Excerpt Jasper Starr and his carpool partner, Matt Leto, strode into the tower as they did every workday morning. They looked dead ahead, walked in time with each other, shot their cuffs and each pushed one of the heavy glass doors open as they made their grand entrance.
Then they cracked up.
"That never gets old," Matt said with a grin as the pair veered through the lobby toward the bank of elevators on the far right. "You had a bit of extra oomph in your shove. Big day, huh?"
"Yep." Jasper tugged at his tie with one hand, grinning at Mandy Smith from central accounting who rolled her eyes at them. "Do I look okay?"
Matt glanced at him and dodged a bit to get around someone going against the flow of foot traffic. "You look fine," he said. "New suit?"
"New position, new suit. I get a new one every time I get promoted. It's a thing."
"It's a geek thing," Matt pointed out as they made their way closer to the centerpiece of the lobby, a rarely-used glass elevator that only went to the top floor. "Seriously, when I get promoted I buy electronics. Take a vacation. Get drunk. You buy clothes for work?"
Jasper shrugged. "I got a new external hard drive, too."
"You're such a geek."
"A geek with new threads and a massive amount of storage. Not to mention, I'm now two floors above you and my office has a door."
Matt snorted, but looked impressed. "Window?"
"Give me two years." Jasper grinned and was about to say something about how fancy the car they'd be coming to work in by that time would be, but his attention was drawn to the glass elevator and the sudden quieting of voices around them as Mr. Nero came into view, descending from the level above them. The personal assistant to the President and CEO stood in the middle of the circular platform, his hands clasped in front of him, his gaze trained forward.
"Maybe after you get promoted six or seven more times you'll be able to afford suits like his," Matt said in a low voice.
"Ten or twelve times," Jasper corrected, watching the elevator and its lone occupant come down. They kept walking, as did the crowd around them, but the pace had slowed as everyone waited to see what was going on. The elevator was only used by Mr. Nero or the CEO, Mr. Ashwood and, other than for rare exceptions, that always caused a buzz. Even clients and corporate visitors used the regular elevators. "I wonder what he's doing down here?"
"Don't know," Matt said with a shrug. "Nothing to do with us, though. I'm sure the mail crew will know."
Jasper nodded and looked over at the bank of elevators they were supposed to already be at. "We're going to be late," he pointed out. "The backlog is starting."
"Uh." Matt shook his head and peeled himself off to the side. "I might be. Not you. Later, man."
"What?" Jasper watched him go, a little confused, then started to follow. There was no way he was going to be late to his desk on the first full day in his new job.
"Good morning, Mr. Starr," Mr. Nero said, his voice cultured, smooth as caramel. He didn't even seem to slow down as he deftly turned Jasper's direction from the elevators and back toward the glass platform without so much as touching him. "Please come with me."