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Excerpt for Pure Romance Collection Part Three by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Pure Romance Collection Part 3: 4 Sweet Romance Short Stories

By Elizabeth Reed

Published by Elizabeth Reed at Smashwords

Copyright 2018 Elizabeth Reed

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Table of Contents


Roommates


The Long Crush


The Blind Date


Inviting Mr Scrooge For Christmas

Roommates


Chapter 1


Zoe slammed the door shut with relief. She then leaned her back up against the wall and remained silent for a few moments all in an attempt to compose herself.

Then feeling that she had released any negativity from her mind, she was quick to head straight to the kitchen for a light snack. However, unbeknownst to her she was not alone, and neither was she the only one in a reflective mood.

‘Let me guess with all the sound you made when you came in, and now your slamming of the kitchen drawers it can only mean one thing, you had another bad date?’

Zoe turned quickly in surprise to gaze upon her flat mate Tom; he was sitting on the caramel coloured sofa in the large spacious room which connected to the kitchen.

‘You almost frightened me there, what are you doing at home? Isn't today meant to be lad's night? So why are you not out with the boys getting up to no good, getting tipsy or watching the footy match? Or doing all three at the same time?' Zoe teased him after letting out a sigh as she relaxed in his presence, leaning herself up against the kitchen island.

‘Thanks for reminding me of just how much my current life sucks, yes I would have been out with the guys had it not been for a presentation I have been working on for tomorrow.'

‘Oh yes, you did mention the big presentation, the one that could potentially land your firm with their most prestigious client to date and ultimately make you a partner.’ Zoe remembered the very words that Tom had said to her earlier in the week.

‘I can see why you wanted a quieter night beforehand; it’s very adult-like of you. With all this dedication I am sure you will ace your presentation.’

‘You think so?’

‘Of course, Tom you are great at what you do. You just have to try to relax, I know it is easier said than done….but if you do everyone else will also see just how wonderful you are.' Zoe spoke with confidence, her total belief in Tom so clear to see from her serious expression as well as to hear that she bought a small smile to Tom’s boyishly handsome face.

‘Okay enough about my big presentation and me, now tell me was I right?’

‘Ehh?! Right?’

‘I mean me being right about you coming back from a bad date?’

‘Oh that…well yes, …how did you guess?’

‘Well, the giveaway was you slamming away at everything…’

‘Okay forget that question, you have mentioned already about me making a lot of noise on entering into our apartment, and no doubt you are going to also point out my scavenging for food to eat my problems away?’

‘Come on…would I ever comment on a lady’s eating habits?' Tom spoke in pretend bemusement.

‘No actually you wouldn’t,’ Zoe laughed back knowing that that wasn’t Tom’s style at all. If the past were anything to go by Tom would instead act the gentleman by not speaking out loud of her comfort eating but instead question her as to what was troubling her mind, just like he was currently doing now.

‘Okay yes your right, I had a bad date, but I will spare you with the tragic details you have more important matters to worry about with your presentation tomorrow.’

‘No actually I am done working for the day; I know the presentation inside out, so there is no use fretting over it anymore. Anyway, you telling me the details of your date will distract me.'

‘Well, I am glad to be of some service in that case.'

‘Oh and before you come over to join me on this comfy sofa to fill me in on your dating dramas can you please bring over some snacks for me too, pretty please, there is some popcorn in the top drawer just where you are standing and a beer in the fridge.’

Zoe rolled her eyes, but in truth, she was happy to have a friendly ear to talk and company for the evening, at a time when she did not feel like being by herself.

‘So tell me then, what was wrong with your date tonight that you decided to come home so early?’ Tom spoke with curiousity as soon as Zoe planted herself comfortably on the sofa beside him.

‘Where do I even start?’ Zoe sighed as she thought to an earlier part of her day. ‘I know I will begin with the fact that Trevor my date looked unrecognisable from his profile picture.’

‘You mean that you got cat-fished? Your date wasn’t the same person as he presented himself to be online?’ Tom spoke in shock.

