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Through the Long Night

MuseitUp Publishing

Heat Rating: SWEET
Word Count: 25,337
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Accountant Moira Jones hates everything about her job except for her gorgeous, but uptight boss. She accidently knocks him out at an office party. After a night together, she realizes he is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. Can she trust him to see past the lies spread about her by the office bully?

Jensen knows dating a coworker is a bad idea, but he just can’t seem to resist quiet Moira. When Monday rolls around after the party, reality intrudes in the form of water cooler gossip and office politics. Is dating the woman of his fantasies worth risking his job?

Excerpt

“How could I have been so stupid? Of course he would be invited.” Moira hurried up the steps. At the top, she spun around to find Em right behind her.

“Ah, so we are running from someone?” Em glanced over her shoulder to the bottom of the stairs.

“No . . . yes. It’s Mike. I just don’t want to deal with him.” Her body sagged at the admission.

“So all that talk about taking control of your life was just bullshit then?” Em planted a hand on her hip and shook her head.

“Well, no, but Mike’s a jerk.” Moira rubbed her damp palms on the bottom of her dress.

Em sighed. “That’s the point. He makes your life miserable at work. He harassed you in high school. If standing up to him was easy, it wouldn’t mean anything.”

Moira grimaced at the harsh truth. “I suppose.”

With soft eyes, Em studied her for a long moment. “You know what? I’ll get rid of him for you.”

Moira winced at Em’s disappointed tone, but her feet refused to move. “You don’t have to. It’s not your fight.”

“But you’re my friend. So wait here while I get rid of the jerk.” With a bright smile, Em opened the nearest door and shoved Moira inside. “Wait here.”

Moira frowned at the empty bedroom. “Does it have to be a bedroom?”

Em shrugged. “It’s probably the only empty room in the house. I won’t be long.”

Moira opened her mouth to object, but her friend stopped her with a bored look.

“Don’t argue with me. The quicker I get rid of that jerk the sooner you can put the moves on your boss.”

“This is a bad idea.” She contemplated ducking out of the party altogether until she remembered Em had driven her there. Escape was not an option. Her stomach twisted into knots.

“An ego that huge deserves to be deflated.” Em shoved Moira further into the bedroom and yanked the door closed.

Moira reached for the doorknob, but forced her hand down to her side. Better to just let Em do her thing. She considered the room. It matched her opinion of the man. All work and no play made her new boss, Jensen Donovan, a dull boy.

Only, he had surprised her last week when he’d invited her to this party. No one invited her anywhere, not to drinks after work or to share a table at lunch since Mike had started badmouthing her.

She sat on the edge of his bed. What was taking so long? She slipped off her heels and rubbed her sore feet. Might as well be comfortable if she was going to be stuck waiting half the night. Guests had surrounded Mr. Donovan earlier so the room was all hers. She shimmied back to lean against the plain mahogany headboard and grabbed her smart phone from her small beaded purse.

Boss man’s bed had to be the most comfortable one she’d laid on outside of a mattress store. She wiggled, and the bed molded to her body, unlike the creaky old thing at her apartment. The room might not look like much with its hotelesque decor, but the bed more than made up for it.

Somewhere between a lost game of Spider Solitaire and checking her bank account balance, she dropped off to sleep. She’d spent most of last night tossing and turning about the party.

In her dream, she was Goldilocks, and a giant snarling bear grabbed her arm. She tried to roll away, but the beast wouldn’t let go. She swung her arm back.

The bear released her, but any relief was short lived. A loud crack and a man’s cry of pain provided the impetus she needed to fully wake up. She scurried to the edge of the bed and peeked over, but her long brown hair fell around her face, blocking her view. She pushed the curls back and gasped.

Sprawled on the ground, lay the owner of the bed. He wasn’t moving.

Adrenaline coursed through her system. She worked to calm her racing heart. Her boss, Mr. Donovan, lay before her in all his masculine glory. Great. Now, she’d have to add beating up the office eye candy to the list of her workplace transgressions. And the worst part, she couldn’t even deny this one.

Was he dead? Her eyes closed as she tried to organize scattered thoughts. When the fog cleared, she decided priority number one was to make sure he was still among the living. She hopped off the bed and knelt beside him. With the tip of her pointer finger, she prodded his upper arm. He didn’t wake up, but his chest rose under his pressed shirt. Her entire body slumped against the nightstand in relief.

Ecstatic that her future didn’t involve prison time and baggy orange jumpsuits, her pulse slowed to a mere gallop. She leaned over him and looped both arms under his and pulled. Nothing happened. He wasn’t a huge guy, but he didn’t budge. Her guess would put him at no more than six foot. However, she was a munchkin, and if the rest of him matched what she had her arms wrapped around, he was made up of solid muscle.

Unwilling to further damage the poor man, who had done nothing more egregious than try to get her out of his heavenly bed, she pulled one arm out from underneath him to go get help.

His eyes fluttered open. He blinked several times before his gaze settled on her. She smiled so wide her face ached. “Hi there. Nice party.”

His brows lowered in confusion because, even a man with brain trauma knew it was a stupid thing to say. “Pixie?”

His voice was little more than a whisper, and she wondered if this was some sort of Citizen Kane type moment that she should be concerned about. Then, Em charged through the door.

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