070 - Emma
I'm terrified to face Lucien, but I have to.
We both need closure, because these past ten days have been the absolute worst. Not knowing when he'd return, not sure if I should message him or not.
Just the absolute insecurity, he loves me he loves me not.
The hours are insanely long, it feels like someone has slowed down every clock in the building. I try to work on my case, trying to kill the time, but every time I check the time it's only a few minutes later than it was the last time I checked.
I can no longer control my nerves around a quarter to three, spending the last fifteen minutes sipping coffee and deleting old e-mails, because there's no way in hell I can focus anymore.
Conference room 5. Fine.
The walk there feels like a marathon, the hallway just doesn't end.
When I open the door, the room is empty. Lights are off, there's no sign of life. I check my watch. 3:02.
Of course I'd be the first one to arrive, because I'm the only in this with feelings. Lucien is going to tell me he made a mistake, he wasn't professional, he shouldn't have done that.
I might even have to sign some contract promising him I'll stay quiet about this, because that's what rich and powerful men do.
It's 3:07 by now. I've sat down on one of the tables, tapping my fingers on the surface, nervous but also getting impatient.
The room doesn't have glass walls like Lucien's office does, so I can't see anyone coming. I just hear foot steps, perk up, and realise they're passing.
It's rush hour in this hallway, apparently, because more and more people start passing by the room, not coming in.
3:14. I've accepted I'm not only rejected, which was probably going to happen, but also stood up. Awesome.
I'm about to scoot off the table and leave, feeling both frustrated and hurt, when the door does open. I'd given up hope, but this pair of passing by foot steps was actually Lucien.
My heart flutters immediately, and I swear that if my heart had a face, I'd want to punch it.
"Hi," he closes the door behind him. "I'm sorry, I got held up.. first day back in 10 days, everybody wants something from you."
I'm still sat on the table, in a slightly awkward position now because I was about to get up.
"That's alright," I answer, and I can't help but look at him. He looks like he's been sick, slight bags under his eyes and paler than usual. Still, he takes my breath away and I just want him to come over to me and kiss me.
"I'm glad you're still here, though," he smiles. I can tell he's not quite sure what to do, sit down or stay standing. It's probably easiest if he doesn't sit down, that way it's fastest for him to leave as soon as he's given me the bad news.
I want to tell him that I am too, that I haven't been able to think straight ever since our kiss, that I just had to see him, I want him to hold me.
"You wanted to see me...," I can't look him in the eye, too afraid of what he'll say next.
It's silent for a while. He's probably gathering all his courage to break my heart as quickly and painless as he can.
"I felt like we should talk about... the other night."
"Yeah, we probably should," my mouth says, but my heart is telling me I don't want him to speak. As long as he doesn't tell me he's not into me that way, my heart will be slightly safe. It will still freak out every time I see his name pop up on my screen, I'll still be happy every time he passes through the hallway.
"And I also feel like I should apologise for what happened," here we go. "It wasn't fair of me to just.. I shouldn't have kissed you."
"Oh." I can't really say much more than that, fighting back tears. I knew this was coming, why am I so surprised?
"Are you alright?" I realise I have been pushing my nails into my palms, trying to keep myself from crying, and I've just been staring at the door for a while.
"Just peachy," I kid, still unable to look him in the eye.
"I'm sorry, Emma, I really am. I should have known to keep my feelings to myself, because it was too bold of me to assume you'd feel the same way, especially after what happened with Callum.."
"I'm.. what?" This time, I'm able to look at him to see if he's pulling a prank on me. Is this man just telling me he's sorry because he thinks I don't have feelings for him? "You think I... don't have feelings for you?"
"Well, yes," we're now just looking at each other confused, "we were both drunk, and then you left and I didn't hear anything from you, so I... assumed I must have gotten the signals wrong. It's okay, though, we can be adults about this..."
"You...," a smile is breaking through on my face but I still feel like confusion is the biggest emotion on my face, "you were literally laying face down on the counter, no effort to even talk to me.. then I didn't hear from you for days.."
"We really messed up here, didn't we?" It's probably the best summary of the past ten days. We were so busy thinking the other was going to break our heart that we never realised maybe we were just holding ourselves back.
"Absolutely messed up...," by now, my heart is fluttering more than it ever has before, my nerves have gone away and have been replaced by butterflies.
"We're absolute idiots...," Lucien is smiling, shaking his head, "all this time..."
"Just to get one thing straight... You don't regret kissing me? Because just for the record, I don't regret kissing you whatsoever."
"Not a sliver of regret," he replies within seconds. I get up from my not so comfortable seating arrangement on the table, checking if the door is closed.
"So you'd say you want to do it again?" We're close now, I can already smell his perfume again, and I can honestly say I'm in heaven.
"I might still be contagious," he breathes, but I can tell neither of us really care.
"I really, really do not care."
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