I say, still watching her intently. She was still as beautiful as when I had first met her. She slipped her hand in mine, slowly. I hadn’t noticed her blue nails last week, but how could I, when I was mesmerized by lips, her body, her face, her smile…
She said softly. She looked down shyly as we shook hands like professionals. That’s what the ‘M’ stood for I think, smiling to myself.
“Sorry,” Jace calls behind me. “Did I lose track of time? Are we meant to be going to lunch now?”Her hand was still in mine as he spoke. Half of me was tempted to pull her against my body, to feel her on me as we did on Friday, but I refrained from doing so. Involuntarily, my thumb runs over her knuckles enjoying the feel of her as her dad, Jace, scurries around gathering things behind us. She bites her lip slightly and looks back up at me through her eyelashes. There was something more about this woman named Maxine. Her eyes shift behind me and before I’m aware, her hand slips out of mine.
“Yeah,” She mumbles. “Lunch.”
Jace appears beside me and shines a loving smile to Maxine. “No worries, we can head off now. Tanna, you’re free to join?”
I look at Jace and then at Maxine – not entirely sure what to say but feel obliged to go. I find myself saying “yes” before I can really think and Jace’s hand swings to pat me on the back.
“Great, let’s head off then.” He walks past both Maxine and I and we head towards the lift.
No doubt every eye in the office was watching the three of us walk out of his office and along the corridor. Some curious as to why the CEO was accompanied by a stranger and a member of the senior management, others were eyeing Maxine in confusion, some in delight. I trail behind both Maxine and Jace as they lead the way, watching Maxine from behind. Her once shy ambiance was now filled with confidence as she walked alongside her father as they chatted away. If I wasn’t watching her so closely I wouldn’t have noticed have she remained slightly tense whilst we made our way to the elevator. I could only imagine it was because of my presence behind her…or so I hoped.
We stand there, me still behind them both as we wait for the lift to arrive and to take us to the parking garage.
“Tanna, I was just telling Maxine that we’d be off to a Italian restaurant if you don’t mind?”
Mind? I’d usually settle for a sandwich or salad, who was I to complain about a nice Italian meal during the afternoon.
“That’s all good for me.”
I say as the lift arrives. We all step inside, feeling as though the room is far to small for the three of us. Jace pats his suit jacket furiously then uses his foot to jam the doors before they close.
“Dammit, I forgot my car keys. Wait for me near the Porsche princess.”
And with that he leaves the lift. The doors shut slowly with just Maxine and I alone. I think about what I could say… what I should say. She was obviously expecting me to call during the weekend and I didn’t. I quickly glance at her and a small smile tugs on her lips, I face the lift doors and smile feeling ridiculous.
My smile widens as a small giggle escapes her lips.
“Only he calls me that.”
Still not looking at me she crosses her arms over her chest smiling.
“It’s good to see you again.”
All of a sudden words seem to be easier to formulate. I face her entirely, wanting her to look at me but she remains facing the front.
I chuckle and before I realise it my feet move me closer to her. She looks at me quickly, the smile once on her face faltering. I wasn’t even too sure what the hell I was doing, but found my feet frozen just a few inches away from her.
“I shouldn’t have left so soon on Friday.”
Her eyes shined as she watched me. The peachy lip gloss that glimmered under the elevator lights parted as I spoke.
“No… you shouldn’t have.”
Before we get another word between each other, the doors ping open and for a moment we stand watching each other, until the doors threaten to close again. I keep the doors open and signal for her to exit first. She does a small curtsy, bringing another smile to my face as she leaves. I couldn’t believe the coincidence of this. The first woman that I can’t seem to shake off and it’s the CEO’s daughter. I shake my head thinking about my luck and follow her to Jace’s Porsche.
“M for Maxine.” She nods smiling again.
“I like Tanna. It suits you.”
She eyes my whole profile and when she meets my eye, visibly blushes and continues with her journey.
“Everything suits you.”
