Only with You (The Best Mistake #1) - Page 23

Instead of granting her request, he came up beside her and pulled the toner box toward him.

“Give that back,” she snapped.

“You need two hands to do this,” he said, apparently immediately understanding the hieroglyphics on the box.

“I have two hands.”

“Yes, but only eight fingers.” He still hadn’t lifted his eyes from the box.

She tried to pull the box back toward her. “CEOs do not change printer toner. Their assistants do.”

“What are you doing here so late?” he asked, finally turning his head toward her.

Her stomach gave a jolt at the eye contact, and in a second she went from irritated to hot and bothered. This whole desire-to-hump-the-boss thing was starting to get really inconvenient. Particularly since it wasn’t mutual.

“Oh, you know, just wanted to spend more time in your dazzling company,” she said with her biggest smile.

“I’m sure whatever work you still have can wait until tomorrow.”

“Not unless you want to hand-draw your sales report for the board tomorrow.”

His mouth clamped shut and she gave him a knowing look. “Exactly.”

“How can I help?” he asked, still not moving.

“By going away. Maybe falling out the window.” Losing the battle with her aching feet, Sophie finally relented and eased out of her shoes, surprised they weren’t filled with blood. She certainly wouldn’t have pulled out the new camel peep toes this morning if she’d known she’d be working a twelve-hour work day.

She let out a sigh of relief and wiggled her toes.

“I liked them on,” Gray said roughly.

For a moment she thought she misheard him, but the hot look he was giving her said otherwise, and was like a match on her already-frayed temper.

“Don’t do that,” she hissed, waving the spike of her heel at him. “Don’t you dare flirt after a week of acting like a robot.”

He batted the shoe out of his face and glared down at her. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“Did we not share a meal on Friday night, Mr. Wyatt?”

His expression grew wary. “We did. And on Monday I had lunch with Beth Jennings, and on Tuesday I had dinner with Jeff Andrews. What of it?”

“Really? Did you cook for them? Did you nearly kiss them? Did you tell them that they were worth something?”

Her voice broke and she brought up her shoe again as protection.

“Sophie,” he said softly.

“Don’t. No pity. Not from you.”

“Put your damn shoe down.”

“No.” She waved it at him. “I have to put this toner in and then I’m going home and eating nothing but carbs and butter.”

Sophie told herself she was glad when he turned away. This was her copy room, and it wasn’t big enough for the both of them.

But instead of leaving, he pulled the toner box away and tore it open before she could respond.

“I’ll do it,” she said, trying to grab for it.

He batted her away as though she were a fly and, turning to the massive machine, opened a couple of hidden doors, slid a couple of panels, and in the span of a couple of minutes had replaced the toner and was putting the old one in the bag to be recycled.

“You didn’t have to do that,” she said, not quite willing to say thank you, but grateful all the same. She was pretty sure she’d be still trying to open the box.

The red light on the printer flicked to green, and the machine began methodically spitting out neat piles of hole-punched paper. They stood side by side in silence as they watched it work. Their hands were less than an inch apart. All she had to do was extend her pinky finger, and…

The machine slowed to a stop, and Sophie made a grab for the papers and her shoes.

“Thanks again for the help,” she said, backing out of the room.

“You’re done now, right? You can go home?”

“Almost. I just need to put them in the report binders and get them into the conference room.”

“I’ll help,” he said, following her to her desk.

“Would you stop? I can do this!”

“I know, but it’s my project you’re working on. I’ve given you too much to do. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”

“It’s not too much,” she muttered as she awkwardly tried to open the binder with her maimed hand. “It’s just this damn splint. It slows me down.”

“All the more reason for me to apologize. You wouldn’t have the splint if I hadn’t forced you to help cook,” Gray said

quietly. He gently pulled the binder from her hands. “I’ll do this part. You just hand me the paper.”

She wanted to tell him to go to hell, but he was being so damn decent, and telling him off felt needlessly petty. She hated when he was nice. Which, she had to admit, was more often than she gave him credit for.

Once again, the task went twice as fast with his assistance, and by the time she laid the last binder at the head of the conference room table, it was only seven thirty, not midnight, like she’d feared.

She moved toward the door only to find Gray standing there watching her. She quickly turned to the window rather than face him, her pulse humming with…something.

It wasn’t anger. Her temper from earlier had mellowed, and she was no longer itching to start a fight.

She was wanting something much more dangerous than a fight.

“I’ve never seen the view from up here at night,” she said. There. That was a safe topic. Very platonic.

Except Sophie hadn’t bothered to turn on the conference room’s light, preferring to work by the city lights outside. She regretted that decision now. The darkness was decidedly romantic.

He shoved his hands into his suit pocket and came to stand beside her as they stared out at the Seattle skyline. It was a clear night, and the city felt both peaceful and alive. “This is one of my favorite times in the office,” he said. “I do my best thinking up here after everyone’s gone.”

Sophie gave a rueful smile. “And here I’ve gone disturbing your peace. As usual.”

“As usual,” he agreed.

Sophie couldn’t help the wince. At what point would his rejection stop stinging?

She turned to go, leaving him to his dark solitude, but he grabbed her hand. “Don’t.”

He stared down at their joined hands for several moments before very slowly lacing his fingers with hers. It was one of the sweeter and strangely most erotic sensations of her life. Holding hands wasn’t supposed to be sexy.

But holding hands with Gray was.

She didn’t know how long they stood there, two mismatched souls holding hands in the moonlight, but she didn’t want it to end.

“Gray,” she whispered, still not looking at him. “I—”

“Don’t, Sophie,” he said, giving her fingers a squeeze.

It was hardly the first time that Gray had silenced her, but she was getting damn tired of it. For once she hadn’t been about to pry or pester or annoy him. She’d just wanted to talk. Hear his voice. And he denied her even that.

