Am I forgetting something? The slight buzz of my phone, which usually indicates a message, in my bookbag distracts me from his hand holding on to my arm. Using my free arm, I retrieve the now silent device from the depths of the bag only to see that its a message from Gerald.
Gerald: I won't be home tonight. At my parents'. I hope you remembered to bring your key card to class today. You forgot it this morning didn't you?
Looking up at Stryker, I exclaim in realisation, "My key card!"
Stryker smirks when I make the connection through his eyes show not half of the amusement that his face shows, in fact, they look a little distant. Releasing my arm, Stryker closes the distance between us and I purposefully cross my arms just in case he gets too close for my comfort. For example, the kiss in the room just now totally caught me off guard and I don't intend for it to happen again.
"If it's dinner you want with me then so be it," I huff, not liking the idea of being alone with him. "Would you rather I cook or should we go somewhere?"
My supposition apparently catches him off guard as one of his eyebrows goes up in inquisition. Confused by his strange reaction, I think back to what I just said to find out what caused him to have such a reaction and I come up blank.
"What's wrong?" I question him softly, leaning back a little so that he's not towering over me too much and as a result, I can see that he looks more pensive than shocked. "Did you already have something planned or..."
"No," He responds, snapping out whatever deep though he was in. "We can go to the restaurant just opposite here. I'm sure you're tired."
I'm not about to argue with him on that. I am tired. Nodding in silent agreement, I head for the elevator with Stryker following closely after me and it doesn't escape my notice that he slides two thin white cards into his pocket one of them I'm assuming is my key card.
Tapping his card for the elevator to go down, I am reminded that he actually lives in his office building when a few people in suits who I think worked overtime seeing as its already eight in the evening. They literally pick up their paces as Stryker and I walk by which to me is amusing.
"Why do they do that?" I ask him as he gently guides me out of the lobby with his hand resting lightly on my lower back. "Avoid you like you're the Grim Reaper?"
"To my employees, I might as well be," He replies tersely walking across the clear road, not bothering to look both sides. "To them, they think I'd fire them if they even so much as breathe in front of me. I find it funny that they think that way when I've only fired about fifty people this month."
FIFTY people! In this month ALONE! I freak out internally, my eyes widening in shock from how easily he just said that. Telling the waitress in a white long-sleeved shirt and skirt who comes up to us that we'd like a corner booth, I am snapped out of my shock just as we are lead to our seats.
"What made you fire so many people?" I ask him as I slide into the seat opposite him, the waitress delays him from answering me by bringing us our menus and glasses of water.
Interlocking his fingers under his chin as he rests his elbows on the top of the table, Stryker smirks as he responds, "They made mistakes and they had to face the consequences of them."
My skin crawls at his words which to me seem to have a double meaning. If he said that to me with a gun in one of his hands and seated on a large leather chair, I would have immediately left his presence just to compose my emotions but because I'm not too convinced that he's involved with the Montesaro crime syndicate I just feel the power he holds radiating off of him.
"The way you say that sounds like they murdered someone close to you," I jokingly state as I turn my face away from him to take a sip of my water, a habit I picked up from living in Japan for almost a year during one particular assignment.
Taking the chance to use the advantageous seating he chose to observe the restaurant we're in. The lighting is dimmed to a romantic like glow and apart from the various booths with red velvet curtains that are drawn back to show the tables and seats, the rest of the restaurant is littered with not as private tables and thin chairs with plush cushions on the backrest and the chair area itself.
All in all, it's very romantic.
The short chuckle that comes from him pulls my attention away from the detail of the interior design of the restaurant and back onto him. Slowly lowering the cup of water from my lips, I watch as his chuckle dies out and his eyes darken as he watches me watch him.
"What?" I breathe softly, setting the cup on the table, picking up the menu.
"You're very interesting, Ms Owens," He murmurs, eyeing me as he leans back into his seat with his arm across over his chest. "I've never met a woman like you before."
For a moment, I can't find the words to respond so I end up lifting the menu up to cover my face, muttering just loudly enough for him to her, "You said that when you kissed me earlier as well."
Once more the waitress disrupts our conversation by appearing at our table with a notepad to take our orders. Stryker does the honours of ordering for us both, a plate of medium cooked steaks with green vegetables and fries on the side, and as for drinks, he orders two glasses of red wine.