Rip(3)

By: Rachel van Dyken


I’d put on my new Nordstrom business suit, hoping it would give me confidence, and when that failed to work—after I looked in the mirror and saw the petrified look on my face—I put on a red thong and crossed my fingers.

Underwear always did the trick. Like a secret nobody knew about… I could walk in the office confident that although I looked prim and proper on the outside—I was scandalous underneath.

The phone ringing caused me to almost fall out of my chair.

“Miss Petrov?”

I stood, my knees hitting the glass table in front of me. “Yes?”

Her smile was tight, almost as tight as the bun currently torturing her hair. “He’s waiting.”

He’s waiting? As if I was the one that was late and had been sitting here wasting his time?

“Thank you,” I managed to choke out, making my way toward the large black doors.

She opened both of them, making my entrance look a lot more grand than it really was.

Floor to ceiling windows lined every inch of wall except for the one behind me leading back into the lobby.

A large oak conference table was in the left corner and a desk that looked more like a spaceship about ready to take flight than an actual desk, had been placed in the very middle of the room.

Two black leather couches rested against the right wall with a white fur rug topping off the masculine look.

The office screamed money.

And for some reason that made it seem cold.

The door clicked shut behind me.

I did a circle, my heels clicking against the marble tile. “Um, hello?”

“Um,” came a dark menacing voice from somewhere in the room I couldn’t locate. “Isn’t a word. Try again.”

“My name is—“

“I know who you are,” the voice snapped impatiently. “Now, try again.”

I tried to get my shaking under control, hoping it wouldn’t show through with my next few words. “Where would you like me to sit? For your interview?”

Static filled silence followed for a few seconds before I heard a sharp irritated exhale.

“Are there not enough options, Miss Petrov?”

I licked my lips and glanced quickly around the room trying to decide what would be best, finally I settled on the couch, setting my purse on the floor and pulling out my notebook.

“Interesting.” The voice contained little humor, and I would bet my right eye he found my choice in seating anything but interesting. Whatever, not my problem. I had expected him to be nicer, or at least, you know, present?

Did he get off by acting like the Great and Powerful Oz? I still didn’t know where the heck he was or why he was choosing not to show his face.

First he’s late.

Then it’s somehow my fault.

And now he’s mocking me from afar.

Screw you, Oz. I clicked my pen and waited.

“I would have taken you for a conference table type of girl,” the smooth voice said, this time sounding closer. “Then again, the couches are more comfortable.”

I opened my mouth, but words didn’t come out. Instead, a croak or a crackle or something that sounded a lot like a strangled gasp emerged when Mr. Blazik walked through what I’d thought was a wall but was actually a door leading into another part of the office.

Shirtless.

Well not shirtless, I mean he had a shirt on—high-end red silk—but it wasn’t buttoned. He was in the process of doing that, covering taut abs and well-defined pecs.

And I was watching him.

Shamelessly.

I quickly averted my eyes and stared at the blank notebook in front of me as my cheeks sizzled with awareness.

His approach was silent. I couldn’t hear him, but I felt him, felt his body heat. Still I didn’t look up. I studied his nice Italian shoes, black, shiny, they looked new, expensive.

“Are you planning on interviewing my feet?” A dark chuckle emerged from him. “Or can we get on with it?”

Get on with… yes, the interview. I blinked, then slowly inched my gaze up his body.

Black trousers that were more fitted than should be decent hugged muscular legs, leading up to a broad partially exposed, bare chest, wide shoulders, large biceps, and strong jaw.

I paused at the jaw, almost afraid to finish what my eyes had started, fearful that he really was going to be as good looking in person as he seemed.

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