“I like to read romance novels. It’s probably ruined me on men in real life,” she confesses.

“You deserve romance. Don’t settle,” I tell her as the waitress sets our food down in front of us. I keep holding her hand, just because I want to be touching her.

“Tell me something about you. Something nobody knows,” she asks me.

“Well, you know everything there is to know about me,” I assure her.

“C’mon, Mike, there has to be something.” She smiles mischievously, like I’m about to tell her a big secret.

“Okay, uh, I haven’t been out with a woman in around six months.”

She gasps and her fork makes a loud noise when she drops it in her plate. Her mouth hanging open, she says, “What? Why? No way.”

I think about it and try to find the right words. “I just haven’t been interested. I feel like I’m at the age now where I need to start thinking about settling down.”

She’s staring at me with her eyes wide. I swear I see hope in her eyes, but just as quickly, it disappears.

She clears her throat. “Uh, you act like you’re ancient. You’re forty-two years old.”

“I know how old I am, honey. Just like I know how old you are.” I say it out loud because I have to remind myself that she’s only twenty and not only that, but an inexperienced twenty-year-old.

We go through the rest of the meal and I try to slow it down. I don’t want the night to end. Not yet anyway.

“So, you are doing great on your first date,” I compliment her.

She turns red, like I knew she would. Shrugging her shoulders, she says, “Thanks. But it’s easy with you. Plus, I don’t feel as nervous because I know this isn’t a real date.”

I pull my hand away from her. Damn. Of course she doesn’t think this is a real date. What have I gotten myself into? I finally find someone I want to date, and I can’t. She’s my employee and she’s too young.

I stand up and throw some bills on the table. “You ready to go?”

She lifts the napkin from her lap and puts it on the table. “Yes, sure.”

I grab her hand and walk her to the car.

Carrie

Everything was going so well, but now it’s like he can’t get away from me fast enough. The ride back to my house is quiet and I can’t help but wonder if I did something wrong.

I try to break the silence, but he answers me and then turns his attention back to the road. When he pulls into the driveway, I tell him thank you and start walking toward my house.

“Wait, honey. You always let your date walk you to the door. Unless it was a bad one, then you can leave him at the restaurant or in the car.”

I nod and slow my steps. “Well, I do appreciate you taking me out, Mike. I had a really good time.”

He looks surprised and like he’s struggling with something, but tells me, “Yes, me too.”

I put my key in the door. “Well, I’ll see you…”

He presses against me and whispers, “Usually if you have had a good date, it ends with a goodnight kiss.”

I gasp and turn around. My breasts are pressed against his chest. He didn’t move back when I whirled around; if anything, he got even closer.

“Do you want to kiss me?” I ask him and then fiddle with the hem of my shirt nervously.

His hands go to my shoulders and hold me close. “Yes. More than anything. Even though I’m over twenty years older than you and I’m your boss. I still want to kiss you.”

I close my eyes and start to lean in. He meets me halfway and when his lips touch mine I have to hold in my gasp of pleasure. His lips are warm, strong and firm. He moves them against mine and this time, I let out a soft moan, giving him access for his tongue to touch against mine. The kiss is over in almost seconds and when he pulls away from me, he rests his forehead against mine.

“Goodnight, sweetie. I’ll see you in the morning.” He kisses my forehead and walks away. The warmth I felt in his arms is gone and now I’m chilled in the night air by myself. Touching my fingers to my lips and feeling their warmth, I go inside and relive the night in my dreams.

5

Mike

Another sleepless night has my nerves shot. I walk into the office early the next morning, so early that I’m the first one here. I go in and shut the door, not coming out until lunchtime.

“Hey, Carrie, I’m going to be out of the office this afternoon, but I’ll be back later. Do you care to work a little late this evening?”

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