Read The Love Triangle (BWWM Romance) Online

Authors: Violet Jackson,Interracial Love

The Love Triangle (BWWM Romance) (5 page)

BOOK: The Love Triangle (BWWM Romance)
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“Nonsense, if you’re as good as they say we’re on equal grounds. Call me Elijah.” He let go of my hand and walked around the desk. He stayed standing, and he gave off the idea that he was towering even if his physical appearance didn’t allow it.

 

“We’re going to work very closely,” he said and smiled. The smile bled warmth into his face, lighting up his eyes and making me forget about the scar. I couldn’t help but smile too. He was a tyrant in the workplace, I guessed. But that smile made me wonder what was underneath, who he was when he wasn’t the boss that ran Magna Solutions.

 

I worked there for two weeks before our first big meeting with a client was scheduled. It was one of the first mergers, and I was in charge of the legalities. We sat down at the big round table in the boardroom. The light wood was varnished and polished until I could see myself in it. Elijah arrived five minutes after I did.

“This is going to be easy,” he said and smiled at me. That same warmth spread over his features, and flowed into me like I was a receptor. The door opened and the secretary showed in two gentlemen in suits. We introduced ourselves, shook hands, and made to sit down. Elijah put his hand at the small of my back and guided me to sit next to him. The touch was friendly, gallant maybe, but when he took his hand away, I could still feel it like a ghost.

 

And Elijah had been right. He charmed them until they begged him to merge with their company. Seeing him in action was beautiful.

 

When they left the office he turned to me.

 

“Well, that calls for a celebration,” he said. We left the office and drove into Fort Atkinson. The coffee shop he chose was called Cups and Saucers.

 

“This is the worst name for a coffee shop,” I said.

 

“Maybe we should buy them out and change it,” Elijah said, and I smiled. He had enough money for that. He made sure everyone knew about it. We were taken to a booth at the back of the shop, and sat down. The seats were brown leather, sat on for so many years it was thin and worn like old shoes. The tablecloth had a fine flower print all over it and there was a pitcher with water in the middle of the table.

 

“How are you fitting in here?” Elijah asked.

 

“Well enough. I just need to get used to small town living,” I said.

 

“Where are you staying?”

 

“At the moment I’m still in the motel. I’m looking for a place. I just wanted to be sure that it was going to work out,” I said and looked up at him. His eyes were on me. With him being the same height as me his eyes were on the same level as mine, and it was incredibly intimate all of a sudden.

 

“And do you feel like it’s working out?” he asked. It was an innocent question, but the way he said it gave me goosebumps and I felt a flush creep up from my collar.

 

“I’m happy with the job,” I said. “And my boss is a good one.” I added the last with a cheeky smile, trying to get rid of the embarrassment at my reaction to his tone of voice, the way my body was responding to him.

 

Elijah smiled too. His eyes were darker than usual, and deep, the way his eyes hadn’t been since we’d started working together. I was allowed a glimpse into who he was, who Elijah let himself be away from work.

 

And I liked it. I really liked it.

 

I don’t know what my face showed, but his gaze slipped to my lips, and I was suddenly self-conscious. I rolled my lips in and back out again, and I was suddenly shy. He leaned forward, moving slowly as if he didn’t want to scare me. I didn’t pull away. I should have. But I didn’t, and his lips landed on mine.

 

The kiss was soft and gentle, the absolute opposite of the die-hard business mogul I’d gotten to know over the past two weeks. I kissed him back because I couldn’t say no. I didn’t want to say no. It wasn’t because he was my boss. It was because there was something stunning under his no-nonsense mask, and I wanted a taste of it. I wanted to taste all of it.

***

I sat on the made hospital bed wearing the same clothes I’d apparently been wearing when they’d brought me in. By some miracle there was no blood on it. That was what the nurse had said, but I couldn’t remember that there had been a reason for it so it didn’t bother me.

 

The jeans were tighter than I thought I was comfortable with, paired with a short sleeve tee with a scooped neck. A golden chain went around my neck that I didn’t recognize, but I put it on anyway. When Elijah walked into the room, he stopped in his tracks. He looked at me like he had something on his mind, but his eyes fell on the chain around my neck and softened.

 

“You’re wearing the necklace I got you,” he said. I glanced down at it.

 

“Am I?”

 

His face clouded over and he nodded. “I got it for you about two months ago.”

 

“It’s beautiful,” I said. I fingered it, trying to suppress the sudden urge to yank it off again.

 

“So, where am I taking you?” Elijah asked, his voice careful. We hadn’t talked about it again since I’d told him in so many words that there was no way I was going to his place.

 

“I’ve been thinking about it… I’d like you to take me to Orange House.”

 

“The hotel?” he asked.

 

I nodded. “I’ve booked a room with two single beds so the stay-in nurse will have a place to sleep too. I wanted to go to Shonda, but I can’t get a hold of her.”

 

He nodded slowly. “She’s away on a business trip.” His face was serious, his eyes cold and hard, and it looked like a storm was rolling in by the look on his face. But I couldn’t change my mind, not now. And especially not with that look on his face. His hands balled into fists by his sides and he pumped them open and closed, like he was trying to stop it from happening.

 

“I’m nervous something will happen,” he said.

 

“I’ll have the nurse. It’s not permanent, I just need to find out who I am. What all this is about. I feel like a chapter in my book has been ripped out and I don’t know half of the story. As soon as I can reach Shonda, I’ll make a plan so that I can go stay with her. You know she’ll look after me.”

 

Elijah nodded. He still didn’t look happy, but when I’d said that it wasn’t permanent his face had changed, like there was a little ray of hope.

