It takes me only a few minutes to scan through and add the files I want. It takes another few seconds to mirror all the data from Jordan’s computer onto mine and close down the programs. Once I’ve got what I need, I wipe Jordan’s computer of everything I’ve done and load my laptop back into my bag. I put it on my shoulder as my pulse races, but I’ve got what I need. I’ll finally be able to end this. Put it behind me. Maybe have a future with Captain if he’ll still have me. God. Captain. Just thinking about losing him makes my whole body ache.
I push Jordan’s chair back exactly how I found it and check his desk one last time to be sure there’s nothing out of place. I smile, thinking that it’s all going to plan, and turn to leave.
And as I do, I run into a brick wall. My Captain.
“Hey, kitten,” he says, looking down at me. “Have something of mine?”
* * *
CAPTAIN STARES DOWN at me, his face nothing but hard lines. An unreadable mask. There’s no emotion to it, and he’s giving nothing away. He’s still in the same suit he wore to work today. His green eyes look darker than ever. I grab the strap of my backpack tighter and stare back, unsure what to say to him. I don’t want to try to explain this. I knew we weren’t forever and that’s why I was savoring all the moments I could with him, collecting each of them to replay over and over again in my head when he was long gone from my life. For when he wanted nothing to do with me. He’ll regret ever telling me he loved me, because the person he thought he loved isn’t really me.
It’s tearing at my heart, because I never thought about the fact that I’d have to relive the breakup along with all the good moments. This is when he finds out who I really am deep down inside, and he walks away from me. Seeing him staring down at me, I feel the weight of it hit me in my chest. The reality of losing another person I love.
The word bounces around in my head. Holy fuck. I love him and I lost him.
“I—” The single word leaves my lips before he cuts me off.
“Not a word,” he says, his tone completely flat. He’s unreadable, and I don’t know how to react. His big hand engulfs my wrist, and he pulls me along behind him as he turns to leave. I don’t fight, though maybe I should. The urge to flee is strong, because facing the reality of what I’ve done is closing in on me. I’m good at running when I get scared. When I can’t handle what’s happening. The silence in the elevator is deafening. I don’t know if I hate it or welcome it.
He hasn’t told me it’s over. Yet. So in this moment of limbo, he’s still mine, but I know what’s coming. I want to lean into him. Take his mouth in one last kiss. I remember this morning with the two of us in this very elevator, and it was completely different than it is now. My eyes fall closed as I replay it in my mind, feeling the tears start to build up behind my eyelids. I fight with myself to not let one slip free.
When the ding sounds, I open my eyes and Captain is pulling me from the elevator and out of the building. He holds my arm as we walk down the street to our building, and I wonder where he’s taking me. To my apartment, to his, or maybe even to Miles’s, to tell him what I’d done? He’s probably going to tell him to fire me, shattering yet another relationship that was starting to build.
Maybe I should run. I could take the backpack and go. It has the information I need, and it’s what started me on this path almost five years ago. I let myself become distracted and forgot about the one person I owed. I let Captain and the thought of us sidetrack me and help me forget the horrible things I witnessed. He filled my mind with so much sweetness, it took up all the space. The memories of every touch we shared pushed forward and eclipsed the dark.
“Don’t even think about it. You won’t make it two feet,” Captain growls, cutting through my thoughts.
Somehow he knows exactly what I was thinking. His anger shows in his words, and it’s the first spark of any emotion I’ve gotten from him since he caught me. When we finally make it to our building, relief hits me when I see him push the button to my floor. The elevator ride is far quicker than I’d like it to be, and he soon pushs me into my apartment.