Marcy Wright’s new job is just the type of fresh start she was hoping for. She hopes to put all her troubles behind her. She gets more than she bargains for when sexy company CEO, Austin Morgan takes an interest in her.
Bear shifter Austin, has everything going for him. He’s successful, handsome and rich. But lately, he’s been feeling that something is missing in his life. Then he meets his perfect mate. With more than one obstacle in his way and in spite of recent events in town, he’s determined to show his mate, that it is her that he wants.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I enjoy reading paranormal romance books and I love writing. I am always coming up with new story ideas, in fact, more than I have the time to write. It's nice to have a rich paranormal fantasy romance hero to think dream about. I love brave, protective heroes who put their lady first.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I tend to get a picture and voice of the characters in my mind, before they tell their story on paper. I guess they are a combination of my own experiences and people I've met, mixed with lot of imagination.
Walking along a narrow trail through the woods, the crisp night air filled her nostrils and sent a slight chill through her. A twig snapped somewhere behind her. Turning quickly, she saw a man headed straight for her. As he neared, she saw the rage in his eyes… She tried to scream, but her voice was gone…She swallowed, opening her mouth again to release her voice. Nothing came. The only sound was the thud of their bodies, hitting the ground. He was suddenly on top of her. Overcome with fear, she tried and failed to summon the courage to fight him. It was then that she heard a loud sound crashing through the forest…It was coming closer. Turning her head in the direction of the sound, she heard a loud growl. The ground rumbled under the heavy footfalls as the sound came closer. Suddenly standing over them was a huge brown bear. With one large paw, the bear swung at the man. Her attacker flew through the air, hitting a large tree before crumpling to the ground. The bear turned toward her, his golden eyes gazing upon her. She finally managed to scream…
The dream faded as Marcy jolted awake, shaking slightly. Gazing at the clock she sat up. “Damn it” She hurried out of bed, cursing the fact that she was about to be late for her first day at a new job. There was no time to think about the nightmare she’d just woken so abruptly from. She’d been awake most of the night worrying as it was. Quickly, she realized that she only had half an hour to shower, apply some makeup, fix her hair and get dressed. To save time, she tied her hair up in a quick twist style that allowed just a few strands of bouncy brown curls to fall gently around her face. After a quick rummage through her closet she settled on a blue sheath dress. She hoped it would look professional enough as well as hide some of her curvy figure. Her hand shook slightly as she applied her eye make up. Her mind raced with thoughts of what it might be like working at a new company and having more responsibility. When she was told the details of the position, she knew she was going to fit in perfectly. The man that interviewed her seemed to have a lot of faith in her because of her previous experience. Her aptitude for numbers and joy of working on her own, told her she would do well.
At last, it looked like her career was finally starting to go somewhere. This was her first job where she would be in charge of other people and though it was a great step up on her career path, it also scared her a little. Like so many things seem to these days. She knew that she had a tendency to be shy around new people at first and hoped that she would overcome that in the right environment. Being somewhat introverted, it was going to be a big adjustment running her own department. She was lucky she’d landed the new job. If she hadn’t of overheard a couple of women talking about the position being open, she wouldn’t have even known that the company was hiring. As a trained and certified accountant, she’d spent her years since university working for a small business in town. She liked being an accountant, but couldn’t stand how she was treated by the owners of the business. At twenty nine, she was the youngest woman at Boyd and Harvey Accounting. She was never given credit for the work she did. In fact, often times one of the partners took the credit when customers asked who had done such a good job for them. She’d even overheard him once or twice, blaming her for mistakes he had made. When she asked him about it, he told her it came with the territory. She wasn’t really sure what that meant. He didn’t apologize, which only infuriated her more. Staying at that job was never going to allow her to move forward in her career and she knew it. Her attempts at speaking up for herself at her old job were always met with ridicule or humiliation. When she quit, her boss acted like she owed him something. It was a big reason for finding a new job and now that she had, she wasn’t going to do anything to lose it. Her old boss didn’t care what her reasons were for leaving the job and she was glad she never had to go back there again. Best of all, she was going to be a boss. At least she knew what NOT to do, to motivate her staff. The other reason for moving on from Boyd and Harvey had to do with her personal life, but she didn’t want to think about that right now. Not today. Today was about a fresh start and she was about to be late for her first day!
