Authors: Keary Taylor
Tags: #romance, #love, #contemporary, #clean romance, #sage, #julian, #keary taylor, #what i didnt say
Copyright © 2014 Keary Taylor
MOMENTS OF JULIAN
Published by Keary Taylor at
Copyright 2014 Keary Taylor
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ALSO BY KEARY
What I Didn’t
FALL OF ANGELS
Afterlife: the novelette
companion to Vindicated
THE EDEN TRILOGY
The Raid: an Eden short
The Ashes: an Eden
If you fake being tough and unaffected
by everything long enough, eventually it can actually become
I would never give this advice to my
younger brothers, but it’s a philosophy that’s gotten me this
Sage McCain. I’m twenty-seven years
old, a graduate of the University of Washington. I’m five years
into my career at Digit Securities, the top financial security
agency in the United States, soon to be western hemisphere, and I’m
already their top client executive.
I made my first quarter of a million
as a senior at UW. I discovered the stock market, and it was good
And by the end of next year, I plan to
be Digit’s CEO.
I am by no means one of Washington
State’s elite rich, I do have realistic expectations. I’ll know
when enough is enough to make me happy. Money can, after all, only
get you so much.
It’s the respect I want. I am
admittedly a prideful person.
But I am by all intents and purposes
happy and set for the moment.
Last year I sold my place in the
Bellevue tower for a place closer to the water. Now my bedroom
overlooks Lake Washington, and I’ve got four thousand square feet
of brand new, prime condo real estate. Don’t let the word condo
fool you. The place cost me one point six million
My life is comfortable and routine,
except for when work requires travel. Morning workout at the
clubhouse, a healthy breakfast, dress in something intimidating and
fabulous. Go to work. Blow the socks off my client’s feet, woo my
boss, Mr. Gideon Maxwell, into thinking I’m the best thing that’s
happened to this company since some nerd invented the Blue Wall,
the revolutionary technology that launched his company into the
billions of dollars in revenue spectrum.
Then I come home to the perfectly
arranged home I call mine. I order in dinner sometimes. I
frequently visit my parents in Woodinville. I even sometimes hang
out with my brothers.
Never let people see the real you.
Show them the confident, take-no-BS you that isn’t afraid of
speaking her mind and grabs life by the testicles and wears amazing
shoes doing it.
It’s gotten me this far.
Gretch!” I yell from my
office. Scanning the email once more, I click send as my assistant
appears in the doorway.
Yes, Miss McCain?” she
says. I smile as I look up at her. Gretchen O’Bell is the perfect
assistant. She’s somewhat terrified of me, does everything I ask,
promptly completes a task, and eagerly awaits the next request.
She’s ambitious, but also timid. And she has no idea I would stab
anyone in the eye with a fork if they tried to steal her away from
Any idea what the final
head count is for the client banquet tonight?” I ask as I grab my
phone from the desk and tuck it into my handbag.
Last I heard it was two
hundred twenty,” she reports without a second’s
And is VitaLix coming?” I
ask as I shut the computer down and start for the door. Gretch
turns and walks with me toward the elevator. “You’d said you
couldn’t get a hold of them earlier. I really need them to be there
to close this deal.”
Mrs. Albatros called me
back twenty minutes ago to let me know she’ll be there,” Gretch
says with a smile as she pushes the down button for me.
Perfect,” I say, a smile
curling on my own lips. A ding sounds and the doors slide open. Out
steps Brian, one of our IT guys, and Gretchen’s boyfriend. He gives
me a tight-lipped smile and presses a quick kiss to Gretch’s cheek
as he joins her side. With well-practiced effort of wearing five
inch heels for the past nine years of my adult life, I step past
him and inside the elevator.
Gretch,” I say as she
turns to walk away. She looks back, her eyes expectant. “You’re not
my assistant tonight. You’re just an employee of Digit. Enjoy being
spoiled. Have fun. And wear something fantastic.”
A wide grin spreads on her face and
she gives an appreciative nod. I wink at her as she walks away,
hand in hand with Brian.
