Alisha stood at the window, looking out, her mind on what happened or almost happened between Fabian and her this afternoon in his office. It was like any regular day or so she thought until she walked into his office.
She went over to his desk to leave some papers for him to check over before signing them when he glanced up from the laptop screen to stare at her. The expression on his face was grim and she frowned, puzzled. “I brought the documents for you to review in case there any changes you want to make before you sign them,” she explained. It was hard to think straight with him staring at her like that. She was transfixed by the most captivating feature in his handsome face–his eyes. They were an usual shade of green. They were almost transparent. It was hard to describe them but they were stunning.
“When were you going to tell me?” he demanded, startling her.
“Tell you what?” So, she was the reason why he was in a foul mood. She watched as he pushed back his chair and sprang to his feet, leaning over the desk with his palms flat against the hard surface.
“That you had lunch with Bob Ford last week.”
“But how did—?”
“Did I find out? It doesn’t matter. The fact is I found out…from someone else. Why didn’t you tell me?”
She shifted from one foot to the other, feeling much like a child who was in trouble being scolded by a parent. “Well, Bob called me and asked me to have lunch with him and–”
“Why did he want to have lunch with you?”
She fumbled for words, still not understanding why he seemed to have a problem with her having lunch with Bob. “He wanted to catch up. We haven’t seen each other since I left the company to come and work here.”
“Is that all he wanted to do? Catch up?”
“What are you implying?” she asked. She was beginning to resent his interrogation. Whom she had lunch with shouldn’t concern him. He was her boss not her boyfriend, although she wouldn’t object to him being the latter. She wondered what he would say if he knew how she felt about him. At lunch, she had confided in Bob who advised her not to act until she was absolutely sure that Fabien felt the same way. And to be quite honest she wasn’t sure. She had seen the way he looked at her sometimes but she always chalked it up to wishful thinking. And now, she wasn’t sure why he was acting this way over her and Bob.
“You and he were once in a relationship.”
“I know but–”
“What would you do if he wanted to resume your relationship?” he moved around the desk so that he was standing close to her. His eyes were dark as they stared down into her upturned face. “Would you take him back?”
She swallowed hard, her heart racing now. Suddenly the atmosphere in the office had changed. It was palpable with raw sexual tension. Was that her breathing or his that she was hearing? Her eyes were trapped in a steady, penetrating stare with his. She shook her head and her voice was barely above a whisper when she answered, “No, I–I wouldn’t.”
“Why not?” he asked.
“Because–because I don’t want to be with him.” It had gotten so difficult to breath. Her heart was pounding wildly against her ribs and her legs felt weak. Her eyes dropped to his mouth and her lips parted with intense longing.
He made a move toward her, his eyes darkening with desire when the phone rang. The shrill peal jarred their ears and senses, ruining the moment. Dragging his fingers through his hair, he turned and walked back around the back of the desk to answer the phone. She turned and walk unsteadily out of the room. Instead of going straight back to her desk, she went to the bathroom where she tried to compose herself.
If the phone hadn’t rung when it did…she closed her eyes, trembling as she remembered the look on his face. He wanted her. The realization thrilled her. The desire that raged inside her was on his face. And it explained why he was so bent out of shape about her lunch with Bob. For some reason he thought that Bob wanted to get back together with her and that she would take him back.
While it was true that soon after they broke up that Bob wanted to reconcile, she had refused. She cared for him but she didn’t love him. All she wanted from him was friendship, nothing more. Besides, she was in love with Fabian. She fell in love with him the very moment when she first met him. When she confided this to Bob at lunch today, he seemed a bit wistful but her happiness, even if it were with someone, was all that mattered to him. When they parted, he wished her all the best and hoped that things worked out between Fabian and her.
Ten minutes later, she went back to her desk and had just sat down behind the computer when Fabian came out his office, closed the door behind him and went over to her. She noticed that he had his briefcase with him which told her that he was leaving. “I have a meeting at the head office and won’t be back to the office. Call me on my cell if there is an emergency.” He was all business again.
She nodded. “See you tomorrow.”
“See you in the morning,” he replied before he turned and walked briskly away.
She watched him go until he disappeared around the corridor before turning her attention to the computer screen. For the remainder of the afternoon, she buried herself in her work, trying not to think about what almost happened between. She would have plenty of time to do so later when she was alone in her flat.
And here she was, hours later, at home, looking out of the window, reliving the moment in Fabian’s office and wishing that they hadn’t been interrupted. In the distance, she heard Big Ben strike the hour of eight. It was still very bright. The sun wouldn’t set until around nine. Was he at home now? she wondered. Suddenly, the idea of stopping by his place occurred to her and her heart began to thud with nervous excitement. Moving away from the window, she rushed into the bathroom, stripped and took a quick, hot shower, got dressed in a yellow top and denim skirt. Since she would be walking in sand to get to his house which overlooked the beach, she donned a pair of canvas shoes, grabbed her handbag and left.
As she drove, she wondered if he would be pleased to see her. She hoped so. She hoped that what almost happened between them today was the beginning of what could be an exciting relationship. Twenty minutes later, she was walking up the beach, gazing at the sea as it shimmered in the sunlight and the waves rolled onto the sand. Unable to resist, she removed her shoes and smiled as her toes sank into the soft, wet sand.
Fabian was on the deck, looking out when he spotted her. He stood there watching her for several minutes, his heart racing. All afternoon and evening he couldn’t stop thinking about her and how close he had come to kissing her. If the confounded phone hadn’t rung, he would have taken her in his arms and shown her just how much he wanted her. His body reacted now to the thought and pulling on the hoodie, he ran down the steps leading to the beach, anxious to reach her.
Alisha saw him coming and her heart began to beat faster and her footsteps quickened. Soon they were facing each other at the water’s edge, standing inches apart, their eyes locked in a gaze. “I had to come,” she told him.
“Why?” he asked, running his fingers through his hair when what he really wanted to do was take her in his arms.
“We have some unfinished business,” she told him huskily, dropping her shoes in the sand.
Groaning, he reached for her and pulled her roughly against him, making her gasp. Her arms went round his neck as his mouth sought hers, ravishing it and she responded feverishly. As they stood there, the water swirling about their feet, the sun began to set, casting a red and orange glow on them while a flock of birds flew against the backdrop. Oblivious to the beauty of their surroundings, they continued to exchange passionate kisses.
When she broke off their kiss to bury her face in his bare chest, he hugged her tightly against him, breathing harshly, his eyes still closed. “I love you, Alisha,” he muttered thickly. “I’m sorry that I drilled you about Bob but I was so jealous.”
She raised her head to look up at him. “There’s no reason for you to be jealous of him or anyone else,” she assured him. “I love you.”
“I didn’t know how you felt about me until today in my office. I saw what I was feeling inside written all over your face and that encouraged me.”
“Yes, for the first time since we have been working together, today was the first time I didn’t have any doubts about your feelings for me.”
“I once read a quote which says, Love stands no doubts. Whatever doubts we had about each other, they were swept away today.”
“Then it was a good thing that I had lunch with Bob, after all,” she concluded. “If I didn’t how much more time would have passed before you and I admitted how we feel about each other?”
“I would like to think that I would have worked up the courage to tell you without Bob’s help.”
She smiled and then cried out when he suddenly scooped her up in his arms. He started toward the steps leading to his beach house. “My shoes,” she protested, trying to struggle free so that she could go and get them. But his grip tightened and she gave up after a while, putting both arms around his neck.
“They’ll be there in the morning,” he promised her. “Besides, you won’t be needing them where we’re going.”