It’s time for another Writing Challenge!

Writing Challenge BubbleIt’s time for another #WritingChallenge! Keyboard at the ready, here we go…

Your boss has called you into their office and has asked you to be their fake date for the weekend! You love your job, but your boss is always so uptight – even if they are your idea of the perfect partner! Will this weekend spark off a new romance or will you be looking for a new job come Monday morning? You decide! 

We can’t wait to see what you come up with – happy writing!

142 replies on “It’s time for another Writing Challenge!”

I also published this on my Wattpad account:
https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/48450297-a-weekend-with-the-boss

“Jessica, can you please join me in my office?”
The smooth caress of the voice from the intercom sent a shiver down her back. Why was it that the men with the sexiest voices always seemed to be the biggest jerks? Jessica stabbed a finger at the talk button, noticing that the manicure she’d shelled out seventy five dollars for hadn’t lasted twenty four hours.
“I’ll be right in, Mr. Foster.”
The mahogany door swept inward without a sound. Money sure did have it’s advantages. No squeaky hinges here. No way. At the first hint of the squeal of metal on metal, the maintenance crew would dash to the door and work their magic, all the while hoping the tyrant who lived behind it hadn’t heard a sound. Jessica stepped into the lion’s den and braced for the assault.
It wasn’t long in coming. The man behind the desk lifted his eyes and she was struck down. The blue orbs glowed with the undercurrent of power that vibrated the air around Grant Foster. The dark hair was a little too long for the board room, but who was going to tell him that? Certainly not her. If he could just look at her and never speak, they’d be the perfect couple. Well, he could maybe do a few other things than look, but the perfection of his eyes and the sly smile that even now twisted his lips upward would be overshadowed by the weight of douche-baggery that seemed to flow unimpeded from his mouth.
“You’re not doing anything this weekend, are you?” he asked.
Jessica flinched. He knew darn well she wasn’t doing anything. He’d walked into the break room earlier that day just in time to hear her lament to her friend Cathy that the man she’d been planning to meet for a first date had flaked out on her.
“No, Mr. Foster.”
“Good. You’ll come with me to the premier party in New York, then.” Grant shifted and pulled his wallet out of his pocket. He slipped a black credit card from a slot near the front and held it out. “Take this and go shopping. You’ll need a gown and feel free to put some other business-type clothes on it for the brunch on Sunday.”
Nothing short of being held at gunpoint was going to move Jessica forward to take the credit card from those long fingers. He’d always been a self-serving egomaniacal jerk before, but this was just too much. What made him think he could simply order her to accompany him to some party half the country away?
The credit card wavered from it’s horizontal suspension before slipping down to dangle from his fingers. The right eyebrow, always the sign of trouble on the rise, shot up.
“You don’t want me to pay for your dress?”
“I don’t want to go.”
The left eyebrow joined the right one and Jessica’s heart tripped into high gear.
“I don’t recall asking your opinion, Jessica.”
“And that’s the problem. I’m your assistant, not your girlfriend. My job is to make sure your appointments don’t overlap and your expense account balances every week. It’s not part of my job description to be ordered to attend an event with you that would require out of state travel and special wardrobe options.”
“I’m paying for all of that, so what’s the problem?”
The effort to stifle the urge to stamp her foot and scream made Jessica’s temples throb. He really didn’t see what was wrong.
“The problem is that it’s inappropriate for you to ask me to attend such a function with you, let alone insist that I do so.”
Grant dropped the credit card on his desk. His right hand shot into his dark hair, shoving it back with such force that Jessica was certain he yanked a good quantity of hair out. “Why are women always so difficult. Jeez. I would have thought most women would jump at the chance to go to New York, to have someone else foot the bill for the trip and the fancy wardrobe. But no. First Diane dumps me over some little slight she imagined at the club last night and now you want to argue semantics with me.”
Grant leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. Jessica watched the rhythmic rise and fall of his chest and felt a softening of her resolve. He actually looked–well, vulnerable. When the blue eyes opened and locked with hers again, she actually felt her knees buckle and stumbled a little.
“If I ask you, will that change your mind?”
The soft tone of his voice raised the hair on her arms. It was a calm, calculated tone which carried just enough menace to let her know that refusal really wasn’t an option. She could quit, of course, but why should she have to? The job paid well and she enjoyed the work. It was the man behind the desk who set her teeth on edge. Would it really be so bad to travel with all the amenities Grant Foster was sure to have at his disposal? To stay in a fancy hotel and wear beautiful clothing while rubbing elbows with the A-List of Hollywood?
“Ask me, and we’ll find out,” she said.

Love the dynamic between these two – especially how frustrating she finds him, but still so irresistible… a lovely contemporary spin on a classic theme. Bet they have a great weekend 😉

Shari,

First, fill in your name and e-mail address on the “Writing Challenge” page. Then, either cut and paste your scene into the “Comment” box — the box in which you wrote your question about “how to submit” — and post it as you did your question, or, type your scene directly into the “Comment” box and then post it as you did your question.

Hope that helps. Have fun!

I’ve put something in brackets on here and in other posts and ended up in the sin bin for a while. No bad words.
Bank Holiday in the UK today so you’ll have a long stint behind bars.

‘What are you doing this weekend?’ Prince Bastian looked at his phone instead of her.
Daisy doubted he even remembered her name. Overtime would ease her credit card debt. ‘Nothing, Sir, I can write your speech for the football awards.’
‘No, I can ad lib that. I want you to accompany me to a wedding.’
Her heart soared into the clouds. His younger brother married tomorrow. She would attend the Royal wedding as the date of the sexiest man alive according to a recent poll.

Her heart sunk down again. Her boss, Prince Bastian took women on one date and dumped them. He would also end her contract as his assistant, as he did to other employees he dated.
Employment law tribunals always took the prince’s side for the employee’s brave enough to pursue a case. With her parents home care costs, her secure income mattered. Tempting as Bastian’s invitation was, it endangered her parents if she became unemployed.
An idea popped into her mind to save, indeed enhance her career.
‘Do you need a speech for the wedding, sir?’
‘Yes. I shouldn’t have to remind you. Something witty and romantic should do it.’
‘I’ll mind it for you until you require it.’ His original speech would dominate every media outlet. ‘I’ll compose it now.’
‘Good. I’ll send a car for you tomorrow.’ He banged the door on his way out to a drinks reception with foreign dignitaries in town for the royal wedding.
Daisy printed her speech out and ran her finger over the romantic ending. ‘Allow me introduce the love of my life and my future princess, Daisy Redmond.’
Prince Bastian never read her carefully written speeches in advance. Big Mistake. His oversight would promote her from temporary dogsbody to the next royal bride.

Inventive twist, Mary! Prince Bastian’s “oops” moment, no doubt is setting the stage for a grand HEA.

Haha, she sure knows how to spin the situation to her advantage – he’s going to get one hell of a surprise when he reads this speech…!

Set up – Whispers in the Sands – new idea and this is perfect for a scene in my story Jacci is personal secretary to Sheikh Zaffar – still working on full names – NOT MY SYTYCW ENTRY.

