Chapter 5: Jazmine
She sat there as Jay began to talk about his life, accomplishments, and family. He came from a wealthy family, of course. Everyone in the company knew on how wealthy Bernard’s family was. His father, Gale, was a state senator and a very successful businessman who owned chains of hotels and resorts. Natalie Bernard, Jay’s mother, was a CEO of a multi-billion corporation. She inherited it from her father after he had passed away. As the only child in the family, she became billionaire overnight with all the wealth. The association between the two families was the reason on how Jay and his younger brothers came to the world.
He had two younger brothers, Victor, and Eli, who took over the family’s businesses. Victor took over Gale’s chains of hotels and resorts. Eli replaced their mother as the CEO of her multi-billion corporation.
Jay was the only one who made his own business from the bottom. It actually impressed her that he started from scratch to get to where he was now with his own company. Jay knew how to make business with the right people at the right time. Many of the company’s clients were actually the friends of his family.
She just nodded here and there in the conversation while her mind was wandering somewhere else. She was thinking about Liam’s action earlier. She didn’t know why he reacted that way. She felt like she needed an explanation but she didn’t dare to ask for one. After all, this was the first time they saw each other after five years. But man, he was sexier than before. Like seriously, her body twitched in a very hot way. She almost grabbed his arms and wrapped them around her body, just to feel his muscles.
“Jazmine?” Jay touched her hand on the table.
She withdrew her hand from him. “Yes?”
“Your mind is somewhere else.” he frowned at her. “Am I boring you?”
She tried to put interest in his conversation, “No, I heard everything you were saying. Your parents wanted you to study business but you took designing career instead.”
Because her mind was somewhere else, it didn’t mean she didn’t listen to him. It wasn’t like she had another choice though. She thought that if she didn’t show any interest in his conversation, he’d cut this dinner short. But oh boy, she was wrong about that. They sat there for about an hour and a half, eating dinner and drinking wine. Jay was the one who did all the talking while she listened and nodding. Who was she to kidding? That guy was everything a girl could ask for. He was financially stable, hard-working man, a gentleman and great personality. Jazmine didn’t expect the dinner to turn out this way. She was expecting him dull and boring but turned out, his life was more interesting than she had thought.
Shouldn’t have judged a book by its cover.
For the whole year, she had been working for him, she only listened to those rumors spread by her colleagues. Many of them exaggerated the details way too much. Now, she saw the way he was interacting and engaging her in every topic, Jazmine found herself looking at him. He was acting like a friend should be.
After the dinner, he drove her home without making an effort for another conversation in the car. He stopped his car on her driveway and she got out as if she was dying to leave.
“Jazmine, hold on a second,” he called her, making her stopped on the track.
She spun around to meet his face. Somehow, she never felt attracted to him. Granted, he was a very good looking guy in the office, but Jazmine never took interest in him. It wasn’t about his reputation being a womanizer. No, that didn’t bother her. To be honest, all the other guys she ever dated, they were wooing women more than they were wooing their career. There was something about him that didn’t make her interested at him. She couldn’t point out what.
“I wanted to say something,” Jay mumbled carefully as he looked into her eyes. “I know you’ve been listening to rumors in the office about me. I’m not denying anything. But, if there is any chance that I could prove to you that I’m a changed man, then I’ll take it.”
Jazmine stared into his eyes, looking for any sign of lies in them, but there was none. She never saw this side of him since she worked in his company. The Jay stood in front of her had vulnerability in his eyes that he wasn’t afraid to show. The office version of Jay was a lot different. In the office, he was the most carefree owner of a company. He was able to talk to anyone, charmed his way through the conflicts and made them melted away. He was the superior of his own life. But, here he was showing a side that he never showed to anyone.
As she had said before, she had a weird choice in men. This was one of them. But, she couldn’t trust his words about being a changed man. She had been with many men and a majority of them had lied to her face.
“Jay, this isn’t about being a changed man or anything,” she responded. “You’re my boss. I’m your employee. We have the policy in the company for a reason. I don’t think I could ever cross the professional line for you.”
Jay sighed, ruffling his messy hair, “I’m not asking for you to be clingy or anything. Or for me to be clingy around you. Professional life is a professional life, I know. I leave my personal life at the moment I step into the company. What I’m asking is the life outside the company. One chance for me to prove that I am really serious about you.”
One chance was all he asked for. But, he did ask for the dinner earlier. How many chances did she have to give to make him understand that she didn’t feel the same way? This was her problem. She had a very soft heart for a man like this. All these times, she didn’t want to do anything with him. Now, here she was, thinking about giving him a chance that he might be really a changed man.
“If you can prove to me that you are a changed man in two weeks, then I’ll give you that one chance.” She responded, at last, making his eyes twinkled like a kid seeing the Christmas tree for the first time.
But, then he thought for a second, “You will be on vacation for two weeks, how am I going to prove that to you?”
Jazmine almost couldn’t believe that she was about to do this. But, he wanted the life outside the company so this was one of the ways she could do it. She grabbed a sticky note from her purse and scribbled something on it before putting it on his palm. He looked at it in confusion for a few seconds before he looked at her as if he couldn’t believe what she had done.
“Just be Jay, not my boss, not Mr. Bernard,” she muttered with a soft smile. “But, if I see anything suspicious about your doing, then it’s over.”
He grinned like a Cheshire cat before engulfed her into a hug. The moment was shortlived when Liam’s black truck’s alarm tripped. The loud noise caused Jay and Jazmine to jump on their feet. She knew that was intentional because nothing could have caused its alarm to trip that.
“You should get going,” she said to Jay.
He nodded, “I won’t disappoint you.”