Chapter 57 - You, Her And The Office
Kate sat quietly, browsing through her sixth Business Traveler magazine. She peeked at Taylor from under her lids, who sat behind his desk answering calls and returning emails. She allowed her eyes to wander over his soft features, from his neatly gelled hair to his slightly knitted brows, further down to his dangerously alluring blue eyes then finally to his slightly pursed lips. She sucked in a lung full of air at how incredibly handsome this man was. And he was hers. His heart belonged to her and as hard as it was to believe - he loved her.
Tearing her eyes away from him, she turned another few pages of the magazine in her hand then sighed. Four hours had gone by and yet it felt like she had been sitting here a whole day. Bored out of her mind, she flipped the useless magazine close before letting out another heavy sigh - wondering why she had agreed to come with him in the first place.
Right, she thought, a smile gracing at her lips. So that they could spend the rest of the day together.
As quietly as she possibly could so that she would disturb him, she rose to her feet, patted down at the hem of her green sleeveless dress and walked over to the door.
“And where are you going, Ms.Dawson?”
Kate smiled with her back turned to him. “As much as I love reading about profitability and capital investment, I’d rather not have my brain to commit suicide from an extreme dose of boredom.” She said turning around only to find him casually leaning back against his chair - smiling back at her.
“Do you think Maria might have something else to read?” she asked.
Taylor shrugged. “Maybe. But given that those,” he pointed to the stack of magazines on the table where she had been sitting, “are her personal collection. You might need to exclude telling her about the whole suicidal bit.”
“Oh, I would never.” she gasped with fake modesty. In truth, she thought that they were his. It suited his whole tensed and uptight environment added a little ambiance to the place. And before asking Maria for something else to read she was going to joke about Taylor’s poor taste in entertainment literature.
Taylor raised his brows at her, “Really? Then perhaps I shouldn’t have told you that. Would have been entertaining to see Maria walking around with gathering all her books and setting them on for in the break room.”
“You’re kidding, right?” she asked. Maria was the gentlest soul that she had ever met. She reminded her of her grandmother. So he had to be joking, at least she hoped he was.
“I guess we’ll never know now.” he replied and when he saw her reaching for the door, he added, “I’m almost done here. I only have an appointment with Carla and when I’m done we can go grab lunch.”
The rest of his words after Carla went unheard.
Kate’s body froze and her shoulders tensed at how casual he said her name. Her brows touched at the unfamiliar way that her heart twisted in her chest and turned at her stomach. She knew that her, being summoned here by Taylor had to do with her night out with Carl, yet still she couldn’t shake this unnerving ball of flames that was forming in her gut. Hearing about her was one thing but seeing her again and with Taylor?
She released a breath, convincing herself that she wasn’t jealous. Not of Carla and the relationship that she had with Taylor; and definitely not jealous of the idea of them being in a room together.
No. Not jealous at all, she told herself, just slightly concerned.
And when she felt that she was about to speak without letting her emotions shine through, she released the knob and crossed her arms over her chest.
“Carla is coming here?” she asked.
Taylors’ fingers hovered over the keyboard and his eyes slowly lifted to her. Her solemn expression was all he needed to know that he probably should have told her that beforehand and not just sprain it on her as if it was something - ordinary.
“Yes,” he said, his blue eyes held her amber ones. “I have a few questions that I need to be answered and I can’t push it back till further.”
“I see.” Kate scoffed, “And are planning on telling me what you’re going to do with Carl anytime soon?”
“I’d rather not,” he said, his tone of voice sounded definite. Kate knew better than to press on but if she was going to have to suffer through the knowledge of him being with Carla in the same room again, then she at least deserves to know what was going to happen.
Kate frowned. “Not even if I ask you to tell me?”
“What do you mean no? So I’m just supposed to wait outside and look pretty while you talk to Carla. This all seems a little too familiar don’t you think?” There. She had said it. She did want to come across as the jealous girlfriend but hell, who wouldn’t be? She had already seen them having sex once and wasn’t sure if she was prepared to see them standing in the same room together.
Taylor frowned as the meaning behind her words sank in. And when they did, he rushed to reassure her.
“This has nothing to do with that,” he said, walking over to her. “Whatever was between me and Carla is over. Done.”
He tilted her chin, ensuring that she heard and knew just how serious he was. “Do you honestly think that I would have her come here if I wanted to fuck her? And bring you to work with me?” he chuckled, “I’ve seen you angry remember?” he said, smiling down at her when she blushed.
“And you’ve seen what effects it has on me. We wouldn’t want Maria to quit no do we?”
“Uh, no,” she said, taking a step back, swallowing nervously. “You’re trying to distract me. I know you, Taylor.”
And she was right. He didn’t want to discuss Carl’s situation right now. The less she knew the better.
He tucked both of his hands in his pockets and gave way to a vexing sigh. “I don’t want you involved in this, Kate.” he told her.
“But I’m already involved,” she said.
There was a brief knock on the door before it opened and Maria walked in.
“Oh?” Her grey eyes moved between Taylor and kate. “I’m sorry, Mr.Price but Ms.Gray has arrived.”
“I think I’m going to be sick.” Kate announced, feeling the hot bile burning at her throat as she pushing past Maria and made a beeline out the door.
Taylor made a move to follow her but stopped when Maria said, “Don’t worry Mr.Price. I’ll check and see if she’s alright.”
