Only Forever

Page 23

Chapter 9
Misunderstand – incorrectly interpret a situation causing you to act like an ass
Ienter Lilac’s office and scowl when I notice she’s packing up for the evening.
“Arkville asked several questions about your presentation from the other day. I need you to stay late to answer them.”
She pauses with her packing to glower at me. “Those questions were emailed to us less than an hour ago. Surely, they can wait until tomorrow.”
Her phone buzzes in her hand and she glimpses down at it. She rolls her eyes at whatever’s written there but her lips tip up in a smile as she types out a quick response. Is she seriously messaging with one of her lovers while I’m standing right here in front of her?
“Are you too busy for work?” I grit out.
She startles and nearly drops her phone. Gotcha! I cough to hide my amusement.
She quickly recovers to glare at me. “It’s after seven. Everyone else left the office before six. I think it’s fair to say I’ve been busy with work.”
“Since you’re already here, you won’t mind staying to get these questions answered.”
I’m an asshole. I overheard her talking to Jack about needing to quit work on time today as she has plans for tonight. As soon as the email from the city of Arkville arrived, I knew fate was on my side. She’s not joining any man on some date tonight. Not if I can help it.
“I’ll answer them at home later. I have an appointment now.”
I snap my mouth shut before I can growl at her and her ‘appointment’. I don’t have any business growling at an employee, but Lilac gets under my skin in a way no one before her has.
“I prefer to go over your answers with you,” I say instead of admitting I’m a jealous bastard who doesn’t want her going out on any dates with another man despite knowing we can’t be together.
“Okay,” she agrees despite my trampling all over her independent work ethic. “I’ll write up my answers tonight and send them to you. We can go over them in the morning before I respond to Arkville.”
“I can’t do the morning.”
I’m a fucking liar. I have no plans in the morning except to work out before arriving at the office. Now, I’ll have to make up an appointment, or else she’ll figure out what a liar I am.
She fists her hands at her hips. “And I can’t do the evening.”
“We’re at a Mexican standoff.”
“No, we’re not,” she denies. “A Mexican standoff suggests no party can achieve victory. There’s an easy solution here.”
I cock an eyebrow and lean against her doorway as if I’ve got all night to listen to her lecture me on Mexican standoffs. “Which is?”
“Easy. I send you my responses, you read through them when you have the time, and we meet sometime tomorrow to discuss them.”
It is an easy solution. But it’s unacceptable as it ends with her being able to go on her date tonight.
Her phone beeps again and this time she giggles when she reads the message. I’ve never heard Lilac giggle before and now she’s giggling for some other man. I shove my hands in my pockets before she notices they’re fisted.
“I have a full day tomorrow.” At the rate my lies are piling up, I’ll never dig my way out of this.
“As do I, but I can make fifteen minutes available for you. If you do the same, we have a perfectly acceptable solution.”
“No,” I growl.
“No? Are you constipated again?”
I bark out a laugh. “Excuse me?”