A Weekend with Warren

A Weekend with Warren, a Short Novel

(Love and Work Series, Book Three)

An Excerpt

For Warren Lee, every day was a good day to be the Top Dog of Sales at JSA Advertising, especially when a potential new client loomed on the horizon. He sat with two of his coworkers at a popular DC lunch spot near work, discussing said potential new client—Mitchell and Mitchell Home Builders.  

As the guys powered through messy meat-packed sandwiches, Bridget Diaz, the newest account executive on their team, breezed through the store’s doorway. A flash of understated looks, soft skin, and three tight buns—one bun in her hair, and the other two…

Well, Warren would keep that last observation to himself.

Jeff tipped his head toward Bridget. “Look who’s here.”

She wore her standard uniform—a cardigan over a slightly-fitted dress that fell right below the knees. Today, the dress was gray, the cardigan tan.

“Five bucks says she wears the black dress with the gray cardigan tomorrow,” said Pete.

Warren chuckled, as Jeff said, “It’s spring now. I say she goes for the green cardigan.”

“Deal.” Pete shook Jeff’s hand while Warren watched Bridget put in an order at the coffee area.  Unlike most women who carried gigantic purses, Bridget clutched a small wallet in her hand.

“Does anyone know what her knees look like?” Pete asked.

“No idea,” answered Jeff. “Maybe they’re knobby. That could be why they’re always covered up.”

Pete spoke as he chewed. “They could be bionic.”

Bridget’s knees weren’t knobby or bionic. Warren had glanced at them during meetings when the hem of her dresses hitched up an inch or two after sitting down. “They’re fine. Look at her calves.” They reminded him of a runner he’d dated once. She’d clocked in ten miles a week and had calves just like these. Except Bridget’s were a natural golden-bronze color that most women could only get from spray tanner. “I bet she’s got nice legs.”

“Oh yeah? Five bucks says she’s knock-kneed.” Pete wanted to shake on it. He held out mustard-smudged fingers, which Warren ignored. Pete bear-pawed his sandwich again.

Jeff said, “I can’t figure her out. She’s a lone island on the third floor. She doesn’t hang out with anybody, and I never see her go to lunch with anyone.”

Neither had Warren. She’d never attended department happy hour invitations or lunches. She didn’t even go to the monthly birthday celebrations, including December, her birthday month. Who turned down free cake? No human Warren knew. Hell, maybe Pete was right. She could be part-machine with bionic knees.

“I heard she eats carrots for lunch,” Pete said.

Jeff finished a swig of Coke. “I heard cottage cheese.”

“I think she only eats coffee,” Warren said as Bridget took a cup from the cafe area and stood in line for the cashier. 

Jeff chewed slowly, his gaze raking over Bridget. “I know I made fun of the outfits a second ago. But am I the only one who thinks she’s got a sexy librarian thing going on?”

 “Totally,” agreed Pete. “I always thought sexy teacher, but sexy librarian works, too.”

Warren said, “Good to know I wasn’t the only one, either.”

Another good thing? She did a pretty decent job at work but not enough to overtake Warren’s spot as the agency’s number one account executive. No one had accomplished that yet, and Warren liked it that way. 

The Sexy Librarian drummed her fingers against her thigh and peeked at the time on her watch. She got to the cashier’s counter, slipped a credit card from her tiny wallet purse, and inserted it into the chip reader. 

Pete said, “I tried flirting with her once right after she first started.” Warren’s attention snapped back to Pete. Intrigue mixed with an ounce of jealousy. “She shot me down like a trained assassin.”

Warren’s gaze trailed back to the coffee counter, where the cashier said something to Bridget. She removed her credit card from the reader. 

What happened there? Warren glanced at the others, who’d missed the failed transaction. 

“Luca from Accounting tried, too.” Jeff snorted. “He said she gave him an ice queen look that froze his balls.”

As the guys laughed, Bridget slipped her credit card back into her bite-size wallet and slid a different one into the card reader. The cashier nodded at Bridget and handed her a receipt. Bridget hastily plucked it from his hand and turned back to the exit, her cheeks blotched with color.

“Watch this.” Pete waved at the Sexy Librarian before she left the cafe. “Hey, Bridget.” 

A couple of tables nearby glanced over at the loud distraction. Bridget slowed down, her cheeks still red, her gaze shifting from Pete to Jeff to Warren. It lingered on him. Her lips pursed as if Warren’s face reminded her of a sour lemon. And he didn’t know if the steam he saw was coming from her coffee cup or her ears.

“Wanna join us?” Pete asked her.

She shook her head and walked through the door. A blur of tan and gray and nice calves passed the store’s window.

“Dude.” Pete turned back to the guys. “Did you see that look she gave Warren?”

“Totally.” Jeff clapped Warren on the shoulder. “How are your balls? Frozen?”

“And shriveled.” Warren frowned.

Pete glanced from the door back at Warren. “What was that about?”

Warren shrugged. “Who knows?” He bit the rest of his sandwich. “Who cares?”

Jeff said, “I think she hates you.”

“What makes you say that?” Warren had been called arrogant and cocky, but he’d never really been hated before. At least, he didn’t think. 

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