Incandescence (Part I)

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'The day of the interview, you were there in the waiting room, gathering your thoughts. I stepped out of the lift and saw you sitting there, I stood there for at least a minute watching you, but you were so caught up in your thoughts that you didn’t notice me. I went into the interview room and told Dad and Leonard that you couldn’t get the job as there was no way I’d be able to be around you every day; but they just laughed.

The Interview was hard. My attraction to you was instant.

Leonard sat there smirking the whole time, he could see my dilemma.

It was clear dad was impressed with you; he is after all, a great judge of character.

From the way you spoke it was obvious you loved your job. I knew that as a Company Director I could never pursue a relationship with you, I knew that from day one. If you were to decline me, my advances could be seen as sexual harassment and that would damage BL Corp. Then again, if you were to accept my advances, you would have to turn your back on your career. From the way you were talking I could tell this was your dream job and I didn’t want to take it away from you.

You had such an impact on me that day. I spent the whole interview in silence going over different scenarios, trying to find a way where the possibility of me asking you out wouldn’t compromise either of us. Deep down I knew that you would reject me over your career; so I tried to prevent you from getting the job.

To distract myself from all my thoughts, I looked down and saw your Job Application. To be honest, I actually liked it. I liked the fact you had the courage to send it in bullet form, it was cute and quirky. I was smiling when I picked the Application off the desk, I honestly wanted to know what possessed you to fill in your Application Form in such a way.’ Bradley paused and I laughed

‘Do you really want to know?’ I asked before continuing ’I used bullet points with the intention of expanding on each point, then Amelia called me and instead of hitting ‘Save’ I accidentally hit the ‘Submit’ button’ and with that Bradley shook his head laughed, pausing momentarily before continuing.

'As the interview was coming to a close, I knew my plan was failing. Out of sheer frustration, I stormed out like a child. I made it my mission to keep my distance, that was the only way I couldn’t mess things up. But the day Jacob visited you with flowers, I can’t explain what came over me, but I had to know who he was. I could tell my presence was making you uncomfortable so when you decided to return to work, I felt somewhat relieved. I asked Jacob to stay so that I could interrogate him a little.

Jacob was surprisingly honest. He knew your relationship over, so I encouraged him to move on. We spent the afternoon and evening together and when Jacob asked to go home, I went to put his address in my GPS, that’s when I realized Leonard had saved your address in GPS; as he used my car that night he and dad came to see you. So instead of taking Jacob home, I drove to your place – as crazy as this sounds, I needed to see for myself whether or not you were in love with Jacob.

That night when Jacob declared his love for you and you told him you weren’t in love with him; I was happy. I was ready to take Jacob away when Amelia suggested we stay the night. That night I slept so peacefully, much like how you did last night in my bed’ Bradley smiled at me when he added the last part.

I was finding Bradley’s version of events intriguing. Whilst most events were very similar to what I recalled, certain parts appeared to be parallel opposites. I was perplexed at just how different our perspectives of the past four weeks actually were and found myself wanting to hear more. Smiling, I encouraged Bradley to continue.

'I remember waking up at your house and making my way to the living room. I was sitting there wondering about the what-if’s, but my thoughts were interrupted when I heard footsteps.

Knowing Jacob and Amelia were too drunk to be up so early, I knew those footsteps belonged to you; so I quickly grabbed my phone and started tapping away pretending to be busy.

That morning you walked past looking absolutely gorgeous, your hair was up in a high pony tail and it accentuated your neck; I then noticed you were in a crop top and couldn’t help but long to hold you. But once again you hadn’t even noticed me; you walked straight past me totally unaware of the impact your presence had on me. I snapped out of my thoughts when you offered me an Espresso; I was surprised that you had remembered my coffee of choice.

Do you have any idea how tempting you were that morning? Sitting opposite me in such close proximity was not good for my sanity, so I made up an excuse about work and left.

I spent the next week trying to distance myself from you; I threw myself into my work. But then you and Leonard conjured up a plan for the Staff Retention Event to exclude the Management Team; again, without realizing, you were drawing me to you.

I spent the whole of the Staff Retention Event watching and admiring you; after having had been away from you for weeks, I honestly wasn’t able to focus on anyone else during that event.

Later that afternoon when you dragged my brother and I into your car and seeing that fire in your eyes, I was besotted. Watching you call Jackson into your office and then seeing you handle him without needing my help; you were amazing. Jackson was scathing towards you and not once did you falter. I sat there the whole time, watching you in awe. You left me speechless.

After you terminated my cousin for sexual harassment, the last thing I needed was you turning on me, so once again, I kept my distance. But it didn’t take long for you to reach out to me.

As much as I tried to keep away, you always found a way to pull me back in. So when I received your dinner invite, there was no way I would pass up the chance, even if it meant another 3 people were joining us.

That night was almost perfect, but after seeing the terror in your eyes, I knew I couldn’t leave you. Without you realizing, I chose the bedroom closest to yours and stayed awake all night; I didn't want anything happening to you. I had my security guards stationed outside your house and asked my investigators to drop everything – you were my number one priority.

The following morning when your parents arrived, they knew exactly what was going on, even Amelia was able to figure it out; but you remained oblivious to my feelings for you.

Sunday night after leaving your house, I finally made the decision to let you go; to stop being selfish and to just let you be. As much as I wanted us to work out, I knew you were oblivious to my feelings for you and that I couldn't pursue you. But, the universe had other plans.

You have no idea how broken I was when I found you lying unconscious in the carpark in a pool of blood. Seeing you like that absolutely broke me; never have I felt that way and I don’t want to ever experience it again.

I felt so helpless, there was nothing I could do to help you. I went with you in the ambulance, the whole journey begging you to pull through. After hours of surgery, when Dr Clark finally told us that you were in recovery, your parents asked that I join them in visiting you. They knew how devastated I was and that I was blaming myself.

I still blame myself. If I had walked you to the car, this could have been avoided. But instead of protecting you, I was busy trying to protect my heart.

Tori, I almost lost you that night; I’m not going to lose you again, at least not without trying. I don’t care about my work, I don’t care about what anyone else thinks. I’ve tried resisting you, but the more I try the harder I fall.

You wanted to know everything, and now you do.’ And with that, Bradley stopped talking and looked at me.

I remained seated on Bradley’s lap, lost in his words. I was thinking of everything he had told me. How different his version of events were to what I had perceived.

In hindsight all the signs were there; I was drawn to Bradley and he was drawn to me – our parents and friends could see the attraction, but I was blinded by my career.

Bradley openly lay out his feelings for me and I was still scared; holding back out of fear of the unknown.

I could see Bradley staring into my eyes, wanting to know what I was thinking, but I didn’t know where to begin; for once, I was at a loss for words.

Without hesitating any longer, I leaned in towards Bradley, closed my eyes, and kissed him slowly and passionately.

Bradley pulled me in closer, kissing me, not letting me out of his brace. We were both lost in the moment until we noticed we weren’t alone. The sound of throats being cleared got their throats to get our attention.

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