After an entire dinner of Boss staring at me like I was the food instead of the plate in front of him, Boss paid for the meal.
“I asked you, so I should pay,” I said as he gave the server his card.
“Don’t be silly,” he said. “That doesn’t make much sense. I know exactly how much you make.”
“I…” I sat in my seat and immediately thought about Ian. I thought about how we split our checks and how unromantic I always thought it was. But was this romantic? I stared back at Boss through the thick fog of attraction that was zipping between us and decided it was hot and sexy, but not exactly romantic. I quirked my mouth a little bit thinking about my hypocrisy.
“What?” Boss asked across the table as the server returned with his card and a pen.
“Nothing,” I shook my head.
“Are you sure?” he asked as he grabbed my hand again. He’d been holding it throughout dinner, and just the touch of our fingers was enough to make me speechless and drooling throughout large portions of the evening.
As we got up to leave, the server opened the door for us and said, “You lovebirds enjoy the evening!” I felt my face grow hot, but Boss didn’t flinch or correct him. He just nodded politely and waited for me to go through.
It wasn’t until I got to my bicycle that Boss said, “What are you doing?”
“Um, unlocking my bike?” I don’t know why I asked it as a question, except that Boss totally unnerved me with his proximity and his utter sexiness.
He rubbed his cheek stubble and I wanted very much to put my hand up to his face and touch it, but I kept my hands on my bike. “You’re not seriously going to ride that right now, are you? I’ll drive you,” he said with a gruffness in his voice that wasn’t there before.
I looked at him a minute and exhaled. I’d had this same argument with Ian, but he wasn’t quite so…well…bossy. Boss-y. I closed my eyes for a second and opened them with new resolve. “Yes, I ride it everywhere, Boss. And besides, if you drop me off, then how will I get to work in the morning?”
He raised his eyebrows and said, “Well, I thought we could go over to my place for a drink.”
I stared at him letting what “a drink” meant to him, about how he’d been sexing me up all evening, and then I felt immediately cheap and easy and slutty and heartbroken for Ian all over again. So this is what this was. This is why he agreed to go out with me. Maybe he thought Ian was just another guy in a string of guys for me? Maybe he didn’t think anything about me at all. Any guy who was serious about Dominique would of course think nothing of someone like me.
I looked at him a last time and said, “No, it’s fine. Thank you for dinner. It was lovely,” with my mouth a tight line. I strapped on my helmet and turned away from him. When I was on my bike, making sure I didn’t flash anyone with my skirt, I said curtly, “Goodnight. See you tomorrow,” and I rode off.
I heard him call my name once, and when I was far enough away, I ventured a small glance back. He was leaning against his car and I could swear he was smiling at me. But why?