Professional Boundaries(12)

By: Jennifer Peel

“Come on, Kelli.”

“Fine, what do you want to know?”

He knew he was getting on my nerves, and he seemed to take pleasure in it as he sat back and surveyed me.

“Tell me about Vanderbilt.”

So he had read my file. I wasn’t surprised. I was only surprised that he even cared.

“I received my MBA at Vanderbilt around seven years ago.”

He held his hand out waiting for me to elaborate. “And …?”

Fine, he was getting my life story in a nutshell. “I graduated top of my class. I started working for Chandler Media. I’ve been the Regional Manager for three years until today. “

He ruefully smiled, but that didn’t stop me from giving him the very watered downed history of my life after him. “When I’m not working, I’m either with my sister and her family or volunteering or belly dancing, among other activities. Oh, and I have a cat named Charlie. Is that enough for you?”

He grinned. “How’s Amanda?”

I was taken aback that he remembered her name. It’s not like they’d ever met. “She’s perfect. She and Zane just celebrated their fifteenth wedding anniversary, and they have two daughters. Courtney’s ten and Samantha’s seven.”

“I thought you didn’t like cats.”

“Yeah, well, turns out I do.”

I didn’t really, except for Charlie. My sister bought him for me on my thirtieth birthday, and she said she would be buying me a new one every five years unless I got married. She was setting me up to be a spinster cat lady. At first, I told her to take him back, but he was just so dang cute, I couldn’t help but love him. But I warned her, no more. I didn’t care if I never got married.

“Husband? Kids?” He just about laughed.

“Really? Don’t you think that would be the first thing I would have mentioned?”

That made him really laugh. What was up with him?

I folded my arms. “Are we done now?”

“Don’t you want to know about me?”

“What more do I need to know?”

A playful grin spread across his face. “You’re not curious at all about your new boss?”

“You’re not my boss.”

I was a little curious, but heck, I could google him. And believe me, I would.

The playful grin still danced across his face. “I forgot. I’m getting ahead of myself.”

“Way,” I responded.

“So, what’s it going to take to win you back?”

I looked at him strangely. That was a very odd way of putting it.

He got a tinge red. “What can I do so you’ll rescind your resignation?” he corrected himself.

“Quit,” I said, hopefully.

His countenance dropped some. “You can take that off the table.”

“A girl can try.”

“Kelli, I don’t know if you remember or not, but we used to work well together. And I think if you gave this a chance, we could do great things for Chandler.”

Before I could respond, Jose brought our smothered burritos out to us. He greeted me with a kiss on the cheek too.

I figured I should be polite and make introductions. “Jose, this is the new Marketing Director for Chandler, Ian Greyson.” Those words tasted like one hundred year old vinegar in my mouth. It was so bad it left an aftertaste.

Jose also gave me a look of great pity before responding to Ian’s handshake. He turned his attention quickly back to me. “You can’t leave without dancing with me tonight, Bonita.”

Now that was something to smile about. Jose and Alicia had been teaching me how to salsa. It was almost as fun as belly dancing. “I wouldn’t dream of it.”

“So you salsa too?” Ian asked after Jose left.

“On occasion.”

“I see you still enjoy life and learning new things.”

“Yes, I do.”

“Can you please try this?” he practically begged.

I raised my eyebrow at him. “Ian, why are you here?”

He responded by taking a large bite of food and chewing very slowly. He didn’t verbally communicate, but his eyes danced with delight. Since he was in no hurry, I began to eat. I was starving, and the food smelled way too good to let it sit untouched any longer. Besides, I couldn’t stand looking into those warm chocolate eyes; it brought back too many memories. We ate in silence for several minutes, but there was a serious staring contest going on between us. The whole time I wondered why he was avoiding answering me. It was a simple question really.

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