In fairytales, the prince rescues the beautiful and thin princess. Crystal never let being plus size stop her from achieving her goals, but she never expected a prince to swoop her up on a white horse either. Independence is her strength, and her career gives her security. Then her company took over a warehouse run by four hot men, and she can’t get her mind off of them. Working with Roman, Andy, Lance, and Fred fuels dreams of much dirtier fairytales for her. Mixing business with pleasure is asking for trouble, but she can’t resist. Dreams don’t come true every day, and she has to jump on this merger where everyone wins!
She spotted the men wandering out. They waved and smiled at her, but all had work to do. So did she, but Lance wasn’t due for training for half an hour. She was habitually early.
Andy walked up and smiled at her. “Morning. Everything in order?”
“Always. Ready for a little computer training this week? I hope you have enough staff to cover for the imposition,” she said.
“Hey, we’ve got to use the system so we need to learn it. We’ve got coverage. I just don’t want any bitching about the added payroll.” He sighed.
She understood that. The company wasn’t as harsh or cutthroat as some she’d worked for in the past, but a small business in a small town had to be conscious of costs if they hoped to survive. “I’d forward the HR training approval to Payroll just in case. I don’t control either of those departments. The new HR department head doesn’t really like me.”
“How is that possible?” Roman slid up behind her and grabbed sugar packet.
Crystal smiled at the second hunk. “Some women love to keep other women down. Like there’s only so much room in management for females. They want to be the queen and can’t let any other woman be right. I really prefer working with men.”
“Well, we love having you around. You can have that office whenever you want.” Roman smiled.
Fred came up for another cup of coffee. “Are you moving in?”
She shook her head. “I wish I could. My department isn’t here. It’s not that far, but I love the small office feel you guys have.”
“Maybe big corporate games aren’t your thing?” Andy asked.
Her smile disappeared. If she wasn’t great at her job and handling all of that, she didn’t know what defined her. “I don’t think anything in Lucky Springs is really ‘big corporation’. Smaller companies mean fewer opportunities. I had to work hard for my promotion so maybe I look a little competitive to some. That’s not always an attractive feminine quality.”
“You go after what you want. That’s an excellent attribute,” Fred replied.
He was so sweet and literal. Fred was clear, and Roman was obviously interested in her as well. At least, she hoped so.
“Work relationships get complicated. Co-workers, friends and so on.” Andy nodded. “Well, no worries. The office is yours, and Lance is yours all morning. If you need more time, let me know.”
“Thanks.” She could tell Andy had doubts about crossing any lines, but he was a manager. That job came with responsibility. She hadn’t told anyone at the company that the men were in a relationship. Andy supervising the others might not sit well with HR. Simmons hadn’t cared but HR would if they followed the company policies to the letter.
Adding her into the mix would only make it a bigger problem. She still wanted them. Working with them day in and day out during the buyout, she’d seen them at their best and worst. Andy was steady if cautious. Fred was logical while Roman and Lance were more easygoing and flexible. Lance even leaned toward daring while Roman was happy to hang back and watch.
“Are you feeling okay?” Fred asked.
She realized she’d gone silent. Lost in thought. At least, they weren’t naked in her daydream just then, or she’d be blushing. “Sorry. I need my caffeine buzz. I should be on my second cup by now.”
As she took a big drink of her favorite excuse, Lance walked up with his laptop, a notepad and pen. “Ready when you are, Ms. Capewell.”
She laughed. “When did I stop being Crystal?”
Lance pouted. “It’s a teacher fantasy. Don’t ruin it.”
“Lance,” Andy scolded.
Crystal’s cheeks felt a bit hot, but she liked the attention and couldn’t pretend not to. “It’s okay, Andy. If he gets out of line, I’ll smack him with a ruler.”
“Where exactly would I get smacked?” Lance kept the play going.
“Stop it before someone hears you,” Andy warned.
She had to put Andy out of his misery. “In the office,” she told Lance. “I’ll get some more coffee. Is there ice in the freezer?”
Fred nodded. “Of course. You want to cool off your coffee?”
“No, but I may need to cool off Lance later.” Crystal added some cream to her coffee then headed back to the office. It was nice that one of the guys was so bold.