Me: Jealous?

Oz: Incredibly.

I smile even bigger at that. Is it messed up to be happy someone’s getting jealous over you? Maybe, but I don’t care.

Me: There’s not a ton of people, and I’m off to the side. Besides, it’s pretty lame in here.

Oz: What’s wrong with the cafeteria?

Me: I got a salad and the lettuce looks pretty bad. They don’t have a ton of choices. Maybe I’ll go back to packing my lunch.

I should have done that in the first place but I got a little flustered about my date with Oz and forgot. I’d rather be eating at my desk trying to get the pile of reports done.

Oz: What do you normally like to have for lunch?

Me: A salad or deli sandwich, something not too heavy.

I glance up when I hear the chair at my table move. I see Eric sit down beside me. I give him a soft smile, trying to be nice. I don’t like him, but I don’t really have a solid reason why.

“Those reports are taking forever.” Eric sighs, like he’s been worked to the bone. Maybe they wouldn’t take so long if Skyler and I didn’t have to fix his mistakes, but I keep that comment to myself.

“There are a lot of them,” I say, not really agreeing with him. There are a lot of them to get done, and as we’re new, they’re having us all go over each other’s work to make sure we aren’t missing anything. It’s easy enough. They’re redundant. I’d label it more busywork, but it’s stuff that has to be done, and being at the bottom of the food chain makes it our job. I’m happy to do it and will do it with a smile on my face because I’m glad to be here. They could stick me in the mailing room and I’d still be thankful. It takes time to get what you want. That’s something I learned early in life, and I have no problem doing the work to get it.

“Well, I got told I’d be working late, and so did Skyler. I’m sure when you get back to your desk, you’ll be asked, too.”

Well, that sucks. I guess I won’t be seeing Oz tonight.

“Thank for the heads-up.” I push my chair back, not wanting to hang out, and I’m not eating this salad. Maybe I can grab a bag of chips from the vending machine to hold me over if I’m going to be working late.

“You heading back already? You didn’t eat yet.” He points at my plate.

“Yeah. I’d rather get back to work and get these reports done. The sooner I get back to them, the sooner I can leave tonight, if we’re working late.”

“I was hoping to eat with you. Get to know you a little better.” His eyes travel over me, making me think he doesn’t mean getting to know me on a friendly coworker level.

“Sorry,” is all I can manage in reply, because what else can I say to that? I have no desire to get to know him better. I turn to leave, and I swear I can sense his eyes on me, but I refuse to turn around and see. Dumping my tray, I make my exit from the cafeteria and see Paige talking to a man next to the elevator. She has her hands on her hips, and I can tell by the look on her face that she’s agitated by whatever it is they’re talking about.

The man makes Paige look smaller than normal, even in her tall heels. Not that it takes much with her tiny size. He’s got almost a foot and a half on her. Not only that, but the man is built like a freaking linebacker. He’s wearing a button-up white shirt, but the sleeves are rolled up, revealing his muscled forearms and the tattoos that cover them. His black slacks are fitted to his thick thighs, which look to be about the size of Paige’s waist. Everything about the man is muscle. He’s got short blond hair and bright blue eyes. He kind of reminds me of Captain America, if he had tats.

He has a smirk on his face at whatever Paige is going off about, almost like he finds it adorable. I stand and stare, wondering what’s going to happen. The guy probably works in security with her, and after a second I realize he looks familiar. Then it hits me. It’s the same guy she was talking to at the club the other night. God, I hope she doesn’t get fired on the first day. She was so freaking excited about getting this job.

As if she knows I’m looking at her, her head turns my way and she’s surprised. She quickly schools her features into a polite smile. She turns and says something to the man, who shakes his head and hits the elevator button like she dismissed him or something. After that, she walks toward me and he watches her go.