By Saturday, I’m totally ready for the weekend.
Except Stew emails me at six in the morning and I end up working until noon. There are a few people in the office, but everyone is heads down on their own stuff. I’m in and out in five hours, and I’ve still got two days of down time to enjoy.
Okay, so I’ll get a day and a half. Maybe a day and a quarter, because there’s some serious reading I need to do tomorrow night to be ready for Monday morning.
But a day off still sounds heavenly. Yoga, brunch, lying on the couch like a vegetable and watching something on Netflix. I can squeeze all of that into a day and a quarter. Maybe brunch can be something delivered and easily consumed while lying on the couch.
I check the yoga studio’s schedule. My favourite teacher has a class at three today and another at seven tomorrow morning. That is not happening, so this afternoon it is.
I change out of my work clothes and pull on red yoga pants, a bralette with fancy braided straps, and a floaty black scoop-neck t-shirt that falls off one shoulder and shows off the twisted black and red fabric. I’ll pull it off when I get to yoga, but I’m not so one-with-my-body that I’ll walk to the studio in a top that anyone outside of the studio would see as a bra.
I’m halfway there when my phone pings again.
I wince as I check it.
Another email from Stew. Apparently getting lucky and proving myself helpful in the first week has consequences.
No good deed goes unpunished. Or…I’m establishing a reputation in a city where I want to have a long and productive career. I take a deep breath. The environmental report on the pipeline needs to be read from a youth jobs perspective. Can I have some thoughts for him by Monday?
I can, and I will, but I need the report, which can’t be transmitted electronically yet. Crap.
So much for yoga. I glance at the clock on my phone screen. Quarter after two.
A gentle screech of bus brakes behind me makes the decision easy. It’s a quick trip up the street. I can get to the office, get the report, and get back here in time for class. I spin around and wave my bus pass at the driver.
Twelve minutes later, I’m sprinting past the security guards, who laugh at me because I was already there once and it’s Saturday and ha ha ha, not funny.
New girl is trying to make a good impression, okay?
Upstairs, pretty much everyone is gone. I let myself into the office I share with a couple of other junior staffers and grab the confidential report from the locked cabinet beneath my desk. The cover is stiff, though, and I need it to roll up so it will fit into my yoga mat bag.
Stew’s copy has a floppy cover. I head to his office, but I can’t find his copy anywhere. Frustrated, I check my phone. I’m not making that yoga class. Maybe I’ll go to the one at four, even though the instructor is way too obsessed with the sound of her own voice for it to be truly Zen.
Then I call my boss. “Stew, I’m standing in your office. Where would I find your copy of the environmental report?”
“What’s wrong with your copy?”
It won’t fit in my yoga mat bag probably isn’t the right answer. But it’s the only one I’ve got, so I tell him the truth.
It takes him a while to stop laughing, so I lean on his desk and consider just taking a nap there like that, bent right over.
Once he stops laughing and tells me where to find it on his bookshelf, I say a muffled thanks and hang up the phone.
I don’t get up right away.
It’s been a really long week.
I groan and mumble to myself, “Might just stay here for a while.”
“Are we working you that hard, Ms. Montague?” a voice asks from the doorway. A rich, warm voice with a now familiar-in-person rough edge to it.
And I’m sprawled across my boss’s desk in yoga pants and a bra. Kind of wearing a t-shirt, but when you’re in front of the nation’s leader, does kind of count?
No, no it does not.
“Sir,” I gasp, pushing myself upright, suddenly aware that my ass was just in the air.
“I thought I told you not to call me that,” he says.
I spin around and he’s looking at the floor, and then the shelves, and finally his gaze settles on a point just past my shoulder.
That’s weird, because he’s usually such an eye-contact kind of guy. And it makes me self-conscious, like, he was also aware that my ass had been in the air, and is now behind me, but the rest of me is still clad in yoga wear.
And normally, this is not a big deal. I didn’t think twice of wearing it in front of the security guards, for example.
But after a week of trying very hard to not be aware of the PM as a man, and at the same time being rather painfully aware that he is a man, with eyes, and…
All of that.
He’s not the person I want to be standing in front of in skin-tight cropped yoga pants.
