All her rules are about to changeâ¦
THE RULE MAKER
The Rule Breakers #2
Releasing January 16th, 2017
Ten Steps to Surviving a New Job:
1. Donât sleep with the client. Itâll get you fired. (Sounds easy enough.)
2. Donât blink when new client turns out to be former one-night stand.
3. Donât call same client a jerk for never texting you back.
4. Donât believe client when he says he really, really wanted to call.
5. Remember, the client is always rightâso you canât junk punch him when he demands new design after new design.
6. Ignore accelerated heartbeat every time sexy client walks into room.
7. Definitely ignore clientâs large hands. They just mean he wears big gloves.
8. Donât let clientâs charm wear you down. Be strong.
9. Whatever you do, donât fall for the client. Youâll lose more than your jobâmaybe even your heart.
10. If all else fails, see rule number one again.
~ Coming January 16th ~
He scrubbed his palms over his face and rested his elbows on his knees. âThis was not how I saw this night going.â
âBig Valentineâs Day plans?â
He lowered his hands and looked at me like Iâd just claimed I single-handedly caused the storm raging outside. âI didnât even know that was today. Does this mean weâre each otherâs valentines by default?â
I scoffed. âNot a chance.â
He chuckled. âAlways so blunt. I like that about you.â He quickly cleared his throat as if he hadnât meant to say that. âWell, non-valentine, looks like weâre going to be stuck here a while. Have anything in mind?â he said.
I decided against packing on another insult. He was being nice, and this sure as heck beat staring at the wall the rest of the night. âMy form of entertainment is at 6 percent battery, so Iâm open to suggestions.â
âMine is fully charged. Want to watch something?â
âSure.â What else did I have to do? Before I knew it, I was sitting on the bed next to him, leaning against the ornately carved headboard. Snow gusting against the window was the only sound in the room as he searched for a show for us to watch.
Way too quiet.
I fidgeted with my necklace, moving the small diamond back and forth on the chain. The last time I was in bed with Ryderâ¦ I didnât even want to finish that thought, because itâd do nothing but make this situation worse. I chanced a peek in his direction.
He chewed the inside of his cheek, swiping through our options. âThis is awkward, huh?â he said.
âWeâve achieved Urkel status.â
He chuckled and scrolled through the show queue. âWould you rather watch Law and Order: SVU or Criminal Minds?â
âThat is quite possibly the worst Would You Rather question ever asked.â
His eyes cut to mine. âI didnât know I was playing a game.â
âYouâve never played it?â
He shook his head.
Lainey and I played this game all the time in college, and when weâd take road trips together. She always came up with the grossest ones. âItâs simple. All you have to do is ask the person which horrible thing theyâd rather do. The harder the question, the better. Like would you rather lay in a pit of snakes, or eat questionably dead roadkill?â I pointed to his phone. âOh, John Tucker Must Die. I like that one.â
âNegative, ghost rider.â He scrolled past my suggestion. âAnd what the hell does questionably dead mean? Is it still twitching, or are we talking suspicious cause of death?â
I shrugged. âThe interpretationâs up to you.â
âYouâre absolutely no help.â He swiped his thumb across his beard and contemplated. âI guess Iâd go with the snakes.â
âOkay, now itâs your turn,â I said.
âDo I really have to play? I thought we were picking a show.â
I shot him a look.
âFine. Would you rather have me or Chewbacca as your valentine?â
âToo easy. The spider.â
He put his hand to his heart. âYou wound me.â
âStop being such a baby.â I swatted at his chest and immediately pulled my hand back. Nope. Would not go there. âOkay, would you rather not be able to see or talk for a month?â
He answered instantly. âSee.â
âRight. Youâd probably go nuts if you couldnât open that big mouth of yours.â
His lips twitched. âYouâre one to talk.â
âExcuse me?â Okay, I did have a tough time keeping my thoughts on lockdown outside the office, but that was my own cross to bear.
âDonât even try to play it off like youâre innocent.â
Iâd dated a lot of losers in the past, most who hadnât even bothered to get to know me, but even after only hanging out a few times, Ryder had me pegged. He was perceptive. I saw the look in his eyes whenever I dealt with Jason. His attention focused solely on me was unnerving. âJerk,â I sputtered.
âNow I know youâre holding back. You can do way better than that.â He scrolled through his phone again. âHow about Die Hard?â
âAre all your show selections about death? Iâm starting to worry I made a mistake coming over here.â My lips pulled into a smile and I quickly extinguished it. God, I wanted to hate him.
âFine.â He continued looking at the Netflix queue. âWould you rather eat sushi from a taco stand, or lick an airplane armrest?â
âGood one. Sushi.â I pointed to his screen. âHow about 10 Things I Hate About You?â
He shook his head and chuckled. âAre all of your suggestions going to not-so-subtly tell me you hate me?â
I smiled sweetly. âMaybe.â
âJust think, most people would find this to be a romantic escape. Two people, stuck in the mountains on Valentineâs Day,â he said.
âWeâre Hallmark movie material, all right,â I deadpanned.
âOkay, fine. How about The Walking Dead?â
âYour show picking powers have been officially revoked.â I grabbed the phone from his hand.
âHey!â He grabbed for the phone, and I held it out of reach. âYouâre going to regret that.â Within seconds he was on top of me, playfully pinning me to the bed, his strong hands circling my wrists. Air evaporated from my lungs as our gazes connected.
I was immediately transported back to that night.
Tell me what you want, Zoey. Tell me what you need from me.
I swallowed hard. That was months ago, and those words still haunted me from time to time. Because he did exactly that, gave me what I wanted and needed. Repeatedly.
Jennifer Blackwood is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and poorly behaved black lab puppy. When not chasing after her toddler, you can find her binging on episodes of Gilmore Girls and Supernatural, and locking herself in her office to write.
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