Page 21 of Hero Next Door

Why didn’t I see this coming? How the hell did I not know? There must have been some signs somewhere…

“You aren’t going anywhere, Esme, not until we have discussed this properly.” Unfortunately, Mr. Jones isn’t paralyzed with fear like me, so he darts over to the door and clamps it shut behind himself. “This isn’t over.”

My eyes are swimming, melting in fear, and as I dart my eyes around the room, I notice some strange things on Mr. Jones’ desk, things that are not normally there, but to be honest I’m not worried about his work or out of work hobbies right now, I just want to escape. I haven’t ever found myself in a situation so dangerous before, so I don’t know how to deal with it, how I’m supposed to process it. I’ve been too sheltered, too hidden until now.

“P… please let me go.” Is that a tear leaking down my cheek? It’s a good time to be crying, I suppose. “I just… I just need to go. Whatever you want me to do to make this right again, I can do it tomorrow…”

I hope he thinks that I don’t have the guts to walk away from this business, but with what he’s doing to me right now, it would take a ton more courage for me ever to walk back through those doors again. I will miss Delia, of course, but she is the only thing that I will miss about this place. Honestly, how have I not walked away so much sooner? How have I forced myself through those doors every single day? I don’t understand.

“Tell me how you feel about me,” he growls while grabbing on to my arm hard. There will definitely be a bruise there tomorrow. “I want to know. I want to hear it from your mouth. If I know that you and me are going to go the distance then I won’t be sad to say goodbye to all of this. It will have all been for a reason. I can’t lose it all though.”

“What are you talking about?” I try my hardest to yank him off of me. “Why would you think like that? Like there could be anything between us? Like it’s worth sacrificing the company for? What about all the people working for you?”

“I don’t care about them… only you…” Oh my God, he’s unhinged. I can see it in his eyes. He really is losing the plot. “I want you, Esme and I can see it in your eyes… you want me too. You always have done.”

I just about manage to wrench my arm away, but the agony left behind rages in my skin along with the finger prints that he has left on my arm. And to think that I assumed today was a good day with him…

“I haven’t ever given you any signals, Mr. Jones. I don’t want to mistake anything here. I thought that you hated me which is why you’re always yelling.” My face is soaked. I must look a right state. Not that it matters because I don’t think that Mr. Jones can even register how I’m looking. He’s on some other fucking planet somewhere, still in the way of the door, blocking my exit. How the hell can I get him to move? “I didn’t know that this was coming…”

“I want you to stay late with me, Esme, that’s always been the reason. I kept thinking that something would happen at some point between us but it never did. That’s why at this pivotal moment in my life, at these cross roads, I need to take action. I have to be brave and speak out, find out what our future is. I can’t keep waiting and wondering. You are a tease, Esme. You have always been a tease. Now it’s time to learn the truth once and for all.”

This is it, I can’t take it any longer, I am going to have to do something that I never thought I would. I drag my hand back, I curl up my first by my side, trying to use all of the adrenaline that is currently coursing through me to do something positive. I am so desperate now that I will try absolutely anything, anything to make my escape.

I scream, I squeeze my eyes shut because I can’t stand that it has come to this, and I punch…

I wince, expecting there to be a sickening crunch as I connect with his face, hopefully his nose because at least there is a good chance of that hurting, but I don’t quite make it. I don’t connect with anything because he uses my stupid action to grab me. He claims me and spins me around until it’s me back against the door, but he’s slammed me hard against the wood, winding me so I can hardly breathe, never mind think straight. I can hear him saying something to me, something about making me see, forcing me to understand, but his words mean nothing to me. I want to wriggle away just enough to get my hand on that door knob. If I can do that then I can wrench it open. Then I will need to run like my life depends on it, because let’s be honest, it just might…

Tags: Mia Ford Romance
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