Tobias stood up and walked around the breakfast bar. He stopped in front of me and placed his hands on my shoulders. The touch was reassuring, I knew I hadn’t changed his mind and he knew he hadn’t changed mine, but it didn’t seem to matter
“Lets not argue.” He murmured softly.
“Okay.” I replied. I looked up at him and everything melted away for a moment or two. I tiptoed and placed my lips gingerly on his. He responded instantly, pulling me in closer while returning my kiss with fervor.
“Hungry?” He murmured after a few moments of blind bliss. I nodded, gazing up at him. He grinned and pressed his lips against mine for a second.
“You’re insatiable, but I meant for food.” He whispered. “I know you’ve barely been eating, and after everything that’s happened.” He looked down at my stomach, and his words were not lost on me. “I want to take care of you.”
My appetite hadn’t really returned.The thought of food sat in my gut like sour milk. I swallowed hard and managed a wry smile. “I’ll try eat.” I said as confidently as I could.
Tobias turned around and opened the fridge. I watched him as he took out blueberries, eggs, butter and eggs. He placed them down on the bench top and looked at me before opening a cupboard behind me. He pressed his body against mine, setting off a fresh rush of lust as he reached over me and retrieved more ingredients from the cupboard.
“Be careful Mr Clarke.” I warned. “You’re tempting fate.”
“You must be fate then.” Tobias teased removing his body from mine, as he turned to placed the flour and baking powder down.
“You sound so sure of yourself.” I laughed.
“I’m not.” He replied softly. “I’m partially faking it. I almost ruined things...”
There was an innocence in his words. He pulled a large glass bowl out of the cupboard below the sink.
“Tobias. I’m here… we’re here together.” I walked over to him and placed my hand on his, which sat on the edge of the bowl. “Can I help?”
“Sure.” He replied handing me a measuring cup.
“What are we making?” I asked.
“Pancakes.” Tobias replied simply picking up the flour. “First thing I learnt to cook.”
I smiled. “So you’re an expert then?”
He nodded as he poured flour into the measuring cup in my hand. Once it was full he picked up the sieve and hovered it over the bowl. I poured the flour into the sieve and he shook it gently. Together we mixed the ingredients, combining them to make the batter. I sat down and watched Tobias cook them on the griddle. The smell filled the air, and for the first time in forever my stomach rumbled.
I devoured the entire plate of pancakes and blueberries Tobias placed in front of me, my hunger suddenly ravenous. His food had always been amazing, but today these pancakes seemed next level.
“Guess you really were hungry.” Tobias murmured placing his own fork down.
“Guess I was.” I replied. “You relax. I’ll wash up.”
“No way.” Tobias mumbled. “I’m taking you to bed. The dishes can wait. I want to devour you like you just devoured those pancakes.”
I let out a girlish giggle, which seemed to amuse Tobias far too much for my liking. He leapt out of the stool and picked me up, tossing me unceremoniously over his shoulder. He walked through his apartment with me, only letting me down once we were inside his room. Still his arms were around me, holding on to me like I was precious. He gazed into my eyes a slight tinge of worry hid behind the sparkling blue hue of his eyes. I lifted my hands to his face and cupped his cheeks. His head curved into my touch and his eyes closed. I placed my lips on his, he returned the kiss softly at first, before something shifted within him. His mouth fought with mine, playfully. The worry melted away, if only for a while.
His hands moved to the hem of shirt, sliding underneath the fabric and over my bare skin. I sucked in a breath as his hands moved up my back and settled on the clasp of my bra. I lifted my arms above my head and he responded by lifting the shirt off before resettling on my back.
I let my hands drop to his shirt, he was wearing an old faded band tee, I smiled. I liked it when he was casual, he seemed more relaxed somehow. I let my fingers trace over the faded logo. I gazed up at Tobias whose eyes were staring back, somehow full of anguish and love at the same time.
His fingers fumbled over the hooks of my bra, and as it came loose he leaned down and kissed me with an urgency I knew all too well. He pulled back the fabric and discarded it to the floor momentarily removing one hand from the safety of my body. His hands rest on my hips, while his head dipped and tasted the skin from my neck down my collarbone and over the rise of my breast. I arched back.
Tobias hands moved up my back, and he pulled me back up until our foreheads touched.
OUr clothes melted off between our hectic and necessary kisses. Tobias lifted me onto the bed, settling above me. He made true on his word, devouring me, kissing my skin like it gave him the very oxygen he was breathing. The stimulation sent shivers through my body, until I moaned and grasped at the soft hot flesh of his back.
