“How do I consider this? Nearly every part of me is screaming hell no.”

“Then what is your other part screaming?” he asked.

“Not as loudly. I’m … ugh … I don’t know what I am.”

“I’m not going to rush you. Okay. We’ll go in, work, and just think about it. Can you do that?”

“Of course I can do that.”

Climbing out of the car, she held her bag tightly in her grip. They made their way toward the elevator. No one else was on it, and she glanced over at him. “Why did you give me this job? I never applied for it.”

“The way you treated me when you had no idea who I was. I thought you handled yourself well. You knew all of the details of the business that were important. Did you know some of our colleagues were laughing at you?”

“Yeah, I know.” She was used to it.

“I wanted to give them a reason to stop laughing. I also saw that if you garnered that information within a few months, then I wanted to see your potential working with the guy who built it from the ground up. I wasn’t wrong.”

“Thank you.”

“They are not compliments. You earned the right.”


“Still, it’s nice to know.” She smiled at him.

She was never afraid of hard work, and the moment she got this job, she knew she’d done well. Xavier was a hard boss, but he was fair.

They got off on their floor. She stopped at her desk while he made his way into his office. Several people had seen them together, but that wasn’t newsworthy. They often met at the parking lot, and traveled up.

He wants to have a baby.

Firing up her computer, she handed the tray of letters to Lottie, the postal lady in the company, and then went to the coffee station. Martha was there, grabbing an entire tray of coffees.

“First floor has you getting their drinks?” she asked.

“It’s okay.”

“It’s not your job.” Anya knew from experience that certain floors would gang up, and see what they could get certain people to do. They got a kick out of making the receptionist their little slave, or something. She didn’t get it. “What did they say this time?”

“I’m fine, really.”

Anya didn’t press, but she saw that Martha was upset.

“Fine, okay. They told me I didn’t have much to do anyway, and I might as well get busy and get them coffee.”

“They’re assholes. Your job is very important.”

“I man the desk, direct people, and answer the phone. It’s not a lot.”

“I tell you what, Mr. Leigh believes it’s one of the hearts of the business. People come here, that first initial greeting can be the difference between a good meeting and a bad one.”

“I never really thought about it like that.”

“I wouldn’t get them their coffee, and to avoid the floor, just use the stairs. You’re a hard worker, Martha.”

She grabbed her and Xavier’s coffee, taking him one, and then going back to her desk. For the most part, the day went by without a hitch. Clients and prospective companies turned up for their appointments. She assisted Xavier in any way that she could and dealt with people from the first floor who were pissed to have to get their own coffee.

Throughout it all, she couldn’t get rid of what Xavier wanted from her.

A baby.

A living, breathing, precious thing.

Something that usually brought families together.

By the time people started to leave, Anya still hadn’t come to a decision. She kept saying yes, and then no, and then yes again. She’d always wanted a baby, and at least she knew she could trust Xavier. He may be her boss, and for the most part an asshole, but he did follow through with his word.

Not once did he break a vow, or offer something that was never going to happen.

By six, she was finishing up her work and grabbing her jacket. Xavier was still arguing on the phone, and she made her way toward his door. She didn’t enter, nor did she draw attention to herself.

Watching him work, how deeply he fought for his company was the final reason she made a decision.

He slammed the phone down, shaking his head.

“Did you not get the deal you wanted?” she asked.

“Oh, I got it all right. Never doubt me when I want something.”