Jacci Smith entered Zaffar’s office to look at his desk frowning. He wasn’t there looking around the room to find him at the window, hands behind his suited back and staring out the window. By his stance, he wasn’t in the best of moods. What had Anita done this time?
“You wanted to see me, Zaffar?” she asked clasping her arms.
“I need you to come out with me tonight,” he said factually without looking around, though his deep voice tight, tone low.
“Let me guess, she too busy to come?” Dropping her arms, she frowned entering the office further, crossing over to stand at his side. “Isn’t that charity event on tonight, one of your mother’s event?”
He glanced at her sideways, dark brow netted together. “Yes.”
She sighed. “Of course,” because she knew how important it was for him. Also, there was a booking for two and never would disappoint his mother in such a way. His English mother. “Will your father be there?”
He shrugged once more looking out across the city of London. “Have no idea. Probably too busy. Palace business.” He never left his country if possible. Zaffar placed himself in self exile to keep the peace. She placed a hand on his arm to feel him stiffen to drop her hand away. So out of line and out of her league. How she longed to run her hands through his thick, wavy, styled black hair to step back. Anyway, he was already spoken for no matter how badly she treated him. He did everything for her, always attended all her functions. So supportive and she was so cold. Jacci shuddered and clasped her arms again.
“What time?” she asked instead. She had to keep her distance. He was her boss and only her boss, not a supermodel like her. Too full figured, freckled, and red.
“Look it up, you might as well go home. I will send a car around to collect you.” He turned back around scowling to run critical cognac eyes over her. “I will also have suitable attire sent to you.” Her lips parted. A dark brow lifted in surprise. “You have something suitable to wear?” he asked. She shook her head. Of course she didn’t, but there is no need to rub it in her face was there? Okay, it was for his mother, Mary.
“Thank you.” She left before he suggested she went to the hairdressers. Which of course she would, already removing her phone from her dress pocket to see if she could get in. Just didn’t need him to tell her, did she? Going behind her desk, she grabbed her handbag to sling over her shoulder reaching across to push down on the intercom. “Zaffar, do you want me to put your calls through or to the outer office?”
“Outer and tell them not to put anything through,” even Anita she hoped, “unless Anita. I don’t want to be disturbed,” came gruffly. He was more moody than normal. She really was doing a job on him.
“As you wish,” she chirped, and then fled before he could reprimand her for been happy. The problem was she wasn’t happy. She hated the way he was being treated, and she wasn’t allowed to make comments on his love life as she was told earlier that morning.
As promised the dress arrived, delivered by his driver. A large white dress box was handed over with instructions to be ready by six. Closing the front door of her tiny apartment with her foot, she entered in the one bedroom apartment to place down the box on the coffee table to open the lid and pushed back tissue paper to hold up the most beautiful dress she had ever seen in her life to quickly take shots of it on her phone to show her hairdresser to see what she would suggest for a style to go with the dress.
Six on the dot Zaffar’s limousine pulled in front an apartment building. A man got out to open the door. Still in the blackest moods he looked up as Jacci approached. His heart punched his chest at the sight of her. The light blue detailed with lines of green and black, strapless, tight bodice dress over a dark blue under dress exposed by opening from the waist made her electric blue eyes pop. Her thick red hair swirled back in a French twist opened her long swan like neck, took his breath away. The evening just picked up. At least with Jacci he didn’t have to pretend. And she did him proud. Mother would be pleased. Gracefully she lowered into the car, swung her long legs around to grab the seat-belt as the door was closed.
“You look perfect Jacinta,” he stated. Tonight she had to be Jacinta. Jacci was too common. Colour flushed her cheeks.
“Thank you,” she said in her soft silky Australian accented voice. He settled as she washed over him. The rest of the ride was done in silence as they crossed the city of London to finally reach the Ritz to approach the front entrance to be greeted by the valet and media. Helped out Jacci waited until he joined her side to slip an arm through his and together they entered. A man was waiting to greet them and take their invites to be handed over by Zaffar.
“Your highness, please this way. I will announce you and …”
“My guest,” Zaffar answered the unasked question. Everyone knew his fiancée. And this wasn’t his fiancée. That was how it was done. His full royal name and guest to entered to have everyone upstanding and acknowledging him. Jacci walked at his side, head held high, to be led to their table to nearly stumble as they approached at the sight of the missing Model Anita. Blond, thin, and looking stunning as usual in a long black lace sleeved dress, slit up to her hip nearly showing off her world famous leg. Her blond hair platted around her head and looped around the back. “Say nothing, do nothing,” Zaffar whispered in her ear. Now this was an awkward situation. Jacci glanced around for the nearest exit only to be rescued by his mother.
“Jacinta, I’m so glad you could come,” the elegant lady dressed in red, her rich dark hair piled up loosely on top having some wisps of hair feathering her face. Placing an arm around her waist, Mary led her away. “It seemed her shoot was cancelled. Thank you for coming to my son’s rescue. I’ll see if I can find you a seat.” Jacci looked back over her shoulder to the immaculately dressed man in his tuxedo, standing so tall; he even towered over the very tall model looking the perfect pair. Anita leaned into him, placing her hand on his chest, his hands in his pockets. A man still so annoyed. She just wished he saw what she saw. Anita was playing him.
“No, I think it’s best if I go your highness,” she whispered. She had to go before she made a fool of herself and storm over there and tossed a drink in the superficial blonds’ face, feeling tears welling in her eyes. “If you could organise a taxi for me, I would really appreciate that.”
“Of course, my dear.” Mary gave her a sad smile then disappeared while Jacci made her way around the outside and headed out very aware of being watched. Taking one last look, Jacci exited the posh hotel, wondering, if it was time to leave her boss.

I really think this is Presents with such emotionality and glamour. Poor Jacci. Hopefully Zaffar realises how much he hurt her. ( I suspect he’ll figure it out when he reads her resignation). This book could go in numerous directions.

There’s lots of emotion here, and the reader certainly feels Jacci’s pain! Would take care that the hero isn’t weakened by Anita running rings around him, would be great to see both Jacci and Zaffar standing up for themselves a little more.

“You wanted to talk to me Ben?” I said pushing the brim of my hard hat a bit further up my forehead with my thumb to get some cool air on my face.

“Hey Shyla,” Ben said as a warm smile caressed his chiseled features. He saw my heat flushed face and reached into the cooler beside his work table and tossed me a bottle of water.

I pressed it to my cheek. Man that felt good.

“I have an awkward question for you and I don’t want you take it the wrong way.” He rubbed his rough hand through his short blonde hair making spike.

“Okay,” I said carefully and took the beat up dirty chair that was opposite Ben’s.

Ben was looking just as handsome as ever in his damp navy blue T-shirt and jeans. His work clothes hugged his naturally muscular body, however he seemed uncomfortable and wouldn’t meet my eyes.

What had I done wrong? I knew my crew was working well, we were making good progress on foundation forms.

I liked working for Ben he was an excellent general contractor, easy to talk to and reasonable. It also didn’t hurt I had the worst crush on him.

I put one work booted ankle on my other knee and casually dropped my leather gloves on my thigh and lifted my chin. I cracked the seal on the water bottle and calmly waited for Ben to spit it out.

He got up from his table and rolled up the blue prints he had been working with.

“Ben, you’re making me nervous,” I said finally and drank more of my water.

