ONE WEEK (Standalone Romance Story)

By: Kristina Weaver

Chapter One


“Stupid freaking idiots. I hope they all get the clap and crab crotch,” I mutter under my breath as the hags that work in my office continue to titter and cast sly glances my way, as if by some chance I don’t know that they’re talking about me or taking the mickey.

Goddamned simpletons haven’t stopped giving me hell since my boss, Abigail Cox, chewed my ass out in front of the entire office and their mothers, for something I didn’t even do!

“Hey Becky? Is it true Abi’s got you on probation?”

I snarl silently and force my lips to smile, even though I’d like nothing better than to walk up to Trish and her coven and start swinging haymakers their way.

But my parents and four brothers had been adamant that I use my self-defense skills only in matters of self-defense. A lady does not beat the crud out of other people just because they’re spiteful.

Or so they all have been telling me since the fourth grade, when I’d given Duffy Simon a shiner and broken one of his teeth. They’d made me pay for the cap on his tooth for six months with my pocket money and made me promise not to use the skills my brothers had taught me unless I have to.

So instead of answering I keep the smile pasted on my face and shrug, something I’ve been doing so much it’s a wonder my shoulders aren’t lopsided by now.

It’s an attitude I’ve had to adopt for the last three months, after Peter Gunther, one of the top lawyers in the firm, had started sexually harassing me and spread the rumor that I’d slept with his disgusting carcass.

It’s the reason my boss is being such a crone—Peter is her secret crush, though from the looks of her, the secret is so out—and the reason I’m trying to ignore the ‘friendship’ offers from half the secretarial pool.

They want the dirt, and I refuse to give it to them, seeing as the only dirty thing concerned is Peter and his forceful advances.

“Oh, come now, Becky. Lighten up. We’re all friends,” she says, and they titter some more, driving me precariously close to the very edges of my temper.

I’m saved from assault charges and losing my job when my phone rings, forcing me to ignore their continued giggles and sidelong glances.

“Miz Cox’s office.”

“Hey, Beck.”

I smile for the first time and clutch the phone tighter when I hear Lila’s voice. My brother Grey’s fiancée is not only my best bud but one of the only people I enjoy talking to outside of my family. We’d grown up together in our small town of Granger Falls, Georgia, and have been best friends our whole lives.

I’d always counted on us coming to the big city together and spending our college years partying it up and enjoying our freedom. Thanks to Grey and his possessive ideas, I’d spent four years alone in a moldy dorm room, studying to keep myself sane while they played house and took things slow.

They’ve been engaged so long I’d started wondering if they’d ever get married. Now I regret it, thanks to the fiasco that is the grand wedding, a weeklong event that means I’ll be fitted, prodded, and poked at by every old lady in attendance.

Oh, and then I’ll have to answer a million questions about my still-single status and fend off advances from the boys Mama is sure to have lined up like a herd of cattle.

“Hiya, what’s up?”

“Grey called. His business trip is gonna be extended by a day, and he…uh, he asked if you could get Devon from the airport and bring him on down to the house for Wedding Week,” she says hesitantly, her voice more of a whispered grimace.

What? No. Hell no. Definitely negative.

“Uh, um, the thing is…”

Oh, why didn’t any of my brothers teach me to lie better than this? I suck when cornered and everyone knows it, which is no doubt why they’d gotten Lila to call instead of doing the dirty work themselves.

Grey or any of my other family would get a quick no and dial tone. Lila, well, I can never say no to her, especially not now, when she’s stressing herself to death about the little details.

“Oh, please? I have another fitting tomorrow morning and Mama’s going ape-shit about the roses I ordered and Grey’s—”