I’m not even wearing underwear under them, and I swear he’s got Superman’s X-ray vision right now, which is why he’s not looking at me. Because he already did and he saw under my clothes and oh God, I need to work under him for another two months and three weeks.
I really need to stop making that slip inside my head. One of these days I’m going to say it out loud and everyone will know that I’m thinking about how big he is and how heavy he would feel on top of me.
While all this is rioting through my head and he’s waiting for me to say something, not looking at me, I consider hiding behind Stew’s chair to remove the inappropriate clothing from being a factor. But at some point he’s going to expect me to leave this office, so I just stand where I am, suddenly feeling very, very naked.
Naked and slowly turning red.
“My apologies. I was just here to get…” Something I can’t remember. Luckily the PM doesn’t have that problem.
“The environmental report. I heard. Stew keeps his on the bookshelf.” He clears his throat and points behind me. “Over there.”
“Right.” I turn and look at the second shelf.
“Next one up, I think.”
I push up on my toes, because I’m short and Stew is not. Yeah, I can’t reach.
“Here,” Gavin says, and he’s right behind me now. My pulse is jackhammering away in my neck. I can hear it in my ears. Can he hear it? It’s loudly pronouncing my lascivious thoughts. The arm of his suit jacket brushes my bare skin as his hand reaches easily past mine and grabs the stack of nearly identical confidential reports.
How many of those does my boss get in a week? I only have the one to read. Suddenly my whining about my workload seems to lack perspective.
I turn and press my back against the bookshelf as he flips through the stack, finding the one I need.
“Here you go.” He hands it over, and I press it to my chest as he leans over me to put the rest of the stack away again.
He’s taller up close. I have to tip my head back to look up at him. Of course, I usually wear heels, and the canvas slip-ons I wear to yoga have zero lift.
“Thank you,” I breathe, about to add sir when I catch myself. He laughs as he watches me form the start of the word, then press my lips together.
“Gavin. You can call me Gavin.”
“I’m pretty sure I can’t,” I laugh, turning my head to the side in embarrassment.
“You need to, because this sir thing is killing us both and it’s only been a week.” He steps back and taps his index finger to his bottom lip. “Let’s practise.”
“Yes, really. Try… ‘Hey, Gavin, how’s your weekend going?’”
“Hey…Gavin.” That feels weird. And nice, kind of, but mostly weird and possibly dangerous because his eyes are extra blue right now.
He laughs, his shoulders shaking silently at what I can only assume is the dorkiest look on my face, but it breaks the ice. I square my shoulders and give him a stern look. He cocks one eyebrow and sobers his mouth. “Keep going.”
“How’s your weekend going?”
“Ah, you know. Had to work on Saturday.”
“Me too.” This is actually working. It’s fun to talk to him like he’s a regular person and not someone who overwhelms me at every turn. “Well, part of it, anyway. I tried to go to yoga.”
His eyes twinkle as he follows my lead. “What happened?”
“Got stuck at the office.”
“It was okay. I almost got a mini nap on my boss’s desk. But then I got busted by his boss, which was awkward.”
I grin. “Not so bad, actually.”
I wiggle the report in the air between us. “Thank you, again. And I’m going to get out of your hair now, so you can get on with that mythical weekend thing.”
He gestures his hand gallantly toward the door. “After you.”
He’s standing in front of my yoga mat. I point to it. “I just need…”
Instead of moving, he reaches down and grabs it. When he hands it over, his fingers brush mine, and I’m reminded again why everyone and their brother falls in love with this man.
There’s definitely something about him, a heat that’s impossible to resist, but safe at the same time. It’s super sexy, and my breath stutters on the inhale.
His gaze drops to my mouth, and when he looks back up at my eyes, the heat’s gone, like he’s purposefully made himself cold inside toward me, and after the stupid teasing conversation about names, I’ve gotta say it’s unexpected.
It reminds me that I’m underdressed and overexposed, especially when it comes to my reactions to him.
He doesn’t want me perving on him.
Nobody would. It’s not professional. But before I can apologize, he’s muttering a goodbye and on his way down the hall.
I follow slowly, pausing at the door, my hand on the light switch. I thunk my head against the wood paneling.
New girl made an impression all right.
I’m just not sure it was the right one.