The phone call with Harper ended with a click. She went on non-stop about her date with the fucking IT guy and not to mention a full ten minutes describing that damn kiss.
I rolled my eyes and threw my phone next to me on the sofa. I watched Storm attacking his play bone at my feet instead of returning my eyes to the football game playing on the Television.
My mind seemed distracted and couldn’t focus on the game any longer. I felt an itch, a restlessness inside me I couldn’t settle. I instinctively reached for my phone and scrolled through my phone list. My eyes roamed the list of beautiful names.
My fingers reverted back to Rebecca’s name. My thumb hovered above the call button. Thinking. Contemplating. What the hell was wrong with me? I’m turning into a fucking pussy! I scolded myself. I abandoned my phone with a sigh and opted for a glass of whisky on the rocks instead.
A dull ache formed behind my eyes. I didn’t have a good night sleep. Fuck! I didn’t know what was with me these days. I massaged my left temple as I guzzled down my coke lite. The computer screen jumbled with spreadsheets didn’t help one bit.
I needed Harper to sort this shit out. I sent the spreadsheet data to her email and requested a pain killer. Maybe work would take her mind off the IT guy!
My eyes diverted to a light blue book at the edge of my desk. I instantly recognized Harper’s precious notebook. She probably left it here early this morning in her rush to get me coffee.
I always wondered what the fuck she writes up in there. Her work schedule? My appointments? Her personal affairs? Or her deepest darkest secrets?
The last wonder intrigued me. My eyes snapped to the notebook again. The enticement was too tempting, and my arm instantly reached over and grabbed it.
My fingers flipped through the cherished notes. A whole lot of scribbles in neat handwriting with colored highlighted strokes and circles. Mostly about lists and duties and my schedule.
I flipped through the start of her notebook, my eyes scanning the lined page.
Get fresh latte from café for Mr. Bolton
Call Mr. C. Landon for 10am meeting.
Confirm date with ‘model’ Lindsey!
Mr. Bolton needs psychological help!!!
Well damn! I thought, what the hell did she think of me in the beginning?
My hands turned to this week’s pages. The Thursday entry was unexpected. I raised a brow.
Bikini Wax! 5pm @ Body Beauty 😊
Five minutes later and Harper bounced through my black doors, she wore a light pink summer dress that touched her knees, her hair in a low messy bun and a cheery smile on her rosy cheek face.
I instantly and carefully closed her notebook and slid it next to me. Hoping she didn’t notice my action.
“Here you go.” She placed the Perrier mineral water bottle on the table, and two Advil pills next to it. She frowned, shot a glance at her notebook and narrowed her eyes at me suspiciously, she grasped the book and held it tight against her chest. “Bad night?”
“Yeah... Thanks.” I mumbled and grabbed the pills swallowing them down with the water. Grateful she trusted me.
“Don’t worry I couldn’t sleep either.” She grinned. I hardly doubted it was due to the same thing.
Todd strode past my office open door, a big smirk on his face. “Sorry for intruding like this Eric, but I didn’t see Miss Harper at her desk.”
I glanced at Todd and nodded. “No problem. What can I do for you Todd?”
“Not what you can for me, but what you can gift me.” Todd replied, his smirk breaking into a wide smile.
I raised a brow.
“I did it Eric, I pulled the trigger. I’m finally getting hitched.” He confessed. “I finally asked Vivian to tie the knot with me.”
My eyebrows popped up at his unexpected news.
“Oh my! Congratulations Mr. Carson, that’s wonderful news.” Harper beamed, giving him a brisk hug.
“Todd congratulations, it’s by time. I’m glad for you.” I agreed. “Looks like we on the hunt for a wedding gift.” I said as I looked at Harper.
She smiled knowingly.
“Thanks Eric. Just wanted to let you know the big news.” Todd said. “We’ll talk later.”
I gave a nod. “Sure Todd.”
He left in a hurry; the huge grin plastered on his face. Fuck me! Does people still get married these days? I held my temple, the light throb already subsiding from the pill. Thank Fuck.
Harper stood in front of my desk with her hands clasped behind her back, biting a smile. She looked at me intently with her warm dark eyes.
“Harper?” I frowned. It looked like she practically wanted to burst with something.
“He texted me this morning!” She screamed. “Jake! He asked me on another date.”
I chocked slightly on my water and cleared my throat. “That’s excellent.”
“I know. I can’t believe it. He asked me to go hiking with him.” She said bouncing up and down lightly.
“Wow. I didn’t expect you to be outdoorsy.” I said evenly.
“I can be outdoorsy if I wanna. It’s good exercise. Jake’s a very fit guy and takes fitness seriously and to mention good hearted too.” She nodded.
“Hmmm... he sounds dreamy,” I mocked as I replied to emails.
“And he’s a vegan.”
“That must be a bummer for you.” I said.
“No not at all. It just shows he loves and cares for nature.” She defended. She crinkled her nose, looking somewhat guilty.
I raised a brow.
“Is it wrong if I said I’m vegetarian?” She asked hesitantly.
I laughed. “You? A vegetarian? The way I’ve seen you devour those ribs in Miami, I highly doubt that.” Harper, still the oddest woman I ever met.
“Well, I can be vegetarian if I want to, okay!” She scowled. “It’s called compromising. That’s what you do in relationships. Something that’s completely foreign to you.”
I winced at her words and didn’t appreciate it. I gave Harper a pointed look.
She diverted her eyes to the floor. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to bring you into this.”
“I would appreciate that.” I said tightly. “And you shouldn’t compromise yourself in the process Harper. Don’t start off with a lie.”
But I didn’t want to stop there. I stood up from my seat and moved stealthily towards her, my eyes not tearing away from hers until we were face to face. I was so close to her, she staggered slightly back, her brown eyes studying me in a frown. The last time I was this close to Harper, I was about to kiss her, my lips were ready to touch hers.
“That’s one thing I never do, is lie Harper. All the women I go on dates with, know what I am and where I stand with them. No false pretenses.” I said in a low tone, my gaze not breaking away from her confused face. I could visibly see her swallowing hard. “Even though it was pleasant talking about your precious IT guy. I’m your boss, you still my assistant and we both have work to do.”
She breathed out and nodded. “You right. I got a lot of work to do.” She gulped, turned around and walked out the doors slowly, not before taking one more glance my way.
I returned to my seat with a huff. I began to write the date on the contract but threw the pen across the table. Fuck! I hated being so blunt with Harper. Guilt nudged at me. I didn’t have to be that hard on her. I planned to call her back in the office to apologize. My finger about to press the receiver button.
But my mind unwillingly drifted to our kiss yesterday. Her pink lips were soft. She tasted sweet. I hated to admit it, but I might have enjoyed it. Liked it even. Maybe wanted more of it. Fuck! This was dangerous and unfamiliar territory I didn’t want to cross. The odd and unfamiliar feeling growing again. But what scared me most was the flicker of something else.
I stopped myself from pressing the receiver button. Harper needed to know her place... and so did I.