She peeled her fingers away from his and walked out of the conference room, back to her desk. Her eyes were watering as she picked up her purse and began stuffing her belongings into it.

So the man wanted quiet? She’d give him that. He wanted solitude? He could have that too.

In fact, he could pretty much have those things the rest of his life, because no woman in her right mind would—

A firm hand jerked her around so roughly that her purse fell to the ground. Sophie’s eyes went wide as she stared up into his angry face. This was a Gray she hadn’t seen before. There was none of the earlier gentleness, and the soft look in his eyes had been replaced by something hot and fierce.

His mouth was on hers before she could move.

She stiffened for the briefest of seconds before relaxing into him. Sophie heard herself gasp at the unexpected rightness of it. She’d thought about this moment. Dreamt about it. She’d expected it to feel wrong.

But there was nothing wrong about the mouth moving slowly over hers, his lips taking hers in quiet demand. She tentatively kissed him back, and when his hands slid up her arms to cup her face, she slid hers around his waist, pulling him even closer. Their bodies fit together like the last pieces of an impossible puzzle.

Gray groaned, using his lips to coax open her mouth and slide his tongue against hers in silky rhythm. There was nothing slow and gentle about the kiss now, and she clawed at his back and kissed him like he was the last man alive.

Her hands moved to the buttons of her shirt, but she only had half of them undone before she realized that he was one step ahead of her. Her blouse was fully unbuttoned, and he was roughly tugging it down her shoulder. His mouth moved to the crook of her neck as his hand found her breast over her lace bra and they both moaned.

“God, Sophie,” he said against her neck. She wanted to tease him that there was supposed to be no talking, but she didn’t feel like teasing. At least not that kind.

Her uncoordinated hands had finally undone the last of his shirt buttons when they heard the unmistakable sound of keys jingling in the hallway.

Please keep going, she silently begged

the owner of the keys.

But the jangling stopped right outside the office doors.

“The janitor,” Gray whispered, pulling back abruptly. Sophie was unprepared at the sudden loss of his support, and stumbled off-balance, catching herself on the side of her desk.

Her desk. Horrible reality flooded over her. She had nearly just had sex with her boss in the office.

Who does that? she screamed at herself.

She heard a key turn in the lock, and she’d barely pushed her arms through the shirt Gray tossed at her when the door opened.

The fluorescent light spilled in from the hallway, and Sophie squinted against its harshness.

A very startled-looking janitor blinked at them as Sophie held her purse in front of her half-buttoned shirt and tried to look natural.

“Mr. Wyatt?” he said, clearly confused.

“Hello, Walter,” Gray said in his usual calm voice. “Come on it. We were just finishing up a couple of sales reports.”

If Walter suspected anything, he was too kind to show it, because he merely nodded and gave her a shy smile before wheeling in his cleaning cart.

“I’ll drive you home,” Gray said quietly in her ear. But she knew that tone. This wasn’t the Gray who had cooked dinner for her, and it certainly wasn’t the Gray who had kissed her senseless.

This was the cold Gray. The one from the elevator.

She should have known that any kind of intimacy would only blow up in their faces. This was the type of man that pushed away anyone who got beneath his defenses. Gray was already fully dressed, looking for all the world like he’d just come from a nice business lunch instead of fondling his secretary on her desk.

“I’ll be fine,” she said, her voice crackling as she finished buttoning her shirt.

“Sophie—”

“This was the worst kind of mistake. Don’t even try to deny it.”

And he didn’t. Just stared at her with cool gray eyes. “Yes, it was a mistake. It won’t happen again.”

Sophie gave a curt nod and grabbed her shoes to keep from having to make eye contact. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” she said brightly, before heading toward the door without looking back.

He said nothing.

By the time she exited the elevator, she was a sobbing mess.

This job at Brayburn was supposed to be her path toward respectability, and she was messing everything up.

Nobody would respect the girl who fell in love with the boss.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Sophie Claire, are you listening to me?”

Sophie switched her cell phone to her other ear as she threw yet another rejected shirt on the bed. Her entire wardrobe was office-ready, but not even remotely first-date-ready. When had that happened?

“Sorry, Mom, what?”

Phone conversations with her mother were trying on the best of days, and painful when her mother was attempting to coax Sophie into yet another “self-improvement plan.”

Marnie let out the smallest of dignified sighs. “I was saying that Blair has an opening this weekend and is willing to take you on as a client. Don’t you think a little change to your look would be nice? I’m thinking darkening the blonde to something more natural. Maybe getting rid of the length? You’re not sixteen anymore, you know…”

“Brynn’s hair is the same length as mine,” Sophie said as she held up a green dress in the mirror. She made a face and tossed that in the reject pile. Mint green only looked good when she had a bit of a tan. Not something she could claim at the moment.

“Hmm, is it?” her mother was musing. “I suppose so, but Brynn wears hers straight, so it’s more age-appropriate.”

“Well, Brynn is older than me,” Sophie said with sham cheerfulness, “so when I’m her age, then we can have this chat, okay?”

“So what should I tell Blair?”

Tell him to take a flying leap. Or her. Sophie had no idea what gender her mother’s beloved hairstylist was, and she really didn’t care.

“Mom, I’ve got to go. I have another call coming in.”

“You do not. Who is it?”

“Good-bye, Mother. I’ll see you Sunday,” Sophie said, hanging up before her mother could attempt to launch her next campaign for Sophie’s betterment.

She tapped her phone against her chin as she surveyed her bedroom. There were now more clothes discarded on her bed than there were clothes in the closet, and she still didn’t know what to wear. For that matter, she didn’t even know what this date entailed.