Bear Bones Construction was located right in town, in a huge restored building that used to house an old movie theater. The front of the building had a stepped parapet and was made of red brick. This gave the place an authentic and historic feel. The inside of the building had all the character and charm that one would expect. Wiping a little sweat from her brow as she entered, Marcy quickly introduced herself to the receptionist.
“Hello, I’m Marcy Wright. I’m suppose to start working here today,” she wheezed slightly.
“Good Morning Miss Wright. I’ll call Bernard to come down and get you,” she said as she dialed an extension.
“She’s here,” she said into her headset. She looked in Marcy's direction, “He’ll be right down. Have a seat,” She smiled. Marcy nodded and walked over to a large sofa to take a seat. She hoped that the man who’d hired her would be forgiving of her being so late. She’d been interviewed and hired by Bernard Langstaff, one of the company’s owners. When she’d met him at the interview she was surprised that he was so young. He looked like he was just three or four years older than her. That made her feel more at ease right away. His down to earth manner helped as well. He was warm and friendly with her throughout the half hour interview. Most people who lived in Pleasantville knew about Bear Bones Construction and its two owners, Bernard Langstaff and Austin Morgan. Marcy had only met Bern at her interview, but hoped Austin was equally kind. She hoped that this job would be better than her last one and after meeting Mr Langstaff, she was sure it was going to be. Fidgeting nervously, she placed her hands in her lap and took a couple of deep, calming breaths. Looking around the reception area she smiled to herself. The atmosphere beat the stuffy office building she worked in before. She was startled a little, when she heard a male voice from the other side of the reception area.
"Miss Wright?" he asked. Marcy made a less than graceful attempt at getting up from the comfortable sofa and stumbled forward a little. She quickly composed herself and smoothed her dress with both hands. Mr. Langstaff smiled at her. He was dressed casually in blue jeans and a pale blue dress shirt. She suddenly felt a little self-conscious and hoped she looked okay in what she’d chosen to wear for her first day. Smiling awkwardly, she stepped toward her new employer. They shook hands and Marcy couldn't help but feel a little nervous.
"Mr. Langstaff. Sorry I’m late."
"Call me Bern. No one here calls me Mr. Langstaff. Don’t worry about being late, it happens. Just don’t make a habit of it." He winked and motioned for Marcy to follow him. "We have a meeting to attend but I want to introduce you to a few people first,” he said as they walked, “As I mentioned in your interview, we have been short staffed for a while now. We’ve been trying to keep the accounts up to date, but have fallen a little short. Business has been increasing faster than we can keep up.”
“That’s good news…that business is good I mean,” Marcy said awkwardly.
“Yes, it is. However, I'm afraid you’ll have your work cut out for you. Like I said on the phone, the reason I’ve brought you on board…and why I think you are perfect for the job, is your years of experience. Not to mention your desire to move forward in your career. You’re just the type of person I had in mind for the position when we created it. I think you’ll be able to whip us into shape in no time. The staff working with you are eager to be of assistance and I think you’ll find them a nice crew of people to work with. You will come to know a lot of people through the company. We have contracts all over the state as well as here in town," he said.
The pair walked down a long hallway past a few offices. Some of the doors were closed but several were open with no one seated at their desks. Marcy smiled as she watched Bern peer into several of the empty offices. He had a slight grin on his face as he looked back toward her.
“Maybe we’ll save the introductions for later after-”
He was interrupted by a deep male voice several feet behind them. Marcy turned to see a well built man, slightly taller than Bern. He looked directly at her, his face was stern but his eyes weren’t. She watched him eye her up and down quickly, before he turned his gaze to Bern. Her heart began to beat a little faster. She rubbed her palms slowly down her dress to remove the sweat that had started to build in them. She wondered if this was Austin. If so, he seemed a little…well, scary. Now she knew why some people were intimidated by shifters, herself included apparently.
"You coming to the meeting?" He demanded and looked at his watch. Bern nodded at him and put a hand at Marcy's back. She felt grateful for the reminder that he was next to her. The man in front of them looked angry or frustrated.
"Yes. I was just showing our newest staff member around," Bern said happily.