He steadied himself, allowing our eyes to lock once more as he brought our bodies closer together until we were one.
No words needed to be spoken, we were as in sync as we had always had been. We moved together, and our closeness set off an electric current within me, building as our speed built. Tobias hand cradled my neck, pulling my face closer to his.
I looked at him and I knew that in that moment I was the only thing on his mind. He was a peace and I liked it.
“Let go.” He whispered softly.
I nodded. Desperate for release I closed my eyes and focused on the tension building from within until it was too much to keep inside. As I climaxed his lips crashed against mine, trembling as he too let go.
Exhausted we feel onto the bed a moment later. Tobias pulled up the blankets to cover our naked bodies. I rest against him and kissed his chest, before closing my eyes. Barely holding on to consciousness.
“I love you.” Tobias whispered.
“Mmm. I love you too.”
“I wish I didn’t have to go into the office tomorrow.” He exclaimed.
“Don’t.” I replied, opening my eyes.
“I have a meeting with Ryan.” He exclaimed. “Echo have more input. We haven’t settled on a final contract.” He sighed as he placed his hand on my naked back. I shivered and he lifted the sheet up to cover me more.
“Then maybe I could come back to work?” I offered.
“If you’re right about Jimmy then there is still a psycho out there.” Tobias replied. “I need you safe.”
“Then shouldn’t you want me close by.” I retorted. “And to honest, I could really use the distraction. Besides. I miss working.”
Tobias let out a sigh. He kissed my forehead and pulled me in tight. “You’re right.”
“So I can come back?” I asked propping myself up on his chest, suddenly anything but tired. “Tomorrow?”
Tobias grinned and nodded. “Yeah.”
I hadn’t realized how much I had actually missed the job aspect of working. I knew I’d missed seeing Tobias, that was a given. But now I was able to go back and actually do my job I felt excited. The only dampener was Jimmy being stick in jail for something I was sure he hadn’t done.
The next morning I woke before Tobias and took out work appropriate clothing. I showered, dressed and made coffee all before he even opened his eyes. I walked into the bedroom holding two mugs full of freshly brewed coffee and placed one down on the nightstand beside him. He stirred, opening his eyes and gazing at me.
“I’m stir crazy.” I replied.
It was almost 9 when we left the apartment. We took Tobias car to the office and rode in the elevator together. Some of the girls from level 2 whispered under their breath at the sight of me beside Tobias, our hands entwined. I bit my tongue, stopping myself from stooping to their level. The doors opened and they spilled out.
I relaxed as the doors closed.
“Ignore them.” Tobias soothed.
“I planned on it.”
“So what’s on the agenda today boss?” I asked, ready to get stuck into work. Tobias seemed to have other ideas. The moment the words left my mouth he consumed me, his hands trailed up my back as he lifted me slightly off the ground and walked me backward towards the wall of the elevator. His lips nibbled at mine, while his tongue slipped inside my mouth, playfully begging for me.
For a moment I forgot where we were and let out a wistful moan. Tobias pulled back and rest his forehead against mine.
“Today is going to be difficult.” He muttered as the doors opened. He let his hands fall from my waist, one took my hand in his and we walked down the corridor.
“How so?” I played dumb. “We’ve worked with each other before.”
“Well, you see I pretended I didn’t want you for two weeks too long Ms Moritz, and now… my mind isn’t in control of my body.”
“Sounds intriguing.” I teased as I walked around my desk moving away from him, our hands parted. “How does one deal with such infliction.”
Tobias’ jaw tightened and he walked backward toward his office. “I wouldn’t know. I’ve never really been in control of myself around you Ruby.”
I smiled at him, his admission filled me with warmth.
“Well. If you need anything sir.” I sat down and opened the screen of my laptop. “I’ll be right here.”
Tobias nodded as he pushed opened his office door. I continued to smile as I watched the door closer and his shadow disappear from sight. I was just as affected as he was, my body ached for him. I clenched my thighs together and closed my eyes. I had to be professional, for now at least.
Once the computer was booted up I checked the schedule. Ryan Hampton from Echo Communication was booked from 10:30am, and Tobias had cleared the entire day for him. I frowned and opened up a chat box.
Ruby : Should I order in some refreshments for your meeting? Maybe Ryan from Echo will stop playing hard to get.
Tobias: It’s worth a shot. Hey, could you come in here a minute. I have something to show you.
Ruby: I’m not falling for that Tobias Clarke.
