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A Perfect Hire - cover

A Perfect Hire

KC Kendricks

Publisher: White Deer Enterprises/White Deer Books

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Summary

Shopkeeper Chris Douglas traveled the world as a tour guide. He settled in New York City and turned his love of coffees and wines from around the world into a thriving specialty business. He enjoys meeting new people and his small emporium just off Bleecker Street brings all sorts through his door. After he falls off a ladder, Chris tapes a “help wanted” sign on the door and hopes it will attract the right person. 
Eric Todd is at loose ends after the company he worked for changed hands and he was let go. He can get by financially, but with too many hours to fill in a day, he’d like a part-time job to keep busy. When he spies the hand-drawn sign on the door of The Corked Bean, he goes inside to check out the store, and the sexy proprietor. 
The two men hit it off and Chris hires Eric on the spot. Now the pay and benefits aren’t as enticing, or satisfying, as the after-hours perks available for the perfect hire. 
_*_*_ 
“You’re full of tricks aren’t you?” 
“The name of the game is get them in here. They can’t purchase if they don’t come in.” 
We enjoyed our java in comfortable silence for a few minutes but I sensed something was on his mind.  
“You’ve bought me coffee—several cups. Can I treat you to breakfast at my place?” 
I didn’t want him to think I was too eager nor did I want to blow the chance to get laid. The crowd I hung out with was fun, but they were friends only. I wanted the man across the table from me. 
Heck, I wanted him bent over it or sprawled on it, or even under it if we happened to slide off. I met his smoky gaze and shivered. 
“I’ve a better idea since my knee isn’t up to much walking. Why don’t we go to my place for breakfast? You can still cook, though.” 
He nodded. “Where do you live?” 
I pointed at the ceiling. “It’s a short commute.” 
I’d purchased the building a few years ago not caring that the elevator went only as far as the second floor. With the street storefront, the second-floor stockroom and a third level apartment, it had been perfect for my needs. After living in the small space for a year, I discovered adding a fourth story for a bedroom suite was not only financially feasible but would keep me sane. I liked the old industrial elevator so I didn’t replace it with one that went all the way to the top.   
Having to gimp my way up the stairs on a bum knee in front of a guy I planned to take to bed was embarrassing.  It also brought home the fact we would need to be a bit creative since I couldn’t put a lot of pressure on the joint. Of course, figuring it out could be interesting.  
Eric did the heavy lifting in the elevator, pulling the grate down with a grin. 
“Going down?” 
I snorted and answered truthfully. “Nope. It’s going up.” 
His gaze dropped to my zipper and the cheeky grin on his face widened. “I’m not sure it’s acceptable to take advantage of you when you can’t run from me.” 
“What makes you think I’d run even if I could?” 
He closed the distance between us. The smile faded from his face, replaced by a searching seriousness as I grasped his hips and pulled him closer. His hands went to my shoulders, his intense hazel gaze locked with mine. I stared into those gleaming orbs and memorized every golden and green fleck. The elevator jolted to a stop but I barely felt the bump in my knee. 
“Time to get off.” 
Eric shook his head, his husky voice barely above a whisper. “It won’t be that fast.”

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