‘No not exactly, he was in theory at least the same person, but well over ten years older in the flesh and several inches shorter than he led me to believe. However despite the rather significant differences in his physical appearance than his initial photo I was all up for being open minded so I went on with the date despite my reservations. Only then to find that Trevor was a complete chauvinist although this did not stop him from asking me to pay for the first round of drinks after informing me unflinchingly that he was a bit short for the month. Can you believe the cheek of it?’ Zoe spoke with a scowl across her face that showed her displeasure as she relived some of the memories of her terrible date.

‘Well I can see why you are not amused, this Trevor guy does seem from what you say to be both cheap and highly annoying, you’re best rid of him.’

‘You’re right, I would never ever go out with him again, but it’s not like this date was a one off. I don't know what is happening to me lately, but I am having no luck with the opposite sex. All I have to show for my efforts for putting myself out there, as they say, is a lot of crap experiences involving a string of unsuitable men. Hell, maybe I should take a break from dating for a while. I don't know why I even went along with the girls at work's suggestion to write an online profile. I should just give up now and accept I am going to end up alone and become the stereotypical spinster with many cats trailing at her feet.' Zoe sighed with defeat as she rested her head on Tom's strong shoulder.

‘Come on stop being so melodramatic and feeling sorry for yourself. And may I just point out that in any case, you are more of a dog person than cat woman.'

‘Ha-ha I can see that you are enjoying making fun of me in my predicament…thanks for your support, I should have known you wouldn’t understand with you being in love with your job and all.’

‘Oh so harsh…there is nothing wrong with concentrating on other elements of your life while you wait for someone exceptional to come along, you should try it some time.’

‘Who’s being harsh now,’ Zoe replied back unimpressed.

‘Okay, okay here me out first, what I am trying to say perhaps not so eloquently is that…well you are a great catch.’

‘Really it does not feel like it somehow, it’s not like I have lots of great eligible men beating down at my door.'

‘Are you just fishing for compliments now? Okay you’re smart, interesting, thoughtful and when you do yourself up well …you know it yourself, you can be very pleasing to the eyes,' Tom spoke awkwardly and quickly while not seeming able to look at her directly in the eyes. But Zoe was glad of it, not wanting Tom to observe her face brighten in surprise with her blushes.

‘Anyway, all I am saying is that you just need to be a little patient, someone good will come along…unlike the losers, you have been dating up to now, and they will see you for the wonderful woman you are, and will not want to let you go,' Tom spoke passionately forgetting himself for some moments.

‘Why thanks Tom…that's nice of you to say all of that to me…I almost don't know how to respond back to your kind words,' Zoe spoke truthfully as her eyes locked with Tom's green intense ones, and she found her breathing becoming more burdensome.

‘You don’t need to say anything, just remember my advice to be a little patient, and I am sure all will work out just fine for you.

‘Now what do you say to chillaxin and watching a film together?’ Tom quickly changed the direction of the conversation.

‘But I thought you were practising for your presentation? I have disturbed you enough already, but thank you for being a good friend.' Zoe babbled with guilt.

‘I was practising but hell I have done all I can for now as I said before, I just have to show them what I am made of tomorrow as a good friend advised me to earlier.'

‘And you will…I'm sure of it, you'll be made partner,' Zoe replied with renewed passion.

‘Well then since we are both in agreement, you can choose something for us to watch, something to take my mind off work and you your bad date.’ Tom spoke winking at Zoe as he handed her over the TV remote.

‘Fine…in that case what do you say to us watching a horror movie?' Zoe replied as she turned to smile at Tom.

‘A horror movie, you sure about that, and on a school night?’

‘Of course, I am sure, I just suggested it didn't I?'

‘I know you are giving all the big talk now, but I know how chicken you get when you watch horror movies,’ Tom grinned as he spoke.

‘Isn’t that all of the fun and entertainment of watching horror movies the delight in getting scared and surprised?’

‘If you say so,' Tom conceded as he rested his back on the sofa, his face showing evident amusement.

And just as he had predicted several minutes later and for the duration of the movie Zoe was practically wriggling beside him, and hiding her face in his shoulders and hard chest to avoid the direct view of the TV each time a scary scene came on the screen.

