“I ran out of seasoning at my house.” He lowers his voice. “You wouldn’t believe the cost of things in Los Angeles. That’s why I asked the waitress for some extra parmesan on the side. I brought a few Ziploc bags for the occasion.”

I blink. “I can buy some seasoning online and have it shipped to you.”

“No, that’s okay,” he says. “I would never ask you to buy anything for me. Anyway, back to your boss. You could always write a letter of all the things you hate about him and wrap it in some pretty paper. That might suffice as a gift.”

“I’ve given him that for his past two birthdays.”

“Oh.” He shrugs. “Well, just don’t put any effort into it. Give him something that shows you really don’t care about anything, except the paycheck.”

“Good thinking.” I place a napkin in my lap. “Let’s talk about something else. How was your flight?”

“Good, no turbulence,” he says. “Did you get my flowers?”

“Yes.” I smile at the thought of them. “Everyone on my floor was super impressed with the arrangement.”


“Yeah.” I nod. “I mean, not that it matters, but they didn’t set you back too far, did they? They look even more expensive than the ones you sent me last week. Those were amazing as well, by the way.”

He raises his eyebrow, confused. “I didn’t send you flowers last week.”

“Yeah, you did.” I pull out my phone and start scrolling through my pictures. “I missed your Skype call, and you sent me red roses with the little ‘No need to apologize’ card. Hold on, I have to find it.”

“What type of flowers did you get today from me?”

“Eight bouquets of red and white roses.” I smile. “The florist said they were her bestselling blooms, and they’re sitting at the center of my desk.” My voice trails off once I see the look on his face.

“Eight bouquets of bestselling roses?” His eyes are narrowed, and his jaw is clenched. “Please tell me that you’re not this fucking dense, Savannah.”

“I really do love your flowers,” I say. “They’re gorgeous.”

“Okay, so you are this dense,” He shakes his head and signals for the check. “I should’ve seen this a long time ago.”

“Would you prefer me to tell you that I hate them?”

“No, I’d prefer for you to tell me that you’re fucking Garrett West, but try not to cause a scene while you say it.” He hisses. “I mean, it’s so obvious, and I’m so foolish. You probably picked his name on purpose, so you can get with him on your trip that you supposedly loathe.”

“I’m not sleeping with my boss.” I feel my blood beginning to boil. “And you’re making one hell of an assumption for no reason.”

“No reason?” He laughs maniacally, and the conversations around us fall into whispers. “No reason? Oh, okay.”

“Maybe I should go now,” I say, now realizing he never even complimented my dress. “You can call me whenever you come to your senses.”

“I’m never calling you again!” He glares at me. “And you know what? For your Secret Santa gift, why don’t you just put a bow on your pussy and sit on your boss’s face? I'm sure he'll love that—if you haven’t already done it with him before, that is.”

My jaw drops to the floor, and the entire restaurant falls silent.

A fork hits the floor several seconds later, shattering the silence with a reverberating clang.

I throw my napkin onto my plate and stand to my feet. "So much for not causing a scene, right?"

"You brought this on yourself," he says, signing the receipt. "Fuck you, you cheating bitch."

I'm not sure what comes over me, but the next thing I know, I'm grabbing a glass of juice (He can’t afford to buy the wine) and throwing it in his face.

I pick up my coat and leave the dining room without another word, ignoring the whispers that follow my every step.

I fight back tears of frustration as I take the elevator downstairs. I take my time buttoning my coat—shielding my heart from the cold, and then I step into Manhattan’s latest snowfall.

Moving close to the curb, I hold up my hand and hail a cab.

“Where to, Miss?” The driver’s eyes meet mine through the rearview mirror. “You’re looking at a minimum of thirty minutes, no matter what, in this traffic.”

Perfect. “2314 Seventh—” I stop myself. The last thing I need to do is head home. “West Media, please.”

“Sure thing.” He pulls onto the street, and I lose the war with my tears for the rest of the ride.

An hour later, I hand the driver a handful of twenties and rush inside headquarters. All of the employees are long gone, but Garrett’s office lights are still burning bright.

As usual…

Without thinking, I head up to his floor and walk into the boardroom. I take off my coat, and pull my laptop from my bag to begin working on my next project.

Then my next project, and the next.

Before I know it, I’m ahead in my work by an entire week.

At around two in the morning, Garrett sets a mug that’s topped with whipped cream in front of me.

“Miss Grey?” He clears his throat, waiting for me to look up at him. “I could’ve sworn that you had a date earlier.”

“I did.”

“Did he like your dress?”

“He didn’t get a chance to really see it.”

He looks me up and down. “How unfortunate. How long did the date last?”

“Twenty minutes, maybe.” I tap my fingers against the table; I have no idea why I feel the aching need to open up to him sometimes. “He dumped me because he thinks I’m cheating on him with someone else.”

Raising his eyebrow, he takes a long sip of his coffee. “I’ve never heard you talking to any other guys except him. Who does he think you’re cheating with?”

“He didn’t say.” I shrug. “He just got really upset after I thanked him for the roses he sent me today.”

“Maybe he’s stressed. I’m sure he’ll change his mind later.”

“Maybe.” I stand up from my chair. “Didn’t you have a date with Helen the hotel heiress?”

“It only lasted half an hour.”

“Is that how long it took her to finally realize that you’re the devil incarnate?”

His lips curve into a smile, but he doesn’t answer that. Instead he moves closer to me, lowering his voice. “If your boyfriend didn’t immediately take you home, after seeing you in this dress, something’s wrong with him.”

“Or maybe you picked the wrong one,” I say, feeling that familiar tension filling the room. “Maybe your taste isn’t as good as you think it is.”

He looks me up and down again, his gaze settling between my thighs. “In that case, you should let me taste it for myself…”

“What?” I’m certain that I didn’t hear that right.

“You heard me,” he says, leaning closer. “Let me taste you.”