Digit Security’s building isn’t by any
means the tallest in Bellevue, Washington, but we do have the
entire ten stories to ourselves and it is less than ten years old.
Which in commercial building terms, is practically brand
The elevator reaches the underground
parking level and lets me out.
There is a row of seven reserved
parking spaces right in front of the elevator. One for Mr. Maxwell,
obviously. One for the CEO, Corbin Matters, whom I plan to replace
before too long, one for visiting shareholders, one for the chief
accountant, one for important guests, one mystery space, and one
And waiting for me in that space is a
beautiful, shiny, silver BMW X5. A little present I bought to
myself when the boss gave me that eighty thousand dollar bonus last
spring for closing the biggest deal in three years. The SUV still
smells new when I slide into the seat and toss my bag into the
Dustin, the security guy, smiles as I
pull up to the exit. I roll my window down as he swaggers out of
his booth toward me.
Tonight’s the big ball,”
he says in his Southern drawl that is so charmingly out of place
here in Washington state. He rests his forearms on the window seal
of my car. “You found a date tonight yet? Cause my offer still
Oh, Dustin,” I say as I
lean toward him, letting my voice drop an octave. “I’d think by now
you’d know women like me don’t need dates. I’m all I can handle by
Why don’t you take a
picture of that tonight and send it to me?” he says, a coy smile
curling on his devilishly charming face.
Aw, baby,” I say, putting
on my pouty face. “You’re so cute when you try to
Unlike some men, this doesn’t offend
him or deter his efforts. He takes it as a challenge. One he knows
he will never win, but takes none the less.
I know you like it,” he
says as he winks and walks back toward his booth. I just smile and
shake my head at him as he opens the gate and lets me
One of the privileges of being one of
Digits most liked employees is I get to cut out of work at four
instead of five, thus avoiding the worst of Bellevue’s mind-numbing
traffic. What takes me fifteen minutes to get home now would take
me forty-five in an hour.
It’s a steady drop toward the water
and into the condo. Clicking the garage door open, I slip in
silently and close myself in darkness.
Kale?” I call out as I
step inside and sling my purse over its usual hook in the mudroom.
My heels click on the tile as I walk into the kitchen.
Yeah?” he calls from
upstairs in his room.
You going out tonight?” I
ask as I sort through the mail on the counter. Bills. Junk. A
wedding invitation from some girl I vaguely remember from high
I do believe it is a
Friday night,” he says. A moment later he rounds the
My brother is wearing nothing but an
extra-long pair of sweat pants. His dark brown hair is perfectly
styled in that slicked, swept back look that is so in these days.
With all his hours at the gym and his natural good looks, it’s a
perfect combination for trouble and a flock of groupie
It doesn’t help that he does a bit of
modeling on the side to pay the meager rent I charge
No booze tonight, okay?”
I say, barely taking the time to flash a glare at him.
He doesn’t show any signs that he
catches it though, and heads straight for the fridge. Taking out a
gallon of orange juice, he downs half the container in one
There, now I won’t be
thirsty all night,” he says pointedly as he smacks his lips and
puts the container back.
He winks at me and grabs an apple from
the bowl on the counter. He presses a quick kiss to my cheek before
he passes me and settles at the table.
Isn’t that fancy work
ball of yours tonight?” he asks around a mouthful of juicy
It’s a banquet,” I
correct him as I toss half the mail in the recycle bin. “And yes,
How much did you spend on
your dress and shoes?” he asks, an annoying smile curling on his
None of your business,” I
say, fighting a smile. I grab a glass and fill it with water from
You only say that when
the dollar amount is at least a thousand,” he teases.
You want to go back to
living with Mom and Dad?”
No, thank you,” he says,
quickly standing. “And that is my cue to go get myself ready for
Yeah,” I call after him.
“You’d better run!”
I hear him chuckle and a smile forms
on my lips.
There are four children in the McCain
family. The oldest is Drake, who is a high school History teacher.
He’s been married for five years and has already brought two
children into this world with the help of his wife Kaylee, who also
used to teach. And they just announced they’re expecting twins. I
may act all tough, but their kids are my kryptonite.