I desperately want to find more time to write at the moment, to write more about Hope and her friends to be precise. I know I’m biased but I really do love them. Hopefully this little jump back to her first kiss with Seth will spur me on plus it allows me to join in with #kotw
“Morning” Seth’s cheery face was at my office door again. “The new units have just arrived, do you want to come and guide us as to where you want them?”
“Yeah, sure.” I checked my watch as I pulled my chair back from behind my desk.
“Oh” Seth looked me up and down.
I was back to normal office wear after three days in scruffs.
“Sorry, do you have a meeting to go to?” I couldn’t be certain but there seemed to be a tinge of disappointment in his voice.
“No,no. It’s just I’m finishing at twelve today! I gestured towards my little suitcase. “I have a train to catch so I didn’t want to start a job and then dump it on you. Plus I don’t fancy getting grubby and sweaty and then being stuck on a train for a couple of hours”
“Fair enough” Seth nodded, staring at me a little too intently.
I headed out of the office and he followed behind. “So,” he began, somewhat tentatively as we made our way downstairs. “Weekend away?”
I smiled to myself, he was fishing. “Just a weekend back in London. I have a friend’s birthday party to attend.”
“Are you originally from London then?”
“No not originally but it has kind of been home on and off for about 10 years now. When I’m not at whichever Warrens needs me anyway.”
“Does it not get annoying?” We both stopped at the bottom of the stairs. “The constant moving around?”
“No it suits my lifestyle” The words tumbled out before I could stop them. Why could I not just say I enjoy it or just a simple no, my stupid brain.
“Your lifestyle?” He queried, a flash of intrigue hiding behind his dark eyes.
“Well you know,” I bluffed and blustered “young, no ties etcetera” I pushed through the swing doors as I tried to compose myself. I knew he wasn’t buying it; over the last few days we had been working together constantly and something had just clicked, we got each other. I had been really pleased as it had made work so much more bearable but in that moment I felt vulnerable, exposed. Never mix business with pleasure, it’s the rule everyone knows and there I was blurring the lines. I needed to set it straight, I was his boss not his friend.
“Right, where are these new units?”
“They’re in the loading bay”
“You haven’t even brought them inside? I shot Seth a look, “surely you don’t need my guidance to tell you they need to be in the building?” I could hear how much of bitch I was being and the look on Seth’s face only confirmed it.
His words were slow and staggered as he glared at me “It seemed pointless to move them twice, they are quite heavy you know.” His eyes stayed locked on mine and despite my best efforts he didn’t seem to be wavering as I tried to stare him down.
I felt the hairs on the back of my neck prickle as a smile grew across my face and a confused look spread across his.
“Well as they are so heavy just get them into the nearest free bay and then next week I’ll come back down and help you get them somewhere more convenient. OK?”
A couple of sniggers from behind confirmed my condescension had not been lost on anyone in the warehouse. Seth didn’t respond but continued to glare at me as I turned to walk away. I gave him my best strut as I called over my shoulder “I’ll be upstairs if you need anymore guidance.”
I smiled all the way back to my office. I never meant any malice but being a patronising bitch really was fun sometimes.
Sinking into my chair I slumped at my desk and pulled my phone from my bag
CLIVE: Morning gorgeous, what time does your train get in?
ME: If I catch the train I’m planning on, I get to Paddington for 4.33. Is that too early for you to meet me? Want me to meet you at yours?
My Phone vibrated almost immediately.
CLIVE: As long as you DO make that train I will be at the station for 4.30 keep me posted xx
I was never late but Clive and my other friends had this strange view of me as I wasn’t as traditionally organised as they were. To them my way seemed chaotic and stressful but it worked just fine for me. In fact I was probably the most relaxed out of all of them and never actually late for anything.
I spent the rest of the morning responding to emails, a job I had been avoiding all week. There is only so much fake pleasantry I can tolerate in one sitting and sadly my inbox seemed full of arseholes I had to be nice to.
Halfway through my last nicey nicey response I was interrupted by a very stern looking Seth.
“Was that really necessary? You made me look like an idiot in front of everyone.”
“Mr Connors, that is no way to talk to a senior!” Mrs Hopkins had rushed to my aid on hearing the noise.
