Swirl Love is Not Forbidden

By: Tamara Black

BWWM Romance Novel Box Set




Slices





ONE





Tony





The smell of the yeast in the dough in the walk-in cooler made my stomach turn. All the alcohol the night before had been fun at the time, but I was paying the price that morning at work. As the manager of Pizza Pizza, I had quite a few responsibilities.

“She’s here,” Samantha said after opening the cooler door.

“I’m coming,” I said. “Can you count the rest of these to make sure we have enough for the dinner rush tonight. I don’t want to run out again and serve under-proofed dough.”

“Sure, boss,” she said, smiling.

I walked past her, trying my hardest not to brush up against her body. She looked hot with curves in all the right places, but after two mistakes in the past, I no longer dated my employees. Losing a good worker just wasn’t worth the temporary pleasure.

“It’s cold in there,” she said.

I turned. “You can handle it.”

She smiled before closing the door. I turned and walked to my office in the back of the shop. While we didn’t have a lot of spare room to work, we cleared over a hundred thousand dollars a week – in pizza alone. My other enterprise did much better.

“Hello,” I said in a cheerful voice as I walked into the office.

An African-American woman sat in the chair in front of my desk. She looked up and smiled. I walked around and took a seat behind my desk. Papers, including the next week’s schedule, overwhelmed my workspace.

“It smells so good in here,” she said.

“You’ll be sick of it within two weeks if you get the job,” I joked in a serious tone.

“I have the job?”

I laughed. “Well, not yet, but we are looking for an assistant manager to open the store in the morning.” I picked up her application. “Do you have any pizza experience?”

“No,” she said. “But I’m willing to learn.”

“Okay, okay.” I scanned the rest of her application. “You can work any hours. Good.”

“Actually. My children get out of school at 4 p.m., so if I could get off before then, that would be great.”

Wow, she’s asking for a lot, I thought, looking up at her. Twenty other people – most more qualified – were also up for the position. The job posting had only been out for a couple days, so I expected even more.

She stared back at me without any fear, not breaking eye-contact. Can I trust this woman? That’s what I really need. I glanced back at her application.

“Okay, that’s possible,” I said. “We need someone to open the store in the morning. Can you not work any nights?”

“I could if I had enough notice and got a babysitter,” she said.

“Good,” I said, sitting up. “When can you start? I’d like to train you for a week or two on how to properly open the store, but you also need to know how to run all the different stations.”

“Stations?”

“Yeah, like making the pizzas, taking the order, cutting and boxing the pizzas, and so on.”

She nodded, soaking it in.

“I can start tonight if I can make a call to the babysitter.”

“That would be great. Here’s a packet of forms to fill out. You can go in the back prep area and fill them out while you’re making your call. What size shirt do you wear?”

“Excuse me?” she said as if offended.

“For your work shirt.”

“Oh, a medium is fine.”

“Are you sure?”

Her eyes widened as she stared at me.

“I meant smaller, not larger.”

“The medium is fine.”

“Okay, there should be one in the back. Go fill out the paperwork. I need to make a call myself.”

I couldn’t take my eyes off her as she walked out of my office. Don’t do this, I scolded myself, unable to resist her charms. There’s something about her. While I couldn’t put my finger on it exactly, she exuded something special, and I wanted to be around her more.

When my cell phone rang, I glanced down at the number on the screen. My heart sank immediately. The Colorado Weed Mafia, known as CWM, were the biggest players in the underground marijuana business in the state.

I picked up the phone and swiped to answer.

“Hello, this is Tony,” I said.

“No names, man. We already told you,” a Cuban voice said. “You got our money for this week?”

“Not yet. I’m getting rid of the last of it before I re-up.”

“You’re late,” he said.

Just that was enough to strike fear in me. I swallowed a lump in my throat.

“I’m sorry, but…”

“No fucking excuses. Make it right. We’ll talk tonight.”

He disconnected the call.

Fuck! I thought in my mind. Outside my office, the phones began to ring one after another as our lunch rush began. While I wanted to sit and think everything out, try to come up with a way to escape my debts, I had to get to work.

“Time to make the pizzas,” I said loudly as I walked up front.

“We’re getting slammed,” Samantha said. “What should we do?”

“This is a normal lunch,” I said. “Go cover the counter for me, okay?”

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