The tall dark-brown haired man pressed his lips together and stared at her for a moment. She could tell he was processing what Bern had just said. Does he even know that Bern hired me? she thought when she saw the look of surprise on his face. He nodded once and turned to storm back down the hallway. She thought he seemed a little put out. She worried that his first impression of her was now ruined. Marcy wanted to roll her eyes, but she looked at the floor instead and let out a breath. She hoped that she hadn’t made a mistake choosing to work here. The last thing she needed was another bully in her life. Bern had told her in the interview that the environment was casual and that the staff were easy going. The dark stranger she’d just encountered did not seem easy going or casual. Unlike Bern, he’d been wearing dress pants and a dress shirt with a stylish tie. She looked up in the direction he’d stalked off in. Bern looked at Marcy apologetically but said nothing. He headed down the hall in the direction of tall, dark and grumpy. Marcy followed. Her stomach felt a little sick at the idea of sitting in the same room as the dark stranger who seemed so impatient and angry. This wasn’t what she’d hoped for at all.
Seconds later they stepped into a large meeting room. In the center of the room was a large wooden table surrounded by chairs that looked a little uncomfortable but functional. She took a seat next to Bern when he held the chair out for her. She quickly searched her purse for a pen and paper, just in case she needed to take notes. She pulled her chair in and placed the pen and a small piece of paper she’d found, in front of her on the table. Because they were already late to the meeting, her anxiety level was through the roof. When she finally had the courage to make eye contact with the other people around the table, she saw several smiling faces. There was also a slender, pretty blond that looked a little older than her and was giving her a look that Marcy interpreted as disdain. She tried her best to ignore the feelings of insecurity that were threatening to make her run out of the room, screaming.
"This is Marcy, our new accounting manager," Bern announced.
"Welcome," several male and female voices said in unison. The blond woman didn’t say anything and turned her head away at last. Marcy nodded back at the others; one by one everyone in the room introduced themselves. She could feel herself shaking slightly and kept her hands on her lap so no one would notice. She was glad she didn't have to shake hands with anyone at the moment. Marcy tried to pretend there wasn’t a hole burning into her right side, as the man at the end of the table stared at her. When the introductions were finished, Marcy smiled and looked to her right. She dreaded what he might say and hoped he wouldn’t humiliate her. At the end of the table sat the man with the deep voice that she'd seen in the hallway. His face looked a little less intimidating now that she could see him more closely. He was by far, the most handsome man she'd ever seen. He had an air of confidence to him that she found enviable. She unconsciously swallowed and licked her lips, as she gazed upon his perfectly square jaw. Moving her eyes across his face, they met incredible amber colored eyes. She held her breath. Was she actually drooling over a guy? In her peripheral vision she saw the blond woman across from her shifted uncomfortably in her chair. Marcy glanced at her and caught the woman glaring back at her.
"I'm Austin," the handsome man said, his voice smooth as silk.
Marcy turned to face him again and let out the breath she'd been holding, "Nice to meet you." She pushed a few curls off her forehead and looked down at the note paper in front of her. Her face glowed several shades of red. Awkward. Austin began the meeting, updating everyone on new and ongoing projects. He made sure to announce for Marcy’s sake, that meetings were held every Monday at 9:00 a.m. sharp. He looked at her as he said it and Bern cleared his throat. Bern obviously wasn’t at fault, since she’d arrived for work ten minutes late. Marcy listened throughout the meeting as she took a few notes on things that pertained to her new department. Every time she tried to steal a glance at Austin, he was looking back at her with an almost puzzled look on his face. She decided it was safer to avert her eyes to the dark wood grain of the large meeting table instead. She admonished herself for so blatantly gawking at him. Especially when the blond woman was sending her daggers with her eyes. She hoped that he wouldn’t override Bern’s decision and fire her before the end of her first day of work. The meeting lasted nearly an hour and Marcy learned what had to be dealt with by accounting as soon as possible.
As the meeting wrapped up, Bern stood and turned to face her, "Let’s do those introductions I mentioned earlier, then I’ll show you to your new office."
"Great," she said as she picked up her paper and pen. She noticed the blond woman walking over to Austin. Marcy could hear her whispering something to him but couldn’t make out what it was, nor his response. He looked a little angry as he looked at the blond woman, before turning away from her. Marcy hurried out of the room feeling embarrassed at the very thought of someone like Austin taking any notice of her. Men like him only dated beautiful models, not plus-sized, five-foot-five inch, twenty-nine year old accountants.
