Captain reaches to tuck a strand of her hair behind her ear, drawing her attention to him. She smacks his hand away, making him smirk. I look down at my notepad, wanting to look away from the two of them because what I really want to do is send her a text teasing her about her crush, about what’s going on with the way he touches her, but I can’t. I shouldn’t want to either. I should hate her for lying to me.

I reach into my purse, pulling my phone out and seeing I don’t have any missed calls or texts at all. That bothers me, too. Jesus, I’m a mess. Now I’m mad he hasn’t texted me after I deleted his email without even reading it. I have serious issues right now.


Skyler nudges me, and I look over at her and see she’s looking at the stage. I follow her line of sight and there he is, staring right at me. His dark beard is a little longer than normal, probably because he didn’t shave all weekend and he still hasn’t taken the time. He’s in dark blue slacks and a light blue button-up shirt that’s rolled up at the sleeves.

He looks tired. The lack of sleep shows under his eyes as he stares at me. Everyone else is taking their seats at the long table on the stage. He sits off to the side like he’s only there to observe.

“Hey, is that Miles Osbourne?” Eric asks, leaning over toward me. I look at him and shrug, like I have no idea. When I glance back at Oz, his eyes are still on me. Intense. It’s clear that he doesn’t care if anyone notices he’s staring at me. He glances over at Eric, then back at me, and even from this distance I can actually see his jaw tick as he clenches it.

I watch as Oz reaches into his pocket, pulls out his phone and types away. I feel mine vibrate in my lap, but I don’t look down or reach for it. I look away from him and over at Skyler.

“Wow. He looks pissed.” Skyler says it without moving her lips. She tilts her head a little—I’m guessing so Oz won’t know what she’s saying.

I glance back at him and his eyes move from me to Captain and Paige up against the wall. He and Captain seem to have some silent conversation before he looks back at me. I look between them and I know he’s going to do something. Grabbing my phone, I open my text messages.

Oz: Don’t make me have him removed from this building.

I see Captain moving around the side of the auditorium and I panic. He’s going to make a fucking scene! This is how he’s sorry, by embarrassing me? This is freaking ridiculous. He really can’t be this jealous.

Me: Knock it off right now, or I’ll walk out of here and never come back.

I hit Send and look up. He looks down at his phone and I glance over to see Captain has already stopped. Paige has him by the arm and is talking to him as he looks down at her. She glances at me, and I know she’s stopping him from coming over here. I sigh in relief as she gets him to move back toward where they were standing before.

“Good morning, everyone. Some of you may know me already, but I’m Samuel Black, CEO of Osbourne Corporation.”

I lean back in my chair, relieved that Oz isn’t making a scene, but I don’t look at him. I keep my eyes on Mr. Black as he goes on about future plans for the company and the direction they want to take.

After what seems like years, I finally crack and glance over at Oz. It was all I could do to hold off from looking at him for five minutes, and I hate how pathetic that makes me feel.

When I look to him, I see he’s still staring at me. It makes me squirm in my seat, and I want to shout at my body for its reaction to him. To those deep sapphires staring at me so intimately. Grabbing my phone, I text him.

Me: Stop staring. People will notice.

Oz: I don’t care if people notice.

Me: I do.

Oz: Have dinner with me and I’ll stop staring.

I glare at him before putting my phone back down. This is a little different Oz than I’m used to. Some of his softness has bled away, a hard dominance coming through. I’d seen it before but never coming for me like this. Before I felt like when he did something there was a question if I was okay with it. That seems to be gone. He’s always been intense but now it seems like he’s cracked a little or maybe the real him is coming out and this part of him is on a mission to steamroll me.

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