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-7-

The following Monday I headed into the office early. I wanted to get an hour of work done before the busy day filled with meetings begun. Mondays were my least favourite day of the week and having that day filled with meetings in the same room as Kaine didn’t make today feel any better.

I had just begun to think about talking with him, weighing my pros and cons. I just hoped that he respected my wish and remained professional in the workplace.

“What are you doing here so early?” I looked up as Jess walked into our office.

“I wanted to get some paperwork done before the meetings and make sure that I had everything in order.” I leaned back in my chair and looked her up and down. “Looks like you had a wonderful week off.”

She beamed at me as she flopped herself into her office chair. “Oh, you have no idea. How was your week?”

I stared at her, my face blank.

“That bad, huh?” She smiled.

“Oh, you have no idea.” I sighed. “I’ll start at the beginning.”

I told her about my week, starting with how my night ended after I had left her with Tristan on the dance floor and ending with Reba coming to talk with me.

“So what are you going to do?” Jess asked as she cracked open a can of Red Bull.

“I think I’m going to let him explain himself, I just don’t know when.” I sighed. “I need a bit of time to get enough courage to be able to handle any explanation he gives me.”

“I think that’s reasonable. Until then, are you going to be alright being around him?”

“Yeah, I think if we can be civil with each other until I’m ready, then it’s a good first step to seeing where things may lead.”

“Seeing where things lead, eh?” Jess smirked.

“I’m not saying it like that. I can’t even think about a relationship with him, at this point even a friendship seems so far-fetched.” I plugged my tablet into my computer and started the file transfers. “As of right now, civil is what’s best. Let’s just hope that’s something we can even do.”

“Oh, I’m quite certain you guys will succeed at being civil.” She winked.

“Come on. We have meetings to get to.” I ignored her comment and gathered my tablet before walking out the door.

“Hey, I’m just trying to be realistic here!” Jess quickly caught up to me. “You’re making it seem like you guys don’t have a million years of history.” She lifted her brow.

I turned my back against the meeting room door, with a sigh I pushed it open as I looked at Jess. “This conversation is over.”

“Yeah, for now.” She grumbled as she followed me into the room.

I turned back to face the room, there were a handful of people already sitting around the table. I spotted Kaine almost immediately. I tripped over my feet as my eyes took all of him in. He was leaned over the back of a chair, viewing something on a computer screen while he talked with the young man sitting in the chair. His hair was lightly tossed like he had run his fingers through it moments before. He wore a fitted black suit jacket, that he had open to show his slim-fitting black dress shirt underneath. He left the top three buttons undone, just like how I had told him I liked it.

“Stare any longer people will start to notice,” Jess whispered behind me.

I quickly took my eyes off of Kaine and found my seat at the far end of the table. I sat down beside Jess and glared at her.

“Why is he dressed like that?” I whispered, keeping my jaw clenched.

“I guess he thought words weren’t enough so he wanted to get your attention another way.” She shrugged.

“By wearing exactly the outfit that accentuates everything about him.” I said as I felt my cat stretch and purr. “This is going to be a long day.” I sighed wanting to put my face in my hands and hide.

“You’ll survive.” I could hear the laughter in her voice.

We turned our attention to the front of the room as the meeting began. My eyes met Kaine’s. It took everything inside of me to keep my eyes glued to his and not let them wander. My cat itched, stretched and purred at the sight of him. He was glorious in his suit, my body hummed with attraction. I could feel my feline inside me wanting to tear the black dress shirt away from his body. His undone buttons teasing us, giving us just a glimpse of what we could have underneath.

I took a deep breath as his eyes quickly assessed me, he wanted to keep his gaze strictly professional but I knew in that quick glance that he had seen everything he had wanted to.

“Where are we with new recruits, Olivia?” Kaine directed his attention to me.

Olivia? Since when have I been Olivia? I thought as I looked at him.

“Um, we’ve assessed at least half of the applications. I can forward those files to you for final evaluation. The rest we should have finished by the end of the week. I will get those applications sent to you as soon as we’re done.” I replied.

“Good, Friday afternoon my meetings are full so if you could send them to me by noon.” He nodded. “Where are we at with evaluation on potential clients?”

“We have four teams that are ready to be sent out to their next locations. We have two wolf packs that are asking for assistance. One in North Dakota, the other in Northern British Columbia. We have a tiger pride in Whales, and a mixed pack located in Sydney Australia.” Jess spoke, she projected the information onto the screen at the front of the room.

“Each of these groups needs a lot of assistance. These will require strong teams that will be able to handle the complex and rigorous training that will need to be done.” I projected my own file onto the screen. “We’ve already begun reviewing who would be best in these locations. Some of these locations will require a mix of a few different teams. Here’s what we’ve put together so far.” I slid the personnel files up.

Kaine looked them over, nodding in agreement at our selections.

“Good. Send me these files for review as well.” He said before he continued on with the next topic.

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