In our security department, I run the background checks for all employees and potential employees. If you’re interviewing with us, I’m the one who gets an extensive look into your past and then decides if you’d be a good fit. I also randomly research existing employees to make sure things are still copacetic. A few years ago, I found out that someone in finance had racked up a ton of debt and was slowly stealing from the company. It was only a few hundred dollars at the time, but they were well on their way to a bigger slice of pie.

Computers have always made sense to me. Women, not so much, and the problem with that is I’ve never tried to figure them out. Now I’m obsessed with Jay, and I have no clue how to go about it. I’m not the type of guy that sits around and talks about my feelings. Hell, I don’t really talk much at all. I consider myself the strong, silent type, and it’s seemed to work for me so far. I wouldn’t say I’m shy, but I have no clue how to approach asking Jay out on a date.


I try to ignore my own thoughts and focus on the task at hand. I won’t get anywhere brooding over how to get the woman of my dreams. Actions speak louder than words, and I’m going to try to focus on that.

By the time I go through three new employee files, I’m ready to blow up my computer. Don’t people understand that social media is forever? It doesn’t matter how long ago you posted it, I’ll find it. Drunken college photos can be excused. But racist rants under a fake name on Twitter can’t hide from me. Sorry New Hire Number Two, but you’re out of here.

I check my watch and see that I have ten minutes before I meet Jay. Pushing away from my desk, I raise my chin at Justice, letting him know I’m heading out. He’s got his eyes on Paige but catches my motion and nods back. I roll my eyes at the two of them. Fresh off their honeymoon and they can’t seem to stop eye-fucking one another.

I know it’s jealousy on my part, so I try to shake it off. I want what they have, but with Jay.

I get on the elevator and punch the button for the cafeteria. It was completely redone a while back, and now it’s one of the best places to eat in a five-block radius. It’s convenient for people who work in the building. Or people like me, who want some peace and quiet. Well, except for Jay. I’ll take her noise any day of the week. I could sit and listen to her ramble for days. Sometimes I even record her without her knowing and play it back at night when I go to sleep. Just listening to her talk soothes me.

I get in line and order two soups and three grilled cheeses. Then I order two salads, yogurt, a side of chips, three chocolate chip cookies and a couple of Diet Cokes. I’ll eat most of this, but I know Jay will make a sizable dent in it. She’ll say she doesn’t want any, but by the time lunch is over, she’ll have gone through almost half. I like that she feels comfortable enough to eat around me. I hear horror stories of women who starve themselves, but Jay doesn’t look like that type of woman to me. She’s all curves, and I’d love to caress every one of them.

She probably feels comfortable enough to eat most of my food because she doesn’t look at me like someone she wants. My own insecurities are creeping in, and I have to fight to push them down. I made a promise to myself that today I would push outside the box and try something new. I’m going to attempt to flirt. But this may go terribly wrong.

I grab us some drinks and then pay before I sit down at our usual table. It’s over in a corner by the window, and is somewhat private for a large cafeteria. As soon as I sit down, I spot her coming in the door.

She’s wearing a deep purple dress that should be conservative by most standards. It’s past her knees and has a high collar, so no cleavage is showing. It also has long sleeves with cuffs at the end. Nearly every inch of her is covered, but the way the material wraps around her hips and thighs ought to be illegal. I watch her move across the room, the longing I have for her pulsing through me.

I stand up and hold out her chair for her as she struts over and shakes her head at me.

“I told you lunch was on me today. You already played your royal flush with the pineapple muffin. You’re going to make me feel like a jerk if you won’t let me do something nice for you, too.”

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