“Sorry,” he turned toward me, straight backed and hit me with those amazing grey eyes the colour of a slate. “Would you accompany me to my ex-wife’s wedding this weekend?”

I just looked at him for a moment. “Seriously?”

“Yes, I know this is unorthodox and you probably have plans already but I thought I would ask. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, I didn’t think you were in a relationship.”

“I thought you were going to fire me.” I gave him an exasperated look. “And no, I’m not in a relationship.”

“Oh,” he frowned. “I wouldn’t fire you, you’re one of the best foreman I have. You can say no of course, it won’t affect your job or our working relationship. I just don’t want to show up at this shindig solo.”

I considered him for a moment. “Alright.” We would see about the working relationship.

“You’ll go with me?” He seemed surprised.

“Sure, email me the details, you have my home address on file.” I got up and adjusted my radio on my belt. “I have to get back.”

I ducked out of his trailer and strolled fifty feet down Tin Town road to the trailer that housed my battered metal desk along with three other foremen and Stella, our time entry clerk.

I walked over Stella’s desk. She looked up at me inquiringly.

“Ben just asked me out,” I said, thinking it would be more real if I said it out loud.

“What?, Really!” Her eyes wide.

“Yep,” I shook my head then removed my hard hat and let my dark chocolate pony tail drop down my back, my bangs were sticking to my for head. “This was the hottest summer.”

“Well it just got hotter for you,” Stella gave me a sly grin. “Where’s Ben taking you?”

“To his ex-wife’s wedding.” I moved on to my desk to check my email. One new email from Ben, I clicked it. “Apparently it’s formal, a black & white wedding. I need a dress!” I felt panic creep up my spine.”

“No worries, I know a great place,” Stella waved my concern away. “You have a great figure, you’re a size eight?”

“Ten,” I corrected.

“Doesn’t matter Jackie will get you kitted up, no problem.”

* *

Saturday evening found me dressed in a figure hugging three quarter length slinky little number that, I was assured, would make Ben sit up and take notice I was all female. He had only ever seen me in work clothes and jeans. This was my chance to change all that.

I heard him turn into my driveway. I checked my hair one last time in the hall mirror. I had put it up into a French twist and secured it with pins that matched my dress and my lip stick while the rest of my make up was light but flawless.

When the doorbell rang I picked up my black leather bag that matched two inch heels. I breathed in and out once than opened the door.

Ben was something in jeans and T-shirts, in a black tux he was devastating. My mouth actually salivated. Wow.

Then he gave me a slow sexy smile. “You look outstanding. Beautiful. Thank you.”

“I wasn’t sure you would recognize me.” I stepped outside and locked the door.

He chuckled.

As I turn toward him, Ben slide his hand around my waist to the small of my bare back and I caught my breath. His touch felt so good. Better than I imagined.

“I’d always recognize those dark chocolate brown eyes of yours, no matter what you wore,” Ben said escorting me to the Bugatti. “I love their mischievous sparkle. That’s what drew me too you in the first place.” He opened the door and handed me into the seat. “Case in point this amazing red dress, for a black and white formal, perfect.” He closed the door and got in the driver’s side.

Our eyes locked and I said softly, “I’m sensing our working relationship is about to change.”

“You have no idea how much.”

I liked the reason why Shyla and Ben had to date, Yvonne–smooth, interesting. Fun style and nice writing, too.

When I re-read the writing prompt ( after posting of course) I suspected SOLD want first person POV. You did it really well. I suspect one wedding will lead to another one here.

Thanks for you kind words Mary! It just may turn into a wedding, once I finish my current manuscript.

Ben’s nervous request felt very convincing, and we enjoyed what a feisty heroine Jackie is! Their relationship dynamic shifts very quickly from professional to personal though, so would encourage you to linger over the realization that they have the hots for each other 🙂

“I can’t come, darling cuz. Paul is back from the jungle abyss and, quite frankly, a weekend of sex with him outweighs your ego.”
Justin hung up the phone and sat, tapping his fingers on the blotter. Now he was stuck. Tanya’s wedding was always going to be an issue even three years after they broke up. If he turned up alone, everyone would be wondering if he still carried a torch for her. The fact that there hadn’t been anyone since only added to the speculation. It wouldn’t have mattered if she hadn’t been his childhood sweetheart. Everyone there would know. His parents and sisters would be there. His business associates.
The door opened and Ginny came in, a folder held against her chest, a determined glint in the amber eyes behind horn-rimmed glasses. “These need to be signed before you head off for the weekend.”
When she’d first come to work for him, he’d had occasional fantasies about her taking off the glasses, letting down the swathe of silky black hair and turning into a sex siren. He’d listened to his sister’s juvenile chatter too much. The only time he’d seen her without them she’d been blind as a bat and nothing like a sex siren.
He pushed the memory away as she plunked the pile of letters on the desk in front of him and handed over a pen. She’d always been a slave driver. But she’d understood what he went through over Tanya’s defection. She’d…comforted him. He paused over a contract and looked up at her, carefully stacking the signed sheets back in the folder. She’d never told him whether she’d suffered over that. Whether her fiancé had known. Her parents were very strict. Very old fashioned. Traditional.
They’d never talked about it. She’d left to get married only a couple of months later and then a year later, just as quietly, she’d returned, picking up her old job with consummate ease. Without a wedding ring. “Can you get a baby sitter this weekend?”
“Yes. My parents would be happy to look after Michael. Is there any particular reason?” The light over the desk reflected off her glasses, obscuring her eyes. Her voice remained flat and wooden.
“Tanya is getting married. My date pulled out.”
The recoil was instant. “I can’t…”
Something about that revulsion hit him in the gut. “It’s too late for me to find someone else. You said you could get a baby sitter.”
“I thought you meant business.”
“This is business. These are my colleagues. I’m not turning up at my ex’s wedding with no date and looking like a loser.”
She pulled off her glasses and wiped them with a corner of her scarf. Always so perfectly dressed. The neat business suit on her slim figure with a contrasting scarf around her throat. “I don’t have anything suitable to wear to a wedding.”
He opened the desk drawer. “Use the corporate card.”
Again that distaste. “No. I’ll get something at lunchtime. I need a new outfit for social use.”
The thought of her having a social life turned his stomach. He’d thought, hoped perhaps, that her failed marriage had put her off relationships. “Fine. Bring some changes for the rest of the weekend. Good casual. I’ll pick you up at seven. Are you still staying with your parents?”
She nodded, her expression even more blank than usual.
He turned back to the pile of papers. The weekend was looking better already.

Another wonderfully written piece, Fiona! You are a gifted writer who can paint beautiful pictures with words. 🙂

Interesting, Fiona, but this read kind of heavy for me — as though the scene wanted to voice much more, but was restrained. Still, a nice job!

The first line made me laugh but then the story became serious and emotional. Ginny’s hiding something. I bet Michael was born nine months after she consoled Justin over Tanya’s defection.
As always, your dialogue and descriptions are great and very easy to read.

I’d say this wedding date will prove intense.

These two clearly have a complicated shared past that will no doubt come to the surface at the wedding! Take care that Ginny’s sense of revulsion and distaste at Justin’s request don’t color the reader’s opinion of him too much, it would have been nice to have seen the tension in her balanced with more of a rapport between them. Would be interesting to see how their weekend goes…!