Tom, in contrast, did not have the same reaction to the supposedly frightening scenes in front of his direct view as he drifted into sleep.

Then when the film finally ended Zoe instead of waking Tom to let him know it was time for bed, found herself turning his way to observe him more closely as he continued to be lost in his slumber. Tom appeared so carefree and boyishly handsome to her eyes with his dark colouring.

Zoe suddenly felt her heart flutter, and herself pulled towards him, and then despite trying to fight the strong urge, she was soon leaning over Tom to then bend down to place a light kiss on his mouth. The next thing she knew she was moaning softly as she felt his firm lips responding back to her own and his strong arms pulling her into his warm embrace.

‘Zoe?!’ Came a surprised voice to reach her ears. She lifted her head up quickly, her cheeks burning hot from both her surprise and embarrassment.

‘Tom…I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to do that….I…I should go to bed and you should too, it’s late…Goodnight,’ Zoe shot up from the sofa breaking their contact as she spoke awkwardly and fast, not able to meet Tom’s smouldering green eyes before rushing out of the room as far away as she could from him.

‘No Zoe please don’t go…don’t you think we need to talk about this…what just happened.’ Tom raised his voice behind her.

But Zoe could not bring herself to go back to Tom and deal with the situation. Not that it would do any good and make her feel better to talk to him or anyone for that matter. She just could not believe that her secret had now being discovered by the one person she did not want to know of it.

Tom now would understand the full reason why her dating life was so unsuccessful, for how could one go on to have a serious relationship if they were in love with someone else, and of all people her roommate!

And all because of her foolish compulsion to kiss him, she had now made things awkward between them.

Taking a deep sigh of frustration, Zoe wondered how she would ever look Tom in the eyes again.

Going to her bed to try and sleep her shame away Zoe decided to cross that bridge with Tom when she got to it, which she would make sure at least wasn’t going to happen tonight.

Chapter 2


Tom was ecstatic, and he knew just who do share his good news with. He did not hesitate as he picked up his mobile phone to make a call.

‘Hello Zoe, Zoe…can you hear me?' Tom spoke cheerfully as the sound of ringing came to an end. He was not deterred at all that the last time he had called out to his roommate she had run fast away from him in her embarrassment.

‘Hi, Tom…are you okay?' He heard Zoe's soft feminine voice that bought an automatic smile to his face.

‘Yes I am more than okay, Zoe I got it…I got the promotion I have been made partner, can you believe it, and to think I thought I had choked on my presentation to the board.’

‘I knew you would do it…I knew it! Well done Tom…I am really proud and happy for you,’ Zoe’s voice rose with delight and Tom sensed immediately her reply was heartfelt.

‘Thanks, Zoe…I couldn't have done it without your support, you know what we need to celebrate…when I get home, I want to take you out for a night out on the town.’

‘Tom you know very well I didn’t do anything to help you get your promotion, and in any case, don't you want to celebrate with your mates instead? You can have the lad's night out that you pushed back because you've been working immensely hard?'He heard Zoe's cautious reply back.

‘No actually I don’t…I would much prefer to celebrate my promotion with you,’ Tom spoke with conviction as an image of Zoe’s heart shaped pretty face fanned with her long dark brown hair and including big blue eyes and a smile that could light up any room flashed into his mind.

‘Zoe are you still there?’

‘I don’t know if I can Tom.’

‘Please Zoe if you don't want to because of what happened yesterday night, and you're worried you don't have to be. You ran away before we could talk and for me to tell you how I felt,’ Tom found himself almost pleading.

‘No Tom it's not that…well, not shall I say just because of that reason. It's a little tricky for me right now!'

Tom then heard Zoe then take a deep sigh.

‘Tricky?! What’s wrong Zoe are you alright? Has something happened?’

‘No…well nothing really except for my car having broken down a few minutes ago in some random place I was driving through, so it will take me a while to get back home.’

‘Can you tell me the last road name you remember driving past and I will come and find you.’

‘No Tom there is no need; I could not ask you to inconvenience yourself not on this day when you should be celebrating. And you don't need to worry in any case I have already called roadside recovery, they will be here hopefully in an hour, or so they say.'


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