Lawson narrowed his eyes at me, and for a moment, I thought I was going to have to kiss my job goodbye. “All right. If Riley can do all that in two months, I’ll give him access to half his trust fund, and he can go do whatever the hell he wants. I’m tired of worrying about him.”
My jaw tightened, and I clenched my hands into fists. How could anyone talk like that about their son? From what I’d heard, Riley had a large sum of money his grandparents had set aside for him, but he didn’t have access to it until he turned thirty.
“I’m not paying any more tuition or bailing him out of any more shit, though,” Lawson said. “So if—or more likely when—he fails at this, he can take whatever job I can find him, or he’s on his own.”
I was confident; Riley could do this if he was willing to try. “Should I tell him, or—”
“Where is he?” Lawson asked.
He was in my bed unless he’d woken up and headed for the barn to look for me, which I seriously doubted. “I’m not sure, I can call him, and—”
“What do you mean you’re not sure? Didn’t he show up this morning?”
This was not going well. “We worked late last night, so I told him he could start a little later this morning.”
Lawson scowled. “Don’t give him any special treatment. He doesn’t need to get any softer than he already is.”
Lawson was one to talk about soft. I kept that thought to myself.
“I’ll call him.” Lawson was tapping on his phone before I could protest again.
I pulled out my own phone, hoping Lawson would think I’d gotten an important text from one of the hands. I quickly messaged Riley that everything was okay and told him to go along with whatever his dad said. I had no idea if he’d read it before he answered his phone. All I could do was pray he wasn’t about to fuck up the deal I’d secured for him.
I was awakened by a persistent buzz. My head was pounding, and at first, I thought the sound was coming from inside it. Eventually I realized my phone was vibrating against the nightstand. I reached for it, quickly realizing movement was a bad idea. My stomach churned as I pulled the phone to my ear. “Hello?”
The damn thing kept buzzing, and it felt like someone was drilling into my skull. Was it broken?
I opened my eyes just enough to see the screen, wincing in the bright light. I hadn’t accepted the call. I found the strength to move my hand and tap the green circle.
“Hello.” My mouth was so dry I wasn’t sure the word was audible.
“I need you in my office, now.” It was my dad. Why was he calling me? I opened my eyes again and looked around. Where was I?
For a moment, I thought I was back in my dorm room. Then I remembered I was at the ranch, but this wasn’t my bedroom. This was…
Holy shit. Was I really in Blake’s bed? Had we… I remembered kissing him, making out with him. He hadn’t fucked me, though, had he? I hoped like hell I hadn’t forgotten that because Blake inside me would be a memory I’d want to replay again and again.
“I’ll… um… be there in a few minutes.”
“Don’t tell me you’re still lying around in bed.”
I had no idea what time it was, but I could tell the sun was fully up. That wasn’t a good sign, considering I was supposed to be at work at six. Why hadn’t Blake woken me?
“I’m sorry, sir. I guess I—”
“Blake told me he gave you permission to come in a little late today, but this is pushing your luck.”
Had he told me that? “I’ll be there as fast as I can, sir.”
“Keep in mind that Blake and I are waiting.” He disconnected the call, leaving me with questions spinning through my aching head.
Blake was there? This didn’t sound good. Why would my father summon me to talk to both him and Blake? Had someone seen us? Was he about to kick me out with nothing? Or worse, fire Blake?
My stomach heaved, and I was damn glad Blake had thought to set a trashcan by the bed. I would never have made it to the bathroom.
When my body was done attempting to expel everything I’d eaten for a week, I stumbled to the bathroom and rinsed out my mouth. I wanted to go back to bed, curl up, and pull the covers over my head, but I forced myself to turn the shower on. If my father was about to kick me out, I was at least going to face him clean and dressed like I had a bit of dignity.
I had to turn the water to cold to keep from passing out in the shower, but I got through it. I even managed to keep down a few sips of water after I dried off. I only had the clothes I’d worn the day before. I could borrow one of Blake’s shirts, but it would be huge on me, and my father was more likely to notice that than a dirty t-shirt.