Megan watched Rob as he walked towards her and she felt her stomach knot with excitement. He was, in her eyes, perfection. Attractive, kind and successful and the fact that he gave a lot of his money to charity just made him even more desirable. He was so different from the guys she had known when she was growing up. In fact her whole life now seemed a world away from what it had been back home.
Stopping in front of her, Rob looked down at mess of paperwork on her desk and gave a pained sigh.
“I really don’t see how you can work with your desk like that” he observed “it is chaos”.
Megan smiled and tucked a strand of her unruly black hair behind her ear.
“It may look like chaos but there is actually a sophisticated filing system in place”
“Yes?” He said doubtfully.
“Yes. As long as I never throw anything away then I know that everything I need is right here, on my desk… somewhere.”
Rob gave a rueful shake of his head.
“I wish I hadn’t asked”.
Megan laughed, she was used to this gentle banter about her chaotic work practices. Unlike her, he was fastidiously organized and he could not understand how she functioned amidst such disarray, it was his idea of hell. Luckily she was good at her job so he just about tolerated her untidiness.
“Megan, can I ask you a favour?”
“Yeah, go for it” she replied.
“I have to go to a thing tomorrow tonight, I am presenting some money to one of the charities I support and wondered if you would come along? We would have to travel down early tomorrow and stay over night though; it’s a bit of a trek getting there. I know it is a lot to ask, especially at the weekend but I think they expect me to bring someone and I just think it would be good to have you along.”
For a moment she looked at him considering this surprise request. Was this like a date thing? Dare she hope that he harboured some feelings for her? The thought of the two of them away together for the weekend was too much of a temptation.
“Sure, why not?”
“Thanks Megan, you’re a star.”

Sitting in his Aston Martin Megan felt her excitement mounting about their trip, her imagination running wild about what the weekend had in store.
“Where are we going? Is the presentation going to be a dressy thing?” She asked imagining them both in evening dress at some sophisticated event.
He gave a small laugh “Afraid not. It’s a more casual thing.”
“More casual?” she echoed, feeling downcast.
“Yeah. We are going to a youth project that helps troubled kids. I think it is near where you said you grew up. I thought your local knowledge may come in handy.”
At that moment her heart sank. Obviously he saw tonight as strictly business.
But that was not the only thing that sent her high spirits into a nose dive. With a feeling of dread, she realised she knew exactly what project he was talking about. In fact she knew it better than most; after all, she had been one of the most challenging young people in that program. Her teenage years were a wasteland of self destructive, bad behaviour. The project had been her salvation and had given her the skills to turn her life around.
But she was still ashamed of her past. Determined to leave it all behind, she had reinvented herself to be the respectable, hard working, successful woman she was today. Only now the whole facade could be about to come crashing down around her ears. When cultured, sophisticated Rob- the man who prized order and couldn’t stand chaos, found out about her car crash of a past she could kiss goodbye to all her romantic daydreams and probably her job too. This weekend was going to be far from romantic trip she had imagined. In fact it had all the makings of being the date from hell.

What could Rob possibly have up his sleeve? Hmm, coincidentally having to attend an event with Megan that’s close to where she’d lived? All kinds of possibilities there, I’m sure, to have her change her mind about believing this was going to be a date from h*** and instead get her HEA. 🙂

Nicely done, Karen.

Love how you use the weekend work event to force Megan to confront her past, right in front of Rob! You’ve set him up as a great guy though, so we’re optimistic he’s going to support her through it 🙂

By the pained expression on Matt’s face Anya could tell his mother and two sister’s visit to the boatyard was not going well.

“Effie, take in the tea please.” Maybe after the refreshment his family would move along and they all could get back to work.

Matt’s normally sharp green eyes were glazing over while his female family members chatter on oblivious to his in suppressed annoyance.

The worst was the fourth woman, a friend of one of the sisters and obviously meant to peak Matt’s interest. She was to be Matt’s eldest sister, Jane’s maid of honour and followed Matt’s every move.

Matt was to be the best man for his best friend Henry and Jane’s wedding in a week’s time.

Anya watched as Effie from Catering, smoothly served tea and daintiest of the ladies seated in Matt’s office. Matt declined the tea as he stood and in two long strides was at his desk checking his email on his laptop.

“Matt, take a break, sweetheart,” his mother said, beckoning over to sit beside her.

Ooh this was not going to go well Anya pulled away from her post at the door and strolled in to the office.

“Sorry to intrude ladies, but I need Matt for just two seconds.” She gave them her most dazzling smile and held up a folder to Matt. “The contacts have come in.”

“Matt!” Pouted Jane. “You never have time for us. You can put the business on hold for an hour at least. Make Anya go away.”

Matt was already striding across the room and plucked the folder from Anya’s hand, their fingers brushing as their eyes locked briefly.

“Jane, this business is what pays your allowance so you can have your lovely wedding. I won’t be gone a moment.”

“Effie, see if the ladies would like some sherry with their tea.” Anya suggested to smooth the way and that won a chorus of pleased responses as they turned away and left Matt’s office and closed the door.

“Are these really the contracts?” Matt flipped open the folder as they walked the short distance to her office.

“No, of course not, the contacts are loaded on the secure drive. Legal is finished with them and you just have to apply your electronic signature.”

“Excellent. I didn’t see anything we can’t live with what was your assessment?” Matt closed Anya’s office door and followed her over to the table where she had hard copies spread out.

“Same as you, nothing scary.” Anya agreed scooping up her long champagne blonde hair and tossing it carelessly over her shoulder then began gathering up the documents.

“Anya,” Matt said and his tone made her looked up at him.

His serious green eyes met her liquid dark brown ones. “Thanks for the brief respite from my family. I love them but they make me feel out numbered and surrounded.”

“I know,” Anya said, a smile quirking her lips. “The contracts will give you the excuse to move them along. After the wedding at least you’ll have another male to help you and your father.”

“Some how I don’t think Henry is going to make much of a difference.” Matt looked at Anya speculatively. “You’re about the only person that intimidates them.”

“Sorry, I don’t mean to,” Anya said a bit surprised by his words.

“No, no it’s a good thing believe me.” Matt brushed his dark brown wavy hair back with one agitated hand.

Uh oh, that was Matt’s tell, he had something difficult to say, Anya thought.

“Anya, would you do me the honour of accompanying me to Jane and Henry’s wedding?”

“I’m already going, Henry invited me.” Anya smiled then she frowned at her boss. “You mean as your date?”

“Yes, I don’t want to get paired off with Winnie, Jane’s friend.” He was giving her a desperate look.

“Matt I have a hard time believing a tough guy like yourself can’t figure out how to fend off rich princesses like Winnie.” Anya said princesses like it was a four letter word.

“I can, but not without hurting Jane or causing trouble. I just want to see those two hitched and get out of it with my skin intact. Will you help me?”

Anya could see this wedding business was disrupting her boss’s equilibrium. Maybe she could use this to do something about the building attraction between them that they had so far both done their best to ignore.

Anya crossed her arms under her generous breasts and she could see she had Matt’s attention as the pale pink silk tighten across her chest.

She tipped her head back to expose the curve of her neck, and cocked one hip to show off her trim figure.

