Welcome to TANTALIZING THURSDAYS!!!Today, I give you the first chapter of Racy Nights 11 - ENGINEERING HER RACY PLEASURE.
Harper Montgomery was clumsy on the best of days, but this morning she’d already set new personal records for the amount of times she’d tripped over loose carpeting and slammed into doors. At this rate, Maggie Rodriguez, the head of marketing at Notus and Harper’s new boss, was likely to believe the bright rising star she’d snatched away from Tray Industries was not only a major klutz, but too stupid to live.
Now, Harper had somehow managed to break the coffee machine in the third floor break room. It was currently spewing grounds and very hot water everywhere, and pushing the power button hadn’t stopped it. She was about to reach around the machine and pull the plug from the wall as two men came into the room.
“Move away for a second.” She obeyed the sexy voice, and watched as a hand did what she’d been about to do. The coffeemaker stopped behaving as though it was possessed, but when Harper glanced around at the counter and the walls, she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Brown water stains decorated the beige countertop and delicate floral wallpaper. The counter would clean up, but that wallpaper was probably beyond help.
“Wow. What a mess.” She followed the voice that went with the hand that had pulled the plug, up an arm wearing a button-down shirt that was also peppered with brown spots, to a chiseled face with warm brown eyes in dark-rimmed glasses. The eyes regarded her with a mixture of humor and lust. His chocolate-colored hair hung over his forehead, and she fought the urge to push it aside.
Oh my…He reminded her of Matt Bomer with his glasses on, and she couldn’t stop staring at him.
“You want us to help you clean this up?” That voice came from the second man, who was just as hot, but with lighter brown hair and deep green eyes that reminded Harper of emeralds. He, too, wore glasses, but looked more like Ryan Gosling. She was in sexy geek heaven.
“Thank you. But I’m not sure we can salvage the wallpaper.”
“Oh, sure we can.” Hottie number one reached overhead and opened one of the cupboards. She let her gaze wander over his Dockers, admiring the muscles that strained underneath the shirt and pants as he pulled out a spray bottle. “Watch this.”
He sprayed the spots on the wallpaper while hottie number two opened a drawer and took out a sponge. He wet it then handed it to the first man who wiped away the brown stains as though they’d never been there.
“I hope that works on your shirt…”
He looked down and raised his brows. “Oh. Didn’t see that. Thanks.”
“Thanks? I’m the one who made this mess. I’ll pay to have your shirt dry-cleaned.”
He wiped at the stains on his shirt, but it didn’t look like they were going to come out as easily as the ones on the wall had done.
“Don’t worry about that. The stains will come out in the wash. And you didn’t do this. This coffeemaker is haunted. It does this all the time.”
She smiled. “Thank you. That makes me feel better.”
Hottie number two stuck out his hand. “Mason Sinclair. And this is Lee Parker. We work on five in automation and robotics tech.”
She shook Mason’s hand, hoping the sparks that flew up her arm weren’t real. Otherwise she’d probably just electrocuted the poor guy. “That sounds interesting. What exactly do you two do up there?”
Mason held onto her hand far longer than was necessary, and Harper couldn’t help but notice the way his gaze raked over her. Hot damn. She hadn’t been sure about moving to rural Racy, Indiana, after living in a suburb of Detroit, or about working for a rival company to Tray Industries, but at the time the offer had been a godsend. Now, she was glad she’d taken a chance. Did they grow men like this in the cornfields here?
“We work on the automation components of the turbines.”
“All set.” Lee put the sponge in the sink and extended his hand as Mason let go of hers. The same sparks shot through her body as she shook it, and she became convinced that she was channeling some sort of klutzy goddess. But neither man seemed to notice, so maybe instead of researching ancient deities she should find a doctor and ask for a CAT scan? “Now you know our names, but we don’t know yours.”
Duh. Brain to mouth, Harper. Get your shit together. “Harper Montgomery. Nice to meet you both.”
“Do you work on this floor?” asked Lee.
“Yes. I’m part of Maggie Rodriguez’s marketing team now.”
“Fabulous.” He eyed the coffee machine. “Should we try it again? I really need a cup right now.”
