She tried to remind herself to walk slowly, but she kept slipping into a happy skip. The wooded path wasn’t the most conductive place for skipping, but she just couldn’t help herself.
“Would you stop that?” he scolded, but his heart wasn’t it in, “We could be in trouble here.”
She apologized, coming back and taking both his hands in hers, giving one of them a quick kiss, “I’ve just never been someone’s temptation before. This is a big day for me.”
He groaned, giving her a little spin, pulling her beside him and wrapping an arm around her so they were walking in step with each other. “I’m going to regret my phrasing, aren’t I?”
“No—no. It was maybe a little dramatic, perhaps, but you’re intentions were sweet.”
He leaned over to kiss his on the temple. Their ‘no touching until they had everything figured out’ rul was pretty much out the window. They would just have to refrain from the kind of touching that would overly distract from the topic at hand. Sticking to the heart of the matter, rather than the letter of the law. That was good enough, right? “We’re breaking the rules.” He said aloud, as if he needed to remind himself.
She gave him a little frown, like she’d forgotten as well, and didn’t appreciate the reminder. “Right, what are we going to do about that?”
“I don’t know.” He answered honestly. He’d run through several options, but none of them were exactly what he could call win-win.
“Well,” she stepped away, not exactly out of his reach, but so that his touch on her back was just the lightest of finger touches. “WE could go back to being friendly coworkers. You could be accidentally attractive with your intelligence and determination to improve the company, and I’ll go back to be accidentally provocative whenever I—I don’t know. Wat was it about me that you found accidentally provocative?”
“Breathing? Existing? Being you? Take your pick,” He answered, already itching to wrap his hand back around her waist and pull her close again.
She laughed a little, flushing pink with the compliments. “Okay, well then I can go back to being accidentally provocative by breathing and we’ll just have to make do with the way it was.”
He did press a hand firmly on her back now, using the hand to turn her, pressing them together as tightly as he dared. “Please tell me that is not your top choice. Please tell me that isn’t what you want to do.”
She pulled herself even tighter against him, all but kissing him. “That’s not my top choice. That is not what I want to do.” Then in a motion so quick and fluid he didn’t think he could really say how she did it, she spun herself out of his grip completely. “But I worked hard for this job and this position. I’m not giving it up for something that might just be a rush of lust and fantasies.”
He didn’t think it was lust and fantasies. He thought this was something bigger—something new. But then again, he’d been wrong before.
But if she was worth the risk, then he should be the one to take the risk. “I’ll ask for a transfer.”
“Really?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.
“You’ll take a pay cut. And possibly a demotion.” She pointed out.
“Are you trying to talk me out of it?” He asked, sticking his hands in his pockets.
“No. Yes. I don’t know. I just want all of us to go into this with our eyes open.”
He nodded, and thought it over. “I’ll transfer. I will take a pay cut, but in three months I’m up for review and I’m pretty sure that I can get myself back up to normal salary, if not higher. They wouldn’t dare demote me because they know all too well what I’ve done for them and what I will continue to do for them.” He shrugged, “Eyes wide open.”
“And if we spilt up? If this was all about forbidden passion?” She asked.
“First of all, it’s not. But, let’s say it was—then we’d deal with that when we come to it. I’m taking a gamble. And sometimes you lose when you gamble. But other times you hit the jackpot.”
She smiled, and let him pull her in close again. “You say the most ridiculous things, you know?”
“I know,” he grinned, “You’ve got a lot to look forward to.”