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Chapter Six

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Melia’s POV.

When I come into the office on Thursday morning, Braxton is stood by my desk. He’s taken off his blazer, revealing a black shirt and matching slacks. As I approach him, he leans over my desk and pushes his butt out. I burst out laughing as I realise he’s referencing our texts from last night.

He places his hand on his butt. “Well? Don’t tell me that it can be described as anything but grabbable,” he says jokily.

I roll my eyes at him and set my handbag down. “Alright, I’ll admit, it’s a cute butt,” I concede.

Inside, I’m dying. He’s fucking gorgeous and leant over my desk. Now, I’m picturing him leant over me, as I’m sat on the desk, whilst he’s fucking me...

Jesus, Melia!Calm down.

It’s not even nine o’clock yet.

Braxton grins. “Told you. Now, I can add cute to my list of adjectives,” he says smugly.

“Could you be any more childish?” I ask him, but I’m smiling as I do so.

“Could you be any more beautiful?” He flirts back, making me blush.

He leans close to me. “One day, I’ll get a date with you, Wynter.”

My breath catches in my throat.

Where the hell has that come from?

“Some people would call that sexual harassment in the workplace, King.”

“Not me. Mm, call me that again, baby,” he says and grins at me.

“Okay, seriously, stop harassing me. Back it up, Braxton,” I tell him with an eye roll.

“I’m sorry, I can’t help flirting with you. You bring it out in me. I’m sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable.”

I sigh and shake my head. “It’s fine, just no butt-smacking or anything else chauvinistic.”

Braxton’s face turns serious. “I would never touch you without consent, Melia. I’m just waiting for the day you cave and say yes.”

“You’re gonna be waiting a long time, Mister,” I tell him sternly.

He just grins and shrugs. “I’m a patient man, baby.”

I sit down and log into my computer. I can feel his eyes on me, so I look up. He’s smiling down at me. I smile back and he grins.

“That’s what I wanted. You should always start the day with a smile, Melia. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

He strolls off before I can respond. “Good things come to those who wait,” he calls over his shoulder.

Who is this guy?

I call a prospective client in the morning, arranging a meeting tomorrow afternoon. An hour before lunch, I decide to refill my coffee mug. I walk along the corridor to the staff kitchen, halting when I hear my name through the open archway.

“I mean, honestly, it’s about time someone knocked her off that top place. She’s been on it for fucking ages,” someone says.

I recognise them as Yvonne. She’s never liked me.

“I know, right,” Lou replies. “What did she even do to stay up there so long? Is she even that good at her job?”

“I bet she was sleeping with Brad,” Yvonne says, and my mouth drops open.

Who the fuck does these girls think they are?

I’m about to go in and give them a piece of my mind, but someone does it for me.

“You should have more respect for your colleague,” Braxton’s voice sounds out. “Melia is a brilliant saleswoman. If you bothered to take any of her advice, you might find your own targets a little easier to hit.”

I can’t believe he defended me.

Neither of the girls say anything. Braxton suddenly walks out of the kitchen, striding in the other direction down the hallway and never seeing me on his left. I give it a second before going into the kitchen. Yvonne and Lou have bright red faces and neither of them look me in the eye.

I make my coffee in a tense silence and the both of them slink guiltily out of the room. I would say something, but Braxton has already said a lot for me, and I don’t like being a nasty person. I don’t want to stoop to their level.

At lunchtime, Marta comes over to my desk with Braxton next to her.

“You’re coming to lunch with us,” Braxton orders.

Marta crosses her arms over her chests and raises a perfectly-plucked eyebrow in a silent challenge for me to say no.

“Uh, okay. Where are we going?” I ask them.

Marta shrugs. “I was thinking of Sally’s Sandwiches.”

I nod in agreement and collect my things. We’re an odd trio, sat inside the sandwich joint, eating our baguettes stuffed with generous fillings.

When we finish our smoothies, Marta offers to get another round of drinks to take back to the office with us. I know she’s really using the opportunity to give Braxton and I alone time. The woman has no shame.

“I wanted to thank you for what you did earlier,” I tell Braxton. He frowns in confusion. “You didn’t realise that I was stood outside of the kitchen, but I heard you defend me to Yvonne and Lou. So, thank you, it was very sweet of you.”

Braxton’s eyes widen and he smiles. “Anytime, Melia. I’ve got you,” he says.

My cheeks warm at his words.

For God’s sake Melia, it’s a figure of speech.

