We’ll talk soon.
That’s all the message had said from Eric. I received it last night. The words reeled in my mind eliminating my sleep. I haven’t seen Eric since our night together and he had just said goodbye to his father some days ago. I wish I could’ve been there for him. To be by his side. I wondered if he was okay, but I wanted to give him space during this difficult time too.
The office was abuzz with new life as the gala approached the Saturday night. That’s all that people could talk about, fueled with energy and excitement. Unfortunately, I couldn’t match them.
But I couldn’t help my feeble feelings. I missed him in the office, I missed our silly conversations and topics, I even missed his instructions and orders. Everything seemed so out of sync now. It seemed like a lifetime ago since he gave me dating rules, and now it seems like a lifetime ago I’ve seen him.
It’s been close to a week, and I had no further contact. This lack of communication was a needle stuck in my chest. The longer it went, the further it dug in.
I slumped further into my seat, not feeling good at all. I had bought a vanilla cream donut from the café this morning, still untouched in its box. My hands slapped my cheeks, my appetite gone. I felt disorientated. I had no idea if I was coming or going. There was still a question of Eric becoming CEO.
Would I still be his assistant?
I fidgeted with my star charm trinket and bit my bottom lip. Sitting alone, bored in the office room, ate me up slowly. I had to get all these unspoken feelings out, before it ripped me in half in the next five minutes. I grabbed my notebook and read past entries, more like small notes jotted day by day. I wrote most things in there, from goals to stresses, lists, favorite quotes, book reviews and even love notes to Jake. I shook my head at those ones.
I breathed in deep, grasping a pen and scribbled relentlessly. Every single detail I could remember about my encounters and relationship with Eric, from our first meeting in his office, to the pool talk in Miami and all the three dating rules with its awkward and sweet moments. It was reflection and I smiled at each sentence I wrote down.
The corner edge of a paper peeked out from the notebook. I took it fully out and opened it, realizing it was my ‘perfect man’ list. I scanned through it again, noticing something that made me flutter. I didn’t want to, but I compared Jake and Eric.
I hadn’t even realized how close Eric was to my list. My heart hopped and sank at the same time. Even though he was far from being Mr. Perfect. Yet Jake failed at some points, I gave a small giggle at the irony. My heart opened at the thought of Eric now. Yet a scary and pleasant one came to mind. Eric is not a normal man to be with. So many women, melted for him. But did I too? How could I compete? I sighed, not wanting to accept it. But it wasn’t just my body that melted away for him, it seemed like my heart now too.
The realization scared me, I couldn’t be feeling like this, I shouldn’t. My mind gave a list of cons not to fall for Eric. He’s a womanizer, a charmer, he hates commitment, and finally he’ll just break your heart. The last part echoed in my mind.
I’ll just see what happens once Eric and I see each other again. I breathed out softly and stretched my arms above my head. My fingers reached in the brown box and retrieved the plumpest cream donut. I licked my lips; this could help take my mind off that sexy man. I took a huge bite of the delectable soft bake. The cream smothered my mouth. I closed my eyes briefly, savoring the perfect moment. Sugar! This was simply heavenly.
My eyes snapped open. I needed to get it together. I was at work after all. I couldn’t brood at my desk over my lovesick heart. I grabbed a report and started to capture data on the computer, my mouth still chewing. My mind trying to get off Eric, and after moments, thanks to all these numbers it finally did. A faint hum serenaded from my lips.
The glass doors swung. My head snapped up, my humming stopped and my fingers froze above the keyboard. Eric strode in smoothly, his left hand casually tucked in his trousers’ pocket. His jet-black hair sleek once more, he glided in the office room, his charcoal grey suit immaculate on his toned body. My heart jumped in my throat at the sight of him. I’ve seen him countless times walking through those doors. But this time was different. His presence made my heart thunder and his dominance made my body rumble underneath. My skin tingled as the air charged in the room, electrifying me.
Eric’s jade green eyes landed on me; his gaze drifted to my lips and the corner of it. His clean-shaven jaw ghosted a smile. My fingers checked my mouth and realized some cream had smudged it. I wiped it clean with the back of my hand. But Eric’s face looked serious, I couldn’t read him. I jumped up from my seat and stared blankly at him. He stood and looked at me too, his lips tight. I opened my mouth to say something. But I couldn’t think of the appropriate words. I was desperate to speak to him, to let him know how I felt. So many words surfaced in me.
Eric, can we talk?
Are you feeling okay?
