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Yes, I still have my day job.
No, I haven't broken even.
Yes, I am incredibly thankful.
Juggling a new boyfriend who is constantly MIA for work, his mom who likes her just a little too much, a best friend whose husband might be sneaking around, and a busy career saving clients from sexual harassment lawsuits is pulling Marisa Tanner apart at the seams.
Being with Trip is good, but is it real? Will he bail on her like her past boyfriends or for once in his life will Trip be able to maintain focus longer than the time it takes to close a business deal?
A follow-up to Risking Ruin, Borrowing Trouble maintains Mae Wood’s distinctive style of smart and sexy chick lit.
|Photo from dinstuhls.com|
|A. Schwab Dry Goods - Photo from Historic-Memphis.com|
|This is a Siberian Iris.|
|Seriously, no filter. These babies are nearly indigo|
|This peach one is so frilly.|
|Sky blue with a touch of purple and yellow centers.|
By Friday, Marisa was exhausted. Her interactions with some of her partners had been chilly since Tuesday’s arduous meeting. Wonder when the chill will thaw? When I lose the business? When I marry Trip? As soon as the thought passed into her awareness, she shoved out of her head. Too fast. Go slow. This is not a race. Just enjoy where we are. Focus on work at work. Focus on work at work. Marisa repeated her new mantra all day.
“Need anything?” asked Jane, Marisa’s assistant, sticking her head into Marisa’s office, as the sunlight began to turn golden. “That FedEx from Connecticut that you’ve been waiting on is here. I’ve had the receptionist keep an eye out for me and she just buzzed and said you got a delivery. I’ll bring it around. I’d like to head out a little early to beat traffic.”
“I’ve been waiting on that Palmer stuff all day. Thanks. I’m glad it’s here. Otherwise, I’m good. Have a great weekend,” said Marisa, waiving her hand and turning to her computer.
“Marisa,” said Jane a few minutes later.
“Just toss it on a guest chair. I’m in the middle of a thought,” called Marisa over her shoulder.
“Hhhmm. I’m not tossing this anywhere.” Marisa swiveled and found her assistant’s legs growing out of a large crystal vase overflowing with fragrant white Asiatic lilies.
“Woah. That’s not a FedEx.”
“I seriously don’t know how I haven’t dropped this or run into a wall. It weighs a ton. Where should I put it?”
Marisa swept aside a pile of papers on her desk and took the arrangement from Jane. “Are you going to make me guess who they are from because I only need one guess,” teased Jane.
“No, no guessing and no gossiping about this either.”
“You don’t have to tell me, but that ship has sailed. All of the staff is in a flurry over you. You’ve been quite the topic of gossip all week and this just caps it off. Have a good weekend with the hottie client. I’m out of here.”
Marisa extracted the card from the envelope fastened to the vase’s neck with a simple peach ribbon. Please have dinner with me tonight, Trip.
Well this is excessive, thought Marisa. Lovely, but excessive.
She fished her cell phone out of her purse and dialed Trip’s direct line. “Trip Brannon.”
“It’s Marisa. Thank you for the flowers.”
“You are very welcome. Are you available for dinner tonight?”
“I send flowers and I get a ‘sure’ out of you? I’ve got to step it up,” teased Trip.
“Let me amend my answer. Dinner would be wonderful. What were you thinking?”
“About you, naked.”
“Well, I teed that one up for you, didn’t I? Let me amend my question, as well. What were you thinking about for dinner?”
“I stand by my original answer. You, naked.”
Marisa pinked and shifted her weight from foot to foot. “You are naughty, Mr. Brannon.”
“Not any more. I’ve made an honest woman out of you and we’re going to have a very nice dinner in a very public place.”
“Trip,” groaned Marisa. “I think we’ve already ticked that box at Folk’s Folly.”
“Can you trust me not to paw at you through a dinner?”
“Not really,” said Marisa, packing her purse to leave.
“Okay, based upon history, that’s a fair statement. Nevertheless, I’ve booked us a table at Flight. I’ll even sit across from you rather than next to you, if that makes the offer more appealing.”
“So now you’re ready to negotiate, but you haven’t heard any of my demands. Flight is fine. I like wine bars, as long as I can order the chocolate cake and do not have to drive home.”
“Hear me out, Mr. Brannon. You may not like the other terms of my proposal.”
“Please, enlighten me to your proposal.”
“I signed up for a 5k race tomorrow morning that I intend to run. I will be sleeping in my own bed and will not be drinking to excess. You will pick me up from my condo at seven. You will drive or we will take a taxi. We will not be asking George to drive us around on dates.”
“Okay, any other requirements, Miss Tanner?”
“One. I don’t intend to be sleeping alone in my bed.”
“Those are some imposing conditions. You’re driving a hard bargain.”
“Well, I’ll throw in a pot sweetener for you.”
“We have a deal. I’ll see you at seven.”
A huge smile was plastered across Marisa’s face as she ended the call, placed her purse on her shoulder, and swept up the ridiculous floral arrangement in her arms.