“I don’t know. I haven’t met her yet, but Jason said his cousin used to work with her before she came here. Said she was a real b***h. That might have been because she wouldn’t sleep with him though.”
“Great. Can’t wait to meet her.” I looked back at my screen, trying to figure out which cell I was on.
“S**t, boss is coming. I’ll see you later.”
I nodded without a word, and he disappeared with lightening speed.
I finished what Alex had interrupted, and then headed downstairs for lunch well after the herd had cleared the office. I waited patiently by the elevator when someone joined me.
“You’re Maya, right?”
“Yes.” My reply came out as a question.
Up close, she looked impeccable in a blue silk blouse, a fitted black skirt, and heels that I envied. Her jet-black hair was pulled into a tight twist, her features accented with enormous diamond stud earrings and a simple platinum chain that sparkled against her skin. She was pretty. Too pretty.
“Congrats on the new position.” I acknowledged her with a quick smile and shook her hand before turning back. I stared up to the elevator numbers, hoping they’d hurry. I was running out of time to make it to Delaney’s.
“Thanks. I noticed your name on the roster. Not many women around here.”
She laughed, revealing a set of perfectly white teeth. Not only was she gorgeous, she was dazzling. Her naturally dark red lips sealed it. The elevator arrived empty and we stepped inside. I punched the button for the lobby, and she leaned back against the elevator wall as we descended.
“How long have you been with the company?”
“Four years,” I replied.
She nodded, no doubt unimpressed at my inability to climb the corporate ladder with the breakneck speed that she had. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know how she’d done it, but maybe I could use some tips, because doing the work of two or more people wasn’t enough apparently.
“We should get lunch sometime.”
“Sure,” I agreed. I could feel her eyes on me, and a quick glance to the side confirmed it. I tried to shake the mild discomfort of being assessed in such close proximity by this beautiful stranger.
“I have meetings this week, but we should plan something for next week.”
“Yeah, that sounds great. You know where to find me.”
Despite my general pessimism about excelling professionally, I was interested in getting to know her better. Maybe this was what I’d heard about in my women’s college pep rallies, women helping women. She might surprise me.
We stepped out of the building and went our separate ways. I hadn’t taken two steps toward Delaney’s before I saw him.
My heart stopped, and a rapid heat washed over me. His lips parted and his breath clouded in the cold air when our eyes met. I forgot everything. Where I was, where I was going, who I was. In that split second all I could think about was who I was the last time we saw each other. Vulnerable, heartbroken, so in love with him I was sick over it.
I’d packed the photos of us away long ago, but every memory came rushing back. He was everything I’d remembered and more. Literally, he was more. The coat couldn’t hide the broadness of his chest and shoulders. I marveled anew at the definition of his cheekbones and strong jaw line covered with fine stubble. His hair had grown out again, but not long enough to obscure the blue eyes that he and his sister shared. They cut through me now, filled with an intensity I couldn’t name.
He stalked closer, his expression unreadable. I couldn’t breathe. Actually I couldn’t stop breathing. I was heaving like a maniac and the fog in the air left no doubt.
“Hey,” he said softly.
“Cameron.” His name fell off my lips and my body weakened, a remembered feeling he’d given me so many times before. I fought the urge to touch him, curl up against his body, knowing he’d hold me up. Eli had been all wrong. This was a terrible idea.
I swallowed hard and lost myself in his eyes. “What are you doing here?”
“Olivia said you worked down here. I thought maybe we could catch up.”
“Catch up?” Why did I sound so desperate? Where was corporate Maya? In a matter of seconds his presence had reduced me to a blithering idiot.
For a split second, he looked how I felt. Overwhelmed, a little lost, paralyzing me with those amazing, penetrating blue eyes. “Do you want to get lunch?”
“Lunch?” I repeated the last word because I still wasn’t completely in control of my brain. He might have been speaking another language for all the sense this made to me.