They were just small things, pictures, books, an album or something. It was a token of memory for someone. He liked it. Then he saw a watch at a jewelry store, and he’d known he had to have it, and that it would be perfect for Anya.
Xavier didn’t like going to the jewelry store, yet he’d been there, looking for a gift. He had originally planned to buy the model he was going to ditch a goodbye gift, but of course she’d ended up with a gift card instead.
Closing down Anya’s file where he learned nothing new, he grabbed the file on his desk and left his office just as his appointment was about to walk through the door.
“Kurtis, good to see you. I’ll be taking him to conference room two, Anya.”
“Do you need me to sit in? Take notes?”
“No. I’ve got it from here, thank you.”
She smiled and made her way toward her desk once again. He saw the work he’d given her earlier was still there, and in the next couple of hours he had several appointments.
Entering the conference room, he gestured for Kurtis to take his spot.
“Is your PA not married yet? She is a peach,” Kurtis said.
“She’s a star.”
Taking a seat, he opened up the file, and got straight down to business. Whenever he needed some facts or statistics, he put a call through to Anya. She brought the files right away. There were no lingering smiles or chats with Kurtis.
“I tell you, man, you are one lucky guy. I’ve been in several meetings, and the PAs can be a damn problem.”
“So can the bosses,” Xavier said. “I’ve been to several meetings where it is clear the man is screwing the PA.”
“You’re not screwing yours though. What’s the problem? She too fat for you?”
Xavier sat back, glaring at the guy he was about to sign a million dollar business contract with. Kurtis was the best when it came to software, and he wanted him on his team.
“I don’t like you insulting my PA. In fact, I would fuck Anya if she even gave me half a chance. She’s worth a hell of a lot more than a quick fuck.”
“I don’t want your apologies. You will not say something so stupid again, do you understand?”
He got through the rest of the meeting without beating the shit out of the guy, even though he wanted to.
Once that meeting was done, he spent the rest of the afternoon between his office and the conference room. Anya stayed at her desk, and when six in the evening rolled around, she came to him with a stack of letters to sign.
“Thank you,” she said, startling him.
“What for?” He continued to sign his name, trusting everything was in order.
“I, erm, I heard what you said to Kurtis. I appreciate your kind words. I know they weren’t true, but I appreciate it all the same.” She forced a smile, and he paused in his writing. Staring into her green eyes, Xavier found it hard to look away.
“What makes you think I didn’t mean it?”
“It’s not something I imagine you’ve thought about. I’m quite uncomfortable right now, so I’m going to be quiet.”
He put his pen down, and stared at her.
“Is there something you’d like me to do?” she asked.
“Sit down,” he said.
“Oh.” She took a seat opposite him, and he noticed how she pushed her skirt down to cover her knees. “I hope I didn’t cross a line. I wasn’t implying sex just, I was thinking about the papers.”
She kept on rambling, and he watched as her cheeks heated.
“I didn’t appreciate his vile words or his tone. I believe you deserve better, and, Anya, I meant every single word.”
She frowned. “That can’t be.”
“Why not? You’re a beautiful woman.”
“I’m not. I’m nothing in comparison to the women you date.”
Xavier smiled. “No, you’re not. You’re much better.”
Had she heard right? Anya stared at her boss. The man she had known for over four years, who never pushed the boundaries too far, was staring at her like he wanted to eat her. In that moment their relationship of employer and employee faded.