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When a geeky accountant ties a confident, dominating lawyer up in knots, keeping him will become his toughest case.
Corey Williams’ life at work is pure hell since he stalked one of his colleagues in an attempt to secure a date. Thanks to office gossip, all his coworkers know what he’s done, and their jabs and cruel jokes just won’t stop. When his boss hires a lawyer to assist with a difficult client, Corey is determined to keep away from temptation and avoid further ribbing. But life never goes as planned. Instead of avoiding the man, Corey douses him in cold coffee minutes after Remington Yates sets foot in the office.
Remy only took the case because his boss forced him to do it, and Corey’s little accident turns out to be a welcome distraction. Overhearing Corey’s coworker’s gossiping, he learns about the man’s bad luck with men and decides to seduce the cute accountant. It’s only sex, and as soon as he’s finished his job, they will never see each other again.
Corey is smitten by his new lover, and full of hope to find love in Remy’s arms. Then office gossip strikes again and he pushes his lover away, trying to protect his heart. But what started as a convenient fling, turned into a matter of the heart for the confident lawyer. And he’s not ready to let Corey go.
“I wonder what he’s like.”
“The lawyer, of course. Today is his first day and Heather said he’s a hottie. Wears expensive suits and ties, even cuff links.”
“Let me guess, you’ll try to lure him into your bed,” Rita quipped.
Mandy giggled and Corey could just imagine her flipping back a strand of her thick, blonde locks. He sat at his desk, trying to concentrate on the spreadsheets like the busy little accountant he was. The two women chatting and giggling just outside his office made that noble endeavor nearly impossible.
At least, they weren’t talking about him. Not this time. God knew Corey had become their favorite topic to gossip about, since he’d fallen for Richard, one of the beefy construction workers working for the same company. Corey, a mere office drone and on the geeky side, had found himself unable to stop lusting after the bigger man. Too bad Richard already had a boyfriend. In a weak moment, Corey had made one bad decision and nearly caused his colleague’s relationship to go up in flames. His reputation at work had sunk like a ship boarded and burned by the enemy, only because he’d had a crush and hadn’t understood the word no.
Corey felt deeply ashamed of his stalkerish actions. Four months had passed and still he remained the black sheep at the office. Most of his colleagues thought it best if his boss had fired him after the incident. They never stopped to remind him of their dismay either. The constant jabs were nerve-wracking and, after months of listening, his self-esteem was non-existent.
To make matters worse, since he’d failed in wooing Richard, Corey hadn’t gone out on a single date. Hell, he hadn’t even ventured to a club to get laid. Not that he was much of a club-bunny anyway, but for a twenty-three year old guy, four months of dry spell was a sad record.
“Think Corey will try to hit on the lawyer?” Rita asked Mandy in a hushed whisper that sounded way too loud to classify as a whisper. Corey thought the bitch did it on purpose. The women knew darn well that he usually left his office door slightly ajar. Not because Corey was a masochist who loved hearing his colleagues chatting about his private life while they lingered in the little coffee kitchen just around the corner. He just didn’t like closed rooms. Thanks to his quirk, he now had a front seat at the gossip theater and lovingly called his office The place from hell.
“Ha! I bet ten bucks he’ll try to get into the poor man’s pants,” Mandy replied.
“I’m on. It’ll be so much fun watching him drool after a straight guy.”
The women giggled. Corey heard the gurgle of the water dispenser a last time, then the click of heels signaled both were returning to their offices. Good. This was a workplace. People should work here instead of harassing colleagues. Unfortunately, most of his coworkers must’ve missed that memo.
Corey grimaced and stapled some sheets. Forcibly. With all the indignation he could muster. Then, just for good measure, he banged the stapler on the tabletop several times. Bottled-up frustration and all. Maybe he should take up boxing in favor of molesting his office supplies.
His life was so fucked up. Everyone at work hated him, and he had neither the guts, nor the strength to fight back. He struggled to get his life back on track but was failing miserably. Too afraid to approach men, because he always wondered if he’d go crazy again or hurt somebody, he holed up at home and would die a lonely, wrinkled codger.
Quitting his job and searching for a new one sounded better and better every day. Maybe he could convince himself that he was in witness protection and move to a city where nobody knew him. Complete with a new name and all. A fresh start would do him good. However, just him thinking about tucking his tail between his legs and taking a flight, made him feel like a coward.
