Sebastian looks furious. To my surprise he gets up and storms to the door.
“Mike!” he growls across the corridor in the voice of a man who is used to being obeyed. “Get in my office now!”
I’m surprised at his anger. I’ve heard all the stories about him being a bit of an ogre, but so far, he hasn’t shown that to me.
“Should I go?” I ask, feeling mortified at the thought of witnessing him berate Mike. Sebastian shakes his head.
“No, stay here.”
Five minutes later Mike appears in the office, looking confused. He looks even more puzzled when he sees me standing there.
“What’s up boss?” he says flippantly, clearly not unfazed at being summoned. I’m guessing Sebastian does this a lot.
“What the fuck did you say to Rose?”
“Err…asked her to get me a coffee?”
More like ordered, I think.
“No, you were making comments about the other cleaning staff. What the fuck do you think you’re playing at? Have some fucking respect or you can clean your own fucking office.”
Mike swallows and his eyes flicker over to me and away again quickly, although not so quick that I don’t see the contempt in his eyes. I’ve made an enemy there.
“Right. Apologies. It won’t happen again.”
“Good. And I want the report on the Santa Monica division before lunch.”
Mike opens his mouth to say something but then thinks better of it, shutting it instead and leaving the office with a brusque nod.
“Thanks,” I murmur, trying to work out if this is a good thing or not. Sebastian swivels round in his chair to face me, looking thoughtful.
“How many more offices do you have to clean?”
“Okay. Fancy brunch when you’ve finished, my treat?”
I hesitate and see the disappointment in his eyes. This is a great chance to get to know him better…but I don’t want to keep lying to him. I like him.
More than like him. I flash back to my shower last night and feel the heat rush to my cheeks as I remember my fantasies of his hands and mouth on me.
This is getting way too complicated.
I should say no.
“Yes,” I say instead. “I’d like that.”
“Great,” he beams. “Just give me a knock when you’re done. I could do with getting out of this place. I’ve had enough already this morning, and by the sound of things, so have you.”
I rush off, my stomach fluttering with excitement… and guilt.
I go into the restroom and quickly call Adrian, feeling like a traitor the whole time.
“I’m going to be late,” I tell him. He tsks loudly down the phone, and I continue quickly before he can start ranting. “Sebastian is taking me for brunch.”
Instantly he changes his tune.
“Good girl! After just two days? I knew you could do it! I’m expecting big things from this.”
I don’t miss the veiled threat in his words. I mumble a goodbye and cut the call, feeling sick with guilt…but thrilled that Sebastian is taking me out.
I get through the rest of the offices in a daze, thinking about the upcoming date, even as I keep trying to remind myself that it’s not a date, it’s just brunch. He’s just being nice to make up for Mike being so obnoxious.
Or maybe this is his game…maybe he is just a charmer who takes advantage of his staff. Perhaps him and Mike have some elaborate seduction routine going on. In which case I would be justified in uncovering it.
I try to convince myself even as my gut screams at me that I’m wrong.
Before I go back to his office, I go back to the bathroom to check my appearance, wishing that I had a change of clothes and some make up with me. Some heels, at least. I shake my hair out of its bun, letting it fall in waves around my shoulders, and add some tinted lip balm to my lips. It’s the best I can do.
Taking a deep breath, I make my way back to Sebastians’s office, smiling shyly as I enter.
“Your hair looks beautiful down like that,” he says, then frowns before I can thank him. “Sorry, I’m acting like Mike, aren’t I? Inappropriate.”
I laugh, amused at the comparison. “No,” I reassure him. “Honestly you are nothing like Mike. In fact, I don’t think you could be less like him if you tried.”
He looks pleased.
“Well, that’s a relief.” He stands up and offers me his arm. “Shall we go?”
I take his arm, blushing furiously. We have to walk through one of the open plan offices to get downstairs and it’s pretty much full by now. Everyone stares at us curiously. Curiously and with surprise, I think. They haven’t seen him do this before. On a professional level I should be disappointed…but I’m not thinking professionally, and I’m flattered, not disappointed.
He makes me feel special.
And I like it.
He takes me to a fancy French restaurant for brunch and I order some type of fancy plate that melts on my tongue.