"That's his loss."
I force a smile and gesture toward the couch. "Do you mind?" I may as well sit down and get comfortable. If I'm lucky to have won over Nikita's attention for a while, then I may as well make the most of it.
"Not at all." He forces a smile and nods for me to sit.
I collapse onto the couch and am relieved by how plush and cozy the sofa is compared to the one at my apartment. "I could sleep on here," I mutter, dipping my head back to realize that this is more comfortable than my mattress.
Nikita pulls his leather office chair around behind his desk and sits across from me, giving me plenty of space. He's not trying to make a move on me. Should I be offended that he doesn't seem interested? It's not like I'm giving him signals that I want him.
But it's nice to be noticed.
"I haven't seen you around here before," Nikita says.
"First time. It was my date's suggestion to come here."
"Well, it's his loss that he didn't show." He smirks, and his gaze sweeps over me.
I feel every bit naked under his stare. Shifting on the sofa, careful to keep him from getting an eyeful of my panties, I try to make myself presentable and comfortable.
"You don't have to babysit me. Feel free to go back and mingle." I have no clue what he does, but I don't want to keep him from his work. As it is, I'll see him later and can snatch his keys when he has my dress brought to me.
He chuckles under his breath. "Malish, my work is up here with you."
I don't know what he means. "Am I keeping you from working? I'm sorry," I say quickly to apologize. Although, it's not like I'm taking up residence at his desk.
"Do not apologize for something that is not your fault." He's firm, and his gaze is tight on me, unwavering. "How is it that a pretty girl like you doesn't have a boyfriend?"
The small office is warm, and my cheeks are hot at his directness. He's bold. I shouldn't be surprised, considering the reason that I'm here.
"I prefer not to be romantically entangled with a man."
"A woman?" He quirks a wry grin.
Why am I not surprised by his question? He's probably fantasizing about two grown women together. The smirk says more than his words. "No, I prefer men."
He scoots closer, the chair rolling forward a few inches. "That's good." His heated stare wanders down my body, taking in every inch of visible bare skin.
Nikita shifts in his seat. "I don't like commitments, either. Too many broken promises. People get hurt."
His tongue darts out and swipes his top lip.
"You sound like you're speaking from experience." I shift on the sofa and slide my legs up beside me, careful not to give him an eyeful. I barely know the man. I'm not letting him get a free show.
"You were here on a blind date but don't prefer to be romantically entangled," he chides, reminding me of my words. "How does that work?"
Is he serious? "What? Am I not allowed to date because I don't believe in the antiquated notions of marriage?"
His mouth is shut, his jaw tight.
I continue my rant. "Are you telling me that you never go out? Maybe you prefer to just sleep with all the ladies from the club, the ones you spill your drinks on."
He doesn't seem the least bit insulted by my remark. His eyes glisten under the overhead lights. "The Cosmopolitan wasn't my drink."
Does he think that he can win me over?
I'm not a game. Following him up to his office wasn't so we could get a room and be alone. Coming upstairs wasn't the best decision, but I've done worse.
"I suppose it wasn't," I say, meeting his stare.
He leans back in his office chair and stretches his arms, putting his hands behind his head. "How'd you meet this blind date?"
What's with all the questions? Does he not believe that I could find myself a date?
"A friend set us up."
"Shitty friend," Nikita says. He doesn't continue his thought, and I don't let him.
"I wasn't asking your opinion."
His eyes shine, and while there isn't a smile on his lips, I suspect he's buzzing inside.
Does he like pissing me off?
"What kind of a friend lets you get stood up by some guy? It mustn't be that good of a friend. I'd never treat any of my friends like that."
"Well, good for you," I mutter and finish the cocktail he brought to his office. I need it to deal with the ogre sitting across from me.
He's not really an ogre. Sure, he's tall and built. But it's all muscle. What I'd give to see him undressed and under me on the sofa.
A girl can dream.
But if I'm honest with myself, he's not my type. He's too brash and forward. The man doesn't give a lick about my opinion, only himself.
"You want a date? I can find one of my colleagues to set you up with," Nikita says. "Tell me a little about yourself."
He can't be serious. My jaw just hit the floor because he folds his arms across his chest, tilts his head, and waits for my answer.
"I don't need your help."
"I never implied that you did." He doesn't so much as glance away. He holds my stare. "But sometimes wanting and needing are two different things. I'm sure you can find your own date if you wander downstairs into the club. But I'm offering myself up to help."
"You're a matchmaking service?"