If You Dare

By: Evelyn Troy

Chapter One


Zoe was pulling her dress on when she heard her phone buzz at her from the living room. She pulled up the zipper while she paced into the room. Who the hell was sending her texts at stupid o’clock on a Monday morning? She picked her phone up from the coffee table with a frown and a disgruntled sigh, however her expression lightened when she saw that it was her boyfriend who had sent the message.

Zoe read just a few words before her heart sank, along with her mood. “Sorry, Zoe, but it’s just not working. I think we need to take a break from each other. I’m just better off being single. It was fun while it lasted, but it’s over. Don’t try to call me to change my mind, because it’s made up and I won’t. Take care. See you around.”

Zoe threw the phone onto the couch and stomped back into her bedroom to finish getting ready for work. Did he honestly think she would try to change his mind? Why the hell would she want to be with a boring egotistical dick like him if he couldn’t even be man enough to talk to her and had to break up with her in a damn text message? Zoe supposed that she should be grateful that he at least took the time not to use ‘text speak’ and had made sure the spelling and punctuation were all correct. Thank God for small mercies.

She was pissed off at him but Zoe had to acknowledge, if only to herself, that he was actually doing her a favor. She was bored, and had been for a while now. Not just with him, but with her whole life. Her job totally sucked and there was absolutely no chance of it sucking any less in the foreseeable future because her boss totally sucked as well. Dawson Alexander had taken her on as his personal secretary but he never let her assist with anything important or exciting, and in her mind she was nothing more than a glorified answering machine.

Zoe never went anywhere or did anything exciting and all of her old friends had moved on, gotten married and had kids or had just dropped off the face of the planet. She was a few months off her twenty-fourth birthday, but she felt as though she was fifty. Something had to change, or she was doomed to be stuck in this rut until she was old enough to draw her pension.

It was time for her to make some changes and she was going to start today. Her now ex-boyfriend had given her the mental kick up the ass that she needed; the rest was up to her.

Zoe took extra care in applying her makeup, determined to look her best when she told her boss that she was quitting. Up until now she’d only toyed with the idea of leaving, but the text message from her ex had made her mind up for her. She was going to do what she’d been dreaming of doing for way too long. It was time to stop daydreaming, pull her finger out and do it. She was going to travel the world and learn about some new cultures while she was still young enough to enjoy it.

With her mind made up, Zoe made her way to the office, her old car just about making it through the onslaught of traffic. She had decided to write out her notice while Dawson was in his morning meeting and present it to him just before lunch. That would give her time to calm down before having to go back and finish the latter half of the day off.

She should have known that her plans would be thwarted. As lunchtime approached she still hadn’t managed to see hide nor hair of her elusive boss long enough to hand him her carefully typed letter of resignation. He’d come out of the meeting and locked himself away in his office with a curt, “No disturbances please, Zoe,” as he’d walked past her desk. A few minutes later, a woman Zoe had never seen before walked by and softly tapped on his closed door. Zoe cringed at the girly giggle she heard as the door was opened and closed again behind the mystery woman. She didn’t need two guesses to figure out that it was yet another one of Dawson’s friends with benefits. Hell, with his past record, it could even be one of the women that Zoe knew he actually paid to ‘keep him company’.

Oh well. It wasn’t any of Zoe’s business, and once she’d handed in her resignation she wouldn’t have to even think about what went on behind the closed door of her boss’s office. At least he was professional when it came to his staff, she thought to herself sourly. Of course, it would help if he wasn’t quite so good looking and, dare she say it, fuckable. While Zoe hated her job with a passion, she had never been able to rid herself of the pull of sexual attraction she had for her boss, which absolutely sucked because he’d never looked twice at her.

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