She waved a hand in its direction. “I think I’ll let you two handle that. I’m afraid to touch it.”
Lee winked and Mason chuckled. It was all Harper could do to keep breathing. “Why do you two come down to this floor for coffee? Isn’t there a break room on five?”
Lee began to scoop grounds from a can into the basket. “We like the coffee here better. Up there everyone brings in instant and cheap brands. Plus, there are always donuts down here. The executive offices are on this floor as well, as I’m sure you already know, so they make sure to keep plenty of expensive treats around.”
She glanced at the table where no less than six boxes of fresh pastries lay. “They do this every day? I’ll weigh a ton before summer.”
“You look just fine to me.” Mason’s voice held a note of unmistakable lust, and when she glanced into his face, his gaze was currently on her ass.
Harper smiled. “Um, thank you. So do you.”
He and Lee exchanged a glance she couldn’t interpret. Once Lee had the coffeemaker working again, Harper stood and watched it because she really did want a cup. Mason strolled over to the boxes on the table and selected three donuts, bringing them over on napkins. He held them out toward her. “You get first choice.”
She didn’t want to do the “I’m too fat” thing again, so she chose the chocolate éclair. Fuck it. He’d already said he liked the way she looked, and he was offering her a donut. She was half in love already. “Thank you.”
“Nice choice, but I prefer the jelly ones myself. I like to bite into sweet, gooey things and let the juices run all over my face.”
Harper stopped with the donut halfway to her mouth and stared into Mason’s green eyes. Oh, this one is a charmer. His grin sent a rush of wetness to her pussy, and images of naked, sweaty bodies danced through her head. It wasn’t usual for her to have such visceral reactions to men she’d just met, and consequently, she was intrigued.
But then she remembered the reason she was here now instead of still in Detroit was because she’d let an office flirtation get way, way out of hand. Mason’s bluntness thrilled her, but it also conjured up memories of Dennis. He’d been that way, too, but he hadn’t said such things to her with others around, like Mason just had.
They were in a break room on a floor where dozens of people worked. Any second now one of them could walk in and overhear the conversation. Perhaps he was simply trying to be funny?
She had a chance to start over. While she’d love some new experiences to go along with her new city and new job, she had to be careful not to make the same mistakes all over again simply because a very hot guy compared eating donuts with sexual acts and had said he liked her ass.
Lee chuckled as he took a bite of his powdered donut. “Dude, relax. We just met her. Ignore him, Harper. He likes to get a rise out of people.”
She eyed the crumbs falling on Lee’s shirt. They went well with the faint brown stains. “I thought his comment was sexy. Don’t tell me you don’t enjoy juices all over your face?”
Both men laughed, and Lee gazed at her with a twinkle in his eyes that was both challenging and filled with lust. “Oh, I definitely enjoy that.”
So much for being careful. What was wrong with her? To say she was conflicted at the moment would be an understatement, so, to avoid looking them in the eyes for a few moments, Harper moved toward the coffeemaker before she melted all over the floor.
“Looks like there’s enough for three cups now.” The men had placed mugs on the counter earlier, so she asked them if they took anything in their coffee.
“We both drink it black,” said Lee.
“I do, too. Which mug is whose?”
“Mine is the one with Yosemite Sam on it.”
She glanced over her shoulder and smiled at Lee. “I like him, too.”
“Mine is boring,” said Mason. “Just a picture of a wind turbine.”
She poured them each a mug, trying to control the tremors in her hand, and then filled her own mug. “Do you think they’re boring? I don’t. I find them fascinating.”
She handed them each their mugs then sat down at the table with hers. “How long have you each worked for Notus?” Notus was her former employer’s largest competition, with wind farms, power plants, and offices around the country. Finding this job had been a major coup, especially considering the circumstances under which she’d left Tray Industries.
“Ever since graduating from college,” said Mason. “We were roommates, and now we work on the same team.”
“That’s awesome. Did you know each other before college?”
Lee nodded, brushing powdered sugar off his shirt. “We’ve been friends all our lives. Born and raised right here in Racy.”
“I like the town. It’s quaint.”
