Home > The Rule Book (The Rule Breakers #1)(15)

The Rule Book (The Rule Breakers #1)(15)
Jennifer Blackwood

Our gazes met in the mirror, and he lifted a suggestive brow, and that sly half smile ticked at the corner of his mouth. Yep, my boss just caught me checking him out. Yes, I was going to freak out in the bathroom as soon as I booked it off this elevator ride from hell.

The elevator picked this moment to have mercy on me and stopped at the fortieth floor. Brogan motioned for me to exit the car first.

I walked out, Brogan tailing close behind, when I realized I’d set my purse on the ground. I rushed back in, cradling the to-go container that held the two coffees, and reached down for my purse. The doors were still wide open, a minor miracle, and I bolted out.

Brogan stood there, waiting, while I booked it out of the elevator. I hadn’t gone one step before the door zoomed shut behind me. Phew. Made it.

We both started toward the conference room, but I was immediately tugged backward. What the…? The hairs rose on the back of my neck.

No, it couldn’t be.

I pulled harder, and a chill ran through me as I heard the distinct sound of fabric ripping.

Oh no.

Betsey, how could you do this to me? Didn’t she know that this was my favorite cardigan she had locked in her stupid Jaws of Life? I’d spent two hours in line on Black Friday and elbowed past old ladies to get this. I wanted to shake my fist at her. I wanted to do the Dawson ugly cry. I wanted my damn cardigan back.

I pulled a little harder and heard another rip. I’m sorry, Betsey, did I say Jaws of Life? I meant beautiful doors of metallic glory.

Brogan kept walking toward the conference room and called behind him, “You coming?” He looked over his shoulder and did a double take, his brows furrowing. “Everything all right?”

Totally okay. I often stood with my favorite Chanel cardigan in the elevator door just for kicks. “I’m great.”

“Then let’s get to the meeting. Can’t be late.” He jutted his thumb at the conference room and continued walking toward the sweet refuge that was just out of sweater-snag reach.

“Yes.” I moved forward, trying again to pull my cardigan out of the iron talons of the door, but I was rewarded with another soft rip in the material. It took everything in me not to whimper and break into a frenzied game of tug of war with the elevator over my beloved sweater.

He was almost at the conference room door. If he disappeared into it even for a few seconds, I could get my top free. Keep walking, just a little more.

As if he heard my thoughts, he stopped again and turned around.

I froze mid tug, trying my best to keep my face void of any indication of my inner freak-out. This was the most messed up game of red light green light ever.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” he called back to me, almost at the conference room door.

My heart raced as I tried to come up with a reason, any reason to get him out of sight so I could properly lose it over the situation. “I realized I left something downstairs. I’ll meet you in there.”

“All right,” he said slowly, still unsure. “Timeliness is important, so try to be quick.”

Play it cool. He has no clue you’re stuck in Betsey’s death grip. “I won’t be late,” I reassured him. “Punctuality is my middle name. Well, it’s actually Jane, but it might as well be punctuality.” A laugh bubbled up, notes of hysteria mingling with the loud guffaw.

Oh God, just shut up so he walks away and you can get away with some dignity left. I smiled and said, “I’ll meet you in there before it starts.”

He nodded slowly and turned toward the conference room. “Sounds good.”

Things I’d most likely find on my desk by the end of the week: a random drug test form and a formal letter terminating my employment.

As soon as he was out of sight, I turned toward the elevator, set the coffees on the floor, shimmied out of my sweater, and tried pulling again. And, again, another soft rip started at the bottom hem.

“Please, Betsey, what did I ever do to you?” I begged.

I tried prying the doors open, but they wouldn’t budge. “I will give you anything if you just give me my sweater back.” That included offering Jackson as a human sacrifice. Anything to get this back.

I pressed the down button and figured if the doors opened, it would plop into my welcoming, broke as a joke arms. The hum of the elevator car moving was a comforting sound. Yes, the doors would open, the sweater would drop, and I’d make it to the meeting in time.

“I promise to take the stairs every day from now on if you just spare the sweater. It’s Chanel, for Christ sake,” I pleaded.

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