Becky has just changed into her costume for the Christmas work do. Here’s what happens next.
I headed back to my workstation, where I was met by a long, slow wolf-whistle.
“Whoa. Mrs Claus. Check you out.” Mickey’s voice was a low rumble. He swung out of his chair and walked around our workstations so he could look me up and down.
“I like,” he added. In case there was any doubt.
I did a quick twirl for him, winked. “Told you I had plenty of Christmas spirit.”
He ran a hand over his short, dark hair. If I hadn’t known him better I’d have said he looked flustered.
He cleared his throat. “Well. I stand absolutely corrected.”
I grabbed my handbag, turned to leave.
“And has Mickey been a good boy this year?” I asked, getting into character.
“You know me, Mrs Claus.”
He gave me that cheeky grin of his, and as usual I quashed the nerves, ignored my fickle heart’s flip-flop, and pretended he was having absolutely no effect on me. We were work pals, nothing more. And that was the way he—we—liked it.
“No gifts for you, then.” I tapped him on the chest as I passed him, heading to the elevator.
“Are you coming?”
“You say ‘come’ and I’ll come. Just give me ten seconds’ warning.” He caught up with me and draped an arm across my shoulders.
We shared a grin. I could tell he was waiting for my response.
I thought fast. “That sounds a bit rocket-ish for my liking.”
Rats. He’d have an easy comeback for that one.
He chuckled. “I don’t like to brag, of course—”
“—but I have been known to blast women into the stratosphere.”
Yep, there it was. I snorted with laughter. “In your dreams.”
“Yeah, mostly. But maybe if I got in some practise . . .” He squeezed my shoulder, gave me an exaggerated wink. “What do you say?”
I shook my head in mock despair and walked ahead. “I say you are definitely on Santa’s naughty list.”
As was I, for encouraging his flirty sex-talk.
I looked at him over my shoulder, gave him a saucy wink. “Hurry up. I’ve got a little something for you.”
He raised an eyebrow, caught up with me easily. “Have you, now?”
“Oh yes. You see, nobody gets into the Christmas party without a costume. And, as I predicted, you have no Christmas costume.”
He looked down at his immaculate grey suit. “I’m . . . hmm . . . Mrs Claus’s bodyguard,” he decided with a triumphant grin.
I pushed the elevator button. “I was thinking of something a little more . . . horny.”
“Mmm. Me too.” He did that low-rumble thing with his voice again, turning to face me. His eyes held mine for just that little bit longer than normal.
I forgot to breathe. My heart hammered in my chest. Was I reading too much into his . . . well, everything, today? . . . Or was he really . . . ?
Fortunately the lift doors opened before I could get myself in trouble. Because that was the problem with me. Trouble—especially that kind of trouble—had a habit of finding me.
Liz says I’m my own worst enemy, that I need to look past the hot bodies and playboy grins and find a guy who’s good on the inside. Easy for her to say—she’s happy being single. Me? Not so much. Anyway, how can you know what a guy’s like on the inside? It’s not like they come with an instruction manual.
This particular hot-body-and-playboy-grin held his arm against the lift door, making way for me.
“Mrs Claus,” he said as the doors closed behind us, “you are full of surprises. Who would’ve thought you’d get all horny on me?”
“I know, right?” I opened my handbag and pulled out a set of reindeer antlers. “For you.”
Mickey looked down at them and laughed. “You don’t miss a trick, do you?”