All Work and No Play

By: Coleen Kwan

(Serendipity Book 2)



Chapter One


It was the first working day of the new year, and Sydney, having shaken off her hangover from New Year’s Eve, was in the grip of a heatwave. The city sweltered under a relentless sun. Sensible people flocked to the beach. Or hung out by the pool. Or hunted for bargains at the department store sales.

But Anna Reynolds was at work. Not just putting in an appearance, but hard at it, while half of the employees at FrogLeap were away on leave. She didn’t mind that; an empty office meant less noise and distractions, and that was important given the tight deadlines of her project.

“I need a coffee,” a familiar male voice said behind her, accompanied by the sound of a chair being pushed back. “Can I get you anything?”

Anna swivelled round to find herself eye-level with a lean pair of hips clad in elegant grey pants, a narrow leather belt emphasising the trim waist. As she realised she was staring at the man’s crotch, she hastily averted her gaze.

Giles St Clair’s sky-blue eyes filled with amusement as if he knew exactly what she’d been doing. “Anna?”

She did not blush easily, thank God. “A cappuccino would be nice,” she said.

Last week he’d offered to get her coffee several times, and she’d always refused, but now she decided she should try treating him like any normal colleague, and besides she could really go for some caffeine to kickstart her brain. She reached for her handbag. “Here, let me get you some money.”

“No need. Coffee’s on me.”

Like hell it was. She pulled out her purse. “I can’t let you do that.”

Ignoring the banknote she waved at him, he narrowed his eyes at her. “Why not?”

If only she could blurt out the truth. Ever since Giles St Clair had sauntered into FrogLeap, preceded by his impressive reputation overseas, he’d managed to rub Anna up the wrong way. As the only female IT project managers in this male-dominated workplace, and one who had worked harder than most to get to that position, she might have objected to the way the red carpet was rolled out for Giles, but it wasn’t that that irritated her. Instead, it was the little things, each one petty on its own, but enough to put her teeth on edge.

For a start, he was English and upperclass, and spoke in that toffy drawl that made him sound oh-so-superior. And he was rich, too. The kind of rich who could afford bespoke shirts and suits and hand-stitched shoes. He always appeared elegant, unflappable, in control. And he was stunningly handsome, of course, with an athletic frame and wavy chestnut hair and cool blue eyes and that maddening, slightly superior set to his face that seemed to say Yes, I know I’m good-looking, but please let’s not make a fuss.

FrogLeap had hired him as a consultant at an exorbitant rate, and management were eager for him to spread his expertise wherever he could, and Giles didn’t hold back. He was happy to give his opinion whenever asked, including, in Anna’s case, when he wasn’t. He’d quizzed her on methodology in a way that had made her defensive and resentful. She might not be a highly sought-after consultant or be mobbed at tech conferences, but she knew her stuff.

She’d gone out of her way to avoid him, but since last week they’d been working together, and in a half-empty office too.

“I like to pay for my own coffee,” Anna said, holding his gaze.

He frowned as if he couldn’t make her out. Probably he couldn’t understand why she didn’t swoon at his feet like all the other females—and some of the men—in the office did. Then, his brow cleared as he stood back.

“I’m sure you do,” he said with a small smile. “So I’ll let you get the next round. Okay?”

He strolled off, leaving her still clutching the banknote. Unbidden, she couldn’t help noticing how well his tailored pants hugged his taut arse. With a silent curse, she swung back to her computer.

The very worst thing about Giles St Clair was that, despite all her denials, despite the many ways he annoyed her, she found him extremely hot. She’d never been remotely attracted to anyone in the workplace, and that had been a blessing because in her position the last thing she needed was a messy affair.

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