Christian was pulling on his shirt when the doorbell rang. He quickly buttoned it and tucked in his trousers before leaving the bedroom to go and open the door. He peered through the keyhole and smiled when he saw that it was Amanda.
He buttoned his cuffs after opening the door and stood there in the aperture, his gaze travelling over her slim figure in the light grey skirt suit and the dark purple tee top underneath. “Good morning,” he said softly. “To what do I owe this pleasure?”
Amanda tried to ignore the fact that he looked incredibly handsome in the stark white shirt that accentuated his olive skin and tried to avoid looking into those amazing eyes of his which seemed to see right through her. She showed him the folder she had in her hand. “I brought over the proxy form for you to take with you to the shareholders’ meeting in Boston. Your uncle has already signed it.”
Christian glanced down at it. “You didn’t have to bring it over here, you know,” he said. “I could have easily dropped by the office before heading to the airport.”
“I wanted to save you the trouble,” she said, still avoiding his eyes.
“Well, thank you for taking the trouble. I appreciate it. I would ask you to come in but I am pressed for time.”
“I didn’t come to stay,” she replied shortly. “I just came to drop this off. I have to be heading to the office now.” She held the folder out to him.
He took it but not without deliberately brushing his fingers against her hand. It was then that her eyes flew up to his face and his darkened when he saw what was reflected in them. “Before you leave, let me give you something to think about,” he muttered and before she knew what was happening, he put one arm around her waist and pulled her roughly against him, making her gasp. Then his mouth was on hers, moving passionately and unable to help herself, she responded.
They stood there for several minutes exchanging feverish kisses and then, he raised his head to stare down into her upturned face, his own flushed. “I’ll see you when I get back,” he said and released her.
She stood there, trying to catch her breath. Her legs felt like jelly and without saying a word, she turned and made her way to the lift. She pressed the button frantically and was relieved when the doors opened. She stepped inside and after pressing for the lobby, she leaned against the panel. Her lips were throbbing from the onslaught of his and her hand still tingled where his fingers had caressed it. She hadn’t seen that coming. He had always flirted with her but she didn’t think he was serious. A moment ago, she was proven wrong. It was very clear that he was attracted to her and she couldn’t hide the fact that she was attracted to him too. Now what? She worked for his uncle. Would the old man approve?
Widowed and childless, Christian was all the family he had and he treated him more as a son than a nephew, no doubt planning to one day leave the business to him. He seemed to have Christian’s future all planned and it wouldn’t surprise her if he had someone in mind for him to one day marry. Perhaps, he already did. Her mind went to Hope, the pretty blonde whom she had seen Christian with on several occasions.
Mr. Walker seemed very taken with her and always talking about how lucky the man who married her would be and following that latter remark, his gaze would immediately alight on his nephew, leaving no doubt that he hoped for a match between them. Amanda would say nothing. It wasn’t her place to but the idea of Christian marrying Hope bothered her more than she cared to admit.
Christian didn’t flirt with her when his uncle was around. Usually, they were alone when he did and it disconcerted her because she didn’t know if he was simply amusing himself at her expense. Now she knew that his interest in her was real and not a game. The doors drew open and she stepped out of the lift. She stumbled down the steps and climbed into the taxi cab waiting at the curb.
As it headed to the office, she leaned her head against the back of the seat and closed her eyes. How she was going to get through the day now, she had no idea. Her thoughts would be filled with Christian and what happened between them in the hallway outside of his flat. Already, she missed him and he hadn’t even left the country as yet. He would be gone for a week. She hoped the days would go by quickly so that she could see him again.
When she got to the office, Mr. Walker was already there. She opened her desk drawer, put her handbag in before she went to see him. He smiled as she approached his desk. “Good morning, Amanda,” he greeted her jovially. “Did you have a good weekend?”
“Good morning, Mr. Walker. Yes, I had a good weekend, thank you. I wanted to let you know that I dropped off the proxy form at Christian’s flat.”
“That’s fine, fine. I think it would be good experience for him to AGM meeting for a change. I have been attending them for years. It’s time for someone younger and just as capable to attend in my absence. And it’s good for our business partners to get better acquainted with Christian who will soon be taking over the reins—it’s only a matter of time.”
She stood there not sure of what to say next. “I have been Boston and it’s a great city,” she finally remarked. “I hope he will set aside some time for sightseeing.”
“Yes, yes,” he agreed. “It’s too bad Hope isn’t with him. I’m sure she would enjoy seeing something of the city too.”
It was then that Amanda decided to excuse herself. She didn’t want to hear him go on and on about Hope. At her desk, she got busy with work, although more frequently than not, her mind drifted to incident between Christian and her. She closed her eyes every time she remembered the sensation of his lips on hers. Once when she did that, she was startled when she suddenly heard Mr. Walker’s voice above her.
