Sour-faced and sulking, Jean shows herself out. She knows she can’t complain about me having her step-daughter there when talking to me, not without admitting to ulterior motives.
I hang up the phone once she’s past the security door. Thankful for her departure, I make a few quick calls to wrap up loose ends before I start packing up my desk for my trip. Being gone for several weeks at a time is a normal part of my job. I can work from virtually anywhere as long as I have a Wi-Fi connection or remember to pack my portable satellite access. Video conferencing keeps me close to Tasha no matter the distance. Not seeing Lia, however, is going to be painful. It has barely been twenty-four hours since she came crashing back into my world, but I’m not sure I can envision my life without her.
I’ve got to get this boner in check.
It’s nearing the end of my first day at Huntsworth Industries, and I find myself happy with how it went. Behind a desk is not exactly how I saw myself, even as a temporary financial solution, but all the staff I’ve met are friendly. Having Beck visible from the edge of my monitor is quite a job perk, too. He’s even gorgeous when deep in thought with his work.
“What’s it like working for my dad?” The words pop up in my chat messenger, and I minimize the window quickly. I know I’m allowed to chat online a bit, and even use the desk phone for personal use if needed, but wasting work time does not sit well with me. It feels like stealing from Beck when he’s paying me to be productive.
My tour of the facilities has already blurred in my memories except for the sensation of Beck’s hand on my waist or at my elbow to guide me. Always the gentleman, he opened doors for me and answered all my questions with patient enthusiasm instead of making me feel stupid when I did not understand a division’s responsibilities. Some of the signs seemed more likely to be from a sci-fi film than belonging in a company, but they mostly made sense by the time we finished. By the time Beck is back from his trip, I hope I know my way around without guidance.
Near the end of my tour, as he showed me the gym as well as his favorite escape route from our wing of the building, I could feel myself falling for him. He doesn’t take for granted the position he has here, nor does he hold the responsibilities lightly. The pride in Beck’s eyes as he showed me the location of the time capsule we had buried here when I was just a kid…
I open my computer’s web browser and Tasha’s message, replying to her about my afternoon. “Do you think your dad will give us back the things we hid in the box before it was sealed?” I type. My favorite charm bracelet went in there along with Tasha’s teddy bear. We hadn’t thought that out too well. There are still seven years to wait before the time capsule will be dug out and opened.
“Doubtful.” I watch as the cursor blinks, letting me know Tasha is typing more. “Going to text you. Don’t want my dad to see this…”
My phone pings quietly from the top drawer of my desk, and I grab it to read Tasha’s message. A picture of Tasha with Chris fills the screen. Like I had told Tasha in the garage, he is cute, and the way he is looking at her gives me hope for them. She is the light of his world; it shows in his eyes and the easy way he grins at her.
With Beck leaving for a work trip, Tasha is having Chris over for the weekend and wants my help in setting up the house for a romantic rendezvous. She is so excited about their time together that it is hard to feel jealous over their relationship, and I’m genuinely happy for her. I text back that I would love to help, but only if I get to meet him before they lock the door and forget about the world.
The hot tub under the gazebo would be beautiful with lights strung for a bit of ambiance, and I know I can figure out something to decorate the path from the patio to there as well. “Budget and colors?” I type before tossing my phone back into the drawer. I don’t want to chance Beck coming out and seeing the plans. Even though Tasha is an adult, she is still his daughter. I know my dad would not want to hear about me planning to spend a weekend in bed with a guy.
Of course, the only guy I’m interested in is Beck. A weekend away with him, or even a weekend in but offline and completely unplugged from everything except each other, would be heavenly. Waking up in his arms, making love in the afternoon, and spending early dawn hours swimming laps together in his heated pool… I know he is a morning person, or at least he always was. I’ve had boyfriends—lovers—but none have affected me like this. Working for Beck has the benefit of forcing me to focus on my job so that I can impress him. I can’t imagine what I could accomplish at home today or even in his garage.