Story with a prompt. Had to start as "It was not at all what they expected."
|It was not at all what they expected. When Sharon was told that she would be working alongside Steve in developing an advertising campaign for a new shampoo, she was livid. She could not let her professional reputation be dependent upon the assistance of a womanizing loafer. She knew he only got his job because the company president was his uncle. Unfortunately, for that same reason, she would be forced to bite her tongue, paste on her best smile and pray that she would make it through the assignment with her job and reputation intact.
Steve, in turn, was not happy about being forced to work with Sharon. He found her annoying and condescending. In fact, he couldn't remember one kind word that she had spoken to him during his time at the advertising firm. If he tried to engage her in conversation, her responses were short and brisk. And during the company's social events, she seemed to go out of her way to avoid him. He would work with her, but he wouldn't go out of his way to be nice.
They had been working together for two weeks when Sharon realized she had actually been enjoying herself. Steve had come up with some very creative ideas, and he had been the perfect gentleman. She had begun to think that she shouldn't have listened to the office gossip. After all, she had never witnessed Steve doing anything that could be considered womanizing. She just heard the other women in the office talking about him going out with a different woman every weekend since his divorce a few months earlier. And what had made her think he was so lazy? She couldn't even remember, but it was probably something Bryce said. Bryce had been expecting a promotion, but Steve "stole" the job that he had already considered his. When had she started judging people based upon what other people told her?
Maybe Steve had been too anxious to listen to his male coworkers. They considered Sharon a prude who refused to give any man a chance since her fiance left her earlier this year. For the first time since his divorce, he was actually beginning to feel comfortable around a woman. Sharon was nothing like he had expected. Sure, he had tried going out with other women, but they had never held his interest past the first date. Sharon was intelligent, witty and beautiful, a breath of fresh air. And why hadn't he noticed before how her eyes sparkled when she smiled? He was having fun with this project, and he was sad that it was coming to an end.
"What's on your mind?" He hadn't realized that his feelings were so obvious until he saw the concern etched on Sharon's face.
He had to come up with something quickly. "I just don't know if this idea was the best one we thought of. Maybe we should go back to..."
"Are you kidding? You know we've got this! We'll blow them out of the sudsy water."
They both laughed at Sharon's lame shampoo joke. Steve put his hand on her shoulder and felt her tense. He immediately jerked away.
"I'm sorry. I..."
Steve stopped her. "No, I'm sorry. I was out of line. I don't know what..."
Sharon silenced him with a kiss. Her hair was just as soft as he had imagined, and he found his fingers tangled in her loose curls as their kiss deepened.
It was not at all what they expected. But it was exactly what they needed.