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So yes, I’d take a chemically treated pool over all of that. But it was my turn to represent our company at the conference this year. The company wasn’t paying me to lounge around in the pool. Yet.The hotel room doors all faced towards the center of the expansive hotel lobby, with two glass elevators on each side. Potted palm trees stretched up to at least the third floor and I wondered whether or not they were fake as I rode the glass elevator down. Once the elevator reached the lobby, I walked out to the sound of a rushing fountain in the middle. This place was really going all-out on the tropical feel. I followed the crowd of power suited men and women to the convention center, checking my wristwatch every so often to avoid eye contact. I’d need a bit more included-in-conference-fee coffee to get there. Finally, I made my way to conference room C for my first session of the day. I found a table off to the left in the back that looked uninhabited. I set down my briefcase on a chair and pushed it in, before wandering back to the hallway where the continental breakfast and coffee spread was. I was lucky that I was an “early worm” type of person. None of the pastries had been picked over yet and the coffee bar was pristine. Quickly selecting a danish and a coffee with just a splash of cream and Splenda, I speed-walked back to my table, silently hoping it would remain uninhabited. No such luck.I think I did a pretty good job of hiding the disgust on my face and set down my breakfast in front of my briefcase. A tall, slender man with a clean, chestnut crew cut started to unbutton his gray suit jacket and set his briefcase down two chairs to the right of me.“Good morning,” I attempted to greet him, taking my briefcase off of my chair and setting it on the floor between the legs of my chair. He laughed, and at that moment, I realized I must have come off as sassy to him. “Good morning to you, too.”“Sorry,” I grumbled, setting down the danish my stomach was groaning for. “I’m kind of a bear in the morning.” Well, that was putting it lightly. And hopefully, I wouldn’t run into him later, so he wouldn’t realize I’m a bear all the time. “Aren’t we all?” He joked, then slid out of his jacket and set it on the back of his chair. “I think I’ll hit the breakfast bar too. Can I interest you in a peace offering?”“I don’t need a peace offering. Thanks, though,” I waved him off. Those kinds of gestures always seem nonchalant, right? He smirked, then turned to fix his own breakfast. I pulled out my phone to see a few unread emails. One of which was from Nicholas Doyle, a colleague I had been working with and corresponding to via email for the past few months. We were tackling a huge multi-state project - he was the visionary, and me, the detail-man. I guess it was a bounce-back email saying he’d be out of the office for a few days. Hmm, nothing too crazy.“So, I haven’t seen you at one of these before,” my tablemate announced. I looked up to find he’d picked up a bagel and a coffee during those few blissful moments of silence. “First time?” He started munching on the bagel and watching me expectantly.I set down my phone and took a sip of my coffee. “I went a few years ago. I’ve been busy lately, but I was able to make time for this one. Not too far of a commute for the company to send me.”He nodded along as I spoke, continuing to eat his bagel. “Well, I hope it’s worth your trip.” A glob of cream cheese fell onto his plate and he dipped his thumb down to the plate to retrieve it before licking it off his finger. “What company did you say you’re with?”I cleared my throat, setting down my paper coffee cup. “I didn’t.” I fought the urge to raise an eyebrow. Why the interest? “I’m from Beckworth and Associates. You?”“Graystone.” He broke his iron stare on me to take the black lid off of his cup and take a sip. “I’m Nicholas Doyle, pleased to meet you.”The saliva in my mouth dried up instantly. Oh crap. “Beckworth…” He stroked his chin during the pause. “Do you know a David Levy? I’m working with him on a project.”I better hope I do. Otherwise, I don’t know myself.