Geek Girl’s Romance

GeekGraphic novel artist and author Mary Allison is a lot like the famous candy that melts in your mouth—a sexy, sassy outer shell hides her sweet and creamy, geek girl center. Holden, her strict, uptight editor, would personify nails across a chalkboard if he weren’t so good looking. She finds herself attracted to him but is certain they could never mesh romantically.

Unbeknownst to Mary Allison, Holden has been enthralled by her from the start, even going so far as to stall his career to continue working with her. On the verge of becoming lovers, they’re impeded by interruptions and misunderstandings getting in the way. The geek girl and the stuffy editor must learn to communicate and connect before fear and confusion keep them apart forever.

Reader Advisory: (Previously published as Do Geek Girl’s Dream of Electric Sweeties?) This story has graphic sexual language and scenes—no closed bedroom doors (or other rooms) here! Girl’s Romance


Excerpt

Mary Allison Applegate sat at her drafting table, busily pouring over her storyboards and adding detail to her sketches. It was the second Wednesday of the month, and she was a little behind schedule but was working hard to get caught up before her editor’s deadline. She had just put the finishing touches on her heroine’s Glock 26 when she heard a knock at the door.

Mary Allison sighed. She recognized the distinctive knock of her editor and secret crush, Holden Carter. He loved to just show up whenever the hell he wanted and start riding her like a Russian racehorse. She made a living writing and illustrating what basically amounted to comic books. Her bestselling title, Nemesis’s Bedtime Story, the tale of a female pickpocket who works with the mafia as she tracks down her twin brother’s killers, had struck a chord with a desirable demographic, selling enough copies to provide her a comfortable living. Unfortunately, a little over a year ago, her previous editor retired, sticking her with Holden. He was sexy but could be a major pain in the ass.

She called out, “Just a minute,” before running to the bathroom and checking herself out in the mirror. Ugh! He just had to come when I look like crap. She yanked off the elastic band holding a messy ponytail on top of her head and ran a brush through her red hair. I’m so pale! She splashed some cold water on her face and pinched her cheeks to bring up a little color before applying some chap stick to her lips.

She stood back from the mirror, frowning at her thrown on clothing. It would just have to do. She ran out of the room and headed towards the front door, unlocking the deadbolt but leaving the chain as she and opened the door about four inches wide.

“Good Morning, Mary Allison,” Holden said, looking as polished and perfect as ever.

“What are you doing here?” she asked, eyeing him suspiciously. “I don’t owe you any work until Friday.” How that man always knew when she was running behind, she would never understand, but he always managed to materialized right when she was just on the verge of turning things around but not quite there.

“I just wanted to check on your progress,” He replied innocently, his sexy accent making her weak.

“And why should I let you in when you barge over here without calling ahead?” She asked, continuing to block the entrance.

“Because I brought you an ice coffee and your favorite treat.” He smiled holding up a bag from her favorite donut shop.

Mary Allison sniffed, taking in the aroma. “Coffee, huh?”

“Double light, double sweet,” he replied.

She sighed and said, “Oh, all right,” before releasing the chain and opening the door wide.

In his usual polite manner, Holden wiped his feet on the porch mat before entering and handing over the goodies to Mary Allison. He made himself right at home, walking straight through the small foyer and across the living room and into the small nook where Mary Allison had set up her work station in front of her home’s only bay window. As he stood there, pouring over her work, she hung back, enjoying the view.

Standing over six feet tall, Holden was fit for someone who jockeyed a desk. Originally Mary Allison pegged the tall, attractive brunet as a pretentious elitist but as time passed, she began liking him more and more.

Holden was different from any man she had ever known—sexy, well-traveled, intelligent and even quite elegant. Three-piece suits and impeccably styled, light-brown locks polished his professional appearance but Mary Allison was far more interested in the man’s gorgeous blue eyes and great ass. He was a dreamy, unobtainable ideal for a laid-back, creative type like her.

As her editor, Holden was attentive to an obsessive degree. She noticed his posture change and rolled her eyes, creeping up behind him until she was standing beside him. He turned to her and asked, “Where’s the rest?”

She pursed her lips. “That’s it.”

