Stephanie's lifelong dream is to design toys—sweet, cuddly toys. Instead, she's hired as a glorified typist. And not even with the rest of the marketing department, but way downstairs in the only available office, which she has to share with Brad, who's a total geek. A geek who's happy programming computer games full of explosions.
They agree to ignore each other while Stephanie waits for a desk to open upstairs. But when Brad has girlfriend troubles—like he can't get Lianne, the cocktail waitress to notice him—he swallows his pride and asks Stephanie if she'll teach him how to talk to women. She agrees, but he's having trouble passing her exams.
Inside the lobby, Brad's sneakers squeaked on the polished marble floor. An aggregation of suits clustered in front of the elevator. He looked down at his worn jeans and pivoted toward the stairs. Although his office was on the lowest floor occupied by Wilson and Wilkes, it was hardly subterranean. Climbing the four flights would work off the cherry pie, not to mention the frustrations a meal with Kevin seemed to instigate. At the second floor landing, he paused to take off his jacket.
Breathing a little too hard, he pushed open the door at four and a sense of calm washed over him. This was where he belonged. Unexpected strains of classical music drifted down the hall. When he realized the melody came from his office, he quickened his pace. Almost in one motion, he swiped his key card through the lock and pushed the door open.
From behind the spare desk, a woman turned, blinking her large blue eyes at him.
He froze in the doorway. "Who the hell are you? And what are you doing with my things?"
"Mr. Hewitt?" Stephanie turned off her CD player. She grabbed her glasses from the desk and adjusted them on her nose. The blur at the door turned into a geek in ratty jeans and a faded green South Park t-shirt with a black jacket slung over his arm. An unsmiling geek. She tried to decide if he looked more confused or angry. Either way, it was definitely not a glad to see you expression. She came around the desk and extended her hand. "I'm Stephanie Brinks."
His expression hadn't changed, but he took two steps into the room. He nodded, but didn't offer his hand in return.
She gave him the friendliest smile she could muster. "You know? Your new office mate? Didn't you get the e-mail? Last Friday? From Mr. Wilkes?"