Short Story Excerpt: "Puppy Dog Eyes"

Friday, September 26, 2008
We're having a Halloween party at Amira Press! You can get a full version of this story (written by little ole' me) by clicking here and reading how to get the free download. Make sure to ask for "Puppy Dog Eyes" by Lesli Richardson.

Believe me, the full story is a howl! :)
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(Copyright 2008 by Lesli Richardson, unauthorized duplication prohibited. All rights reserved.)

Puppy Dog Eyes

By Lesli Richardson


“So, what are you wearing to the party this weekend?” she asked Scudder.

Her team partner didn’t look up from his computer monitor, simply shrugged. The slight gesture of his broad shoulders made her heart race.

“I don’t think I’m going, Tess,” he said.

Tessa Gilroy crossed her arms and leaned against her desk. “Scudder Harris, you’re not telling me you’re going to bail on the company Halloween shindig, are you?”

He shrugged again, and she wished he’d stop doing that. Or take his shirt off before he did. Damn, she bet he had a gorgeous chest…

“That’s exactly what I’m telling you.” He finally leaned back in his chair and swiveled it to meet her gaze, which was deadly to her reserve. Dennis “Scudder” Harris had huge, sweet golden brown eyes that melted her insides and sent all the juices straight to her nether regions, and brilliant jet black hair that glinted with almost blue highlights when they sat outside and ate their lunch.

“Why not?” she asked.

“Why not what?”

“Why aren’t you going?”

He cocked his head. “Because I don’t know many of the people there, and I don’t have a costume.” Employees and their families from all of the regional offices were invited, several hundred people, most likely, would attend.

“It’ll be a full moon, beautiful night, perfect for a costume party. Come on, you have to go so I don’t have to go alone.”

At the mention of the full moon, a cloud crossed his face. “I’ll pass, sorry.”

She’d broken up with her skunk of a boyfriend a week before Scudder came to work for Callahan Consulting five months prior, and been assigned to her team. Team being a misnomer, because it was just the two of them. She knew Scudder was thirty-five, single, and straight, but beyond that, his life was a mystery. They talked about a lot of things, just not about him.

Her pouty face usually won him over. “Please?” She leaned forward, her arms on her desk, trying to entice him to look down her blouse.

He kindly laughed. “Tess, I’m sorry sweetie.”

She recognized the stubborn set of his jaw. Short of begging him to make wild monkey love to her on their shared office floor, she’d thrown just about every hint known to womankind at him that she wanted to go out with him. Well, except outright ask him, but he couldn’t be that thick, could he?

It wasn’t like he didn’t flirt back, because he did. One day in particular left her gasping for breath and heading to the bathroom to freshen up.

And he was gorgeous, six-two and solid, with a fluid, natural gait that left her panting after him when she watched the way his tight ass moved inside his khaki slacks.

“I’m going as a sexy witch,” she purred. “You should see how low–and high–my costume is cut.”

His eyes crinkled. “I’m sure it’s very alluring, kiddo, but we need to get this project done or you won’t be going to any party this weekend because we’ll be working.”

It was Thursday, meaning she had one more work day to convince him to take her to the annual corporate Halloween bash, held at the boss’s large, private estate north of Tampa. She would go regardless, but she didn’t want to go alone if she could talk Scudder into taking her.

At lunch he reached for his small cooler. “You eating with me today?”

She nodded. “Even though you’re standing me up this weekend.” Who was she kidding? They’d eaten together every day since they started working together.

He rolled his eyes, but smiled. “You’re incorrigible, girl.” He gently kicked their door shut and leaned over her desk. “Maybe I’d like to be alone with you, not with a loud, obnoxious group of drunks.”

Her heart pounded as his eyes playfully narrowed. “Just because I don’t want to go to a party with you doesn’t mean I won’t go out with you. All you have to do is ask.”

Speech escaped her for a moment. “I…I thought you didn’t want to go out with me.”

He gently chucked her under the chin. “I just wanted to see how long it took you to come right out and say it.” He straightened and walked to the door, opening it. She still sat at her desk, stunned.

“Well, are we eating lunch or not?”

She nodded, fumbled her lunch bag, and followed him out the door on feet that didn’t seem to touch the floor.

(Want to find out what happens to Scudder and Tessa? You'll have to click here and read how to get the free download! Remember, ask for "Puppy Dog Eyes" by Lesli Richardson.)

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