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My Only One
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Mack and Dally have known each other forever. His sister is married to her best friend. At every family function and every holiday, they’re thrown together. Everyone says that they would make the perfect couple.
And that’s the problem. No matter how many times Mack offers himself up to Dally, she runs away—sometimes literally. Good thing Mack’s determined to convince Dally that she’s not just a convenience, but the only one who will ever hold his heart.
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I stare down at the shattered salad bowls I’ve dropped on my way to the patio table. I have to remove my eyes from Mack’s almost perfect body. I’m taking this as a sign. Not one that I should have gotten over Mack’s handsomeness by now but as a sign that I shouldn’t be eating salad.
I dropped the glass bowls at the sight of him baring all of those spectacular abs. It is a rare thing to see Mack show off his good looks. He’s usually more reserved when it comes to showing any part of his body. The man even swims in a shirt. For someone who works out as much as he does he definitely doesn’t take advantage of showing off the fruits of his labor. I also take into account that if I had gone for the cheeseburger instead of the healthy option of salad that I wouldn’t have had a plate or bowl to drop. It would have been shoved into my mouth already. I make a promise to myself that next time I’ll choose wiser. I’m startled out of my thoughts when I hear Mack’s voice.
“Don’t move,” he demands.
“We’re not at the office. You can’t boss me around,” I remind him. We are only together today because his sister is married to my best friend. We get stuck together a lot because of that. I should only have to deal with Mack at work but I swear he’s everywhere I turn. I start to take a rebellious step but slip a little on the lettuce that’s strewn all over the place. I stumble into him as I try to get my balance back. I right myself but my cheeks pinken a little in embarrassment. I don’t know how we’ve found ourselves in a constant battle of wills but we have. Anything I say or do always brings some sort of sarcastic remark from him. I don’t know why I ever agreed to take a job with him.
Oh, that’s right. Because he’d offered me one that was a once in a lifetime opportunity. He was the only person who was willing to take a risk on a fresh out of college woman with an idea. He’s been all over me since he invested in my company. I have no idea why but he’s been up my ass about this project since day one. I thought the Castiles were more of the silent investor types. It was my understanding that’s how they made their family fortune. They invested in things and got the payouts. That and real estate. Mack took over the metaphorical reins from his father and is more involved with the day-to-day operations now. I was one of his first investments. Mack isn’t as silent of a partner as I thought he’d be.
He’s gone as far as making my office in his building. I couldn’t really tell him no. It is free space that I needed. So I swallowed my pride and snatched it up from him. Now he shows up there nonstop. I thought the man didn’t like me but at every turn I am running into him. For a man that doesn’t like to be touched, he’s in my personal space way too often. He sure has a weird way of dealing with that issue. He’s always on top of me when I’m working. It’s almost impossible not to bang into him.
“Dally. Don’t move and I’ll get you that set of chairs for the staff lounge area you’ve been asking for.”
I freeze at that and narrow my eyes on him. I want the lounge area so bad. I think it will be good for office morale. It will make it feel like everything isn’t work all the time. I’ve wanted it for a while now. My not-so-silent partner Mack said people should be working and not hanging around. I mostly want this killer coffee machine for it. Sometimes you need to get out of your office or lab for a moment to clear your mind and relax.
“Of course you throw money at getting what you want.” I roll my eyes.
“Nothing wrong with throwing some money around,” Savannah, Mack’s aunt, chimes in. She loves to throw money around. I don’t know how she pulls it off but it’s always badass to watch her do it. It may have something to do with her stoic husband who looks like a bodyguard most of the time. Good thing she has enough personality for both of them but he still looks badass too.
“Deal or no deal?”
“You know it’s a deal,” I snip back. Mack is a genius. He knows everything and that includes how to work people to get what he wants. He knew I’d cave for the coffee machine alone. He starts to close the space between us. I throw my hand up. “The coffee machine that isn’t out yet.” I’ve heard there is a new version in production. It is due anytime now. If anyone can get their hands on something no one else has it’s Mack. The Castile men are known for getting what they want.