"Here's your papers, sir."
You placed the stack of papers on the desk and took a step back. You held your hands together and did a closed-lip smile. The older man took the papers and quickly scanned over the sheets, shuffling through them one after the other.
Darker bags were under his eyes which signifies that he hasn't gotten any sleep from the days he was absent from work. He was more strict than usual and he was giving snarky remarks now and then when he was irritated. But, you noticed that he was also more quiet than usual.
He hasn't left your office since you been there.
You were getting to work early than you would usually do because of your tardiness last time, so sometimes you would sit in the parking lot when you arrived too early.
What caught your eye was that his truck was the first vehicle that was in the parking lot early just morning. But you didn't bother to walk up to the car because you didn't want to get any strange looks from the raven head man.
So you waited in the car by scrolling through your phone, checking your social media, watching a couple of videos on YouTube, or text Gilda now and then to buy some time until the building was open.
When it finally was time for you to go to work, you and others were going inside of the lobby clocking in and going to your destination, which was your office.
You looked through the crowd and noticed that Ray wasn't there.
This gave you the idea that he was already inside.
Maybe catching up on work that he missed? Or it was just the fact that he wanted to be there and he was already caught up by doing his work at his home.
"Okay. This is good, thank you," he said in his deep voice not looking at you, still reading through the papers.
"..You're welcome," you nodded and turned around taking your leave to get out of the quiet office.
The only thing that could be heard was water running down the big water fountain in the room and shuffling papers.
You stopped and turned around looking at him with raised eyebrows.
"Since you're finished on these well-organized papers, I have another assignment for you to do, if you don't mind," he mumbled. He took all of the papers and gathered them together and tapped them on the desk so they could be in a neat stack.
He placed them on his desk and wrote something on a sheet of paper with a pen.
"Yes, I don't mind." You said walking back towards the desk.
You honestly wanted to talk to him. He looked like he wasn't taking care of himself. Well, he dressed formally like he usually does and everything else was neat and organized, but it doesn't look like he was okay, emotionally and probably mentally.
"That's good to hear," he said in a stern voice.
He looked up at you stopping in the middle of his writing with his usual nonchalant expression.
"I apologize to put all of this on you at such short notice. But unfortunately, I am behind in my work and I have more work piled up on top of the work that I haven't completed because I had to attend to important matters."
You nodded your head showing that you understood and he continued.
"I wrote a couple of things on this paper and I wanted to know, Can you handle this, for me? I believe in your abilities and looks like you can do it."
He looked back down, away from you and finished off his writing, and pressed the end of the pen onto the desk making the ink holder go back inside.
"Of course. It's no problem."
You walked up close to the desk waiting for him to hand you the paper. He took the paper and handed it to you. You grabbed the paper and looked at the list, it didn't seem like much.
"Once again, thank you. I appreciate it, L/n," he said placing his head on his hand looking at you with tired eyes.
You looked at him and parted your lips, ready to speak but quickly closed it.
He raised his eyebrows at you.
"Is something wrong? If you have something to say, say it," he said with a stern voice.
You took a breath and looked at his desk thinking. Should you speak up about what you've been thinking about? The question that has been nagging you for the past couple of days? You wanted to. You wanted to ask badly.
But you don't want to step out of line. Cross your boundaries. You're supposed to stay and remain formal, especially when you're in a setting like this.
But... would it be so bad?
You're alone and no one is around. But you don't want to get yourself into trouble or in an awkward situation.
You're not someone special to him. He said it himself.
'No strings attached.'
You smiled at him and shook your head.
"Nothing. Nothing is wrong. I'll-"
"Spit it out. You took a long time just to say that."
He sat up slightly and looked at you.
"Is it something important-"
"Are you okay?" You asked cutting him off.
He looked at you with the same expression, not saying anything.
"I know I'm crossing boundaries by asking you this, but are you okay? You... you seem tired. And you're more, I don't know more, excuse me, cranky?"
"L/n..." He sighed grabbing the bridge of his nose. He sat in his chair in the same position for a few seconds and you spoke again.
"I know... I'm sorry, but I'm concerned. And I'm pretty sure that the others are as well," you said in a soft tone. "I know I'm supposed to be professional, but I care about your well being."
"You don't even know me." He said looking at you with an irritated face.
You flinched slightly at his rough tone but didn't move away. "You're right. I mean I've only worked with you for a few months. And even then I didn't know you." You looked at him with a worried expression.
"But it's human decency to be concerned for someone who doesn't seem well. And I am concerned. If you want to talk... I'm here."
