The elevator opens to my floor, and I step out in somewhat of a trance—a mix of tired, hung-over, and confused. Monday feels like Friday, and that’s never a good sign.
A strong arm wraps around me from behind, pulling me back into a dark room. I’m ready to fight back, but his familiar scent tickles my nose, and I relax.
“You’re late.” His breath hits the back of my neck.
“I overslept. It won’t happen again.”
His fingers curl against the fabric of my navy blue shift dress. “Does your new perfume have a hint of tequila in it?” he asks.
“You don’t like it?” I ask, hiding from the truth.
“Don’t fuck with me, Ms. Fields. Who did you drink with last night because it wasn’t me?”
“Why do you have to be so smart?”
I close my eyes tightly, praying for forgiveness in advance. “I may have had a few shots last night before bed.”
He spins me around in his arms, and it’s only then that I realize he pulled us into a small conference room. He has me pressed against the wall, his arms framing my face. “I’ve never known a person to do shots alone.”
Even with only the dim light showing through the partially open door, I can see his eyes. “I wasn’t alone.”
He pushes against the door until it closes then frames me in again. There’s nowhere to run. No lies to tell. “I don’t want him there alone with you. Just thinking about it is making me sick.”
I swallow my regret. I can’t do anything about what’s already been done.
“Move in with me,” he says, his lips a whisper above mine. I answer the only way I can, standing on my tiptoes to press my lips on his. I want him to forget just as much as I need to stop thinking.
He grips the back of my neck, deepening the kiss by pressing his tongue between my lips. I’m lost in him—swept away by the waves he creates from head to toe. I splay my hands on his stomach, feeling his taut muscles through his crisp dress shirt. I slide them up until my fingers meet behind his neck, curling into his hair.
“I’m not a jealous man,” he breathes as his mouth trails a path down my throat.
“Okay,” I say softly, my body aching for his.
“But you make me jealous.”
I wrap my arms tightly around his neck. “I love you,” I whisper into his ear.
He groans, lifting me until my legs are wrapped around his hips. My dress is short … it wouldn’t take much.
The door clicks, but his lips stay on me. I open my mouth, but the light comes on, warning him before I can. He looks up but doesn’t move to put me down. My cheeks burn red when I see who’s standing there.
“Sorry, Mr. Stanley,” Jane, the receptionist says, her own face turning a deep shade of red. “You asked me to bring Mr. Stone in here. I didn’t-”
“It’s okay, Jane. I’ve got it from here,” Pierce interrupts. She wastes no time before disappearing around the corner. Not that I blame her.
My face only burns hotter when I see Blake standing where she’d been. He’s not looking at Pierce … just me. The color drains from his face as he steps back, lowering his wounded eyes. I don’t want to watch, but I also can’t look away.
My chest tightens as I loosen my grip on Pierce and fight to stand on my own two feet again. He lets me, but his body is still flush with mine.
“Let me go,” I say, trying my best to make it so Blake doesn’t hear.
He does, slowly, adjusting my skirt along the way. “Now he knows,” he whispers against my ear before pulling away.
My eyes widen as I watch him take a seat at the conference room table. He looks back at me before turning his attention to Blake. There’s nothing I’d like to do more than disappear from this room, but I fear for each of their safety if I do.
“Are you going to come sit down, Blake, or are we holding this meeting in the hallway?” Pierce asks, leaning back in his chair. For a second, he reminds me of Wade; I hate comparing the two.
I glance over at Blake. He’s pondering, hands fisted at his side, eyes narrowed in on the man I was entangled with just minutes ago. A still frame of it could definitely go next to uncomfortable in the dictionary. “Did you call me here for a meeting, Stanley, or did you call me here to prove that you have bigger balls?”
Pierce has a smug look on his face, but as he looks over at me, his expression softens instantly. If he thought this was going to be okay—that I was somehow going to not see through him—he was wrong. He didn’t just hurt Blake; he hurt me.
His eyes shift back to Blake. “A meeting, of course. We just lost track of time.”
Blake steps into the room, walking right past me to the side the table opposite Pierce. I watch—panicked—as he leans over the table. “I swear to God … if you are using her to get back at me, I will fucking kill you. She’s not a prize. She’s not a way to punish me, and so help me God, if you hurt her-”
Pierce stands swiftly, leaning in until their faces are only about a foot apart. “I would never hurt her because I love her. Do you know what love is because I seriously doubt it.” My heart races, and I have no idea what to do to make this all stop. “And while we’re having our man to man, I’m going to warn you once to stay the fuck away from her outside of work. I was the one who picked up the pieces you left behind, and I’m not going to sit here and let you hurt her again.”
“I was protecting her,” Blake says through gritted teeth.
Pierce tilts his head, the look on his face absolutely murderous. “I forgot how good you are at protecting women.”