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"Did the supplies I ordered from Henderson's come in yet?” she asked, wondering just how long the big baby planned on giving her the silent treatment.

He shook his head.

"Uh huh," she said, sighing heavily as she reached out and toyed with the pencils in his old Dunkin Donuts coffee cup as she shot him a hopeful look, but the stubborn man simply continued to type as he ignored her.

"Would you forgive me if I offered you a raise?" she asked, wondering if groveling was going to be necessary to get him to stop pouting.

A shrug.

"An extra week of vacation?" she asked, not really sure that she'd be able to survive even that long without him running things.

That offer earned her a killing glare, which of course was understandable since they both knew that she'd probably run the business into the ground in that short amount of time without him. Last year when he made the mistake of calling in sick two days in a row she somehow managed to screw up payroll, crash every computer in the office, order a thousand user manuals in Japanese for a copy machine that she didn't even own, and ran out of hot cocoa by mid-day on the second day, making her a tad difficult to work with.

"If you don't talk to me, I'll cry," she threatened even as she allowed her chin to quiver. It was low, but sometimes she just didn't have the patience for this kind of nonsense. Jacob was temperamental, but fortunately for her, he was also a big pushover.

She usually saved the crying act as a last resort, but today she just didn't have the patience to work her way up to it. They were already running behind, the basement was still considered a safety hazard and therefore off limits until the fire department cleared it, the deliveries that they needed were delayed, and to top it all off, she couldn't stop thinking about Connor. Somehow the man managed to worm his way into her thoughts and as much as she tried, she couldn't stop thinking about him.

Sadly it wasn't just his kisses, which were freakin' fantastic, that she couldn't get out of her head, but the man himself. Somehow he managed to get under her skin and not just in the annoying, man slaughtering way that he used to, but as a man that she actually enjoyed being around. If she wasn't eighty percent sure that the pain killers that she took a few days ago were having a lasting effect on her, she'd probably be panicking a bit right about now.

She knew Connor well enough to know that this was just a game to him and that once this project was done they'd go back to their old ways, earth shattering kisses forgotten. It was what she wanted, she reminded herself as she added a slight pout that she knew would break Jacob in a matter of seconds. This was just another game in a long line of games that they'd played over the years and one that she would win. If she had to endure his kisses and touches then that's just what she was going to have to do, she thought as she felt her lips tug up into a pleased little smile.

Okay, so this deal wasn't all bad. She got her project, through Connor, but she would change that as soon as she figured out what he was up to and turned the tables on him. She also had free use of his equipment and could use his men, which would save her a lot of money and time on the project. The only thing that really irritated her was having to let him call the shots, but she'd deal with it.

For now.

There was no doubt in her mind that it was only a matter of time until she found out what he was up to, took control and made him squirm. It was also just a matter of time before-

"What the hell is that?" she asked with a frown when something shinny to her right caught her attention. Jacob and his pouting quickly forgotten, she turned around and felt her brows damn near clear her hairline as she took in the very large and obviously expensive machine that now took up a good portion of her hot cocoa station.

Her confusion hit an all time high when she spotted a four foot tall, beautiful oak cabinet right next to it. She threw Jacob a questioning look, but he was still ignoring her. With an exasperated sigh and an eye roll that he definitely deserved, she turned her attention back to the cabinet. She walked over to it and opened it, not really expecting much so when she saw that all four shelves were overflowing with her favorite hot cocoa products, fluff, marshmallows, etc, she found herself stunned and wondering if this was all a dream, a wonderful hot chocolate fantasy filled dream.

"Do you like it?" the seductive whisper teased her ear as large, warm arms wrapped around her from behind and pulled her back into an equally warm body.

"Like it?" she mumbled as she ran her greedy eyes over twenty-five different flavors of hot chocolate, each one sounding yummier than the last.

"Mmmhmm," Connor murmured as he pressed a kiss that would have normally sent her body into overdrive against her neck.

She knew that she should play it off like she did with the flowers, but she couldn't. It just felt so wrong to lie in the presence of the most heavenly sight on earth.

"I love it," she found herself admitting like an idiot. If there was one thing that she learned from Connor over the years, it was to keep her mouth shut and never let him know what she liked otherwise she had to deal with the big jerk making her life a living hell, but knowing that didn't stop her from letting out a little content sigh as her eyes ran over hot chocolate heaven.

Yup, she was definitely going to pay for this little slip up.

Chapter 19

It shouldn't please him that she liked his gift so much, but it did. When Andrew called him a few hours ago to let him know that Brennagin's, the insanely expensive coffee shop that they renovated last month, was arguing over the bill, again, and that they were now refusing to pay, he decided to go down there and handle the matter himself.

Normally, well, in the past year at least, he'd been leaving that job up to Andrew, but the manager was trying to bullshit her way out of paying. It was causing too damn much drama and stressing Andrew out, which was the last thing the man needed. By the time Connor arrived, Cindy, the manager and all around pain the ass, was in Andrew's face and bitching him out. When she caught sight of him, her whole attitude turned from flat out bitch to flirty.

Once Andrew made his escape, Cindy invited him into her office where she suggested that the two of them talk this little "misunderstanding" over at her house. He politely declined, but that didn't seem to make her happy so she became more blatant about it. When he declined her offer to make him breakfast in bed she flat offered him a little relief in the office. She was a beautiful woman and any other guy probably would have fallen at her feet and done anything and everything she asked, but he wasn't interested.

It didn't take her long to figure out that Rory was the reason why. Well, she was the main reason, but he would never accept a quick f**k to drop the price of a bill. He didn't play games and Cindy quickly learned that. After she gave up trying to get him off in exchange for a huge price drop she went back to being a bitch. She tried to argue her way out of their contracted price and when he wouldn't budge, she cried.

It annoyed the hell out of him and made him wonder why more women weren't like Rory. She wouldn't have cried or tried to play him to get out of the bill. If she didn't think it was right she would have argued it and backed it up with proof. If that didn't work, she would have tried reason, but not Cindy. Cindy tried to use every damn ploy that she could think up to get him to drop the price by five grand, but he wasn't about to budge.

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