Flustered, she apologized to him and tried to concentrate on what he was instructing her to do. For the rest of the day, she forced herself to focus on her job and to put Christian out of her mind. At home, when she was alone, she could afford to think about him as much as she wanted.
She was relieved when Friday evening came and looked forward to a quiet weekend. The phone rang when she was about to fix herself something for dinner. “Hello?”
“Hello Amanda.” It was Christian.
Her heartbeat began to accelerate. He was calling her from Boston. “How do you like Boston?” she asked, sinking down to the floor and leaning against the wall.
“It’s nice but would be much nicer if you were here with me,” he said. “I miss you, Amanda. Do you miss me?”
“Yes,” the word came out as a breathless whisper.
“I can’t stop thinking about what happened between us the day you came to my flat.”
“I—I think about it a lot too,” she admitted.
“I want to see you as soon as I get back.”
“When will you be back?”
“On Sunday around noon or early afternoon. I want to see you in the evening.”
“Okay. I’ll-I’ll be here.”
They spoke for a while later and then he had to go. “Good night, Amanda.”
“Good night, Christian.”
After she hung up the phone, she sat there for a long while, trying to process what had just happened. Christian had called her from Boston just to tell her that he missed her and wanted to see her when he got back. She wondered what Mr. Walker would say if he only knew. He would have a fit. As fond of her as he was, she wasn’t a suitable choice for his beloved nephew. He would definitely fire her. Standing up, she decided that she wouldn’t worry about Mr. Walker just yet. Instead, she would plan a nice homemade dinner for Christian.
Sunday afternoon, she prepared the Baked rice with chicken and chorizo. It took two hours to cook so by the time Christian showed up it would be nice and hot out of the oven. After she showered and got dressed she shared the dinner out and sprinkled the chopped parsley on top. She served it with a green salad.
Just as she put the stuff out on the table, the doorbell rang. She glanced at the clock. It was exactly six. Christian was always very punctual. Excited, she rushed to the door and opened it. Her eyes ran eagerly over his tall frame. He looked gorgeous in the black silk shirt and black jeans. His hair was slightly damp and a few strands fell rakishly across his forehead.
Pulse racing and heart pounding, she pulled him inside and closed the door. After locking it, she turned to face him and he reached for her, pulling her against him. Their lips locked in a heated kiss which lasted for several minutes before she drew back to gasp, “I made dinner. It’s on the table.”
He smiled. “I didn’t realize that I was hungry until you mentioned dinner.”
She took his hand and led him over to the dining table which was nicely set and ready for them to sit down and eat. Two glasses were on the table and a bottle of non-alcoholic wine. They sat down and after she sat Grace they tucked into the salad first and then the pasta dish.
“Hmmm, this is delicious,” Christian said.
She smiled. “Thank you. It’s a recipe I have been meaning to try for a long time.”
“I’m honored,” he said and had another mouthful.
As they ate, he told her what it was like being at the AGM meeting and the places he was able to visit in Boston during his free time. For dessert she served Roasted banana & cinnamon ice cream. After placing the dirty dishes and glasses in the dishwasher, she joined him on the terrace where he stood, looking out at the city lights and the Tower Bridge in the distance.
He turned when he heard her and reaching for her he held her in his arms. She put her arms around his neck. “You know your uncle would have a fit if he saw us together like this,” she remarked.
“It doesn’t matter what he thinks,” Christian told her. “I’m not a child. I know he has plans for me but I have my own plans.”
“He has his heart set on you marrying Hope–”
“I don’t love Hope. I never did. We went out a few times but it was never serious for me.”
“I’m happy to hear that don’t love her.”
“Why is that?” he asked. “Why are you happy that don’t love Hope?”
She swallowed. “Because I love you,” she admitted.
He groaned. “And I love you.” He lowered his head and kissed her.
They kissed for a long time and then she drew back to ask him, “What are you going to tell your uncle?”
“I’ll simply tell him that I love you and that I want to marry you.”
She blinked. “Marry me?”
“Yes. As a matter of fact, I have the ring here with me.” He reached into his pants pocket and produced a black box. “I bought it when I was in Boston.”
She gaped at the diamond ring as he took it out of the box.
“Will you marry me, Amanda?” he asked. “I know we haven’t dated but I don’t want to be your boyfriend, I want to be your husband. I know without a doubt that you’re the woman for me. I knew it since the first time we met.”
She managed to say “Yes.” Tears sprang to her eyes as he slipped the ring on her finger and then his lips were on hers again. She closed her eyes and hugged him tightly around the neck as she responded to his kisses. It didn’t matter what Mr. Walker did now. He couldn’t prevent the inevitable from happening.
Sources: Jamie Oliver; Lux Bond & Green