fifteen cats, fly out the window. Now, she just has to hope her friends choose him as her Last First Date.
But in the end, are Two Last First Dates enough to find The One?
[Series Info] While this is the second book in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone or as part of the series. The protagonist is different from book one, although all lead female characters appear in each of the books.
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Book 3: Three Last First Dates - coming October 31, 2017 Preorder Now at https://books2read.com/ko3lfd
Book 4: A Final Last First Date - coming early-2018
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Read an Excerpt
“Look, Helena. I’ve got to do something. I’ll talk to you later, okay? I promise.”
She gave me a meaningful look. “Sure. You go, girl. I’ll back you up, no matter what.” She hit her fist against her chest, like she was a centurion, pledging her allegiance to me.
I turned and walked through the line of cubicles to Portia’s office, nodding as people said hello. This wasn’t the time to be social. I was on a mission, and I wasn’t going to allow anything to get in my way.
I arrived at Portia’s office and stood, collecting my thoughts. I could see her sitting at her desk, immaculate as always in a pale pink suit with black trim, tap-tapping on her keyboard. I lifted my hand and knocked firmly on her door. Her head popped up, a look of surprise on her face.
“Paige. What are you doing here?” she asked, pushing her chair back and standing up.
Did she look nervous?
I stepped into her office and closed the door behind myself, leaning up against it as my heart raced. “I need to talk to you.”
“Okay,” she replied uncertainly. She gestured for me to take a seat. I shook my head in refusal. I needed to be standing for this.
“I thought we’d said all we were going to say last night?”
“No, Portia. You said all you were going to say. I didn’t.”
She tilted her head. “Oh?”
I clenched my hands at my side, preparing to launch into the speech I’d practiced on the way here this morning. My mind was made up; I had something to say.
I took a deep breath and looked directly at her. “Portia, I quit.”
Okay, so it wasn’t much of a speech, and practicing it hadn’t exactly taken very long this morning, but I wanted to ensure I hit the right tone. And hadn’t I learned in my years in marketing that a clear, simple message was the most effective?
To my unutterable surprise, Portia laughed. “I think you misunderstand, Paige. I fired you.”
“No, you didn’t. Your exact words were, ‘I’m moving you on.’ I remember. You never said I was fired.”
She shot me a condescending look, as though I was a three-year-old who needed to have the difference between a hug and a punch explained to them. “Paige. We talked about this. Your work has not been up to scratch for some time now. That’s why I am moving you on.”
I jutted out my chin, defiant. “But you can’t. Because I quit.”
She put her manicured hands up in surrender. “Sure. If that’s the way you want to play it, fine. Take your petty revenge over whatever it is you think I have or haven’t done.”
“I will. Thank you.” My voice dripped with sarcasm.
As I turned and put my hand on the doorknob, ready to leave, she added, “So, do I take it you don’t want that job in Dwight’s division, then?”
I pursed me lips. It was true, Portia had fired me—or “moved me on,” as she’d insisted on calling it—but she’d also offered me a role in her colleague Dwight Barlow’s team, working in product development. She thought I’d be a better “fit” there as she didn’t think email marketing campaigns were “quite my passion,” as she’d put it. I’d almost scoffed. Of course, email marketing campaigns weren’t my passion! Was she insane?
My interest had been piqued by the chance to work for a different boss, someone perhaps whose team wasn’t plotting to torture and kill him. That never makes for a harmonious working environment, in my experience. So last night, I’d agreed. Getting away from Portia and my yawn-inducing job had been the most important things to me.
And today? Things felt . . . different.
I narrowed my eyes at Portia, with the supercilious look she so often had on her face. Although I’d never shared Helena’s Tarantino-inspired depth of hatred for her, this was the last time I ever wanted to lay eyes on her again.
“You know what, Portia? I don’t want that job, or any job at AGD. Let’s agree I quit and I’ll leave right now. I even brought my own box to clear my stuff.”
She pursed her lips and stared at me through her designer glasses.
I locked my jaw and squeezed my hands into fists at my sides once more. What was her next move going to be?
Still staring at me, she let out a puff of air and nodded.
I smiled at her. “Good. We’re done here.”
I could almost hear that old nineties band, singing I’ve got the power! as I flung Portia’s office door open and strode toward my desk, people popping their heads over the tops of their cubicles to see what was going on as I passed by. My heart was racing, adrenaline was pumping around my body at a rate of knots, and it felt good, oh so good! Daa-da, da-da-daa-da . . . I’ve got the power!
I reached my desk and began to collect my things. Before I could say “wannabe gangster,” Helena was at the entrance to my cubicle. “Oh, my god! What happened?” She glanced at the box in my hands, half full of my personal paraphernalia. “Oh, hell. She fired you, didn’t she? That nasty, conniving bitch!”
At Helena’s loud exclamation, several more of my colleagues arrived at my cubicle. “Did you say Paige was fired?” one asked. “Oh, my god!” exclaimed another.
It's getting, it's getting, it's getting kinda hectic. Daa-da, da-da-daa-da.
“You cannot take this, Paige! This is wrong, so wrong. You must have your revenge!” Helena exclaimed vehemently, her fist in the air, her face turning purple with rage.
I half expected her to launch into the Samuel L. Jackson Ezekiel vengeance speech I’d enjoyed while watching Pulp Fiction. I admit, I’d rewound and watched that speech a few times. But instead, I held my box against my body and smiled at them all. “Actually, I quit.”
There was a collective gasp.
“You did? Why?” someone asked as another said, “Good for you!” Helena gawped at me.
“Yup. And . . . I have to go.” I collected my jacket and dropped it into the box and slung my purse over my shoulder.
“But . . . don’t you have to work your month’s notice out?” Helena asked.
“I figured since The Princess doesn’t exactly want me around, we’d forget about that whole notice thing.”
My—now ex—colleagues stepped aside like the parting of the Red Sea, and I walked through them all. “Bye, everyone! It was great to work with you all. Good luck!”
“Hey,” Helena said, grabbing my arm. “Good for you.”
I grinned at her. “Thanks. It was nice working with you. And thanks for the tip on Tarantino. I’m not sure I would have done this if it hadn’t been for him.”
She gave me a knowing nod. “Quentin changes lives.”
Usually, I would have thought she’d possibly taken her admiration for the guy a little too far, but in this, I decided she was right.
Stay off my back, or I will attack and you don't want that. Daa-da da-da-daa-da.
As I left, I glanced up between the row of cubicles toward Portia’s office. She was standing, watching me, her skinny arms crossed across her chest. I waved and smiled at her, enjoying every moment of my minor triumph.
I was no longer an Email Marketing Assistant. I was out of here. And I was free.
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