Theo looked at the wide gaze focused on him and felt the first hint of uncertainty. He should have really thought this through.
He glanced down at her hand where she held the chocolate cake he had picked up from the bakery a mile away. He hadn’t been sure about what would be the ideal choice but his gut instinct had told him that chocolate would be a safe option. Granted that he didn’t exactly adore that flavor, he was certain that Neva probably might. And thank God, he had been right.
She was dressed in a sleep shirt and a pair of long pajamas. He wished she had chosen shorts instead. He’d give anything to have an unobstructed view of her body.
Cursing himself mentally, he focused back on her.
She was looking at him with a question in her eyes now. How long exactly had he remained silent?
The blame for it was on her though. She was just too damn beautiful. Knowing that he had already tasted those soft, luscious lips made him want to groan out loud. She had the cutest little cupid’s bow that he wanted to tease with his teeth and his tongue while he kissed her senseless.
Yeah, the direction of his thoughts wasn’t helping at all.
“Grayson? Are you alright?”
He hastily looked up at her eyes and realized that he had been staring at her mouth.
Way to do, Theo. Creep her out at the very first chance.
He cleared his throat. “Yeah, I am.”
Fuck, was he losing his good sense?
She looked at him skeptically. “Are you sure?”
Neva looked back at the kitchen and placed the box with the cake back on the counter. “Let me get you something to drink. How about some cocoa?” She looked back at him, on her way to the other side of the island.
He nodded, “I’d love that, thank you.”
She gave him one of her soft smiles and took out a cup from the shelf. Shamelessly, Theo watched the material of her shirt rise up with the action. He caught sight of a perfect derriere and his cock jerked in his pants.
Fuck, he was such a prick right now.
Stop ogling her.
Shaking his head, he went ahead and took a seat on her couch. Noticing that her laptop lay unlocked before him, he took a look at the webpage that had been pulled up and paused. He had been right, she was looking for a job already. He saw a couple of names listed on a notepad next to her device.
It was time to swoop in.
“How’s your job hunt been going so far?” He asked casually.
Neva returned with a steaming cup of hot cocoa and handed it to him. “I hope you like marshmallows.” She took a seat on the couch, keeping ample distance between them, which irritated the hell out of him.
When she’d come closer, he’d had the chance to get a whiff of her scent. It made his balls ache with need.
“Thank you, I really do.”
Neva smiled at him, but he noticed a hint of confusion in her eyes.
“The job hunt is going good actually. I’ve made some progress so far but I have to keep trying. I have some experience as a Business Development intern but it isn’t always enough.” She shrugged, smiling ruefully.
Theo raised the cup to his lips and took a long sip. It was sweet and delicious. Just like her.
“Which companies have you been checking out? Do you have any particular one in mind?”
She caught her bottom lip between her teeth and shook her head, turning to look at the screen. “I’ve listed out a couple of them to look at but I’m keeping my options open at the moment.”
He took a deep breath. “There are some really good companies not too far from this area.” He listed out a couple of them and then said took a breath, “Renaissance Inc. is a pretty good one too from what I’ve heard so far.”
Subtle, my ass. He thought to himself.
Neva frowned at the screen of her laptop. “Renaissance,” she said out loud, “I think I saw that name on this page a moment ago.”
He hoped she had. He wanted to help her.
And no, he wasn’t treating her as a charity case. She’d have to work to get the job on her own. But he sure as hell wanted to give her a nudge in that direction if it needed to come to that. He wanted her close. He knew himself well enough to admit that he wanted her in the same fucking building as him, where he could keep an eye on her for his own sanity.
“So what line of work are you in?”
He paused in the middle of raising the mug to his mouth. Shit.
Trying to smooth it over, he raised the mug all the way and took a small sip. “I work in a company that provides a variety of business services – mostly financial.”
“That’s great,” she nodded.
“Thank you for the cocoa. I can’t remember the last time I had it.” He smiled tentatively, wanting her attention back on him. It worked.
Neva let go of her laptop and turned to him. “I’m glad you liked it.”
“So, do you live far from here?” She asked again.
He hesitated, “Not too far. Just a couple of blocks away. The house is hard to miss.” He grimaced.
Theo continued quickly when he saw the slight frown form on her forehead.
“About the idea,” He paused momentarily.
Neva’s brown eyes lighted up with curiosity.
“I was hoping you could help me out actually.” He angled his body toward her.
“Sure, of course.” She responded immediately.
So far, so good.
“Tomorrow, I’m planning to check out a new bookstore that opened up a while ago and I was wondering if you’d mind it too much to accompany me.”
He saw it the second she stiffened.
“How is that helping you?” She asked slowly.
“Well, you gave me a good suggestion the other day at the party and I liked the book so far. I thought I’d risk asking you the same thing again.” He gave her a small smile at the end, hoping against hope that she wouldn’t turn him down.
Neva relaxed right before his eyes.
“Oh,” she looked at her laptop and then her hands, before looking back at him.
“Sure, I can do that.” She nodded.
He could see the hesitation plainly in her demeanor.
Deciding to give her an out he continued, “I totally understand if you have other plans, though. I know it’s really last minute-“
“No, I’d like to check it out too.” She smiled at him, nodding her head for emphasis.
Theo let out the breath he had been holding. Thank fuck.
“Thanks, Neva. How about seven in the evening? I’ll pick you up.”
“Yeah, that would work for me. I get out of work by six tomorrow so it’ll be perfect.”
“Great.” He grinned. “I look forward to it.”