“Quaint. That’s a good word for it.” Lee took a sip of coffee. “Hopefully things will settle down a bit now.”
She frowned. “What do you mean?”
He and Mason raised their brows in nearly identical gestures and Harper bit back a laugh. “You haven’t heard about our notorious past?”
She shook her head. She’d moved into her apartment on Friday and had spent most of the weekend eating takeout and putting things away in her four rooms.
“Well let’s see…where do I begin? Last May we had an EF3 tornado that pretty much destroyed most of downtown, several exes have shown up in town looking for revenge, we had a serial killer who kidnapped someone, and our mayor was indicted on murder.”
“Sounds like everyday happenings to me.”
“Where did you live?”
“Royal Oak, Michigan. The office where I worked is in downtown Detroit.”
Both men nodded as they finished off their donuts. Mason regarded her with trepidation, as though he wanted to ask something but was afraid to. “So this is your first day?”
Her mouth was full with the last bite of her donut so she simply nodded.
“What are you doing for lunch?”
She swallowed her food. “The department is taking me out. Sort of a first-day tradition I’m told.”
“Where are they taking you?”
“MJ’s Burgers in Lafayette..”
Both men chuckled. “Ah, have you been there yet?”
“It’s similar to Nan’s Place here in Racy.”
“I’ve heard of that one.” She’d already been told that the food at Nan’s was known for heartburn hell the next day, but it was a very popular spot and everyone loved Emma Falcon, the current owner and granddaughter of the original Nan.
“In that case,” continued Mason, “it’s only fair that you should have a proper introduction to the one decent restaurant in Racy. Have dinner tonight at Gino’s Ristoranti with us.”
She blinked a few times, certain she’d misunderstood. This was too easy. “I’d love to. Thank you.”
Both men stood. “Fabulous,” said Mason. “Give me your phone. I’ll put our numbers in it.”
She handed over her cell. Mason pushed buttons while he hummed a tune from Wicked. A man humming wasn’t all that unusual, but humming show tunes was. While she was pleasantly surprised to hear it, it didn’t fit with her image of a mechanical engineer. The ones she’d known at Tray had mostly been stuffy and uptight. She’d heard of one who went home to change socks once when he realized he’d put on mismatched ones that morning, even though his jeans covered them up and no one would have noticed.
“Have you seen it?” she asked. “Wicked, I mean.”
“Twice. Lee and I caught it in both Nashville and Chicago. How about you?”
“I saw it in New York last year.” She’d tried to talk Dennis into going, but he’d refused. Now she understood why. The few times they had gone out on a real date had been disastrous. Dennis preferred stolen moments in empty offices and stairwells. She’d thought getting out of Detroit together would help, but after he’d given her so many lame excuses why he couldn’t go to New York with her she finally began to understand their relationship wasn’t going to exist outside the building in which they worked.
Lee watched her so intently that she almost became uncomfortable. Had he sensed the change in her voice or body language? She didn’t want them to start asking questions, so she changed the subject. “Looks like we saved the wallpaper. Thanks again for your help. But your shirt is still stained.”
“Everyone is used to that,” said Mason, handing her back the phone. “He’s a slob. Our numbers are in there and we have yours. Where do you live?”
“Right now I’m in the apartment above Minnie’s Flower Shop on Riverfront Drive until I find something more permanent.”
“Great. We’re on Birch Lane. That’s not too far away. We’ll pick you up at six.”
“Okay. Thank you. I’m looking forward to it.”
“So are we.” Mason shook her hand again, only this time it was more of a caress, and Harper wondered how she’d get through the rest of the day without her imagination running wild.
“See you later,” said Lee, also taking her hand for a moment. He winked before the two turned and left the break room. Harper sat down at the table again and snagged another donut.
Were all small towns like this? She knew nothing at all about this place other than the few things Maggie had told her. Would her co-workers find it odd if she asked questions her first day about two men who worked on another floor? She hoped not, because she wanted to know a bit more about Lee Parker and Mason Sinclair before six o’clock rolled around.
**You can purchase ENGINEERING HER RACY PLEASURE
and the entire Racy Nights series by clicking HERE**
and the entire Racy Nights series by clicking HERE**