She practically runs out of the cafeteria before I can do anything. It all goes so fast it takes a second before I realize what happened and how she slipped through my fingers.
Once the shock wears off, I reach down and pick up her chair, straightening it. Ignoring the murmurs and the curious looks of my audience, I take the tray over to the trash. I pretend that no one witnessed what happened. And that no one saw Jay’s reaction to me.
I have to tell myself this over and over as I make my way to the security floor and go into the private bathroom. Because once I’m in there, I can finally curse myself for what just happened.
I shake my hand, but the tingles won’t go away. All afternoon it’s felt like there’s a tickle right where Jordan kissed me. I can’t seem to focus on anything but what happened.
Well, maybe not exactly kissed, but sweet lord, when that man’s lips touched my skin I thought my body was going to combust right in the middle of the cafeteria. It was a simple touch, but it felt like more. It felt like something was shifting between us and I didn’t know how to handle that.
“God, I’m such an idiot.” I set my forehead down on the desk, and I want to crawl into a hole and disappear. I acted like a freaking spaz. He’ll probably never ask me to lunch again, thinking I’m a nut like everyone else around here.
Could I have been any more dramatic in the way I ran out of there? The first time a man’s ever touched me and I run like a group of angry villagers are chasing me.
“If you’re going to nap on company time, you should do it in the spare office. That couch is super comfy.”
I pop up and straighten in my chair to see Skyler standing there, eating an apple with her hip against my desk. She’s dressed in a white top with electric-blue trousers and pink heels. Mallory’s partner on Osbourne’s charity work is always dressed to wow.
“I’m not napping. I’m just dying of embarrassment,” I say as I straighten papers that are already perfectly in line, like everything else on my desk.
“Let me guess. Your work bestie finally made his move?” She takes a bite of her apple and wiggles her eyebrows.
Skyler and I aren’t close, but she’s perceptive. We exchange friendly chat at work, and I’ve seen her having lunch downstairs. Apparently, she’s seen me having lunch, too.
Jordan is the only one around here who talks to me about things other than work for the most part. Most seem to run when they see me coming, knowing I probably want something. Now I think I’ve lost my only friend here.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I pull up a document on my computer and begin typing nonsense so she thinks I’m busy.
“It’s none of my business, but I’ve seen the way he looks at you.” She shrugs and pushes off my desk, straightening up. “All I know is that Paige likes him, and she doesn’t like anyone. He must be good people.”
She walks away but leaves her words behind. They sit heavy on me, and I wonder if I’ve been reading things wrong this whole time. I know Jordan is a good guy. He’s the best guy I’ve ever met, but that doesn’t mean he wants me. He’s always just been friendly with me. Sweet, even. If someone asked me who my best friend is, I’d say him.
The kiss on my hand today put me in a tailspin, and I don’t like it. I’m direct, and I like to take control. Having that taken away from me is something I’m not used to, and I want it back. I’m not the kind of woman to shy away from confrontation, and I don’t want to start now.
I can tackle this situation head-on and see what happens. Maybe he’s into me and maybe he’s not. But I don’t want to sit around all day hating myself for acting like a lunatic at lunch. Giving myself a pep talk, I pull up my email and type with purpose.
I want to go to this wine and paint thing after work, but I don’t want to go alone. Are you free?
I wait for what feels like hours but is possibly only seconds.
Subject: RE: Tonight
Only if I can bring beer…and you promise not to laugh at my stick figures.
I feel myself smile for the first time since lunch, and I breathe a sigh of relief. Everything is okay.
Subject: RE: Tonight
Yes, it’s BYOB! And I promise.
Unless it’s really terrible. Then I can’t be held responsible.
Meet you downstairs after work. It’s just a couple of blocks away.
PS Sorry I got weird at lunch.