I proceed to work, even though the comment still haunts me. There’s some people talking about it on twitter, and the same anonymous poster made an identical comment on my blog even though I haven’t posted anything there since I started working for Heart Makers. There have been some other nasty comments in response, some trolls coming out of the woodwork in response to one of their own. But none of them creep me out in the way that that one does. I try to ignore it, but it sits in the back of my mind.
It’s just after noon when there’s a knock at my door, and I look up to find Chance standing there. The smile that comes to my face is instant. “Hi.”
He comes over and leans down to kiss me. “Hello.”
I stretch in my chair and he comes around, hands landing on my shoulders in a welcome massage. He sees my computer screen, which is half open to the article I’m working on and half showing the discussion of the bad comment on twitter.
He glances at the tweets, quickly picking up on the general tone. “What happened?”
I shake my head and wave it off. “Some troll posted something on the one-night stand article last night. It’s fine, just your regular internet bullshit. This one just felt…weird to me. But it’s nothing to worry about. It’s my own fault—you shouldn’t read the comments.”
“Okay.” He says it in a tone that tells me he’ll be monitoring it, but I don’t mind. He’s been watching the response to the new features pretty closely, so he would have found out anyway. “The reason I came by was to see if, since it’s Friday and I’m your boss, if you’d like to play hooky with me for the rest of the day.”
I smile, even though he’s behind me and can’t see it. “And what would we do while we were playing hooky?”
“Well,” he says, leaning down and wrapping his arms around me from behind, “I thought that we’d go back to my place and maybe try a few of those ways to spice up your sex life.”
“I don’t really think our sex life needs spicing up just yet.” But the way he’s kissing my neck could damn well convince me.
“I don’t either, but those are still some fun things to try.”
I turn to look at him. “And no one will care if the CEO disappears in the middle of the work day?”
“It’s Friday and everything that I needed to do is done. If there’s something dire, that’s what email is for.”
“Well, in that case,” I give an exaggerated sigh, “I suppose playing hooky wouldn’t be terrible.”
“I was hoping you’d say that.”
Chance’s apartment is huge and gorgeous. I shouldn’t have expected anything less, but it still makes my jaw drop when I walk in the door. The style and vibe is very similar to his office: wide open space with lots of glass and clean lines. We’re on the Upper West Side now, so the building is older but the apartment’s interior is fully updated and modern. I love it.
“This is beautiful.”
“Thank you,” he says, and it’s not just the words. He means it. “It’s one of my pet projects, architecture and design. I put a lot of work into this place and into the offices downtown. I don’t really get a lot of time to work on things like that, but when I do I enjoy myself.”
I look around at what I can see of the apartment with a new appreciation. “Well you seem to be really good at it.” A thought hits me. “So did you design my office?”
He’s wearing a shy smile. “Yeah.”
My jaw drops. “I don’t think I ever told but I love that office. The first time you showed it to me I kept thinking that I couldn’t have designed a better space for myself if I had been the one to do it.”
Chance’s smile turns bold and wicked as he pulls me further into the apartment. “Oh really?”
I glance at the rooms we’re passing, and Chance notices. “I’ll give you a tour later.”
“After you thank me for how much you love your office,” he says with a playful light in his eyes.
“I knew I shouldn’t have played hooky with you,” I say, laughing. “So impatient.”