Nothing. He didn't say anything but just sat there and started at the top of his desk with a blank look. He looked like he was thinking about everything. Taking in what you said.
"Even if you don't want to talk to me, you can talk to one of your close friends. I'm sure they'll understand. If they won't I will, or at least I'll try," you laughed nervously.
"Everyone deserves to have someone to talk to. It's not good to keep your emotions is. Please consider, Ray."
He looked up at you with raised eyebrows and parted lips.
You noticed your mistake at saying his name and grimaced. "Sorry."
"No, you're fine... Thanks for the offer," he said looking away from you and to the water fountain behind you. The room was dark like how it always was which made the room slightly cool.
"So, will you take my offer?" You asked stepping closer.
He took a deep breath and laid his head on his hand tapping his fingers lightly on the counter, one by one.
You waited for him. You stood there being patient. Patiently waiting for his response.
"I don't know if I can trust you," he said bluntly.
You looked away from him and down at your feet with a disappointed look written across your face. "I understand..."
He looked at you and examined your face noticing that you were disappointed with his response.
It was true that he didn't trust you. You were just a woman who worked for him and had night stand with him. You didn't show any signs that he could trust you. What in the world made you think that he could trust you in the beginning?
Because you liked him?
That was a poor excuse.
You looked back up at him with a small smile. "Well, since you don't want to tell me what's bothering you. How about I treat you?" You asked starring him dead in the eye.
He furrowed his eyebrow at your confidence and smiled softly and chuckled with his eyes closed.
"You don't like to back down do you?" He got up from his desk and walked around the desk and sat on it, in front of you.
"You want to treat me. You want to make me feel better?"
"Yes, that's correct," you said looking up at him.
He was leaned against the desk with a relaxed facial expression and his arms and legs were crossed.
"Why would you do that?" He asked. He was trying to understand you. "What are your intentions? What will you accomplish for doing all of this, L/n?" He genuinely wanted to know.
"I want to see you happy. Even if I don't know you. You've been so kind to me and you didn't know me," you said referring to those two days where he went out of his way to do those things.
"You went out of your way to buy me gifts that were extremely expensive, you took me in your home when I didn't have my keys instead of minding your business letting me stay on the streets alone. You fixed me dinner, let me wash my clothes and borrowed yours, and you..." the memory came back to your head making you clear your throat and you blushed slightly.
Even though it was a one-night stand it was a good experience. Even if he didn't want any strings attached.
He knew what you were talking about. When he was dean king so much wine that he got drunk unintentionally, trying to forget everything.
"Yeah... I did, didn't I," he thought about it for a few seconds and spoke again. "But I've told you already."
"Huh? Told me what?"
"I told you that you don't have to repay me."
You huffed slightly and shook your head. "Ray, I'm not doing this to repay you. I'm doing this because I want to. Remember you said the same thing to me in the car? Everything that I do is genuine, honestly."
He looked at you, searching your eyes.
You were slightly nervous but you weren't going to turn around and try to take everything back now. It was now or never.
"I'll think about it," he said turning away to walk past you.
He continued walking towards the elevator hitting the button to open the doors stepping in. "Wait, Ray!" He hurriedly made your way towards him inside of the elevator. "I know that means no. Just take my offer, please," you said with a pleading expression.
He turned and looked at you making you look up at him while you held the papers to yourself.
"I just want... to see you happy. Please consider my offer. At least so you can be in a better mood."
He looked at you and pressed the button for the doors to close.
You looked down sadly and walked over to the other side of the elevator, not far, and placed your back on the wall. "Sorry for bothering you. Just forget me asking."
"Hmm? You've given up already?"
You didn't respond and just stared at your shoes. "No. I don't know. I don't think so... It seems like no matter how hard I try, you won't accept me."
It was quiet. He looked up at the numbers going down slowly, signifying that the elevator was moving downwards.
"What time and where," he mumbled.
You looked at him with parted lips. "You don't have to accept because you feel bad for me-"
"Just tell me the time and place before I change my mind," he snapped.
You laughed nervously and gave him a place and time off the top of your head.
The elevator dinged and the doors opened to your floor.
"Don't make me regret this woman."
"I won't," you laughed with a blush on your face. You stepped out of the elevator and looked back at him.
"Get to work, L/n."
"R-right. See you later."
"Yeah," he said softly watching you walk away. A small smile came on his face and he pressed the button on the elevator, making the doors close again.
'You're going to be the death of me, Y/n.'
The doors closed and he continued on his way.