He laughed, “It wasn’t a conviction. It was a rule that I followed in order to protect myself and the company. I don’t want to be accused of sexual harassment someday and risk everything my father has worked for being taken away.” As soon as he said that my mind froze on that single sentence, “Everything my father worked for.”
“What makes you think I won’t take that from you?” I asked him, dead serious.
“I could be wrong, but I just don’t see you as that type. Besides, some people are worth the risk. I’ve never been so infatuated with a woman in such a short time. I have to explore that… if you’ll let me.”
The ice packed around my heart with the Hunters’ name engraved on it began to melt. I knew I was in big trouble but there was a part of me that still wanted to say getting close to him could be about helping my cause and if he ended up collateral damage then so be it. There was another part of me, an even bigger part that had no desire whatsoever to hurt this man. Everything I wanted to do to him and with him was just the opposite of hurt.
“So?” he said, after I had obviously been lost in my head for way too long.
Impulsively I said, “Do you ride horses?”
With a little confused chuckle he said, “Excuse me?”
“Do you ride?”
“Um… yeah, I mean of course I have… it’s been a while. Why?”
“I thought since tomorrow was Saturday and it was my turn to pick the date, I would take you horseback riding.”
“Your turn?” he said, with a slow smile. “I guess that means we’re dating then?”
“We’ll see how you do on a horse first,” I told him. “I’ll pick you up at nine a.m. Just write down your address for me. Then, you will need to leave my office. I have a ton of work to do and my boss is a tyrant.”
Seth picked up a pen and wrote down an address on one of my new business cards. He winked at me before he left the office. It never failed to amaze me how incredibly sexy I found his arrogance sometimes.
I went out to dinner with Grant that evening. I did my best to avoid the subject of Seth at all costs. We went to a cute little Basque French restaurant in SoHo and as they brought out way too much food one course at a time, we talked about Grant’s new love interest. Yes, it had only been a week since he’d broken up with the last girl, but that was my Grant.
“So what is this girls’ name?” I asked him between spicy bites of my curry chicken.
“I don’t want to tell you.”
I laughed, “Is it that bad?”
“You’re going to poke fun, but I really like this girl.”
“Okay, so we’ll put the name aside until I know more about her. What does she do?”
“She’s a waitress at La Boulogne.”
“You did not!”
“I did not, what?”
“You did not meet this girl the night that you took Bethany to that restaurant?”
“I may or may not have gotten her number after I tucked dear Bethany into a cab. I had to go back in for my jacket.”
“She saw you there with Bethany and she went ahead and gave you her number?”
“I told her it was a first date and it didn’t work out.”
“Oh my goodness. You are such a player.”
He grinned. For some reason that term didn’t hold negative connotations for men the way it did for women. “I really like her.”
“So you’ve been out… twice?”
“Sort of. The first “date” was just a cup of coffee on Sunday afternoon, and then on Thursday we had dinner.”
“Thursday? Wasn’t that the night you were… never mind.”
“The night I was giving you a hard time about Seth? Yes, that was the same night. I got home right before you did.”
“Oh, so how old is she?”
He grinned again. “You’re trying to steer me away from him. That means that you didn’t break it off, doesn’t it.”
“We were talking about… What was her name again?”
“I haven’t said.”
“Oh that’s right.”
“What is going on with you and the CEO?”
“Nothing. We haven’t been out since Thursday.”
“But, you’ve seen him at work. Did you tell him that you couldn’t see him?”
“I tried,” I said. It was true. It was a half-assed effort, but I had tried.
“You tried? What does that mean?”