Weekends required, p.1
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       Weekends Required, p.1

         Part #1 of Danvers series by Sydney Landon
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Weekends Required
Page 1

  Chapter One

  “Holy smoking buns, a butt like his should be illegal. ” Claire looked up in time to see the object of her co-worker and best friend’s admiration walk past their table in the cafeteria. Jason Danvers did truly have a butt to admire. At well over 6 feet tall with dark-brown hair that tended to curl up at the end, compelling ice-blue eyes that looked right through you and a rugged and tanned athletic build, Jason Danvers was very hard to ignore. His presence always seemed to dominate a room. His every movement impatient, Jason never seemed to relax. Every lady in the cafeteria was craning their head to get a better look.

  “Suzy, keep it down before Mr. Smoking Buns hears you. ”

  “Oh Paleeeeze Claire, don’t tell me the drool isn’t pooling in your mouth as we speak. ”

  “Suz, you’re too much, what’s Jeff going to do with you?”

  “Well I don’t know what Jeff has in mind, but I got thoughts of handcuffs and whipped cream myself. ”

  Claire had met Suzy on her first day at Danvers International, and it hadn’t taken long to form a bond with the outspoken, flashy and hopelessly sex-obsessed nympho. Suzy was what every little girl wanted to grow up to be, gorgeous and confident. With long dark-red hair, a tall slim build and curves in all the right places, Suzy loved pushing the fashion envelope at the office. Suzy handled special events for Danvers International, and as she often told anyone who listened, she was damn good at her job.

  Her boss had long ago given up trying to stress the importance of professional dress attire to her and now suffered in silence when Suzy showed up for work in various forms of leather and lace or neon colored t-shirts with catchy slogans. Claire suspected she was so beautiful that no one actually cared what she wore, as long as they could admire her every day.

  Claire considered today to be a subdued day for Suzy with only a blue jean miniskirt and a rainbow-colored shirt with a peace sign on it. Of course, the fact the skirt was barely legal and the bright pink hi-top tennis shoes were eye popping still managed to make her stand out in the cafeteria. Claire often wondered how she’d bonded so quickly with Suzy. Suzy had a colorful and sexy fashion style to say the least; Claire preferred a more tailored look. Classic slacks and tops or flowing dresses in neutral tones were her usual work attire. Where Suzy favored the ‘I’ve just had hot sex' hair look, Claire’s was long, auburn and tended to curl when loose, so she kept it pulled back from her face in a discrete ponytail, for the most part.

  Suzy also loved the tanning salons even though Claire often lectured her on the dangers of that particular pastime. Wherever they went, men stopped to stare at Suzy. Claire, however, might as well be a picture on the wall or a potted plant for all the attention they paid to her. Suzy always begged Claire to let her do a makeover; she shuddered at the thought.

  “I don’t know how you work so closely with him without attacking him,” continued Suzy.

  “I value my job and I just don’t think of him in that way, or any man for that matter, right now. ”

  “You’re way too uptight, live a little Claire; you might actually enjoy it. ”

  Thankfully, Suzy seemed to run out of steam in a relatively short amount of time on her ‘live a little’ pep talk and packed up her tray. “Want to catch a movie later or check out the new bar on the corner?” asked Suzy.

  “I’ve got to run over to mom's to pay her bills for the month. ”

  “One day you’re going to have a wild moment Claire, and I hope I’m still young enough to appreciate it,” Suzy said with a dramatic sigh. “Ok catch ya later and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do with hot buns. ”

  No matter what the differences between them, Suzy was a breath of fresh air in her otherwise dull daytime routine. Claire laughed under her breath and thought to herself that if Suzy had any idea what she was doing last night she would probably die of a heart attack on the spot. Hopefully, that would be over before anyone ever knew the lengths she was forced to go through to pay her mother’s medical bills. Claire gathered up her own tray and headed to the front to drop it off.

  “How’re you doing today my love?” asked George. George had been with Danvers running the cafeteria for 30 years, hired back in the day Marshall Danvers, Jason’s father, started Danvers. George always had a smile for everyone and in truth, a soft spot for Claire.

  “I'm good George, thanks for asking. ”

  “When are you going to let me take you away from all this Claire?”

  “Now what in the world would Sara say, George?” Sara was George’s lady friend, as he called her, and the two were just a perfect match.

  “Sara would understand if I had to trade up, we got an understanding. ”

  “George you wouldn’t even know how to get up in the morning without Sara, you better hold onto her with both hands, she’s a keeper. ”

  “That’s true but a guy can dream, right?”

  “You're hopeless George, you have a good day. ”

  "You too love, see you tomorrow. ”


  Claire walked down the hall to the elevator bank. No corners were cut in the décor of Danvers, Inc. , everything here was gleaming; white marble floors, soft off-white walls, and stainless steel elevators with mahogany walls inside. As Claire stepped into the elevator she once again forced herself to remain calm. Meeting her fear of enclosed spaces was what forced her to take the elevator every day instead of the stairs. While the stairs might be better for her physically, conquering her claustrophobia was far more important.

  Danvers International was a huge glass and steel building with 25 floors. Jason Danvers' office was on the 23rd floor and his personal space was on the 24th and 25th floors. The door to Jason’s large office was closed as usual. Claire settled into her desk in the reception area, putting away her purse in the bottom drawer of her desk. Jason liked for the office to be very impersonal and Claire was always careful to have no personal items on her desk. His one concession to some type of informality was to address her by her first name, and he liked to be addressed by his as well.

