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from Hook, Line, and Sinker by Shirley Holder Platt

Copyright © 2020–2021 Shirley Holder Platt

Chapter 2

Sophie’s mind kept drifting back to the scene at the cafĂ© she’d witnessed at breakfast and the fact that Zeke was free again. A condition he found himself in more often than not. She wished her heart would settle down, but figured it wouldn’t anytime soon. The rebellious organ sped up every time she saw Zeke Hart, and it had done the same thing since she was five and met him on the playground for the first time. He’d had that dimple in his left cheek back then, and the smile that had since melted many a woman’s heart. She’d had pigtails in plaits that her mother insisted she wear and those awful braces. She’d known she was a geek and would never be one of the pretty girls. He hadn’t noticed her then, and although they worked across the hall from one another for the last month, he never noticed her now.

She wondered what he was doing. Most likely nothing when he should be updating the firm’s website, a task he’d taken on when it became obvious that he wasn’t interested in sales. She shook her head to clear it. She had calls to make. Cold calls from the lead generation service. Her least favorite thing to do. She’d much rather put on a great new dress, spike heels, and saunter into a luncheon or social function at the local club house sporting a new do and manicure than be a disembodied voice on the telephone. It was easy to hang up when there was nothing at stake. She liked the in-person pitch much better.

She called the number of a lead she’d been given two days earlier. She grimaced, remembering where she got the lead. It was at a follow-up dinner with the client whose building they’d built the year before. She shivered to think of his oily hair and roving eyes, but a client was a client, and a lead was a lead. She let a sigh slip past her lips. The prospective client picked up the phone, and Sophie went to work. She was good at what she did. Damned good, and everyone knew it. She’d brought more business to Hart Construction than any other sales person. She’d put up with sleazy clients all day long if it got her where she wanted to be. She glanced across the hall at Zeke’s office and frowned. That alone was enough to make her blood pressure spike. She couldn’t let herself dwell on being passed over for the vice president position. If she did, she might go across the hall and kill Zeke Hart, no matter how handsome he was. It didn’t matter that the guy was connected to everyone in the tri county area. That was luck of the gene pool. She’d been clawing her way up the ladder for more years than she wanted to recall.

She wanted nothing more than a quiet evening at home nursing a bottle of Merlot and watching a Romcom on her recently acquired fifty-four-inch television screen. She’d lean back in her overstuffed recliner, kick her aching feet up, and try to stay awake through the whole show for once in her life.

“Evening, Soph,” Zeke said as she closed and locked her office door at the end of a long workday. She waited for a count of three before turning around, so the flush that arose on her face would subside. When she had her heartrate under control, she turned and waved.

“Have a good one.” How original...

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