His eyes targeted each feature as she moved and she was gratified to see the heat build in his eyes as they darkened.

“Say please,” she breathed, dropping her chin and looking at him through her lashes.

Matt read the invitation in her dark eyes and stepped into he personal space unable to stop his hands from touching her smooth skin.

“Oh baby, please,” He said leaning in to taste her soft pink mouth.

Over 24 hours in moderation jail…..I am innocent I tell you! It wasn’t me, I wasn’t there, I have an alibi! I was just holding those words for someone else. These aren’t my pants!

I feel like I’ve been grounded by my parents! No, I guess that’s a bit dramatic. Lots of good reads though this weekend. Tough premise in these days of (you know).

So glad you are out of jail Ivy! I loved reading this again. Anya is such a good strong character I can see why Matt is interested.

What a fun set up, and a lovely strong heroine in Anya! Love how she rescues Matt from his family, and isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. It would be nice to see a hint of her vulnerabilities – once they act on their attraction, what’s going to be holding her back from Matt? – but we enjoyed her sassiness!

It’s not necessarily actual naughty words. I had dress the shade of blue of a bird with a large tail. Then a mocktail dress.

That’s the thing. Their word filter has targeted a phrase. It is not intuitive enough to realize it is innocuous.

Thanks all for you lovely comments, I would reply to them individually but all my posts seem to be skipping around today and appearing in random places so just want to say thanks again for the kind words people. You are a lovely supportive group x

I expected some posh charity fundraiser for Rob’s date. I suspect they will both reveal a lot of secrets over the weekend. There must be a reason he’s so devoted to the charities and so organised in his life. I suspect it will bring him into conflict with Megan’s sad history.

“Jessica, can you please join me in my office?”
The smooth caress of the voice from the intercom sent a shiver down her back. Why was it that the men with the sexiest voices always seemed to be the biggest jerks? Jessica stabbed a finger at the talk button, noticing that the manicure she’d shelled out seventy five dollars for hadn’t lasted twenty four hours.
“I’ll be right in, Mr. Foster.”
The mahogany door swept inward without a sound. Money sure did have it’s advantages. No squeaky hinges here. No way. At the first hint of the squeal of metal on metal, the maintenance crew would dash to the door and work their magic, all the while hoping the tyrant who lived behind it hadn’t heard a sound. Jessica stepped into the lion’s den and braced for the assault.
It wasn’t long in coming. The man behind the desk lifted his eyes and she was struck down. The blue orbs glowed with the undercurrent of power that vibrated the air around Grant Foster. The dark hair was a little too long for the board room, but who was going to tell him that? Certainly not her.
If he could just look at her and never speak, they’d be the perfect couple. Well, he could maybe do a few other things than look, but the perfection of his eyes and the sly smile that even now twisted his lips upward would be overshadowed by the weight of surgically accurate nastiness that seemed to flow unimpeded from his mouth.
“You’re not doing anything this weekend, are you?” he asked.
Jessica flinched. He knew darn well she wasn’t doing anything. He’d walked into the break room earlier that day just in time to hear her lament to her friend Cathy that the man she’d been planning to meet for a first date had flaked out on her.
“No, Mr. Foster.”
“Good. You’ll come with me to the premier party in New York, then.” Grant shifted and pulled his wallet out of his pocket. He slipped a black credit card from a slot near the front and held it out. “Take this and go shopping. You’ll need a gown and feel free to put some other business-type clothes on it for the brunch on Sunday.”
Nothing short of being held at gunpoint was going to move Jessica forward to take the credit card from those long fingers. He’d always been a self-serving egomaniacal jerk before, but this was just too much. What made him think he could simply order her to accompany him to some party half the country away?
The credit card wavered from it’s horizontal suspension before slipping down to dangle from his fingers. The right eyebrow, always the sign of trouble on the rise, shot up.
“You don’t want me to pay for your dress?”
“I don’t want to go.”
The left eyebrow joined the right one and Jessica’s heart tripped into high gear.
“I don’t recall asking your opinion, Jessica.”
“And that’s the problem. I’m your assistant, not your girlfriend. My job is to make sure your appointments don’t overlap and your expense account balances every week. It’s not part of my job description to be ordered to attend an event with you that would require out of state travel and special wardrobe options.”
“I’m paying for all of that, so what’s the problem?”
The effort to stifle the urge to stamp her foot and scream made Jessica’s temples throb. He really didn’t see what was wrong.
“The problem is that it’s inappropriate for you to ask me to attend such a function with you, let alone insist that I do so.”
Grant dropped the credit card on his desk. His right hand shot into his dark hair, shoving it back with such force that Jessica was certain he yanked a good quantity of hair out.
“Why are women always so difficult. Jeez. I would have thought most women would jump at the chance to go to New York, to have someone else foot the bill for the trip and the fancy wardrobe. But no. First Diane dumps me over some little slight she imagined at the club last night and now you want to argue semantics with me.”
Grant leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. Jessica watched the rhythmic rise and fall of his chest and felt a softening of her resolve. He actually looked–well, vulnerable. When the blue eyes opened and locked with hers again, she actually felt her knees buckle and stumbled a little.
“If I ask you, will that change your mind?”
The soft tone of his voice raised the hair on her arms. It was a calm, calculated tone which carried just enough menace to let her know that refusal really wasn’t an option. She could quit, of course, but why should she have to? The job paid well and she enjoyed the work. It was the man behind the desk who set her teeth on edge. Would it really be so bad to travel with all the amenities Grant Foster was sure to have at his disposal? To stay in a fancy hotel and wear beautiful clothing while rubbing elbows with the A-List of Hollywood?
“Ask me, and we’ll find out,” she said.

I really like this Shari! You caught the real-world implications so well.

I don’t understand why the filter stopped you posting in moderation jail.

Wow! A fantastic read, Shari! Love the way you depicted your characters, love the dialogue, just loved everything about it! 🙂

Fantastic that Jessica makes Grant ask rather than order her around and gives a clear message that his black credit card won’t work with her. You can feel the great emotional connection between your characters in your writing. I’ve read this piece a few times.

