Read an Excerpt
‘You have got to be joking!’
Carol couldn’t help but laugh at the look on her friend’s face. Sally’s features were a picture of distasteful disbelief.
‘Just my luck! Why does it have to be him? I thought Graham was coming to theOxfordconference with me. What the hell does Cameron bloody James know about marketing this stuff anyway?’
Pouring out a strong espresso, and forcing the small polystyrene cup between Sally’s irate fingers, Carol sat back at her desk, glancing around the open plan office as their fellow workers arrived to start the day at Zelcon Pharmaceuticals. ‘Apparently he has a background in marketing and science.’
Sally flinched as she burnt her lip on the steaming coffee, slopping a few drips down her front. Absentmindedly dabbing a tissue at the caffeine patch, she said, ‘I thought he’d come from some hot shot job in the city; all bank balances and bravado?’
Carol shrugged. ‘Before that he was a chemist. Worked at some big drug company in the States. I heard Graham telling his PA how good Cameron was at selling stuff, and that he was going to step aside for him.’
Sally’s groan was stifled by the plastic cup, ‘So I shouldn’t get my hopes up at Graham changing his mind then?’
‘There’s not a hope!’ Carol leant forward and switched on her computer screen.
‘But Cameron is such a ... such a ...’
‘Totally arrogant arse?’ Carol finished her sentence for her.
Carol kept her eyes fixed on her monitor as she added, ‘A good looking arrogant arse though.’
Sally threw a pencil at her.
Cameron James stared through the glass partition that separated his room from the main open plan set up. Four desks faced each other in two rows. The occupants of the seats, all women, hammered at their keyboards, while simultaneously answering the phone, sipping tea, chatting, and carrying pieces of paper from A to B, without any of them appearing to miss a thing. He had always envied a woman’s ability to multitask, and knew from the groups’ track record, that they were an excellent team; but he wasn’t about to tell them that. Not until they’d earned his respect, just as they had earned Graham’s.
His dark hazel eyes rested on Sally as she perched on her swivel chair, her expression a mask of concentration as it studied whatever was on her screen. Unless of course, she was simply concentrating on not falling off her chair? Graham had sworn to him that Sally was the best saleswoman they had, and yet Cameron doubted it. He had never met anyone so clumsy in his life. How could she possibly make a good impression for Zelcon, if she was dropping flyers and accidently spilling champagne every five minutes during the conference trade fairs?
Sally Briers just didn’t come across as the efficient sort; yet Graham knew his stuff, and if he was going to take over from him once Graham made his retirement public, then Cameron supposed he’d have to trust his judgement. It didn’t matter that he had secretly found himself imagining how good it might be to lap up anything Sally spilt on her short curvy body. That was just fantasy stuff. This was business, and there would be staff adjustments once his boss had stepped aside, especially if she let him down next week.
Turning his attention back to the list of things that needed doing by Friday, Cameron realised he’d have to have a meeting with Sally soon, just to make sure she knew he was in charge, and how he liked things done. At least, Cameron thought to himself as he scrolled his cursor across the page, she’s pretty. Perhaps she uses that smile and her figure to win over the punters? Somehow her chest, although not huge, was always “there”, hovering on the edge of his consciousness. Probably, Cameron thought, because it’s always got crumbs or printer ink or something smeared across it!
Cameron shook his head. Anyone looking at Sally would see the day’s new stains on her jacket lapels before they noticed her wide emerald eyes and the cute little crinkles that formed at the side of her lips when she grinned. He felt his crotch stir as he thought about her, and then quickly dispelled the image he was creating in his mind. He really would have to caution her to take more care once she was out in the world being part of the face of Zelcon.
He was well aware Sally didn’t like him much. No one did. He had walked into the company and got promoted above them all in a matter of six months. Cameron had deliberately kept his distance from most of the office staff. His career plan didn’t involve getting caught up in gossipy water-cooler moments. Anyway, if he and Sally were going away to work together, Cameron knew he couldn’t let his self-control slip and accidently reveal that he thought her physically attractive. Getting the brush off from a junior member of staff who thought him an arrogant bighead would be too embarrassing; and she’d probably tell Carol, and then the whole office would know. Ignoring the stiffening of his shaft as his imagination was reluctantly called into check, Cameron returned to his work.