“It’s ok Mrs Hopkins” I raised my voice above them both. “Mr Connors is welcome to express his concerns but he will try and keep his voice down from now on” I ushered her towards the door as I spoke.
“Sorry Mrs Hopkins” Seth offered as I was shutting the door behind her before immediately turning his attention back to me and beginning again in hushed shouts ” What the hell was that? I thought we’d been getting along and then you treat me like an absolute moron!”
I knew he was right, I had bristled because of his prying but I shouldn’t have involved that in work, it was my own mistake. I held my hands up.
“You’re right, I shouldn’t have done it; it was unprofessional and I’m sorry.”
My apology seemed to stun me almost as much as it did him. He had come for a fight and now it seemed neither of us really knew what to say. Both a little confused by how we had got to this situation, we stood staring at each other searching for some kind of understanding. I’m not sure what had happened, I never usually backed down so easily, how dare he come storming into my office shouting the odds. I could feel an anger building inside me as I glared at him, I opened my mouth to give him a piece of mind but he silenced me, before I could begin, as his lips crashed against mine and his hands held the back of my head. My anger turned to passion as I grabbed at him pulling him closer, my nails digging into his back as our mouths continued their battle.
I felt myself give and mould in his hands as they pressed and gripped me tighter.
It had been a long time since a man had kissed me quite like this and I was giddy with the intensity of it. That long forgotten flutter at my core began just as the shrill ring of my desk phone parted us; we jumped as if someone had walked in and found us.
Trying to calm myself I walked towards the desk “Hello?” I kept my back to him as I tried to compose myself.
“Ah, Miss Campbell, I’m glad I caught you” Sinclair’s voice boomed down the line. “I just wanted to get your opinion on something. I’ve been thinking we need to move forward with appointing a new warehouse manager.”
“Well I know you’ve been spending a lot of time down there this week so I wondered what your opinion was of Seth?”
I felt the hairs go up on the back of my neck, how was I suppose to answer that now, with him stood just a few feet behind me and with what had just happened. I didn’t have anything bad to say but I didn’t want him to know that.
“Miss Campbell?” Sinclair prompted.
“I think” I stalled trying to compose my thoughts “that would be a wise choice.”
“Yes but what will he bring to the role? What qualities make him the right choice? Will he be a good leader for the team down there?”
Damn it, there was no way out of this. “I have found him extremely hardworking” I turned to face him. “He has a good working relationship with the other warehouse staff”
The penny dropped, he realised I was talking about him.
“And he has some good ideas. I’m sure he would be more than capable of the role.”
“Good, good. I’ll try and have a word with him this afternoon.”
“OK Nigel, glad I could help.”
I watched Seth as he waited for me to finish on the phone. There was a fresh cockiness to his pose whereas I just felt panicked. What had just happened? Why had I let that happen? What would happen next? As much as I wanted to get Sinclair off the phone I knew once I did I’d have to answer those questions.
“Just a reminder I’ll be out of the office soon but I’ll still be picking up my emails, signal allowing” I was waffling.
“I’m sure we will survive without you for a few hours” Sinclair chuckled like a patronising teacher.
“OK well, I’ll see you Monday.” I hung up.
“So you do think I’m good at my job.” Seth sauntered towards me.
I couldn’t deny he was cute even if he was a bit of a cocky bastard and certainly not my usual type.
“Oh I wasn’t talking about you” I joked, “I was talking about the warehouse manager.”
“That’s if I agree to take the job” he smirked.
A small laugh escaped as I shook my head, “cocky.”
“So do you fancy going for a drink when you get back from London?”
“Erm, yeah, sure.” NO! What was I saying? This was a bad idea, a really bad idea.
“I’m not sure what time I’ll be back though,” I tried to backtrack. “It might not be till late.”
“That’s OK,” he leant across me and took a piece of paper from my desk. “Text me when you know what time and we’ll sort something.” He scrawled his number down and handed it to me. “Late’s fine, I’m a bit of a night owl anyway.”
“OK” I managed to stutter.
“I best get back down there and let you get your train. Have a great time” He kissed my check and headed for the door.
My mind in a whirl I managed to mumble a thank you as he walked out.