The latest in Debra's Holidays at The Corral Series released on Friday.
She groaned. Someone had recognized her? The stairs were only a few feet away. So close to freedom. Maybe she could pretend she hadn’t heard her name. She took another step.
“Gail Robbins?” The deep voice was closer now.
Crap. She turned.
Double crap. Scott Callahan, the new president of Thompson and Sons, the accounting firm where she worked, stood before her. She bit back another groan. Of all the people to run into.
He smiled. “I thought I recognized you.”
“Hello, Mr. Callahan.”
Even though theirs was a small firm, being on a first name basis with the head of the company seemed too familiar, so she merely nodded.
“Fancy meeting you here.”
Not the word she’d use. More like awkward. Or embarrassing. Running into your boss at a speed dating event? Gads.
“What are you doing here?” The question popped out before she could stop it.
He chuckled and tapped the name tag affixed to the lapel of his tailored suit jacket. Had he come right from work? “Same thing you are.”
Her mouth dropped open. “You’re here for the mixer?”
His green eyes twinkled. “Yep.”
“Really?” Triple crap. Her mouth had a mind of its own. If she wasn’t careful, it would get her fired. Not to mention the fact she’d snuck out of work early to go home and change before heading to The Corral.
He quirked an eyebrow, which drew her attention to his face again. Up close, he appeared more boyishly charming than stern executive. Younger too. Considering his position, she’d assumed he was in his mid-forties. Now she reassessed and put him closer to her own age of thirty.
“Does that surprise you?”
His age? She jerked back to the conversation at hand. “What?”
“You sound surprised I’m here for the speed dating event.”
“I am.” In for a penny, in for a pound. Not like the situation could get any worse. She might as well be honest.
He laughed. The deep, throaty chuckle was…sexy.
Gail blinked. Where had that come from? You shouldn’t think your boss’s laugh was sexy. Or the wayward lock of sinfully black hair falling over his forehead, loosened from the sweptback style as if he’d just run his fingers through it.
“I have to admit, I’m surprised I’m here too.”
“That makes two of us.” She bit her lip. “I mean, me. Not you. Me being here is surprising. It’s all my cousin’s fault.” Ugh. The more she tried to explain, the more tangled her words became. And now she was rhyming.
“Ah, we have something in common. It’s all my sister’s fault that I’m here.” He grinned. “Tell you what, how about I buy you a drink, and we can swap stories about our meddling relatives?”
Once again Gail gaped. Had he just asked her to have a drink with him? Her first instinct was to say no. For one thing, she wanted to get the hell out of there. For another, he was her boss. Mingling socially didn’t seem…proper. Then again, was it worse to refuse to have a drink with your boss? That couldn’t be good for a career either.
He leaned closer. The spicy yet subtle scent of his aftershave tickled her nostrils. “Come on, help a guy out.”
Odd phrasing. “Help you out?”
“Yes. Please save me from the woman dressed in a pink jumpsuit checking out my ass.”
Gail laughed. How could a girl say no to that?