I know Skyler is waiting on me, so I type out a response quickly.
Subject: RE: Long day…
Heading to the cafeteria now… I’m sure I can clear my schedule for you tonight ;)
Miss you more!
After I hit Send, I lock my computer and grab my bag. It’s a quick lunch because Skyler wants to get a jump on the program and doesn’t want to slow down when I have to explain it to Eric, as well. When we get back, we hit the ground running and don’t stop until Linda walks over to us.
“Hey. It’s after five. You two need to get out of here.”
“Really?” I look down at my watch and see that she’s right. Eric had said he was going to the restroom a while ago, but it looks like he never came back. Skyler and I have been plugging away all day, and I guess we got lost in our work.
“Good job today, ladies. I’m really impressed with your work.” She smiles at us before turning and going back to her office.
“Thanks for the help today,” Skyler says as I gather my things.
“No problem. I’m down for sharing information if it makes it easier for everyone.”
We take the elevator down together, and I see Paige in the lobby before me.
“Hey, Skyler, meet my roommate, Paige. Paige, this is another of the interns, Skyler.”
They shake hands and say hello, and I’m reminded of how Paige acted yesterday with Joel. But then I remind myself that she doesn’t like men.
“Yeah, I think I’ve been invited out with you guys tomorrow night, right?” Paige says, looking at me.
“Oh, good. Guess I’ll see you then. You two have a good night,” Skyler says, and takes off.
“Can we order food tonight? I’m beat,” I say as we make our way outside and head home.
Checking my phone as I walk, I see I have a couple of texts from Oz telling me to be safe going home and that he looks forward to our chat tonight. I notice Captain America is following us again, but Paige doesn’t comment, so I let it go. I’m ready for some pajamas and lounging, and I’m too tired to get into men with her tonight.
* * *
It’s before eight when I close my laptop and grab my phone and head to my bedroom. I spent the last hour looking up new updates on the forums for the new program at work. Learned some stuff that I really think will help. I want to talk to Oz in private, and I’m not sure how long this will take. Paige said she had some work to do and went to her room right after dinner, so I cleaned up the last of the dishes and got things ready for the morning.
As soon as I lie back on the bed, the phone vibrates in my hand. My goofy grin appears as I see Oz’s name on my screen.
“Hello there,” I say, sinking against my pillow.
“Mallory.” My name on his lips sends tingles down my spine, and I wish for the millionth time today he was here by my side.
“Miss me?” There’s a playfulness in my voice, and yet there’s heat there, too.
“More than you can possibly know.”
“Tell me about your day. Maybe it will make me miss you less. I’ll feel like I was with you.”
“I love hearing you say you miss me.” His voice is deep and sounds so close. It’s like he’s lying next to me in bed, and not on the other side of the world. I smile, thinking no one has ever made me smile so easily with only a few words.
“I bought a company here last year and I was wrapping up some stuff to finish selling it.”
“You sell them that quickly?”
“We did some fast big changes to it and a few buyers were jumping to get it. Turned into a little bit of a bidding war. We settled a price so he got the final bid. Spent the day finalizing things.”
There’s a pause, and I hear a rustling, and then hear him let out a breath like he’s lain down. “Now let’s discuss the pictures you sent me last night.”
My face probably looks like Rudolph’s nose, but I decide to own it. He asked for them, and I followed through. Might as well put my nudes where my mouth is. Trying to be a little more confident than I actually am, I go for it.
“Which one was your favorite?” I’m new to flirting, but as long as he’s the one doing the talking, I’m sure I’ll manage.
“The first one. You’re smiling so beautifully, it makes my heart ache. I’ve stared at it all day.”
I’m surprised by his answer, thinking he’d like the dirtier ones better.
“Yes. Really. I wish I could see it now. Your soft lips and sweet pink cheeks. I can picture you now, lying on your bed, talking to me. Your hair’s probably up in a messy ponytail like in the pictures. Your perfect neck exposed, waiting for my kisses. What are you doing right now, Mallory? How close am I?”