Going to my tiptoes, I place my eye on the glass-covered hole. It takes a moment to register who stands on my doorstep, only because I can’t believe what I’m seeing.
Dressed in the same business suit he’d worn to work is none other than Declan Blackwood. Hands casually tucked in his pockets, he glances around my neighborhood, which is not the safest after the sun sets. He’s been here before, of course, on the night we visited The Wicked Horse, but I doubt he cared about his surroundings, given he thought he’d never be here again.
Which begs the question… what in the hell is he doing here?
I unlock the door and pull it open. Declan’s head whips my way, his expression looking awkward and uneasy.
“Hey,” I say.
“Miss Robbins,” he returns but doesn’t say anything else.
“Um… what are you doing here?” I ask, looking past him to his Porsche sitting at the curb.
He follows my gaze, glances around again as if having second thoughts about leaving his car out there, before turning back to me. “We need to talk. Can I come in?”
Well, shit. He’s here to fire me again. To say this isn’t working.
But… I’ve stood up to him before, and I’ll do it again. I don’t move to let him in. Instead, I cross my arms over my chest, widening my stance in a protective gesture. “If you’re here to try to fire me again, forget it. I don’t deserve it.”
“Not here to fire you, Miss Robbins,” he snaps, then runs his fingers through his hair with a sigh of frustration. “Can I come in?”
“Sure you want to leave your fancy car out there unattended?” I mock slightly.
His expression darkens until it’s slightly scary, and well… my attitude could be a fireable offense, so I backpedal a bit.
Turning sideways, I sweep my arm, indicating he should enter. He moves past me, close enough his arm brushes against mine, leaving a lovely tingling sensation in its wake. I grit my teeth, hating my body’s reaction, and shut the door.
Declan stops in the middle of my living room, looking around at the sparse furnishings and complete lack of decor.
I feel compelled to explain. “I… um… haven’t had much of a chance to decorate this place yet.”
“How long have you lived here?” he asks, turning to face me.
“Over a year,” I reply with a shrug. “Pretty much got rid of anything that I owned jointly with my ex-husband—”
“You were married?” he asks, brows drawing inward.
“Um… yeah,” I reply hesitantly. I never told him because it wasn’t pertinent to a damn thing.
But he doesn’t delve further into that, his glance moving to the couch. “Do you mind if we sit?”
I jump into action, realizing my boss is in my home, and I’m being a terrible hostess. “Of course,” I say as I rush to the couch and fluff the two decorative pillows that came with it. “You want something to drink?”
He shakes his head, moves around the end of the couch, and takes a seat. I follow suit, choosing to sit on the loveseat opposite of him instead, the wobbly coffee table I’d also picked up at a thrift store in between us.
Sitting solidly in the center of the cushion, Declan leans forward slightly and rests his elbows on his knees, clasping his hands lightly. “First, I want you to know that while I’m not here to fire you, I want you to know I’d be well within my right. When there is a personal issue between an employer and an employee, there is nothing wrong with cutting that employee loose.”
I keep my mouth firmly shut since he said he’s not here to fire me. No sense in engaging in an unnecessary battle, even though I take slight offense at the insinuation that I’m the problem between us.
“I want to talk about this issue between us,” Declan says directly. “To see if we can put it to rest.”
I’m not sure he could have surprised me more. I had expected him to propose transferring me to someone else in the company where I could keep the job, and the tension between us would be eliminated since we wouldn’t see each other. In a million years, I never thought he’d want to hash it out.
“Okay.” I drawl the word out in two long syllables.
“I want to fuck you again,” he says.
And I reel. Actually, I jerk backward until the rear cushion of the loveseat catches me from behind. “What?”
“I want to fuck you again,” he replies simply. “And I can’t stop thinking about it, and I bet if you’re honest, you think about it too.”
I swallow hard, my eyes practically bugged out of my head, but I refuse to acknowledge that statement. He might be all for talking this out, but I don’t have to admit to anything. My job is at stake. I’m not about to get my ass tossed out of this company.