She should have seen this coming, Lucy thought, closing her eyes and counting to 10. It wasn’t like she didn’t know the guy was about as sensitive as a brick. They’d known each other since his parents relocated next door back in middle school, and she’d taken charge of the awkward newcomer. He was brilliant, even back then, but when it came to social clues, the man was a moron. Most of her memories of school centered on looking out for the socially inept teenager, smoothing the waters when his reclusive nature rubbed people the wrong way. When her parents divorced and she had to drop out of college, somehow they’d remained friends, his only friend really. As intelligent as he was, he had no clue when it came to dealing with people, and little patience. When his startup IT firm took off, it was a given that she’d work with him, acting as the public face of his company and leaving him to immerse himself in the research he thrived on.
“I can’t go with you this weekend.” She stated patiently. It was pointless to get angry, she knew.
“I’ll pick you up in the morning before work.” He went on with his planning, oblivious to her reaction, his attention focused on his computer screen. “We can leave directly from the office.”
“Hello! Sam!” Reluctantly he pulled his attention away from the screen, frowning as he met her belligerent gaze.
“Did I forget? Hello, Lucy.” He recited the words by route. “I don’t understand why you always insist we indulge in these meaningless greeting rituals.”
“They’re not meaningless, they’re the foundation of civilization.” She shook her head. “Don’t distract me!”
“It would seem you are the one distracting me.” He replied calmly.
She narrowed her eyes at him. The man was impossible. They’d worked well together all this time, and she enjoyed their time together. But if his attention was on one of his projects, he was in his own little world. She’d thought more than once if he ever turned that attention on a woman, he’d be devastating. But he never had, not even in school. He was a handsome man, tall with his intense green eyes and thick dark hair which he left a little long more often than not. She liked it a little wild like that, she admitted. He was a sexy man, until he opened his mouth.
“I told you I have plans this weekend.”
“Did you?” His eyes drifted back to his screen. “You’re the one who suggested we pursue an alliance with the university.”
“Yes, but…”
“Did you really expect I would be the one to handle the social obligations that such dealings require?” He asked, incredulous.
“Of course I’ll handle it, but this weekend…”
He turned his dark eyes on her, questioning.
“Paul and I…” her voice trailed off, uncomfortable. Talking about her love life with Sam was like telling her little brother she was having sex. “We’re going to Gulf Shores.”
“The beach?” Somehow he made it sound frivolous. “If you’d rather go to the beach, just call Langston and cancel the program.”
“No way! Do you know how much work I’ve put into this?”
He looked at her calmly. “It was my understanding that it was necessary to spend this weekend socializing at the Langston’s estate to cement our partnership with the robotics program. Your presence is necessary for that, even more so than mine come to that.” He went on reasonably. “The decision is yours. Go forward with this partnership, or appease your boyfriend.”
“’Appease my boyfriend’? Really? It doesn’t occur to you that maybe I was the one who wanted to go spend time at the beach?” His very reasonableness irritated her. No emotion, no reaction to the idea that she wanted to spend the weekend with someone else.
“My understanding is the Langston’s estate is on the waterfront.” He stated. “It would appear your desires will best be met by spending the weekend with me.” Stunned, she was speechless as he closed his laptop and walked past her on his way out of the office. “I’ll pick you up at 7 am sharp tomorrow.”
He stopped, his gaze intent on her face, then shocking her as it drifted slowly, down her body. She thought she saw a flash of heat in his eyes, then it was gone and she dismissed the thought.
“Apparently a bathing suit is expected attire for the weekend.”

Love the way you introduced the sensual tension! The impact of the way his eyes drifts over her brilliantly shows the shift in their relationship and creates a set-up which tells the reader that things are really going to hot up between h/h over the weekend. 🙂

I love your socially inept hero and how protective Lucy is. I suspect the weekend is going to really challenge both of them.

What an intriguingly different and sexy hero, and love the dynamic between them! You set it up so well that when their chemistry does flare to life, it’s going to be intense! Great stuff.

“You beckoned?” Bryony asked dryly, entering Folco’s office. The decor was very masculine and sophisticated, much like the man himself.
Folco’s head shot up at her tone. His dark brooding eyes narrowed, piercing into her. Miss Wade appeared to be in a strange mood this morning, almost reckless, he noted. “I need you to accompany me to dinner party tomorrow night. I’ll pick you at eight.”
Bryony bristled. “Is that an order or do I have a choice?” she challenged.
Folco leaned back in his chair, giving Bryony his full attention. “You’re acting very strange Miss Wade…”
“Can you blame me? I’ve gotten a little tired of you ‘demanding’ all the time, for once can’t you just ask nicely? Maybe I have plans for Saturday, did you even consider that?”
His eyes traveled over her before trapping her gaze. “Do you?” he drawled, toying with his sleek silver pen between his forefinger and thumb.
Bryony felt hot colour stain her high cheekbones. “No, but I may…”
“So you’ve just unnecessarily wasted several minutes of my time?”
Bryony grit her teeth. “I was trying to point out…”
“Tomorrow Miss Wade, be ready to be picked up at eight.” He said dismissively before returning to the paperwork on his desk.
She stared at him for a few seconds, fuming, before turning on her heels and stalking out.

Bryony stood stiff with nerves, beside her boss of several months as their host chatted to them. Not a word registered with her, all she was aware of was her incredibly sexy but very formidable Italian boss. His tall athletic frame and his magnetic charm had women flocking around him in droves. Surreptitiously she glanced up at him and felt her breath catch. Had he been watching her all this time? Something flared at the back of his eyes making her swallow hard. Tearing her gaze away she feebly muttered an excuse which she was sure was incoherent and swiftly made her way into the vast landscaped garden which was lit up by the full moon.
Bryony drank every drop of wine in her glass then dragged the fresh air into her lungs.
“It’ll go to your head if you drink it that fast.” The deep voice which came from behind her startled her into spinning around. She knew it was Folco. He was stood too close for comfort. Nothing about him was comforting. He was over six feet of raw sexual energy, hypnotizing.
She couldn’t think straight, she should say something witty, clever but no words came out of her softly parted mouth, nothing, zilch. All she could do was stare up into his beautiful eyes, mesmerized. Everything about him was beautiful. Her gaze dropped to his mouth. He possessed lips which looked like they could drive a girl insane. For a crazy moment she wanted to feel those lips on hers. Slowly her eyes met with his. A pulse beat wildly in his chiseled jawline. Sexual currents charged between them as she threw caution to the wind and reached up and kissed him fully on the mouth. Her mouth moved on his seductively, enticing a response.
Bryony froze when he didn’t move. Just as she was about to pull away, his arm snared around her slender waist, imprisoning her against his hard frame.
“Not so fast Miss Wade. You can’t kiss me like that and just walk away.”

Again, I inhaled the Presents promise from the first line as there’s a lot of emotional intensity here. I don’t think Falco will ignore Bryony any more.

Love her impulsive kiss – it’s so nice to see her taking charge of the situation, and her attraction to him! Folco has Alpha written all over him, but to avoid stereotype, remember to dig deep into what makes him unique as well as charismatic and commanding!

It was late Friday afternoon at The McBain Group when Elle Delaney was summoned to the office of the CEO. The lanky brunette grabbed her pen and legal pad and scurried to the corner office with a wall of windows and mini putting green.

Though her presence was requested, she still knocked on the open door.

“Come in, Elle.”

She took a seat in one of the leather chairs in front of Quentin McBain’s desk. “Yes, sir?”

“Do you have plans for tomorrow night?” he asked.

Elle turned to see if perky Mia from marketing or CrossFit Tess from finance was standing behind her. Nope. Apparently, this gorgeous bachelor was talking to her.

“Not really.” She could always record the new Hallmark movie.

Quentin leaned back in his chair. “I need an…uncomplicated date for my grandmother’s 75th birthday party.”

Elle bristled. “I’m Old Navy and flip-flops at the bottom of your payroll. Uncomplicated. Thanks, but no.” Insulted, she rose to leave.

“Wait.”

His voice had softened. Elle sank back down in the chair.

“You turned me down. That’s actually quite refreshing. I usually have to deal with the many reasons why women say yes. The money, the prestige, sky box seats at the football games…whatever. It gets very tiring. I just didn’t want to deal with it at Mimi’s birthday party. And you seem so very down-to-earth in your…Old Navy and flip-flops.”

