Office Mate – The Emory Games Read Online Rachel Van Dyken

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Contemporary, Funny Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 30
Estimated words: 28781 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 144(@200wpm)___ 115(@250wpm)___ 96(@300wpm)

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken comes a standalone office RomCom about what happens when the one you walked away from was now not only your boss but also your new partner in a high-stakes office game...

I liked to think things happened in My girlfriend ghosted me and changed her number.2. I got promoted, but I worked for Satan.3. Months later, said girlfriend was back in my life, working underneath me as an intern.

Ah, the universe had jokes, ha, ha, hilarious.

All I had to do was survive the fourth annual Emory Games, a ridiculous office bonding game that Max Emory, our CEO, put on every year to help boost company morale and encourage the new interns.Yeah, just ask me if they felt encouraged after diving into shark-infested waters. Don't worry... only one person got hurt, and the accidental death paperwork was sound.I had to work with her as my partner for a full week, and then I could bounce back to my department, pretend that she hadn't broken my heart, and run me over with my own truck for good measure.

I should have been focused on the games, except again, things happened in threes...1. She's my partner.2. She's hiding something.3. I may have fallen on her and kissed her. It's a thing, it actually happens in real life—people just fall, and mouths meet, and what are you going to do?

Hi, my name is Ace Harley, and I am two point five seconds away from marching down to HR and begging for therapy.

Being an adult sucks balls.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

Chapter One


There was a stain on my jacket, not noticeable, but enough that I wanted to immediately shrug out of my black coat and toss it in the trash. Was it from the oatmeal this morning? Or was it from that bleary-eyed guy that stumbled next to me with a pickle in his hand and a weird smile who had me immediately thinking I was about to get shanked?

No idea.

The point was.

I was late.

I hated being late.

Actually loathed it.

If a person came up to me and said, do you want to die or be late I would choose death, that’s how much my anxiety crept up on me. I’d like to think that I got better over the years, the therapy, the wonderful drugs that were given to me to help me calm myself.

In the end, it was yoga that hit hard along with self-talk. I just had to talk to myself about why I was feeling the way I was and stretch, then I was good, so I had no clue why the stupid stain was making me want to go to prison.

I walked into the elevator and took a deep breath.

Those were good for you, breaths, as my Apple watch loved to remind me.

I took another and finally felt at ease. I was hiring a recruit today and the patience I’d need to just sit while watching people touch their face or move in their seats would be—huge. They should thank me for not losing my mind while a hair touched a cheek and smudged lip gloss.

I shuddered.


Lip gloss was the worst, it stuck onto things, lips, jackets, cloths, napkins, food. I shuddered again. The worst kind was shiny, it was always stickier and the young people that came in for new hires almost always had it covering their giant lips.

Don’t even get me started on the filler.

Get stung by a bee instead… easier, cheaper, and probably organic.

I took another deep breath in, then paused.

I paused, I never paused… but the person in the elevator with me was suddenly on her knees and looking up with blinking eyes like she had no clue she existed.

“Um?” I held out my hand, prepared to wash it off later about a billion times, but I didn’t want to be rude. “You good?”

Her hair was jet-black, her eyes were bright blue, and she looked up at me like she hadn’t seen another human in years. Her small fingers gripped mine while she stood wearing a very, very, very sad looking black suit with a missing button in the middle and shoes that had been clearly tarnished on the sides. Even her hand was cold. “I’m not good.”

Honesty. Well, that was new. “Okay, do I need to call someone or?”

Her eyes welled with tears. “I have nobody to call.”

It hit me.

Because I didn’t either.

And I hated it.

I hated I had nobody, that I was an orphan, that nobody other than my best friend Dustin cared.

I kept her hand in mine, something that was so not my usual MO since I hated all germs and all things that made me feel dirty.

I held it in mine. She was warm where I always felt cold and indifferent. I didn’t say I liked it, but I did like how our random hands touched and moved against each other.

The doors to the elevator closed and opened, then closed again, we rode wherever we were going to ride until it took us to the top of the building.

“Why are you here?” I finally asked, gripping her hand tighter like my body knew that I needed something other than air. I needed touch. I needed something.

She looked down at her tattered shoes. “I’ve done seventy job interviews in the last year, I’m here to eat.”

“I like food.” I said after a minute. It wasn’t a lie. I did like food, it always filled me the way I wanted. Physically, emotionally, it did its job until it was done and it felt complete. Food was basically one of the only things that never truly let you down.

“Me too.” She sniffled. “I think I really, really need that right now. I need…” She paused as a tear slid down her porcelain cheek. “I need to feel something.”

“Feeling is important because it makes you feel whole, but don’t for one second think that it’s going to make everything okay.”

“I know that better than anyone,”” she whispered. “I’m assuming you do too.”


I refused to admit she was pretty with her long lashes and full pink lips.

“Ok.” I nodded. “Ok. Let’s go outside and eat.”

The elevator doors opened to the rooftop restaurant, and I did the most insane thing I could have ever done in my life.

Maybe I was tired.

Maybe it was the stain on my suit.

Maybe it was just life.

But I turned and pulled her against me and whispered, “Can I kiss you?”