He furrowed his brow and replied, “I thought you would be up to the scene at the basement by now.”

“I was working towards it, but then someone interrupted me,” she replied smirking at him before taking another bite of lemon-filled doughnut.

He tilted his head, catching her gaze. Her heart fluttered. If he wasn’t wearing his glasses, those beautiful blue babies might have brought her to her knees. “This is what I’m talking about when I say you’re getting too caught up in the details,” Holden said as he pointed to the drawing she had just been working on. “What’s important is  Reggie has been shot, but you’ve been stuck on the gun.”

Mary Allison was offended. She hated it when he nitpicked this way. The devil was in the details, and she wanted her readers to know exactly what kind of devil her heroine was. “I’m sorry, but there is no way Kat would carry anything but a baby Glock. She doesn’t give a damn that it isn’t the prettiest gun on the block–reliability is key. Doesn’t matter if it’s wet, dirty of even muddy—if you pull the trigger, that bitch is going to fire! How will the readers know it’s a baby Glock if I don’t show them?”

The corners of his lips turned up slightly and he replied, “I do enjoy your passion and dedication, but you’re going to have to finish it up and move along. The readers need to know why she shot Reggie too.”

“Alright, alright,” she said. He was right so arguing just for the sake of arguing was pointless. “Scoot,” she added as she waved him away from her stool and took her seat.

“And what is with all this gore” He pointed to the  panel depicting Reggie’s demise. “Do we really need to see the brains oozing out of his skull? It’s macabre.”

Mary Allison’s nostrils flared as she folded her arms across her chest and turned to her side, throwing him the nastiest look she could muster. Holden was always checking on her progress, scolding her if she was running behind and prodding her to dig deeper into her talents. Truth be told, regardless of her complaints, Mary Allison was so enamored by him that she enjoyed any consideration he gave her, but this was too far! Questioning her vision and trampling on her artistic freedom was overstepping. She balked, “How can a graphic novel about bloody revenge be anything but macabre? The bleak tone is kind of the point!”

His eyebrows raised and he even took a step back, obviously realizing how pissed off she was. “Mary Allison,” he started his calm tone and sexy voice sending a shiver down her spine. “You know how much I respect your work, but…if the tone is too dark…well, I just don’t want to have to insist on revisions before we go to print.”

Mary Allison’s jaw dropped and the room went silent. As her stare cut jagged little holes into Holden, he stood there quietly, most likely carefully contemplating his next words. She raised an eyebrow at him and the spell was broken; he smiled. Motherfucker! Here I am ready to chew him to bits and as usual, he’s completely unflappable.

After that, she barely listened as he calmly and clinically presented all of the statistics and documented trends that proved he was right and she could suck it. She argued passionately, but he never so much as raised his voice while he bulldozed over her. Damn, his manner pissed her off!

“Just be quiet!” she said, turning towards her work. “The oozing brains stay.”

“Mary Allison,” he said.

“I got it. I’ll plug some comedy into the next panel, but this scene isn’t changing,” she said, stubbornly holding her ground. Couldn’t he understand how much this meant to her? This was her work, a story she pulled out of her heart and her head and breathed life into with her own breath. She’d given it her blood, sweat and tears. Who was he to tell her to take it down a notch?

“Don’t clinch the pencil so tightly,” he said.

She clutched the pencil even tighter and asked, “Now you’re going to tell me how to draw?”

“Certainly not, but you were going to break the bloody thing in half if you clutched it any more than that. I wouldn’t want my star artist to injure her hand,” he replied while reaching over and gently unwrapping her fingers from around the pencil.

Her chest tightened as her heart swelled. Damnit! He had her in the palm of his hand again. Once she calmed down, she worked through the better part of the day with him over her shoulder. At least he had come on a day when her part-timers weren’t there to help with shading. Being criticized in front of them would be super embarrassing. She worked straight through lunch so by the time Holden left her house, she was back on schedule but starving to death.

Mary Allison grabbed her phone and ordered a pizza before tottering into the living room and collapsing on her couch. As she waited for her four cheese and veggie delight, she stared up at the ceiling and reminisced over the tingle that had shot all the way up her arm when Holden touched her hand. Fuck! I’m really starting to get pathetic!

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