“Levy’s a solid guy,” I stated, too embarrassed and terrified to fess up that Levy was me. “Hard-working, diligent-”“Detail-oriented. Saved my ass quite a few times. I owe him, big time,” he professed in a quiet tone, holding his coffee cup like it was a precious gem. Looking up to me, he reached over the empty seat between us and patted my back. “Give him my regards, will ya?”I nodded and the crowd’s murmurs dissipated as the speaker took the podium. Nicholas withdrew his hand and we both listened to the speaker while finishing our breakfasts. I was starting to feel paranoid like he was eyeing me up and down. Was I just so out of my game that I didn’t know what it was like to flirt? Wait, did Nicholas freaking Doyle even swing my way?The speaker finished quicker than I anticipated and was rewarded with full applause. I brought my hands together clumsily and groaned inside when I saw Nicholas’s hand shoot up for questions. An attendant with a microphone sprinted over to his side. He took a deep breath before speaking into the microphone.“Great talk, thank you for sharing with us. Say... how do you recommend maximizing teamwork on long-distance or virtual projects?” I stopped swirling the last bit of coffee that had grown cold in the bottom of my cup. Oh great, he was talking about our project. I thought we were a pretty functional team?The speaker gave some brief answer about really “trying to get to know each other” before getting started and Nicholas thanked him politely. He leaned back into his seat and smiled knowingly at me. I couldn’t tell if he was complimenting me - I mean, my associate - or throwing him under the bus.After that session ended, I got up quickly and lost him in the shuffle on the way to my next room. I attended a few more talks, before deciding to retreat to my hotel room to recharge my introvert energy. I bumped into Nicholas again outside of the conference room. “Hi, stranger,” he laughed and patted me on the back. He was definitely touchy-feely. “What session are you off to next?”“Oh, uh…” I struggled to come up with an answer as he walked in step with me. “Just going to sit out the next one, gotta charge my laptop’s battery. It’s about to die.” I patted my briefcase for effect. He didn’t have to know I hadn’t cracked it open once today.“That’s too bad,” he replied. “I’ll catch you later then.” He paused to turn back towards the conference rooms.“Wait!” I called after him, stepping out of the stream of people to follow him. Well, here goes nothing.“Yes?” He stopped mid-turn and I caught a good whiff of his cologne. Oh, damn.“Would you… like to grab dinner tonight?” The words tumbled out of my mouth and it was probably all in my head, but my tie felt tighter and tighter around my neck.“Oh.” Oh.Oh? Wait - Ohhhhhh.I backed away, knowing what was going to happen next. It wasn’t my first rodeo. “You know what, don’t worry about it,” I muttered under my breath, speeding away.I wasn’t exactly running, because that isn’t a classy way to exit - but I surely was power walking my way back to that stupid tropical lobby. Back at the glass elevator I took earlier, I pounded the “up” button with my fist, not making eye contact with that elderly couple, back again from the pool. When the elevator chime dinged, I stepped in, watching the second hand tick by on my wristwatch. I made it through most of the day. I could probably say I got sick and had to cut out of the rest of it. Not too big of a deal. Getting off on my floor, I took a sharp right out of the elevator and strode up to my room, digging for my room key in my suit jacket pocket. Just as I grasped the glossy plastic card, I was startled to find a long, masculine hand splayed on the door, right in front of my face. I looked up to find Nicholas study me with dark, stormy eyes. He was pissed. Before I could open my mouth, he leaned into me, looking even angrier. “You have some explaining to do.” He removed his hand from my door and looked at the key card in my hands.Shaking, I slid the key into the reader and twisted the handle when the green light flashed. I stepped inside, not sure what to do when Nicholas followed me. The door clicked shut behind the two of us. “Look, I don’t know what you want-”I couldn’t even finish that sentence. He pushed me into the wall next to the bathroom, silencing my mouth with a furious, passionate kiss. I could swear he was trying to bite me, to draw blood. Kinkier than I was into, but I wouldn’t argue with him right now. I clawed at loosening his tie and he pulled off my jacket, throwing it to the floor. I’d have to iron that again later. He pulled back from me, our chests heaving in sync. “So, Levy… What do you say to maximizing some teamwork?”Oh hell yes.,date me East Massapequa,chat and date Dunlay,dating for singles John Hancock Mutual Ins,bbw dating Bowdon,adult personals New Hudson,dating 40 year old man Bo Carite,dating latina women Tiller,singles near me Ray Township,single women in Obernburg,flirt for free Villa Concepcion 1,dating 50 year old man Garrett Park,dating 60 year old man E Farmingdale,dating chat rooms URB Garden Hls,dating apps for women Loxahatchee Groves,