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Authors: Brandy Jellum

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BOOK: If I Say Yes
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Lovely Liza? Who the hell does this guy think he is?

“She’s an intern from LPU,” I answer quickly for her.

“Ahh, Long Port University, huh?” Reid looks at me and smiles. “Isn’t that where you graduated?”

How does he know this? “Yes,” is all I can manage to say.

“Well, good for you,” he says, turning his attention back to Heidi.
“I’m sure you’ll do great.”

“Thank you,” Heidi says softly.

His charm is working. Her face flushes a deep red again, and she turns her head to the side in attempt to avoid him seeing it. It’s too
late. He knows he has her hooked, like a helpless fish drawn to the
worm dangling from a fishing line. Reid says something to her, but
my heart is pounding in my chest so hard that my ears are ringing, and
I don’t catch what he says. The same waitress that brought our food appears with his order in a bag. Thankfully, he is taking it to go. It’s
obvious the waitress is totally enraptured by him as well, since she
lingers, explaining practically every ingredient in his meal, which is
totally unnecessary. The girl finally leaves, blushing, giggling, and
stealing glances over her shoulder as she walks away. I watch Reid
checking her out from behind. He doesn’t even have the decency to be
polite about it.
What a pig.

“See you ladies back at the office.” Reid finally turns his attention
back to Heidi and I. “Liza, when you get back, I’d like to meet with you
in my office to talk about the direction we need to guide you in.”

I can hardly breathe, let alone think. Being alone in his office isn’t
the smartest idea, but I nod my head regardless. He flashes that million
dollar smile of his, and I swear Heidi is going to lose it right here in
the bistro. As soon as the door closes behind him, I let out a long deep
sigh. I can finally breathe again.

“Why does he want to meet with you?” Heidi asks. Her face is placid,
showing no emotions, but I can feel the jealousy radiating off of her.

“That,” I pause momentarily and sigh again, “is my new boss.”
Unfortunately. This is my worst nightmare come alive. Well… almost.

CHAPTER THREE

I HAVE HAD A LIST
made ever since the summer after my second year of college, detailing almost every aspect of the next ten years of my life. Nowhere on the list does it say to be irrevocably attracted to my new, arrogant, annoying, beautiful boss. In fact, at the bottom of the list, I wrote in big bold letters ‘
NO MEN!’
with the exception of my best friend, Elias.

I cannot deviate from the list. I carry the slip of paper around with
me in my purse everywhere I go, scratching off and adding things as I go along. The list was created to keep me on track, to keep my eyes
set on one singular goal— being the best damn literary agent this world
has ever seen. Though I haven’t made much progress on that just yet.

I don’t have the time to date or to make many friends. It’s just
Elias and I. In school, I was always work and no play. That’s carried over
into my career as well. My life is perfect that way. I like having control
over my life, and Reid is making me consider losing my self-control.

I sit in my office staring at my cell phone, contemplating whether
I
should call Elias or not. He’s been the only constant throughout my life,
and the only man who hasn’t let me down. Elias, or Eli for short, is the
polar opposite of me. He’s wild, carefree, and has a different woman
on his arm every chance he gets. I’m slightly jealous that he has no
problem with letting loose and seeing where life leads him. I can’t do
that. I would probably have a heart attack and land myself in a mental
ward. Everything has to be perfect, everything has to be my way, and
everything has to be under my control. No control equals one psychotic
wench, and nobody wants a psychotic wench on their hands.

I finally decide against calling Eli. He’s probably wrapped up in bed with his newest fling of the week, and I do not want to interrupt that. When he’s free, he will call, as he always does to check up on me, and when he does, he can talk some sense into me. He can bring me back to my happy place.

I glance up from my phone and see Reid walking across the lobby
of our floor, immediately realizing he’s heading straight towards my
office. Damn the wall of windows that look out into the lobby. They
make me feel exposed. Vulnerable. I quickly open the drawer to my
desk, drop my phone in, and slam it shut. I turn to my computer and
pull up my email program. Only five new query letters since I left the
office. I open the first email and pretend to be working just as Reid
walks into my office like he owns the place. Technically, he does— or
his uncle does, at least.

“Excuse me,” I say without taking my gaze off the computer. “The
door is shut for a reason. Try knocking next time.” I hear him laugh,
the door close, and the sound of knocking. I glance up, unable to hide the
smile that creeps up on my face. Reid stands outside the office door, arms
folded, and his left foot tapping against the floor, waiting impatiently
for me to let him in. I nod my head. He opens the door quickly and
closes it behind him.

“There,” he says. “Is that better?”

“Much.” I turn back to the computer screen, ignoring his presence
and doing my best to seem busy. Out of the corner of my eye, I see
Reid cross the distance between the door and my desk. He pulls out one
of the chairs closest to him and takes a seat, leaning back comfortably
with his legs stretched out in front of him and his arms resting on the
arms of the chair. I do my best to ignore him, but my eyes keep drifting
over to him, absorbing his beautiful features. If looking like he did was
a crime, he would spend life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A few minutes later, Reid begins whistling some tune I have
heard,
and I sigh. “What do you want?” I finally ask, still not shifting my gaze
towards him.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” He straightens up in the chair. “Are you busy or something?”

“I’m trying to work,” I say casually. It’s a lie. I have been staring
at the same damn query letter since I noticed him walking towards
my office. I haven’t read one single line. I close the email and move to the next one. It’s the same thing.

“You and I both know that you aren’t doing anything more than staring at the computer screen, pretending to be busy.” He chuckles.
My body stiffens, and I catch my breath. “You can stop pretending now
and look at me.”