Elle wasn’t as insulted and wondered what to do with this vulnerable alpha.

“Do you have plans for tonight?” She threw it back to him.

“Actually, I don’t.” Quentin smiled slightly. “What do you have in mind?”

Good on her, telling him where to stick his initial request! It’s nice to see how it resets the power balance in their relationship and like the intriguing twist at the end.

I’m curious to know where Elle intends to bring Quentin. Great makings of an opposites attract romance here.

“Tiffany Madison, you are late and of all days too; Mr. Jordan has been looking for you for the past half hour. He told me to have you come see him a soon as you came in.”

“Of course. The man has not noticed or acknowledged me since he arrived six months ago, and the one time I am not on time I’m the only employee he has on his mind. Just my luck.”

“It sucks, but the longer you make him wait is just a moment longer that you are holding off the inevitable.”

“True.”

“I’ll put your stuff at your desk if you like. He’s on the top floor, in the main office.”

Handing over her suitcase she thanks Allison profusely as she makes her way toward the elevators.

Taking a deep breath, she smooths the lines out of her pencil skirt before stepping into the view of the open doorway.

A deep masculine voice calls out to her, and as she enters his domain his eyes lock on her and she freezes.

“Come on in Ms. Madison, and please shut the door behind you.”

“I’m sorry that I was late Mr. Jordan; I…”

“Don’t worry about it Tiffany. I didn’t call you in for that. I have a favor to ask, and I need someone that I can trust.”

“And you trust me?”

He nods his head as his tongue coast along the side seams of his lips.

“I have been watching you and I know that you are loyal to this company and loyal to those you call friend. Now, I don’t fall into the friend category, but I am all that is standing between this company and its demise. And I presume that you enjoy your job here.”

“Yes sir, I do.”

“I thought so.” Clearing his throat, he proceeds, “I need to make sure that we are clear about one thing.”

“And what might that be?”

“That what we discuss is not to be repeated outside of these walls. Am I understood?”

“Yes sir.”

“Call me Jordan; you need to get used to my name rolling off your lips for what I have in mind.”

Gesturing at the chair in front of him he commands her to take a seat, and then he begins.

“My grandfather is retiring and he is now looking for his replacement. I am one of the top candidates, but he is old school and he believes that having a family grounds you and that is the one qualification that I lack. I need for you to pretend to be my girlfriend and as the months pass I will need you to pretend to be my fiance. We won’t actually have to go through a wedding but…”

“But what? Is this your idea of a joke? Because I know that you can not really be serious.”

He smiles so that just the dimple in his left cheek shows. “I am very much serious Tiffany.”

“Mr. Jordan…”

“Just Jordan. I know it is a lot to ask, but I will make it well worth your while. I think a promotion will definitely be in order if we can pull this off.”

Hysterically laughter bubbles up within her, and he allows her a few moments before his fingers slide over her moist lips.

“This is serious Tiffany, honey. I need you to pretend to be in love with me. Things have to look natural. I have already told him about you.”

“You told your grandfather that we were a couple?”

“I told my entire family and the board, last night; that is why I am talking to you about this this morning. I told my grandfather about a month ago and he brought it up, so I had to stick with it, and now I need your help.”

“We don’t even know if we are compatible. I don’t even know what you do outside of work.”

“Well that is an easy inquiry to answer. I do nothing but work, sleep, and eat.”

“That’s not good.”

“You can change that.”

“This is too big of a lie to tell.”

“I’m too far in to not. The only question that is left is are you.”

“Am I what?”

He quirks his eyebrows. “Are you in?”

“I should not even be considering this.”

“But you are?”

Exhaling softly, she readies herself, but before she can speak he asks yet another question.

“Would it really be so hard to act like you are attracted to me? I won’t have a problem acting like I am attracted to you.”

“I am in a relationship?”

“Come now, we cannot afford to have lies between us.”

She stares at him in disbelief. “What makes you think that I am lying?”

I told you, I have been watching you.”

“Jordan?”

“That’s it; get use to my name falling from your lips as if it belongs there. I’ll be by your house at seven tonight to tell you all the tales that I have relayed to my grandfather.”

“I haven’t said yes yet.”

“You haven’t said no either, and I gave you ample opportunity to do so. So?”

“I’ll see you at seven.”

“That’s what I want to hear. You’ll see Tiffany, this will be rewarding for us both.”

Lovely flow to your dialogue and you really portray Alpha Male Jordan well. It’s nice that he noticed Tiffany’s loyalty and choose her for that reason. I’m sure she’ll soon make him realise there’s more to life than work.

There’s a lot to work with in this set-up – love that the stakes are so high here! However, Jordan is being very demanding here, so to keep it convincing, it might have been nice to see that these two had built up more of a rapport before he asks so much of her…and before she says yes!

Chad Finley glanced at the buzzing intercom atop his no-frills desk. He knew that it was his boss, Jessica Manns, in the other room summoning him, but he had reservations about pushing the answer button.

The buzzing stopped and Chad expelled a sigh of relief. Then…

“Hey, Chad,” called Jessica in a booming voice from inside the other room.

Chad gulped. With trepidation, he grabbed the blank client notebook from his desk’s top, stood from his chair, and stepped forward. Could he actually tell Jessica that her private detective agency still had no clients and keep his job?

He tapped the glass of her office door.

“Get in here, Chad,” she barked.

As Chad slowly began to open the door, it creaked. He stretched his pencil neck over the threshold into her office, his eyes locking on his seven-foot, two-inch tall boss seated behind her desk. To him, Jessica was a perfect beauty — a gal that he’d secretly wanted. But at only four feet ten inches tall himself, he wondered if she could ever be interested in him.

“Jessica?” he said, his thin, unobtrusive voice struggling to cut through the room’s stale air. “You buzzed me?”

Jessica giggled, her gargantuan frame bouncing. “I did, Chad. You didn’t feel it?”

Without pause, Chad scampered out of her office and shut the door.

Jessica huffed. “Oh, come on. Where’s your sense of humor?” She stood from her chair, the top of her head almost crashing into the ceiling. “Chad.” She reached out for her office doorknob. Her Kong-sized hand swallowed it and she pulled the door open.

Chad stumbled back from the giant’s sudden entrance into his area.

“Don’t tell me that I spooked you.”

“Alright, I won’t. But you did,” he said, trying to stand tall, as he placed his Fedora hat atop his head.

“But you knew I’d come in here after you,” she pressed, crossing her arms.

He stammered, “Well…uh…not really,” he said, adjusting the brim of his hat, trying to make himself look tougher than his plain face would allow.

“I don’t believe you. Why did you turn and leave?”

“I…uh…really…don’t know.”

“What do you mean, ‘you don’t know’?” she asked, her bright, bouncy personality coming to the fore.

He quivered. “Okay…then I…I can’t remember,” he replied, sneaking a peek at her voluptuous features, as he shied away.

She dropped her hands to her large, curvy hips. “If you can’t remember stuff, Chad, you can’t be a P.I. assistant. Stop being such a jellyfish.”

His look shot at her. “That’s it!” he exclaimed, pointing, as he inched his way to exit the room. “That’s why I turned and left. I have the backbone of a jellyfish! I’m not cut out for P.I. life.”

