“Yes. You have been pledged to try a buffet blindfolded,” the guy said, smirking.
“It’s an interesting idea, and like I said, if it got enough votes, I will do it.”
“It did,” Anya said.
“I know.” He winked at her. “It’s all a bit of fun.” Besides his numerous charities, he was also creating a department that allowed for possible sponsorship, and a chance of working in his company. This was for high school graduates, and college applicants.
“Man, it’s going to be so good,” the guy said.
The elevator opened, and they left.
“Was it me or did that guy seem to have a little bit of an issue with me?”
“Maybe you’re seeing things?”
“I don’t know. That’s not something you see.” He shrugged. “I make a great deal of enemies.”
“You were the one who built your reputation, even before I got here.”
The elevator opened, admitting them into the parking lot. “I think it’s a good incentive.”
“I don’t think you’re all that bright though.”
“Why?” he asked.
“You’re a hard-ass boss, with a horrible reputation, and every year you open yourself up to this. Now you’re going to be trying food that could be so damn nasty.” She shuddered.
“Are you contributing?” he asked.
“Yes, but I’m not going to do anything nasty.”
He shrugged. “It’ll be good fun.” At the back of his mind, he couldn’t help but be a little tense. He hoped it was going to be okay. Maybe some vomit-worthy entries, but when he saw the suggestion on the board, he made sure everything had to be at least edible. Nothing foul or awful.
Opening her car door, he waited for her to get inside before he buckled her in.
“I do know how to get in the car.”
“I know. I like doing it.” Once he was behind the wheel, he didn’t waste any time, and went straight toward his penthouse.
“You’re very bossy.”
“I’m the boss. It comes with the territory.”
“You do know what is going to happen tonight?”
“Yes. I’m not some virgin. I still think we’re rushing into this.”
“Why?” he asked.
“We don’t really know each other. There’s a whole lot of reasons why we shouldn’t do this. I happen to enjoy my job. You’re a pain in the ass to work for, but you’re also a challenge as well.”
“I’m a hot challenge.”
“I’ve never seen this side of you. You’re kind of nice.”
“Niceness doesn’t work well within the office.”
She didn’t say anything for several seconds. “I’ve been thinking about these charity things you do. They mean a great deal to you, right?”
“I was curious why.”
“I grew up in foster care, Anya. I know what it’s like to be dumped and forgotten.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to pry.”
“It’s fine. Most of the time, we all act like we don’t give a shit. Like it doesn’t hurt to know that you’re not wanted. We go through life, and we go to school. I remember going to school, and people knew I wasn’t like them. I wasn’t … wanted. Anyway, I’d watch my peers run to their parents, and the foster kids, we had a mini bus to pick us up, that advertised where we came from.” He was used to looking back. It no longer hurt him anymore. “One day, I just got up, and I studied hard, and I knew I was going to do something important. I wasn’t going to let anything step in my way. It’s why I make sure the kids at these homes have me.”
“Do you go and see them?”
“Of course. How do you think I know about them?”
“I had no idea.”
“I raise the money, and then I take it to each home, spend as much time as I can. Don’t get me wrong, some kids are damaged in these homes, and they are so damn violent that they can’t come back from that. I just help as much as I can.”
He glanced over at her to find her eyes on him.
“I had no idea that you cared so much.”