I release a slow, low breath before closing the email and turning
my attention to him. His dark eyes stare into mine, and the world is still
for one brief moment. I shake my head and clear my throat. “What do
you want?” I ask again.

“I believe I asked you to come to my office when you got back
from lunch.” His eyes darken for a moment before lightening back up
to his normal shade of dark brown.

“I forgot,” I say nonchalantly. He stares at me, and the way he
stares at me is making my heart race. I take slow, deep breaths to calm
my beating heart and fail. The sight of him is enough to make my pulse
go crazy.

“Well…” Reid gets up out of the chair. “Let’s go.”

“You’re here now,” I say. Reid stops and settles back down in his
seat. “So what do you want to talk about?” I cross my arms and rest
them on top of the desk, doing my best to not show how he is affecting
me by just sitting there. Reid is quiet for a long time. He starts to laugh,
breaking the silence. I tilt my head to the side and study him. “What is so funny?”

“Are you always so serious?” His laughter bothers me, and I feel the irritation starting to bubble under my skin.

“I thought we were going to talk about work? About how you can
supposedly help my transition to Romance an easier one?” I stare at him, unmoving. Reid releases a hearty laugh again, the sound like a beautiful one-of-a-kind song.

“I’d much rather continue our conversation from earlier.” His voice
is soft. He leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees and gazes up
towards me.
Our conversation from earlier?
Is he talking about in his
uncle’s office? If so, that’s territory I do not want to venture in, much less alone with him.

He has figured me out quickly, from the moment we met, and it scares me. I have never been one to wear my emotions on my sleeve or to give any inclination to my past. I’ve worked too hard to keep it
behind me. That old life is dead and gone. His question earlier, the one
about who broke my heart, caught me by surprise. Those few words
he said were almost enough for the memories to come back. And that’s
something I can’t have. “I am here to work,” I say sharply. “If you do not want to discuss anything relating to our job here, then you might as well leave now.”

“Okay.” He raises an eyebrow. “On one condition.” Reid stands up
and runs his hand through his hair. “Say you will have drinks with me,
tonight after work, at Gravity.”

“Not a chance.” The words come out automatically. Hell would
have to freeze over before I ever return to that place. Reid frowns, and without saying another word, he walks towards the door. I watch
him open it, pause, and look back at me.

“I want you to have three potential authors you are willing to sign
and an explanation as to why in my office by three o’clock or I
will
be having a talk with my uncle.” His voice is cold. He walks out of my office and slams the door behind him.

I sink back in my chair.
What the hell just happened?
Reid goes from
asking me out for drinks to potentially firing me because I said no. Ah hell, I should have just agreed. Now my job is on the line. This is such bull. How am I ever going to get three authors chosen when I
can’t even make it past the first sentence of their letters? I could always
just choose three random authors, but Reid seems smart. He’ll know that’s what I have done. Especially since I have to give legit reasons as to why I chose them.

Just great, Liza, just great. See what you have gotten yourself into.

Why did I let him get under my skin? Why did he have to be the boss’s nephew? Me and my big fat mouth, I should have just kept it closed and given him what he wanted. I should have agreed to meet him for drinks. But I couldn’t. I know having drinks with a guy is nothing. It’s no big deal. People do it all the time. That wasn’t even
the problem. The problem is that he wanted to grab drinks at Gravity,
only the biggest, most exclusive night club in town. That place is no good for a girl like me. It is the last place on Earth that I want to find myself in with the likes of a guy like Reid Harder. It’s also a place filled with bad memories, ones I fight to keep hidden away.

What do I do?

Not hesitating, I open my drawer, grab my phone, and dial Eli’s number.

CHAPTER FOUR

THE PHONE RINGS
several times as I tap a pen on top of my desk
and wait impatiently for him to answer, but it goes to voicemail. I sigh
and hang up the phone. I lean back in my chair and stare up at the
white ceiling. The shrill of my phone ringing startles me, and I jump
in my chair. I reach for the phone immediately, press talk, and bring it
up to my ear. “Liza, what’s wrong?” Eli asks right away. His voice is eager and shaky.

I say nothing. I hear shuffling on the other end of the line and realize
that he is probably still in bed. The joys of being carefree. “Talk to me…
what is it?” he says softly.

“I just wanted to hear your voice.” I sigh and lean back in my chair
again. It’s only a half lie. I really did want to his voice. He brings me a
sense of calm and grounding.

“I know you better than that,
little rabbit
.” I smile when he says the
nickname he gave me when we first met in kindergarten. I could never
stay still, I was always bouncing in my seat and moving around. Eli said
I reminded him of a little rabbit, and the nickname has stuck ever since.

“It’s just…” I sigh. “It’s just work.” How can I explain to him about
Reid? I only just met the guy this morning. Eli says nothing and patiently
waits for me to continue. “I got a new boss today, and he’s…” He’s
what? Annoying? Irritating? Infuriating? Dangerously gorgeous? “He’s
something else,” I finally say.

“Define something else?” I can sense the hesitation in his voice.

“He’s an ass.”

Eli laughs loudly into the phone, and I smile again. “According to
you, all men are asses.”

“That’s because they are,” I say lightly. In my experience, every guy
is an ass. They are good for nothing other than breaking your heart. But talking to Eli is already easing the tension built up inside of me.

“Well…” Eli says. “Except for me.”

“You are a rare treat.” I laugh. “For the most part.”

“I’ll take that.” Eli chuckles softly and then goes quiet for a few
seconds. “Seriously, Liza, what is it?”

BOOK: If I Say Yes
5.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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