Anything For You [Secure eReader]
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eBook by Sarah Mayberry
eBook Category: Romance
eBook Description: Since when was his best friend this hot? The world according to Sam Kirk has just turned upside down. His best friend and business partner, Delaney Michaels, has returned from vacation a new woman ... a gorgeous, hot new woman. Suddenly Sam is thinking entirely inappropriate thoughts about his buddy. Worse, with Delaney's changed look, she's abandoning their friendship in pursuit of the picket-fence dream. It's a nightmare come true. Then one night finds them tangling in the sheets. It should feel wrong, wrong, wrong ... instead, it feels very right. And now Sam knows exactly what he'd do to keep his best friend: absolutely anything.
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Blaze
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2006
123 Reader Ratings:
SAM KIRK SAT BACK on his haunches and surveyed his handiwork. Not bad, even if he did say so himself. Smiling, he pushed himself to his feet and rubbed his hands on his jeans to clean the chalk dust off his fingers. The smile turned into an out-and-out grin as he admired the full result of his labors from a bird's-eye viewpoint.
Outlined on the navy industrial carpet in front of him was a classic crime-scene body outline depicting a form sprawled halfway across his business-partner-cum-best-friend's office. To add to the CSI look, he'd rifled through her filing cabinet, pulled a few books off her bookshelf and left all her desk drawers open. Highly satisfied with himself, he retreated to the doorway and began unrolling the police tape he'd wheedled from his mate in the force. Fixing one end to the doorframe, he stretched the tape to the opposite side and stuck it in place.
"Delaney is going to flip when she sees this," their receptionist, Debbie, said from behind him.
"I know. It's going to be great," Sam said with relish.
Debbie shot him a look designed to let him know she thought he was weird. She'd only been with their extreme sports magazine, X-Pro, for a month, so she wasn't up to speed yet on the office dynamic. When she'd been around a little longer, she'd understand that playing practical jokes on each other was just how he and Delaney operated. Every year when she went on holidays, he came up with some outrageous stunt to surprise her when she returned.
One year, it had been cajoling their printer to bind a single copy of the latest edition of the magazine inside out, then just casually leaving it on Delaney's desk on her first day back. She'd gone ballistic when she found it, and it had taken him twenty minutes to convince her that the full 60,000 editions of the magazine hadn't been mailed out to their subscribers in the same condition. Then there was the time he'd glued all her stationary accessories to her desk. Stapler, hole punch, computer mouse. Hell, he'd even stuck her wheelie chair to the carpet. Remembering the bewildered look on her face still brought a smile to his lips.
Stuffing the debris from his scene-setting into a carrier bag, Sam eyed his gathered staff of five.
"Remember, serious faces. She'll only buy this if no one laughs," he warned them.
"Sam, man, you're so deluded. She's going to know it was you the moment she sees it," their layout artist, Rudy, said.
"But she can't be sure. All I'm looking for is a moment of doubt," Sam said.
Checking his watch, he crossed to his office and looked out the window to see if Delaney had arrived yet. Her parking space was still empty, and he frowned. She lived in the apartment beneath him, and he hadn't heard her come home last night. But, he reminded himself, he didn't always hear her door open and close, and her car had definitely been in the space allocated to her apartment when he left early this morning, keen to get in and prepare his little surprise.
It wasn't like her to be late, especially on the first day back after two weeks off. Normally she was champing at the bit to get back in to it. That was one of the great things about owning their own business. Work wasn't a burden or a drag—it was something they enjoyed, even if sometimes it could be stressful or boring.
He was about to call her on her cell phone when he caught himself. Feeling a little foolish, he dropped into the chair behind his desk. He was carrying on like a dog who'd been locked inside all day, waiting for his master to come home. Delaney had only been away two weeks, but the truth was, he'd missed her like crazy.
His gaze fell on the photo occupying the one clear space on his desk. Two teenagers filled the frame—one a tall, chestnut-haired lout, the other a slim, brown-haired girl who was sporting a shiny black eye. Both wore Lycra rash vests and baggy board shorts, and their faces were tanned from long days at the beach. The boy was grinning hugely, his arm slung around the girl's shoulders, and the girl was looking furious and grumpy and determined. The picture had been taken when they were both sixteen, the summer he'd taught Delaney how to surf. She'd scored the black eye on the first day when her board flipped and clocked her in the face. She hadn't even cried, he remembered—just took a moment to get her breath before she started paddling again.
That was the thing with Delaney—when she wanted something, she bloody well went for it, both barrels blazing. Perhaps it was why they'd hit it off the moment her family moved onto his street when he was just twelve years old. The moving vans had barely started disgorging their contents before a scrappy, skinny girl had gravitated to the game of cricket he and his buddies had been playing in the street. She'd waited until the ball came her way before catching it deftly and asking if she could join in. The other neighborhood kids hadn't wanted to let her play, but she'd offered them a deal—if she could bowl them out, she was in. If not, she'd walk away without another word. She'd bowled a blindingly fast bouncer that almost took one kid's arm off before it hit the wicket, and all the others had hastily passed on their turns to bat, readily conceding that she could play.
It had been the beginning of a beautiful friendship, one that had survived every test thrown at it, from his insanely jealous girlfriend when he was in his early twenties, to the stress of starting a fledgling magazine on the smell of an oily rag. Delaney was the one constant in his life, the only person who got him—his jokes, his silences, his need to sometimes just get away and surf or skate or travel. Hell, she even shared the same address, since they'd bought warehouse apartments in the same building. She didn't constantly ask him what he was thinking or how he was feeling. She didn't need reassurance twenty times a day that she was an important part of his life. And she didn't play games and sulk if she didn't get her own way.
Copyright © 2006 by Small Cow Productions PTY Ltd.