He text dumped me, now I have to pretend to be in love with him or lose my job
I never thought I"d see Jacob again after he texted those seven words: I"m leaving,
we can"t be together anymore.
I"ve spent the last two years staring at that message, hearing his gravelly voice loud and clear in my head as I read the words over and over.
We were supposed to be forever, instead he"s forever frozen my heart.
It"s been rough but at least my career is going great.
Or at least it was until I accidentally posted a vibrator video to my company"s Instagram account.
They failed to see the funny side.
Now I have one shot to smooth things over with my boss – pretend to be in a relationship with a stranger for the weekend to impress a potential new client.
Except it isn"t a stranger after all, it"s Jacob.Books by Author:Lulu Pratt Books
I CHEWED ON the end of a pen and my eyebrows furrowed with concentration as I murmured, "Almost there, almost there" Come on""
I shoved away from my desk, frustrated. I"d been so close to finally aligning the grid margins of our big presentation. Some people call me anal. Those people would be right. If the grids weren"t perfectly centered, the presentation would look unprofessional and then I"d look unprofessional and the whole thing would be a disaster. I know I sound crazy, and I"ve made my peace with that. I"m focused, I"m meticulous, and I love things with bows.
So whoever was on the other end of that line was gonna have to apologize to me and my grids for interrupting such good work.
"Hello"" I said, jabbing a button and talking to the receiver.
"You sound pissed," the voice noted mildly.
Oh, shoot. The voice was, alas, very familiar. "Erm, sorry about that, Joe. It"s the " never mind, what can I do for you""
"I want to see you. In my office. In about one minute." His tone was brusque, and given some recent mishaps, his tone did not thrill me.
I bit down on the tip of the pen I was still holding between my fingers. "Right now""
"Well, in one minute."
I sighed quietly to myself, but replied brightly, "Of course."
Those grids were going to have to wait. I hit ctrl-s twice, just in case. Joe was my boss, so when he said jump, I asked how high. I thrust my feet back into the less-than-sensible pumps beneath my desk and grimaced. My Deep South upbringing had somehow wheedled me into a constant, incomprehensible need to wear shoes that made me blister and bleed. But damn, were they cute! They had a little Mary-Jane buckle with a bee as a button, and they were shiny patent red, like Minnie Mouse, and"
Right, the meeting. I pushed away from the minimalist white desk with perfectly organized sticky notes in different colors, inspirational quotes, a picture of my dog and a heavily marked-up wall calendar. Under my breath, I grumbled. Anything Joe wanted with me, he probably could"ve handled over the phone. Unless it was something bad, in which case it would only be polite of him to deal with it face to face. Oh God, it was gonna be something bad. What had I done" Had he seen me take my shoes off, that wasn"t very professional, after all"
"Pipe down, you!" I muttered to my nagging inner voice. "It"s probably nothing. You"re being a D-R-A-M-A queen." My internal monologue tended to do that, so sometimes I had to loudly and forcefully tell her to take a damn hike.
Inner voice in check, I strode the couple of doors from my office to Joe"s, feet sinking into the gray carpet, and entered without so much as a knock. It"d taken some time for me to get over my formal ways, but Joe had insisted upon it. After all, construction companies aren"t exactly hallowed institutions of etiquette. I think his words were "you"re being a priss." And a priss I remained, though I played along with him and his brother for team morale or something.
"Hey Joe," I said with as a cheery voice as I could manage as I entered his office, a relic to bygone manhood, adorned with dead fish, Revolutionary war muskets and other pointless junk. "What"s up""
He growled a "hello" from his worn-in leather chair. I wondered what would happen if he left that chair for too long. Would it just burst into flame" What was a dog without its ever present master"
"Sierra, come on in, pop a squat," he ordered.
I took a careful seat on the moth-bitten flannel couch across from his arm chair. Joe, along with his brother Tom, ran a fairly successful business and I worked in the Fort Myers head office, but you"d never know it from the way he presented himself. While I was all high heels and barrel curls, he looked like he"d been marooned with the rest of the Gilligan"s Island crew. Of course, it didn"t hurt that he was a man, part owner of a construction company, one of the last bastions of raw manhood, and could get away with showering only every other day. The patriarchy sucks " and also kinda reeks.
"What"d you wanna talk about"" I asked politely, eager to get my clean pencil-skirted behind off the couch and back to those grid margins.
"The retirement village job."
I nodded eagerly. I was always ready to talk about the village. "Peachy. I"m just working on the presentation now, rest assured, I"ll have it in time for""
He interrupted me with a wave of his hand. "Don"t mean to cut you off, Sierra, but it"s not about the presentation."
"Um, pardon"" My eyes squinted with confusion. "Then, er, what"s it about"" The presentation was my main obligation on the project, as marketing manager. It"s not like we could exactly talk shop over timber varieties.