Page 30 of The Office Guest

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“That’s exactly what I mean,” he says. “I was hoping you’d be miserable, homeless, and lonely whenever I saw you again, and that doesn’t seem to be the case.”

“What are you doing here?” I ask. “We don’t accept monopoly money.”

“I have a reservation here.”

“For dinner at one of the restaurants?”

“Funny.” He looks me up and down. “It’s for one of the best lodge suites, for a little over a week.”

Before I can say I refuse to believe that, he pulls a red velvet box from his pocket and flips it open.

“What do you think about this?” he asks.

A heart-shaped diamond glistens under the light, and the words “Dante and Vanessa forever” stare at me in cursive.

“Vanessa?” I ask. “What happened toJessica?”

“I met someone better. Someone who truly appreciates everything that comes with dating a man like me.”

“In other words, you cheated on her, too?”

“You can’t cheat on someone who doesn’t want you. Besides, it takes a certain type of woman to believe in the lifestyle I want to build.”

“That’s a pretty fancy way of saying, you’re still unemployed.”

“I’m an entrepreneur.”

“Are you making any money?”

“That’s none of your fucking business.” He glares at me, and I glare right back.

“That is abeautifulring, sir!” Grandma Hattie steps over to us. “Are you planning to propose during your stay with us?”

“I am.” He smiles.

“Well, we have plenty of romantic spots,” she says. “I’d love to help you find the perfect place.”

“I would love that, too.” He’s still looking at me. “I’ll take you up on that once I finish checking in with the lovely Miss Grey here.”

“She’s soon to be aMrs.” She beams. “Show him the engagement gift Dante sent you this morning, Georgia.”

“No, um…” My cheeks burn. “I don’t like wearing it at work. Besides, I’m sure this man doesn’t care.”

“I’d love to see it,” Dante says.

“See.” She moves behind the counter and opens the drawer, pulling out a charm necklace. “Since they’ve been long distance, he treats her to a new charm every month. How sweet is that?”

“So very sweet.” Dante says. “Sounds like a story I’ve heard about on Pinterest before…”

“I know, right?” Grandma pats my back. “He’s a super sweet guy. He called last year and asked for my permission to marry her.”

“He did?” He raises an eyebrow. “So, how did the actual proposal go?”

“It didn’t.” She shakes her head. “He had a work emergency and couldn’t make it.”

“So, you still haven’tmetthis guy?” He’s practically salivating, and I’m seconds away from knocking him to the floor.

“Well, we hope to this year.” She looks at me. “Otherwise, I might start to believe he doesn’t exist.”

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