The Colleague - Book cover

The Colleague


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After working remotely for R2R for a year, Tori will finally be meeting her colleagues in person at their first company Christmas party. Sure, they’ve become friendly over Zoom and on conference calls, but meeting in person is a whole different ballgame. When a voice Tori recognizes belongs to a ruggedly handsome face and rock-hard body, she is immediately intrigued, and soon, she and her sexy colleague are collaborating in a way that’s impossible over a conference call.

Age Rating: 18+

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Chapter 1

The Colleague

I’d been working for R2R for a little over a year when our first Christmas party was announced.

As part of the working-from-home team, I’d never actually met any of my colleagues in person—which was bizarre, to say the least.

We would catch up on Zoom or Skype, sipping our morning coffees in our dressy tops and pajama bottoms. Working from home had its benefits.

There were fifteen of us on the team, and despite never meeting each other in person, we felt like we were one big happy family, just chatting away.

Family members were introduced, and animals were cooed over. We discussed everything from the weather to current affairs, and obviously, we talked about work.

My role was mainly overseeing the customer complaints related to customer service issues, and to do that, I had to liaise mostly with Franco, who was fantastic at locating the calls, data, and caveats of terms and conditions.

Once in a while, I would need to call-listen in on Vince from the Quality Assurance team, and although he didn’t say much, he was pleasant enough.

It wasn’t until I learned we were meeting in person that I began to worry about their opinion of me after months of seeing me on screen—not to mention the rest of the company’s.

So, needless to say, I am shaking with nerves as I approach the hotel the company has hired for the evening.

Upon entering the large conference room, I gratefully accept the glass of champagne that is handed to me.

Immediately, I spot my team members, and my nerves subside. The vibe is instantly jovial, and I breathe a sigh of relief as I sink into the chair beside Tyna, the youngest member of our team, yet the most confident by far.

“Hey! Nice to finally meet you. I think the team leaders are all meeting one another over there. Not sure if you need to go over?” Tyna nods at the other side of the room, and I realize that, yes, maybe I have to go over.

I shoot Tyna a quick smile, but she is already engrossed in conversation with Franco, who sends me a brief nod of acknowledgment before returning his attention to Tyna.

I make my way across the room, holding my head high as I do, plastering a smile on my face. There are about twenty people gathered in a circle, and when I approach, a few turn toward me with interest.

“Ooh, a new face. What’s your name, love?” A woman peers at me with a grin, and I decide I like her already. I clear my throat, which earns me more attention from those around us, their eyes fixing on me with curiosity.

“I’m Tori.” I smile broadly, allowing my gaze to sweep over the group slowly, failing to recognize anyone.

“I’m Babs,” says the woman who greeted me first, waving her hand around the group as she continues introducing people.

I nod and smile appropriately until she reaches a man in the group who is turned away with seeming disinterest.

I can’t help but recognize him, but before Babs can introduce him, a woman approaches and engages in conversation.

I watch his body language—the way his jaw clenches as he exhales slowly, his smile forced and bored as the woman speaks.

It is only when he turns toward me sharply, almost like he knows I am watching him, that I flush beneath his frown.


Before I can do anything more than flash him a pathetic smile, a nearby waiter offers another drink, and I decide to take two.

The first one, I knock back fairly quickly while I take my time circling the room.

Then, I find myself wandering into the hotel hallway, and I lean against the wall, pleased to be away from the inquisitive eyes that are judging me.

It is strange because I thought I’d be much more at ease than I am. Maybe it is just the strangeness of the situation, but already I want to be home in my bed.


I jump at the voice beside me, startled to see it is the man who was bored earlier when Babs was doing her introductions.

“Hi,” I say tentatively, smiling as he tilts his head to study me. His hair is super short and dark, and he is only slightly taller than me. He is broad, and it is clear he works out.

“Do you know who I am yet?” he asks, and I notice the lack of amusement in his tone. He seems almost annoyed, and I feel the need to put him firmly in his place.

“Should I?” I ask innocently, and his dark-brown eyes flash.

“Yes, Tori. You should.”

Something about the way he says my name sends shivers down my spine, but it also excites my demons.

I arch my brow before stepping closer to him, his aftershave greeting my nostrils, causing me to inhale greedily. I push my hair behind my ear before I smirk to myself.

