Levi turns in his chair to look at me, shaking his head. “This is a mess, bro. You’re working for the wrong person, you know.”
I sigh and lean forward, propping my elbows on the edge of the desk, and bend my head so I can run my hands through my hair. “I know. But how can I get out of it now? Pilar is going to be here any minute. She’ll want the laptop.” I narrow my eyes, trying to think of an alternative.
“Don’t give it to her.”
He makes it sound so easy. As if I can just tell Pilar to fuck off. It’s not even the laptop that Pilar should be concerned about. It’s the fact that Lily dug into her private information and knows what she’s done in the last couple of years, including some damning details. All the bullshit, all the lies, all the conniving and plotting and planning to fuck the entire company over by giving away information in the hopes of getting get a new position.
Taking that laptop will not solve all of Pilar’s problems. Ruining Lily is what’s going to give her any sort of satisfaction.
“What else is on it?” At Levi’s questioning glance, I continue. “The laptop. Anything … incriminating?”
“Nothing much else, with the exception of one thing.” Levi sighs. “Hey, I know Lily Fowler is a public figure. I’ve seen her on that TMZ TV show or whatever. I don’t get why everyone’s fascinated with her. I mean, she’s hot. But what does she do? I lump her in with the Kardashians and the Hiltons, useless celebrities who look pretty and cause trouble.”
I press my lips together to keep from blurting out that there’s so much more to Lily than looking good and causing trouble. She’s sweet and easygoing. She never acted like she wanted a lick of attention from anyone but me. When I was with her, she was nothing like the party-girl persona I saw in the media. But he doesn’t know that I actually spent time with her, got to know her, got naked with her.
It’s best that he doesn’t know. He’s my friend, but I don’t want to look like a complete failure in his eyes.
And fucking around with the person I’m supposed to be trailing after? That’s definitely failing.
“What’s that got to do with anything?” I ask, keeping my voice even, trying my damnedest to appear neutral. That Lily doesn’t matter to me.
“You wanted to know if there’s anything incriminating on this laptop? Well, there is—against its owner. I found other encrypted files, ones that Lily put on the laptop over a year ago. I broke into them.” Levi studies me, his gaze narrowed. “What exactly did she do when she was in Maui, anyway? ’Cause she sure wasn’t trying to gather up evidence against Pilar. She totally missed those last emails between her and Felicity, which blows my mind. But maybe that was enough for her? Before the actual dirty dealing started to happen, Felicity would hint that she wanted to know the latest happenings with the Fleur product lines, but Pilar always blew her off. It read like they were circling around each other, trying to see who’d cave in first and offer up the goods.”
“Lily spent a lot of time outside,” I lie. More like she spent a lot of time with me.
“Huh.” Levi rubs his chin again. “There’s naked pictures on it.”
“What?” The word blasts out of me like a shot. “Of Lily?”
Levi nods. “Lots of them. Topless shots, ass pics, and one full nude—the girl is crazy for leaving them on her laptop, but they’re there. Some of them I can tell were transferred from an old cell phone. Most of them are old. I thought they might all be on her cloud storage, but I think she only saved them to her Time Capsule at home. No one else would be able to access them unless she has another computer in her apartment that has access to the Time Capsule.”
Ah, Lily. Keeping naked photos on her laptop? What the hell is wrong with her? At least they’re not in the cloud, like all those other celebrity photos that were recently exposed. “Pilar would love to have them.”
“She’d probably blast them all over the internet,” Levi says.
“I can’t let her have this laptop.” I exhale loudly and hang my head.
“Nope, you absolutely cannot,” Levi agrees cheerfully.
“GOD,” I GROAN, slumping over the tiny desk in my bedroom, blearily staring at the giant screen of my iMac. I was so tired, so freaking depressed and angry after I came back from Maui, I fell into bed the minute I got home and slept for hours. More like a day. I managed to make myself presentable and went to see Rose and Violet at Fleur—which was supposed to only be lunch but turned into an all-afternoon adventure with lunch and then the meeting …
That, surprisingly, went well. Daddy was pleasant. Grandma wasn’t there, so I didn’t have to deal with her. I love my grandma, but she knows how to lay on the guilt.
In an extremely thick layer that suffocates me.
I came home from the meeting only to crash again, sleeping through the entire night. Woke up in the morning, brewed myself a pot of coffee, and finally started to make an attempt to open the hard drive that’s included in my router so I can figure out exactly what’s stored on my stolen laptop.
And I’m starting to freak out.
My hand on the mouse, I open up the folder I forgot I’d created, the one entitled Naughty, and I click through the endless photos of me … naked. Cringing, I squint at the screen, shuffling through the pictures, my stomach slowly twisting and turning. They’re mostly of me topless, with a few butt photos mixed in. A series in particular featuring me standing naked with my back to the camera, hands on hips and sassy smile fixed in place as I look coyly over my shoulder.