Read One Week (HaleStorm) Online

Authors: Elisabeth Staab

Tags: #enemies to lovers, #boardroom romance, #contemporary, #romance, #contemporary romance, #office romance, #series romance, #workplace

One Week (HaleStorm) (19 page)

BOOK: One Week (HaleStorm)
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She and Jeff drove a short distance to one of the parts of Northern Virginia that still had large plots of land and expanses of green grass. They passed one palatial mansion after another, and Elise shuddered to think about the prices of these homes. She couldn’t imagine living in something so massive. “God, these houses are so huge. We could put our whole condo building in one of these.”

Jeff nodded, slipping on his sunglasses at a stoplight. “Wait till you see this one we’re going to. It’s actually the baby on the block. The previous owner bought a big piece of land, fronted it with lots of trees and a long driveway. The house itself is actually really small. Elegant, but more like regular single family sized. If you moved it to a different neighborhood you’d probably cut the value by half.” He leaned forward, pointing to a “For Sale” sign across the street. “I should see how long that one’s been on the market. Maybe the owner is interested in changing agents. At the very least, I need to get inside.”

She turned to him with a smile. “Look at you. You’re actually sounding excited.”

Was he blushing? It looked like he was blushing. “I thought it would be boring, but you know, it’s actually a rush. Like extreme shopping with really large products.” They turned, pulling up a tree-lined drive. “These houses are crazy expensive, and they’re not easy to sell. This one....” He pointed ahead as the trees parted and they came up to a neat looking contemporary home. The size was generous but small compared to the opulent homes they’d passed earlier. “This one sat on the market for a long time. The guy who built it was a little eccentric. Floor plan’s sort of funky. When he passed away it was hard to sell because it was so much smaller than the other houses on the street.”

“Funky?” They headed inside to check it out. “Oh my God,” she breathed as they stepped through the entryway. “It’s awesome.”

The floor plan
was
interesting. She remembered one of her mother’s friends had a house like this when she was young. Sunken living room. Curved lines. Massive back deck.
Hot tub.

“Cool, huh?” Jeff held out his hands. “Like I said, a little funky. But awesome. It just needed the right buyer. See? It’s like matchmaking but with houses.”

“I’m actually having house envy.” She passed the breakfast bar with an open range, running her hands over shiny marble counter tops and stainless steel appliances. “I mean I love our apartment, but this is so kick-ass. Ooh, professional grade gas oven.” She didn’t cook much anymore. With an oven like this, she so would. She looked up abruptly, realizing she was fondling the knobs on some stranger’s stove. “Hey, so where’s your buyer?”

“Yeah, he’s running late. I’m gonna check outside.”

While Jeff left out the front door, Elise backed out of the kitchen and went to admire the view in the gently sloping back yard. Fenced-in and large enough to run around. She found herself wondering if the new owner had kids.

Footsteps behind her. “Great yard for kids. I heard the schools in the district are the some of the best in the country.”

She turned at the sound of the familiar, low rumble. “Oh my God.”

Michael. He didn’t. “Did you...?”

He held up a set of keys. “Your friend Jeff is quite the smooth talker. I’ve rather enjoyed house hunting with him. He pointed to a staircase that circled the back curve of the house. “It has five bedrooms. Enough for kids, plus office space. Space to–” He lifted a shoulder. “—problem solve with a special someone, maybe.”

Her face heated. “Michael?” Was he asking her to move in? He couldn’t be. They hadn’t talked since she’d left her consulting position at HaleStorm.

He licked his lips. “I said I would give you whatever you needed. You had space. You had time. Meanwhile my divorce is a done deal, and my house is sold. The apartment you remember is all packed up. I have a new home that’s mine and only mine.” He stared her down. “But I’d like it to be ours. I made a point of getting a place with big windows so you could see the sunset.”

“Oh God.” Her heart fluttered in response to his words, and her head just buzzed with white noise, drowning out all the logic. “I’m not sure it’s a good idea.”

Said her brain. Inside, in her heart, it was all a done deal. She was as sold as the house in which she stood.

“I’m no longer your boss. We’re both still single. I checked with Jeff.”

She groaned.

“I miss you. I want you. Only you. Let me show you how much.” He came forward, taking her hand in his. His hot, minty breath puffed on her skin. “There aren’t any reasons we can’t be together now. Please say yes.”

He’d gotten nothing but more handsome with time. Longer hair, scruffier stubble, but nothing short of unbelievably gorgeous.

She allowed him to bend her back in his arms. Oh, hell. Who was she kidding? “I really have missed you.”

“I haven’t stopped thinking about you,” he said.

“Same.”

“I love you, Elise.”

Oh, God. Toast. Completely and totally burnt to a crisp. Her heart fluttered, rapid and frantic. “I never stopped.”

“So. You have to at least say you’ll be having dinners with me again. I saw the way you looked at that oven.” He grinned. “There’s a fantastic table in the office I’d love to show you, too.”

She couldn’t help but laugh, heating with the memory of the time they’d made love on that conference room table. It seemed like an eternity ago.

He brought his hand to her cheek. “Can I take that as a yes? You’ll stay?”

She turned, noting with only minor annoyance that Jeff’s car was backing down the driveway. “Yes,” she said. “I’d love to stay.”

Author’s Note:

D
ear reader: I met and fell in love with my own husband in a whirlwind office romance, and this story is very special to me. I hope you enjoyed reading. If you feel moved to write a review, or just to let me know what you thought, please consider doing so. And thank you for taking the time to read One Week. – Elisabeth Staab

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Acknowledgements:

I
adore this book and I am truly grateful to everyone who helped me put it together. Thank you,
thank you
to Tere Michaels for being a fabulous editor, Jenn Shanks Pray for proofreading, and to Elizabeth Babski for going above and beyond to design One Week’s awesome cover. 

Nyrae Dawn, thank you for being there to beta read, to bounce ideas, and to generally prop up my sanity. Damon Suede, I wouldn’t be the writer I am without having known you. And Mary Calmes, you always make me feel so amazing about my work, I’d write for you if nobody else in the world ever read a word.

Thank you to Lori Wilde, Marie Force, and Elisabeth Naughton for encouraging me.

Jillian Stein, Sharon Stogner, Braine, and all the other bloggers who’ve gone above and beyond, thank you for your friendship and loyalty. Special thanks go to Viviana Izzo and all the members of the “The Staab Mob,” for helping to spread the word and continuing to show support!

Thanks to all my friends, my family,
my Tom
. Thanks to Jen Loizeaux for the babysitting assist. Thanks most of
all
to the readers and the bloggers who make doing this so worthwhile. *big hugs*

About Elisabeth Staab:

Elisabeth Staab took a long time to find her passion. After many jobs, she realized that nothing beats romance. She digs coffee, saucy stories, and sexy things that go bump in the night. Once, she ate dinner in a jail and liked it. She lives in the Washington DC area with her incredible family and does her best to juggle life while ignoring the laundry.

Find out more at
ElisabethStaab.com

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Also by Elisabeth Staab:

King of Darkness

Prince of Power

Hunter by Night

BOOK: One Week (HaleStorm)
12.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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