 

“I’ll get a nurse to bring you the paperwork so you can be discharged,” he said. When he left the room, I raised my hand again and touched the golden chain around my neck. Somehow a tiny part of me had hoped that I’d gotten the jewelry from Justin. But that had been foolish. He wasn’t rich like Elijah. He would never have gotten me this. It screamed of Elijah.

 

I sighed, feeling suddenly like I wanted to cry again.

 

Chapter 5- Elijah

The best I could do for her was to make sure the bill for the hotel got sent to me, and I took care of the nurse as well. I was going to pay for all of it. After all, she was my woman and it was job to take care of her. I hadn’t been doing it very well until now, but there was always time for change and it was a clean slate.

 

That’s what I kept telling myself.

 

Grace was discharged and I walked her out to the car. She walked slowly, like she was unsure of every step. I pushed down my impatience. Why she had to consider every step was beyond me but I let her do it. Clean slate, I reminded myself.

 

When we finally got to the car I opened the car door for her and she slid into the leather seat the way she always did. She’d only lost six months. The core of who she was was still the same. The doctor was wrong about her personality changing, I just knew he was.

 

When I walked around the car to the driver’s side, I noticed Justin. He sauntered into the hospital with his lazy cowboy gait. I froze, waited for him to pass without seeing us, and got in the car. Grace held onto her head like she was scared it was going to fall off.

 

“Headache?” I asked.

“Clinical,” she answered.

 

I hesitated before I asked, “Are you really sure a hotel is the best thing for you right now?”

 

She looked at me and I couldn’t tell what she was thinking. Her face was an expressionless mask, her eyes closed.

 

“Please, Elijah,” she said, but it was the kind of ‘please’ people used when they wanted you to stop nagging. She’d never used that tone with me, and I was suddenly angry. I suppressed it, and started the car. I didn’t look at her for the rest of the way, until we parked in front of Orange House. There were four cars parked in the road in front of it.

 

“You’re upset with me,” Grace said when I switched off the car and the cooling system kicked in. It was that time of year again, when the heat was almost unbearable.

 

“I’m not,” I said, but even my voice betrayed me.

 

“I just can’t do this, Elijah. I know it’s not a lot of time that I lost, and there are patients that have been way worse off… I just can’t seem to figure out who I am.”

 

“You knew who you were six months ago, and you can remember that,” I said, and I sounded accusing even to myself. She turned her face away from me, looking out the passenger window. She didn’t speak for quite some time, long enough for me to realize this conversation was over.

 

I’d packed all her clothes in bags at the mansion before I’d picked her up from the hospital, and I walked around to the trunk to get them out for her. She looked down at the suitcases in my hands when I met her at the front door.

 

“Is that all my stuff?” she asked.

 

“It’s the most important. I chose a couple of things for you.”

 

She looked upset about it. I didn’t care. She’d been living with me, dammit. I knew her. It was bad enough that she was refusing to come stay with me, without being upset about me choosing clothes for her. I braced myself for a fight, but it didn’t come. Usually she was quick to say something. At least, she used to be.

 

Was it my fault that it was gone now?

 

I shook my head, shook off the black mood that tried to creep up on me, and followed her to the front desk.

 

“The nurse will be here later this afternoon,” I said. “I called someone.” Grace looked around the room. It wasn’t the best place she’d chosen, I could have paid for better. But I didn’t interfere even though I wanted to. I wanted her to come back to me again. I wasn’t going to push until the opposite happened.

 

She turned to me.

 

“Thank you,” she said.

 

“For what?”

 

She shrugged, clenching her jaw, and her eyes welled up with tears.

 

“Oh, darling,” I said and touched her arm. She saw it as an invitation to step into me, and for the first time since she’d woken up she accepted me. She put her head on my shoulder, crying into my shirt. She wouldn’t leave makeup stains, she wasn’t wearing any.

 

“It’s going to be fine. A couple of days and you’ll be perfect again. The doctor said the memories will come back, and all this will be behind us.”

 

She nodded against me but her shoulders still shook with her crying. I let her lean against me a bit longer, and then I wrapped my fingers around each arm and held her at arm’s length. She looked surprised for a moment.

 

“Just keep it together,” I said. The emotion drained from her face like she was physically drawing it away, until the only proof that was left of her crying was the tears on her cheeks.

 

“That’s my girl,” I said and let go of her. She looked upset, but in a different way. I didn’t know what to do about it. I’d let her cry on my shoulder. That was about as much emotion as I was comfortable with. More than that, she had to deal with on her own. I wasn’t trying to be harsh, but the sooner she took the matter into her own hands, the sooner it could all be sorted out.

 

“I’ll check on you. Keep your phone on in case you need something.”

 

She nodded, and I left the room. Out in the passage, I paused mid-step and blew out a quick breath of relief. I’d managed to get all the way through it without getting angry with her. Even though she’d been an emotional mess. This was good. And she’d turned to me instead of pushing me away. She wasn’t even out of the hospital for an hour and already she was coming back. This was very good.

 

I took the elevator back down to the lobby and walked out into the heat of the day.

 

The black car had already heated up in the short time I was inside with her and it felt like an oven. I put the A/C on full and pulled into the road. I had an office to get to. I’d neglected my work, letting my secretary take over, cancelled all my appointments. I had enough money to last me, enough of a reputation to carry me through the past couple of days without worrying, but if I wanted to keep it up, I had to get back.

 

No matter how much it felt like I was losing my grip on things. No matter how much I wanted to stay with her and made sure she stayed. I had the horrible feeling that as soon as I turned my back I was going to lose her. I’d had that feeling for a long time, longer than we’d been officially dating. Longer than she’d been in my life as more than just an employee. In fact, for about just as long as she’d been getting things on with that damn Justin.

BOOK: The Love Triangle (BWWM Romance)
7.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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