Thursday, January 17, 2019

First Meeting from Reaching for the Moon by Dellani Oakes

Amanda Sharp walked down the street in her fancy, new red shoes. They cost a bundle, but the young woman was determined to look her best at her job interview. With a special spring in her step, she rounded the corner and ran into a man. Knocked back a step, she stumbled. He caught her by the elbows, setting her on her feet once more.
What a nightmare! Amanda thought. Now I'll be late for my appointment.
The man apologized and pulled the door open for her. He was really quite handsome. Distracted by his good looks, she didn't pay careful attention to where she was going. She caught the pocket of her jacket on the door. It swung shut, hitting her big toe. Her foot exploded with pain and she cursed inadvertently.
Worried that she was seriously hurt, the man helped her to a chair. Once he was assured she was alright, he excused himself.
"I apologize, but I have an appointment in five minutes. Are you sure you're okay?"
Amanda, who was now surrounded by everyone in the office, told him she was fine.
"I'll check on you later," he promised. "I'll return after my appointment."
Amanda examined her beautiful new shoes after the man left. They were scuffed and dirty. Fortunately, they had taken the impact, protecting her foot, or she would have seriously injured her toe. Distressed, she almost didn't hear when the receptionist called her name.
"Oh, that's me," she said. "Sorry."
Walking into the office, a familiar face greeted her. The man she'd collided with stepped forward with a smile.
"Either you need to be more careful or I do," he said with a grin. "Congratulations. You're hired."
"You don't want to read my resume? Ask questions?" Amanda was stunned that she had the job so quickly.
"I read it over on the way here. I learned everything I need to know about you during our incident."
Amanda blushed. "You learned that I'm easily distracted, clumsy and—"
"Curse like a truck driver. Yes," he mused.
Amanda's breath caught in her throat. He had the most stunning blue eyes she'd ever seen. Surrounded by thick, black lashes, they gave him a dreamy, sleepy look. She felt herself slipping and only by shear will did she avoid falling into those bottomless blue depths.
"Please, have a seat before I take you to the Personnel Office."
"You don't call it Human Resources here?" Again, the man puzzled her.
He chuckled, full lips forming an amused pout. "No. Why call it something so silly? It's the Personnel Office and the lady in charge is Personnel Manager. We don't have fancy titles here. I'm the boss, the people out there are my employees and you'll be my secretary. How does that sound?"
"Wonderful!" Amanda kicked herself inwardly for sounding like such an excitable little girl. Sure she was blushing, she ducked her head.
"Perhaps I should introduce myself," her new boss said. "I'm Trent Harmon." He held out his hand.
"The Boss," she murmured, taking his hand.
"The Boss," he repeated with a smirk. Tipping his head, he motioned toward the door. "I'll escort you to Personnel. The hallways are rather like a rabbit warren here. It's temporary digs until our remodel on the second floor is finished."
"Are you expanding?" She followed him, not feeling it was her place to walk next to him.
"You might call it that."
Trent turned to face her, walking backward. The others in the office moved to avoid him, some teasing him for not looking where he was going. He took their jibes in good stride, smiling as he went.
"I learned a long time ago that people work better when you give them space. If they're squished in like sardines, allowed no privacy, they are less productive. While we've been crammed in here, our efficiency has dropped by five percent."
"Don't you worry about them surfing the web, accessing porn?"
His lips formed the amused pout once more. "Not really. We have a very sophisticated internet alarm system. If someone tries to access something they shouldn't, it goes off. I don't mind a few minutes of surfing on their breaks, but they log that time. There are sites our firewalls restrict, such as those known to harbor viruses."
"Like porn."
He chuckled again. "Yes. You seem very attached to that subject. Do you, in fact, scan porn sites in your off time?" His sarcastic tone held more than a hint of amusement.
They'd reached the Personnel Office. Amanda realized she had no idea how they'd gotten there. If she had to find her way back out, she'd get irreparably lost.
"No, of course not!" Her blush set her cheeks on fire.
Trent's amusement didn't help. He knew he'd embarrassed her, but she'd set herself up. Instead of shying away from it, she faced him boldly.
"No. As a matter of fact, it was my former boss who used to do so. Then he'd call me in for a meeting and have his screen tipped so I could see it reflected in the window behind his desk or, if he felt really naughty, directly from where I sat."
"What a lecherous old cod," he said gruffly, frowning deeply as he opened the door for her.
© 2019 Dellani Oakes

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