False Start (Mavericks #1)(9)

By: Julianna Marley


“I don’t know about that. I’ve never had flowers like these sent just to thank me for a job well done,” Charlotte said, leaning in to smell a giant rose petal.

“Well, for a job well done outside of the bedroom, that is.” She winked, grabbing the phone as it rang again.

“You’re silly,” Alivia said, picking the massive flowers up off the desk. “It’s nothing.”

There was no way the flowers meant anything more than a nice gesture thanking her for all her hard work. Jax was a professional athlete and after Saturday night she learned he was a local celebrity as well. There was nothing about her that he would find interesting. He had said it himself; she wasn’t what he had expected.

“I’ll be in my office starting the paperwork for the new accounts,” she said over her shoulder walking down the hall to her office. Getting far away from Ross and Charlotte’s ridiculous notions.

“By the size of those flowers, I’d say you owe him something quite large, lovey.” Ross chuckled as she shut her office door placing the flowers down on her exquisite glass top desk. Walking around the other side of the table, she skimmed through the mail that was left for her and sat down in her chair eyeing the flowers again. Were they right? Were the flowers more than an appreciative gesture?

No.

No.

No way.

Leaning against her desk chewing on her nail, she stared at the small white card taunting her insides. Maybe she should e-mail him? No, maybe text? No, definitely call him.

Ugh, it was so much easier talking to him when she didn’t have the way he was watching her replaying in her mind.

No.

She needed to stop this ridiculousness and just call him. If he was as happy as he said he was with the event, he could be a recurring client. Which didn’t stop the pang of hope that she would be able to work with him again. To see him again.

Silly woman.

Hesitating another second, she picked up her phone before she lost all courage, quickly dialing his number that was written on his file still sitting on her desk. Leaning in to smell one of the delicate petals again she waited for him to answer.

Please go to voicemail.

Silently waiting she realized she had no idea what to say to him. It was a whole lot easier to hold a conversation with him when she hadn’t known those dark green eyes, that ridiculous square jaw and oh my, those dimples that crept up when he gave her that dangerous smile.

Voicemail, voicemail…

“Hello?”

Crap.

“Um. Hi. Mr. Monaghan?”

“Yes,” he answered, out of breath.

“Hi, it’s Alivia Moore…From Save the Date… From Saturday night….”

Drawing out her words slowly the line went quiet a moment and she hoped he would catch on before she had to think of any other obvious ways to remind him of her existence.

“Well, hello Alivia Moore,” he said, his voice softening a bit. “From Save the Date.” She could almost hear him smiling. “From Saturday night.”

He was mocking her.

Her shoulders softening a bit, she released a small breath she didn’t realize she was holding onto, hiding her flushed cheeks.

“I just wanted to thank you for the gorgeous flowers,” she said, clearing her throat a bit. “They’re lovely, but you really didn’t need to do that.”

Admiring the beautiful roses once more, she smiled. She couldn’t remember the last time a man sent her flowers. And it felt nice.

“What flowers?”

Oh no!

Anxiety taking over, she scrambled around her desk for the card, files falling off the table. Did she misread the card? Were they really from a vendor? Was this a sick joke?

“I’m kidding,” he chuckled with all the ease in the world. “You sounded tense when I answered.”

Plopping back into her seat, she leaned her head back, allowing her heart to make its way back up into her chest.

“And you’re welcome. Plus, it was the only way I could get you to call me without having to plan another party,” he said, the tone of his voice getting deeper with each word that dripped from his mouth. And she remembered that mouth. “And to ask if you’re busy this Friday night.”

Is he asking me out?

“Now why would you want to know that, Mr. Monaghan?” she asked playfully, slowly sinking back into the ease of playful banter that seemed to flow naturally between them since meeting exactly forty hours ago. But who was counting?

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