Chapter Fourteen - A Silly Idea
I didn’t wake up the next morning, because I never went to sleep in the first place. My mind had raced all night, full of all the things that had happened and everything Belle had said. I forced myself into the shower and put the dress from the first day on. Everything else was already in storage. I clearly hadn’t thought about my need for clothing past the weekend. As I was leaving I passed the moving company in the corridors of the building. I was going to need to book into a motel. My apartment would be empty by the time I returned.
When I got to the office I wasn’t really ready to face it or Brennan. Things had ended on such a weird note, we hadn’t even talked about what had happened. Maybe letting him send my things to me would have been better.
It was too late to change my mind. I was here, I was waiting for the elevator and soon this would be over. The doors pinged open and I stepped inside, My heart rate increased the higher the elevator went, the closer I was to Wolf Industries and him.
When the door opened on Wolf Industries floor I stepped out and walked down the corridor I’d walked so many times before. The receptionist watched me with widened eyes as I passed her. I bit back embarrassed tension and forced myself to keep walking. I opened the doors to the office and stepped inside. Brennan was talking to someone, a woman who sat seated across from him. His gaze moved away from her and landed on me, he smiled and said something to the woman before standing up and walking out with her.
“I’ll be right back Mr. Wolf.” She said, walking around me and out the door.
“New PA?” I asked softly.
“Temp.” He murmured. “It’ll take a while to even come close to replacing you.”
I nodded and walked to the desk that had once been mine. There was a box on the floor from the refilled printer, so I picked it up and started putting my things in it. A photo of my parents at my graduation. A small dolphin ornament and my clothes from the Friday before the weekend. Our weekend.
“Can we talk?” Brennan asked. He was still standing by his office door. I stopped and set the box down on the ground next to the desk.
Brennan walked into his office and sat down, and I sat in the same seat the woman had been, the same seat I’d sat in thousands of times. The seat that after today would no longer be mine.
“I thought you might like to know my parents called me this morning. I took the call.” he chuckled. “They’re coming to stay this weekend before flying to England.”
I smiled genuinely for the first time since we’d left his parents place. “That’s good. I’m glad.”
“I’ll tell them we split up.” he said softly.
Before I had a chance to process the door to Brennan’s office opened and the temp PA walked in. She had two cups of coffee.
“Cappuccino for you Mr. Wolf and Chai latte for you Ms. Reynolds.”
“Oh thank you.” I said. “Your name is?”
“Thank you Melody.”
She left the room and I took a sip of the latte. “She has more promise than the other temps.”
“She’s not you.” Brennan responded without skipping a beat.
I looked down at the floor.
“I’m not that fantastic Brennan. I just happen to have the benefit of being here from the start. I know how the place runs and how you...” I stopped. “Anyway. Your parents.”
“Yeah. Don’t worry about it okay. I’ll let them down easy. We won’t go backwards.”
He was probably right. A new door had opened, his father had more understanding about his son. Maybe a random break up wouldn’t ruffle any feathers. I looked up at Brennan and tilted my head slightly to the side. Stupid ideas began to run through my head for reasons I couldn’t understand, but I was sure Belle would have a field day with.
“I have to be out of my apartment tomorrow, in fact it’ll be empty except for my suitcase by the time I go home today. I’m staying in a hotel tonight, but maybe I could be at your place this weekend.” Brennan’s eyebrows raised and he leaned back in his chair. “So you don’t have to let them down just yet.”
“You’re offering to continue pretending to be my fiancé.” he said slowly. He took a sip of his coffee and placed it down on the desk.
“Why?” He questioned.
“Because we’re friends.” I replied honestly.
“Friends.” he mumbled. “Won’t it be awkward. After everything.”
Everything. I closed my eyes and remembered the night before last. The way he’d touched me, his lips on mine. I wanted to be back there, to feel it again. Awkward wasn’t the word for how I was feeling.
“I think I can handle it. Can you?”
“Oh, I know I can.” He laughed. “I’ll take you up on the offer. Truth be told I’m not quite ready for my parents to resume being disappointed in me just yet.”
“They wouldn’t be, but just in case.”
Brennan smiled and picked his coffee back up. “Okay then, Stay at my place, in the spare room. Don’t stay in a hotel.”
All week? Was he suggesting I stay in his apartment all week? I stared at him, my insides churning, while he looked completely unaffected. If I needed any more proof that Brennan was not into me then this was it. Openly inviting me into close proximity without even a shred of feeling. I couldn’t say no, the word sat on my tongue but refused to come out. Why did I want to stay at his place longer than necessary? What twisted part of me enjoyed this?
“Okay.” I replied. “I’ll go back to my apartment and grab my suitcase and come to your apartment after you finish work.”
Brennan picked his phone up off the desk and pressed something before holding the phone to his ear.
“Hey, it’s Brennan Wolf. Yes. Look I have a friend who will be staying for a bit. Can you please have an access key ready for her. Yes. Her name is Grace Reynolds. Okay. Thank you.”
He put the phone down.
“You can head to my place as soon as you have your suitcase. I have a spare car park. There is a key card waiting for you at the reception. Make yourself at home.”
“Are you sure? I can wait.”
Brennan scoffed and sat forward, getting as close as he could to me when there was still a desk between us.
“You just spent the weekend pretending to be my fiancé. You have also been working for me for three years. I trust you.”
“Okay. Well I’ll head there soon. I need to go and get my suitcase.”
I stood up and walked to the door, Brennan beat me to it, opening it for me. I walked to the box of my things and picked them up, juggling my coffee until I held everything semi securely.
“How about I bring the box to you.” he murmured, stepping closer to me. I felt the hairs rise on the back of my neck and memories of our night together threatened to resurface yet again. Fuck. proximity was an issue. I blinked, hard. We weren’t alone, Melody was tapping at the keyboard, though her taps were few and far between, I was almost sure she was listening in and watching the show before her.
“Um, that defeats the purpose of my coming in.” I replied trying to sound normal and completely failing.
“Does it?” Brennan replied with a grin. He placed his hands on the box and I let him take it. He was referring to the surprise continuation of our weekend ruse, like he’d planned it but of course I knew he hadn’t. He’d okayed me returning to get my things before even knowing of his parent’s impending visit.
“Be careful... you sound like you’re enjoying this.” I teased.
“Maybe I am.” He replied, a glint hit his brown eyes and he walked into his office without saying another word.