Pale shafts of light turned indigo and slid between high-rise buildings. I glanced upward, past street level twilight, to the clear blue sky above.
 

An agency celebration often meant there would be an after party chance for a hot and sweaty ride on top of Derek Moubin, art director, and my on again, off again lover. I took long strides down the avenue and tugged at the shimmery slip of a dress riding up my thighs. Skimpy, by the loosest standards of decency, this little get-up would be his undoing. I rarely wore skirts to work, which would make this appearance doubly shocking. Me, Gracie Taylor-Scott, in full makeup, rocking a glittery, end-of-days cocktail dress.

Nine to five, it was easier to go androgyne metro female and lose the distraction of too much leg. My everyday wear consisted of black-ops fatigues by Da-Nang, and a Barneys tee paired with a cardigan or jacket. If water-boarded, I might confess that the uniform is a defense against an overabundance of testosterone in the creative department. Beginning and ending with Derek Moubin, or Mobius, his creative handle since art school.
 

A self-professed despiser of advertising, Derek struggled with the idea of being sucked into the thirty-second TV spot vortex. And all that artistic angst turned out to be the ultimate in bohemian chic—so damned sexy in a coworker! He often protested his moniker, Mobius, but the name had taken on a life of its own, and this ad man appeared to be going places. Sooner rather than later, we would lose him to some enticing faction of the New York art world, but for now, the money and praise kept him coming into work late every morning.
 

I caught a reflection in a shop window. The long-legged, light-skinned colored girl with bouncy curls smiled back. Every once in a while I needed a moment of girly-girl and this was it. Remind the boys around the agency that I had legs and breasts. Dashing across the street, I snorted a laugh at the twisted reality I worked in, where women were admired for talent, not tits. Well, maybe a bit of both.

My teeny-tiny fixation with Mobius was a pathetic testament to my lack of social life. But then, I had never had much time for a significant other, even back in LA. My induction into advertising started with a summer internship at TBWA Chiat Day, which turned into a permanent hire. Since then, career-wise, I had never looked back. Five years later, I landed in New York City, a “creative phenom”—Advertising Age’s words, not mine—but without much else to show for myself except a sizable bank account, and no time to enjoy the big bucks I earned.

Great job. Great pay. No life.
 

I made the crossing light and entered the block-long building that housed a number of trendy retail shops at street level. Besides Google, Armani and Nike, there were two ad agencies in the building. Them, and us as we referred to our competitor. Us—Darcy, Wexler, Dean or DWD, and them—Young and Rubicam, better known as Y&R. I dug for my security card and passed through the turnstile.

“Evening, Taylor-Scott.” The security man nodded.
 

“Hey, Big Dan.” I greeted the large African American man with the easy smile and bulging eyes that didn’t miss…nuthin’. I set down my badge and pulled a pair of booties out of my bag. Midnight blue, cut velvet, Christian Louboutin stilettos.

“Don’t we look fine.” Dan took a leisurely up and down glance, as I hopped into one shoe, then the other. “Party’s in full swing up on twenty-eight.” He continued to ogle. “Already got complaints.”

“Damn, hope I haven’t missed anything.” I winked, adjusting to multiple male stares—one in particular—as I approached the bank of elevators.

The boyishly handsome man’s gaze told me he wanted something. Those crystal blue eyes, oh yes, that’s exactly the color, roamed over every curve. A far cry from Big Dan’s friendly once over.

 
“Pardon me.” I slipped in front of brushed steel doors, as his interest continued to prickle up and down my spine.

I should note here that I have zero psychic ability, but this awareness of him continued to tingle all over my body in a super powers assault to my backside. Small, red LED characters crawled across the top of the elevator doors. I concentrated on the time and temperature compliments of Deutsche Bank.

“Gracie?”

 
I pivoted toward the familiar, effusive voice.

“I wasn’t sure it was you—God, you look fabulous!” Harold from electronic media stood behind me gaping. He turned to the man standing beside him, and I did not hesitate to track with him.

His Hotness.

Some men were naturals at the charming grin while others reserved the smoldering gaze for something they desired badly. The mesmerizer standing next to Harold appeared to have a lock on both.

It wasn’t one of those, “Holy shit, wow—just wow”, kind of moments. But the man’s intense stare did cause a tsunami of heat to sweep over my cheeks. Silently, I hoped for a peachy, warm-tone blush and not the prickly red blotches that resembled rosacea.

BOOK: The Do It List (The Do It List #1)
5.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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