GLAM's Sneak Peek...
GLAM's release day is scheduled for January 25th!
Thanks to help in my reader group, the main character's name is Sloane, and she's a first-generation college graduate, who on her first day at her dream job runs into the three men who were her major crushes in college. What's a girl to do?
This secret society standalone is set in Miami and in the same world as The Avenge Her series, so it'll feature some cross over of characters... I'm having so much fun writing it!
Ready for a sneaky peeky? Here you go! (Please remember this is an unedited peek and may change with editing)
“Hey, Susan, can you make some more coffee?”
I cringe internally as my new co-worker, who thinks he’s my boss, calls me the wrong name for the fifth time this morning. When I look up he’s dangling his mug from two fingers as if he expects me to jump up and snatch it.
Drawing in a deep breath, I concentrate on being being polite. “It’s Sloane, actually, and that’s not really my job. I’m sure Rebecca will be more than happy to fetch you some, she is the office secretary.”
“Aww, come on honey don’t be like that. You’re right there and she’s all the way on the other side of the room.” The paunchy, middle-aged man leers at me, daring me to challenge him.
In theory, he’s right. For whatever stupid reason the secretary-slash-receptionist is the furthest away from the kitchenette in the sleek, modern office, on the other side of a glass wall to separate us from the street entrance. I assume it’s because the planner figured everyone would fetch their own coffee and therefor would want to be seated closest to it.
But apparently being young and female puts me firmly in the ‘coffee-fetching’ role, whether it has to do with the position of my desk or not, I can’t say.
I do not, however, enjoy being called honey by this man.
I’m tempted to just get it for him to shut him up. I don’t want my co-workers to think I’m a stuck-up priss, and I could certainly use some goodwill on my first day.
However, something is telling me I don’t want to set this precedent with this guy today. It feels like a power play, and I’m not familiar with the dynamics in this office yet, but I refuse to be treated as less than a junior architect, which is a title I earned.
Heart pounding, I pick up the phone on my desk and hit ‘0’. It rings once before Rebecca grabs the receiver at her desk. “Good morning, AT Kellerman and Associates, how may I help you?”
“Hey, Rebecca, it’s me, Sloane King.”
“Oh!” She titters. “I should have seen it was an internal call, I’m sorry Ms. King. What can I do for you?”
I stare at my neighbor when I answer. “Frank would like more coffee, and he seems to have mistaken me for Starbucks.”
“Not a problem Ms. King, I’ll take care of it.”
“Thank you, Rebecca.”
I hang up the phone and smile smarmily at Frank. “Rebecca will be right back to get that coffee for you.”
Frank shrugs as if he doesn’t care and turns back to his monitors. Rebecca bustles through the glass doors of reception and heads back to the kitchenette, heels clacking on the slate floor, and beaming at me on her way. “I’ll have the coffee ready in a few minutes, Mr. Jeffries.”
“No rush, Rebecca, sorry she pulled you away from your work,” Frank mutters over his shoulder. His haughty tone makes me want to jam my pencil in his ear rather than in the electronic sharpener that’s thoughtfully installed on my desk. I carefully replace the pencil in a desk drawer before I get too attached to the idea.
“Not at all, it’s part of my job,” Rebecca turns to me with a conspiratorial wink. “I’m sure Kellerman’s newest architect has plenty of her own work to do.”
I’ve only been here a couple hours and I can already tell this woman is a total gem. “There is a lot, but it’s nothing I can’t handle,” I return her smile. “I do really appreciate your support.”
“Pssh, it’s my job and I’m happy to do it.” The coffee pot gurgles as brown liquid pours into a glass carafe, the rich scent of expensive dark roast wafting through the industrial-modern office. “Besides, it’s a big deal, to be the first female architect at Kellerman! We’ve got to make sure she feels welcome. Speaking of, would you like a warm up, Miss King?”
“Yes, thank you Rebecca,” I hold out my University of Miami mug, fresh from the bookstore on campus, and she takes it with a grin. “Two cream, two sugars, right?”
“That’s right, thank you. My ex boyfriend couldn’t remember how I had my coffee and we were together two years. You’re a gem.”
Frank is holding out his coffee-stained Miami Marlins mug, but Rebecca has apparently decided to make him wait his turn.
“It’s no big deal,” she dismisses, fixing my coffee and returning my steaming mug before going to collect Frank’s. “Just part of the job.”
“Well, I appreciate it, so thank you again.” I wrap my chilled fingers around the mug and let the warmth soak into my bones. Even though Miami has a tropical climate that barely dips below seventy degrees and right now, in July, is at least ninety out, air conditioning makes every building downtown practically arctic. I dressed in a stylish linen suit for my first day, but I will not be repeating that mistake. Tomorrow I’m bringing a chunky sweater and a lap blanket.
Once Rebecca checks in with the rest of the office and starts another pot to brew so we can help ourselves, she returns to her desk in the reception area.
With a sigh, I settle back into the comfy mesh chair and just soak it in.
It was a hard road, but I finally made it.
Knowing both of my parents were blue collar workers, I worked my butt off in high school to get good enough grades to earn myself a scholarship. I knew I wanted to be an architect since seventh grade. In science class we built bridges out of toothpicks and I loved trying to figure out the best design for the teacher to test with an increasing number of weights.
My team won, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
I could have gone to a fancier school and taken out a ton of student loans, but the U of M had a great architecture program, I got nearly a full ride scholarship, and I could stay at my parents to avoid paying for housing and a meal plan.
I worked campus jobs for gas money, kept my nose clean, and avoided most of the parties. Sometimes I questioned those decisions, when my friends were partying in the dorms and I was home, babysitting my younger siblings with a textbook on my lap. It felt like I was missing out on some essential rite of passage.
However, just a month after graduating I beat out dozens of other applicants and got my dream job: a spot as an architect with one of the premier firms in Miami. Yes, it’s entry level, and yes more than likely guys like Frank would be taking credit for my work for a few years while I earn my place in this boys club.
But I know I got the job over several people who were looking to move up from other firms, willing to take a pay cut just to work here.
I earned that.
Sighing, I jiggle the mouse on my computer and get back to reading the extensive company documents I’m supposed to finish by the end of the day.
I’ve only gone a few pages when Rebecca passes through the glass doors again, leading a trio of young men in sharp suits into the conference room on the opposite side of the office.
My heart starts racing, and my temperature surges as I duck behind the monitors hoping they don’t see me.
Because there, in the flesh, are two men I drooled over and one I legit fantasized about through my entire four years at U of M.
The Vargas brothers.
Of course GLAM will be in Kindle Unlimited, but you are also welcome to pre-order it by using the link below. :)