What are you thinking?
How do you feel about me?
Do you think about that night we made love as much as I do?
Did it mean anything to you?
The questions overwhelming me that I practically stood silently staring at him, my mouth probably looking like a fish gasping out of water.
But Eric was stoned face. I spoke up, asking the first question that came to my mind.
“Eric,” I began, clasping my hands together. His left eye twitched. “Can we talk?”
I could visibly see him breathe hard; his nostrils flared. His Adams apple bobbed up and down as he swallowed hard.
I gulped waiting for his response anxiously, but heels clanked in after him. My eyes drifted to the glass doors and my heart sank at the sight of her. Rebecca sauntered into the office, her hand flipped her blonde hair. Her tanned suit dress with matching heels looked chic and stylish, she walked in stepping out of Vogue. I looked drab compared to her. And she knew it as her eyes scrutinized me from my messy bun to my plain heels.
I blinked my eyes slowly as I looked what seemed like the perfect model couple, they could build an empire together. I shrank in my seat, as she stood beside him.
Eric turned to Rebecca; his face still set like stone. “Rebecca, I told you to wait in the foyer.”
She smiled. “I thought I’ll see your office one last time, for old times sakes,” she chuckled. “I want to reminisce our sexy times together.” She paraded past Eric and opened the black doors disappearing into his office.
Eric cleared his throat, returning my attention. “Morning Harper.”
I gave a meek nod.
He licked his lips, as if it was difficult to speak to me. “As you know I’m acting CEO now, until the finalities are legally sorted out.”
He stood at the same place not inching closer, his one hand still in his pocket as he continued.
“And that means, I’ll be moving to my father’s office on the floor above.” He looked past the glass doors. “The new CIO will be appointed tomorrow morning to this office, and you’ll be her executive assistant. Mrs. Kelly, my father’s assistant will be mine as CEO, since she knows the ropes already.”
His eyes returned to me, and my heart started to crumble slightly. I gulped and nodded, remaining reserved. His eyebrows creased. “I’m sorry it couldn’t be a promotion instead.” He said evenly.
My eyes studied him for a moment. “It’s just the way things are.” I finally broke out.
Eric breathed in deep and shut his eyes for a split second. He sighed and raked his fingers through his sleek hair, roughing it slightly and moved closer to my desk.
“Violet.” He said softly. And my heart melted with my name on his lips, that I hardly ever heard him say. “Rebecca is only here for the gala plans coming up this weekend, she’s contributing to public relations and has a meeting with the team in 30 minutes.”
I diverted my eyes to the computer screen. Eric was trying to give me a reason as to why Rebecca sauntered in after him, he probably could see how it looked like.
“You don’t have to explain Eric, it’s okay.” I sighed.
“Look, this week is busy, with the lead up to the gala and all. We’ll talk after that okay?” He closed my laptop and lifted my chin up so that I could face him.
I nodded. “Okay. We’ll talk till then.” I bit my bottom lip and looked up to him from my seat. “You’re still doing okay?”
He smiled softly and nodded. “Yes, I’m doing okay. I’m sorry for going radio silence.”
I waved him off. “Don’t worry about it, you were going through a lot.”
Eric reached out, and brushed my cheek with his thumb, I closed my eyes and leaned into his hand.
A harsh throat clearing was heard, and Eric broke his touch at Rebecca’s presence. She looked at him, with folded arms.
He huffed out, “c’mon Rebecca we don’t have all day, the meeting is starting soon.”
Eric gave one last glance at me and walked out the office. Rebecca moved after him, but stopped at my desk. Jeez, this lady liked doing this, it was the second time now.
I looked at her narrowed eyes, her arms still folded tight across her chest. The office suddenly felt chilly.
“Stay away from Eric.” She said in a low tone.
I blinked. “Excuse me.”
“You heard me. Stay away from my man.” She seethed. “You’re just a phase he’s going through, a weird experiment. But I know Eric, you just one out of many.”
“Like you, since you must be talking about yourself?” Anger welled up in me, the nerve of this fucking woman stepping up to me like this, and all behind Eric’s back. Why doesn’t she say this in front of his face?
She blinked taken aback by my boldness and smirked. “You nothing special to him sweetie, you-”
I stood up and forced a sarcastic smile. “It’s been a pleasant conversation, but if you don’t mind, I have work to get back to.”
“Know your place.” Rebecca snorted and stomped out the office.
I returned to my seat watching the still opened glass door. “He’d never broken his rules for you.” I whispered.