This is a snip from when my two main characters, Nikki and Mark, meet. There's something of a misunderstanding. Enjoy!
“Hi, I’m here for my interview,” the woman said, sounding slightly breathless. She walked into his office with an air of easy, artless confidence and shut the door behind her.
Mark arched his eyebrows up in surprise and slowly rose from his desk. This was an odd turn of events.
On the other hand, it wasn’t like he was busy. And the lady was real easy on the eyes.
“Very well,” he said. He strode across the room and extended a hand. “It’s nice to meet you, miss…”
“Nikki. Nikki Reed.” Her skin was slightly damp when she shook his hand - no doubt from the rain outside - but her grip was firm without clutching at him or trying to prove anything. Mark allowed himself a small smile.
“I”m Mark Harrison. Why don’t you sit down?” he invited.
He went back behind his desk and watched Nikki follow him with only a slight hint of hesitation. Distracting, his mind pointed out. It was true - the woman had the kind of classic features that belonged in some movie poster from the 1920s, and the tailored suit she wore displayed just the right amount of curves.
Mark shook his head a little to push those thoughts away. Been too long, if all it takes is a pretty woman in a nice suit to turn my head, he thought wryly.
“So, what are your credentials, Ms. Reed?” he asked.
“Call me Nikki,” she said with a flash of a smile that froze Mark in his seat. That - that was new. He hadn’t expected the upward curve of those full lips to draw his attention in like that; to make him stare at her face and notice the character there, the mischievous glint in her eyes that he suspected never really went away.
This was ridiculous. He needed to calm right the hell down.
“Right. Nikki, then. And you can call me Mark. What are your credentials?”
She straightened up in her seat and reeled off a list of accomplishments, none of which particularly intrigued him. Mark liked her voice - it was musical, a pleasant pitch - so he tuned out most of what she was actually saying and listened to that. It wasn’t like it was really possible to be qualified for the job he would hire for, anyway.
When she seemed to reach the end of her spiel he tuned back in to hear Nikki ask, “What qualifications are you looking for in an applicant?”
Mark thought hard. “Well, I suppose I’d like an assistant to have a good handle on criminal psychology. Be quick on their feet. Not easily scared. Understanding police procedure is a must - it’s a hassle, but since we have to deal with it all the time, it’s necessary. Oh, and good filing skills always come in handy.”
Nikki’s eyes got wider and wider and a line creased across her forehead as she frowned. Mark couldn’t understand it.
“Um,” the blonde said carefully when he was finished talking, “look, that’s, uh… Well, that’s something. But why does a marketing manager need an assistant like that?”
Mark stared at her, completely baffled.
“I’m not a marketing manager. I’m a detective.”
DETECT ME will be available March 2013!