The Golden Bachelor

Chapter 7

The briefing was taking longer than expected, and Samantha was champing at the bit. She kept counting the minutes when he would finally let them all go to enjoy their extended weekends, but it looked like the CEO kept on purposely delaying the end of his monologue. Samantha might have been paranoid enough to actually consider it, but she decided to shrug it off.

After two weeks, he'd certainly gotten over their secret liaison, he hadn't spoken to her since that day at her place, even when he'd needed to talk about work, he'd sent his personal assistant, which according to Samantha only confirmed the very simple fact that he didn't want anything to do with her anymore, which had her consider whether resigning might be a good idea or not.

After all, there was indeed a conflict of interest, whether she wanted it or not, be it only because she was having serious troubles remaining in the same room as her employer, and when it came to looking into his eyes? Harder than reaching out for the moon. Heavens forbid she ought to talk to him even! The conflict was there, inevitable to deny it, so maybe it'd be better for both if she started seeking another job.

However, if she had to be totally honest, she didn't want to leave. She liked her job, the company was great, she didn't have friends in the office, but she liked working there, when she'd told Lucas she was attached to Grant Enterprises, he'd taken it as scoffing, but she hadn't lied, she was indeed fond of the company, leaving it would be sad. 

Then again, if there was one thing Samantha was good at, it was leaving things behind. Grant Enterprises might just be one more in the number. The sole happy one. The real question however was, would she be able to leave behind its CEO, too?

Samantha kept her eyes focused on her notes other than on the person speaking at the head of the table, she didn't want to lose focus, less than less did she want to distract him. Little did she know that his eyes kept travelling to her almost unconsciously, so often that he wound up having to conceal it behind alternatively glancing at each of his employees.

"Alright, it's over for today. Have a nice Halloween and weekend. See you all on Monday", when the CEO finally concluded with that, Samantha was barely able to repress a sigh of relief. She leaped to her feet and gathered her things at the speed of light, anxious to get out before any incident detained her, and she might have made it to the door, hadn't that voice come to stop her ... "Ms. Benedetti, may I have a word, please?"

Women stole envious glances at her, murmuring amongst them: there, as they suspected, she was screwing the boss, of course, otherwise why would he keep staring at her like that? why would they always be seen leaving the office together? so lucky that haughty Italian was! But what did she have that would attract him? 

She was only a mediocre beauty, nothing more than a decent décolleté and pretty eyes, was that enough? Wasn't he dating Laurel Herrera? From the stars to the stables, literally, some scoffed. The angriest of those envious gossipers was naturally Amanda, the CEO's personal assistant. She'd been working to catch the golden bachelor since so long, and now this freaking Italian came and stole him right under her nose ... ugh, the nerve!

Nevertheless, despite their venomous looks and comments, whispered enough not to be heard yet perceived, they all got out, leaving the two completely alone.

Samantha was well aware of her colleagues' looks, therefore she felt warier as she walked back into the conference room, mildly holding her folders to her chest, eyes on her booties. Did he really need to call her out like that in front of everyone? Couldn't he just wait for them to be alone? What the heck was he thinking? People in there already rumored about something going on between the boss and the Italian girl, could he not be more careful?

Once everybody was gone, and the last employee had closed the door behind him, Lucas finally dared step closer to her. "Hello, Samantha", he started, hands stuffed in his pockets, feeling nervous, stupid and awkward at the same time. He'd remained far from her throughout those two weeks only in order to give her some time, now it was enough, wasn't it?

They needed to talk, define what they had, whether it was over or it could continue, and if it did, in what way? Because sure as hell Lucas could not settle for another friends with benefits sort of thing. No, he needed more, much more ... two weeks without being able to touch her had been infernal, he was out of himself, it was a miracle he'd resisted enough not to make a scene in front of everybody.

He was in love, Lucas had to admit to himself. He was foolishly in love with Samantha Benedetti, even only one minute without her was torture. It was luck that he'd had to travel, that way he could manage to think of something different, even only for a few moments, but at the same time, being all alone at night in a hotel bed, Lucas had had all the time to think it through.

Maybe it was true, Samantha was complicated, she would be quite tough to deal with, even only those small arguments had proven him right, especially the last one. The way she'd run off once again, the way she'd turned so pale at his words, her nervousness ... he wasn't stupid, pondering over it again and again and again, he'd considered every single bit of her reactions, and he'd realized one thing: she was often anxious.

The closer he tried to get, the more anxious she became, and it often showed on the outside, with panicked reactions that she might have been great at hiding, but that didn't escape to his attentive eye. 

The last scene they'd lived together, particularly, was stuck in Lucas' mind, he'd played it over and over again in his mind, trying to understand, and he'd realized that Samantha was weaker than she liked to let know, she had issues, and she feared his emotional closeness. That was the result of his pondering.

Artemis Wolf

Edited: 22.01.2021

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