I don’t hesitate, tapping firmly on the icon to send it.

Determined not to obsess over what I just did, I lay my phone down, intent on ignoring it. I flip open the folder Linda had just handed me, prepared to take notes. My phone chimes with a text, so I grab it from my desk. It bobbles in my hand, then plummets to the carpeted floor beside my chair. I almost fall out of my chair leaning over to get it, but when I have it firmly in hand, my breath goes static in my lungs as I read Declan’s response. I miss you very much as well.

And that’s it.

I’m an absolute goner. This thing with Declan is real. If we’re lucky, it’s going to last. Sure, we have some logistics to work around, mainly the fact he’s going to move soon. But he as much as said he wanted me to go with him. I mean, he sort of beat around the bush, but I understood what he was saying. I could go with him if I wanted.

Or we could do a long-distance relationship to see where his next project would take him. Maybe I would be in a better position to leave my parents at that point. Hell, maybe my parents would follow us the way Leonie does. It’s not like they have jobs tying them down.

Definitely a lot of options. I expect Declan and I will work through them together.

Movement passing by my cubicle catches my eye, and I look up with a smile, assuming it’s one of the other members who work in the executive offices. Over the weeks, I have gotten to know quite a few of them.

Instead, a stunningly beautiful woman who absolutely oozes wealth, sophistication, and entitlement stands there. No matter how often Declan tries to educate me, I will never be able to recognize the name-brand labels of designer clothing. But the crisp white tailored suit she wears is no doubt something that cannot be bought off the rack.

The woman is tall, thin, and has model-perfect features. Brilliant auburn hair pulled back into a sleek chignon at the back of her neck, aquiline nose, high cheekbones, and full lips painted a deep rust color matches her coloring perfectly.

She has incredible green eyes that are almost hypnotic. Her ears, neck, wrist, and fingers drip with expensive jewelry. Her cologne smells so exotic I feel compelled to offer her money just for the privilege of sniffing it.

She gives me the barest of glances before heading straight toward Declan’s office. For a moment, I’m shocked, but then I scramble out of my chair to follow her.

Just as she crosses the threshold, I say, “Excuse me… can I help you with something?”

She doesn’t even meet my eyes when she says, “I’m here to see Declan.”

“He’s not here right now,” I reply with a hard tone. I’m his assistant, yet she just walked all over my domain. When Declan is gone, I am the protector of this office.

The woman turns to face me, her designer handbag looped in the crook of her arm. She waves an impatient hand. “When will he be back?”

“Late this afternoon, actually,” I reply with a lift of my chin. “And he has appointments then. If you would like me to schedule something for you—”

The woman waves a hand again, this time in an apparent motion to shut up. “I’ll just wait for him here. I have stuff to occupy my time.”

I’m stunned to inaction when she starts to walk around his desk as if she’s going to dare to sit there.

I follow after her, not sure what I intend to do. It’s probably not professional to tackle her. “Just wait a minute… you cannot be in here.”

To my dismay, the woman completely ignores me.

“You’re going to have to leave,” I say icily when I reach the edge of the desk.

The woman gives me a haughty look before pulling Declan’s chair out, then gracefully settles into it. She crosses one long leg over the other as she places her handbag on the surface.

She narrows her eyes. “I’ll do nothing of the sort.”

I suppress a growl of challenge, attempting to keep my voice level. “I’m sorry. If you do not leave, I’m going to have to call security.”

Who was this woman?

Maybe someone from his past who has gone all stalker-ish?

She doesn’t seem like the type Declan would have been with, just knowing what I knew about him before he and I started working together. Going by the floozy type of woman leaving his suite the day he offered me a job, this woman is an ice princess, clearly educated, and has an arrogance that only comes from running in the same type of social circles Declan does.

One thing is clear… she’s not put off by my threat to call security.


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