“You haven’t seen me in everything.”
She says seductively and stops walking. I stand in front of her, being taller than her and look down at her feeling my body grow tight. I liked Maxine, there was no denying it and if I could I would take her, right here, right now. But what was I playing, this was Jace’s daughter, the man who owned the company I worked hard to earn a title at. Being involved with Maxine was beyond dangerous and surely crossed a line that could cost me my job. Yet, I struggle to reason with my mind and bring sense to the obvious.
“I want to see you in everything.”
“You better be careful,” the words rush out breathlessly as she visibly works her throat to speak. “He’ll be down any minute.”
I throw a quick glance to the lift doors that remained closed and looked back at Maxine. I should have backed away then, but found myself stepping closer towards her.
“Don’t tempt me.”
Looking back at the elevator doors once more, Maxine moves close enough to me that our chests are touching.
“Take me out.”
My words are tight as I resist every command in my body that aches to bring her body closer to mine.
“You think of it Mr Suave.”
Before I can register anything she’s moved far from me and a smile is beaming on her lips. Her gaze is past me and towards something behind me. I pulled my trouser slightly forward, inwardly cursing as I can feel the slight erection poke through my boxers and onto my trousers. Quickly adjusting myself, I face Jace with a smile. Unaware, he opens up the car and ushers us inside. Maxine sits at the back whilst I take the passenger seat beside Jace.
Throughout our journey there I’m thinking about Maxine at the back. I enjoyed her forwardness. Other females would have been coy and shy, but it was quite evident Maxine did not fall under that bracket. But as quickly as that thought came, it was shadowed by the fact that her father was the Jace of J’J Business. One false move and that could be the career I worked so hard for gone in a flash. My body taunted by Maxine, but my mind conflicted on what to do.
Once we arrived at the restaurant and parked, we were seated at a table.
“Is this how you spend all your lunches?” Maxine says eyeing her father over her menu.
“No! Before you tell your mum I’m spending carelessly. This is what I do for special clients and you.” He pulls a smile attempting to get her to side with him, only making her roll her eyes.
Jace looks at me and shakes his head as if to say, ‘ladies’. The waiter arrives taking our orders and heads off to place our order with the chef. I watch Maxine as she flashes me a quick smile.
“So Tanna, what’s the plans for Christmas?”
I focus on Jace, “Heading home for Christmas.”
“Ah, where’s home?”
“Not too far from here, just visiting my family.” Not trying to reveal too much about my family as I know how those conversations tend to end.
“Can’t beat a family-oriented Christmas.”
“Says the man who’s always on business trips.”
Opening her napkin, Maxine looks at Jace as if to taunt him to respond. He throws a look at me and ignores her comment.
“My wife is already fussing over the meal. What is it about ladies and food, I’d be happy with regular dinner, not all this extravagant meal – which we never finish!”
“I don’t get it either.” I say politely.
“Is your mum the same? Or partner?”
Maxine freezes as the question lingers in the air. She looks at me slowly and I can tell my next words will decide our fate.
“My mother passed and I don’t have a girlfriend.” She returns her fiddling with the napkin as Jace watches me.
“I apologise for your loss. My father passed last year, it’s not easy.” Jace looks down, clearly in thought, thinking about his father.
“Worse when there’s no one to talk-“
The waiter interrupts me, setting our plates on the table. Grateful for his presence as I find myself surprised at how much I was discussing with two people I hardly knew! As the dishes were being presented to each of us I noticed Maxine hadn’t taken her eyes off me, flashing her a small smile, we begin eating.
Jace drops me off to the office after our Italian lunch, before continuing his afternoon with Maxine, his daughter. As I step out of the car, thanking Jace for his hospitality and company, Maxine steps out of the car to take my seat at the front. As she brushes past me she whispers loud enough for only me to hear, “Call me.” Before I can respond, she’s in the car and the passenger door is closed. I head back to the office with Maxine on my mind, take her out? This should be interesting.