She smirked. “But I just got my first client. I was asked to look into a speed dating service. You know how phony I think those things are, Chad. But a client’s a client. I need a fake date for the weekend to make it as though I hooked up using the site. Are you game?”

Chad paused and turned. “Sounds like a first-rate plan,” he said with strength, grinning, fully believing now that dreams do come true.

I love this. Unusual twist that the woman is taller but in lots of famous celeb pairings this is the case ( Charles and Di, Tom and Nicole,etc). I’ve never seen a romance based around corruption in the speed dating industry so it should be fun. I really want to see how Chad and Jessica reach their HEA.

Love that she’s the boss! I can’t see this being right for any of our series, but glad you had some fun with it 🙂

Hoping I’m not too late with my entry x

I packed up my desk dreading the lonely weekend ahead, my flat mate Sue was visiting her boyfriend in London. It would be me and the cat for the weekend. I rolled my eyes when I had seen the internal line flashing, what did Mr Ryan Gibson want now? My boss, my impossibly attractive and very annoying boss. I should have left an hour before but being the efficient PA I am, I stayed behind to finish the minutes from the meeting and because I had no other plans, how sad must I have looked?
I answered, praying that it would be something quick and not take me all night. “Yes Mr Gibson.” I’d asked trying not to sigh.
“Oh good you’re still here. Can you come in my office?” he replied. No please or thank you, it’s one of his bad habits and it annoys me.
“Yeah sure.”
I’d gone into his office dreading what job he would want me to do at six thirty on Friday night. He looked up and studied me.
“Are you busy this weekend?” he asked, as he had ran his hand through his dark hair
I stirred at him in disbelief, six months I had been working for him and he had never so much asked me anything about my social life. “Wh… what?”
“I asked are you busy this weekend Nicole? It’s a simple questions,” he told me, when he finally looked up from the papers he had been studying. My breath had caught in my throat, he looked so tired, his brown eyes had been red from studying the spreadsheet and the trace of stubble that wasn’t there before, had appeared on his chin. Oh how I wanted to run my hands through his hair and kiss him. “Well?”
“No, I’ve no plans my flat mate is away. Why are you asking?” I couldn’t resist I wanted to know why he was being sociable suddenly.
“Erm,” he had looked lost for words and shifted in his seat. “I know I have no right to ask but I need a date for a charity event tomorrow, would you be my date?”
“Me. Why, me?”
“Yes, you unless you would rather me ask Doris the cleaner? Nicole?”
“Yeah sure, why not?”
“You would rather me ask Doris?”
“Erm, as I’ve no other plans. Why not?”
“Don’t sound too excited about it, this is a premier event in Manchester and the tickets cost an absolute fortune.”
“Oh whoop de doo.” He looked at me blankly. “Is this a forma event?”
“Yes, is that a problem I can have something sent for you to wear if it is?”
“Not a problem at all and there is no need to send something for me to wear I am quite capable of getting something myself.” I had mentally calculated how much I could afford to spend on a dress, hoping there would be enough with my overdraft to cover the costs.
“It’s no problem I will have a something couriered over to you tomorrow afternoon and be ready for 7pm on the dot?”
“Yes of course, have you ever known me to be late?”
“No, I will see you tomorrow,” he’d said and turned back to the spreadsheet he had been working on.
***
I had been on cloud nine all day and then the most amazing emerald dress and shoes had been delivered by courier. I’d stood in the full length mirror of my bedroom and looked back at myself, hardly able to believe how well the dress fitted and suited my colouring. My auburn hair I’d had curled and half of it tied up to make it look even longer.
The doorbell had stopped my pondering and I had grabbed my bag on the way to the door. Ryan had stood waiting; he was wearing a tuxedo and looked even hotter than normal. My stomach had flipped at the sight of him. His eyes had lazily travelled all over my body and I had been sure I could see a hunger in them I had never seen before.
“Hi.”
“Hi, are you ready?” he said.
“Yes, let’s go,” I replied, closing the door behind us.
I was surprised to see a limo waiting to take us to the event, I knew it would be a big event but didn’t expect to be going by limo. My nerves had hitched up another notch and I’d hurried to the car. I settled in the seat and moved as far away from him as I could, being so close to him had done something to my body that I couldn’t describe and he smelled so delicious. I wanted to forget the event and spend all night licking him all over.
“Are you ok?”
“Yes, Mr Gibson.”
“Look Nicole, if you are going to be my date I think you really should call me Ryan. Are you sure you are ok?”
I’d shot him a look of disbelief, he had never asked was ok before and why couldn’t he see that I wanted him to comment on how I looked.
“Ok Ryan and yes I’m fine,” I’d huffed.
“Right in my experience when a woman says she’s fine she really isn’t fine.” He’d pressed the intercom button. “Jake, can you pull the car over a moment please?”
The car had pulled over and I expected him to throw me out there and then, I really had sulked my way out of a date. All because I wanted to look hot for him and for him to notice me for me not as just his PA.
“Why have we stopped? Are you going to kick me out now?”
“No. I’m not going to throw you out of the car. I want to know what is wrong with you, you’re acting very strange.” His eyebrows had furrowed in confusion.
“You could have said I looked nice in the dress you sent me, but as per usual nothing.”
“Is that all?” he looked at me in disbelief. “Nicole, you are unbelievably gorgeous, do you not know that?” He had slid along the seat of the limousine and taken my hand in his. “I do not make the habit of taking just anyone to the most expensive charity event in Manchester and I have been trying to ask you for weeks, I didn’t think you would say yes.”
“Why?”
“I know I haven’t been the easiest to work for and that is because I have been trying to keep my distance from you. I’m your boss and I shouldn’t have these feelings for you…”
“You have feelings for me?” I’d stuttered.
“Yes, god I’m making such a mess of this, you do something to me that I can’t explain.”
“I do?”
“You do. You don’t know how many times I have wanted to ask you out or to take you home and make love to you. You’re so gorgeous and when I saw you in that dress you look absolutely stunning. I was lost for words and I’m sorry I should have told you how beautiful you looked. Can you forgive me?” He pulled my hand to his lips and kissed my knuckles.
“I can try, but it will take more than an apology.” His eyes had searched mine, full of hunger and hope. “Kiss me.”
He had pulled me into his arms and his mouth met mine, gently exploring with is tongue, all sorts of feelings had flown through my body. I had never been kissed so passionately but softly before. He had pulled away and kissed my forehead.
“Later I will show you how I really want to kiss you but for now we have an event to attend and I think I need to introduce the world to my new girlfriend. Is that’s ok with you?”
My heart had jumped with joy but I couldn’t help but tease him. “Why did you ask Doris after all?” Confusion spread across his face. “Of course it is ok with me and I’m so glad you finally got around to asking.”
“You are in so much trouble Miss Hampson.”
“Oh, I can’t wait.”

What a nice twist that the workaholic hero couldn’t think of another way to ask out the heroine! To really make the most of his revelation, it might have been nice to have seen more of a glimmer of his attraction when he’s asking her to the event, but this is a fun, sweet entry!

Thanks so much for all the great challenges, everyone! We’ll be taking a pause from the #WritingChallenges to make way for SYTYCW – GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! – but we’ll be back after the conference. See you all soon!

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