Conflict of Interest

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Grace left the Bistro in a much better mood than when she’d walked in. She felt better. Settled. But she didn’t want to go home. She wandered the block outside of the office. She looked up.

It wasn’t a reflection of the streetlamps that caught her eye. When she looked closer, she realized it was a shadow walking across a conference room causing the flicker. The cleaning team didn’t come until tomorrow, she thought, confused.

Curiosity got the best of her. She had to know. She swung open the door of the building and took the elevator up to the office.

The elevator gave a calm ding as its doors opened. Grace tiptoed down the hall and peered around the corner for a better look.

She should have known better. Of course, it would be Luke and Travis. She couldn’t suppress her grin as she watched the two men giggle like school girls. Each sitting behind huge pizza boxes. Black Sheep to be specific. She’d recognize that box anywhere.

What were they doing here? It had to be coming up on eleven at night.

Grace walked into the conference room they’d dedicated to Wallace’s teams. She decided she might as well confront them and see what they were up to.

“Mind letting me know what you boys are doing here at this hour?”

Their startled jump at her entry nearly made the entire night worth it. She had to hide the smile daring to form, an effort to keep her straight face.

“Holy fu-” Luke stopped his curse. “You nearly gave us a heart attack.”

“Yet, you’re still here, alive and well.” She crossed her arms, leaning against the door frame.

“You changed.” It was Luke’s turn to smirk. “I kind of liked the red pant thing.”

Grace cleared her throat and did her best to brush him off. “It was a jumpsuit, and you aren’t answering my question.”

“Neither are you.”

“Yours wasn’t a question,” Grace challenged.

God, he loved her. Even the banter when she was pretending to be irritated with him was fun.

Luke motioned to the room with his hand guiding the way across the table and white board. When he stood, she entered and looked around at the mess of documents, folders, highlighters, and pens that were strewn everywhere.

“We are coming up with a brilliant plan because we are brilliant. And that’s what we do,” Luke said cockily.

“Who is brilliant?” Mave asked pointedly, earning a chuckle from Grace.

“I am. But you did good work here, too.”

Mave shoved a slice of pizza into his mouth and rolled his eyes, too hungry to fight.

“A brilliant plan,” she mimicked. She didn’t mean to sound snarky, but she just wanted to be irritated with him. His flowers, her crappy date, and now he was here with pizza.

She wanted pizza.

“Yes.” He decided to not give her the argument she wanted, so he clapped his hands as if to wrap up their conversation and carry on as they had been before she got there. “Well, we will just get back to work then, and let you know when we’re finished. Oh, would you like a slice?”

Luke motioned to the leftovers in the pizza boxes. He didn’t miss Mave’s look of disgust in his willingness to give away perfectly good breakfast food – tomorrow’s breakfast food to be more specific.

“I’m fine, thank you.” Not giving into temptation, Grace turned and attempted a nonchalant, but sexy walk back through the door. It irritated her that she didn’t know what they were up to. It irritated her even more when her stomach growled in protest at her decision to turn down the delicious pizza.

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