  Claire had been working for Jason as his assistant for three years. Her job generally required her to handle all the liaising with clients, suppliers and other staff. She was Jason’s right arm and ensured that all appointments, meetings and projects were scheduled and staffed as needed. Her office life was never slow or boring. Jason was a fair boss and always treated her well. In the time, they had worked together, they had managed to create a comfortable relationship. It wasn’t exactly a friendship because they didn’t have personal conversations. It was more of a mutual respect for each other’s abilities.

  Claire was checking her email when the office door opened and Jason strolled out. His normally wavy brown hair was rumpled as if he had been running his hands through it, and his mouth was pulled in a tight line.

  “Claire, could I have a word with you in my office?”

  Normally, Jason just relied on the telephone to give orders so it was somewhat of a surprise to be summoned into his office personally. Jason waited for Claire to step out from behind her desk and precede him into his office. Claire was initially surprised at how at odds Jason’s office seemed to be with his personality. Jason was very direct and a person of few words. His clothing favored darker colors, his style usually expensive and conservative. At thirty-five years old, he could easily pass for someone in their twenties. His office, however, was in a nautical motif. Jason had several beautiful colorful pictures of the ocean and various beach scenes and was reminiscent of an expensive seaside hotel.

  Claire had been shocked the first time she entered his office at how comfortable and soothing it was compared to the rest of Danvers International. She’d heard f
rom various employees that Jason loved the sea which was a major reason the headquarters of Danvers International remained in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina versus bigger cites that would offer more benefits to a company of their size.

  She’d spent a lot of time in this office imaging rolling around on the floor buck naked with her boss, carpet burns be damned! Just because Suzy was her best friend didn’t mean she had to tell her that her fantasies of Jason were probably better than anything Suzy had dared to imagine. Carefully schooling her face into a neutral expression, Claire looked at Jason with what she hoped would pass for professionalism and not ‘do me’ desperation.

  “Claire, I need you to work this weekend. I know I usually don’t impose a weekend’s work schedule; however, the contracts for Mericom are supposed to be finished on Saturday, and I’ll need you to be on hand to handle any last-minute changes that may take place. ”

  “That’s not a problem, what time shall I be in the office on Saturday?”

  “That’s the problem Claire; I’ll unfortunately be going out of town this evening to Columbia, and I’ll need you to travel with me. One of my childhood friends is getting married on Sunday, and I’m expected at his home for the weekend as I’m in the wedding party. ”

  Oh great, I’ve not worked weekends for over a year and rarely travel on business, and now I’m being asked to do both! “Jason, I have a previous family engagement for the weekend, but I’ll be glad to be in the office during the day on both Saturday and Sunday for assistance. ”

  “Claire, I’m afraid that isn’t acceptable; I don’t need to remind you how big this deal with Mericom is to Danvers, do I?”

  Jason had been working for close to a year on the acquisition of Mericom to the Danvers International Family. Danvers International was the second biggest communications company in the US and with the acquisition of Mericom Danvers would move firmly into first place.

  “No Jason, that’s fine, would it be a problem if you gave me directions so that I could meet you tomorrow morning?”

  “I guess that’s ok, I’ll email the information to you shortly. ”

  When Jason’s cell phone rang, Claire took the opportunity to excuse herself from his office. Crap, crap, crap, what am I going to do about this weekend?!

  Chapter Two

  Claire pulled out her cell phone and left her office to go down the hall to the ladies’ restroom. She looked under the stalls to make sure she was alone and called her friend Pam. Geez, has my life become a sneak to the bathroom kind of covert operation, am I back to being 15 again?

  ‘Hello, you have reached the voicemail of Pam Stalls at Partiez Plus, please leave a message after the tone, and I’ll return your call as soon as possible. ’

  Claire rolled her eyes as her call went straight to voicemail. “Pam, it's Claire, I have a problem with Saturday night; my boss needs me to work this weekend. I have to travel to Columbia, and I won’t be able to work the Hunter party; I’m sorry about leaving you hanging at the last minute. ” She closed her cell phone and leaned her forehead against the bathroom wall and tried not to focus on what kind of nasty things had been there before her.

  Claire first began working weekends for Pam quite by chance. With the medical bills piling up for her mother, Claire had gotten desperate for a second income to help make a dent in the constant stream of expenses. While pondering how successful someone such as herself might be as a hooker, an ad in the Sunday paper caught her attention. Ok so it’s Sunday and I shouldn’t have been wondering if I could sell my body for extra money while skipping church, talk about guilt.

  Partiez Plus, a party planning company, was advertising the perfect evening and weekend flexible schedule that Claire needed. She’d called Partiez Plus that day and talked to Pam, who was frantically trying to find a party assistant for a big local celebrity’s party that evening. When Claire had inquired about the job opening, Pam had said if she could start in two hours, then she was hired. This had been the beginning of a quick friendship and some very busy weekends.

  Partiez Plus covered everything from children’s birthday parties to bachelor and bachelorette parties for adults. Although very hesitant to work the bachelor parties at first, Claire had been doing them now almost exclusively for a year. If someone had told her a few years ago that she would be jumping out of birthday or bachelor party cakes, she would have told them they were crazy but after awhile, it became just like any job. Maybe in some small way it gave her a thrill to know that her father would have been so horrified that his daughter was doing something like that.

  The bachelor parties paid the best and, with every cent crucial, Claire was too hard-pressed for money to stick with the lower-paying parties. This particular bachelor party was for a groom to be who lived in Florence, which was around two hours from Myrtle Beach. Claire regularly traveled on the weekends when working the parties. This party paid very well, and Claire felt sick to be forced to miss it even though Jason was generous when paying for any type of overtime hours.

  Just as she was leaving the bathroom, her cell phone rang. Claire saw Pam’s name on the caller ID and answered the phone saying, “Pam, I’m really sorry about this. ”

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