"I'm sorry; Kate, was it?" He sat forward in his chair, bracing his arms on the desk in front of him and was aggravated to realize the flag in his pants was flying high. He cleared his throat. "I don't think I heard you right..."
The brunette, who he thought was named Kate or Cathy or something of the sort, turned a tomato red right before his eyes. Nope, he'd heard her right and she was suddenly very embarrassed.
"Umm, yes, my name is Kate, Kate Evans. I've worked in the same office building with you for the past year, but our paths have rarely crossed." She inched her rump closer to the edge of the seat she occupied, obviously ready to bolt. "See, the thing is, my friend and I made these New Year's resolutions and I have yet to do anything about mine. Well, there is a bit of money at stake and I'm running a little short on cash this month, so my only real choice was to fulfill my resolution." She paused and he knew she was gauging his reaction. So far he was too stunned to show any reaction other than surprise.
Realizing he wasn't going to speak, she continued talking, a bit faster, as if in a hurry to get the words out of her mouth. "So my resolution was to get in a non-serious sexual relationship ... you know, a bed buddy of sorts. For the past three months, I've put off finding someone to fit my standards because I really didn't think my friend would fulfill her resolution. Well, to my surprise, she has; now she thinks she's going to win our bet. But like I said, I'm a bit low on cash this month, so my only option was to find a bed buddy, which is why I'm here."
Kate's face went from ripe tomato to breathe-before-you-die red. He sat back in his chair; finally grasping this wasn't some sort of prank. This short stranger was serious. "So you picked me? Why?"
"Umm, well, you're leaving in two weeks, so if you say no, I won't ever have to see you again. And you're known around the office as being rather adventurous in bed and out, but some of the girls have said you don't bounce around from partner to partner so much that an STD would be a worry."
Leaving in two weeks? Did she know something he didn't? And did she just use the term STD in conjunction with him?
Then it hit home; James Crawford from accounting was leaving in two weeks. She had her James's confused. Adventurous was definitely not a word most people would use to describe James Bradford. Stuffy or workaholic, perhaps those would suit, and as far as worry of an STD ... it was almost laughable.
She continued speaking so fast he almost couldn't make out what she was saying. "So judging from what other women around the office have said, you make the perfect candidate. Oh, I almost forgot. I also heard you just recently ended a somewhat long-term relationship, so I thought, perfect, you wouldn't want a serious relationship so soon anyway."
James ran a hand over his already stubbly jaw. At least one piece of information fit him. Miranda had left him with a Dear John letter two weeks ago. Six months of listening to her complain about him working too much and she dumps him because she can't juggle her job and a serious relationship. Where's the irony in that?
He took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly. "Well, James Crawford sounds like he is exactly what you're looking for. But I'm not him."
It took a moment for his words to register. When Kate's perfectly formed, China-doll mouth dropped open, he had to stop himself from laughing out loud. "Not to disappoint, but I'm not leaving in two weeks. But on the bright side, like you said earlier, if our paths haven't crossed in the past year, then they probably won't again until we want them to."