His furrowed expression told her that he wasn’t to keen on the idea but when she reminded him about other female employees using the restroom, he immediately obliged.
Kate gave the restroom door a push and raced to one of its vacant cubicles only to have what remained of her breakfast floating in the toilet. When she thought that she was going to be sick seeing Carla, she didn’t exactly mean it in a literal sense. She took in a few deep breaths and felt her stomach tighten again. The faint sound of somebody sniffing caught her attention for a brief moment but quickly evaded her thoughts when another nauseous wave of sickness washed over her - leaving her fingers clenched around the ceramic bowl.
Dear lord, she was dying. She was sure of that, she thought as she emptied her stomach once more.
“Hey, are you okay in there?”
Kate’s head jutted up at the familiar feminine voice that loomed across the neighboring cubicle. “Kayla?” she asked, hovering over the toilet bowl.
“Kate?” Kayla returned just as evenly, “Are you okay in there?”
“I’m not sure. Never puked my guts out before. How about you ask me that when I’m done.”
She could hear Kayla’s soft laugh before she sniffed again.
Sniffed? So she had heard right.
“Are you crying?” Kate asked and when Kayla didn’t reply she pressed her ear to the wall and asked, “Are you okay in there?”
Kayla scoffed. “How about you ask me that in nine months.”
Kate’s face scrunched in confusion. Nine months? Why would she ask her that in --. Her eyes widened when she caught on. “You’re pregnant?!” She gasped, shooting to her feet, flushing the toilet before exiting the box.
“I don’t know yet. But I have a hunch, a very big one.” Kayla said, pulling her own door open only to find Kate standing by the sink with her arms wrapped around her.
“Did you tell Brandon?”
Kayla sniffed and shook her head walking over to one of the vacant sinks. “I wanted to be sure first,” she said, her voice croaked and fresh tears rolled down her cheek as she turned on the tap.
“Hey,” Kate said when she noticed them, “why are you crying? This is a good right? You guys are getting married.”
“I’m sorry.” Kayla apologized, chuckling a laugh through her tears, “I can’t seem to help it. That’s why I came to hide in here so that nobody would see me like this.”
Kate smiled. “It’s okay. And I know somebody isn’t going to stop bragging about this if it turns out that you are.”
Kayla laughed, then her lips quivered and her eyes watered again, “Oh god, Brandon. I threw a bottle at him last night. I could have killed him.”
Kate’s cheeks flushed at the mention of his name. “Oh I don’t know, he seemed fine to me this morning.” she assured Kay, cringing at the memory.
“You saw him?” Kay frowned.
“Yep. In fact, he saw both me and Taylor. He dropped by the apartment.”
“Oh, I think I should run by the pharmacy. I want to be sure of this before I talk to him.”
“I can go,” Kate suggested in a rush. Any excuse to getting as far away from Carla as possible was good enough for her.
“You’d do that?” Kayla’s eyes glistened.
“Yeah. And how about I buy more than one pregnancy test and we do it together.”
Kayla raised a silent brow at her and her eyes trailed down to Kate’s flat belly. Kates’ eyes widened, horrified by Kayla’s questioning eyes. ,“Oh no no no no no no no no no no. I just meant that as moral support. I’m not pregnant.”
“You sure?” Kay teased.
Of course, she was sure. Taylor and she had been careful...most of the time. She stopped and tried to recall, the times that they hadn’t used a condom.
“I’m not pregnant,” she said. She thought that saying it out loud would be more reassuring, but it wasn’t. They had taken far too many chance and that morning after pill...
Her heart stopped.
“Let me just grab my bag from Taylor’s office and I’ll be off. You can come by after work and we can do it together. Taylor won’t be there so you’re secret should be safe.”
After they had agreed to meet up late, Kate rushed down the hallway to Maria desk. When the middle-aged woman saw her, she got up. “Are you okay dear?” Maria asked in a worrisome voice.
“I’m fine, Maria. Really.” She told her, “But can I ask a favor of you? I left my bag in Taylors office but I don’t want to go in there right now. Do you think you can grab it for me?”
Maria smiled then nodded as if she secretly understood her. “Sure. Let me just ring him first.”
After Maria was done with her call, she got up, knocked on Taylor’s door before opening it and disappearing inside. Kate caught a glance at Carla’s blonde hair. It was neatly pulled into a bun, high enough that it left her neck exposed. And right before the door closed, Carla turned and caught of glimpse of her, staring daggers into her head.
When the door opened up again, Kate released a breath and reached for her bag, ready to thank Maria but instead found Taylor standing there glancing down at her.
“Are you okay?” he whispered softly.
She offered him a smile and said, “Yeah, I’m just heading out to run an errand for Kayla.”
“Alright. I should be done by the time you get back. Let me call Ben and he can drive you.”
“No!” She bit out hastily causing Taylor to frown at her.
“I mean, I won’t be necessary. I’m not going that far and I could do with the walk.” She said, swallowing down nervously hoping that he wouldn’t press on.
Taylors’ eyes lingered on her face as he gazed at her suspiciously. “You sure that you’re okay?”
“I’m fine, Taylor. Honestly,” she said, lifting herself to her toe and placed a kiss on his lips as proof. “Now, can I please have my bag, Mr.Price?”