Champagne Kisses

Champagne Kisses by Zuri Day Read Free Book Online

Book: Champagne Kisses by Zuri Day Read Free Book Online
Authors: Zuri Day
Tags: Romance, African American, Kimani, Drakes of California
doors. Hesitating for just a second, just long enough to take a calming breath, she opened the door, stepped inside and walked up to the young woman seated behind a low-slung counter.
    “Hello. May I help you?”
    “Yes, Marissa Hayes to see Donovan Drake.”
    The perky receptionist with the warm, sincere smile touched a button on her switchboard. After announcing that Marissa had arrived, she asked if Marissa wanted a morning beverage. After Marissa declined, the receptionist directed her to a seat in a cozily designed waiting area just across from the receptionist counter. Instead of sitting, Marissa took the time to admire the brightly colored artwork, the bronze table whatnots and the live jade plant.
    “Ms. Hayes?” Marissa turned to see another smiling, welcoming face. As she followed this assistant back through a beautifully appointed space—silk-covered, beige-colored walls, deep-ply tan carpeting, burnished mahogany and accessories in various metals—she was struck by the irony of life, how not so long ago her world seemed bleak and almost unbearable. Her parents’ relocation, a friend’s betrayal and leaving a job she loved as a result of that betrayal had sent Marissa’s world into turmoil where she questioned all and trusted none. Then she’d met Jackson Wright and got the job with Boss Construction. The work, her fellow employees and her trustworthy boss became her anchors, and she was content to build her world around them. She hadn’t thought about dating or bringing a significant other into her life. So why was she thinking about it now?
    The answer was just around the corner, talking on the phone as he waved her in. The assistant who’d brought her to Donovan’s office gave a brief nod and closed the door on her way out. Marissa forced herself to meet Donovan’s eyes, hooded brown treasures that seemed to drink her in as she walked to one of two chocolate-colored leather chairs in front of his massive oak desk. She sat down, placed her hands in her lap, feigned a deep interest in the trappings of Donovan’s office and resigned herself to the fact that these were going to be the longest two weeks of her life.

Chapter 8
    “I look forward to meeting with you. Ha! Yes, I’ll pack my golf clubs. You’re past due for a whipping on the green. All right then, goodbye.” Donovan stood as he placed the phone back on the cradle. “Good morning,” he said with his hand outstretched, his tone clipped and businesslike.
    “Good morning.” Marissa stood and clasped his hand.
    And there was that jolt of electricity again.
    “Ooh! I must have…rubbed my heel against the carpet.”
    Donovan quickly removed his hand and walked back behind his desk. He was not at all happy at his body’s reaction to seeing Marissa this morning, or at her audacity to look so delicious. This is work; not a fashion show! “I see there’s one thing I forgot to mention,” he said as they both retook their seats. “Initially, you’ll be spending a lot of time retrieving information from stored boxes and then schlepping those files containing the information here to be inputted into our database. Did you pack anything more casual?” Plain, dowdy, loose-fitting, something that doesn’t hug your curves like a sports car?
    Marissa looked down at her dress as though she’d forgotten what she was wearing. It had taken her more than an hour to decide on what she thought was a simple yet becoming navy dress and three-inch pumps; she’d felt they looked appropriately serious with her hair pulled back in a plain ponytail, with a couple tendrils kept loose near the sides of her head and the nape of her neck. “I packed a couple pairs of jeans for after hours,” she responded. “And flats for when I wasn’t on the job.”
    “This morning, I’ll give you an overview of what will be happening during your time here, show you around the office, let you see where you’ll be working. After lunch, you’ll want to change into

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