Tobias: :( You’re no fun.
Ruby: You’re feeling playful this morning Boss. I’ll order in those refreshments now.
Tobias: And you think Ryan from Echo is playing hard to get…
I smiled and picked up the phone. Once I ordered a platter of food I set about combing through my many unread emails. Most were just meeting reminders, afterall Tobias had been doing my job as well as his while I’d been on leave. I did have one email, from an address I didn’t recognise. I clicked the email open and frowned.
There was nothing else in the body of text, and there was no subject either. A chill ran up my spine and I swallowed hard. The email had been sent only 12 hours prior. I hit forward and typed in Tobias’ email before hitting send. A minute or so later he walked out from his office.
“What’s the time stamped on that email.” He said grimly.
“9pm last night.” I whispered. “Tobias, there is no way Jimmy could have sent this.” I replied my voice so raspy it sounded more like a rough whisper.
“You need to go home.” He exclaimed.
“Surely I’m safer here.. With you.” I proclaimed. “Tobias, please.”
“It could still be Jimmy. Maybe he’s got someone who he paid to email you. To trick me.” He said, standing back. He paced the floor and ran his hands through his hair.
I nodded, even though I didn’t believe it. I needed Tobias to keep calm.
“We’ll call the police once Ryan’s been. You can’t leave the office… not even to deliver memo’s. Okay?” He exclaimed, his voice was harsh, but almost broken too.
I nodded and stood up. Tobias turned to me and let his worried eyes rest on mine. I lifted my hands to his shoulders and held him in place. “It’ll be okay.” I assured him.
“It’ll be okay.” He repeated after me, nodding.
Tobias was reluctant about returning to his office and leaving me alone in mine. So he kept the door open. Around twenty minutes later the food order arrived. Tobias was out beside me before I’d even had a chance to stand. The delivery person handed me the large basket.
“Thanks.” I exclaimed. I held out a ten dollar note as a tip and the worker smiled before turning and leaving.
I looked at Tobias, who just stood there watching me. Frowning I walked with the basket into his office. He followed me and closed the door behind him.
“You’re being overprotective.” I whispered.
“I’m scared.” He admitted. “The thought of losing you…” He stopped speaking as his voice broke. I placed the basket down on the table in his office and turned around to face him. His eyes were closed and his hands were in tight fists. Until this was all over, Tobias wouldn’t be able to focus.
“You’re not going to lose me. I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere.” I whispered.
Tobias walked toward me, but before he could get very far there was a knock on his office door. He stopped and turned.
“That will be Ryan.” He exclaimed.
I turned back to the table and began unpacking the basket. Tobias opened the door of his office and greeted the visitor warmly. I knew he was putting on a show. I knew underneath everything he was still completely stressed out.
“I’ve got good news.” Ryan exclaimed.
“I could use some.” Tobias admitted. “Let’s sit. Ruby, could you make a couple of coffees to go with the morning tea?”
I stopped and looked over at the two men. Tobias smiled softly before walking to the head of the table. Ryan smiled at me as he walked up alongside me. He held out his hand, and reluctantly I shook it.
“Ruby.” He said. “Always a pleasure.”
I nodded, pulling my hand back toward myself. I escaped the office and disappeared into the small smoko room behind my office.
I stood there making the coffees Tobias had requested, but for some reason I couldn’t help but shake the uneasy feeling rolling through me.
I filled to mugs with coffee and walked through my office and into Tobias’. The two men were already looking through files and discussing statistics when I placed the first cup down in front of Ryan. I walked around to Tobias and placed his down, allowing my other hand to press against his shoulder as I did so.
“Thanks Ruby.” He murmured warmly.
I looked up at Ryan to catch a surprising glare on his face. He was staring at me… through me and I wasn’t sure why. His eyes darted away and he looked back down at the papers almost instantly.
“I’ll be at my desk sir.” I noted straightening up.
Once I was out of my room and back at my desk I stared at the screen of my computer and tried to work out what had just happened. Why had Ryan, a person I hardly knew, looked at me with such thinly veiled contempt.
I had never warmed to him, but I hadn’t been that obvious, had I? We’d barely even been in contact.
I looked at the office door and tilted my head.
Ryan had been here the day Mel had come in and proclaimed to be pregnant. He’d been there when the noose had been drawn at the party and he’d been around the same day everything had gone down with Jimmy.
It was a long shot, and with almost no motive it seemed almost ludicrous, but how could all of these things lead to an idle coincidence?