Monday, March 28, 2016
A quick train ride later and I’m pushing through the revolving doors to Jackson-Hamilton Aviation.
“Morning, Larry!” I wave and hustle past the security desk where Larry sits.
“Mornin’, sweetheart,” he yells back, never once taking his eyes off the newspaper he’s reading.
My heels click loudly on the granite floor of the open-air atrium as I hustle over to the elevator bank. I frantically press the call button for the elevator and glance at my watch. I’m already five minutes late. I hate being late. Punctual is my middle name. If I’m not five minutes early, I’m late. That’s how I roll.
Groaning, I tap the toe of my shoe impatiently. When an elevator finally arrives, I scurry in just as a voice from behind me hollers out, “Hold that elevator, please.” I grumble but hold the doors as Holt Hamilton glides in, a cell phone pressed to his ear. With a curt nod, he steps aside and the elevator doors close while my heart pounds wildly in my chest.
Holt Hamilton. The sexiest man I’ve ever seen and the Vice President of Jackson-Hamilton Aviation—basically my boss. Standing at least six-foot-three, he could be Henry Cavill’s twin brother. With striking blue eyes and dark hair that’s styled back off of his face, he’s the perfect combination of businessman meets runway model. His cut jawline is accentuated by one very perfect dimple on his left cheek.
His athletic frame is highlighted by his custom-tailored suit that hugs each and every curve of his shoulders, arms, and waist, showing every muscle the man owns as he leans against the side of the elevator. Today he’s wearing a charcoal suit with a blue shirt and striped tie. The blue shirt makes his blue eyes stand out against his tan skin. I catch myself staring and quickly turn to face the doors of the elevator.
“Morning, Ms. Phillips,” he says with a tight smile. He shoves his cell phone into the pocket of his suit jacket.
Again, my heart is racing. “Mr. Hamilton.” I nod and keep my eyes on the digital display showing the floor numbers. Fifty-seven, fifty-eight, I silently count as we continue to rise. Only thirty more. I take a deep breath, trying to calm myself.
“How are you settling in?” he asks, his voice deep and commanding. I half-turn to speak to him and catch his smirk, but he quickly composes himself and adjusts his tie.
“It’s going well. I submitted the final orders for both planes that were overdue. Mr. Jackson emphasized those were priority.” I raise my chin confidently, but my heart continues to race with nervousness.
“You closed both orders?” he asks, surprised. “As in, you got both clients to agree to every last detail?” He looks skeptical. These particular clients were a nightmare. I knew when I accepted the job that I’d have demanding clients, but those two were the cream of the crop.
“I did.” Another confident nod.
"Huh," he mumbles, giving his head a little shake. “So how’d you do it? Rachel had been working for months with those clients, and they wouldn’t agree to anything she recommended. She tossed their client portfolios on my desk the day she resigned and swore we’d never close the deal on those planes.”
I try to contain my smirk. “I get to know my clients, Mr. Hamilton. I make an effort to really understand their likes and dislikes—their personal preferences. What excites them. What motivates them. Not just shove today’s best-selling aeronautical features down their throats. I work with them and, in the end, they trust me and my recommendations—we’re a team.”
“It's that easy?” He cocks an eyebrow in amusement.
I cock an eyebrow in return. “It's that easy. Payments are finalized and in the Jackson-Hamilton account, Mr. Hamilton. Planes are scheduled to be delivered to both clients in the next ninety days.” I rub my sweaty palms down the sides of my pencil skirt.
He stares at me silently, just chewing on the inside of his cheek when the elevator finally slows to a stop. The doors open and Holt reaches out and places his arm against the open door so as to not let them close on us, but in doing so, places himself shoulder to shoulder with me. Too close. So close I can smell his body wash and his minty breath.
I quickly step out of the elevator and into the lobby of Jackson-Hamilton Aviation and begin to walk down the hall toward my cubicle, the opposite direction of Holt Hamilton.
“Nice work, Phillips,” he says from behind me.
DARE ME TRAILER: https://youtu.be/9W7AnPtH_ccAbout Rebecca Shea: Rebecca Shea is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Unbreakable series (Unbreakable, Undone, and Unforgiven) and the Bound and Broken series (Broken by Lies and Bound by Lies). She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters. When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her sons’ football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters.