I sat up, propped on my elbow and looked at his face. “Why would you say that?” I asked him. “You’re such a good person.”
“I’m glad you think so baby,” he said. “But there is so much room for improvement. I finally feel like I’m going to get there though. I finally feel like it doesn’t matter anymore how wrong my father thinks everything I do is…”
“He’s wrong,” I told him. The simple thought of that awful man having the unmitigated gall to tell Seth that he was anything less than perfect made me instantly angry. “Everyone who works with you, Seth, knows what a fantastic businessman and even better boss you are.”
“I work hard and I try to do what’s right… but that’s the issue he has with me.”
“What do you mean?”
He smiled suddenly and said, “I’m sorry. This is a crazy discussion to be having after I just made love to the most amazing woman in the world. I don’t even know where this is coming from. You just make me feel so safe.”
The guilt was like a constant dull ache in my chest when I was with him. When he said that I made him feel safe enough to disclose things it felt like the guilt had taken ahold of my heart like a fist and was squeezing it. I took a deep breath and the wicked me decided that this was too good of an opportunity. I would make it up to him later. I would explain. “No, it’s not crazy. I’m glad you feel safe with me. What do you mean by him having a problem with you doing what is right?”
Seth shook his head and with a heavy sigh he said, “He just has no scruples. His moral compass is all skewed, if it’s even there at all any longer. I fought it for so long, but I wasn’t strong enough to keep standing up to him… until I met you. I was headed in the direction that he’s built his fortune on. I would do what I had to and use whom I had to and take everything I could get from everyone I met. Thank you, Erin. Thank you for making me want to be a better man. I wanted to tell you that for obvious reasons but also, because my father will be at the executive meeting in the morning.”
I hugged him tight. I couldn’t speak at that moment because I knew if I did the dam was going to break. I scooted my body up instead and kissed him. The kiss turned passionate and before long we were lost in each other’s bodies once more. I’d have to think about what he’d told me and what I was going to do later. That moment in time was reserved only for him.
That night when Seth dropped me off at my apartment, I wanted to ask him in. I wanted to invite him to spend the night with me. I didn’t, and I think he was a little hurt because of it. I think he thought I had an issue with introducing him to Grant. It wasn’t that at all. Grant wasn’t there and I knew it, but if he had been, I know that Grant would have been a perfect gentleman. I was worried because I had photographs in my room. They were treasured photos of my family and my childhood home. I even had my father’s old framed photographs of the first sign he had made for the company and a photo of him sitting behind his desk in his first office at the company he owned and created. All the lies… everything I’d told him… or the things I hadn’t told him about my past were right there out in the open for him to see. If I were going to continue to do this, and continue to see him I would have to make some adjustments. I’m positive Grant would have a thing or two to say about that.
The next morning, I got to work early as I normally did. The building was still practically empty except for security and some of the cleaning staff. I put my bag in my office and when I got to the door of the conference room for our Monday morning executives meeting it burst open and a man brushed roughly past me. Once again, I had encountered the great and powerful James Hunter and he hadn’t even noticed me.
I had to stand there for a moment until I stopped shaking and then I reached for the door again and went inside. I hated that he had that effect on me. I forced all thoughts of him out of my mind and sucked in the sweet aroma of coffee and cinnamon rolls. As usual, the room was set up for the meeting, including muffins and rolls and coffee and tea. Seth’s assistant was in the building at the crack of dawn sometimes. She’s wonderful.
She was sitting in her usual spot and I thought it was strange that she didn’t even look up when I came in the room. “Good morning, Deborah,” I said to her. She looked up as if she just noticed me.
“Oh. Good morning, Erin.” Her voice was shaky and I thought that was odd. It dawned on me that someone needed to tell her how much what she did was appreciated.