Ross recalls when he applies for the job of Office Manager at BI

 “The job description said Office Manager,” Ross said.

“And you don’t have an office yet. I’ve been working out of the study in the Manor and this is all newly renovated.” Kyle shook his head, a rueful expression on his face. “We have to build the office furniture now.” He peered at an instruction booklet. “Can you read these?” He passed the leaflet to Ross who only then noticed the various sizes of wood panels on the floor the other side of Kyle.

Ross turned the sheet around in his hands until he could make sense of it all, picturing the finished item in his head, the pedestal unit that would eventually slide under a desk. Then he looked at the wood and the way that two pieces had been placed together.

“You have that one the wrong way,” he said and pointed to the larger side of whatever Kyle appeared to be creating.

Kyle frowned down at what he was doing. He looked so lost. “Can you show me.” he sounded hopeful and Ross was happy to at least give it a go. Thing is, this was an interview… right?

“Do you want to wait until after the interview?”

Kyle shook his head. “No, show me.”

Ross slipped off his suit jacket and loosened the buttons of his shirt. So much for cool calm and polished. He crouched down next to Kyle and inhaled the scent of something citrus and sharp, and stared face to face with midnight blue eyes. Stunning night sky eyes that focused right on him.

For a moment they looked at each other, then Ross dropped his gaze. He couldn’t be doing with staring into his potential boss’s eyes like some kind of teenage girl. Instead he carefully considered the construction ahead, and with a deft use of screwdriver he finally had the carcass of the drawer unit in one solid cube, with all the parts of it facing the right way. Satisfied with part one he sat back on his heels. He’d sensed Kyle watching him the whole time.

“You’re hired,” Kyle said softly.

Ross turned to face him. He was only inches away, and Ross couldn’t help but breathe in the scent of Kyle, or look at his strong featured, his stubbled cheeks and chin.

Ross swallowed. “Because I built a cabinet?”

“Ross Monroe, twenty-three years old, your birthday is September. You have three siblings, two sisters and a brother, all older than you. Your mum is a lawyer, your dad is career Navy in logistics. You went to boarding school until the age of eighteen, paid for by the Navy, and you went to York University, where you graduated with a first in Information Systems Applications. You are working towards a black belt in Ju Jitsu and you have had seven different computer and admin type jobs since leaving University, none of which you have stayed in longer than three months. Your references however, are okay, almost regretful from previous employers who wanted you to stay. And call it a gut feeling, but anyone who can visualize a cabinet from a pile of wood has good spacial awareness.”

Ross realized his mouth had dropped open. “You remember the CVs of all your applicants?”

“I only had one that made it to interview.”

Ross blinked, then looked behind him. This was a joke. Every job he’d had he’d been encouraged to leave. He was too anal about filing, he was too inquisitive, asked too many questions, he was bored and it showed… he’d heard it all before. So why had Kyle not only shortlisted him but actually singled him out?

“Oh,” was all he said.

“Would you like the job?”

“But, you seem to know me,” he began, “Or at least you’ve seen how long I lasted at other places. I’m not a good bet.”

Kyle stood and brushed at imaginary dirt from his jeans. He was tall, maybe an inch or so taller than Ross, and he was strong and imposing and built exactly how Ross liked his men.

“Those jobs weren’t right for you.”

“And this one is?”

Kyle smiled, and Hell, that smile was intriguing and sexy and … pull yourself together, Jackson.

“It is.”

* * * * *
Coming 27 July from Love Lane Books