Reyna rounded the corner and caught a smudge of black in her peripheral vision. She stopped in her tracks. Her eyes searched the area, but saw no one. She was in a well-lit part of the park, but it was mostly empty this early in the morning. She started back up and took a turn toward the fields where nannies brought children to run around and play games. When she was almost there, she noticed footsteps falling faintly behind her.
She was being followed.
Her heart rate sped up, and she increased her pace to a slow jog. She was glad that she was in her Converse today. She wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere in the ridiculous heels that lined her closet. Her feet carried her to the edge of the park, and she took one look behind her. That was when she caught a glimpse of the person following her.
She slowed to a walk and then turned to face the now empty trail. Reyna crossed her arms, planting herself firmly in place.
“I know you’re following me!” she called out. “Can’t I have a moment of peace, Beckham?”
He stepped out from the tree line and approached her. Anger welled up inside of her. How dare he follow her! She did not need an escort through this park. And it didn’t matter that he was truly gorgeous in dark wash jeans and a black long-sleeve button-up that he left unbuttoned at the neck. It was the most dressed-down she had ever seen him. It fit him just as well as the suits he always wore. This whole thing would have been much easier if he wasn’t attractive. She gritted her teeth in frustration.
“You left without security,” Beckham said.
“Yes. Don’t you think there was a reason for that? Can’t take a hint?” she snapped.
“I’m sure you had a reason for your actions, but I don’t think they preclude you from staying safe.”
“Do I look like I’m in any immediate danger?” She spread her hands wide and gestured to the park around her. “The only person stalking me is you.”
Beckham ignored her comment. “I wondered where you wanted to go to be all alone.”
“Honestly? Anywhere away from you, and even then I can’t get away, can I?” She hated that she sounded petulant, but she was hurt. After what had happened last night, he deserved to get a little slap in the face. She couldn’t even believe he had the nerve to follow her.
“No. You still work for me, Reyna.”
She rolled her eyes. “You signed the paperwork. You pay my wages. You provide the penthouse. There is no work involved here. And if there is, perhaps I should file some sexual harassment paperwork.”
“Oh Reyna, you don’t mean that.”
He didn’t exactly sound hurt by her words, but his response wasn’t like him either. Well, she hoped he was hurting half as much as she was.
“I just need to be away from you right now,” she told him.
“I can’t let you go off by yourself.”
“Then send someone else,” she said. “I can’t even look at you.”
She swallowed and turned her face away from him. She hated so much how small she felt in front of him. Last night had been incredible and then he had ruined everything. Now whenever she saw his face, she remembered the slap to her face she had received when he had mentioned Penelope’s name.
“I won’t apologize for last night,” he said.
Reyna shook her head and started to walk away from him. He caught up with her easily. “Stop following me.”
“Stop acting like this.”
She glared at him. “You said you wouldn’t apologize. For what? For going down on me or the fact that we almost had sex or the part where you stopped because you had a girlfriend,” she spat.
“Any of it.”
“Fantastic. Aren’t you supposed to be with your precious Penny?” she said, drawing out the nickname. “That’s where you always disappear to, isn’t it?”
Beckham didn’t answer, but she already knew the answer.
“Whatever. You disgust me.”
“Finally you’re talking sense.”
“Sense?” she cried. “You want to disgust me?”
He shrugged noncommittally. “Well, you just sound jealous of Penny.”
Her mouth dropped open in surprise. How dare he say that!
Her face heated in response as the words sank in. It wasn’t just because it was true. She was jealous of Penelope, but it was more than that. She was embarrassed how easily he noticed that her anger was fueled by jealousy. It made her want to stab him…as if that would do any good.
Instead she took a step toward him, glowering at him. “And you seem to enjoy it. All of it. You love the way I smell, the way I taste. You want me. You want more,” she said, running her hand up the front of his shirt. “What would your Penelope think if she found out about how bad you want to fuck me?”