10 Do's and Don'ts of Office Romance by Mallory Crowe + Excerpt
Now I start this post slightly qualified. I kind of had an office romance myself. And by office, I mean grocery store since I met my husband when I was sixteen and pushing carts at the local supermarket. I was also a CPA for a few years, and, trust me, during those busy tax seasons, there are always a few couples working off the stress in... other ways.
1. Don't: screw the CEO....unless you are going to marry him. You'll get frowned on if you let the head honcho dip his pen in your company ink, but if you get a ring on your finger, it's congratulations all around! (Personally, I high five anyone I know who's getting lucky, but the workplace isn't as progressive as me yet)
2. Do: it on a desk. Seriously, that has to be one of the most fun things to do while sneaking around after hours. And hot!!!!
3. Don't: go to a movie theater within ten miles of the office. I saw two of my co-workers on a date (going to see that bird movie Rio of all things) once. I managed to keep my mouth shut for three years before the couple finally announced their engagement (I love to gossip. Not screaming it from the rooftops was a considerable achievement). I was not invited to the wedding, btw
4. Don't: hook up with a drama queen (this goes for both genders). Nothing is worse than a melodramatic lover when you're trying to keep things on the down low.
5. Do: keep some work documents in your purse/coat wherever you go so if someone runs into you at dinner, you can say you were talking about that one project thingy.
6. Do: know the workplace policies on dating in the workplace. Nothing is worse than going public and being informed that one of you has to leave their position
7. Do: expect to get found out eventually. Everyone gets found out. EVERYONE. Be prepared to go public at a moment's notice.
8. Don't: assume that if the store manager who is at the same mall as you and your secret fling saw you. I went public with my relationship with my (then) boyfriend (now husband) because of this and it turns out, the store manager only saw my husband and not me. Oops.
9. Do: be prepared to answer the most intimate questions once people find out. For instance, if you're seeing a six foot seven stock boy, every girl will want to know if everything is proportional.
10. Do: make out in the produce cooler if possible. It's just fun.
Mallory Crowe has lived in Michigan her whole life and has been in love with romance ever since she’d skip to the end of every novel, just to make sure the hero and heroine survived and ended up together. She lives with her husband and three dogs. When she’s not writing, she’s spending too much time in front of the TV, hiking, or working with various animal rescues.
He's a criminal.
And he's her boss.
Lacking enough evidence to go the police and not enough money in her bank account to quit on a moral basis, Lori Briggs is stuck, and it's quite clear that her boss, the criminal mastermind, intends to start mixing business with pleasure.
Michael Devereaux will do anything to protect his family's interests--even if it means posing as a criminal for an undercover FBI operation. He's got to keep Lori close, and his enemies closer. But when the intimacy with Lori deepens, Michael must decide what's more important: his family or his heart?
“You son of a bitch,” said a familiar female voice. “What did you get me into?”
“Hunter just showed up at my apartment, thanks to you. I don’t like random guys knowing where I live. How would you like it if I blasted your address to anyone who wanted it?”
He sat up straighter and rubbed his temple. “I didn’t give him any of your information.”
“I know that! But they wouldn’t even know who I am if it weren’t for you! This is all your fault.”
“Hunter came to your apartment and threatened you?”
“Not exactly…but that’s not the point.”
He clenched his jaw. He knew her point. Hell, he probably got her need for privacy more than most. Thanks to his high profile in the city, his cell number and address were things that very few people knew. Which brought up the question… “How did you get my number?”
“Oh, you have no idea how much I could find out about you if I really wanted to. All I need is some Wi-Fi and a computer.”
“Hold on. Don’t do anything rash.” The last thing he needed was some crazy woman who knew her way around firewalls with a vendetta against him. Funny, since he hadn’t gotten the crazy vibe from Lori. She’d seemed more innocent and freaked out by what he was asking her to do.
“Rash like accepting a job offer from an international crime syndicate? Or rash like setting up a dating profile for you with your private cell number and address listed?”
Mother fucker. “Are you serious?”
“So it is an international crime syndicate? I was taking a shot in the dark there…”
“No, it’s not an intern—” He cursed under his breath. This wasn’t going anywhere. “Where are you? This would be better discussed in person.”
“So you can threaten me again?”
“So I can talk some sense into you. I can explain everything that happened today.”
There was a pause on the line. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
Michael was already up and grabbing his keys and wallet from the table in the foyer and heading out the door. “Where are you? I’m already on my way.”
“You can’t come here. I’m in my pajamas.”
He frowned. “I’m sure you’ll have time to change.”
“But I’m not home.”
She was in pajamas and not home? “Are you at your boyfriend’s place?”
She snorted through the phone. “I don’t have a boyfriend.”
A rush of satisfaction shot through him at her admission, but he didn’t let himself dwell on the unexpected feeling. “I’m officially confused.”
“It doesn’t matter. You’re not coming here.”
“Fine. You can come to me then. You know my address already, right?”
“I can’t go to your place like this! I know that building! The doorman will laugh me right out of the lobby!”
He rolled his eyes. Why was this so difficult? “The doormen are paid lots of money to not laugh at anyone. Just come over and we can sort this all out. I’ll pay your cab fare.”
“I’m not meeting you alone somewhere. You could kill me.”
Michael paced in front of the elevator, still not sure whether he was leaving or not. “I promise I’m not going to kill you.”
“That sounds like something a murderer would say.”
And now he had the sudden urge to hit a wall. “Lori! There will be at least three people who see you coming into the building. You’ll be safe.” There was another pause and Michael held his breath. Was he finally getting through to her?
“Okay, but you better not judge me for wearing pajamas over.”
This woman couldn’t be serious. “This is a joke, right? Is Luke behind this?”
“Do I sound like I’m laughing?”
“Just…get over here.”
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