Oh, well. Eventually, it’d get boring to always talk about Corey and his love life—or lack of it. Then the detractors would pick a new topic, he hoped. No matter what, he sure as hell wouldn’t give Rita and Mandy the satisfaction and hit on that lawyer. Corey didn’t need more trouble, thank you very much.
Three hours later, Corey’s eyes hurt from staring at the computer screen. Again. He probably needed new reading glasses. It bugged him to no end that, at twenty-three, he already depended on them. Yes, he was a tiny bit vain, so what? Which self-respecting gay guy in his twenties wasn’t?
Grabbing the mug containing the now lukewarm rest of his coffee, Corey left his office. Turned out it was a bad idea to walk, carry a half empty mug, and look at his cell phone simultaneously. Halfway down the short corridor, Corey slammed into a hard wall, losing his phone in the wake and sloshing cold coffee all over…the most gorgeous guy he’d ever seen. Because said guy was the wall Corey had ran into like the clumsy nerd he was.
Shit! What a way to screw his chances. Well, at least he’d managed to get the guy’s full attention in an admittedly drastic, suit-destructing fashion. Corey decided to make the best of the little mishap, pulled out a handkerchief and rubbed at the blotches. Coffee stains weren’t that bad to remove, right? It wasn’t like he’d doused the poor man in red wine. Red wine would’ve been a dubious choice for an office drink anyway. Corey wasn’t that depressive. Yet.
“I’m so sorry, Sir!” he said dutifully, as he dabbed at the taller man’s shirt and suit jacket. Damn, his clothes looked expensive. What was the guy doing at a construction company? With a body and face like that, shouldn’t he walk down a catwalk or make sex with a camera?
“Would you please stop already? I’m fine,” came the stranger’s cool reply. Wow. His voice was deep and soft and sent shivers down Corey’s back. He looked up—way up, the stranger stood about six-feet-two compared to Corey’s slender five-feet-nine—and barely suppressed a shudder. Yep, most definitely model material.
Mr. Suit had lightly bronzed skin and his cheeks were smoothly shaven. He sported a square jaw, an elegant Roman nose, and high cheekbones. His hair was pitch black and slicked back in that classically handsome fifties style. Oh, and under the cold coffee Corey detected the odor of an expensive cologne. What a pity that his blue eyes, which were so pale they looked almost silver, were glowering right now. The glower effectively took the wind out of Corey’s freshly set sails. Obviously, Mr. Suit wasn’t fond of Corey’s efforts to rescue his soiled clothes.
“Uh…I’m sorry,” Corey mumbled, once again too messed up to form a witty or even amusing reply. Story of his life. Whenever he met a handsome guy, his brain froze. Corey needed the guys he met to initiate the hookup if he wanted to get laid. Not that he wanted the hottie to initiate anything right here in the corridor, but a halfway intelligent conversation would’ve been nice. Instead, he stared at the sexy stranger with a surely infatuated expression on his face, a handkerchief clutched in one hand and an empty coffee cup in the other. His humiliation was perfect and he doubted his day could get any worse.
Turned out it could. Just when the stranger’s angry expression started to soften, Mandy and Rita rounded the corner. Un-fucking-believable. Corey hunched his shoulders when Rita and Mandy gave them a once-over before they looked at each other. When they trained their gazes back on Corey and the stranger, they laughed. That nasty laugh one let out when someone you didn’t like was in deep shit and you were happy to get the opportunity to watch him sink even deeper.
Mandy giggled behind her hand and said, “Rita, you owe me ten bucks!”
Shooting a quick look up to Mr. Suit, the proverbial penny dropped and Corey’s face went beet red in half a second. Mr. Suit was the lawyer. Remington Yates. The man he’d planned to avoid at all costs. Corey groaned. Inwardly, of course. No need to feed the vultures, namely Rita and Mandy, with even more ammunition.
Mr. Yates, mercifully oblivious to Corey’s inner voice, eyed the women with something akin to exasperation. “What the hell is going on here?”
Corey used the man’s momentary distraction to turn on his heel and return to his office. Unfortunately, he had to pick up his cell phone from the floor, so he wasn’t fast enough to block out Mandy’s answer and giggle.
“Oh, you just had the honor of meeting Corey Williams, our accountant. He’d do anything to get a guy’s attention. No matter if he’s interested or not.”
Crap. Corey ran the last few steps and, this time, he shut the door behind him and leaned his back against it. Did he just act like an adult? No. Like a chicken? Yes. Did he care? Not a scrap. Maybe they had open jobs and cheap flats to Alaska? Corey had always liked the name Matthew better than his own anyway. This, right now, was no life.