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PERFIDIOUS

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02

It was finally Friday and I was a mix between happy - that I could finally roll around for the weekend - but anxious because of the date I promised Zach.

I could admit it had been a while since I was on a proper date and I wasn't sure I even knew what we could talk about. Work? We already did that five days a week. I shook the thoughts from my mind grabbing my bag with my belongings.

My thoughts wondered back to the convenience store on my ride down the elevator. The dark haired man had somehow managed to consume my thoughts in the span of the two days I'd seen him.

A sigh left my lips, I needed to get laid. Badly. It was hard to though, especially trying to find someone that didn't annoy me plus someone I was at least a bit physically attracted to. The doors opened after a ding and I was face to face with Zach himself.

Weirdly enough I hadn't seen him all day. Though it was Friday where most of the building wore business casual clothes, he was still dressed exceptionally in one of his suits and his brown hair styled to the side. His eyes, somewhere between a stormy sky and clear blue waters, lit up at the sight of me and a smile grazed my face.

"Heading home?" Instead of getting on the elevator, he fell in step with me as I walked to the reception desk.

"Yeah, pretty much done for the day." I decided to leave the part out where I planned to stop at the convenience store at the slight chance I might run into the man from before.

Jody - the receptionist - looked up as my purse landed on the table in the hall with a soft thud. Jody was not only a coworker, but she had became the closest thing I had to a friend. Her curls bobbed with her as she gave Zach a quick glance before training her eyes on me.

"Hey Kenz, good thing I saw you before you left." She looked back at Zach, "did you already tell her?"

The shake of his head had me furrowing my brows in confusion at them both. Tell me what?

At the look on my face, Jody let out a giggle holding up a hand, "don't worry, it's nothing bad." She grabbed an envelope from the desk before pushing it in my direction with a dimpled smile, "this year marks your first year with us and so, this is your invitation to the annual Christmas in July company party!"

A Christmas in what? I voiced my thoughts earning an eye roll from her and a snicker from Zach. She crossed her arms and glared at him, "don't laugh, you ass."

She turned her attention back to me before continuing, "every year the company hosts a Christmas in July party. Its Christmas themed of course, so dress accordingly. There's also free booze, free food, and if we're lucky you'll get to see some of the board members drunk off their ass." When she put it like that, it actually didn't sound too bad.

I glanced at the invitation before slipping it in my bag nodding at her words. "I'll let you know if I can make it."

They both gave me an incredulous look and I rolled my eyes, "I have deadlines to meet, both of you. I'll let you know."

Zach's eyes met mine, "I hope those deadlines won't be interfering with our plans."

I glance back at Jody, whose head was now buried in some papers. It didn't take a genius to see she had a thing for him. That was another reason I rejected him, wasn't there some girl code or something?

The old me would've laughed at a girl code. Nothing would've stopped her.

I shook my head giving him a smile and he gave me a satisfied nod. He glanced at his watch before giving the desk a slight tap, "I've got to get going ladies. Mackenzie, I'll give you a call?"

I nodded and he walked away, disappearing onto the elevators.

"Jody." It felt as if I was doing something wrong by even agreeing to the date. I wouldn't care on a regular but the fact that Jody had been so nice to me since I started at the company, I didn't want to jeopardize our friendship over some guy.

"Honestly Kenz, it's fine. He wasn't interested long before you came along. I'm fine with it." She gave me what was supposed to be a reassuring smile but I saw right though it. She wasn't okay with it.

"He's stupid for not seeing what an amazing woman you are." She gave me a smile that somehow made me feel even worse and I had no idea how to fix it. Zach was becoming even more of a no.

We agreed on lunch sometime soon before I took my leave. I suddenly had a reason to go to the convenience store because wine never sounded so good.

. . .

I was disappointed to say the least. After walking aimlessly around the store for about ten minutes, I decided it was time to spare myself the embarrassment. I was almost tempted to ask the cashier if she'd seen him, but she probably had no idea who I was even talking about.

So there I was, eating from a party size bag of pretzels on some nearby bench with my wine already safely in my car.

I glanced at the time, 7:28 pm.

The sun was setting and I was content with watching the pretty colors swirl across the sky. My phone vibrated with a ding and I looked down at the message from Zach ignoring the person who took a seat beside me.

Pick you up at seven tomorrow?

I rolled my eyes pushing the phone back into the pocket of my fitted jeans. I was in no mood to go on the date.

"You sure are in a bad mood for a Friday night." It felt as if my heart stopped before it started beating again. I couldn't mistake his voice, smooth and deep.

I looked over at him, in his black ripped jeans, t-shirt and jacket. It made me look at my own button down shirt. We were both wearing black but somehow he managed to look ten times better.

"I'm a shitty friend." My hand reached back into my bag of pretzels and stuffed a few more in my mouth. I was a shitty friend. Jody did nothing to me and here I was going out with the person that she liked.

"What makes you such a shitty friend?" His arm stretched out across the back of the bench and I tried not to focus on the heat radiating from his skin.

"I just am. Of all the people to go on a date with, why'd I agree to go with him? The one person she has feelings for." I didn't even really understand their relationship. "Or whatever."

He hummed a little, extending his legs and seemed to get comfier on the bench. "Can't really blame the poor guy."

I pushed a couple more pretzels past my lips and looked over at him, "hm?" My chewing faltered as his eyes - calculating - skimmed over my face before meeting my gaze.

Did he just check me out?

Did that count as him checking me out? I forced the pretzels down my now dry throat and looked away to grab the bottle of water I bought. I took a few chugs before covering the bottle and resting it back in its previous spot.

"It's pretty simple. Guy sees a beautiful woman. Guy asks her out in hopes of rainbows and sunshine for the rest of his life. Or whatever." I tried not to think into what he said. Beautiful woman?

"That's the thing," I glanced over at him to see him looking out into the dark night, "I don't want rainbows and sunshine. That's not in the cards for me."

I was content with writing happy endings but I knew that I wouldn't get to experience the same love my characters did. The last time I believed a guy was offering rainbows and sunshine I was proven wrong on numerous different occasions.

His hand drew back from behind me to rest on his thigh. I admired the ring on his finger, a silver dragon wrapped around with ruby red eyes. It was different. My eyes trailed down his fingers and my previous actions caught up with me.

I crossed my legs, trying to stop the the clenching of my core at the thought of him bringing me the pleasure I needed. I pushed a few more pretzels in my mouth trying to clear the thoughts from my mind and almost jumped out my seat when he spoke.

"I'd like to take you out."
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