After introducing Marcy to the staff members that weren’t at the meeting, Bern showed her to her new office. It had a large window to let in natural light, something she never had at her old job. Here she wasn’t locked away in some cubicle all day. Even her chair was top of the line, in terms of comfort. She was pleased with how amazing her new office was. After a short briefing by Bern and her assistant, Darla, she settled down to getting some work done. The morning flew by. There had been a small stack of file folders on her desk that she'd been able to work her way through in record time. There were no distractions and any questions she had were quickly answered by her support staff. She found herself saying another silent thank you to the fates that aligned, to make this opportunity possible. A fresh start was what she needed and this job was the perfect thing to give her that. So far all things considered, the job was looking better than ever. There was a knock at her door, bringing her awareness back to the present.
“Come in,” she said.
“Hi. Sorry to interrupt," a friendly female voice said from her doorway. Marcy looked up to see Darla. She was a sweet middle aged woman with a gentle demeanor. Marcy had only just met her, but liked her right away.
"It’s fine," she said. She saw that Darla was carrying a bouquet of flowers. Her stomach clenched. No. Darla's voice was cheerful. Marcy kept her eyes on the flowers, her lips pressed into a thin line.
"These came for you," Darla stepped inside the office. Marcy rose from her seat and moved to take the flowers from Darla. Her hands trembled slightly. She thanked Darla who looked a little puzzled as she left the office. Marcy looked for a card in the flowers and found a small yellow card. It read:
Congratulations on the new job.
Marcy gasped and put her hand to her mouth. She dropped the flowers onto the floor and ran out of the office toward the toilets. Several faces turned to watch her run by before returning to their jobs. She pushed open the nearest stall and leaned over the toilet. Tears filled her eyes. Since she hadn’t eaten any breakfast she waited for the waves of stress induced nausea to subside. Once her stomach began to settle, she stood at the sink rinsing her mouth and washing her hands. Her reflection in the mirror revealed puffy red eyes. Her face looked pale. So much for a great first day of work. It's never going to be over with him. She smoothed her hair down and wiped her eyes. She and Mick had broken up just over a month ago, after things took a turn she never expected. Now he was showing her that he knew exactly where she was working. He was taunting her and she knew it. Letting out a huge sigh, she stepped back from the sink and straightened her dress. She left the washroom and marched down the hall quickly. Keeping her head down, she hoped people wouldn't notice that she'd been crying. She passed her assistant’s desk and noticed that Darla glanced toward her before quickly averting her eyes when it was apparent that Marcy didn’t want to discuss what had happened. Without watching where she was going, Marcy kept her head down and rushed into her office. She winced when her body hit something big and hard.
"Ow," she gasped as she looked up at Austin who was standing in front of her desk. His back had been facing the door and he hadn't seen her enter. He turned to look at her, frowning slightly.
"I didn't see you," she said stepping away from him, “Sorry.”
"Everything okay?" he asked, smoothing his dark hair back with his hand. Marcy moved around Austin to get behind her desk. Their arms touched briefly as she squeezed past him. "Yes. Fine. Why do you ask?"
She forced a smile. The flowers and card that she’d dropped on the floor when she stormed out, were now laying on her desk. Austin was staring at her with a bewildered look on his face.
"You look upset,” he said.
“No. I’m okay. I just got some bad news,” she lied and looked down at her desk.
"Oh. Sorry to hear that…I came to see how you were getting on here," he said coolly.
"I’m getting along fine. Thank you for asking," she mumbled and looked up at Austin. His brow was furrowed as he looked at her. There was an awkward silence. Why is he really in my office? Maybe he wants to fire me. That would just make my day…NOT. Marcy looked down and began to shuffle some papers.
Austin pressed his lips together and let out a breath of air, "Oookay…If you need anything…let me…or Bern know." He turned and left the office.
Marcy leaned over, grabbing the flowers and throwing them in the garbage next to her desk.
"Oh yeah. Things are just great," she mumbled to herself. Marcy walked to her office door and closed it. She'd been doing so well keeping herself together, now this. She put her face in her hands and sighed.
Rayne Reilly is an indie author that lives in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Her romance stories always border on the paranormal or supernatural, with a human twist. If you like stories that include sexy shifters, vampires, witches and more, you will like her books. They always include a happily ever after. Because, doesn’t everyone want that?
Her books are intended for audiences over 18+ only. If you enjoy steamy, sexy romance, these books are meant for you
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