Later in the day, he called me in the office. I brought all the work he needed to sign off on or receive an update about. Like I had before we’d started getting naked together, I went through the papers and reports. He, in turn, signed papers or told me what to do next.
When we were done, I got ready to leave by rising from my chair in front of the desk he’d fucked me on.
“Yes, sir.” I stood in front of his desk.
“Okay.” I sat. How awkward was this? I didn’t know if he was speaking to me as his assistant or now as his mistress.
“Are you all right?” He stood, came around his desk and sat in the chair next to me. I relaxed because it appeared this would be an informal conversation.
“Yes. Just… well… I’m not sure how to act.”
He sat back looking a little relieved. “Me neither.”
It was a sign that we shouldn’t be doing this. I started to say that, but then he reached out and took my hand. Tendrils of warmth flowed from my hand, up my arm, to the rest of my body.
“I go back and forth on this, and just when I think I’m strong enough to let you go, I see you and all I can think is how much I want to be with you.”
“So, you want to end this?” It was a relief that he was having the same reservations, and a disappointment too.
“Do I want to? No.”
“But you think we should?” He and I were on the same wavelength, but hearing it from him somehow hurt a little bit.
He turned away as if he was gathering his words. Finally, he turned back. “I’m struggling with the guilt.”
“Because of your wife?”
He gave a short nod. “Yes, her, but not just that. I know this is grossly inappropriate and unfair to you. You’re too good to be wasting your time with me.”
I didn’t respond since I’d also been wondering about whether I should be putting time to him when I could be with someone who wanted more from me than just sex.
“And there’s Lily and her grandparents. If they found out, I don’t know what they’d think.”
“Is that why you haven’t mentioned her birthday party invite?”
His eyes widened. “How do you know about that?”
I pulled my hand away. I had the feeling I was going to walk out his office as his assistant and not assistant-slash-mistress. “Mrs. Lockwood called me to tell me about it. It sounds like whatever Lily wants, she wants to give her.”
He smiled. “Yes. Since she lost her mother, I suppose we all indulge Lily a little too much.”
“Not you though. At least on this. You don’t want me there.”
He studied me as if he was only just realizing that I was feeling annoyed. “It’s not that I don’t want you there. I would want you to come for Lily. She’s been shy and withdrawn in the world. Yet you reached her.” He looked down. “But I worry others would be able to tell what we were doing.”
“How? It’s not like we’re in love.” That wasn’t completely true. While I might not be fully in love with him, I did feel more than just lust. “We won’t be making goo-goo eyes from across the room.”
“It’s not the goo-goo eyes I worry about.” He nodded down toward his groin, where I saw the outline of his dick. He wasn’t fully erect, but he wasn’t completely flaccid either.
“Oh.” I hadn’t thought of that.
He frowned. “You’re saying you want to come? To a child’s birthday party?”
“I like Lily, and if she likes me, why wouldn’t I go?”
“Because you have other things to do? Friends to visit maybe.”
I shook my head. “My world is very small, Blake. Work is about it.”
He looked at me like he couldn’t believe it. “You’re an engaging young woman. You should be living your life.”
I snorted and wanted to call him out on his hypocrisy. But since his self-imposed small world related to his dead wife, I thought it would be cruel. Instead I just explained my life. “I did my living with my mother. Then I cared for her when she was sick. After that, I had to work hard so I could pay the bills, especially the medical ones insurance didn’t cover. And I wanted to stay in our apartment in the city which is probably peanuts to you, but this is New York. It’s expensive to me.”
“I didn’t realize.” It looked like the wheels in his head were turning. “We should go do something.”
“To live. To honor my wife and your mother. Instead of letting work consume our lives.”
Now I was confused. Was this a date? No. It was an activity to honor the loved ones we lost. But why?
“And if you’d like to come to Lily’s party, we’d love to have you.”