Page 20 of Hero Next Door

But now… well, now as my bag slumps back down on my chair, I realize that it was all just building to this instead. Some kind of epic show down that I just don’t want to face. Mr. Jones let me slide my guard down just so that he can take me out once and for all. Who the hell knows, this might even be the day that I get fired.

That would be just my luck, wouldn’t it? After what happened with Theo. The time that I have had alone today has allowed me to think about it all, and honestly my head is all over the place. I don’t know what to think or feel, I am a mess, officially. Why did I get so tipsy around him? Why did I allow myself to cave to sensations? Why did I sleep with him even though I know that it can only be a bad idea which leaves me with a neighbor dispute?

I went to apologize to him and after the way that I panicked, and ran out of his house like a complete and utter weirdo, I feel like I need to say sorry to him again. Only this time it will be much too embarrassing…

God, I’m at the edge of what I can handle. I’m really on the edge of everything. With that hanging over my head and my guard let down at work, I don’t know what I can take from Mr. Jones right now. But as I watch everyone else filter out of the building, leaving me by myself with him… again, I know that I don’t have a choice.

I suck in a breath, a nervous, anxious breath and try to still myself. I need to be ready, I need to be prepared for whatever is going to come my way. I can’t crack under pressure or I will lose everything. I can just take it like I always do, be the punching bag like I always am, then go home to my normal life…

Even if my life at home isn’t exactly normal at the moment. But one problem at a time, let’s not get overwhelmed.

“Esme, I don’t know what the fuck is going on at the moment,” he breathes out, the anger that I thought wasn’t there all day long finally bubbling to the surface in a terrifying rage. “I don’t know what is the matter with you or anyone else in this company to be honest. It is as if no one wants me to succeed.”

“E… everyone wants this company to be successful,” I try my best to counter act, just as an attempt to cool this down before it gets out of hand. “We all want to keep our jobs here. If this place fails, then we all lose out…”

“But no one quite as much as me, right?” His snarl suggests that I definitely shouldn’t argue with this. “I will be the one who ends up with nothing. No company, no cash flow, no prospects, and no wife.”

Okay, now he’s looking at me for answers and I really don’t know what to say. This is a fucking confusing roller coaster and I really want to get off. “I… I didn’t know that you didn’t have a wife… I didn’t ever ask…”

“No, you didn’t, did you, Esme?” Oh God, why does his tone suggest that he is leading somewhere with this? “Because then we would have to confront whatever this is between us, wouldn’t we? We would have to face our feelings instead of bitching at one another, and that would make life complicated at work.”

“Erm…” What the hell is happening here? I’m so dizzy that I could fall over at any given moment. Was Theo’s jokes about the boss having a thing for me right? That seems utterly impossible, I mean a relationship with him is just so utterly crazy that I wouldn’t ever consider it, not really but what Mr. Jones is saying is fucking terrifying.

“But we might not have to worry about the company anymore.” He takes a step closer to me, his eyes dancing with delight. He must be able to sense the ice cold terror darting through my veins, but perhaps that’s what he wants. Maybe he is one of those weird people who gets off on people being freaked out. I have always thought of him as a bit strange… “If the business is going to sink like it seems it will, we only have one another left.”

“I… I’m leaving…” I manage to blurt out, just as the panic takes hold of me. I can’t let him come to me no matter what. “I can’t do this anymore. It’s… it’s damaging to me, to my mental health, I need to… to…”

I want to run, to race out of this building and never come back again. No pay check is worth this, I would much rather live on the streets than have to deal with this man again. But for some reason, I feel stuck in place, like fear has encased me in lead and there is no way out for me. Mr. Jones definitely likes this, I can see it in his eyes.

Tags: Mia Ford Romance
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