Marta comes back with our drinks and the three of us return to the office. The moment I’m back at my desk, Brad calls me into his office. I’m surprised to see Braxton sitting on one of the seats in front of the desk. Brad gestures for me to sit in the other one.

I slowly take a seat, looking back and forth between the men. I wonder what this is about. Brad rests his elbows on the desk and leans towards us. He looks back and forth between us and rubs his lips together as we wait in a tense silence.

“I’ve been thinking,” Brad starts. He runs his hand over the stubble on his chin. “You two are the best salespeople in the company. Why am I pitching you against each other with the leader board?”

It’s obviously a rhetorical question, so we both remain silent.

“We have enough competition from our competitors. I want to try something different.”

He takes a piece of paper from the tray in the printer behind him and slides it across the desk to us.

“This is a fake profile of a prospective client. You have one hour to create a pitch for them, then you will present the pitch to me.”

Braxton and I share a curious glance and look down at the one sheet of paper between us.

Bradley smirks.

“In case it wasn’t clear, I want the two of you to work together. Equal input and both of you need to be involved in the pitch. I think the two of you will make a killer power duo that no client will be able to refuse.”

My eyebrows raise at Brad’s words.

He wants us to work together?

This morning, I was ready to kill Braxton for my spot back. Now, I have to work with him?

“Presentation at 3PM?” Braxton checks and Brad nods.

“Yep. I’ll see you in conference room two. Get to work, guys.”

I hesitantly follow Braxton out of the office. Once we’re out of earshot, I grab his sleeve.

“What the hell is he thinking?” I ask quietly.

Braxton smirks at me. “I think he might be onto something. You and me. It could work, Wynter,” he says smoothly.

I roll my eyes at him. “Please, we’re like night and day,” I reply.

He leans in towards me and I keep my breathing shallow, knowing that all I’ll be able to smell is his cologne. “Mm, there are plenty of things we could do all night and all day,” he responds cheekily.

I screw my nose up at him. “That doesn’t even work. How did you manage to make that dirty? You know what? Don’t answer that. Come on, let’s get this over with.”

For an hour, the two of us sit and brainstorm. We look over the profile and make a photo quote for the client. We put together the sample order with the products most suitable for their demographic. We make cue cards, a tailored poster of the products and print the photo quote. It’s alarming how well we work together. Our ideas bounce off one another. He thinks of things I hadn’t considered and vice versa.

When 3PM comes round, we’re situated in the conference room, ready to make our pitch.

Brad comes in and takes a seat. He gets ready, and then we start. We planned our pitch, dividing the talking between us both. I start the pitch, with Braxton taking over the introduction of products. I show our boss the photo quote and talk him through why we have chosen those products specifically, and Braxton finishes with the initial costings.

Once we end our pitch, silence fills the office. Bradley stares at us for a moment and looks back down at the papers.

I shoot a nervous glance at Braxton. He nods supportively and gives me a wink.

When Brad looks up again, he’s grinning.

“That was brilliant. I knew this was going to work,” he says happily. “You two really look good together up there. You got the balance just right, with the two of you playing off each other very well. I’m totally convinced that I need to buy these products. Well done.”

I grin at him, turning to Braxton to find him already smiling at me.

“Melia? You have a meeting with a client tomorrow, right?” Brad asks and I nod.

“Yes. Potential subscription box, at 2PM.”

“Perfect. Catch Braxton up and take him with you, I want to try you two out for real.”

My eyes widen in surprise, but I agree. If Brad had suggested this a couple of hours ago, I would have hated the idea. Now, after seeing how well our pitch worked, I’ll admit he might be onto something.

Braxton and I go back to his desk. I bring over the information on the potential client tomorrow and everything I’ve put together so far. For the final hour of work, we start to go over the beginnings of the pitch. We agree to continue it tomorrow morning.

Marta has already gone home by the time we pack up our things. Braxton and I walk back to our flats together. It makes sense, seeing as we live in the same building. He takes me all the way to my flat door. I find out that he lives two floors above me.

I unlock my door and turn towards him to say goodbye. I tense up as I realise how close he is standing to me.

“You know, Wynter,” he says with a smirk, “we make quite a good team.”

I smile at him. “As much as I hate to admit it, Braxton,” I reply, “you’re right.”

His smirks transforms into a grin. “I knew you’d warm up to me eventually. You can’t resist my charms forever. Have a great evening, Melia, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

He winks and strolls down the corridor, towards the stairwell. I watch him go for a moment and then shake my head, forcing myself to go into my flat. I have a horrible suspicion that he’s right.

I can’t resist his charms forever.

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