“When are you coming back?” Mary-Knight whined.
Laney sighed heavily. She was seconds away from wringing her manager’s neck. “I’ll be back on the twentieth. I put a reminder on your calendar last week.”
“The least you could have done was taken a four-day cruise. How am I supposed to get anything done while you’re on vacation?”
Laney didn’t have to tell the snooty bitch if she didn’t use her well-earned vacation she would lose it. Mary-Knight already knew this but she insisted on muttering about it. It was pointless for Laney to mention she’d only used two days of vacation last year. She would have used more if it weren’t for Mary-Knight calling her at all hours of the night, barking for her to complete projects, projects she would present to the “big wigs” as her own. It was only by sheer grace that she and Laney hadn’t had an all-out catfight by now. Lord knows it had been building up for years.
Mary-Knight Tyler had been Laney’s manager every since she’d transferred into the art department two years earlier. Their relationship had been toxic from day one. Mary-Knight had a bad habit of delegating her entire workload to her subordinates, namely Laney. This was unfortunate because, when pressed, Mary-Knight was very talented. But instead of actually working, Mary-Knight filled her days sucking up to members of upper management, circulating office gossip and, of course, lusting after the company’s young (and very single) CEO, Mr. Sinclair. Laney could think of a dozen more productive things Mary-Knight could be doing with her time.
“You do realize,” Mary-Knight continued, “you’ll have to do some serious overtime when you get back, right?”
“I know.” Laney sighed under her breath. “You’ve mentioned that twice already.”
“I just want to make sure you understand how much we have to do.” Mary-Knight smoothed back a stray hair. “We have clients, after all. They expect us to complete their projects.”
Correction, Laney thought, I’ve completed all my projects. Mary-Knight was referring to her own workload, a stack of incomplete files that would no doubt find themselves into Laney’s inbox by the time she returned from vacation.
“Make a list,” Laney said in a flat monotone, “and we’ll work on it when I get back.”
She wouldn’t dare tell Mary-Knight her cruise didn’t leave until next Saturday. Laney needed the next few days off to relax and completely forget about work. If things went according to plan, she would be engaged next week. There was no way she was going to let Mary-Knight ruin it by stressing her out about her workload.
There was a beep from Mary-Knight’s desk phone, and a smooth, rich voice flowed through. “Mary-Knight.”
Laney watched Mary-Knight’s eyes widen as she leaped closer to the phone. “Yes, Mr. Sinclair?” she said in a breathless voice.
“We’re having a quick meeting about the prospect of the Zelman account,” the voice informed. “Can you join us?”
“Yes, Mr. Sinclair,” she chirped happily. “I’ll be happy to help in any way I can. I’m on my way.”
Apparently satisfied with her response, the speaker emitted a loud beep, signaling the call had just been terminated. There could be no mistaking the seductive note in Mary-Knight’s voice. When it came to Mr. Sinclair, Mary-Knight was ravenous. This wasn’t necessarily a crime, considering every woman at Sinclair Corp nursed an infatuation for the CEO. Mr. Sinclair’s effect on his female employees often mystified Laney. Since being handed the position from his father, Nicolas Sinclair was little more than a ghost to everyone but his executive team. He was rarely in the office for an entire day. During the few occasions when he did grace the building with his presence, he locked himself away in his office, only emerging long enough to greet important clients and sit in on meetings. The end result was very few people ever saw him.
Mary-Knight continued the gaze at the phone a few minutes longer. Her eyes had gone slightly dreamy, and whether she was aware of it or not, she licked her lower lip nervously. For a minute, Laney thought she looked years younger, which was saying a lot; Mary-Knight was only thirty-five.
Laney fought back the urge to roll her eyes heavenward when Mary-Knight began prepping herself for her meeting with Mr. Sinclair. Watching her reapply her makeup and spray body splash along her neck and arms, Laney concluded Mary-Knight’s feelings for Mr. Sinclair surpassed any ordinary crush, they veered more toward obsession.
Seeming to have awakened from her love-struck stupor, Mary-Knight gave a small cough and pulled herself up taller. Her eyes, now flashing with alert clarity, fixed Laney with a predatory smile. “I’ll work on our list this evening,” she sang. “Are you working late today?”
After working with the woman for years, it still amazed Laney how Mary-Knight managed to disguise her demands as harmless questions. It gave Laney great satisfaction to match Mary-Knight’s false smile with one of her own. “No, I’m leaving at noon, remember?”
Mary-Knight’s smile vanished. “But Laney, I need your help on the Moore project!” There was a definite note of desperation in her voice.
“Can it wait until I get back?” Laney asked.
Mary-Knight tossed a lock of auburn hair over her shoulder and fixed her assistant with a cold look. “No, it can’t.”
Read rest of CHAPTER 1 HERE
© Tiffany Ashley
Love Script :Deluxe Edition
Author: Tiffany Ashley
Publisher: Circle 1 Publishing, LLC
To get the deal … he'll need her help.
Determined to land a huge advertising account for his company, Nicolas Sinclair gets a LITTLE carried away and tells the potential client he's married and about to celebrate his first anniversary. Now, Nick has a serious problem—he has agreed to a high-stakes cruise with this important client and must find a willing “wife” to join him.
Laney Parks is either in the wrong place at the wrong time, or the right place at the right time—She isn't sure which. She isn’t even entirely sure how she got roped into posing as her hunky boss's wife. She finds “sticking to the script” SERIOUSLY unnerving, especially when it involves cuddling up and kissing in public—and sharing the close confines of a cabin, and its single bed, with him.