“Let me explain,” Gian said.
She shook her head. “You mean you’re going to lie.” She took a deep breath and forced herself to look at him and—-
His mesmerizingly light blue eyes stared back at her, stealing her breath away, but worse than that, it was also threatening to steal her common sense.
She tore her gaze away from him. It was a bad mistake to think she could look at him while talking. Really bad. This time, she stared hard at the wall as she asked, “Were those papers your excuse, alibi – whatever you want to call it – so you can hang out here?”
The way Gian didn’t even hesitate to confirm it made her heart pinch.
“So you were just playing with me then?” she asked dully.
“I don’t believe you.” Her fists clenched. “Are you even an executive here or was that a lie as well? Maybe you’re not even working here—-” Her head jerked up when it took Gian too long to answer, and she gasped in mortification when she saw the discomfort in his gaze. “Oh my God, you don’t even working here?” And then she remembered something, the fact that the photocopying room was directly connected to the company’s stock room, where all unused and spare office supplies were.
She gasped again.
Gian frowned. “Vivi, will you please stop jumping to conclusions—-”
She interrupted him, crying out, “Have you been stealing company supplies all this time?”
“What? No! That’s ludicrous.” He shook his head. “This is going nowhere. If you’ll just let me explain—-” His phone rang, and Gian stopped speaking.
“I’m sorry,” she said stiffly, “but I need to call security on you.” She might be infatuated with him, but it was possible that he was trespassing or even stealing company property. She owed it to the people paying her wages to do what was right.
“I don’t have time, Vivi. Just let me explain before I go—-”
She covered her ears as she stomped towards the door, heart beating hard at the thought that he could reach out to her and stop her from leaving. It should have been a distressing thought, but her stupid body was actually stirring to life at the prospect.
She flung the door open just as she heard him curse under his breath before answering his phone. His voice, however, was gentle when he answered, “Ciao, principesa.”
Her face whitened.
Great. Not only had he been lying to her, but he also had a girlfriend on the side as well? She didn’t have to be fluent in Italian to know that the endearment he had used – and in that sweet tone even – meant ‘princess.’ Whoever he was talking to obviously meant more to him than her, his “Vivi.”
Vivian’s eyes blinked rapidly as she forced herself to march down the hallway in search for security. She was not going to cry over Gian or whatever that jerk’s name was. She was going to consider this as another experience in life, another lesson to be learned to make her stronger.
But she was not going to cry over him.
She was not.
When she finally returned with a security officer, it was to find the photocopying room empty and without a single piece of evidence of his presence. The papers were gone, and even the photocopying machine’s data history had been deleted.
“He was just here…” But of course he would have made his escape. “What if he’s stolen something?” she asked numbly.
“I’ll check the CCTV cameras and let you know what we find out,” the officer assured her. “Don’t blame yourself for this. Even if it turns out something’s been stolen, it wasn’t your fault.” He gave her a sympathetic look. “Are you going to be okay?”
She managed a nod.
“You don’t need to continue with your job for tonight, you know. The company has rules for incidents like this, and you can leave if you want, and you’ll still get paid your entire wages for the night.”
She shook her head slowly. “I’m okay.” She did feel a little bit weird, a little bit stressed out, and more than a little bit crazy at how things had turned out, but she was…okay.
“I KNOW YOU HAD YOUR man check if she was fine and that she said she was, but that is not what I’m asking,” Luca reprimanded icily. “What I’m asking is whether she looked fine and if she did not, I don’t care what reason you use – I want you to have her checked by a medical professional and make sure she is not suffering from shock or anything similar. Capisci?”
He ended the call shortly after, but only with the assurance that they could provide him with a detailed report on Vivian Day’s current condition within the hour. Luca made another call, this time to his head of security. “Something’s come up, and I want you and the rest of your team working double time on finishing your background check on Ms. Day. I want the report on my desk first thing tomorrow.”