“Come in. Shut the door.”
I obliged, taking a seat in front of her desk. Her office was small, not nearly as opulent as Dermott’s. Still, it was an office, a space away from the communal drone forces of the bullpen, with a desk and a sitting area to the side where she could meet with people.
She finished up her email and turned my way. I rolled a number of apologies and excuses over in my head, unsure which to use because I didn’t know how bad all of this was on her scale of inappropriate behavior.
“Jia, I’m sorry about the other night. I got so drunk, I really wasn’t thinking clearly.”
She frowned. “Do you think that’s why I asked you here?”
My eyebrows shot up. “Well…yeah. I mean—”
“Seriously, don’t give it another thought, Maya. We were having fun. I had a blast. I mean, I wouldn’t go shouting it off the rooftops at the Christmas party, but it’s nothing to worry yourself over.”
“Okay. Thank you, for your discretion, I guess.”
She gave me a smirk and straightened some of the papers on her desk. Relief flooded me, followed by an unexpected uneasiness. How could she possibly think this was acceptable? I didn’t even think it was appropriate. Making out with one of the female VPs of the company in front of a pack of h***y guys wasn’t exactly reputable behavior. It fell into the kind of impulsive behavior that only drunk-me could talk herself into. Though I’d never admit it out loud, I’d still known it was a bad idea under all the alcohol I’d imbibed. I’d possessed enough control at that point to know better and act differently.
Stunned by her nonchalant attitude, I sat silently, waiting for her to continue. “What did you want to see me about then?”
“This is about the deal. We’ll probably need you to stay late all week. Hopefully it doesn’t run into the holiday, but it might. You okay with that?”
“Sure, that’s fine.” I nodded.
“Great. I just wanted to make sure, because I don’t want Dermott getting pissy if you can’t come through on this. If you can’t, I can find someone else to chip in.”
“I don’t have any family to go home to, Jia. I have nothing to keep me away from finishing whatever needs finishing.” I regretted the admission as it left me, but I figured blunt honesty might work here. Family obligations were the number one excuse during this time of year. I figured I would assure her that wasn’t an issue.
“Okay, good. That’s settled then.” She sat back, her pen resting against her full lips. “How did things go with the guy anyway? You two disappeared pretty quickly.”
“Cameron. Um, they’re fine.”
Her lips lifted into a coy smile, her eyes glittering. “He’s the jealous type, isn’t he?”
“Seems that way.” I couldn’t exactly judge him for it.
“Well, I hope it all works out.” Her voice was soft, a little more cautious than it had been. No doubt she could read the angst all over my face when I spoke about Cameron. “You have plans for lunch?”
I glanced at my watch. “Actually, I do. Maybe tomorrow?”
She nodded, dismissing me with a wave. I grabbed my purse and headed to the elevators with the rest of the cubicle crowd. I stalled in the lobby downstairs and spotted a stressed-out redhead walking my way.
“You look pissed,” I said as Vanessa approached.
“Same stupid f*****g s**t,” she spat.
I cringed for her. At least as of late I had a little bit of opportunity to look forward to. Vanessa was locked into a seemingly never-ending cycle of running around after Reilly. He expected her to look happy doing it too.
We pushed through the revolving doors without a word. As soon as we were outside, my eyes zeroed in on Cameron. He was leaning against the street sign, his legs crossed at the ankle. S**t, why did he always look so good? I groaned inwardly as we walked his way.
He smiled and leaned in, kissing me on the cheek. I tensed, all too aware of our very public setting. Also, I was still pissed with him and his insinuations.
I took a safer step away. “Vanessa and I were headed to lunch. Do you need something?”
“Can I join you? My treat?”
He shot me a sexy smile that had my brain short-circuiting. I wanted to stay mad, but he was making it difficult.
I looked up to Vanessa. She shrugged, not seeming to care. I sighed, and we walked together to a nearby cafe.
“How’s corporate America doing today, ladies?” Cameron said as we settled down at our table with sandwiches.
I nodded to Vanessa. “You want to field that one?”