Chapter 17 - First Time Delimma
“Would it have been better if I told them the truth?” He asked, sounding bored.
It wouldn’t. But still, it was besides the point.
“No, but I don’t see how you telling them that we’re...” she swallowed down her gagging reflex, “... involved is any better.”
“It’s not,” he announced, folding his arms against his chest, “At least not for me.”
He then uncrossed his arms and rested his elbows on the smooth surface of the table. “Let me be honest with you, Kate.”
She quirked a brow at him for using her name.
“I didn’t believe a single word you said last night about some Brandon sending you into my office, not until it turned out to be my own brother. I only half believed that you had a sick grandmother and seeing her today with my own eyes just confirmed it. You might not be a liar, for now, but I still don’t trust you.”
“And you think I care?” She snorted, rolling her eyes at him.
The idiot really thought highly of himself.
“You should. Because I could have easily had you gone before you even thought of blinking those pretty eyes of yours and that sweet Kate, is me, being generous.”
Generous? She scoffed. There was that word again.
For him to even associate himself with that word was beyond ludicrous. There were no generous bones attached in this man’s body.
Kate remained silent. Staring at him. Gritting her teeth instead of saying what she really thought of him.
“I asked you to stay put, didn’t I? and yet, I come here to find you gone. Do you have any problems following orders?”
1,2,3 - she took in a deep breath, the told herself, 'you are in control of your emotions.'
“No. But I’m sure that Ben already informed you that Brandon came by.”
He raised a brow at her,“I’ll deal with him later.”
“He also offered me a job. ” She informed him, watching the hard tick on his jaws.
“Did he now?” Taylor leaned back against the chair.
“Doing what exactly?” He regarded her through heavy lids.
She took another deep breath, ”His assistant and I think yours too. I’m supposed to help him with all things related to Price Empire.”
He was unimpressed. The lines on his forehead told her so as his thick black brows touched in a line. Taylor drew in a sharp breath before cussing at Brandon under his breath.
“Get your bag, Dawson.” He said, standing up abruptly.
Kate stared at him, confused, “But my grandmother, I have to--”
“She will still be here when you get back. Now grab your bag, because if you are to have any contact whatsoever with my company, then you sweetheart, have got to know the ground rules like the ten fucking commandments.”
She flinched, her mouth sprung opened but she caught herself in time.
He was really making it hard for her to keep her cool.
4,5,6 - keep it together, keep it in.
She released a breath through her slightly parted lips, then said, “You mean the NDA? Brandon already talked to me about that. He said that I’m supposed to sign it tomorrow before I start.”
“I don’t care what Brandon says and you should start learning to do what I say.” He snapped.
Kate winced eyeing her grandmother’s doors and Taylor did the same. He must have realised that they might have overheard him yell because he then leaned over the table and levelled his face to hers, and whispered through clenched teeth, “Either we walk out of here together or you’re getting dragged. Flip a damn coin if you want but make it quick.”
It was as though her legs were on auto pilot because the next she knew she was out the door with Taylor hot on her tracks. Stepping foot outside of her apartment building, Kate saw Ben standing next to the same black SUV, that he had brought her home last night in.
Taylor grabbed hold of her arm, dragging her along with him when she made no attempts to walk in Ben’s direction.
“Hey..” she made sounds of protest that went unheard by Taylor.
“Mr.Price.” Ben simply said, sparing Kate a sympathetic look.
“To my meddling brother’s office, Ben. And step on it, I have another appointment due in an hour.”
“Of course, Sir. ” Ben replied holding the door open for them and shut it when they had settled in.
Kate sat quietly, looking outside of the window, wondering if anybody else was having the same kind of morning that she was. It was very doubtful, unless somewhere within the universe another Taylor existed.
The atmosphere in the car was unbearably tense. Taylor was on his phone, making as though she wasn’t even here. Ben had his eyes fixed on the road and Kate seemed to be the only one bothered by the silence.
The sound of her phone going off in her bag came as a relief. She searched her bag for it and took it out.
It was a message from Carl.
Carl: Sorry about last night. We need to talk.
Her eyes lingered on the last part. He probably wanted to know why she wasn’t in this morning. Maybe Edward already informed them that she was no longer working there.
Her thumb caressed the smooth screen and she sighed.
Kate: Apology not accepted. You left!!
She hit the sent button and lifted her head gazing out the window once more, her fingers squeezed around the phone, imagining that it was Carl’s neck.
Then her phone flashed again.
Carl: I know. I need to explain. Usual coffee place, lunch time?
She sighed again.
Kate: Fine. But you’re buying.
Carl: Anything. As long as you don’t leave me hanging.
There were loud noises coming from the road up a head, Kate peeved her head out the window and notice a few construction men operating heavy machinery. Probably road maintenance, she thought, settling herself back in her seat.
“Did you hear what I said?”
Her head snapped up in Taylor’s direction. He was looking at her with slight irritation, face grimmed, waiting for her response, but she hadn’t heard a thing, there was too much noise. The yelling voices coming from outside wasn’t helping neither.
“I’m sorry, what?” She asked leaning closer to where he sat, so that she could hear better.
The car came to an abrupt stop. Kate’s heart lurched into her chest, her body lurched on to Taylor’s , his hands instinctively rounded around her waist, in attempts of protecting her from the impact and their lips touched.
Kate’s entire body tensed in horror, their eyes widened as they looked in each others eyes. There was a brief rush of electricity that pulsed through her veins and tugged at her heart. It felt frightening.
Kate immediately pushed back against his hard chest, her cheeks flushed at what had just happened. The man was all muscles underneath the suit.
Her eyes held his for an embarrassing few seconds, her teeth clenched into a tight lock as he stared back at her, eyes dark masked with a light frown on his face. He looked just as startled as she was, only he was quicker to hide it.
“You okay?” He asked, taking in her distraught appearance.
Fuck no! She had just kissed him. Fine, it was a very brief accidental kiss but still. She had just had her first kiss and it was with the idiotic brute.
She was pissed. Mostly embarrassed, but pissed.
“I’m fine!“She hissed, straightening herself against the cool leather.
Taylor glanced at her for a moment, then shook his head as though she was nothing short of a nuisance before opening the door on his side.
Ben was already outside, assessing at the damages.
“The hell happened Ben?” She could hear Taylor hard voice rail down on Ben and winced in his place.
“The idiot came out of nowhere, sir. Sped past the stop sign.” Ben replied, his mood unaffected by nether the accident or Taylor’s anger.
The guy was definitely a robot. Probably hand designed by Taylor himself.
Kate sat quietly as the two man talked to the guy that had ran into them, exchanging insurance details as they waited for the police. Her fingers unconsciously lifted to her lips and trailed along the smooth lines.
What the hell was wrong with her? She thought bitterly, snatching her hand away.
She shuffled out of her seat and exited the door using Taylor’s side of the door.
″We’re leaving.” Was the first thing she heard Taylor say as her feet touched the hard ground.
“What about Ben?” She asked looking past Taylor and saw him talking to a middle aged curly brown headed man.
His nose flared against his tanned cheeks, “He’ll take care of everything. Come on, our ride is here.”
He grabbed hold of her hand and started walking in the direction of a silver 2001 Lincoln Town Car parked a few feet away from where they had been.
Kate followed silently behind him, her face stuck in what she thought would be a permanent frown as she eyed at their intertwined fingers. She then stared at the back of his head wondering if he even realised how this might look to the huge crowd that was now gathered at the side of the road.
As if it wasn’t already awkward as fuck!