“Say my name again. Let’s see if I can guess,” I whisper, biting my lip with anticipation. This man oozes sex appeal, and even though he gave me the cold shoulder earlier, he followed me out here.

But I am not prepared for his lips brushing against my ear lobe or the way my soul screams with desire when he speaks softly, his breath hot as he does.

“Your name is Victoria, but you like to be called Tori. You’ve got a terrible connection in your loft, but you prefer sitting there because of the view.”

“That’s right,” I whisper, turning my head back to see him smirking slightly, his eyes dropping to my lips.

“But if I were you, I’d stand in front of a fucking mirror. All. Day.”

“I know who you are,” I gasp, my heart pounding with excitement.

He laughs softly, and I close my eyes, desperately trying to match it up to the voice I’ve heard every day for the past year, and when I do, I feel his finger on my lips.

“Shh. I don’t think I can deal with hearing you say my name in person.”

My heart is hammering in my chest, especially when he slips his hand around my waist, tugging me toward him to allow someone to move freely behind me.

My hands rest on his shoulders, and I can’t help but wonder what it would feel like to rest my legs on them.

Oh. God.

I step back, and he watches me with amusement. Our eyes hold their own conversation for a moment until mine flicker over his shoulder to the room we have left behind.

“We should get back,” I stammer, earning myself a swift nod. My mind is reeling as I walk past him, hearing the music that indicates the party has indeed started.

I join my table, despite hardly anyone being there, and pour myself a large glass of wine, my eyes scanning the darkened room for him.

I recall our conversations, the way his soft voice calmed me when I was overly anxious, how he chuckled and convinced me that together, we could deal with anything.

Then I see him. He is sitting with the same woman from earlier, his arms folded and his gaze once again bored. The woman is relentless, flicking her hair around so much I’m surprised she doesn’t get whiplash.

“Come on, dance,” croons a voice to my right, and I look up to see a young guy grinning at me, tugging me up from my seat eagerly.

I try to resist at first, but then he has everyone else involved, convincing me to join in with the conga.

The fucking conga.

Someone has their hands on my hips, and we are off. One dance leads to another and another, and although the alcohol helps numb my embarrassment, before long, I excuse myself to go to the toilet.

I purposefully walk the long way around, making sure I walk directly in his eyeline. His eyes lock onto me, and I fan myself before smiling at him sweetly.

“I need some air,” I mouth, pointing outside. He remains expressionless, turning away from me abruptly.

What the fuck? I inhale the cooler air gratefully, standing outside as I gaze up at the night sky. I don’t want to stay too late, but now that people are beginning to have dance-offs, I might be okay to sneak away.

I nod, happy with my decision, turning back to grab my bag. I drag my phone out, deciding to order a cab now before I drink far too much and make a fool out of myself.

I don’t notice the two men approaching me until I hear one speak.

“Are you off? I’m happy to share a cab if you’re headed in the direction of Norry Green? Saves on expenses, I guess?”

I look up to see a pair of kind eyes and recognize him as one of the managers who conducted my training. I open my mouth to respond when I feel a hand brush my elbow.

I move my gaze to see the man I’ve spoken to daily smiling silkily, shrugging. “I’m happy to share too. I live near you, Tori.”

“You do?” I do a double take, noticing his eyes twinkling.

“Yeah. You get a better view than me, though. I’m jealous you get to see that every day.”

Our eyes lock again, and I can’t inhale, no matter how hard I try.

“Oh,” the man says, clearly confused. “So, do you go through Norry Green?”

“No, we don’t,” I say softly, my eyes dragging away from the god before me to address the other manager. “Sorry.”

He mumbles something incoherent before hurrying after some other people who are leaving.

“I need you to say what you want here because you’re sending me mixed messages,” I blurt out as he nods.

He steps closer to me, checking around us before brushing my nipple with his thumb so faintly I am not convinced he has actually touched me.

“You,” he mutters, not closing any more distance between us. “Your house, mine, the fucking bathroom—”

“Wait, you are suggesting we…that we…erm…,” I babble, earning myself a surprised look.

“Unless you don’t want to,” he says slowly, and I find myself shaking my head firmly.

“No, I do,” I murmur as he nods.

“Follow me then.”

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