Evan rubbed a soapy sponge across Emma’s back. “What’s your favorite memory from your childhood?”
Evan listened attentively as Emma described cleaning her grandmother’s house every weekend. The more she spoke of her grandmother, the more alive she became. “It sounds like you and your grandma were close.” He felt for Emma’s waist through the silky water and squeezed her gently while kissing her neck.
“We were.” Emma sighed. “I was never as close to my parents as I was to my grandma.”
She is finally opening up to me about her parents. “Why do you think that is?”
“I don’t know. They worked a lot, so I was always at my grandma’s house. I always resented that they were never home, but it was easier for me to keep to myself when I was at home and not talk about my feelings. So, when she died, I didn’t feel close to anyone.”
It all started to make sense to Evan why Emma would shut down when he asked her about family. She hadn’t processed the grief she’d been feeling about the loss of her grandmother. He guessed that’s what his therapist’s interpretation would be. Maybe she was more like Evan than he imagined.
Emma turned around to face Evan in the bathtub, “You make those bad thoughts go away, though. I feel like I’ve learned to be close to somebody again. With you, I can express how I feel. That says a lot about my feelings for you.”
God, I’m such a jerk. Evan struggled internally while pulling her face into his. “Please, don’t ever leave me. No matter what. Don’t leave me.”
“Best day of my life!” Nick pumped his fist into the air as he arranged a section of chairs into a row in the conference room. “I knew you loved me,” he grinned widely, pointing to Evan from across the room.
“You know she has a boyfriend who will kick your ass, right?”
Nick shook his head. “Nah, I know you’ll have my back.”
Evan laughed and placed the last chair in its place. Natasha would be there in fifteen minutes, and he anticipated colleagues would start trickling in to fill the room soon. “I will always have your back, bud, just not in this case.”
Evan and Nick turned to find Natasha strolling through the doorway, carrying a box and shouldering a rather large bag.
Nick rushed toward her. “Let me get that for you.”
She smiled at him and gladly handed over her belongings before tucking a piece of hair behind her ear and leaning into him closely. “You are such a gentleman.”
Nick grinned from ear to ear while responding with a wink. “I’m happy to help a beautiful lady any day.”
Natasha leaned even closer to Nick and whispered something that Evan couldn’t hear. He watched their interaction suspiciously. Evan had always found Natasha to be a bit flirtatious, but he didn’t suspect she would hit on his assistant. But, at that moment, he was almost sure she was trying to seduce Nick, and it didn’t sit well with him.
Two hours later, the meal prep seminar ended. Several people provided thanks to Natasha before heading back to their offices. After the room cleared, Natasha packed up her meal prep material and asked Nick to walk her out to her car.
“I’ll come too,” Evan announced.
Nick turned to him abruptly. “No, I can handle it,” he said, then shouldered her bag before kneeling to lift the box she arrived with.
“Bye, Evan!” Natasha announced as she disappeared through the door with Nick at her heels.
What the hell is that all about? Evan pulled his phone from his pocket to text Emma what had just happened between Nick and Natasha but was interrupted by an incoming text from Samantha. He grumbled, having not communicated with Samantha since the impromptu visit to her house after his therapy session. Quite frankly, he hadn’t thought about seeing her again, and he planned to keep it that way.
As soon as Evan read the text, he froze.
I’m outside your work. Surprise!
“What the hell is she doing here?” Evan said to himself. Then, his thoughts turned to Natasha, who was probably still flirting with Nick in the parking lot. Shit.
Evan rushed out of the conference room and rounded the corner to the lobby. He stopped short of the windows facing the lot and peered out cautiously. He could see Nick and Natasha talking and laughing with each other. They were standing next to Natasha’s driver’s side door. Next to Natasha’s passenger side, Samantha’s blue Honda Accord was parked. Evan couldn’t see Samantha, so he assumed she was still inside the car. Then, after Evan thought he was in the clear, Samantha opened the door and stepped out of her vehicle.
Evan felt nauseous. This is it, he thought. This is how I get caught. No sooner did he think his world was about to end, he watched Natasha get into her car, and drive away as Nick waved goodbye. Nick gave a brief nod to Samantha, then headed to the front doors of the building.
Evan ducked out of the way so Nick wouldn’t see him as he strolled past Evan to his office. Evan took a deep breath, then pushed open the double doors, making his way to Samantha.
“Hi, handsome,” she brazenly said, leaning against her driver’s side door with her hands fitted loosely in her jean’s pocket. Her long, brown curls fell loosely below her shoulders, and she wore a flowy, black sundress with matching flip-flops.
“What are you doing here?” Evan leaned into Samantha and grasped her elbow. “You can’t come here,” he said through clenched teeth.
Samantha yanked her elbow away from Evan’s grasp. “Why are you so mad?”
“I told you that I have a girlfriend!” Evan hissed. He took a step back and looked around the parking lot. The last thing he needed was for people to witness this scene unfolding.
Samantha stepped toward him and jabbed her pointer finger into his chest. “You didn’t seem too concerned about your girlfriend when you showed up at my place and fucked me!”
“Quiet down!” Evan reached for Samantha’s finger and pushed it away from his chest.
“Don’t tell me what to do, Evan. You have some nerve fucking me and then acting like you don’t even know who I am!”
Feelings of guilt engulfed Evan. He took a deep breath before responding. “Look, I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking that night. I shouldn’t have gone to your house, and I’m sorry if I’m hurting you. It’s not my intention.” He reached up to touch Samantha’s hand, but she pushed it away.
“Well, maybe you should think about the consequences of your actions next time.”
Evan reached for Samantha’s hand again to calm her down. Unfortunately, this was not the time nor place to hash this out. “What consequences?”
Samantha met his eye with pursed lips. Her shoulders relaxed. She finally had him where she wanted him. “I think I’m pregnant.”