Stubborn – determination to hold your course despite having good reasons not to do so
“You’re driving with me to the meeting,” Beckett barks from my office doorway.
I startle and nearly fall off my chair. I used to always shut my door while I was concentrating on a project to avoid this type of interruption, but Beckett commanded everyone keep their office doors open at all times.
When I asked the company lawyer to review this policy as I feel it’s an invasion of privacy, he laughed at me. I still don’t understand what’s funny. And why does everyone seem to be laughing at me lately?
I dig my fingernails into the arms of my chair before I can give into temptation and stand to slam the door in his face.
“I am not driving with you. I have somewhere to be after the meeting.”
He growls. “Another date.”
I consider lying and saying I do have a date when the ‘somewhere’ I have to be after the meeting is actually a location in town Aspen’s considering for her wedding venue. Although, I’m confused as to why we’re reviewing venues in White Bridge. Aspen will have her wedding reception in Winter Falls at the bar, Electric Vibes. There’s no way our parents will allow anything else.
The fact I’m considering lying is an indication of the effect Beckett has on me. I never lie. Although, I sometimes lie on behalf of my sisters. But they must request I lie beforehand and provide a detailed analysis of why the lie is necessary. Unlike they claim, I don’t require the request in triplicate.
“As we discussed, my private life is my own and you are not allowed to ask me questions about it.” I straighten my back as satisfaction fills me at my answer. I didn’t lie, but he doesn’t know the truth either.
“It’s my business if it’s during work hours.”
“I have the right to a one-hour lunch break every full working day. The lunch break can be enjoyed at any time of the day between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.”
His nostrils flare. “There’s no need to quote the employee manual to me.”
I frown. “Are you certain? It appears you don’t have the in-depth knowledge of the manual as you should as CEO.”
He steps into the office and shuts the door behind him.
“Open the door!” When I realize I screeched, I clear my throat and say in a much calmer voice, “Open the door, please. I don’t want it to appear to the rest of the employees as if there is anything inappropriate happening in here.”
“Inappropriate like the kiss we shared?”
I purse my lips. “We agreed to pretend the kiss never happened.”
“No. You said, ‘forget this ever happened’. I never agreed to forget it.” He prowls closer. “Because I can’t forget it.”
I cross my arms over my chest. No, this is a defensive stance. There’s no need for me to be defensive. I’m not in the wrong here. I drop my arms and grasp the edge of my desk.
“We can’t be in a relationship. The employee handbook specifically forbids fraternization between employees.”
He lays his palms flat on my desk and leans over. “I’m not an employee.”
“On the contrary, the Chief Executive Officer is considered an employee of the company.”
He opens his mouth to argue with me but snaps it closed again before pushing off from my desk and straightening his tie. “Yes, of course. You are correct as always.”
I wait until his footsteps fade away before I slump in my chair. Maybe my sisters and their juvenile approach to my problem is correct. Maybe I should avoid Beckett until whatever chemistry between us dies out. If I’m not in his vicinity, his overwhelming presence can’t affect me. And I won’t end up doing something foolish such as kissing him again.
When I arrive at the client’s office building thirty minutes later, I park next to Beckett’s car in the visitor parking lot. I climb out of my car and my boss follows suit.
I ball my hands in frustration. He couldn’t have gone inside the building ahead of me? He has to escort me inside? I’m a full-grown woman, not a child.
“Beckett.” I nod to him in greeting, and he grunts in response. I sigh. Is he not speaking to me now?
We arrive at the door, and he reaches forward to open it for me. While I walk through, he places a hand on my lower back to guide me inside. The feel of his strong hand on my back causes a jolt of electricity to run through me and I end up tripping.